Skip to comments.Monroe hopes experience will help him beat Harris in GOP primary
Posted on 08/24/2006 5:52:43 PM PDT by Extremely Extreme Extremist
SAFETY HARBOR, Fla. - Peter Monroe knows Washington.
The Safety Harbor developer and U.S. Senate hopeful built a solid reputation as a behind-the-scenes player on Capitol Hill, tackling some of the nation's stickier messes, including managing the taxpayer-backed $140 billion savings and loan bailout.
He thinks that experience will resonate with Republican voters in the Sept. 5 primary. If only they knew him.
"When you're head of an agency, nobody knows who you are unless it's maybe a high level position," Monroe said. "Who's the secretary of agriculture?"
Monroe, 62, is betting on a recent mailing of a million pamphlets showcasing his resume to convince GOP voters to chose him over U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris and two others for a tough November showdown with the Democratic incumbent, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.
Harris is the front-runner in the race despite a series of political misfortunes. The other candidates are Will McBride, a well-funded Windermere lawyer, and LeRoy Collins Jr., a retired U.S Naval Reserve rear admiral whose father was governor from 1955 to 1961.
Monroe's mass mailing may be too little, too late, University of South Florida political science professor Susan MacManus said.
"He is not getting much traction," MacManus said. "It's getting late."
Monroe said it's too soon to count him out.
"Rhetoric is one thing," Monroe said of his opponents. "I think I have done a lot. I think you are going to see some changes in the polls. I think the party right now is discouraged. I hope to show you can get someone in there that can beat Nelson."
Monroe shares similar core Republican values with his primary opponents. He wants to crack down on border security, curb Congressional spending, avoid new taxes and give the president a line-item veto.
Even though his campaign literature promises to defend "One nation, under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance, "protect the unborn" and support marriage only between a man and a woman, Monroe said his party is too wrapped up in religion.
"I think the Republican Party is slating too much on the religious social nail and not doing enough thinking about the basic fact that we are still running huge deficits," Monroe said. "We need to do something about it. We need to cut costs."
Monroe was president of the Resolution Trust Corporation, the government board formed in 1989 to bail out more than 750 failed savings and loans, under Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. He also ran the departments of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Administration.
For the last decade, he's been back at his roots as a Tampa Bay developer.
Retired U.S. Sen. Larry Pressler isn't sure of Monroe's chances in the primary, but he said Floridians are lucky to have him in the race. He and another former senator, Rudy Boschwitz of Minnesota, have endorsed Monroe's candidacy.
"Sometimes there are surprises," Pressler said of the race. "It's very unusual to get a highly qualified person like him on the ballot."
He said Monroe's background will work in the Senate.
"He completed what could be cabinet or senate-level responsibilities, a big, thankless job in the guts of government," Pressler said. "It was a big job and a real service to the taxpayers."
Monroe said the experience convinced him that no government program is sacred.
"We did our job and we closed the doors. That got rid of a whole bureaucracy in Washington," he said of the Resolution Trust Corporation. "I believe there should be a sunset provision with every agency, including the defense department. We should be constantly rethinking whether or not we are doing things the right way."
Here we go again!
I knew of McBride (pro-illegal) and the old guy (pro-abortion), but I didn't know about this guy.
How many other dwarves does Katherine Harris have to beat?
Running HUD and the Federal Housing Administration isn't my ideas of accomplishments, BTW.
This gentleman has impressive credentials and abilities, but no name I.D. at all. He'd have a chance of Florida still had runoffs, but not under the current rules.
Katherine Harris will be the nominee.
Too many also rans. A very weak field.
Go, Cong. Harris!