Saturday, April 5, 2014

Sarah Palin and Protege Lizbeth Benacquisto Play Magic Trick on Florida Voters

Sarah Palin nomadic politicsby Nomad

In an effort to show how Tea Party conservatives really (REALLY) are not waging a war on women, Sarah Palin has been been showing up throwing her weight behind female conservative candidates. 
It didn't take long for the giggles to start.

Wherever the shadow of Palin falls, something turns rotten, it seems. According a local news report- A Fox News outlet nonetheless- Florida Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto from Florida's District 30 played an impressive magic trick with the help of Sarah Palin's witchery.

Benacquisto was able to make a simultaneous appearance at two places at the same time,  campaigning in southwest Florida with Sarah Palin, while voting on the Senate floor in Tallahassee.
Senator Benaquisto said she left the capitol early Thursday, though we confirmed business did not conclude that day until 6 p.m. She spent that evening at a barbecue fundraiser for her Congressional campaign with Palin in Naples.
Yet, the voting record showed she stayed in the Senate to continue to vote -- indicating someone voted in her place (in violation of legislative rules.)
Hardly a high crime but it does provide proof- as any more were required- that politicians are much more interested in fund-raising and campaigning for their esteemed position than actually doing the required tasks. A fundraiser is a like a party with a purpose whereas the responsibility of actually voting is dull, dull, dull.

Apparently this sort of absentee voting goes on quite a bit despite the rules. But then a rule never stopped Palin so why should it stop her protege? You can almost hear Palin saying "Ah, rules, schmules! Trust me, girlfriend!"

In this case, an investigation by the Fox channel revealed  that lawmakers sometimes do cover each other's back by voting for one another.
The rules allow them to vote for peers -- if they're in the chamber, give permission and tell them which way to vote. But we found evidence that those rules are broken, and former legislator Mike Fasano said over his career, he had witnessed lawmakers casting votes on numerous occasions for others without permission.
By phone today, state Senator Kelli Stargel said she was the one who voted for Benacquisto while she was gone. She said she inadvertently pushed her button.
Whoopsie! I inadvertently pushed that button that doesn't allow poor people to vote. Oh well, accidents happen.

Palin, by supporting several conservative women candidates, is apparently attempting the undermine the War on Women notion. The drop-out Alaska governor has ladled on her typical populist nonsense by anointing Benacquisto as a "genuine conservative." (As opposed, presumably, to her former running-mate -and less than genuine conservative- Senator John McCain.)
Palin wrote:
"Lizbeth Benacquisto is the only proven conservative in the race. She served her constituents well and has never forgotten who put her in office – the people. Lizbeth will take these values to Washington to fight for us all."
The irony of those phrases is pure Palin. Never one with a light touch, Palin capped off her praise of Benacquisto by noting her  "unwavering commitment to the principles of our Founders and to the sanctity of life."

Nevertheless, one of the principles of the Founding Fathers surely must have been actually showing up to vote in person rather than conducting peek-a-boo voting games.

It would not be the first time this particular candidate has sparked campaign controversy. Back In 2010, when she ran for the State Senate seat, her Democratic opponent Kevin J. Rader charged that Benacquisto committed 105 election law violations in a television advertisement. He told voters:
"Let’s do the math on Lizbeth Benacquisto. She broke election law 105 times, hiding special interest contributors. She claims she’s a tax cutter, but on city council, she repeatedly raised taxes and fees, totaling a 52 percent tax increase. One hundred five ethics violations; 52 percent tax increase. We can’t afford Lizbeth Benacquisto, or believe her."
Rather surprisingly (given the usual hyperbole of elections) Politifact supported the validity of Rader's claims.

There's another ironic aspect that has not really been reported in that "lamestream" media. But one source gives us this sparkling gem:
Lizbeth Benacquisto's current husband is none other than the prolific former Democrat bundler and donor Bruce Strayhorn, who backed both Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2008.
Yes, Benacquisto's husband bundled and donated thousands of dollars to help defeat Sarah Palin and John McCain in the 2008 Presidential election.
As one blogger noted, neither Strayhorn's photo or any mention of him appears in Bena's political notices- unlike photos of her children and friends. You would think somebody might have mentioned the invisible husband to Sarah Palin.