Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Florida sends 'citizen legislator' to Congress

NOV. 4, 2008 -- After two consecutive reps left office disgraced, Florida’s Congressional District 16 is fed up with arrogance and scandal under both Republicans and Democrats. This seat, still referred to in political circles as “Mark Foley’s old seat,” has now been handed by voters to Rep. Tom Rooney.

The voters’ decision was contrary to that of most local media endorsements, which cited Rooney’s alleged lack of experience. This is a ludicrous assertion, as Rooney is a former U.S. Army JAG, a criminal prosecutor for the State of Florida and taught Constitutional and Criminal Law at West Point. Currently, he practices law in Stuart, Florida.

What they mean by “lack of experience” is that he never held any elected office. But Rooney sees this as a plus:

“While it is true the three candidates running in the GOP primary are similar on many issues, the quality I believe gives me the advantage is that I am the only non-politician, someone who will truly be a citizen-legislator who is ready to lead,” Rooney told the Stuart News. “I am the only candidate that favors term limits.”

In fact, term limits was a regular theme in his stump speeches, one of which I attended early in the campaign.

To the Town-Crier, another local publication, Rooney said: “I don’t subscribe to the philosophy that I’m going to do anything to get myself elected the next two years,” he said. “I’m not tempted by what special interests can offer you. I favor term limits.”

Congratulations, Tom!