Tag Archives: Florida politics

Connie Mack ain’t no Connie Mack

So Connie Mack IV, son of a political dynasty here in FL, went on Sean Hannity’s show to throw his (somewhat soiled) hat into the ring, announcing he will vie for the Republican nomination to run against Sen. Bill Nelson (D-sorta), former astronaut and straightest arrow in the quiver.

Mack previously announced he was not running, saying that it would take away from his ability to spend time with his two small children and his wife (who is herself a member of the House from the opposite end of the country, Rep. Mary Bono Mack of California).

(Ummm, that seems a little confusing. Where do these people live? What is the legal residence of this married couple? Aren’t our congress critters supposed to live in their District or State?)

Son of a respected former Senator, Mack hasn’t quite his Dad’s resume. He has, instead, a somewhat inglorious history:

    • Before trading on the name of your father (a U.S. senator) to begin your current career as a full-time servant of the people in 2001, the most meaningful employment you had was as a “special events coordinator” for a bunch of Hooters restaurants. Boiled down to its essence: You were the go-to guy for folks who wanted to have scantily clad waitresses appear at their events.
    •  you needed 6½ years to get an undergraduate degree in advertising, which you accomplished three months shy of your 26th birthday.
    • You had at least four physical confrontations in public between 1987 and 1992, including one that ended with you being arrested for fighting with an off-duty cop who was working as a bouncer at a Jacksonville nightclub, and another when you got into a fistfight with another driver while you were waiting for a drawbridge to go down in West Palm Beach.
    • Until you got elected to the Florida House, you didn’t even take the time to vote in some elections, even when your father was on the ballot and running for re-election to the Senate seat you now want.
    • Soon after getting to Washington, you ditched your Florida wife, the mother of your two young children, to marry celebrity U.S. Rep. Mary Bono, the former wife of Sonny Bono.

He’s got the important political advantage of name recognition, which is sometimes enough. People may think they’re voting for more of the good Connie Mack. They will be disappointed.

Off the sand and back in the saddle

Ready to roll

Today, for the second time, I’m headed to a meeting of the local Democratic Club. I stepped away from active involvement after 2010 – mostly because I’d overbooked myself with volunteer commitments. But at the end of this year, I’ll be term limited off the board of an Endowment Trust after six years. Time enough I think. Now it’s back to politics. Local politics.

So I’m going to these little political meetings as a warm up for getting involved with the County Party in 2012. My personal target is the Florida legislature, an incompetent group entrusted with lawmaking by my fellow citizens.

Why I live here

. . .  That Trust I’m leaving has been a central part of my life since I moved here and discovered that my 1950’s development owns a Gulf front beach. Access is by ferry or a two mile walk from the public beach (all beaches are public of course, but our ferry isn’t). Over the years the operating costs around the ferry operation and buildings and land had risen sharply. Everything was managed by a local civic association and they were ready to turn the beach over to the County to finance and manage.

From ferry landing to beach

That’s when some of us got involved and created a legal entity, an Endowment Trust, to hold and manage these common properties for the future and for the use of the entire community. It took five years and there was plenty of resistance within the civic association, but we persisted. And it got done because we had some very talented people who led the effort. We managed some seed money which is now with a trust company and protects  beach access for the future.

Arriving

It’s a special place – entirely natural, entirely untouched. No plumbing. No electric. No pavement. Just dunes and scrub and shells and sharks teeth. Gopher turtle abound as do shore birds. There are even shade trees. While other area beaches ‘renourish’ after almost every storm by dumping acres of sand transported from elsewhere, we are more patient. The beach shrinks sometimes. But it comes back always. Such are the ways of nature and the tides.

Maybe I can arrange a beach party for local Democrats once I learn everyone’s name.