Rubio Meets Collier Republican Leaders

Left to Right: Chad Gillenwater, Christina Davidow, Jim Carter, Ron Kezeske, Mary Waller, Erika Donalds, Diane Van Parys, Elaine Stevens, Nanetter Rivera, Mike Lyster, Senator Marco Rubio Russell Tuff, Jan Face-Glassman, Carol Manning, Cliff Donenfeld, Bill Poteet, Jane Brown, Glenn Brown

Senator Marco Rubio joined Collier Republicans to talk about the important issues facing Florida and the nations. His priorities included Water, Small Business, and China.

Water became more important than just an environmental issue for constituents, it became an economic issue as well. His goal is to put into place a sustainable funding source that can clean the waters of Florida and restore some water flows.

Small Business was stated as the backbone of the American economy, and while big business gets all of the news coverage, he wanted to make sure we make it easier for small business owners to start and/or grow their businesses. This is where the majority of jobs will be now and in the future.

China had dominance in the world for centuries, and lost that strength over the past few centuries and is waging an effort to retake that prominent place in the world. There needs to be trade that is fair and protection against China’s current efforts to steal technology and ideas from US companies.

A Question and Answer period followed and topics included health care, immigration, the wall, Iraninan waivers, and family leave.

After the meeting, the campaign committee met with J.R. Sanchez, Senior Policy Advisor and Director of Outreach of Rubio’s team. Discussions included press releases, the emergency declaration, the good Rubio and Trump relationship.

It was determined to have teleconferences with campaign folks to provide a more coordinated effort on outreach. More sessions were in the works.

Encouraging Conservative Dialogue

Diane Van Parys, President of Republican Women of SWFL Federated (RWSFF), shares Turning Point USA with the young Conservatives and discussed efforts underway at Ave Maria University and Barron Collier High School to start Chapters

By Connie Ross

As Republicans, we believe in retaining principles of the past worth retaining, while always being receptive to new ideas with an outlook broad enough to accommodate thoughtful change and varying points of view. Throughout history, some of the best and brightest ideas were formed through scholarly socials.

During George Washington’s two terms as president, Martha Washington established a weekly salon that was open to anyone who wished to attend. Her salons were social gatherings with a focus on scholarly discussion. They became well known for the diverse nature of the attendees. “Martha Washington’s Salons were often referred to as the Republican Court, where many high-profile dignitaries attended to discuss prevalent issues and topics including social, political, scientific, economic, and literary innovations. The Salon acted as a market place of ideas and was symbolic of the need to galvanize discussion of educated thoughts that encouraged the use of knowledge and logic along with differing opinions.” – Christy McLaughlin

Inspired by Martha’s model, on April 13, 2019, Christy Marie McLaughlin hosted an evening of Wit, Wisdom and Whimsy titled “Martha Washington Salon”. Christy said, “The objective of Martha Washington Salon was youth outreach to Republicans to stimulate education and research.  I invited several respected individuals who represent a variety of Republican clubs to create a point of contact for the young conservatives in attendance.  The goal is to promote education/research, professional development, and stewardship.”

Professor Daniella Palmiotto discusses social topics with Ave Maria Law School students and Conservative Republicans in Naples

Republicans representing various committees and ages attended to support the launch of this newest addition to the Collier County Republican scene. Christy’s “Salon” was decorated patriotically and included a Betsy Ross flag. While not so much in the flesh, James Madison and John Adams showed up for photo ops. Martha Washington’s secret recipe cocktail, that certainly must have been the secret behind George’s never telling a lie, was served, and wondering guests were able to consult with a Mount Vernon Fortune Teller.

Approximately forty attendees drew from mason jars filled with probing questions used to lead conversation in small-group speed-round-robin discussions. Topics included Florida’s impact on WWII (host-Lois Bolin) Law, Ethics, and Morality (host- Ave Maria’s Professor of Commercial Law and Business, Daniella Palmiotto) Julian Assange, and the current college admissions scandal. I’ve concluded I desperately need to binge-watch 8 seasons of Game of Thrones after I found myself completely out of the loop in perhaps the most fervent discussion of the evening… BTW, what does that White Walker spiral mean?

Participants were enthusiastic about the launch of an open dialogue forum where people engaged in an authentic exchange of ideas about diverse issues. Taylor Mathews said, “As a second-year law student, the Martha Washington Salon was a wonderful opportunity to share good food and hearty discussion outside of the classroom. With several students and members of the community in attendance, it made for a truly great event.” Alyssa Porta “believes the Martha Washington Salon was a well put together event. Christy brought people of all ages and backgrounds together for a night of great discussion. It was awesome having this opportunity for people my age to connect over the fact we all love America and being Conservatives!”

Another event is expected to take place in the fall, and Rosemary McAvoy is looking forward to supporting Christy as she expands her concept. “I was inspired by Christy McLaughlin, a young woman with a great vision to encourage open dialogue that resurrects one of the original ways democracy emerged among our founding mothers and fathers. In this divisive world, we desperately need forums where we can candidly and civilly discuss perspectives.”

Diane Van Parys commended Christy for organizing and hosting the 1st “Martha Washington Salon” in Naples.  “Christy wanted to bring together Conservatives of all ages for Conversation and Sharing of Experiences in the Conservative movement.  The Professors from Ave Maria Law School added so much to the conversation about the issues of today.”

I am proud to support Christy and the revival of Martha Washington Salon. In an age of political discourse, it is refreshing to know that we can contribute to mending our democracy by following the original salon model established by our nation’s first lady.

Christy Marie McLaughlin

About the Organizer

Christy Marie McLaughlin is a second-year student at Ave Maria School of Law and dedicated Conservative Republican. Since 2016 Christy has been actively involved in the Republican Party across Southwest Florida. Christy worked for the Republican Party of Florida during the 2018 election cycle.

She is currently on the Republican Executive Committee of Collier County, serving as a youth outreach member, and is the Young Republicans of Southwest Florida Collier County Chair. Christy recently established the Republican National Lawyer’s Association Chapter at Ave Maria School of Law and was President for the 2018-2019 academic years. This year she founded the scholarly-based social group “Martha Washington Salon.”


Rooney, Hastings, Mast, and Mucarsel-Powell Lead Bipartisan Florida Delegation Letters to Fully Fund Everglades Restoration

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Francis Rooney led two letters to the House Appropriations Committee, urging House appropriators to fully fund Everglades restoration and water quality infrastructure projects. Joining Rooney in sending the letters were Representatives Alcee Hastings (D-FL), Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D-FL), Brian Mast (R-FL), Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), Bill Posey (R-FL), Al Lawson (D-FL), Darren Soto (D-FL), Ted Deutch (D-FL), Val Demings (D-FL), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Donna Shalala (D-FL), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Lois Frankel (D-FL), Michael Waltz (R-FL), Charlie Crist (D-FL), W. Gregory Steube (R-FL), Ted S. Yoho (R-FL), Vern Buchanan (R-FL), and Matt Gaetz (R-FL).

“The single biggest issue impacting our Southwest Florida community is water quality,” said Rooney. “Over the past two years, we have been successful in obtaining nearly $1.1 billion for repairs to the Herbert Hoover Dike and Everglades restoration. It is critical that we maintain these funding levels so that we may speed up the projects necessary to fix our water. Just last week, I was with President Trump at Lake Okeechobee receiving an update on these repairs and I stressed the importance of federal funding to fix our waters. Clean water is key to our economy and ecology in southwest Florida. I will continue working with my colleagues from Florida to fix our water quality.”

“For the third year in a row, President Trump’s budget has cut federal funding for Everglades restoration,” said Hastings. “So much of South Florida’s quality of life depends on the Everglades. More than 8 million Floridians rely on this national treasure for their water supply, and the sawgrass prairies and mangrove forests are home to numerous vulnerable, threatened, and endangered species. It is critical for the Florida Delegation to stand united against anything that slows down Everglades restoration. This is not some impossible problem that we cannot solve. We can solve it with bipartisan support and full funding from the federal government.”

“We in South Florida are speaking with one voice to tell the Trump Administration that the federal government needs to fulfill its commitment to our constituents by providing the necessary funding for Everglades restoration,” said Mucarsel-Powell. “There is bipartisan support to fully fund Army Corps of Engineers projects for the Everglades at $200 million, and if President Trump was being sincere when he visited Lake Okeechobee about protecting our water, our environment, and creating new jobs, he should fully fund Everglades restoration programs.”

“The federal government needs to step up with a strong funding commitment for infrastructure projects that are critical to Florida’s environment, economy and public health, especially now that Governor DeSantis has made state matching funds for these projects a top priority,” said Mast. “We also cannot allow misguided red tape and bureaucracy to stand in the way of Everglades restoration, which is why we are requesting a $150 million increase in funding for the environmental restoration construction account that has been used by the Army Corps to fund projects like the C-44 Reservoir and Kissimmee River restoration. This has bipartisan support and is absolutely critical to stopping harmful discharges, toxic algal blooms and the continued destruction of the Everglades.”