The Water Cooler: Sam’s pal Kevin White; 11th Dist. love fest; mending fences X2

The Water Cooler is a snapshot view of some of the things people are talking about in politics

By Chris Ingram

Sam Rashid: the gift that keeps on giving (in more ways than one)

I felt a little sadness last night now that the Primary Election is over and Sam Rashid’s Hillsborough County Commission candidate Josh Burgin lost to Mark Sharpe. I mean, what am I going to do for columns? I feel like a late night comic mourning the loss of Dan Quayle being in office.

But Sam doesn’t disappoint. He is the gift that keeps on giving.

And not just to people who write political columns.

To Kevin White too!

Yeah, Kevin White the disgraced liberal Democrat who can’t keep his noodle in his pants. Sam Rashid likes him too. Not as much as he liked Josh Burgin mind you — Sam only gave White a grand, versus like thirty Gs to Josh.  But boy, when I saw this contribution I thought to myself (plant tongue in cheek here), “That dear old Sam. He’s such a consistent conservative, always looking out for what’s best for me and my fellow Hillsborough County citizens, and conservative Republicans. I know when he gave a thousand bucks to Kevin White it was probably filled with fatherly encouragement from Sam about how White should get his life in order and live and work and represent fellow conservatives in a manner any God-fearing, blue-blooded, Reagan-loving, train-loathing, anti-tax, Red Bull drinkin’, conservative like Sam would want in the form of representation from the dumbest, most liberal, and by far most embarrassing member of the county commission.”

Then my phone rang and I awoke from this day dream. Reality reminded me Sam Rashid is not some altruistic, conservative ideologue with core beliefs. No, Sam Rashid is out for Sam Rashid and being a king-making, puppeteer for whatever self-interest, ego-gratifying reasons this little man from Brandon needs to feel important.

It is what it is. And like everything in politics, if you’re patient and you follow the money, the story tells itself.

See Sam’s contributions to White for yourself by clicking here to view White’s finance report as shown by the Hillsborough County Supervisor of Elections office. Rashid and his company Holtec are both listed on the report. Note both contributions were made just days ago — long after all of White’s antics were exposed. There’s no “I didn’t realize he was a dirtbag” excuse here for Sam.

11th District GOP candidates sing “Kumbaya”

Tony Buntyn, who ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination for the 11th Congressional District e-mailed me this afternoon to tell me he and fellow losing candidate Eddie Adams met with Mike Prendergast to show candidate unity for the man who won the G.O.P. nomination to face Kathy Castor in November. The fourth candidate in the race Tommy Castellano was unable to attend the meeting due to a prior committment. Others suggested they believe he is right on board the “unity” team but I was not able to confirm this.

It’s nice to see this type of spirited cooperation from the defeated candidates to help the victor. It is not something you see in politics every day. Reason is, all four of these guys ran totally issues based campaigns. No negative mail. Not even a nasty whisper campaign as far as I can tell. That makes making nice-nice a lot easier after the votes are counted.

When some winning candidate like Dana Young or Jim Norman shamelessly engage in calling their conservative opponents a liberal during the race, you can understand why their defeated opponents don’t want to go out and give them a big hug the day after losing the election. Or in the case of Sandy Murman challenging her opponent’s “leadership” — when said opponent was a Marine Corp officer who lead soldiers in Iraq while she was organizing car washes for charities – making nice-nice is not to be immediately expected.

Shame on those who engage in this gutter politics, and congratulations to the 11th District G.O.P. candidates for running clean campaigns!

Roush Rushes to Rick

Hillsborough County G.O.P. Chair Deborah Cox-Roush told me this afternoon she is “200 percent behind Rick Scott.” DCR (as Ms. Roush is fondly referred to by local party activists) gets it. Let’s hope 66 other county party chairs do too and  that they use their influence to rally the grassroots behind Rick Scott. The alternative is a a big government, pro-union, liberal who probably wants to tax you out of house and home – of course she won’t tell you that until after she’s elected. Heck, she’s probably even pals with Sam Rashid.

Along similar lines, I spoke to former RNC National Finance Chair Al Hoffman on Tuesday and asked him a hypothetical question about “what if Rick Scott wins the Primary?” Hoffman who was a McCollum supporter said, “I’ll support him and the grassroots better vote for him too – he’s still better than any Democrat.”

Mr. Scott, you ought to give Al Hoffman a call. He can help you unify this party…

David’s redemption

David Campo who earlier this week proclaimed himself to be one of the top three most important political puppeteers in Hillsborough County (my words, not his) e-mailed me and apologized for his actions/proclomations the other day. Apology accepted. It showed some class owning up to the mistake. Lord knows we all make ‘em.

Chris Ingram is the president and founder of 411 Communications a corporate and political communications firm, and publisher of Ingram is a frequent pundit on Fox News and CNN, and has written opinion columns for the Washington Times, UPI, Front Page Florida, and National Review online. E-mail him at: [email protected].

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