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State Organization
J. ROSS MACBETH ATTORNEY AT LAW LAKEVIEW PROFESSIONAL Bldg. 2543 U.S. Highway 27 South . Sebring, Florida 33870-2125 Bus: (863) 385-7600 . Fax: (863) 385-7911

Governor stops at Memorial Elementary

August 30th, 2014

From Highlands Today

Gov. Rick Scott talks with students in a fifth grade class at Memorial Elementary School on Friday morning.

By Gary Pinnell

SEBRING — Three dozen Memorial Elementary students chatted with Rick Scott, but Friday morning was even more special to Aalexis Knight, who achieved perfect scores on the FCAT.

“Do you go to the White House?” Scott asked outside the school after Florida’s gubernatorial caravan rolled up in front of 26 people, including all five school board members and five media reporters and photographers.

Aalexis is a role model for the school, said her mother, Katrina Thomas, who runs the Highlands County Jail food service. The fifth-grader was perfect in reading and math, and scored a 5.5 in writing. Six is perfect.

Scott appeared along with Education Commissioner Pam Stewart and Christie Bassett, a K-12 art teacher at Highlands Grove Elementary School in Polk County, who was the 2015 Florida Department of Education Teacher of the Year.

The governor took center stage in two classrooms, Heather Esquibel’s advanced students, and Katina Kramer’s science lab.

“Do you go to the White House?” the governor asked the first group, and then launched into a what-it’s-like-to-be-governor routine.

“Who wants to be governor?”

Only a few raised their hands. “I’ve met the president and Michelle Obama. I live in a mansion with a chef. Does anybody like pizza?”

This time nearly every hand shot up. “You can have pizza for any meal you want.” They giggled.

A map of the world was on the carpet below the governor’s feet, and he toed each country he’s been in. “Canada, Brazil, Peru, Chili, Israel, France, England, Japan… Before I was governor, I was in Africa. I saw wild lions and elephants.”

Nearly every pupil raised a hand and asked questions, which Scott answered with adult seriousness.

What’s the governor’s mansion like? It has silver and a bar of gold from a Spanish shipwreck that’s worth about $150,000.

Where has he lived? “I was born in Bloomington, Ill., but I’ve lived in Missouri and Kentucky and Tennessee and Rhode Island and Florida.”

Which state does he like the best?

“Florida,” he answered with quick, comedic timing. “If I said another answer, it would be a mistake. When you’re the governor, you’d better like all the football teams and all the baseball teams.”

He’s up at 5 every morning to take and make phone calls, takes meetings at 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., and by 9 a.m. he’s on the road.

“I visit three or four cities every day,” he said. On Friday, it was Sebring, Orlando, Melbourne and Miami.

After 30 minutes in Esquibel’s classroom, Scott went down the hall to Kramer’s science lab, where boys wore neckties as part of the Dress for Success program.

“Do you go to the White House?”

Highlands Republican Meeting Thursday Evening – Rep Cary Pigman on Program

August 27th, 2014


Reminder -  All Highlands County Republicans are invited to our August Meeting.   Rep Cary Pigman  will be providing an update on activities.  And Brooke Renney, Governor Scott’s Field Representative, will be providing information on what we can do to help re-elect Governor Rick Scott.   Please invite your friends and neighbors! We need Volunteers to work on the get-out-the-vote (GOTV) efforts in all areas.  We also have openings for new members of the Executive Committee in most precincts. 

AGENDA – August 28, 2014

HighlandsCounty Republican Executive Committee Meeting                                                                         

Elk’s Lodge Sebring 6:30 PM, Optional meals & beverages 5:30 PM

Call to Order                                                            Virgil Beato, Vice Chairman

Invocation                                                            Virgil Beato, Vice Chairman

Pledge of Allegiance                                             Rep. Cary Pigman

Welcome guests                                                    Virgil Beato, Vice Chairman                                                

Recognize Elected Officials / Candidates             Virgil Beato, Vice Chairman

Roll Call by Precinct                                              TBA

Request Motion to approve absences                               Virgil Beato, Vice Chairman


Request Motion to approve minutes 7/31/14                  Virgil Beato, Vice Chairman

Treasurer’s Report                                                           Penny Kocarek, Treasurer

Vice Chairman’s Report                                                  Virgil Beato, Vice Chairman

New Business

State Committee Woman Report                            Joan Hartt

State Committee Man Report                                  Chuck Oakes

HRWN Report                                                                TBA

Webmaster Report                                                       Earl Claire


1.       State Representative Cary Pigman

2.       Brooke Renney, Gov. Scott’s Campaign Representative                                                                 


Next Meeting September 25, 2014

AFP Call center at Homer’s on Wednesdays-Contact Tina Altic -954-240-9999

Volunteer to Work at the local Republican Headquarters one day or one hour per week all  are welcome

Volunteers are also needed in all areas to assist with the Governor Scott Re-election Campaign

School races end in runoff for Nov.; one-penny sales tax extended

August 27th, 2014

From Highlands Today

By Highlands Today staff report

8/26/2014 Sebring, Fla. – RYAN PELHAM/STAFF
William “Tres” Stephenson, a candidate for the district 5 seat on the school board, waves to passing motorists outside the Bible Fellowship Church polling location on Hammock Road during Tuesday’s election.

SEBRING — Voters will have to choose their Highlands County School Board members for district 1 and district 5 in the Nov. 4 general election.

Both the school races ended in a runoff Tuesday since the challengers could not each secure at least a 50 percent vote, required in non-partisan races.

For district 1, Charlene Edwards and incumbent Ronnie Jackson, the two top vote-getters in Tuesday’s primary election, will meet each other again in November so voters can choose who they want on the school board.

District 5 challengers Jill Compton and Clinton Culverhouse, for their part, will face off for the November elections after a five-person primary race, which drew a record account of campaign spending.

Voters also approved with a comfortable margin extending for another 15 years, starting from 2019, the Highlands County Board of County Commission’s one-penny sales tax. Tuesday, 57 percent of the voters were for the extension of the tax, which Highlands County voters initially approved  in August 1989 for a period of 15 years.

In 1999, voters approved the first 15-year extension for the tax, which funds infrastructure needs such as road paving and construction, and the construction of government buildings and facilities.


After the unofficial vote tally for the district 1 race was announced, Jackson had the lead at 44 percent or 4,285 votes, followed by Edwards, who got 37 percent or 3,566 votes. Challenger Aljoe Hinson received 1,870 votes or 19 percent.

Earlier in the evening Tuesday, Edwards and Jackson had been neck-in-neck after the 5,235 early votes and absentee ballots had been counted.  They each had 41 percent of the votes with Hinson trailing behind with 18 percent.

For the district 5 race, Compton got 34 percent or 3,488 votes, according to the unofficial results. Culverhouse came second with 25 percent or 2,628, followed by William “Tres” Stephenson at 17 percent or 1, 786 votes.

Challengers Trevor Murphy and William “Pep” Hutchinson got 14 percent and 10 percent of the votes, respectively.

The final unofficial vote tally mirrored the early and absentee vote count: With 35.5 percent of the early votes and absentee ballots, Compton had been leading the district 5 race, followed by Culverhouse at 24 percent, Stephenson at 17 percent, Murphy at 13 percent and William “Pep” Hutchinson at 10 percent.

Compton is currently serving on the school board. She was sworn into office on June 30 after Gov. Rick Scott appointed her to fill the seat vacated by Andy Tuck, who Scott appointed in January to the State Board of Education. According to the unofficial vote count, 10,960 votes were cast for the primary election.

For the rest of the story, see:


Reminder – Vote today

August 26th, 2014

Voters go to the polls today

By Highlands Today staff


SEBRING—Those Highlands County registered voters who have not yet cast their early votes for today’s primary election can do so from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

During the seven-day early voting period, there were 2,530 votes cast, said Highlands County Supervisor of Elections Penny Ogg. Absentee ballot counts were not available as of Monday morning.

On the primary election ballot are the following races and the referendum:

The two non-partisan Highlands County School Board seats for district 1 and district 5. Running for the district 1 race are Charlene Edwards, Aljoe Hinson and Ronnie Jackson. The contenders for the district 5 seat are Jill Compton, Clinton T. Culverhouse, William “Pep” Hutchinson III, Trevor A. Murphy and William “Tres” Stephenson III.

The non-partisan seat for circuit judge, 10th Judicial Circuit, Group 16, is being fought between Taylor Davidson and Larry Helms.

Republican voters also will choose their gubernatorial candidate: Rick Scott, Yinka Abosede Adeshina or Elizabeth Cuevas-Neunder.

Democratic voters’s gubernatorial candidate choices are: Charlie Crist or Nan H. Rich.

Highlands County voters also will decide whether to extend for another 15 years starting from 2019 the one-penny sales tax the Board of County Commissioner levies for infrastructure-type projects.

Polling places for three of the 25 precincts have changed from past elections.

The following is the current list of polling places:

Precinct 1: Avon Park Activities Club: 109 E Main St.,  Avon Park

Precinct 2: Avon Park Tax Collector: 116 E Main St.  Avon Park

Precinct 3:Community Bible Church: 1400 C.R. 17A. N.  Avon Park

Precinct 4: Sun ‘n Lake Community Center: 3500 Edgewater Drive, Sebring

Precinct 5: Sebring Hills Clubhouse: 200 Lark Ave.,  Sebring

Precinct 6: Highlands Shrine Club: 2604 S.R. 17 S.,  Avon Park

Precinct 7: Sebring Elks Lodge,  2618 Kenilworth Blvd.,  Sebring

Precinct 8: Sebring Recreation Club:  333 Pomegranate Ave.,  Sebring

Precinct 9: Boys & Girls Club: 111 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.,  Sebring

Precinct 10: Sebring Masonic Lodge: 1809 Home Ave.,  Sebring

Precinct 11: Old DeSoto City HALL:  6305 C.R. 17 S.,  Sebring

Precinct 12: Lorida Community Building:  1909 Blessings Ave., Lorida

Precinct 13: First Baptist Church: 119 E Royal Palm St.,  Lake Placid

Precinct 14: Venus United Methodist Church:  962 C.R. 731,  Venus

Precinct 15: Bible Fellowship Church:  3750 Hammock Road, Sebring

Precinct 16: Avon Park Lakes Clubhouse:  2714 Nautilus Drive,  Avon Park

Precinct 17: American Legion Building:  1490 U.S. 27 N., Lake Placid

Precinct 18: Brighton Baptist Church:  24050 S.R. 70 W.,  Okeechobee

Precinct 19: Sun ‘n Lakes S. Clubhouse:  440 S. Sun ‘N Lakes Blvd., Lake Placid

Precinct 20: Spring Lake Community Center: 209 Spring Lake Blvd.,  Sebring

Precinct 21: First Baptist Church of Lake Josephine: 111 Lake Josephine Drive, Sebring

Precinct 22: Maranatha Village:  3945 Arbuckle Creek Road,  Sebring

Precinct 23: Francis II MHP Clubhouse:  2800 Real McCoy Drive, Sebring

Precinct 24: Sebring Falls Clubhouse:  2100 Caribbean Road,  Sebring

Precinct 25: Church of Christ: 3800 Sebring Parkway, Sebring

For the rest of the story, see:


Obama’s America Is September 10th America

August 24th, 2014

From The National Review Online

By Andrew C. McCarthy

Our barbaric jihadist enemies – the ones President Obama repeatedly assured us he had “decimated” and put on “the path to defeat” – are now stronger than ever. Not stronger than they have been in years, or decades – stronger than ever. They have seized a country-size swath of territory (and growing). They have just beheaded an American journalist – which is the sort of thing they do as a matter of routine but has obviously, and finally, gotten our attention.

Not to worry, though: The Obama Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation. I’m sure ISIS is quaking.

The Obama administration has spent six years miniaturizing the global jihad as a series of non-ideological, unconnected groups of “violent extremists,” pursuing parochial political objectives through acts of “workplace violence.” The enemy kills our ambassador to Libya, a palpable act of war, and the administration pretends it’s about a video. The enemy decapitates an American because he’s an American, and the administration announces the opening of a criminal investigation. The enemy bombs and beheads, we subpoena and indict.

The title of this post, “Obama’s America Is September 10th America” is not a random description of the now. It’s the title of a column I wrote six years ago … when then-candidate Obama was promising policies that would, inevitably, lead to an increasingly imperiled America – a provocatively weak America that regarded our enemies as mere defendants, just as we did before 9/11 … when our enemies responded by attacking us again and again.

The column was prompted by then-Senator Obama’s remarks during an astounding 2008 campaign speech:

What we know is that, in previous terrorist attacks — for example, the first attack against the World Trade Center, we were able to arrest those responsible, put them on trial. They are currently in U.S. prisons, incapacitated. And the fact that the [Bush] administration has not tried to do that has created a situation where not only have we never actually put many of these folks on trial, but we have destroyed our credibility when it comes to rule of law all around the world, and given a huge boost to terrorist recruitment in countries that say, “Look, this is how the United States treats Muslims.” So that, I think, is an example of something that was unnecessary. We could have done the exact same thing, but done it in a way that was consistent with our laws.

As I noted at the time, this was “a remarkably ignorant account of the American experience with jihadism.” The vast majority of terrorists responsible for attacks against us had not been “brought to justice.” In fact, the major terrorists who orchestrated strikes against us – Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, to name just a few – remained at large for a decade or more despite being under indictment. From foreign safe havens far removed from the writ of American courts and the authority of American law-enforcement, they continued choreographing terrorist attacks against the United States. To the extent top jihadists were “neutralized,” it was because our armed forces killed or captured them. We had no chance of suppressing the enemy by relying on American judicial processes.

Here was my conclusion in mid-2008:

The fact is that we used the criminal justice system as our principal enforcement approach, the approach Obama intends to reinstate, for eight years — from the bombing of the World Trade Center until the shocking destruction of that complex on 9/11. During that timeframe, while the enemy was growing stronger and attacking more audaciously, we managed to prosecute successfully less than three dozen terrorists (29 to be precise). And with a handful of exceptions, they were the lowest ranking of players.

When an elitist lawyer like Obama claims the criminal-justice system “works” against terrorists, he means it satisfies his top concern: due process [for the terrorists.]. And on that score, he’s quite right: We’ve shown we can conduct trials that are fair to the terrorists. After all, we give them lawyers paid for by the taxpayers whom they are trying to kill, mounds of our intelligence in discovery, and years upon years of pretrial proceedings, trials, appeals, and habeas corpus.

As a national-security strategy, however, and as a means of carrying out our government’s first responsibility to protect the American people, heavy reliance on criminal justice is an abysmal failure.

A successful counterterrorism strategy makes criminal prosecution a subordinate part of a much broader governmental response. Most of what is needed never happens in a courtroom. It happens in military operations against terrorist strongholds; intelligence operations in which jihadists get assassinated — without trial; intelligence collections in which we cozy up to despicable informants since only they can tell us what we need to know; and aggressive treasury actions to trace terror funds.

That is how you stop the homeland from being attacked, which is what we have done for the last seven years. And it is that from which Obama wants to move away.

Obama would bring us back to September 10th America. And September 10th is sure to be followed by September 11th.

Admittedly, that was before Obama empowered the virulently anti-American Muslim Brotherhood; made Islamic supremacists key administration advisors; blinded our national security agents by purging Islamic-supremacist ideology from training materials; colluded with Islamic-supremacist countries to restrict American free speech rights; tried to give civilian trials to enemy-combatant terrorists responsible for mass-murdering Americans; imported enemy-combatant jihadists for civilian trials despite congressional proscriptions; waged an unauthorized war in Libya that enabled our enemies to kill American officials and besiege North Africa and the Middle East; negotiated with Iran-backed terrorists in trading jihadist leaders for the remains of British casualties; negotiated with Taliban terrorists in trading jihadist commanders for a deserter; assured Iran’s acquisition of nuclear arms; issued visas to terrorist operatives for consultations on American foreign policy; sided with Hamas during its latest war of aggression against Israel; and declined to acknowledge that the jihadist mass-murder of 13 American soldiers at Fort Hood was a terrorist attack.

But I still think it holds up fairly well.

For the rest of the story and others, see:


Canvassing Plan at 3:30 PM prior to Give Me Liberty Tour Sunday 24 Aug

August 22nd, 2014

Virgil Beato plans to lead canvassing efforts in Lake Placid Sunday afternoon from 3:30 to 5:30 PM prior to the Give Me Liberty Tour meeting at 6:30 PM in Lake Placid.  Virgil will be using canvassing lists supplied by the Rick Scott campaign.  We could use as many volunteers as may be interested in assisting.   Virgil will meet all interested volunteers in front of the Subway in the Publix shopping center in Lake Placid Sunday afternoon at 3:30 PM.

Please give Virgil a call or send an e-mail to or to to let Virgil know of your plans to assist.

Many thanks for assisting in this all important effort to help re-elect the best Governor in Florida’s history.

Reminder – Give Me Liberty Tour Sunday Evening 24 August 6:30PM in Lake Placid

August 22nd, 2014

The Give Me Liberty Tour sponsored by the Florida Family Policy Council will be in Lake Placid this Sunday Evening 24 August @ 6:30 PM.  The public is invited.

For details see:


Calendar for the state-wide tour can be see at:


We have been playing political games for too long!

Location:  Community Church of God,  735 Sun and Lakes Blvd.  Lake Placid, FLof 

Date:  Sunday 24 August 201404/201Time:  6:30 – 8:30 PMu- 08 

Rick Scarborough has been an evangelist and pastor since 1969. He is founder of Vision America,

 a national ministry dedicated to mobilizing pastors into the civil government arena. Dr. Scarborough is

coauthor of  Enough is Enough, A Practical Guide Political Action at the Local, State, and National Level

and has appeared on Larry King Live, Fox News, CBS Evening News, and numerous other television and radio programs.


Dexter Sanders is an evangelist, author, educator and international speaker. He has a unique gift for

 sharing the love of Christ, which has resulted in thousands across the country and abroad receiving

Jesus as their Lord and Savior. Dexter is the founder and pastor of Rock Orlando Center of

Transformation in Orlando, FL, as well as a member or speaker for several renowned

organizations, including Luis Palau Next Generation Alliance, Compassion International, Zero Gravity

Action Sports and Life Promotions.


Alan Ross is CEO and senior practitioner of Corporate Development Institute. He also founded

Kingdom Companies, a non-profit ministry committed to equipping and encouraging Christian

business leaders to use their professional positions or business ownership as a platform for their own

ministry. He is the author of three books,  Beyond World Class, Unconditional Excellence, and  Kingdom Path.

More bad news for Democrats

August 20th, 2014

Message from the NRCC

We’ve got 76 days to go until the November elections, and Democrats have been receiving nothing but bad news.

Our job at the NRCC is to make sure the voters know just how awful President Obama’s deteriorating liberal agenda really is.

Take a look at some of this week’s best stories:

Unusual? More Than 20 Obama Administration Officials Have Had Emails “Lost or Destroyed”
This is unusual. According to Congressman Darrell Issa, the Obama Administration has lost or destroyed emails for more than 20 witnesses. Such cases were not reported to the National Archives or Congress, a violation of federal law.

Obama Administration May Have Deleted Emails Relating To Disastrous ObamaCare Rollout
It’s déjà vu all over again! The Hill is reporting some emails sought by congressional Republicans relating to ObamaCare’s disastrous rollout may have been deleted.

Democrats Are Really Unexcited About Voting This Year, According To This Poll
It looks like President Obama’s empty, liberal agenda, and his role as fundraiser-in-chief, are starting to have a serious effect on Democrats’ chances in the fall. According to a new CBS News poll, the GOP leads among those who admit they are “more enthusiastic than usual” about voting by a whopping seven points, 47-40.

As always, thank you for your support in helping us hold Democrats accountable,


Andrea Bozek
NRCC Communications Director

Governor bestows service medals on 380 vets

August 17th, 2014

From Highlands Today

Gov. Rick Scott claps to honor the veterans in the crowd during the Governor’s Veterans Service Award ceremony at the Florida Army National Guard armory in Avon Park on Friday. Scott gave medals to the veterans in the crowd at the event.

AVON PARK — The day he was shot, Cpl. Joshua McKee was just guarding his post, an entry control point at forward operating base Hansen, Afghanistan during 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines’ 2012 deployment in Operation Enduring Freedom.

“A man dressed as an Afghan police rode up on a motorcycle, and when we started to walk toward him, he just started shooting at us,” McKee told the Defense Video and Imagery Distribution System on Jan. 6, 2014, the day he was awarded a Bronze Star with a V for valor.

“We interacted with the local police all the time, but when rounds started to fly by me, that’s when I noticed the Afghans had circled around us,” said McKee. “Even though I was shot in my upper thigh, I managed to call for help and we took them down.”

Actually, as Gov. Rick Scott noted Friday at the Avon Park National Guard Armory, there was more to the story.

McKee, now 23, saved the lives of fellow Marines, who fought off the attack on their unit.

“The fact that McKee was bleeding everywhere, but remained vigilant the entire time ensuring that no other threats existed, was an act of a true hero,” said 1st Lt. Jonathon Harris, the platoon commander who pinned the medal on McKee’s chest in January. “McKee’s actions that day hands down prevented the loss of several Marines’ and coalition forces’ lives; he’s a hero and someone I look up to 100 percent.”

“This week, we had the honor of presenting 2,174 Florida veterans with the Governor’s Veterans Service Award,” Scott said. Avon Park was one stop on his Florida tour, which included Jacksonville, Sarasota, Crestview, Lakeland and Melbourne. More ceremonies are scheduled, an aide said.

“These courageous men and woman have made countless sacrifices in their service to our families and country,” Scott said. “That is why we will keep working to give them the thanks they deserve.”

McKee, who also received a Purple Heart, insisted a fellow Marine should be treated first, the governor noted. McKee was medically retired from the United States Marine Corps and now lives with his family in Lake Placid, who were present at the Avon Park ceremony.

Scott was joined by Col. John Rooney and Mike Prendergast, Florida Department of Veterans Affairs executive director. They shook hands and the governor lowered a red and white ribbon with a bronze medal around the necks of 380 Florida combat and non-combat veterans of the Coast Guard, Florida National Guard, Merchant Marines, Army, Navy, Marines or Air Force who signed their names and presented proof to receive the Governor’s Veterans Service Award.

The front of the medal depicts the Great Seal of the State of Florida; the back displays the five seals of the U.S. military branches with an inscription: “Honoring Those Who Served.”

“We have the privilege of honoring veterans in Avon Park today who have fought in all the conflicts over the past generations,” Prendergast said. “We truly appreciate these heroes’ selfless service to this great country.”

For the rest of the story and others, see:


Gov. Scott to be in Avon Park to honor local vets

August 6th, 2014

From Aug 6, 2014

Thanks to Veterans                                             Meredyth Hope Hall/

Thanks to Veterans

Gov. Rick Scott congratulates veterans and active-duty military for their contributions to protecting the United States of America during a Governor’s Veterans Service Award Ceremony on July 2 in Jacksonville. A similar ceremony is scheduled for Aug. 15 at the Avon Park National Guard Armory. Local veterans are encouraged to apply for the award before then.

           Gov. Scott to be in Avon Park to honor local vets

By PHIL ATTINGER Staff Writer                                                   

AVON PARK — Governor Rick Scott will be in Avon Park next Friday to give service awards to deserving veterans if they have called his office in time.

According to the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs, Gov. Scott has signed executive order number 14-88, creating “The Governor’s Veterans Service Award” to honor all Florida veterans.

The award is for any Florida resident either serving honorably as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, the U.S. Coast Guard, or the U.S. Reserve Forces or any Florida resident honorably discharged or retired from active duty as a member of the U.S. Armed Forces, the U.S. Coast Guard, the Florida National Guard, the U.S. Reserve Forces, or Merchant Mariners with veteran status, according to

Veterans need not to have served in combat to be eligible, the site states.

Larry Roberts, service officer for the American Legion 8th District, said one of the next awards ceremonies will be 3:30 p.m. Aug. 15 at the Avon Park National Guard Armory, 2500 U.S. 27 S. in Avon Park.

Any veteran wanting to receive the award may call (850) 717-9207 or visit to download and fill out a form.

Forms are also available at the awards ceremony sites prior to the event. Veterans are asked to bring their completed paperwork to the site along with proof of service. Further details are available at (850) 717-9207

For the rest of the story, see:


    Kathy Rapp
Vice Chairman
    Virgil Beato
    Olivia Scott
    Penny Kocarek

State Committeeman
    C. A. "Chuck" Oakes

State Committeewoman
    Joan Hartt