Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Better Know Chris Chiari - Chat Transcript

Chris Chiari stopped by to chat with us and we discussed things such as the upcoming special session, education, property insurance, and election reform.

[ChrisChiari] The clock strikes 7:30 ask away
[ChrisChiari] This is really a round about way of testing my spelling and grammar skills.
[JonBlumberg] lol
[Jennifer] Well, first of all I want to thank you for being here!
[ChrisChiari] your welcome and thank you for inviting me
[JonBlumberg] what do you think the most important news was today
[ChrisChiari] I would say that it is the news that Countrywide is struggling
[ChrisChiari] we are facing a crisis in realestate
[ChrisChiari] my background is in Finance and Economics
[JonBlumberg] i didnt read about that
[ChrisChiari] The trouble we are facing statewide in the reduction in collected state revenue is all related to the slowdown in home sales and decreasing values
[ChrisChiari] the story broke after the markets closed
[JonBlumberg] should i vote for the constitutional amendment in january?
[ChrisChiari] No
[Jennifer] In September, the Florida Legislature is having another special session with a focus on cutting the budget - what do you think got us into this situation. As a follow-up, it looks like they are going to let PIP expire ... so I'd like you're thoughts on that as well.
[ChrisChiari] It is hard to ask someone to vote against their own self interest
[ChrisChiari] but the fact remains that the madated cuts are not be thought through
[ChrisChiari] The Republican leadership is shooting from the hip
[ChrisChiari] we need common sense in our leadership
[JonBlumberg] what would you do differently
[ChrisChiari] I think that the number were starting to come in during the regular session
[ChrisChiari] weakness revenue collection should not be a suprise to any elected official in Tallahassee
[ChrisChiari] as you can see I think faster then I can type
[JonBlumberg] what would you do differently
[ChrisChiari] I am going to slow down and type a longer answer so please be patient
[JonBlumberg] as far as the cuts
[JonBlumberg] ok
[ChrisChiari] We are in this current situation because of a lack of vision in leadership. Speaker Rubio wants to run our state his way. Keep in mind that most of the former Gov.'s senior staff went on to work for Speaker Rubio.
[ChrisChiari] They are the brains in charge of the state.
[ChrisChiari] It is a continuation of the policy of leading for large Corp. interests over the needs of Floridians.
[ChrisChiari] Pip is a perfect example
[ChrisChiari] Letting PIP sunset will do more for the bottom line on the largest Insurance Co's but will leave working Floridians with out access to rehabilitative care and lost wage coverage.
[Tom] What are we looking at if PIP sunsets ?
[ChrisChiari] There is a misconception that mandatory insurance goes away once PIP sunsets
[JonBlumberg] its going to take you a long time to write legislation next year...
[Jennifer] So, Rubio's staff is made up of several people from the former administration, do you see a continued push by them to privatize government services? From what I've seen that actually costs Floridians more money.
<-- ChrisChiari has left #flaprogressivesnet
[BrianFranklin] uh oh!
[Jennifer] was is something I said?
--> ChrisChiari has joined #flaprogressivesnet
[Jennifermeowmissy] ;-)
[ChrisChiari] sorry I was bumped off
[BrianFranklin] there he is.
[ChrisChiari] yes at the pace that I type it will take years for me to write my first bill
[JonBlumberg] not like joe lieberman
[ChrisChiari] the truth is industry writes most of the laws in our state
[ChrisChiari] bought and paid for
[BrianFranklin] Jennifer, you might want to repeat the last question - i don't think he was online
[Jennifer] So, Rubio's staff is made up of several people from the former administration, do you see a continued push by them to privatize government services? From what I've seen that actually cost Floridians more money.
[Jennifer] thx Brian
[ChrisChiari] Yes
[JonBlumberg] can you elaborate
[ChrisChiari] the power center in Florida simply shifted from the Gov.'s office to the house speaker
[JonBlumberg] so if the speaker is so powerful, how do you feel you will be more effective
[ChrisChiari] Well for one Rubio terms out after this session.
[ChrisChiari] Second Democrats in Tallahassee are growing in numbers
[JonBlumberg] i mean to keep from privitization
[JonBlumberg] sorry
[ChrisChiari] as a party we have an agenda that reflects in interests and needs of a larger cross section of our State
[ChrisChiari] Look at the Gov's priorities
[ChrisChiari] in his state of the state speech he listed five initiatives
[ChrisChiari] in the Democratic response by Sen Geller he thanked the gov and went of to list which one of the democratic members was the sponsor of each initiative
[ChrisChiari] the state of Florida is shifting
[ChrisChiari] My district is gerrymandered to be a safe R seat
[ChrisChiari] so they say
[ChrisChiari] the truth is that with D's and Ind's we out number R's
[JonBlumberg] what were the initiatives
[JonBlumberg] that you support
[ChrisChiari] but even more important registered R's are looking for people who want to work on their interests
[Tom] How can we capture more of the I's this time around ?
[ChrisChiari] the job of an elected official comes down to looking out for the end users of policy decisions
[ChrisChiari] By focusing on issues they seperate us from the other party
[ChrisChiari] Global Warming
[ChrisChiari] Stem Cell Research
[ChrisChiari] Protecting Education
[ChrisChiari] Where did the lottery money
[ChrisChiari] go
[ChrisChiari] it was suppost to fund education
[ChrisChiari] instead it was used to offset
[ChrisChiari] Now with the propossed cuts in the Jan 29th amendment we are asked to trust the same people that gave away 20 billion dollars in reoccuring tax cuts that they have our childrens interests in mind
[ChrisChiari] were are 48th in the nation in ACT scores
[ChrisChiari] there is a piece of news that came out today
[BrianFranklin] What is your least favorite part of campaigning?
[BrianFranklin] :)
[ChrisChiari] other than typing
[BrianFranklin] yes, other than typing.
[ChrisChiari] Some times consultants try to push to hard
[ChrisChiari] they all want their cut but don't always come through in doing the work
[BrianFranklin] haha...
[JonBlumberg] so what is your first bill?
[JonBlumberg] short i assume
[JonBlumberg] :)
[ChrisChiari] I spoke to Rep Randolph from the Orlando area about a solar initiative
[ChrisChiari] To make new energy work we need to involve centralized power producers
[ChrisChiari] we will never get to 1,000,000 solar homes in Florida if we expect each home to go it alone
[JonBlumberg] What do you feel about Florida's marijuana laws?
[ChrisChiari] Ask me on April 20th
[Jennifer] What are the key differences that distinguish you from the Incumbent?
[ChrisChiari] it is a touchy issue
[JonBlumberg] would you vote yes?
[JonBlumberg] to legalize
[Tom] lets get to the differences...
[ChrisChiari] For cancer and aids patients
[Tom] please
[ChrisChiari] for those who science is proving could benefit
[ChrisChiari] then yes
[ChrisChiari] I support allow medical use in Florida
[Tom] I am with you on that
[ChrisChiari] My oppontant will always sit down at the table with insurance
[JonBlumberg] you know my position
[ChrisChiari] she sits right next to them as they write the laws that effect our lives
[ChrisChiari] I will sit at the table with insurance but I will only sit across from them
[ChrisChiari] as I said before the job is to act to protect consumers
[JonBlumberg] how will you bring our hurriance insurance rates down
[georgi] what is your plan for windstorm insurance?
[Tom] Yeah the legislature did absolutely nothing for us
[ChrisChiari] a lot of hot air
[ChrisChiari] there is no notion of long term planning coming out of leadership
[ChrisChiari] they have bandaid solutions that prove very quickly that they do not work
[ChrisChiari] to solve insurance we need to
[ChrisChiari] one) outlaw pup compnaies, ie: florida only subsidiaries
[ChrisChiari] two)strengthen building codes
[ChrisChiari] for all the talk about how stron our building codes are we still allow for all wood homes to be built in the center of our state
[ChrisChiari] I live in south Florida east of 95
[ChrisChiari] Congressman Klein at a town hall yesterday
[ChrisChiari] talked about the imaginary mountain range known as I 95
[ChrisChiari] we are told that rates need to be highter on the east of 95 as if the risk drops ten feet west of the highway
[ChrisChiari] Look TS Dean is on the way
[ChrisChiari] I really should be putting up my shutters now
[ChrisChiari] if I read into all the hype coming from the news
[Jennifer] What is the biggest challenge facing Florida's public schools?
[ChrisChiari] underfunding
[ChrisChiari] poor retention of teachers
[ChrisChiari] a lack of investing for the long term in regards to school construction
[ChrisChiari] the focus on the test not on learning
[ChrisChiari] we are failing but the leadership says stay the course
[ChrisChiari] stay the couse doesn't work in Washington and i doesn't work in Tallahassee either
[JonBlumberg] how would you solve the funding issue
[Tom] Are there ways we can pay our teachers more without taxing too much ?
[ChrisChiari] taxing who
[ChrisChiari] Jeb gave 20 billion in tax cuts how much did you get?
[Jennifer] $0
[ChrisChiari] me too
[Tom] not sure but we need to find a balance because they are definatly underpaid
[JonBlumberg] so where do we get the money
[Tom] 0
[ChrisChiari] before we give another tax cut to a major corp who brings in a few hundred jobs
[ChrisChiari] we need to invest itn the next generation and encourage them to start new businesses
[ChrisChiari] small business is the economic engine that we need to foster
[ChrisChiari] not the same old plan that jeb operated under for 8 year
[georgi] you mean the state can actualy move forward?
[ChrisChiari] not with the same people in the house
[Tom] yeah Governor Crist is a breath of fresh air
[ChrisChiari] we have a chance to do things different during the last two years of Crist's term
[Jennifer] for an R ... he's not too shabby
[Tom] The R's seem pretty upset with him from what i see ?
[ChrisChiari] by adding to the Dem's in the house we can increase the odds that fresh ideas will win out over the status quo
[ChrisChiari] there is a war brewing in the republican party of Florida
[ChrisChiari] I was actually almost run over by Tom Gallagher today
[JonBlumberg] how will you work with republicans like the governor to reverse Jeb Bush's policies
[BrianFranklin] I'm reserving judgement on Crist until I see how much my property insurance and taxes drop. If they drop like a rock... then, maybe
[Tom] NO way
[ChrisChiari] I saw him in a parking garage in Fort Lauderdale
[ChrisChiari] His biggest booster in south Fl was Ellyn
[ChrisChiari] the R party of Broward endorced Crist
[ChrisChiari] this set off a war that has never gone away
[ChrisChiari] Ellyn has hired Brett Dostert to do her consulting
[ChrisChiari] he was tom's campaign manager
[Tom] great
[ChrisChiari] he is the field operative of the religious right of our state
[ChrisChiari] he has worked to criminalize stem cell research
[ChrisChiari] he has been implicated in caging operations in Jacksonville
[ChrisChiari] Tom it will only deepen the devide between moderate and fincacially savy R's and her leadership priorities
[JonBlumberg] how can we help
[Tom] i was kidding...
[Tom] come on guys
[Tom] "lol"
[Jennifer] Speaking of caging, I think more needs to be done to ensure fair and secure elections in Florida. What will you do to help make sure voters have their votes count?
[ChrisChiari] fight until we have a fully tranparent system
[ChrisChiari] the new optical scan machines may turn out to be no better then what we have now
[ChrisChiari] I believe that we have an obligation to design a sytem that works even if it measn my party can't win. I want to know the day after the election that it was fair and square
[ChrisChiari] We need to start making decisions based on what is right, not just on what keeps me in the seat
[ChrisChiari] sitting in a chair does nothing, taking a stand is what people expect and are looking for
[ChrisChiari] We need a voters bill of rights
[ChrisChiari] anyone who acts against the interest of free and fair elections should face jail
[ChrisChiari] lets get tough on crime especially when the crime is stealing elections
[ChrisChiari] I am tired of wondering if my vote counted and I am not alone
[Jennifer] We're coming up on a hour here in chat ... is there anything else you want to let the voters know about you?
[ChrisChiari] that nothing is more important than paying attention and in holding elected officials accountable
[ChrisChiari] the stakes are just too high for anything else

Speaking for those of us among the Florida Netroots, I want to thank Chris Chiari for stopping by to talk with us. I hope we get a chance to talk again and I look forward to speaking to other Democratic activists, candidates and elected officials.