Francisco Rodriguez Town Hall
This afternoon, in the picturesque seaside Palm Beach Shores Community Center, Francisco Rodriguez, candidate for Florida House District 83, held a town hall for members of that community. Organized by Carol Hurst, a supporter and Palm Beach Shores community leader, the event was an opportunity for Francisco to give his views on a variety of issues facing Florida today.
When asked for his view of the Sunrail bill, passed by the legislature earlier in the year and sold as a way to bring federal stimulus dollars into the state, he was very clear. It should not have been passed and he would have voted against it. Accepting federal money now but obligating the state to provide significant funding for it in future years is a bad deal for Florida.
A common theme that pervades Francisco’s thinking on several subjects is the Constitution and the rights of states to determine their own destiny. For example, the Federal Government is required to manage the border and control immigration – it is not a state responsibility. That said, when the job is not being done it is acceptable for the states to see that federal law is enforced. Arizona did not need to pass the controversial law, but by doing so it provides political cover for law enforcement. In another example, states are free to adopt any fiscal model they wish – and spend and borrow as they see fit, but when the day comes that bad decisions lead to potential default, the other states (or their citizens through federal taxes) should not be asked to bail them out. The time has come for states to stand up for their rights and start using the 10th amendment to push back against federal overreach.
The Health Care Freedom Act is one example of this, and Francisco would support a mechanism whereby the states could control the amount of taxes collected in the state that gets sent to the federal government.
On state taxes, Francisco is not a fan of property taxes – which he equates to “paying rent” on a property which you own, and instead prefers use-based taxes with defined purposes such as a gas tax to fund only roads.
Schools, he believes, should be controlled at the local level – including such things as curriculum content and testing approach. He was not a fan of the recently vetoed education bill, saying it gave too much control over local decisions to the bureaucrats in Tallahassee.
Florida House district 83, currently held by Carl Domino who is running for Senate district 25, sits at the northeastern part of the county and includes parts of Jupiter, Palm Beach Gardens, Juno Beach, North Palm Beach, along Singer Island and Palm Beach Island to just south of Southern Boulevard. ( Click HERE for map. ) In the Republican primary on August 24, Francisco faces Realtor Nancy Cardone and Palm Beach Kennel Club manager Pat Rooney.
A number of 912 members were in attendance, including organizer Carol Hurst, Jim Vissi, Melissa Andrews, Delia Garcia Menocal, Claire and Don Jones, Bette Anne Starkey, and Fred and Iris Scheibl. Following are a few pictures from the event.