Latvala Steps Up to Save a State Party He Helped Build

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Jack Latvala is a lot of things, but two character traits that are clear to anyone who knows him well are loyalty and respect for institutions. Latvala recently showcased both qualities when he stepped up to offer his support and a commitment to raise $50,000 for the Republican Party of Florida. The RPOF’s recent anemic fundraising totals caught the eye of Republicans, Democrats, and reporters alike.

Given that Latvala is likely to embark on his own political quest where he’ll need every dollar he can raise to wrestle the Republican gubernatorial nomination from establishment-favorite Adam Putnam, this commitment can be seen as only one thing – a man who has never forgotten his roots.

Latvala was one of a cadre of Republican’s who years ago helped create today’s majority party. Names such as Corcoran, Cannon and Weatherford may well be preceded by the title “Minority Leader” were it not for people like Jack Latvala. Latvala and others toiled in obscurity for years to create the base of a party that rose to the powerhouse it is today, controlling nearly every statewide office in Florida as well as holding strong majorities in both chambers of the legislature.

Latvala was not alone in his efforts in the 1970’s to build a Party to oppose the 100-year stranglehold the Democrats held on political power in Florida. People like Jack Eckerd helped recruit and fund much of this effort. Jeanie Austin, Toni Jennings, Lou Frey, and others should also not be forgotten in this conversation, they created a party that helped future leaders like Boss Tom Slade and Chairman Al Cardenas help elect Governor Jeb Bush, Florida’s first two-term Governor since Reconstruction, and the RPOF has never looked back.  Others like Minority Leaders Lombard, Plante, Patchett, should also not be forgotten for their efforts to govern well and raise funds while in the minority to help create a majority. Lastly, let us not forget the influx and growth of Cuban Americans whose conservative values and appreciation for democracy and liberty radically changed South Florida’s political landscape.

The advent of candidate-affiliated political committees and the politics surrounding the Party Chairman’s race four years ago dramatically altered the fundraising landscape and opportunities for the RPOF. No longer was the Party the only vehicle that could accept money raised by party leaders and elected officials for the purpose of spending those dollars on politically oriented things for which these elected officials crave so badly. While we can lament the rise of PACs over Party, there is still only one entity that exists solely to elect Republicans to all offices in Florida, and that is the RPOF, and its role is too important to let the Party die.

Credit Latvala for standing tall and offering to help Chairman Blaise Ingoglia during the Chairman’s time of need. Latvala and Ingoglia should call out every member of the legislature until they too stand up to help rescue the party operations. Governor Rick Scott should also bury the hatchet with Ingoglia as the longstanding feud does nothing but remind Republicans of the distaste of politics.

We can only hope that Ingoglia has the character and strength to resist becoming a shill for his House Speaker or any other candidate that supports the party by raising funds. The Chairman’s role is much bigger than any one candidate. To his credit, Corcoran has been the only leader willing to help the party raise dollars for years, but that does not mean Corcoran owns those dollars and if he thinks he does, he is thwarting the law. Raising money for the party does not mean the fundraiser has carte blanche authority to spend those same funds. This practice is clearly illegal and banned in Chapter 106 of Florida Statutes, as “earmarking.”  Moreover, large payments to consultants with ties to Cororan should give the Party Executive Committee reason to ask the Chairman questions about what the plan is for spending the few million dollars Ingoglia brags about having in the party coffers. Ingoglia must clamp down hard and control the garbage mouth, trash talk by consultants paid by the RPOF. If a consultant paid by the Party is trashing Republican elected officials for any reason, that consultant needs to be fired. Period.  Ingoglia knows that and if he doesn’t do it, he should be ousted and the party funds investigated as they may well be controlled by an illegal earmark to a specific candidate.

Anyone who has ever been elected to office as a Republican owes the RPOF a debt of gratitude for the infrastructure it created to help Republicans get elected. Donald Trump and George W. Bush also benefited from this institution and might want to offer some help too. Regardless of what others do, credit Latvala for being a man who respects tradition enough to work to preserve it, even if he may well be the beneficiary of his own generosity should he become the GOP nominee. In the meantime, no party funds should ever be used to criticize a Republican – if only to honor Ronald Reagan’s 11th Commandment. No other announced or potential candidate for Governor or Cabinet has lifted a finger to help the RPOF, Latvala stands alone in his respect for this very vital organization.

Comments From Facebook

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Allan Ditter: What utter bovine excreta! This guy ran unopposed in the last election. The Republican party hardly needs building if the Democrats can't field anyone to run against him. What's his REAL agenda?
Posted ON : 07/29/2017
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David Braden: Rubbish from the right.
Posted ON : 07/29/2017
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Dennis Purdy: A drop in the bucket of his annual kickbacks.
Posted ON : 07/29/2017
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Douglas Banks: Go back to the North Pole Santa!
Posted ON : 07/29/2017
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Jerry R Thompson: So, he's a prick. Right.
Posted ON : 07/29/2017
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John Baker: Al Capone was a great gangster but a very bad person.
Posted ON : 07/29/2017
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Don Goldstein: And after the House passed the Greyhound Steroid Bill 82-34, and 2 Senate committees advanced the bill, Senator Latvala killed the bill in his Appropriations Committee by not letting it come to a vote. Thousands of greyhounds will suffer because of his singular action.
Posted ON : 07/29/2017
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Alphus Mike Jones: This is so wrong.  
Posted ON : 07/29/2017
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Greg Kiser: Watch him work and you'll see the real personality yuch!
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Thomas Clapp: Keep the political BS off my timeline!
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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TR Brophy III: I'm confused, what makes Adam Putnam more of an establishment candidate that all your Republican party backing? Just asking. Which 'big money' is backing him that isn't backing you?
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Benjamin Wade: Well, Big Sugar backs both Parties!!! The real question is who will Take 2014 Amendment 1 that 75% of Florida Voters voted to use buying and preserving the water and natural resources for the state. Who will stop all leases on land that produces 0 dollar. Example is the SFWMD 29.4 million purchase of 2042 acres from the Putnam's use 150 acres leaving 1892 acre that still have cattle and 0 dollar lease agreement. Who will say where buying 153000 acres of land that is under contract with U S Sugar for the Future of the State. Then lease the land at a fair market price but have control on the property uses. Not to pay Agriculture money not to produce a product so it's not sold to developers. EPA was established in 1970 to have High Standards to control Pollution of air, land and water.  
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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TR Brophy III: Benjamin Wade You're an Eco-Nazi  
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Karl Sswed: No more crooked Republicans and no more corrupt elections!
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Lora Cobb: That means the Democrats don't have a party and won't run again. Corrupt as they make them.  
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Karl Sswed: Lora Cobb  
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Bonnie Curry Stempel: Interesting comment....build a wall! Hahaha!  
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Karl Sswed: Bonnie Curry Stempel https://www.facebook.com/Leftopia/videos/1993436807555319/  
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Claudia LeFevre-Lowry: And conversely if conservatives didn't have to pay for all of the left Social programs we would have a thriving community. I can't believe you are so clueless to put up an idea like that.  
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Rick Rimer: Claudia LeFevre-Lowry the so called conservatives don't pay for social programs that's why this states in such a bad state they just give tax breaks you need an income to provide services for the people which by the way is the job of the government and taxes especially on the wealthy is how America used to do things you know promote the general welfare and republicans in the old days we're for higher taxes on the wealthy better pay for labor employer paid health insurance and pensions that's conservative this trickle down tax cuts are liberal ideas started by Reagan I'm an Eisenhower republican and now have more in common with democrats than republicans because they only care for the rich  
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Karl Sswed: Thanks Rick, Eisenhower was a great American and a great republican that everyonr ha great respect for!  
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Eddie Warren: Adam Putnam for GOVERNOR
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Benjamin Wade: No thanks  
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Peggy McQuerry Kirsic: Ditto...no thanks  
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Jack Mankiewich: Hate to say this Jack but i am totally disgusted withe the Republicans.
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Becky Nary: I do not vote for a party but for the person and what he or she stands for and will do for the people.
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Peggy McQuerry Kirsic: ditto.... I vote for the person ..not the party  
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Wayne Mock: A smart honorable man who would be an excellent governor.
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Sue Leppanen: Governor Scott endorses him. That says it all to me.
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Robert Gabel: Yes. Like DON'T vote for him. You don't like clean water? You like air pollution? You like our State being run by thugs? You like them gutting our education system? WTF is wrong with you?????  
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Jon White: All aboard for a ride on the clown train  
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Sue Leppanen: Robert Gabel: Betsy DeVos and our POTUS are doing a good enough job at those things already. I'm sickened, thank you.  
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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David Schrock: Slim Man (Scott) endorses him? Then I certainly not vote for him.  
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Larry Hays: Save the state from you mister...
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Joe Kabalka: Vote Republican. Demacratic party needs to be investigated now.
Posted ON : 07/30/2017
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Shea Lockerby: I am not giving a Dime to the Republicans ever again. I give my money directly to the candidate I want to succeed instead of the candidate the RINOSwant to succeed. LIKe John McCain.
Posted ON : 07/31/2017
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James Wickman: what is it with you guys and the latvala love fest. Everytime you guys put out an article this guy is the greatest thing since sliced bread and everyone eles is road kill. How much are you guys getting paid to run his lovefest.
Posted ON : 07/31/2017
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David Byrne: Had enough of the Republican reign over Florida.
Posted ON : 07/31/2017
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Barb Boyd: Amen
Posted ON : 08/01/2017
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Gayle Jacobson: Well, he is thinking of running for Governor.
Posted ON : 08/01/2017
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Ben Pogue: OMG, i hope not. Jack Latvala is apposed to Liberty/Responsibility. A real conservative knows how to mind their own business, knows how the constitution works. http://floridapolitics.com/archives/223408-jack-latvala-comes-medical-pot-internet-reacts
Posted ON : 08/01/2017
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Vicki Welfling: all he is about is raising money, not about, what will help the common man, like, better wages, health care, justice etc.
Posted ON : 08/01/2017