• Gerry James Supporters Hold Online Fundraiser

    April 9, 2024
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    Doral, Florida - Florida is said to be a Free State and a Red State. Still, as pointed out before in this column, the state legislature is hardly conservative. It has a Republican super-majority but a small conservative minority and RINO leadership. In the Senate, there is not a single conservative Senator, and there is no Freedom Caucus in the House. Republican does not necessarily mean conservative, MAGA or America First.

    However, the grassroots conservative citizens of Senate District 7 around St Augustine are working to change that. They are supporting MAGA Gerry James in the Republican primary election for State Senate against RINO Tom Leak. Leek is a State Representative (R-Ormond Beach), but he is term-limited in the House and is looking to move up to the Senate. See: https://miamiindependent.com/florida-citizens-launch-fight-on-tammany-hall-near-st-augustine/.

    Accordingly, on Sunday, April 7 @ 9 pm, hosted by the National RINO Hunt Team based in Northern Virginia (See: http://www.liberato.us/rino-hunt.html), supporters of Gerry James held an online fundraising conference. The primary election will take place on Tuesday, August 20, with two weeks of early voting. See: https://www.gerry4senate.com/ . These citizens have the support of other grassroots conservatives from across the state and around the nation. They are holding Tom Leek accountable for his legislative record set forth below.

    Homeowner’s Insurance

    On Representative Leek’s watch:

    (1) Homeowner’s insurance rates have skyrocketed. In 2020, Florida’s average insurance premium was $2,165. Three years later, in 2023 it was approximately $4,200 or more. Insurance companies are fleeing Florida, while those that stay are choosing not to renew policies, or are tightening their eligibility criteria.

    (2) Florida is besieged by insurance litigation and related fraud. We represent a mere 9% of home insurance claims in the United States, but a staggering 79% of the lawsuits. Insurance companies routinely deny and delay the damage claims filed by customers in order to mitigate their losses. They spend 92% of their expenses for defense against paying claims, instead of providing coverage to customers.

    (3) We need litigation reform, like in Texas, but too many Florida legislators are in thrall to the litigation lobby. Our legislators, led by Representative Leek, in concert with claims lawyers and insurance lobbyists, have created an unsustainable insurance situation in Florida.

    (4) Legislation, such as Senate Bill 76 and House Bill 837, were passed by the House Appropriations Committee, where Representative Leek has been a member since 2018 and Chairman since 2022. This legislation provides incentives for insurance carriers, and reduces the rights of customers by allowing carriers to underpay claims and manipulate the legal system. Even after a customer wins a case, this legislation does not allow him to recover from the carrier his own legal costs incurred.

    (5) There are no measures within the legislation referenced above to protect policyholders from the unfair claim practices used by insurance carriers. This legislation overwhelmingly serves the interests of the carriers against the interests of the insureds.

    Electric Utilities

    Also on Representative Leek’s watch:

    (1) Since 2021, some electric power rates have increased by 35%.

    (2) In 2022, he voted to change the net metering structure, enabling electric power distributors, like Florida Power & Light and Duke Power, to charge higher rates.

    (3) Around 84% of Florida’s voters support net metering, but he supported House Bill 741, aimed to end the buyback mandate at the retail rate for “banked” energy from homes that installed solar panels.

    Medical Institutions

    In addition, many times since the Wuhan flu pandemic, hospitals and other medical institutions have been more concerned about their profitability than about the health of Floridians.

    In 2022, however, Representative Leek voted for Senate Bill 7014, extending the legal immunity of medical institutions offering Wuhan flu treatments, even when negligence leads to severe harm.

    Sunshine Laws

    Representative Leek voted to cloud Florida's "Sunshine Laws," which are a series of statutes and regulations designed to promote transparency and openness in government operations:

    (1) He voted for Senate Bill 1616, shielding the travel records of Governor DeSantis and other state leaders, creating a public records exemption for information.

    (2) This legislation also shields the activities of the Senate President and the House Speaker from public scrutiny, as well as setting a precedent of impunity by our legislative leadership.

    (3) He also voted for House Bill 5001, which was $13 billion more than Governor DeSantis’ proposed budget. It was full of handouts, including two private jets for legislative leadership at a cost of $31 million. Representative Leek is not a fiscal conservative.

    In addition, he has voted for “red flag” laws and gun control, and against the Second Amendment.

    Campaign Finance

    Representative Leek’s Political Action Committee, “Living Life with Purpose,” is a run-around the limit on direct donations to state legislators of $1,000 per individual:

    (1) This PAC has received more than $4,200,000 since 2017, including more than $700,000 from a single house in Tallahassee.

    (2) The insurance industry contributed at least $485,000. Other significant industry contributors include electric utilities, medical institutions and real estate developers.

    (3) In addition to the PAC money, over the same 2017-23 period, he received $1,300,000 in campaign contributions, amassing a total of around $5,500,000.

    Representative Leek’s legislative record consistently favors the big-business interests that donate to his campaign. Those are mostly insurance carriers, electric utilities, medical institutions and real estate developers.

    Banana Republic Tactics

    Surrogates for Representative Leek asked Alex Newman, a local conservative activist and renowned supporter of school choice, not to challenge the Representative in the Republican primary of 2022, but to wait until he termed out of the House. After Mr. Newman decided to run anyway, the full force of the Republican establishment came against him and other local conservative leaders who supported his candidacy.

    This full force manifested itself in media hit pieces, hate mail, underground campaigns and defamatory mailers. It is estimated that $250,000 was spent to target two local conservative leaders, who were not even running for office, but were supporting Mr. Newman.

    Finally, Representative Leek routinely avoids engagement with his own constituents in Volusia county. Tom is not a people person.


    Career Path

    Representative Leek graduated from Stetson Law School in 1997 and went to work at the Cobb Cole law firm in Daytona Beach. They are the largest law firm on the Atlantic coast of Central Florida, were founded in 1925, and now have 24 lawyers. There he rose to the position of managing partner, and then in 2016 he was elected to the House of Representatives, where he earns $29,000 per year, plus expenses, for part-time work.

    In 2018, however, he left this law firm and took a position as General Counsel and Executive Vice President, with an equity interest, in Foundation Risk Partners. This business had been launched in 2017 as a regional insurance brokerage based in Ormond Beach and backed by capital from a private equity firm. Thereafter, in 2022 they received an additional capital investment from a second private equity firm valuing Foundation at $2,800,000,000.

    Mostly as a result of these investments, Representative Leek’s net worth rose from $852,000 in 2017 when he arrived in the House, to $14,000,000 in 2023. This job represents a conflict of interest with his work as a legislator.

    Somebody MAGA to Beat Somebody RINO

    Your columnist grew up in Chicago, where the local politicians say that you cannot beat somebody with nobody. See: Milton Rakove, Don’t Make No Waves, Don’t Back No Losers, Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1975. Accordingly, grassroots conservatives are supporting Gerry James in the Republican primary for Senate District 7: https://gerry4senate.com/. Gerry has lived in this district for over 20 years. He works as a PGA Professional golf pro and also as a financial advisor, and he serves as an ordained minister in a prison ministry. He is also a grandfather, married for over 30 years, and a homeowner.

    His working motto is: “Constitutionalist, Conservative, Patriotic.” He is not going into politics to make a living or enhance his net worth, and he is not a career politician. He pledges to avoid the pay-to-play politics of Tallahassee, and to serve the interests of ordinary citizens instead of corporate special interests.

    Gerry will make election integrity a top legislative priority, including requiring proof of United States citizenship before registering to vote. Given that the Obama-Biden 3.0 administration has flown some 326,000 illegal aliens into Florida, verification of United States citizenship has become a pressing concern. He also supports reviewing the use of machines, and requiring a reason for voters to use Vote-By-Mail, which is rife with fraud.

    He does not think that Florida sets the “gold standard” in election integrity, nor that state administrators should send voter registration forms to illegal aliens. See: https://miamiindependent.com/florida-department-of-children-and-families-access-central-mail-center-mailing-shows-illegals-to-vote/. Gerry also does not agree that requiring voter ID cards constitutes racism, when it is required to do just about everything else. Instead, voter ID cards are an essential component of election integrity.

    As the United States Declaration of Independence proclaims, governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. This consent, however, must be obtained honestly from voters, or governments become illegitimate.

    Our RINO legislature is apathetic to the threat that voting by illegal aliens represent to the conservative majority in Florida. The invasion of illegal aliens after the federal amnesty of 1986 flipped California from a conservative to a progressive state. RINO’s ignore this threat, and instead focus on the power to be wielded, and the money to be made, in public office, without concern for the threats to our liberty and prosperity.

    Gerry’s priorities, in addition to election integrity, include property insurance reform, the Second Amendment and medical freedom. Also, parental rights in education are essential, and the rule of law must be applied in an impartial manner. Equal treatment under the law must be applied to every individual citizen, and no privileged treatment must be allowed to progressive Democrats or establishment RINO’s.

    Grassroots Supporters

    Gerry has been endorsed by Mike Lindell, Sarah Palin, Kevin Sorbo, Anthony Sabatini, Chuck Collins and Alex Newman. Chuck Collins is the leader of the Florida Republican Assembly in Ormond Beach, and Alex Newman, discussed above, is author of the newly-published book: Indoctrinating our Children to Death: Government Schools’ War on Faith, Family & Freedom, and CEO of Liberty Sentinel.

    Groups endorsing him include the Republican Liberty Caucus, Gun Owners of America, Guardians of American History and Drain The Swamp PAC.

    Gerry is an attractive candidate. He is as comfortable in a golf club as in a gun range as in a church. He is a successful financial advisor who understands business and investments. He will make an intelligent and knowledgeable addition to the Florida Senate.

    Gerry understands the threat that big government, combined with big business, big labor and progressive ideology, represents to the liberty and prosperity of ordinary citizens, voters and taxpayers.

    The Florida Senate does not have a single Senator to advocate for election integrity and other conservative legislation, despite having a Republican super-majority. Gerry James will serve as a champion for grassroots groups and the conservative cause.

    Gerry needs funding by patriotic conservatives from around the nation, and volunteers to go door-to-door, and make phone calls, in his district for a grassroots campaign. He is part of the MAGA movement. His campaign raised over $1,000 at this online fundraising conference, with more to come.

    Cui Bono?

    Representative Leek has spent his eight years in the House championing the interests of insurance carriers, electric utilities and medical institutions, against the interests of their insureds, rate payers and patients, respectively. He is thought to have a campaign war chest of more than $5,000,000, and leadership has anointed him to be Senate President of his incoming class. See: https://miamiindependent.com/rino-losers-flock-to-rnc-and-rpof-then-on-to-msnbc/. Public offices should be positions of trust and responsibility by legislators solely to their constituents, not opportunities to cash in on their connections and power.

    The battle between RINO swamp creatures and MAGA patriots will be fought out along this line all summer in the Republican primaries. The primaries are where the real battles are fought out, because Republicans have a super-majority in the state legislature. As President Lincoln proclaimed in Gettysburg, government in America is supposed to be of, by and for the people.

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    Author

    Eduardo Vidal

    Eduardo Vidal is a lawyer and political activist. His family brought him when he was nine years old from Cuba to the USA, but now the rule of law has been eroded in the USA as well, and we are turning into Cuba and the rest of Latin America.

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    Hope
    Hope
    2 months ago

    Excellent Article Ed, just finished posting it through LinkedIn... my comments:
    Part I: Lessons Learned from reading this article:
    1. Florida, a Red State, has a legislature that is hardly conservative
    2. With a Republican super-majority... we only have a small conservative minority
    3. RINO... Republican in name only, has become the word of the day because of the betrayal of Republicans that are beholden to Special Interests

    Hope
    Hope
    2 months ago

    Part II
    4. The promise of Gerry James is that he will make a difference and adhere to conservatism... let's look back in a few years
    5. Elections are about money, no more about the issues of the people
    6. How do we return to the day when we voted in one day?
    7. Did we ever hold elections DEVOID of the need for campaign donations?

    Hope
    Hope
    2 months ago

    Part III
    What are the issues of Floridians?
    A. High cost of Homeowners insurance
    B. High property valuation that continues to rise each year destroying the ability of Seniors on fixed income to stay at home
    C. Electric Utilities charges increased by 35%
    D. Legislators in Florida write laws to protect themselves, not the people... worse yet, to protect those who contribute to their PACs rather than to be working for regular folks

    Hope
    Hope
    2 months ago

    Just like LinkedIn, had to post in three parts to incorporate my thoughts... Bottom line, we MUST redesign our election system and STOP the need to fund raise millions if not billions for a $400,000 thousand job a year... that is for the President... imagine the TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION that our Election System has evolved into! OUTRAGEOUS!!! SHAMEFUL!!!

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