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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

From The Daily Signal March 27, 2017 – The Myth of an Unbiased Mainstream Media

March 28th, 2017

CBS News anchor Scott Pelley recently said of President Trump that “Today we learned the length of the president’s fuse—28 days.” (Photo: James Borchuck /Zuma Press/Newscom)

The attention on The Daily Signal’s Fred Lucas’ role as occasional White House pool reporter has made one thing very clear: For many, the illusion still remains that the mainstream media is unbiased.

“It’s concerning that news organizations with a clear and stated bias are serving as the eyes and ears of the White House press corps, regardless of their political leaning,”  Andrew Seaman, chair of the Society of Professional Journalists’ Ethics Committee and a Reuters reporter, told The Washington Post for an article questioning the appropriateness of Lucas’ role as a pool reporter. “In a perfect world, only news organizations with editorial independence and proven track records of reliability should be able to provide pool reports for the White House or any other government agency or official.”

Yet while many mainstream media outlets may not be “clear”—that is, transparent with their readers—about their perspective, there’s no doubt they indeed have a perspective.

First, let’s just look at the data about journalists:

For the rest of this excellent article and others, see: http://dailysignal.com/2017/03/27/the-myth-of-an-unbiased-mainstream-media/

Picture Summary – FFPC Pro-Family Days at the Capitol March 13-14 in Tallahassee

March 16th, 2017

Three members of the Highlands County Republican Executive Committee traveled to Tallahassee Monday and Tuesday  to attend the Florida Family Policy Council Pro-Life and Pro-Family Days at the Capitol.  The very well-planned event with record attendance this year began at the Tucker Civic Center and included information and training sessions Monday afternoon on pending pro-life and pro-family bills.

The Keynote Speaker for the Third Annual Pro-Life and Pro-Family Days dinner Monday evening was Kellie Fiedorek, Legal Counsel for the Alliance Defending Freedom.  Kellie’s keynote speech entitled “The Attack on Religious Liberty and How We Can Respond” received a standing ovation. The special Guest Speaker was Barronelle Stutzman, the Washington state florist and owner of Arlene’s Flowers, who has been sued by the Attorney General of Washington State and stands to lose her business, her home, and life savings for simply standing for her religious beliefs.  Her personal story of injustice in Washington state also received a standing ovation!


Special Guest Speaker Charlene Cothran followed Barronelle Stutzman and also addressed the group.  She shared  her own very moving personal testimony and received another standing ovation.  (See Charlene’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/charlene.cothran).


The evening concluded with several receiving the coveted Champion of the Family Awards  from the FFPC including our own Republican Party of Florida Chairman Blaise Ingoglia.  Several remarked that it was one of the better dinners they had ever attended.

The Prayer Breakfast Tuesday morning included speeches by Governor Rick Scott, Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam, Speaker of the Florida House Richard Corcoran,  Senator Greg Steube, Representative Kim Daniels, Representative Jamie Grant and prayers for each of our state leaders by Bill Bunkley and others (https://www.ferlc.org/who-we-are/) .   Several members of the Legislature including our own Senator Denise Grimsley received the coveted Champions of the Family Awards from the Florida Family Policy Council.



The day also included the opportunity to attend key Senate and House committee hearings and scheduled meetings with the attendees’ legislators from their districts.  Our Highlands County delegation met with Senator Denise Grimsley immediately after the Prayer Breakfast and then attended a House Careers & Competition Subcommittee meeting.  We also attended an Agriculture & Property Rights Subcommittee meeting with Representative Ben Albritton (R-District 56) and had opportunity to meet with him briefly after the meeting.  We then  had an excellent afternoon meeting with Representative Cary Pigman (R – District 55) and his new Legislative Assistant Brandon Miller in Representative Pigman’s office.  Concerns were shared about the single worst piece of pending legislation, the intentionally misnamed “Florida’s Competitive Workforce Act” , HB623 and SB666. It was a bill similar to this that the Washington State Attorney General used to sue Barronelle Stutzman and Arlene’s Flowers, her small florist shop. https://www.adflegal.org/detailspages/blog-details/allianceedge/2017/02/16/washington-supreme-court-punishes-barronelle-stutzman.-what-now#


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Republican Round-Up Victory Party May 11, 2017 – Sebring Civic Center at 5:30 PM

March 13th, 2017

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Pictures from the Highlands County Republican March Meeting

March 12th, 2017

Excellent presentation at Thursday night’s Highlands County Republican March meeting by our newly elected Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Brenda Longshore.  Highlands County is extremely fortunate to have such an outstanding and dynamic leader.  She really cares and her priorities reflect the desire to reach and teach all of Highlands County’s 12,200 plus k-12 students.   There are many opportunities for Highlands County residents to get involved to assist in the successful implementation of our new Superintendent’s Priorities!  Dr. Longshore emphasized the key role mentors can play in helping a student to be successful and encouraged those who may be interested  to consider providing assistance in this area and in others.

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Our Chairman Kathy Rapp and our members and guests also welcomed Nilsa Alvarez Morales our Republican Party of Florida  Regional and Faith Director.  Nilsa gave a brief preview on Project Majority Red, the RPOF initiative to register enough Republican voters to turn Florida red.  More details and the opportunity for on-the-job training will be provided in the weeks ahead.  All of our near-term activities should be focused on the goal of registering new Republican voters and hopefully getting them involved.


Our former Vice Chairman Virgil Beato also provided a very interesting report on the recent guest visit that State Representative Ben Albritton made to Virgil’s high school class at Sebring High School.  Representative Albritton recently announced that he is a candidate for the State Senate seat being currently held by Senator Denise Grimsley.

Current Vice Chair Susan Beder who is also chairing our 2017 Republican Round-Up Committee provided the final details for our upcoming May 11, 2017 Republican Round-Up Victory Party to be  held at the Sebring Civic Center. In addition to the victory party details, Susan outlined multiple ways in which members and friends could support our efforts to keep on winning!  Others who had presentations or shared information included our Treasurer Penny Kocarek, our State Committeewoman Sally Claire, long-time members Marvin Kahn, and Trump Campaign Co-Chair Steve DiSano.


Save the Date Thursday May 11,2017 – Republican Roundup Victory Party

March 5th, 2017

Republican Roundup Save the Date Card FINAL (002)

Highlands County Republicans are having a “Republican Roundup Victory Party” on Thursday evening May 11, 2017 5:30 PM at the Sebring Civic Center.

Join us to continue the celebration of our major victories in November with the election of President Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and the clean sweep wins by all Republicans on the ballot in Highlands County.  Please save the date and plan to join us for what promises to be a fun-filled victory party with special guests, exhibitions, games, and dancing.  Highlands County Republicans have much to celebrate!

Highlands County Pro-Trump Rally Monday Feb 27th

February 28th, 2017


Enthusiastic supporters of the new administration showed up in record numbers from 4-6 PM yesterday at the corner of Sparta Rd and US 27 south to show their support for President Trump.  Despite unprecedented obstruction and delay tactics by the opposition, President Trump has moved forward to keep his pre-election promises! Promises being kept include actions to create jobs and to cut regulations to Make America Grow Again, actions to protect our borders and to strengthen our military to Make America Safe Again, and necessary actions to protect and preserve our Constitution and our First Amendment rights to Make America Great Again!IMG_1155


Highlands County Pro-Trump Rally Monday Feb 27th

February 22nd, 2017

IMG_0332 Great picture of sign-wavers

The Highlands County Republican Party is planning to join with many other counties across Florida to hold a Pro-Trump Rally on Monday February 27th.  The Highlands County Event will be held at the corner of US 27th South and Sparta Road in Sebring, FL from 4-6 PM. If you support President Trump and Vice President Pence, bring your signs and flags and come join with many others who strongly support President Trump.

Despite unprecedented Democrat obstruction and delay tactics, President Trump has fulfilled many key promises made on the campaign trail, including:

  • Jobs – Multiple meetings with business leaders focused on actions to stimulate new jobs.  Since the election, multiple firms have promised over 250,000 new US jobs!
  • Making America Grow Again – Executive orders to advance the long-delayed Keystone XL and Dakota Access Pipelines and stop TPP.
  • Making America Safe Again! – Ordering the U.S. government to begin construction of a wall along the southern border with Mexico and the appointment of General John F. Kelly as the head of Homeland Security!  Initiating actions to rebuild our military and the appointment of General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense!
  • Making America Great Again – Nomination of a highly-qualified judge to the Supreme Court from the announced pre-election list! And signing an executive order barring federal funds from organizations that promote abortion around the world, including the International Planned Parenthood Federation!
  • Jobs – 227,000 – The number of jobs that US employers added in January. Last year’s average was a monthly gain of 187,000 jobs

President Trump needs to know that we approve his results to date and strongly support him.  Join us for the Highlands County Pro-Trump rally on Monday February 27th!P1010345P1010361

Reminder – Highlands County Republican Meeting Thursday February 9th at the Sebring Elks Lodge

February 8th, 2017

The Highlands County Republican Party monthly meeting will be held on Thursday February 9, 2017 at 6:30 PM at the Sebring Elks Lodge.  Optional dinner with service from 5-6:30 PM will precede the meeting.

Program will include pictures and video of the Inauguration Week activities including Governor Rick Scott’s Florida Sunshine Ball at the Mellon Center, the Welcome Concert at the Lincoln Memorial with Lee Greenwood and Toby Kieth, the Inauguration of President Donald Trump, and the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue.  Guests are always invited and welcome. Make plans now to attend.


IMG_3864 Swearing in first hanshake as President snapshotInaugauration parade dense crowd scenne

Invitation to the FL Sunshine BallIMG_0865 Governor Scott talking to Supporters - Copy


Reminder – Salute to Veterans Dinner Thursday Jan 26, 2017 at Sebring Elks Lodge – RSVP by Jan 18th

January 10th, 2017



From The Daily Signal – Remembering George Washington’s New Year’s Victory Over the British at Princeton

December 31st, 2016

An oil painting by American artist John Trumbull depicts the fatal wounding by bayonet of Brig. Gen. Hugh Mercer, center, at the Battle of Princeton on Jan. 3, 1777. It conflates events by showing Gen. George Washington—on a brown horse rather than the white one he rode—arrive to rally the American troops to victory before he actually did. (Photo: Newscom)

PRINCETON, N.J.—What began as a retreat from battle-hardened, bayonet-wielding British soldiers 240 years ago, Gen. George Washington reorganized into a counterattack after arriving with well-armed reinforcements in a place known as Maxwell’s Field.

This battleground in Princeton, New Jersey, is where the U.S. War of Independence reached a critical turning point.

“Parade with us, my brave fellows!” Washington is said to have called out to his troops, “and we will have them directly.”

A tall and imposing figure even by today’s standards, Washington was “an easy mark for any British soldier” while mounted on his white horse, historian David Hackett Fischer recounts in his book “Washington’s Crossing.”


But the British didn’t hit Washington. He rallied two broken brigades back into offensive positions, where they concentrated musket fire on British soldiers and forced them to clear the field.

But the British didn’t hit Washington. He rallied two broken brigades back into offensive positions, where they concentrated musket fire on British soldiers and forced them to clear the field.

The end result was a major victory for the Continental Army on Jan. 3, 1777, that would reignite the American Revolution. Historical records show that Washington’s maneuvers on Maxwell’s Field turned the tide of the battle at a moment when the British appeared to have the upper hand.

Here in the 21st century, another critical date has come to pass in the history of Maxwell’s Field.

The Institute for Advanced Study, an independent postdoctoral research center, and the Civil War Trust, a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C., devoted to the preservation of America’s battlefields, issued a joint press release Dec. 12 that came as a relief to historians and conservationists.

The Institute for Advanced Study, founded in 1930 and located in close proximity to the Princeton Battlefield State Park, announced it has agreed to downsize and reconfigure a proposed housing project for faculty. Local historians had said the faculty residences would have intruded upon that part of the battlefield where Washington arrived on horseback.

While the Civil War Trust primarily focuses on the protection of Civil War battlefields, it also works to preserve battlefields associated with the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812 through what it calls the Campaign 1776 initiative.

Under the agreement, the Civil War Trust will pay $4 million to purchase almost 15 acres of land from the Institute for Advanced Study. The acquisition includes about two-thirds of Maxwell’s Field and another 1.12-acre tract where part of the battle was fought.

The Civil War Trust said it plans to transfer the land to the state of New Jersey so it can be added to the Princeton Battlefield Park.

The Princeton Battlefield Society, a nonprofit group founded in 1970 for the purpose of preserving the battlefield, had sought to halt the housing project by filing a federal lawsuit against the Institute for Advanced Study under the Clean Water Act.

In response to the compromise, though, the historic preservation group issued a statement announcing it will suspend litigation pending the outcome of the agreement, which must be approved by the Princeton Planning Board and the Delaware and Raritan Canal Commission.

The sale of the property is scheduled to close at the end of June 2017.

“We didn’t know how our litigation would have turned out,” Jerry Hurwitz, president of the Princeton Battlefield Society, said in an interview with The Daily Signal, adding:

While we would have preferred to see more of Maxwell’s Field preserved, it’s also possible we could have lost everything, which is why we are pleased with the agreement. This is the site where Washington’s leadership was so critically important. He actually rode out ahead of his own troops and was only about 30 paces from the British lines. It’s unusual for a general to do this.


The Battle of Princeton marked the culmination of the “10 Crucial Days” that began with what became known as Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River on Christmas night 1776, continued with the two battles of Trenton, and ended at Princeton.

Alexander Hamilton, who served as an artillery commander in the Continental Army under Washington, forced the British to surrender after firing cannon balls on Nassau Hall on the grounds of Princeton University, where the remaining British soldiers had taken refuge.

“What stands out from Princeton is the personal role George Washington played in turning the tide of a battle that could have easily been lost,” Hurwitz told The Daily Signal, explaining:

The first phase of the battle actually went very badly for the Continentals. The British had bayonets, but the Continental soldiers involved in the first phase of the battle did not. They were badly routed and were in retreat. But Washington arrived, took charge, reformed the American brigades, and turned them around to face the British with reinforcements. It was in this second phase that the battle was won.

The major fighting took place in and around an apple orchard that was part of a farm that sits on an elevated plane. This is where Brig. Gen. Hugh Mercer and his Continental soldiers clashed with the British army under the command of  Lt. Col. Charles Mawhood.


On the American side, Mercer had about 120 soldiers from his brigade racing toward the orchard when the battle started, while Mawhood had about 450 men, according to records cited in “Washington’s Crossing.” However, more troops kept arriving on both sides as the battle raged.

Mercer had an additional 200 men from his brigade positioned a few hundred yards behind his 120 soldiers charging into the orchard. By the time the Pennsylvania militia, the Delaware Light Infantry, the Philadelphia Red Feather Company, and American marines arrived to reinforce Mercer’s brigade, Fischer estimates the Americans had about 1,500 troops, about three times the size of Mawhood’s forces.

Mercer died after the battle from multiple bayonet wounds inflicted by British soldiers who thought they had captured Washington. He was left for dead near a white oak tree that became known as the Mercer Oak, according to historical accounts.


Soldiers carried Mercer to a nearby house, where he was treated by Benjamin Rush, a surgeon in the Continental Army who had signed the Declaration of Independence.

In 1772, Thomas Clarke, a Quaker farmer, had purchased 200 acres from his brother, William Clarke. He replaced the house on the property with a two-and-a-half-story Georgian home that still stands.

What became known as the Thomas Clarke House was used as a hospital for both sides after the battle. Despite Rush’s efforts, Mercer died there nine days after the American victory at Princeton.

The original Mercer Oak lost a large branch after it was struck by lightning in 1973; strong winds in 2000 damaged it further. A young tree now grows in its place.

“The oak tree and its descendent are fixed points, so we know where Gen. Mercer had been wounded and how he died and where this happened,” Freeman Dyson, a retired professor of physics with the Institute for Advanced Study, said in an interview with The Daily Signal. “But the rest of the battle really took place all across town and across the countryside. The real battlefield includes the town of Princeton.”


The Daily Signal met with Dyson at his Princeton office before release of the joint statement announcing the compromise over housing plans. Dyson said he intends to live in the new housing, which he describes as “badly needed.”

The Institute for Advanced Study originally proposed to build seven single-family homes, but is moving forward with an alternative plan for eight townhouses in addition to the existing faculty housing.

“The institute has already very generously donated land that has been used for historical preservation,” Dyson said, adding:

There’s just no merit to what the institute’s critics have been saying. The idea that the Battlefield Park should exactly correspond with where all the fighting took place is absurd. You would have to demolish the whole town of Princeton, and you would have to demolish the building we are sitting in right now.

The Daily Signal asked the Institute for Advanced Study to comment on the dispute over the housing project and the recent compromise. The institute referred The Daily Signal to its online material, which includes a detailed overview of the new housing plans and its contributions to the Princeton Battlefield State Park.

In the online material, the institute also discusses where it differs with the Princeton Battlefield Society over some of the claims made by the preservation group about “key engagements” of the American and British troops and where they took place.

There is no dispute, however, over the significance and the importance of the battle itself.

For the rest of this excellent article and others, see:  http://dailysignal.com/2016/12/30/remembering-george-washingtons-new-years-victory-over-the-british-at-princeton/


    Kathy Rapp
Vice Chairman
    Susan Beder
    Kathy Hill
    Penny Kocarek

State Committeeman
    Earl Claire

State Committeewoman
    Sally Claire