Issue 40, October 16th

So prior to the meeting last week, A.G. Gankcarski (Writer-Florida Politics) and I were discussing the District 5 campaign and how “mellow” it had been.  He was hoping Lawson and Smith would end up giving him something noteworthy…..and they did.  If you weren’t amongst the largest crowd we’ve had all year (just shy of 100), you missed the fireworks!  I don’t know if it’s having debates, or if we’re some sort of good luck charm for the media, but controversy always seems to ensue at our political events.  For the first time the two candidates debated each other in one forum, Lawson referred to Smith as “inexperienced”, and Smith called Lawson a “career politician.”  Moderator Rick Mullaney was incredibly well prepared and had a range of questions from deepening the port, to the national debt.  Entitlements were discussed, and the final questions surrounded the “Black Lives Matter” movement.

While I think both candidates are qualified, if the election was held that day in that room, I think Glo Smith would have taken the win.  She was in support of Trump’s wall, and when Lawson referred to examining and studying current expenditures, she was quick to jab him as a career politician “kicking the can down the road.”  For the first time in years, Corrine Brown’s seat is up for grabs.  Both Congress people representing Jacksonville will be Freshman with Districts 4 and 5 turning over.  Lawson has exponentially more funding in the war chest than Smith, and as I understand the district is overwhelmingly Democrat.  I’ve been wrong before, and certainly wouldn’t count Glo out yet….we’ll have to wait and see.

While I know of a few members significantly impacted by the storm like Scott Schilbrack whose house flooded, I haven’t heard of anyone being injured or otherwise having their health impacted by the storm which is good news.  Irene Trevino appears to be very busy assisting those of our members with storm damage; at least they have someone they can trust.  Furthermore I imagine Gene Bushor will be thanking a few for business over the next week or so.  I saw several members on social media offering shelter to anyone who was without power for an extended period.  It’s great to know we have so many resources and great people in our club always willing to help.

This week we’ll have a very interesting program.  If you recall John Caulfield was previously on our schedule, and was called out of the country unexpectedly.  He served as “Chief of Mission” to the State Dept. in Cuba prior to the re-establishment of diplomatic relations recently.  I heard him speak at another club, and he shared details I hadn’t heard from the mainstream media.  One of my clients spent a few days there several weeks ago and corroborated some of John’s accounts.  Personally I’d like to visit Cuba now, then go back in 5 and 10 years to be able to see the impact American business will make on our neighbor 90 miles away; this would be something great to tell my children.  I encourage you to attend Wednesday’s meeting as John is a great speaker.  He has confirmed he’ll be in town, and is eager to address our club.

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