Editor’s Note: This is the first column we have published under an alias and that is not our regular practice and we will never have staff writers post articles or comments under an alias. But in this case we have made an exception regarding a story and we will for this particular writer in the discussion of senior issues.
By The Old Guy Sitting on the Green Bench
Let me introduce myself: I’m a bit of a codger who often parks himself on one the green benches here in the Burg that line the avenue. I have posted comments here and there regarding various articles on the Squeeze. I hope to be making contributions to the Squeeze mostly addressing issues that impact seniors. Hope you find them to be enjoyable as well as thought provoking. And I hope you will take the time to comment on my postings. With all that said, here goes my first contribution.
As I mentioned, I live on the west coast of Florida. We get called blue hair heaven or God’s waiting room here and you know what, that might be right. If you look at the country as a whole 13% of the population is over 65. Seniors comprise 18% of the population in Florida. In Pinellas 22% of the population is over age 65. There are other counties on the west coast where the senior population is greater than 30%. As a point of comparison the senior population in Miami-Dade is 14.5% and Hillsborough is 12.4%. If you look down the road to 2030, the projection is Florida’s population will have about 27% seniors. Seniors are moving here to our state as the population ages.
Seniors are not a homogeneous group. I would suggest as with any group there is a wide and divergent set of needs and expectations. As a general rule seniors tend to go to the polls in greater percentages and be more conservative, at first blush we will tend to go to the tried and true. There two hot buttons and we all know them, Social Security and Medicare. Primarily these are federal issues. But we all know the old saying, all politics is local. During the recent campaign to fill Bill Young’s seat, David Jolly promised the electorate that he would not vote for anything that would hurt either of those programs. Jolly won that election with the significant help of the senior vote. Jolly voted against the Ryan budget which had significant impacts on Social Security and Medicare. In doing so I think he has significantly strengthen his hand come this November with the seniors in CD-13.
Enough time has been spent on the ill-fated Sink effort in CD-13. The question should be what needs to happen going forward? A company will do ongoing market surveys in order to keep their finger on the consumer’s pulse. Do we have a real understanding of what the voter here is looking for, or are we going by intuition? Before we go or if we go much further I would hope someone does a comprehensive survey of the CD-13 and the county as whole to understand what people are thinking, what they want from government and what they see as an effective way of providing these services.
It just mystifies me WHY our older voters would have voted for this lobbyist. The average retiree in Pinellas/this district’s best interests will NOT be served by Jolly. For now, he will craft his votes to pull a fast one on voters and con them into putting him in again in November. Then the double-cross will begin. The fact that Bill Young had some pretty sleazy facts about his life “outed” posthumously, dear District 13 voters: if you do not approve if his very UNChristian conduct, please do not return Jolly to this office! Or do you not care about the moral conduct of those you vote into office? The fact, also, that Young concealed his terminal cancer and hung on long after he was able to serve his constituents does not reflect well on him or his Party. Jolly himself is in the middle of a divorce, according to the newspapers. Please think and do some research before you decide to vote for Jolly again, voters!
I am also mystified why seniors voted for Jolly, who lobbied to privatize Social Security. He made money trying to undo the Social Security system. Of course the Democrats didn’t give this issue enough publicity during the campaign.
I honestly think its as simple as: “she’s not from here and she’s not really that warm.” She’s just a bad politician in that very basic way. It’s like asking someone to vote for a talking mannequin. She may be programmed to say the right things but the delivery is too mechanical.