Reasons for Michael Waltz over Fred Costello for CD6

YouTube download / Fred 4US video / Fred Costello, a candidate for the 6th Congressional District vying for the GOP nomination in the Aug. 28 Primary blasts fellow GOP candidate Michael Waltz in an appearance before the Southeast Volusia Republican Club in New Smyrna Beach earlier this month in response to a campaign mailer he found offensive.

 
Stan Escudero / Headline SurferBy STAN ESCUDERO
Column: The Guidepost
Headline Surfer

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -- Like many of you I was disturbed at our luncheon last month in New Smyrna Beach when Fred Costello passionately denied as false several charges which Micheal Waltz' campaign made against him in a mailed flyer.

Then I was taken aback by Col. Bob McKeen's highly personal email attack on Waltz for spreading what Bob regards as lies about Fred.

I know both Fred and Bob as honorable men, which made their statements especially troubling to me because I support Michael Waltz in this race and would not want to be linked to someone who would foster intentional falsehoods, particularly about another Republican. So I took the time and trouble to investigate the basis for Waltz' claims regarding Fred.These are the facts as I found them:

CHARGE: Fred supports giving in-state tuition to the children of illegal immigrants.
BASIS: In 2012, when he was in the state legislature in Tallahassee, Fred co-sponsored House Bill 441 which would allow children of illegal immigrants, children not born in the United States and who are not US citizens, to receive in-state tuition at Florida colleges and universities. You may Google the bill and read the text for yourselves.
 
CHARGE: Fred Gave money to liberal campaigns.
BASIS: A search of the Florida Elections website reveals that Fred made four campaign contributions to Democrat Doug Miles, three to Democrat Carl Persis and one to Democrat Susan Kosmas. In fairness to Fred, I believe that he has amended his position to say that he has never contributed to a Democrat running for federal office, but that does not alter the fact that Waltz' charge is accurate.
 
CHARGE: Fred Raised property taxes by almost 30% and utility bills by $137.00.
BASIS: This refers to Fred's service as Mayor of Ormond. In his statement to the Southeast Volusia Club, Fred admitted that he did indeed raise taxes and costs in order to fund projects which he believed were needed by the city. I do not question Fred's judgement on the need for these projects, although he did write an op-ed in strong support of Sun-Rail, but the fact remains that, as Waltz said, he did raise taxes. And that got me to wondering if there were instances while serving in Tallahassee when Fred might also have voted to raise taxes. Interestingly, on Aug. 3, 2012, Fred was praised by the St. Augustine Record for refusing to sign a "no new taxes" pledge. On Aug. 5, 2012, that same newspaper reported favorably that Fred claimed to have "lobbied hard for increased spending" for government projects he deemed necessary. While in Tallahassee in 2011 Fred co-sponsored House Bill 995 and in 2012 House Bill 1181 which, among other things, increase sales taxes. I understand that he was at that time also in favor of an internet sales tax. Fred claims to have helped cut $6 billion from the 2011-2012 State of Florida budget but, in that budgetary year, our state budget actually increased by $500 million. So the best that can be said is that Fred helped to reduce the rate of budgetary growth, but that is NOT a cut. It would not be fair to call Fred a big spender but he certainly did support tax increases in several cases.
 
CHARGE: Fred had his NRA rating revoked for fighting gun control.
BASIS: Checking with the NRA, they changed Fred's "A" rating to "?" I recall that Fred admitted this in his statement to the South East Volusia Club.
So it would seem that the facts support the accuracy of Michael Waltz' charges after all. But it is not Fred's record that led me to support Michael Waltz.

Honestly, I was not even aware of these issues until I began looking into them after Fred's speech and Bob's email message. I have the highest respect for Fred as a man and as a civic leader. If he wins the primary, I will do everything I can to support him against the Clinton retread whom I expect the Democrats to nominate. But I decided not to support Fred in the primary election for two reasons:

• He is too old to remain in Congress long enough to gain the position and influence needed to have real policy influence or to bring home any substantial bacon for our District;

• And he was not a strong team player in Tallahassee, a pattern which, if continued in Washington, would relegate him to the back benches and deny him the influential committee and subcommittee assignments which our congressional representative will need to further our district, state and national interests.

I have come to know Michael Waltz pretty well. Like me, he first supported other Republican candidates for the presidency. But, again like me, he got behind Donald Trump as soon as he won the nomination and has become a convinced and enthusiastic believer in the Trump agenda as exactly what is needed to resurrect America.

He has the experience, the tools, the understanding and the political and media contacts to land running in Washington and to quickly develop a position of influence well beyond what a freshman congressman could expect. In light of what the Democrats have in store for our President if they take control of the House in November, we will need our strongest possible champions in Washington, now and in the future. I think Michael Waltz is that man for us.

Michael Walt and Stan Escudero at the Lincoln Dinner in Daytona / Headline SurferHeadline Surfer photo / Stan Escudero is shown in the forefront with Congrressional 6 candidate Michael Waltz seated behind to his left at the Lincoln Dinner at the Ocean Cen Center in Daytona Beach, the main fundraising function of the Volusia C ounty Republican Party.

I have come to know Michael Waltz pretty well.  Like me, he first supported other Republican candidates for the presidency. But, again like me, he got behind Donald Trump as soon as he won the nomination and has become a convinced and enthusiastic believer in the Trump agenda as exactly what is needed to resurrect America.

He has the experience, the tools, the understanding and the political and media contacts to land running in Washington and to quickly develop a position of influence well beyond what a freshman congressman could expect. In light of what the Democrats have in store for our President if they take control of the House in November, we will need our strongest possible champions in Washington, now and in the future. I think Michael Waltz is that man for us.

But whomever you vote for in the primary, now is the time to put aside the vitriol, the personal attacks, and other negativity.

Remember Ronald Reagan's Eleventh Commandment, "Thou shalt not speak ill of another Republican". Let us all agree to devote total support to our eventual Republican nominee and send him to Washington with strict instructions to fight alongside President Trump to save our country from socialist ruin. If we cannot hold the House and the Senate the Dems will move to impeach the President and wreck his pro-American agenda.

By sending the right man to Congress and doing all possible to elect Rick Scott to the Senate we will play our part. We must not be found wanting. The fate of the nation depends upon us and on voters like us.

Best regards,

Stan Escudero, 
The Guidepost
Aug. 22, 2018
 
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Short Bio

The Guidepost By Stanley Escudero
Stanley Escudero is a retired career diplomat, businessman & native Floridian, who lives in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, with his wife, Jaye. He served as chairman of the Volusia County Republican Executive Committee in 2011-2012. Escudero was appointed to the Daytona State College Board of Trustees in 2015, By Gov. Rick Scott. Escudero, writer of the 'The Guidepost' politcal column since 2010, is a member of the inaugural Class of 2017 Headline Surfer Hall of Fame. All news content copyright-protected intellectual property of NSB News LLC, which may not be duplicated or re-published in whole or in part without advance approval of the publisher. Headline Surfer® is published by award-winning journalist Henry Frederick.