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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 ross@macbethlaw.com

Archive for the ‘From the Editor’ Category

From The Daily Signal – Just a Common Soldier: A Moving Tribute for Memorial Day

Sunday, May 28th, 2017

ICYMI – A Repeat of a Classic for this Memorial Day

For many years, Stephen Clouse has made videos designed to inspire donations to worthy causes. Recently, he made a different kind of video. It’s not designed to solicit donations but to honor those who have given so much for our country.

In this video, veteran Hollywood actor Tony Lo Bianco reads a poem called “Just a Common Soldier.” It’s a moving tribute to the soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen who have served our country. As Tony reads the poem, viewers are treated to emotional images of our honored vets. As they were on the battlefield; and as they are now.

Clouse is asking Americans to share the video with their followers on Facebook and other social media channels such as YouTube and Twitter. The goal is to get 21 million “likes”—that’s one for every one of the estimated 21 million living veterans—between Memorial Day on May 25 and Veteran’s Day on Nov. 11.

For the rest of this article and other great articles, see: http://dailysignal.com/2015/05/22/just-a-common-soldier-a-moving-tribute-for-memorial-day/

Pictures from the Republican Round-Up Victory Party Thursday Evening at the Sebring Civic Center

Monday, May 15th, 2017

The Republican Round-Up Victory Party at the Sebring Civic Center Thursday evening was a huge success! Highlands County Republican Chairman Kathy Rapp welcomed the record crowd who came out to celebrate the clean-sweep Republican victories last November and to provide the much-needed financial support to keep on winning in 2018. Father Nicholas McLoughlin, Pastor of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church, provided the invocation.  The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Commissioner Jack Richie and Becky McIntyre provided a stirring rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

Chairman Rapp set the tone and emphasized that “We certainly have so much to celebrate as Republicans: The President, Vice-President, and the majority of both houses of Congress are Republican and a strict Constitutionalist has been restored to the Supreme Court.  She also mentioned some other things worth celebrating including the facts that 33 of 50 governors are Republican, 68 of 98 state legislatures are majority Republican and there is Republican legislative control in 33 of 50 states.  And in 25 states the governor is Republican and both state houses are majority Republican.”


“Highlands County has much to celebrate too!  We elected Paul Blackman as sheriff.  The last time we had a Republican sheriff was more than 35 years ago.  Dr. Brenda Longshore was elected Superintendent of Schools keeping that position in Republican hands.  And Commissioners Jim Brooks, Greg Harris, and Ron Handley were re-elected.  All our Commissioners and Constitutional Officers are now Republican. ”   Here’s what I’m most proud of, because it represents all the hard work and effort we put forth.  In 2012, 76% of Registered Republicans in Highlands County voted.  In 2016, however, 83% voted.  This was happening all across the state.  We met people who were coming out to vote for the first time in their lives.

Is it any wonder that Republicans won so big in Florida?  Oh, yes we have much to celebrate!  When I look out over this room I see dedicated candidates, generous donors, and passionate volunteers who made our victory possible.  Was it all worth it?  You betcha!  So this victory party is for you.  Let’s celebrate and have some fun tonight.

A record crowd enjoyed very appropriate theme music selections from DJ Jeremy of Mobile Music and More.  All enjoyed excellent prime rib and barbecue chicken dinners catered by the The Depot in Avon Park! County Commission Chairman Don Elwell served as our emcee and kept the crowd entertained throughout the evening as he announced the selection of 22 door prizes and served as auctioneer for two tickets to a two-day country and western concert entitled Party in the Pines to be held at the Bienville Plantation Oct 20-21, 2017.


Our special guest Congressman Tom Rooney and our Keynote Speaker Representative Ben Albritton (who is an announced candidate for the State Senate seat being vacated by Senator Denise Grimsley) provided timely updates from their federal and state government perspectives.


Our major sponsors, Senator Denise Grimsley who has announced her candidacy to be Florida’s next Commissioner of Agriculture, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam who has announced his candidacy to be Florida’s next Governor, Congressman Tom Rooney and Representative Cary Pigman provided very significant and much appreciated support.  A very special note of appreciation also to all of our program advertisers, table sponsors, prize and drawing donors and to all who purchased Round-Up tickets or donated funds so that others might attend.

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The Daily Signal – Younger Judicial Nominees Give Trump Chance for Legacy in Courts

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

From The Heritage Foundation

Fred Lucas / / /

“This will be an important way [for Trump] to leave his stamp,” The Heritage Foundation’s John Malcolm says of President Donald Trump’s picks for federal court vacancies. (Photo: Kevin Dietsch/UPI/Newscom)

President Donald Trump will begin to leave his mark on the lower courts of the federal judiciary with 10 nominees named Monday, many of them judges still in their 40s.

“The president followed the principles that were used to guide that list to select the additional eight individuals,” @PressSec says.

Shortly after 7:30 p.m. Monday, the White House formally announced Trump’s nomination of five judges to federal appellate courts and another five judges to lower federal courts.

“They all appear to be bright, young, capable conservatives who promise to be outstanding judges; some are already judges,” John Malcolm, a legal scholar who oversees the Institute for Constitutional Government at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal earlier in the day.

Two of the appeals court nominees—Michigan Supreme Court Justice Joan Larsen, 48, nominated to the 6th Circuit, and Minnesota Supreme Court Justice David Stras, 44, nominated to the 8th Circuit—were on a list of 21 contenders for the U.S. Supreme Court that the Trump campaign released months ago.

Trump’s campaign combined lists of strong candidates for the Supreme Court compiled separately by scholars at The Heritage Foundation and The Federalist Society. [Heritage did not develop its list at the candidate’s request, as previous wording suggested.]

Trump also nominated Amy Coney Barrett, 45, a law professor at Notre Dame and former law clerk for the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, for the 7th Circuit, and Louisville lawyer John K. Bush, 53, for the 6th Circuit.

Rounding out the appeals court nominees is Alabama’s former solicitor general, Kevin Newsom, 44, who clerked for Justice David Souter, nominated for a seat on the 11th Circuit.

White House press secretary Sean Spicer told reporters during the Monday afternoon briefing:

These 10 individuals the president has chosen were chosen for their deep knowledge of the law and their commitment to upholding constitutional principles. Two of the nominees today came from the list of potential Supreme Court nominees that the president released during the campaign. … The president followed the principles that were used to guide that list to select the additional eight individuals.

Spicer said more judicial and other nominations are on the way.

“I think you will continue to see a very robust amount of announcements on not just the judicial front, but on several fronts,” he said.

Most Supreme Court justices previously served as appeals court judges. Also, the high court can take only a limited number of cases. So, circuit court nominees are highly important.

Trump previously nominated U.S. District Judge Amul Thapar to serve on the 6th Circuit. He is awaiting Senate confirmation.

With more than 120 vacancies, the nominations can’t come too soon, said J. Christian Adams, a former Justice Department attorney who now is president of the Public Interest Legal Foundation, a conservative legal group.

“I’m in federal courts all the time. There are too many vacancies,” Adams told The Daily Signal. “So, we can’t have too many nominees.”

A Democratic  majority in the Senate eliminated that chamber’s filibuster for nominees to the district and circuit courts in 2013.

“With a Republican Senate, now is the best time to nominate solid judges,” Adams said. “There is no reason to wait.”

Trump seems to have his eyes on the future with these nominees, said Curt Levey, president of the Committee for Justice and a constitutional lawyer with FreedomWorks, a conservative advocacy group.

“It’s clear that the administration is looking at young nominees,” Levey told The Daily Signal. “Being an appeals court judge, if not on the short list, it puts you on the long list for the Supreme Court. … This administration seems to be making a bigger factor of age than previous administrations.”

Trump also nominated Damien Schiff, a lawyer with the Pacific Legal Foundation, a conservative legal group, to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

The White House said the president made two district court nominations and intends to make two more:

  • Scott Palk, with the University of Oklahoma College of Law, to the Western District of Oklahoma.
  • Idaho state Judge David Nye to the U.S. District Court for Idaho.
  • Dabney Friedrich, a member of the U.S. Sentencing Commission and a former associate White House counsel under President George W. Bush, to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (pending).
  • U.S. Magistrate Judge Terry Moorer to the Middle District of Alabama (pending).

The nominees build on Trump’s success in getting another appeals court judge, Neil Gorsuch, confirmed to the Supreme Court just weeks ago, said Carrie Severino, chief counsel for the Judicial Crisis Network, who posted brief biographies of each of Monday’s nominees on National Review’s website.

“The nominees have stellar qualifications and a record of courageous commitment to the rule of law that will make them excellent additions to the federal bench,” Severino said. “When it comes to fulfilling his campaign promise to appoint strong, principled judges, Trump is knocking it out of the park.”

For the rest of this great article and others, see: http://dailysignal.com/2017/05/08/younger-judicial-nominees-give-trump-chance-legacy-courts/

National Day of Prayer May 4, 2017 – 11 AM on Highlands County front courthouse lawn

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

2017 National Day of Prayer

Bring a lawn chair if possible to ensure that you will have a seat!


Republican Round-Up Victory Party Thursday May 11, 2017 at the Sebring Civic Center

Sunday, April 30th, 2017

Are you pleased with the appointment of Judge Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court?

Purchase tickets today and join the celebration of all Republican victories at the county, state, and national level! Make plans now to attend the Republican Roundup Victory Party Thursday May 11, 2017 at the Sebring Civic Center beginning at 5:30 PM. Commissioner Don Elwell will emcee. Our Special Guest Speaker is a very well-known central Floridian from Wauchula with extensive knowledge of the Florida agriculture industry. Purchase tickets by mail or online http://www.highlandscounty.gop Under “Upcoming Events”

Large Invitation (1).pdf_page_1


Happy Easter

Saturday, April 15th, 2017


Happy Easter from the Highlands County Republican Executive Committee.

On the Third Day

Friday, April 14th, 2017


Happy Passover

Friday, April 14th, 2017

Happy Passover


Happy Passover from the Highlands County Republican Executive Committee!


Guest Editorial – Governor Rick Scott in USA Today

Tuesday, April 4th, 2017

Republicans cannot give up on health care: Rick Scott


Failing is one thing. But failing and then quitting is unacceptable.

Repealing the failure of Obamacare and replacing it with a plan that actually provides affordable and quality health care for families is something that I focused on long before I became governor. In 2009, when I was a private citizen, I launched Conservatives for Patients’ Rights because I was concerned about the ramifications Obamacare could have for our nation. What I fought hard against immediately came true. Under Obamacare, costs have skyrocketed and families cannot keep the doctors they like. Obamacare was sold on a lie, plain and simple.

In the wake of the demise of the House Republican health care reform effort in Washington, some are saying we should quit trying to do anything about our nation’s health care system. Abandoning the effort to improve our nation’s health care system is not an option. A political party that controls both houses of Congress and the White House must be able to make changes that will improve health care in America. If not, then what’s the point?

I applaud President Trump for wasting no time and demanding action on tax reform and regulatory reform. If I were the president, I would be utterly frustrated with the failure of the health care bill. But the simple fact is this — we should be able to expect that Congress can work on more than one thing at a time. Surely they can do two things at once.

First, stop believing in the grand bargain: Washington has to stop fixating on getting a grand bargain done on health care. All these comprehensive and grandiose schemes in Washington are useless. As governor, I have learned that sometimes the best way to get something done is to do it incrementally. Ultimately, taking small steps will lead you down the right path to achieve your goal. There are steps that can be taken in Congress that are no-brainers and can immediately start the process of getting rid of this onerous law, including:

  • Remove Obamacare’s excessive mandates and taxes … NOW
  • Allow insurance to be sold across state lines to encourage competition
  • Protect those with pre-existing conditions and let young adults stay on their parents’ plans until they turn 26
  • Allow families to buy the health care they want.

Second, give states flexibility to run our own Medicaid programs: Obamacare encouraged a massive expansion of Medicaid to able-bodied adults — even as nearly 600,000 individuals with disabilities nationwide sit on waiting lists to access treatment through Medicaid. This expansion has gone far beyond caring for those who truly need it. The truth is Obamacare was a new entitlement program that we could never afford, and it was a dramatic expansion in welfare spending that discouraged work.

States need greater flexibility from the federal government in running our statewide Medicaid programs, and I know Florida can deliver high-quality care without layers of government bureaucracy. My goal is to turn the top-down, Washington-knows-best approach of the Obama administration on its head. Last month, I requested flexibility from the Trump administration to manage our own Medicaid program based on the needs of Florida families. Other states should follow Florida’s lead and fight to get rid of the burdensome, duplicative and costly federal requirements put in place by the Obama administration.

While efforts such as tax reform are important to strengthening our national economy, our country will never see the kind of growth we need as long as Obamacare is in place. Our businesses and entrepreneurs will never fully thrive as long as they are burdened by the costs of Obamacare. Washington needs to stop worrying about getting a grand bargain done, and start delivering on their promise to help American families by repealing Obamacare.

I spent many years building businesses. In business, sometimes things don’t work out. Whenever I had a setback, I made adjustments and tried again. That’s what Congress must do now. In the real world, you cannot just give up and go home. No, you have to stand in the arena and battle until you get it right. Failing is one thing. But failing and then quitting is unacceptable.

Rick Scott is the Republican governor of Florida. He founded Columbia/HCA.

Paid for by the Highlands County Republican Executive Committee
P.O. Box 7987, Sebring, FL 33872


RPOF Congressional District 17 Caucus held a productive workshop in Sebring Saturday

Sunday, April 2nd, 2017

Republican Party of Florida Congressional District 17 Caucus members met for a very productive workshop Saturday at Inn on the Lakes in Sebring, Florida.  Chairmen, State Committeemen, State Committeewomen, Precinct Committeemen, and Precinct Committeewomen, from the nine counties that Congressman Tom Rooney serves, were invited to participate in the workshop  by newly elected Congressional District 17 Caucus Chairman, Kathy Rapp.  Topics of interest on the agenda included: growing REC members, conducting effective fund-raising events, keeping Trump volunteers engaged, helping President Trump succeed at implementing his agenda, and engaging minorities and young people.  Approximately 20 caucus members discussed these topics and shared meaningful ideas being used effectively in their counties.

Guest Speaker Brooke Renney, Director of Party Development for the Republican Party of Florida shared information about the new Project Majority Red that the RPOF will present in more detail at the Spring Quarterly Meeting in Tampa April 28-29, 2017.  She also shared other ideas and provided valuable comments.  Caucus Chairman Kathy Rapp expressed appreciation to Brooke for traveling from Tallahassee to speak and participate in our workshop.


Many shared that they learned a lot to take back to their REC’s and were very pleased to have made the effort to attend and participate in the four hour workshop. Chairman Rapp thanked everyone for attending and indicated that the next CD 17 Caucus workshop will be held in about three months.


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    Kathy Rapp
Vice Chairman
    Susan Beder
    Kathy Hill
    Penny Kocarek

State Committeeman
    Earl Claire

State Committeewoman
    Sally Claire