Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Florida Poll: Scott Leads Crist For First Time; Medical Marijuana at 60% Approval

Credit: Wikipmedia
TALLAHASSEE, Florida - A new poll, released exclusively to Brevard Times on Wednesday, shows incumbent Republican Governor Rick Scott with a 44-43% lead over Charlie Crist, former GOP governor turned Democrat.  9% were undecided.

Crist led Scott 47-43% in a similar poll in February 2014.

Human Events-Gravis Marketing conducted the political poll of 907 registered voters in Florida by automated calls to landlines between 4/23/14 and 4/25/14.  The poll has a margin of error +/-3%.

According to Doug Kaplan of Gravis Marketing, “The political poll is good news for Governor Scott, he has spent a fortune recently on television ads and in numerous polls, you see Scott closing in on Crist, this poll is the first poll that shows Scott ahead.”

 In the same poll, Floridians overwhelmingly are supporting a proposed state constitutional amendment to allow the use of medical marijuana under certain conditions.  60% of those polled support passage of the amendment, with only 8% unsure.

Kaplan said, “Medical Marijuana is at its magic number of 60%. I believe getting 60% is difficult, but without opposition, medical marijuana passes with 65-66%, the question is does it translate to votes for Crist.”

The entire language for the medical marijuana question is:

BALLOT SUMMARY: Allows the medical use of marijuana for individuals with debilitating diseases as determined by a licensed Florida physician. Allows caregivers to assist patients’ medical use of marijuana. The Department of Health shall register and regulate centers that produce and distribute marijuana for medical purposes and shall issue identification cards to patients and caregivers. Applies only to Florida law. Does not authorize violations of federal law or any non-medical use, possession or production of marijuana.”

The entire poll can be seen at Gravis Marketing.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

BREAKING NEWS: Tea Party Activist Accuses School Board Candidate of Racist Statements: Candidate Denies

MELBOURNE, Florida - A local conservative activist has accused a school board candidate of racist tweets in a posting on the Brevard Tea Party website.

Matt Nye, a former candidate for county commission, referred to an alleged 2013 tweet by Dale Davis, who is running for School Board District 5.

“The tweet is in response to this article on the Blaze about a Camden, NJ 16 year old black teen admitting to killing a 12 year old girl. Mr. Davis tweeted the following in response to the article: ‘DIE LIKE A THUG... POS. This is the reason prions are full of n*****s, they act that way! Stay focused...’ Indeed, it appears Clippers owner Donald Sterling has nothing on Mr. Davis,” Nye wrote on Brevard Tea Party.

Davis responded in an exclusive with Brevard Times.  “Until last night…I have never seen or heard of this tweet shown in Nye's allegations against me. I deny its origin, or that I had anything to do with it's fabrication.  Last night, was the first time I have ever seen the screen shot, or alleged tweet.

“I posted his accusation against me on my own Facebook, not one of my 1,500+ followers have agreed, in fact they have all been supportive, because they know, it is not me.  This is a poorly conceived smear tactic against my campaign,” Davis said.

Nye told Brevard Times, “Is the comment his? I contend it is, in spite of his claim his account was hacked. It is customary to notify your followers and friends when your account is hacked. If you go through his twitter feed around the time this was posted you will find no such notice.”  
Brevard Times will provide periodic updates on this story.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

District 2 Commission Candidate Rejects "Two-Man Race" Column: Cites Polling Data

MERRITT ISLAND, Florida - County Commission District 2 candidate Ron Taylor is disputing claims made in a recent Brevard Times opinion column that the race is a two-man contest between his opponents -Jim Barfield and Michael Hartman.

Charles Parker Opinion Column

In an email, Taylor said his polling suggests otherwise, noting, “(a) poll completed on April 17, two days before the Tea Party Event shows a very different story than the Tea Party Poll. This poll was conducted across all of District 2 and even breaks down the district into 9 key geographical areas.

“Although (the) headline declared it a two man race, it is not a two man race and I have provided the polling data to back up my claim. Our campaign team includes regular Republican guys and gals, homeowners, and small business owners, who are fiscal conservatives. And even some Tea Party members. We have built an effective ground game that is broad-based and competitive with Hartman’s Tea Party team. And we have sufficient campaign resources to match both Barfield’s personal donations and high profile donors.”

The confidential poll results, which Taylor shared exclusively with Brevard Times, show Taylor, Hartman, and Barfield in a statistical tie - with about 2/3 of voters undecided.

Tim Harber, a fourth candidate in the race, was not part of the polling, which was conducted by Gravis Marketing, a non-partisan research firm headquartered in Florida.

Barfield responded about his status in the race, “I am happy with where my campaign is today.  We continue to build support everyday throughout Brevard County and our volunteers are dedicated to the campaign's success.”

Hartman, as well, said, "In my opinion, Mr. Parker's previous column stuck to the facts about Jim Barfield and myself. In relating the facts, he noted the differences between Jim and myself as to how we would conduct ourselves if elected District 2 Commissioner. I believe his previous column provided many pertinent facts that will assist the voters in making an informed choice in the upcoming election."

Harber, who was not mentioned in the opinion column, said, “I think we still have a long way to go before calling the race.  Some of the candidates have made statements that are not based in reality and some wish to live with the status quo.

“I have a very large Realtor community behind me.  3800 plus members who have been waiting for the right time.  I think if you attend this week’s Commission meeting you will see what we are capable of doing.”



Tuesday, March 18, 2014

RPOF Complains To Election Officials About Crist Billboards

TALLAHASSEE, Florida - The executive director of the Republican Party of Florida has filed a complaint with state elections officials claiming that Democrat gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist’s image on a law firm’s billboards should be reported as an in-kind campaign contribution.

The billboards advertise Morgan & Morgan P.A.  The RPOF claims that the billboards exceed the statutory contribution limit of $3,000 per person.  The complaint was filed with the Florida Elections Commission.

"I guess it should be no surprise that trial lawyer Charlie Crist is being helped by his trial lawyer partners at Morgan & Morgan, but his campaign's failure to report their help is a violation of the law,” said Juston Johnson.

“Morgan & Morgan billboards with Charlie Crist's face on them while he was a declared candidate qualified as a reportable contribution. Failing to report the billboards is a clear breach of the law and a promise to work 'for the people.'"

Morgan & Morgan has not responded to an email request for comment.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Florida Announces New Test To Replace FCAT 2.0 and Common Core's PARCC

TALLAHASSEE, Florida - The state’s education commissioner announced on Monday that a research-based not-for-profit think tank has been selected to develop new English and math assessments for the 2014-2015 school year.

Commissioner Pam Stewart said that the American Institutes for Research were selected from three finalists to prepare the assessment to replace FCAT 2.0 and the Common Core-related PARCC.

“The new assessment will measure each child’s progress and achievement on the Florida Standards, which were developed with an unprecedented amount of public input,” said Stewart. “This assessment supports our new standards, which emphasize flexibility for teachers to make their own decisions in classrooms while preparing our students to analyze and think.”

According to a press release from the Florida Department of Education, “Governor Scott also set out eight goals for the new assessment to ensure the best outcome for Florida students. Among those eight objectives were an emphasis on prompt reports of results, no significant change in testing time for students, no significant increase in costs of the assessments and an assurance that testing dates be as close as possible to the end of the school year to maximize learning opportunities. This assessment meets those goals.”

This new assessment will be based on the Florida Standards, which were released in February and are based on the nationally-recognized Common Core standards.

The American Institutes for Research one of the world's largest behavioral and social science research and evaluation organizations, according to its website.


Friday, February 21, 2014

High School Students Meet First Lady Scott

MERRITT ISLAND - Members of the Academy of Hospitality Management at Merritt Island High School got a special treat during their tour of the Governor’s Mansion - a private visit with Florida’s First Lady Ann Scott.
Scott spent about 30 minutes with the six students - telling them the history of the mansion and the story behind the new painting “La Florida” that hangs near the front door.  They also met the curator of the mansion, the chef, and other staff members.  The group was provided with a copy of a new cookbook produced by the mansion staff that has favorite recipes of first ladies.

The students were in Tallahassee as part of the academy’s “FAM Trips Program”, where students visit many tourism-related sites to see hospitality-in-action.  They also met with officials at the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association to receive an update on legislation that might affect the tourism industry.
As well, the students toured Florida State University - seeing many classrooms, labs, and the Seminoles’ BCS National Championship Trophy.  They even saw Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston practicing with the baseball team.

This school year, the students have toured a Carnival Cruise Line ship, visited UCF’s Rosen College and hotels in Orlando, volunteered at several events sponsored by the Cocoa Beach Regional Chamber of Commerce, and participated in job shadowing at the Cocoa Beach Hampton Inn.  Many students plan to be working at compensated internships this coming summer.
The Academy of Hospitality Management is a 10-12 grade choice academy, which means that students from around Brevard County are able to attend.  If interested in the academy, contact the high school at 321-454-1000.


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Guns Allowed on College Campus After Court Ruling

COCOA, Florida - It is now legal to keep a concealed weapon in a vehicle on the campuses of Eastern Florida State College, according to college officials.
The policy change is in reaction to a December decision by the 1st District Court of Appeals that overturned a University of North Florida policy that banned guns in vehicles on campus.

“The change goes into effect immediately and is in compliance with the court ruling,” said John Glisch, the college’s Associate Vice-President for Communications.
This policy change comes one week after a shooting on the Palm Bay campus of EFSC.  Brevard Times has provided details of that incident and the court ruling at: and

The Eastern Florida policy states:
“It is lawful and is not a violation of Florida Statutes or EASTERN FLORIDA STATE COLLEGE policy/procedure 112 for a person 18 years of age or older to possess a concealed firearm or other weapon for self-defense or other lawful purpose within the interior of a private vehicle (conveyance), without a license, if the firearm or other weapon is securely encased or is otherwise not readily accessible for immediate use. Nothing in this policy prohibits the carrying of a legal firearm other than a handgun anywhere in a private conveyance when such firearm is being carried for a lawful use. [§790.115; §790.25; §790.251, Fla. Stat. (2013)]”