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Archive for August 2020

La Gaceta endorses Scott Franklin for Congress in Republican Primary

From “As We Heard It,” by Patrick Manteiga
Originally published August 7, 2020

District 15 runs from the east edge of Tampa all the way to Winter Haven. Its southern boundary is the Alafia River and goes up into Lake County. Ross Spano is the incumbent and is serving his first term. He won the seat easily by cheating. He borrowed $180,000 from a friend deposited it in his personal account and then donated it to his campaign, claiming he was the source of the money. He says he didn’t know it was wrong.
To believe him, we would need to believe Spano is as dumb as a rock. That means he is too dumb to effectively serve his constituents.
Republican Lakeland City Commissioner Scott Franklin wants to unseat Spano and has a good chance of winning. Franklin served 14 years as a Naval aviator and 12 years in the Reserve. He is now a small businessman in Lakeland and is very involved in the Lakeland civic community. Franklin wants to go to Congress to fight socialists like Bernie Sanders and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.
So much for reaching across the aisle or fighting common enemies, such as Russia or COVID-19.
Franklin also wants to stand up for Christian values with a gun in his hand. His main goal, though, is advancing President Trump’s agenda. Today, that agenda is sending COVID-19-immune children to school.
While we agree with almost nothing Franklin stands for, he at least seems to be an honest guy.
La Gaceta endorses Scott Franklin in the Republican Primary for Congressional District 15.

La Gaceta endorses Alan Cohn for Congress in Democratic Primary

From “As We Heard It,” by Patrick Manteiga
Originally published August 7, 2020

Democrats Alan Cohn, Adam Hattersley and Jesse Philippe are vying to replace Republican incumbent Ross Spano. All would be a better choice than the ethically challenged Spano.
Jesse Philippe served as a U.S. Marine and was deployed in Iraq. After his service, he earned a law degree and has worked at the Department of Revenue and interned at the state attorney’s office. His family is from Haiti.
Philippe is passionate about public service and wants to improve the lives of families who struggle in District 15. His ideas are rough and need to be better researched, such as his proposal to provide healthcare access to low-income people by opening the already taxed VA hospitals to them.
Adam Hattersley is a Navy veteran, small business owner and currently serves as a state representative for District 59, to which he was elected in 2018.
Hattersley labels his stance on policies as progressive and says global warming, healthcare and supporting veterans are big issues for him. When we asked him about reversing the trade and travel embargo on Cuba, we found his answers to be timid.
Alan Cohn is an investigative journalist and ran for this seat once before. His understanding of issues is deeper than his opponents and his solutions are better formed. He also seems to have a more mature understanding of Congress and how to best succeed on the job.
His number one goal is to make sure his office shines when it comes to constituent services. He invoked Congressman Sam Gibbons, who was always there to help people with their Social Security problems, to receive VA benefits and navigate the immigration system. Greater customer service should be the top goal of every congressional office. Most have forgotten that, so we’re impressed with Cohn’s commitment.
He also committed to hire Spanish-speaking personnel for his office. He would work to end the trade and travel embargo on Cuba and would be unafraid to travel to Cuba and engage the government. He supports Puerto Rican statehood. We asked the three candidates if they would vote for Nancy Pelosi to remain speaker of the House. Philippe and Hattersley talked about seeing if someone emerged who would better match their beliefs.
Cohn said he would support Pelosi because with Biden as president and Pelosi as speaker, it would be quicker for Democrats to dismantle all the bad policies created by Trump. Cohn said Democrats can’t afford infighting with so much to do. We agree.
La Gaceta strongly supports Alan Cohn for Congressional District 15.

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