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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

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/

Happy Hanukkah

December 26th, 2016
Wishing you a bright Hanukkah. May you be blessed with love, peace, and happiness!

Image may contain: candles, night, fire and text

Christmas Greetings from the Highlands County Republican Executive Committee

December 25th, 2016


From the Daily Signal – Christmas With the Presidents

December 21st, 2016

The first White House Christmas Tree was erected under President Benjamin Harrison in 1889. (Photo: Ron Sachs/CNP/Polaris/Newscom)

Christmas is a time of celebration and coming together, of letting go of old—and not so old—hurts and looking forward to a new day and a new year.

It is a time to remember the ancient proverb, “It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.” And this year, it is a prime opportunity to give thanks for a “tree of candles”—the White House Christmas Tree—and what it has meant to Americans through the years.

George Washington set the standard in most things as our first president, but he was not the first chief executive to celebrate Christmas in the White House for a simple reason: Construction of the White House was not finished until after he left office in March 1797. Nevertheless, he and Mrs. Washington entertained family, friends, and colleagues at Christmas time during the eight seasons he was our president.

Washington’s most unusual Christmas came in December 1776, when he was the commander-in-chief of the continental army and not yet president. In the dead of night and with a heavy snow falling, he crossed the Delaware River on Christmas Day with a small force and marched on Trenton, New Jersey, where he surprised and captured some 1,000 Hessian troops and commandeered badly needed supplies. The surprise attack at Trenton was a turning point of the war and let the British know that the Americans had just begun to fight.

Succeeding presidents were able to celebrate Christmas in a less militant manner. President John Adams and Mrs. Abigail Adams held the first White House Christmas party in December 1800, inviting the children of official Washington to a party for their four-year-old granddaughter, Suzannah.  Ever the populist, President Andrew Jackson, hosted an elaborate “frolic” in 1834 for the children of his household, complete with games, dancing, a multi-course dinner, and an indoor snowball fight with cotton balls.

President Benjamin Harrison erected the first Christmas tree in the White House in 1889, while President Grover Cleveland added electric lights five years later. Reflecting his ebullient personality, President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 hosted a “carnival” for 500 children, which included dinner, dancing, entertainment, souvenirs, and an ice cream dessert in the shape of Santa Claus.

President Calvin Coolidge was the first chief executive in 1923 to preside over the National Christmas Tree lighting ceremony on the Ellipse behind the White House. In the 1927 ceremony, Coolidge—a more eloquent president than he is generally given credit for—remarked that Christmas was not a time or a season but “a state of mind. To cherish peace and good will, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”

Sometimes that spirit has been sorely tested. In 1944 when Allied forces were engaged in a two-front war against Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said that “the Christmas spirit lives tonight in the bitter cold of the front lines in Europe and in the heat of the jungles and swamps of Burma and the Pacific islands. Even the roar of our bomber fighters in the air and the guns of our ships at sea will not drown out the messages of Christmas which come to the hearts of our fighting men.”

In December 1962, barely a month after the Cuban missile crisis and the possibility of a nuclear conflict had been peacefully resolved, President John F. Kennedy spoke of a “perilous” year in which reason had finally prevailed. “As a result,” he said, “we may talk at this Christmas, just a little bit more confidently of peace on earth, good will to men.”

In 1961, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy began the custom of selecting a theme for the White House Christmas Tree by decorating with a Nutcracker motif. In 2008, First Lady Laura Bush chose “A Red, White and Blue Christmas” while First Lady Michelle Obama announced in 2010 a White House Christmas theme of “Simple Gifts,” explaining that “the greatest blessings are the ones that don’t cost a thing: the time that we spend with our loved ones, the freedoms we enjoy as Americans, and the joy we feel from reaching out to those in need.”

We turn for a last word to President Ronald Reagan, who said in 1981 that “Christmas means so much because of one special child. But Christmas reminds us that all children are special, that they are gifts from God, gifts beyond price that mean more than any presents money can buy.” Echoing Coolidge, Reagan said that Christmas was “a state of mind… found throughout the year whenever faith overcomes doubt, hope conquers despair, and love triumphs over hate.”

With a little catch in his voice, the president ended his Christmas message from the Oval Office by quoting Charles Dickens in “A Christmas Carol”: “God bless us, every one.”


Happy Chanuk – Monday December 26, 2016 – Rotary Park behind Sebring Library – 5:30 – 6:30 PM

December 12th, 2016


Highlands Republican December Meeting Highlights

December 10th, 2016


What a great way to end an incredible year!  Our Highlands County Republican Party had a tremendous victory celebration in November to celebrate the Trump/Pence and Marco Rubio wins and the Highlands County Republican candidates clean-sweep victories. Our December meeting featured an excellent speech by our dynamic and charismatic RPOF Regional and Faith Director Nilsa Alvarez. Nilsa played a key role in helping to achieve the Trump/Pence win.  She had a remarkable success record in voter registration and in the get-out-the-vote efforts to help the Trump/Pence team win Florida.  Nilsa provided a summary of her background of achievements in many areas and gave considerable credit to her mentor Lourdes Aguirre who she described as a Cuban-American Trump who cannot tolerate injustice!  (See Nilsa’s outstanding record in her bio: nilsa-alvarez-biography-copy)

Nilsa remarked that “we were inches away from globalism!”    Other comments included “the Iran Nuclear deal is financing the persecution of missionaries in the mid-east” and the statistic “that 81% of evangelicals voted for the Trump/Pence ticket.”

In response to a question as to how we could reach more young people, Nilsa said “have a night with the family to watch Hillary’s America!” In response to another question, “You send your kids to college and they come back socialists.”  We need more conservatives involved in education. Follow-up comments included mentioning that “former Florida Congressman Albert Herlong, Jr. read into the Congressional Record back in 1963 a detailed account of Communist goals and discussed how many goals were already being accomplished in the United States.”  ilsa received a standing ovation from appreciative REC members and guests.


Additional highlights of the December meeting included election of officers for the next two years.  Kathy Rapp was re-elected Chairman,  Susan Beder was elected as Vice Chairman replacing Virgil Beato who did not seek re-election, Penny Kocarek was re-elected as Treasurer, and Kathy Hill was elected as Secretary replacing Ida Jackson who also did not seek re-election.


Sally Claire, who was unopposed for the position of State Committeewoman for Highlands County in the recent election, officially started her four year term of office December 1st. Sally replaced Joan Hartt who had provided very faithful and dedicated service to Highlands County Republicans and the Republican Party of Florida for nearly 20 years. Joan retired and did not seek re-election.




State Committeeman Earl Claire provided congratulations to each of the new and newly re-elected officers and sincere thanks to those who had faithfully served and did not seek re-election!  “Your service was appreciated and you will be missed!”  SCM Vision and goals looking forward included the following:

  1. Voter registration – Further increasing our Republican voter majority in Highlands and assisting efforts to flip Florida to majority Republican.
  2. HCREC Membership – We have multiple unfilled positions for Precinct Committeemen and Committeewomen in Highlands County
  3. Committee memberships – We need working committees with sufficient numbers of active members.  Grass-roots involvement wins elections and we need to start now to rebuild and to prepare to help win the Governor and US Senate races in 2018 and all our local Highlands County races.
  4. The next generation – Recruitment and training of young Republicans

Chairman Kathy Rapp announced that because of the schedule for the RPOF Annual Meeting January 12-14, 2017 in Orlando, our Highlands County Republican Monthly Meeting would be moved from January 12th to Monday January 16th, Martin Luther King Day. All REC members are encouraged to consider attending the RPOF Annual Meeting to be held at the Rosen Centre Hotel in Orlando. To book your hotel room, please go to the following link: https://bookings.ihotelier.com/Rosen-Centre/bookings.jsp?themeId=19340&groupID=1683160&hotelID=2018 or call 800-204-7234 and ask for the RPOF group rate.  Rooms are $139+tax a night.   The group rate is only available until December 13th.

Reminder – Highlands County Republican monthly meeting tonight at 6:30 PM at Sebring Elks Lodge – Guest speaker Nilsa Alvarez

December 8th, 2016

Make plans now to attend tonight!  Guests are always welcome!  (Optional dinner with service from 5-6:30 PM precedes the meeting)

Following our guest speaker, we will have our very important organizational meeting with the election of officers for the coming two years.


Biography – Nilsa Alvarez

Born in Orlando, Florida on September 5th, 1984, Nilsa Alvarez was raised in a Christian household with her family from Puerto Rico. At an early age, she was proactive in evangelism, youth leadership, ministry training, worship leading, and missions to over 7 countries. At the age of 17, she became the producer and radio host of “Genex”, the first Hispanic Christian Youth Radio Show in South Florida on La Nueva 88.3 FM. She then married Pastor Gerardo Alvarez at 19 and entered the full-time ministry work in both Worship & the Young Adults’ Network of “Comunidad Cristiana Pembroke Pines” and became a licensed minister with ICCM in November of 2007 and continues to serve as such to this day.

As songwriters, Gerardo & Nilsa, who wrote for their congregation, as well as for other local Christian artists, finally launched their own worship album “Todo a Cristo” and “All For King Jesus” (in English) in October of 2012 which is currently streaming in 45 countries. Nilsa is also a volunteer coordinator for Premier Productions every time they come down to South Florida with events such as: Winter Jam, Hillsong Tours, & the Extreme Worship Conferences. While serving the Miami area, she was moved to expand what is called the “Backpack Program” so that children facing hunger over the weekend in South Florida can receive meals and be served by local organizations adopting Title One Schools in their area. This movement is now an organization called My City Alive in which Nilsa is presently the General Manager and Board Member working towards getting this program running in Broward County. She has recently become the Advisory Board member of the Hispanic Israel Leadership Coalition – Youth (HILC Youth) and has united Christian youth from several churches in alliance with Jewish Youth to stand united against antisemitism on college campus. Nilsa has been a guest conference speaker for several Women’s Conferences, Youth Conferences, and recently at the Int’l Summit for Israel with key Ambassadors from Israel, all the leaders of the Jewish Federations in Florida, and Congressmen from both aisles.

In September of 2015, Nilsa came on board as Regional & Faith Director for the Republican Party of Florida in preparation for the Presidential, Senate, & local races for the 2016 Elections. Putting almost everything in ministry and business on hold for a year and 3 months, she set out with politically active pastors of the SFMA as their spokesperson for the #StandWithGod Movement that engaged over 100 churches across the State in voter registration drives, registering 1,700 people within her first 7 months. Her team trained over 300 volunteers and she was the first staffer in the RPOF to assist churches in creating political actions that engaged in canvassing, door-knocking, and voter contact for Republicans down the ballot. The faith team, as they were called by the RNC, hit 107,046 doors in Broward & Miami-Dade County; and had the highest party conversion rate in the nation; switching non-partisan members and Democrats to Republican at doors and events. #StandWithGod went national through her team’s alliance with unitedcry.org & GCM; engaging 13 churches in other battle ground states in voter registration drives right before the registration deadline. Her national alliance team went on to sending “voice drops” to over 200,000 pastors nationwide encouraging them to join the movement and later on to vote with their churches in order to protect the White House, Senate, & Supreme Court. Towards the last 2 months of the Presidential Campaign Trail, Nilsa was assigned to run the RNC Headquarters in Hialeah, FL along with the local Trump Campaign & volunteer team. Their office engaged and impacted the community in such a way that President Elect Donald Trump sent “America’s Mayor”, Rudy Giuliani to thank her office team and encourage volunteers. Congressman Connie Mac also paid a visit along with media from France, Sweden, and Japan, among others to catch a glimpse of the enthusiasm. She now continues to serve the party as liaison to RECs in 8 different counties and continues to serve the different pastors’ associations & networks she had previously worked with throughout the campaign.

Additional background info on Nilsa Alvarez:





    Kathy Rapp
Vice Chairman
    Susan Beder
    Kathy Hill
    Penny Kocarek

State Committeeman
    Earl Claire

State Committeewoman
    Sally Claire