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Nancy Smith

Sen. Negron, Don't Fall for the Democrats' Ploy

June 12, 2018 - 6:00am
Linda Stewart. Adam Putnam and Kevin Rader
Linda Stewart. Adam Putnam and Kevin Rader

Right on schedule, state Sens. Linda Stewart, D-Orlando, and Kevin Rader, D-Delray Beach -- water carriers for a giddy Florida Democratic Party -- have called for a special Senate investigation of Concealed Carrygate. 

You knew it was coming, right? It's an election year and an opportunity has presented itself.

“The recent acknowledgement by the Department of Agriculture that it had wrongly issued hundreds of concealed weapons permits to non-eligible individuals over a period of approximately one year, and subsequently failed to promptly disclose that failure for at least one year after, has deeply shaken our trust in the agency’s ability to safeguard the people of Florida,” Stewart and Rader wrote Monday in a letter to Senate President Joe Negron requesting the investigation. “As more details have emerged since news broke of the scandal late Friday, questions have mounted as to the degree of knowledge within the agency, namely who knew what, and when?” 

I Beg to DifferWhat a great way to carry on the employee mistake in Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam's 4,000-employee office. Investigations go on forever. Why, you can drag out this "scandal" thing clear into the new year, no problem.

Think of the free negative publicity Democrats will get to dump on Republican gubernatorial candidate Putnam. No need to rely on costly ad buys in the state's big media markets. Every day newspaper headlines hammering away at Putnam. Every day reporters competing for that extra drip of new information. 

If voters don't know what to believe by Aug. 28, that's OK, too. They won't be voting for Putnam. And just like that, you've finished off probably your toughest opponent, unquestionably the most viable, knowledgeable, electable and best-financed candidate in the governor's race.

Never mind that the office mistake made didn't allow a single applicant to buy a gun. Background checks were made on all gun-permit applicants, without exception. The omission was made on those seeking a concealed-carry permit. The only story I've seen that gets all the details right is NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer's.

It's clever, this letter to Negron.

Listen to what Stewart and Rader say: "The disqualifying criteria that the missed screenings were supposed to catch include fugitives, those convicted of misdemeanor domestic violence, anyone deemed mentally defective or confined to a mental institution, and those dishonorably discharged." 

Wow, think about that.

You're supposed to confuse the background checks. Instead of concealed carry permits, you're supposed to see applicants for a gun license able to purchase a weapon with no scrutiny. How many voters' imaginations are running wild after reading that? How many have hundreds of crazed psychopaths on Florida streets, armed to the teeth, dancing in their heads?

In their letter, the two senators requested Negron immediately appoint a special select committee under Senate Rule 1.5 “to provide the measure of full transparency the public demands from their elected officials.”

Wait a minute here.

A staffer in Putnam's 290-employee Division of Licensing stopped checking the federal National Instant Criminal Background Check System after she encountered log-in problems in February 2016. The problem was caught in March 2017, at which time the staffer was fired, the incomplete background checks were completed and the department's inspector general was called in to investigate and detail what happened in a report. That took place immediately.

“During all of the committee hearings this session, nothing was disclosed,” said Rader, who is vice chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, which has oversight of Putnam’s agency. “Was it a cover up?" he asks. "Was it a way to rubber-stamp what they knew they had already done?”

How about asking, "Was it part of a confidential investigation?"

The most under-reported fact in Concealed Carrygate is that Putnam was following protocol by not talking about the incident -- or, by failing "to provide the measure of full transparency" -- until the inspector general had finished his work.

There obviously are things broken in the Division of Licensing and they need to be fixed. All of them. Employee competence, the assurance of a clockwork routine, even supervision. That's the lesson.

Part of me wants to applaud the drama these two senators were able to create in their letter, speaking for the loved ones of those gunned down so recently in Orlando and Parkland -- "an affront to all those families still suffering from these wounds who look to us to prevent similar tragedies in the future” ... as if the Democrats' motive for wanting this "full and independent" investigation is pure and holy and has nothing to do with their own Election-Day ends.

It's a political ploy, Sen. Negron, which I'm sure you realize, too. And even if you truly believe a select committee is necessary, I hope you'll take the politics out of it as much as humanly possible by letting the investigation wait to commence until after November.


Reach Nancy Smith at or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith



Second Amendment Foes Spinning Story of Concealed-Carry Application Failure

Marion Hammer: Background Checks WERE Done on Applicants for Gun Licenses


Is Rader a dual citizen (of USA and Israel)? At the very least he should register as a fgn lobbyist! In 2016 he sponsored sb86 "Scrutinized companies" for any companies boycotting Israel which would receive no state or local contracts over $50mil. In 2017 it was sr574 objecting to the UN resolution (Sec Council res 2334 condemning Israel for it's persecution of Palestinians and demanding that it be rescinded!!!! 2018 it was sr584 celebrating the anniversary of the modern state of Israel. Is this representing the taxpayers of Florida? People have no idea what goes on in Tallahassee. Under the threat of being considered anti-semitic fellow legislators bow, along with the governor. Most of us are simply anti-Zionist whereby the Palestinian land was taken by the UK and given to the Jews who proceeded to steal, rob and kill (selling body parts) the native population.

Ahhhh Democrats....... never let a crisis go to waste.

So, Democrats Stewart and Rader "carry water" for the Democratic Party. Is that supposed to be unusual? Republican senators don't "carry water" for the Republican Party? You're just a blowhard partisan, Smith. On the other hand, Putnam is definitely "carrying water" for the NRA and his other special interests ... which goes beyond partisanship and into corruption! Putnam has been a "water carrier" here for special commercial interests since he appeared on the Florida political scene at age 22 in 1996! He's been a "Florida swamp" creature continuously for the past 22 years ... and now he wants to be "King of the Swamp"? He's more suited to managing landscape maintenance at Mar-A-Lago!

Aw shucks, it was just for a year. We didn't tell nobody cause the investigation into it was "confidential." What's all the fuss about? What are two Democrats doing in the senate? I thought we gerrymandered them all out years ago even though Democrats outnumber us statewide by almost 450,000 voters.

Nice try . It's a bull dung story. The left has managed to confuse the news media enough, or maybe they know better and they're just purposely lying in cahoots, but concealed weapons permits aren't used to buy guns. And you can even carry one in your car legally without a permit. For that matter you can carry one fishing, target shooting, hunting, or going to or from those activities without a permit. So giving somebody a permit after only going through three-quarters of the background check really isn't that big a deal. And of course we know that real criminals don't bother even applying for a permit. So the whole thing is kind of a joke. But cry Chicken Little the sky is falling it's typical of the left and the leftist news media

It isn't a left or right issue, Stupidruck, it is a management and accountability issue, or lack thereof. You really want someone like that running this state? Never mind, of course you do, that is what blind sheep do, just follow their masters...classic.

I'm sure you'd feel the same way if one of your family members was shot by someone who was carrying illegally, right Tom? You miss the entire point there Tommy boy. It isn't how serious it was. It is how seriously it should have been taken, but wasn't. How many other things aren't being taken seriously that should be that we don't even know about?

Putnam did nothing... This only came to light after it was reported by the Feds and the IG investigated. An Office of Inspector General report from June 2017 said that between February 2016 and March 2017, the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services didn’t access an FBI crime database called the National Instant Criminal Background Check System because an employee was unable to log into the system. Putnam’s office told the Times that the employee was “immediately terminated” after another employee discovered the situation and that every application potentially impacted was “thoroughly reviewed.” The lack of background checks is an “example of gross neglect” and cited the now-fired employee had been promoted from the mailroom to be in charge of database checks. “Why only one mailroom employee would be left to handle a job that is critical to the safety of all citizens is jaw-dropping,” Yes, it is... Even if Putnam did not have direct involvement in the day to day management of the employee. To allow a system like this to exist is at best, extremely poor management and oversight, at worst, negligence. You can try to spin it any way you want, but those are the facts...

HA HA irrelevant liberal socialists Linda Stewart and Kevin Rader!!! No Muller type Concealed Carrygate for you. This is Claude Kirk's Florida and we support Opie for Governor. Florida will elect Opie!!! Get used to it.

Good luck with that Claude... I'd bet the sheep elect Trump's parrot before this dope...

DeSantis has been a DC swamp creature for 5 years that's why I prefer Opie. I understand why Trump has to back him but Opie would be better for Florida.

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nancy smith

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