Nelson must represent Florida in US Senate
Published: Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, October 24, 2012 15:10
Floridians will make a decision between two very distinct candidates for U.S. Senate on Nov. 6, and, in my opinion, it’s an easy decision to make.
All you have to do is look at the two candidates. We have Connie Mack IV, who, according to Florida’s largest newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, has “questionable work habits, a sense of entitlement and an undistinguished record in Congress.”
A Palm Beach Post editorial goes even further, stating that Connie Mack “has no business holding any elected office.” His most prevalent platform point is “freedom,” and he has one of the worst attendance records. When he does go to work, it’s even worse. He promotes an extreme right-wing agenda and is even being featured in a rally starring right-wing extremist Glenn Beck. He has flip-flopped on crucial policies for Floridians such as offshore oil drilling and supports extreme measures, which, according to Medicare Votes, would end Medicare as we know it. He promotes his own budget plan called the “Mack Penny Plan,” which, according to the Orlando Sentinel, would implement trillions of dollars in Draconian cuts, devastating vital public services.
Then, we have Sen. Bill Nelson. Nelson has received endorsements from all five major daily newspapers in the state. The Orlando Sentinel refers to the senator as a champion for the space program here in Florida, going on to say that losing a centrist like Nelson to the partisan Mack in the Senate would be a loss for Florida and the nation. The Tampa Tribune holds similar sentiments, stating that Floridians can trust that Nelson will listen and work hard on their behalf. The Miami Herald also highlights Nelson’s record of putting Florida first by stopping offshore oil drilling in Florida’s pristine waters, holding BP accountable to our Panhandle cities after the 2010 oil spill, protecting the rights of Medicare recipients and fighting to restore Florida’s Everglades.
If you needed any additional evidence to vote for Nelson, just watch the candidates’ first and only debate, which aired on Oct. 17. The two debated at Nova Southeastern University, and the debate has been described as “feisty,” a “spar” and “bitter” by several sources. The debate lacked substance, in huge part by Mack. His performance focused on repeating accusations that have been debunked by independent fact checker PolitiFact and was riddled with memorized talking points. Nelson even made a mention of it. After Mack repeated the same talking point several times, Nelson asked, “Is that the only line you have memorized?”
Nelson had to debunk Mack’s talking points the entire night. Consequently, I found that the debate reflected Mack’s record in Congress, and had very little substance for Florida’s voters.
What we saw in that debate is not what we need in the U.S. Senate. In a time where partisan gridlock dominates both the U.S. House and Senate and prevents any progress in Congress, we cannot have a senator with extreme values and memorized talking points. What we need is someone who will fight for our state, common sense solutions and bipartisan consensus. That is the only way this state, and this country, can keep moving forward.
Based on their records, I can say with great certainty that a vote for Nelson is a vote for Florida. With the election less than two weeks away, this decision is a no-brainer. Let’s keep Nelson in the Senate and put Florida first.