Tuesday, October 20, 2020

What About the Judges?


Voters frequently scratch their heads when looking at the list of judges who are up for a vote on their ballot. It can be hard to know a judge's philosophy or effectiveness. The conservative organization Florida Family Action has looked into the records on Florida judges and offers their endorsements in their Judicial Election Guide. Click here.

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Commander Scott Beaver Speaks at October Meeting

At the October 12 club meeting, Scott Beaver, Northeast Commander for the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office, spoke to attendees about the upcoming election of the county's new sheriff and answered diverse questions from the audience. He noted that the SJC Sheriff's Office has earned an uncommonly high approval rating of 84 percent among residents. He also spoke about, among other things, the much-needed training and communications facility now being built for local law enforcement in the area of SR 16 and I-95. Thank you, Commander Beaver, for joining us!


Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Voter Guide from Republican Party of SJC

We have a number of county races in which the candidates' party affiliation is not shown. Still, we know it makes a difference. The Republican Party of Saint Johns County has issued its Official Voter Guide to help, featuring candidates for office as well as the Republican position on the proposed FL constitutional amendments. You can access the guide here.

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

"NO" on 3; Jobs Returning in Florida

RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters recently reinforced the importance of voting NO on Amendment 3, which would create open primary elections in Florida: 

I cannot emphasize enough the importance of voting NO on Amendment 3 to maintain the integrity of the Republican Party in Florida. The Amendment destroys Republicans’ ability to choose our candidate for office and could leave only two Democrat options on a ballot in the General Election. Share widely the importance of this NO vote on Amendment 3.

(See posting below for a link to more info on this amendment.)

In positive news, the Department of Economic Opportunity announced that jobs are coming back in Florida after the corona virus hit:

The three industries losing the most jobs from February to April 2020, gained back 448,300 jobs from April to August 2020: leisure and hospitality at 278,500 jobs, 50.6 percent of those lost; professional and business services at 73,200 jobs, 48.5 percent; and education and health services at 96,600 jobs, 72.9 percent.

  

Thursday, September 17, 2020

St. Augustine Prayer Rally Sept. 26

Paralleling the prayer march being led this month by Franklin Graham in Washington, D.C., the local Faith Based Committee will hold a Save Our Nation Prayer Rally here in downtown St. Augustine on Saturday, September 26. The rally will take place at the Plaza de la Constitucion (between King Street and Cathedral Place) from noon to 2 p.m. A number of area pastors will lead attendees in prayer for our country. Details and e-invite are here.  

As Franklin Graham said, “America is in trouble. Our communities are hurting, our people are divided, and there’s fear and uncertainty all around us. Let’s join together and do the most important thing: pray!”

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

The Downside of Amendment 2

Nicole Chapman and Anthony Sexton discuss the ramifications of Amendment 2, raising Florida's minimum wage, which will appear on the November ballot.
At our September 14 meeting, speakers Nicole Chapman and Anthony Sexton discussed the downside of the proposed Amendment 2, gradually raising the minimum wage throughout Florida to $15 per hour by 2026. Ms. Chapman is Director of the N.E. Division of the Florida Restaurant and Lodging Association, and Mr. Sexton owns and operates the Victorian House Bed and Breakfast in downtown St. Augustine. While raising the minimum wage may sound like a good idea, they admitted, the repercussions of it to both business owners and employees have been damaging where it has been enacted (New York, Seattle, San Francisco). The burden to business owners will be magnified as they struggle already to recover from the virus shutdowns. For more information, visit Amendment2HurtsYou.com.

Thursday, September 10, 2020

September Is Suicide Prevention Month

Florida's Senator Rick Scott drew attention in his latest newsletter to resources available for those considering suicide--a problem that has only grown larger in the U.S. during the virus lockdowns. Senator Scott co-sponsored a bill to designate 9-8-8 as a nationwide suicide prevention and mental health hotline, but that bill is awaiting passage in the U.S. House.

Here are some current resources he recommends if you or someone you know is in distress.

In cases of a life-threatening emergency, call 9-1-1 immediately.
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
The Lifeline provides 24/7, free and confidential support for people in distress, prevention and crisis resources for you or your loved ones and best practices for professionals. Call 1-800-273 TALK (8255)
Crisis Text Line
If you’re uncomfortable talking on the phone, the text line provides free crisis support at your fingertips.Text HOME to 741741 to connect to a free, trained counselor. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2020

The Truth About Amendment 3

RPOF Chairman Joe Gruters warns Republicans to beware of Amendment 3 on the November ballot. It seeks to eliminate Florida's two-party system of closed primaries and throw the primaries open to all registered voters, with the two top-scoring candidates--even if from the same party--going on to compete in the general election. This is dangerous for a number of reasons, as detailed by Matthew Isbell here. Take a few minutes to read about the schemes behind this proposed amendment and spread the word.

Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Enlist in the Army for Trump

The Trump campaign offers a variety of ways for individuals to help Donald J. win another four years in November. 

Check them out at Army for Trump to see if one is right for you!

Friday, August 28, 2020

A Convention to Remember

The Republican National Convention wrapped up late last night with President Trump's acceptance speech as the Republican candidate for the 2020 election. And what a convention this was. Far from being hampered by the limitations of the corona virus, the campaign staff took advantage of the opportunity to film pieces in a variety of historic locations, such as Lincoln's boyhood home and Baltimore's Fort McHenry. An impressive variety of speakers from all walks of life testified to President Trump's startling accomplishments over the last 3 1/2 years.

To top it off, last night's grand finale served up colossal fireworks over the Washington Monument as well as a triumphant rendition of Nessun Dorma sung by New York tenor Christopher Macchio from the White House balcony. (The concluding words of the aria are, appropriately, "At dawn, I shall win!") Once again, President Trump and his team have succeeded in inspiring the country toward great things.


Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Know Your Ballot Questions

Did you know that Florida voters will weigh in on six issues that will appear on the ballot at the November elections? The most debated may be the one that would hike the minimum wage, but the question about going to "open" primary elections is also significant. An article from the Tallahassee Democrat describes the proposed constitutional amendments. (Don't worry, the paper was not named for the party but after "the true and tried doctrines of old-time democracy of our Fathers," according to its founder.)   

(If you are using a smart phone, hit "View web version" at the bottom of your screen to see additional page content.)

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

On to November


Almost 30 percent of St. Johns County voters participated in the August 18 primary elections. Results for all offices, per the Supervisor of Elections, are posted here. We congratulate the winners and turn our sights now to the general election.

If you wish to vote by mail, check out the how-to for SJC residents here.

Need a Trump yard sign? We've got 'em! Come to the club's September meeting (details to be announced) to pick up yours for a small donation.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Strickland Speaks at August Meeting

Chris Strickland, candidate in this month's Republican primary for the office of Sheriff of St. Johns County, addressed the Republican Club's members and guests at the August 10 meeting. Mr. Strickland answered questions from the moderator (the same ones candidate Rob Hardwick answered at the July meeting), and also took some questions from the audience.

The club also conducted its own elections, normally held in April of each year. The new slate of officers is Pete Royal, President; Marty Miller, VP; Tom Rivers, Treasurer; and Marlene Zullig, Secretary. Thank you for serving. 

(If you are using a smart phone, hit "View web version" at the bottom of your screen to see additional page content.)
 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Candidate $ Reports Available

This is a lively political season in St. Johns County, with several hot primaries coming up in August between Republican candidates. Among all the hard-hitting direct-mail pieces you might be receiving from the campaigns, you could be wondering where to find more info on the candidates. 

You can find financial and donor info on each candidate at the county's Election Office web site. You can see their total campaign funds as well as a detailed list of their donors (including their profession/industry). 

Please post a comment if you'd like to share other unbiased sources of reliable candidate info. Thanks!
 

Monday, July 20, 2020

Ancient City Boaters Sponsor Trump Flotilla

Earlier event off Pinellas County, FL. Photo Fox4 KDFW.
Coming up on Saturday, August 1, the Ancient City Boaters for Trump 2020 Flotilla will sail up the Matanzas River in St. Johns County. It will start at the 312 bridge and head north. See the Ancient City Boaters Facebook page for details, either to add your boat to the parade or to cheer it on.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Recap: Sheriff Candidates' Debate

Candidates Chris Strickland (center) and Rob Hardwick (right) await the start of the debate. Moderator Roy Bode in foreground, July 15, 2020, at the St. Augustine Shrine Club.
Our July 15 debate between primary candidates for the St. Johns County Sheriff's Office was unexpectedly brief last night, following what the St. Augustine Record termed a "dust-up" between retiring Sheriff David Shoar and members of candidate Chris Strickland's team. Mr. Strickland and his team left the hall quickly following the incident, which occurred early in the evening's program. Candidate Rob Hardwick remained on stage to answer questions from the moderator and from the audience.

We regret that attendees did not receive the full benefit of a debate, but we appreciate all who made the effort to attend.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Sheriff Candidates Debate Issues at July Meeting

The July meeting of the RCGSA features a moderated debate between candidates Rob Hardwick and Chris Strickland, running in the August primary for the office of St. Johns County Sheriff. 

It all happens Wednesday evening, July 15, 2020. Doors open for socializing at 6:00 p.m., with the meeting & program at 7 p.m. Masks will be required to attend. Rules regarding capacity will be observed at the event, with maximum attendance of 150. Attendees' temperature will be taken at the door, and seating will be arranged to allow for proper social distancing. 

Please join us at the newly renovated Shrine Club, 250 Brainard Road, St. Augustine (off U.S. 1 South, just south of Moultrie Creek). Free parking. 

Note: No food will be served at this event, but the bar will be open for purchase of canned and bottled beverages.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

COVID Data for St. Johns County

St. Augustine Beach in St. Johns County. Photo by A. Doyle
The Florida Department of Health web site offers some interesting numbers for the virus activity in our state AND for our county. Click on the "Cases by County" tab on the bottom of that web page for the SJC data. 

As of today (7-7-2020), St. Johns County (population 264,000+) has had 1,409 people test positive for COVID-19. Seventy-eight have been hospitalized for the virus, and only 8 have died. If you click on the "Health Metrics" tab at the bottom of the Department of Health web page, you'll see that emergency room visits in our county for COVID-like illnesses have been flat from 6/21/20 to 6/28/20.

So, while the media continues to paint a very dark picture of the virus situation, especially in Florida, this data helps to put our county's situation in a clearer light.

To your health!

(If you are using a smart phone, hit "View web version" at the bottom of your screen to see additional page content.) 


Tuesday, June 16, 2020

Thanks to the Commissioner

The club extends its thanks to SJC Commissioner Jimmy Johns for speaking to guests and members at the June 15 meeting regarding his perspective on current issues in the county. Also, we appreciate all the new members who joined the RCGSA that evening and the many guests and candidates who attended. 

You can find all the latest info on the upcoming elections on the St. Johns County election web page, -- everything from who your elected officials currently are, to candidate information, to how to register.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Republican Club Reconvenes; Change in Program

After a hiatus due to the pandemic, the Republican Club of Greater St. Augustine reconvenes this month (June 2020) in a new venue. Unfortunately, we are not able to hold the debate we had planned between St. Johns County Commissioner Jimmy Johns and challenger Christian Whitehurst due to a scheduling issue for Mr. Whitehurst. Instead, Mr. Johns will be our featured speaker.

The new location is the Growers Alliance Cafe, known for their outstanding Kenyan coffee, located at 322 Anastasia Blvd., St. Augustine. Doors will open at 6 p.m. on Monday evening, June 15, and attendees may from the coffeeshop's menu of sandwiches, pastries, beer, wine, and coffee.  

Guests, visitors: $5 per person (does not include food)
Members: No charge (does not include food)
Membership in the RCGSA is $30 per year for a couple, $20 individual, and $5 student. Dues may be paid at the meeting by cash or check (made payable to RCGSA).

Friday, April 24, 2020

Keeping the Faith

Residents enjoy the re-opening of Butler Beach
We are looking forward to getting together once again at the club's next meeting, which will be scheduled as soon as we're allowed to do that. :-)  As usual, the club will send emails to notify members when that happens, and this web page will show all the details.

In the meantime, we are grateful that our county commission has opened our beloved beaches during the morning hours (6 a.m. to noon) every day for walking, swimming, and other "active" activities. (Guess I'll have to wait a little longer to sit in my beach chair and work my favorite word finds.) Still, it feels great to stroll along the surf once again, and even grab some to-go food afterward to support our local merchants!

Be sure to wear your Trump hats and proudly display your Trump 2020 bumper stickers to show our continued support for the President and his handling of this crisis. His critics, as always, have been loud and numerous--let's show that they do not speak for all Americans.

Take care, and we hope to see you soon!

(If you are using a smart phone, hit "View web version" at the bottom of your screen to see additional page content.)

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Good Info from Mayor Upchurch

Tracy Upchurch, Mayor of the City of St. Augustine, joined the RCGSA at O.C. White's for the March 10 club meeting. He updated us on a variety of projects around the city, including possible plans for future development at the Broudy Liquor site at U.S. 1 and King Street as well as behind the Target store on U.S. 1. The Mayor also discussed the city's effort to possibly acquire downtown King Street, which now belongs to the Florida DOT, in order for the city to make its own decisions on how to handle that corridor in the future. We appreciate the mayor taking time to talk to the club and field a wide variety of questions from members.

(If you are using a smart phone, hit "View web version" at the bottom of your screen to see additional page content.)

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Special arrangements for March meeting

Our March 10 meeting, featuring the mayor of St. Augustine (see sidebar) will take place at the popular O.C. White's Restaurant in downtown St. Augustine, just south of the Bridge of Lions. Where to park? No problem. O.C. White's has reserved 60 spaces for our attendees in their lot on Marine Street, first come, first served. So arrive by 5:30 p.m. to get your parking spot and have time to socialize before the program begins at 6:30. See you there!

Reminder: Dues are (past) due! Membership in the Republican Club of GSA continues to be a great value, at just $30 per couple, $20 individual, and $5 for students for the year. If you have not yet paid for 2020, please bring dues to the next meeting, in cash or check (make checks payable to RCGSA). Remember, you must be a paid-up member to vote in the April election of club officers. Thank you! 

(If you are using a smart phone, hit "View web version" at the bottom of your screen to see additional page content.)


Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Bringing new LIFE to Florida

UPDATE: The parental consent bill passed in the FL legislature on 2/20/2020 and is headed for the Governor's desk! A big "thank you" to our FL reps and senators.
 
A brand new group, Florida Voice for the Unborn, has formed in Tallahassee to promote pro-life legislation in our state. Now under discussion in the capitol is the parental consent law, rightly requiring a parent's permission before a minor can have an abortion. You can find out how to help pro-life legislation get passed in Florida by following the group on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest, all @UnbornVoiceFL. Or visit their website at FloridaVoiceForTheUnborn.com.

Friday, February 14, 2020

New! Republican HQ on North Ponce de Leon Blvd


Come check out the new Republican campaign headquarters, where you can volunteer to help staff the office or get trained for getting out the Republican vote this election. Address: 3149 North Ponce de Leon Blvd in St. Augustine, in the Depot Plaza just north of SR 16. Phone them at 904-717-2016.


They are holding a Trump Victory Leadership Initiative training session at the HQ on February 19 at 7:30 pm, followed by a MAGA meet-up party to watch the Trump rally. Call to reserve your spot. 


Also, RPOF Regional Director Sheila Sweeney conducts one-on-one training for phone bank and door knocking out of the HQ, and you can text her or email her to set up a convenient time: 239-440-4353 or ssweeney@flvictory.com.


You can follow the St. Johns County Republican Party on Facebook at @SJCREC. 


Please consider volunteering--every little bit makes a difference


Friday, February 7, 2020

Good Things Happening

--The St. Augustine March for Life was a huge success this year with what was widely observed to be the largest turnout ever. Thanks to all those who worked on the event, all who joined in the march, and all those who prayed for its success.

--In case you didn't hear, President Trump was fully acquitted this week of both articles of impeachment. 

--If you did not get to listen to the President's outstanding State of the Union Address last Tuesday evening, you can watch it here. Spoiler alert: A very surprised Rush Limbaugh, sitting in the gallery that night, was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom on the spot. Congratulations, Rush!

 

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Saturday, Jan. 18: March for Life St. Augustine!

Put on your walking shoes this Saturday, January 18, and join the annual March for Life, beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the Mission Nombre de Dios on San Marco Avenue, just north of downtown St. Augustine. There will be short speeches before the peaceful march down San Marco and Saint George streets, ending with the keynote speech from the gazebo at the Plaza de la Constitucion. Signs are provided for those who wish to carry one. Go here for all the details. 

Donations of disposable diapers are welcomed for use in area pregnancy centers.

If you are unable to join in, please pray for the effectiveness of this witness to the many residents and visitors who will be downtown that day. 

Monday, January 6, 2020

Happy 2020

We wish all our members a happy start to the new year. This will be the time to put our shoulders to the wheel to hang on to the Presidency and put more Republicans in office at the fall elections. Spread the word, sport some bumper stickers, and find out about volunteer opportunities at the meetings. 🐘