Tommorrow night in Cape Coral Florida 9 candidates all competiting for 1 US House of Representatives seat in Congress will debate at the First Baptist Church at 4117 Coronado Parkway Cape Coral. Doors open to the public at 530pm and the event will start at 630pm. The format will allow each candidate to give an opening followed by a moderator who will ask the 9 candidates position on a number of topics from raising taxes to illegal immigration with the candidates all having yes or no paddles to hold up at the same time and then a period of time to explain their position. Two local news stations NBC-2 and Wink TV will be covering the event starting at 4pm and the event is expected to draw a crowd of over 500 with the attendees participating in a straw poll for their favorite candidate.
The contest for this highly contested seat has two elected officials Rep Paige Kreegel who has been a State of Florida House of Representative first elected in 2004, who is currently serving his final term in office. Rep Kreegel is a family doctor, farmer and rancher. Rep Gary Aubuchon is the second State of Florida House of Representative first elected in 2006. Rep Aubuchon is also a local home builder in the area when not busy with his legislative duties. Chauncey Goss who now resides in Sanibel after working in Washington DC and for other politicians. Joe Davidow who is an attorney in Naples. Byron Donalds who works in computer software for financial institutions. Trey Radel an ex local radio personality. Finally a retired businessman who owns restaurants in Manhattan and now resides in Naples Brian Owens rounds out the Republican field. There is one Democrat in the field Jim Roach who competed against Congressman Connie Mack in 2010 unsucessfully. Jim Roach is a retired engineer. There is a new entry as an NPA to this race in Brandon Smith who will be debating tommorrow night.
The Republican primary is to be held August 14th with the winner of this large field facing Democrat Jim Roach and NPA Brandon Smith. Doors open to the public at 530pm with the event starting at 630pm.
March 22nd 2012 The Florida Patriot
In a new series of articles we at The Florida Patriot will be covering BUPAC which stands for Business People United For Political Action Committee which meet every Thursday at 7am at the Edison Community College Cafeteria in Ft Myers Florida and have a current candidate for public office speak and field questions from the public in the audience live for 1 hour. This format is awesome in that attendees get to know the candidate, where they stand on the issues, and Voters can ask their own questions of the candidate. This organization has been around for many years and has had many current speakers including Congressman Connie Mack at their forum. This group is well known for asking tough questions on the candidate’s voting record, work history, platform they are running on and specifically how they would accomplish their ideas. All of this makes BUPAC a great place to go if you would like to get to know a candidate, let’s get started.
Dr. Paige Kreegel has been the District 72 Florida State House Representative since being elected in 2004. He is a Medical Doctor who has founded his own medical clinic, a citrus grower, a husband and father of 3 children. Kreegel believes our country is currently in bad shape and is headed in the wrong direction with too much government, too many entitlements, too high taxes to pay for it all, and referred to Obama as the “Spender in Chief”. He noted that 1 in 6 Americans are on food stamps and that our hard earned dollars are being given to non-producers. Asked to expand on his statements, he made note that Social Security was created for retirees who have earned this benefit, however, most of the people in the Social Security office are now younger people looking for disabilities including one of his former patients in good physical shape who qualified due to being claustrophobic. Also, he made note of the fact that back pain and being diagnosed as bi-polar are the most common reasons for disability and medicare claims and is leading to the system being underfunded. He qualified this by saying he understands when you see someone is a quadriplegic and is in true need of help he has no issue with this. He mentioned the fact that during President Reagan’s 1st 6 years in office disability claims actually went down.
Asked about Kreegel’s ideas to reduce the National debt he listed as #1 to stop giving foreign aid in the Billions to countries that just hate us. He stated he would like to develop a serious energy policy that would make the United States less dependent on foreign oil that would involve drilling for oil where we could safely drill. Also on energy he stated that ethanol/gasoline has raised the price of corn. Asked where he stood on taxes “He would like to see a total overhaul of our current tax code”. Kreegel stated he would Vote to stop increasing our debt ceiling and get serious about reducing our national debt. Asked about illegal immigration he is not in favor of amnesty, however, he is in favor of a guest worker program and would spare children that have been raised here.
The crowd’s next round of questioning involved the Military and his views on foreign policy. In addition to stopping foreign aid to countries that hate the United States he was asked specifically about the Wars in the Middle East. Kreegel stated that he was in favor of the beginning of the war that rid the area of dictators and terrorists such as Sadam Hussein, however, is not in favor of the expensive “nation building” exercises like that which is taking place now in Afghanistan. Kreegel stated he would definitely be in favor of term limits in Congress and would Vote for this. Again the subject came to the U.S. Military and the question was “Can our military be reduced worldwide”? Kreegel stated that he wants our military to be ready for anything, however, was not in favor of nation building. He also stated that he had passed the Veterans readiness bill that helps National Guard troops return back to their home state after service.
Local officials regularly attend BUPAC and Marilyn Stout who is currently a member of the Lee Memorial Hospital Board asked “Why did you Vote against the prison privatization bill”? Kreegel responded that this bill was a scam and said that region 4 had 8,401 violent close custody prisoners prior to this bill coming up and after it was developed region 4 had only 79 so the private company would be able to pocket millions of dollars while only saving the State of Florida a much smaller amount. A close custody prisoner is one that may take 2 guards to move 1 prisoner, whereas, a non-violent crime “jaywalker” as the prison guards call them only need 1 guard to move 6 prisoners. He went on to say that protecting law abiding citizens from bad people that would hurt them is a core mission of government. Kreegel also went on to say that the 2nd amendment is a Right and that all Americans have a right to protect themselves as well.
BUPAC has a different speaker that may include a candidate for office, a current elected official, a political group such as casino tax watch etcetera and charges a 4$ donation or for an 8$ donation it includes a full breakfast buffet. Doors open at 7am and the speaker starts promptly at 730am and ends at 830am. We at The Florida Patriot hope you have enjoyed getting to know the candidate and we will be reporting soon on another candidate at BUPAC and other clubs.