OPINION: SCOTT FRANKLIN,
THE BETTER OPTION
By JEAN LEFFLER
They're all the same: corrupt politicians that is. When California Republican Congressman Duncan Hunter learned of a federal investigation into his campaign finance woes, he brushed off criticism as a Democratic plot to undermine his re-election. But soon chorus of Republican voices joined in as well to condemn his unruly behavior following his indictment. Republican Darrell Issa, a former Congressman from southern California, now seems to be in a very good position to claim victory following Hunter's resignation.
A similarly disappointing saga of events is unfolding right before our very eyes in our own Congressional district 15 in Clermont and surrounding communities. Incumbent Ross Spano accepted roughly $180,000 in cash from friends which he allegedly funneled to his own campaign as a loan, a violation of the $2,700 limit per cycle. Some claim the Congressman merely made an error and that his mistake - albeit a self-reported one - did not arise out of nefarious intent. However, whether through incompetency or illegally-minded motives, the kind of judgement displayed by the seat's current occupant leads any reasonable onlooker to ask what else he might be hiding.
Regardless of whether Mr. Spano harbored criminal intent or not, his record as a conservative is shaky. For example, as a member of the Florida House of Representatives, Spano supported tuition for illegal immigrants. In addition, Spano voted against funding President Trump's border wall (see: H.R. 1158 and H.R. 1865). But why shouldn't he? Spano enjoys much more in common with illegal aliens than many in his district: as a career politician, he knows what it's like to live off government assistance; and, as a violator of campaign finance law (something he's admitted to), Spano feels right at home with those who feel a need to 'skip the line' to get ahead.
It is time to put a real conservative back into office in Congressional district 15. Scott Franklin, Ross Spano's primary opponent, served in the US Navy as a fighter pilot and re-activated in the military following 9/11 to serve and protect our nation. A family man and father of three children, Franklin is also a man of faith and attends First Presbyterian Church of Lakeland. He is active in the community and has served in a variety of roles and organizations including the Lakeland Economic Development Council, the Lakeland Rotary Club, the Lakeland Chamber of Commerce, the Lakeland Downtown Development Authority, the Central Florida Speech and Hearing Center, and the Barney Barnett School of Business and Free Enterprise at Florida Southern College.
Among his many hobbies, Franklin remains an active pilot today and continues to fly on a regular basis. With Scott Franklin at the controls of Congressional district 15, constituents can rest easy that their representative will take our nation and community to new heights.
Of course, the ultimate decision lies with the voters, and whomever they choose - as always - we wish the best of luck as they work to serve us in Washington, D.C.
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