Skip to comments.All RINO Florida House District 120 Candidates square off at forum
Posted on 07/31/2012 6:36:33 AM PDT by Elle Bee
The two candidates vying for the Florida House District 120 seat took turns Monday night espousing support for gay rights, including the right to marry and adopt babies.
One spoke up for the value of legalizing medical marijuana in Florida, a conservative Republican-led bastion in the deepest South.
"As a pastor and member of the community, I've walked a number of individuals through the travesty of cancer," said Morgan McPherson, a former two-term mayor of Key West, at a forum held at the Conch Flyer restaurant and sponsored by Hometown PAC. "It was something that allowed them to have an appetite. I would support medicinal marijuana. Absolutely."
This is what it means to run for office as a Republican in the Florida Keys, representing a district that runs from ultra-liberal Key West up to the southeast tip of Miami-Dade County.
Some of the state's most pressing issues resonate wholeheartedly throughout the district -- windstorm insurance, unemployment, water quality and an endangered environment and crops.
But on Monday evening, the Hometown PAC panel, which included former City Commissioner Bill Verge, US1 Radio newsman Bill Becker and attorneys A.B. Maloy and Ed Scales, asked the pair of GOP candidates what Keys voters care deeply about.
Becker brought up "reproductive choice," asking McPherson to essentially renew his support for it, which he did. Raschein was not asked about reproductive rights or marijuana legalization.
When asked what they would do if, or when, the Sunshine State's GOP leaders tell them to toe the party line on gay issues, each swore to stand alone rather than join the anti-gay vote.
The Hometown forum Monday was the second half of a program that started July 9.
Candidates in six races, including the partisan sheriff race and the District 5 School Board race, took turns sitting before the panel Monday evening.
McPherson and fellow Republican Holly Raschein are on the Aug. 14 primary ballot. Republican voters will choose one of them to face off on Nov. 6 against the unopposed Democratic nominee Ian Whitney.
McPherson and Raschein both said they could work across party lines, but Raschein has raised more money and attracted lobbyist support with a resume that includes previous employment with two high-profile politicians, one on each side of that party line.
Raschein is a former legislative aide and most recently worked for Democratic House Minority Leader Ron Saunders, who gave up the seat to run for state Senate. She also worked for veteran conservative GOP Rep. Ken Sorensen, who died this month at age 77.
She said she knows the business of Tallahassee politics.
"It's the cornerstone of my race," said Raschein, 31. "I've been building bridges and relationships, doing that behind the scenes. I will use my contacts and knowledge developed over the last dozen years or so to get things done for our community."
McPherson said he helped deliver millions of dollars for the city of Key West when he held the office of mayor between 2005 and 2009, when he lost at the polls.
"As mayor, I hosted the Hispanic caucus over four times," said McPherson. "I've continued those relationships in Tallahassee. Relationships are key."
McPherson and Raschein agreed on most items and issues brought up by the panel Monday evening, including the Legislature's recent decision to force state employees to kick in 3 percent of their salaries into the state retirement system.
Raschein likened it to an income tax. Both have personal experience with the change. Raschein had her paychecks shortened, while McPherson's, wife, Christina McPherson, has worked for the Monroe County School District for almost 20 years.
The crowd at the Conch Flyer, which ranged between 30 and 70 people, cheered when Raschein called it an income tax, the same response received earlier in the evening when Saunders called it a broken promise.
"It was partisan B.S.," said McPherson. "Not bulls--t, that's belief system. You should pay people what they're worth and they should leave their pensions alone."
To Maloy's question about voter restrictions for convicted criminals, Raschein offered a quintessential liberal viewpoint tied to a GOP advantage.
"If they go through the clemency process, it's only fair that we should allow them to vote," said Rascheni. "And I would hope they'd sign up to be a Republican."
The Florida House seat comes with a two-year term, and the state limits a representative's time to four consecutive terms.
another reason not to vote for the gun grabbing RINO, Morgan McPherson, running in the GOP primary in Florida State District 120
This chief is part of McPherson's legacy when mayor of Key West:
Overnight Sleep-Over at the Police Chiefs House Turns Bad (Key West)
It’s freakin’ Key West, there are no conservatives living there. There are just some places in the USA that are not worth the effort. It’s a nice place to visit for a few hours but not worth losing sleep over.
Key West is a tourist rape trap. It’s turning into a Peter Pan fantasy world, sadly. The whole “nature beauty” Gaia thing hinges to that “travesty” and deviancy of making the creation a god.
Really people, there is no reason to drive 100s of miles to Key West. It’s a pretty place, but not worth the hassle.
Trust me. Take your vacation elsewhere. There are prettier places without the loons.
Central FL has some awesome mineral springs. I found one near Ocala. 200’ down through crystal clear water seeing the bottom, 70deg. water on a hot summer day, was awesome. Wish I could recall the name of the county park where it was.
There is more than one reason for Mile Marker 0 being located in Key West