Shortly, the Economic Council and others will be spending over $200,000 to convince you that the county sales tax should be raised to 7%. You will hear that the infrastructure is crumbling, that the children are sweating in their classrooms with broken air conditioners, that the roads have potholes and the bridges are falling down. You will hear that a sales tax is good because 25% of it will come from tourists, and that tens of thousands of jobs will be created to rebuild those roads and bridges, county buildings, the jail and the parks.
Congrats to the South Florida 912, for all its hard work and efforts for the last 5 years. It has been in the works behind the scene for the last month or so….but now it is official and the HUGE announcement is the South Florida 912 has been selected by the BLAZE to be recognized for all its hard work in the last five years.
It really takes me a moment of pause to sit back and review all that has happened in the last 5 years. Our group, made up of activist who wanted to stand up, get educated about issues, support principled candidates, and take action all began officially March 13th 2009. Our event had over 315 people who came out to a standing room only event. We gathered together to meet others who were heeding the call to get more involved in our communities and to find others who were also concerned and did not know where to start. That fateful day, Glenn Beck rolled out the 912 concept and it all made sense to us.
We quickly ran with the idea getting behind the idea of wanting to be a 9/12 type of person. Treating others the way we treated each other the day after 9/11/01. Principles and Values resonated with the South Florida 912 and we were able to take these concepts to heart. Our first venture was to assist a local commissioner in saving our community over 67 million in participating with getting a land swap approved over a purchase of land for 67 million on property that was only appraised for at 15 million. In the end with all the public scrutiny, the land swap was a negotiated, and 912 was there, rallying together to make others aware of the proposal and educating anyone who listened. It was my first opportunity to stand up and speak in front of the dais and I remember looking at all these elected officials and feeling so nervous and shaking so badly, however I knew in my heart this was a waste of tax payer dollars and I knew that it was right to make sure people could hear the facts. That day I was so proud to see so many 912 activist speaking up, just as nervous as I was. The victory that day was ours and the 912 began its push ahead to so many other endeavors. We have marched on Washington DC together, loaded planes to Haiti with food and clothes, fed the homeless, delivered toys and balloons at the hospital. 912 has stood on street corners with signs, attended County Commission meetings and spoken out. 912 has held public forums for candidates to talk about the issues and to help educate the local voters about the differences in each candidate. Our group has really stood on “Principles Not Parties” theme and along the way angered people that found themselves party affiliated at times. Our group has used “leaders picks” to help support candidates and we have endorsed candidates on both sides of the aisle using our groups principles and values as our base line for everything. South Florida 912 can be proud as we have supported issues like the Inspector General in Palm Beach County, and candidates that varied like Allen West ( R) to Jess Santamaria (D) both of whom won.
There has been struggles along the way with split passions and differing agendas but the principles and values of the 912 was the glue the kept us moving ahead. We had such a great core of leaders in the beginning and that helped strengthen the group for the long haul. My husband Doug was also my rock with many a late night talking about 912 and sometimes crying with frustration too. We both care so much for our children, our community and our country. Sometimes it will feel like its not enough. It still doesn’t at times. However we realize that in the past 5 years we have done our very best. God has provided us with the energy and the passion to get us thru. In the past 5 years we have personally experienced so much change. Our spiritual growth has grown exponentially, I have been a believer basically my whole life however never felt the need for a public baptism. My faith was growing stronger everyday and eventually I felt convicted and to my utter joy my children also took that step with me. It was a proud day for my husband to be there with us with all our church family and friends. I also lost my job, our home, we were audited by the IRS and we watched our best friend and one of leaders of our 912 group fight brain cancer and eventually pass away. Our daughter was diagnosed with type one diabetes, plus enduring the normal antics of having 3 teenage children. However thru it all we have only grown stronger in our faith and each day we strive to make it a better one. Living as a 912 person resonates so profoundly to my family and our group. I am glad to say that I have a new job thru Gods grace and every day we as a 912 group strive to be that 912 kind of person. Recognition from the BLAZE is like icing on a cake or a cherry on the top of a sundae. We as a group have never taking our “marching orders” from Glenn as the critics say, and we don’t “hate” we just want what a founding fathers established for all of us to be handed down to our children intact. We want others to be involved in the community and to be accountable for the decision they make both good and bad. We want people to reach out of their insular world and see a person hurting and help. We want people to take the time to care about each other and our community and be willing to actually work and do something about it.
We are honored to be selected by the Blaze and look forward to the airing of the show on the BLAZE on that anniversary day… tentative date MARCH 13th at 5pm more details coming soon.
Thank you with complete honesty and love,
Shannon and Doug Armstrong
This was our first time at Total Wine in Legacy place and we were pleased with the space for a smaller meeting – with projector, screen, pc and wifi all built in. We plan to use this venue in the future.
We were happy to see some folks we hadn’t seen in awhile. Our agenda was fairly free form. Doug Armstrong (co-founder) kicked off the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer. He then spoke briefly about our history – although the majority there had been members for several years. Shannon Armstrong (co-founder) talked a bit about the folks planning on speaking during the evening.
- Richard Raborn played a little bit of his speech at the Tax Day Teaparty in 2010. As a physician, he was describing what was going to happen as a result of Obamacare and all of his predictions, sadly, came true. He also described visiting Glenn Beck’s facilities in Dallas and having a great discussion with Glenn on his weapon collection. Dr. Raborn encouraged us to visit in Dallas if we got the opportunity. Richard also spoke about MercuryOne – Glenn Beck’s charity.
- Marianne Polulack told us about a free event at Calvary Chapel Boynton Beach this Saturday, 2/15 – Overview of America followed by One Nation Under God – both focusing on Americanism. For more information, go here
- Iris Scheibl gave an update on the IG Committee meeting on February 18th, the status of the Ethics Commission, and current OIG findings
- Virginia Brooks talked about the Florida Family Policy Council Pro-Family Days at the Capitol (Tallahassee) on March 17-18. For more information go here.
- Fred Scheibl spent some time recounting the movement’s and group’s successes of 2010, the difficult year of 2012, and the challenges ahead for us in 2014. One bright spot in 2012 for which South Florida 912 and other grass-roots groups should take credit is that Romney got more votes in Palm Beach County than John McCain did in 2008. So our efforts made an impact – it wasn’t Palm Beach County where voters stayed home. In 2014, we have to win, and Fred listed a number of issues that could but we shouldn’t let divide us. We need to take back CD 18 and keep Governor Scott in office.
- Lynne Sherrer described the most recent REC meeting and factionalism in the local party.
- Shannon then led discussion in the room on how to overcome this when there are issues that attract single issue voters who will reject a conservative over differences on that single issue and stay home even though the liberal opponent will do nothing about their issue. Examples of such issues are Seven50, Common Core and Immigration.
- Candidate Alan Schlesinger, one of several running for CD 18, described how he is no longer seeking a political career (which he already had in CT), but is driven to run to preserve America as we know it. He also stated that throughout his political life, he does not pander to his audience but maintains consistent views to all to whom he speaks. He said that we may not all agree on each others positions, but that you will always know where he stands.
Shannon talked a bit about our March 13th 5th Anniversary Meeting – SAVE THE DATE – we’ll be at Hurricane Grill and Wings in Lake Worth. So even if you haven’t been at a meeting lately – come out for this important celebration!
Doreen Baxter did the drawing for door prize – another beautiful handiwork made by Doreen and Dennis Lipp. The meeting was over, but most stayed to discuss various issues with each other.
Some pictures from the event:
- Doug Armstrong
- Shannon Armstrong
- Dr. Richard Raborn
- Marianne Polulack
- Iris Scheibl
- Virginia Brooks
- Fred Scheibl
- Alan Schlesinger Candidate for CD18
It was a full house at our January meeting – we ended up being packed in like sardines at Hurricane Grill and Wings. But it was great seeing so many new and familiar faces. Shannon Armstrong kicked off the meeting, Dennis Lipp and Shannon mc’ed, Doug Armstrong led us in the Invocation and Pledge and Doreen Baxter handled getting everyone signed in. Thanks also to the support team with Mickey Polulack bringing the sound equipment, Fred Scheibl the projector and Dennis the screen. Hunter Armstrong handled the 50:50. And thanks to the staff at Hurricane Grill and Wings who managed to squeeze amongst the tables to get everyone served who was ordering!
Doug related the impact that handing out toys for Christmas to hospitalized children and their families. Also speaking about the experience was MJ Dustan. Major kudos to Janice Price , who made handmade cards and Marlayna Bock who made over 20 teddy bears. Andrea Plescia then told us how 912ers donations affected the homeless veterans and that a huge number of Christmas Cards were also distributed to the vets at the VA hospital on their meal trays. Kudos to all who participated. 912ers made a difference.
Fred spoke about the upcoming Palm Beach Gardens City Council Candidate Forum on February 25th co-sponsored by South Florida 912, and the first forum on CD 18 Republican candidates to be held at Bear Lakes Country Club on Wed January 22. He also relayed a request by Mel Grossman, President of the Palm Beach County Tea Party, asking people to turn out for the February 4th County Commission Meeting at 2pm for the Matters by the Public section, to ask them to opt-out of Seven/50. Wear red shirts and if you plan to speak – fill out a comment card prior to 2pm.
Our first scheduled speaker was Bill Arterburn, who was originally going to just give a report on The Convention of States presentation made in the Palm Beach County Tea Party Jupiter meeting earlier in the month. But he signed up onto the team and thus gave us a ten minute overview of the effort. He represents District 90. Bill did a great job explaining the objectives of the Convention of States. The Convention of States Project is urging state legislators to call a convention of states under Article V of the Constitution. The delegates at such a convention would propose amendments to the Constitution that would curb the abuses of the federal government. For more information either go to their website or contact Bill at email@example.com. The project is actively recruiting volunteers.
We then segued to the subject of the Affordable Care Act by watching an AFP video being used in states with vulnerable Senators which makes the case that Obamacare is hurting real people. First up was Marion Frank, Wellington Chapter Leader from the Palm Beach County Tea Party. She has been speaking out against Obamacare since 2009. But at our meeting she was speaking as a member of a medical practice directly impacted by the implementation. Doctors are retiring. Waiting until 2016 and a new president is too late – our medical system will be destroyed long before then.
Next up was Tami Donnally. Tami was recounting her experience as a small non-profit business with about 23 employees. They had a plan that worked for them and their employees for several years which was affordable; they had the same doctors for many years through many serious illnesses; they had a hospital they liked – in network – Wellington Regional. And they had pre-existing conditions. Their plan was cancelled due to the Affordable Care Act. They tried to stay with the same insurance company – however pre-existing conditions came into play for one of them and they were rejected as a group. All the promises made by the President were false as far as they were concerned: They were NOT able to keep their plan. None of their doctors were in their new network – they were NOT able to keep their doctors. Their hospital was not accepting the insurance – they were NOT able to keep their hospital. And – the new plan’s premiums were over twice as high and deductible and out of pocket increased about four-fold. Not Affordable. Such a deal….
Finally – our key speaker, Dr. Larry Kawa spoke about his lawsuit against the IRS and other government entities challenging the Employer Mandate portion of the law. To his knowledge, he is the only large business so far suiing that aspect of the law. His case is based on the fact that he was classified as a large business because he has over 50 employees and he spent a lot on legal fees and implementation preparation. The President delayed the Employer Mandate by a year to 2015 (via a tweet) and thus Dr. Kawa claims injury as the basis for legal standing. He seeks implementation of the Employer Mandate. His case is being handled by Judicial Watch and details can be found here .
Folks seemed ready to engage – and it will take all of us to make a difference in 2014! Hope to see you at our February meeting!
- Shannon Armstrong
- Doug Armstrong
- Dennis Lipp
- Andrea Plescia
- Fred Scheibl
- Marion Frank
- Tami Donnally
- Andy Schaller
- Larry Kawa
This is the 12th year we have delivered toys and prayers and good wishes to the hospital at Christmas time.
It all began when my son was five and Doug and I felt that Tyler was a little selfish and I did not want to raise a child to grow up that way. We went to the store and bought a few toys on my son’s Christmas list and together he and I went to the hospital to let him give away the gifts to other kids that were stuck in the hospital at Christmas. It was such an amazing experience – Tyler learned so much and loved it and I believe it formed an integral part of who he is today.
Please bring a donation to our next meeting (Tuesday 12/17), and feel free to join us to deliver Christmas joy and prayers. Just comment or send me an email or feel free to call or text me. I look forward to seeing everybody at our next meeting. Last year it was such a pleasure to go with the Shields family and MJ Dunstan and others to visit and pray with the Children and their families at the hospital. This is the season to give. And it is so appreciated
South Florida 912 supports West Palm Beach City Watch for its rally to protest the WPB-led lawsuit against the Inspector General funding.