Leadership in Washington and Southwest Florida is in the spotlight on this week’s "Naples Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle’’ program airing Sunday morning at 10 on ABC7.
U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fort Myers, discusses what’s ahead for tea party/GOP power, Obamacare and federal spending. Rob Moher, the new CEO of The Conservancy of Southwest Florida, is asked about his approach to watchdogging development and pollution. Manny Garcia, new editor of the Daily News, discusses what readers can expect from new leadership from major metro areas; he is from Miami and the new publisher is coming from Tampa.
* Video highlights will be posted at naplesnews.com/newsmakers
NewsMakers - Trey Radel
What's ahead for the GOP?
Lytle: Oh, you’re just downplaying Chris Christie’s re-election in New Jersey because you’re a tea party guy and Christie showed he could work with Obama.
Radel: I’m a Republican who has worked with Democrats in extensive ways that impact Southwest Florida and impact our entire nation. I’m not there to say "heck no’’ to everything and I’m not in Washington to say "heck yes’’ to everything. I believe compromise can exist. Compromise does not mean compromising your values, it means sharing them, and in doing so, as a representative of Democrats and Republicans in Southwest Florida, I’m doing just that in Washington.
The problem I have with the "tea party’’ being used by the media is that it becomes a pejorative term and when a Democrat reads the Naples Daily News or Newes-Press they see "tea partier Trey Radel’’ and Democrats feel they can’t come to my office where I can serve them. If I have to take care of a Social Security issue, a passport or Medicare, I’m here to serve to everyone. I’m here to reach out to everyone.’’
NewsMakers - Rob Moher
Rob Moher, CEO of the Conservancy of ...
Lytle: Do you have anything to say to those people who have watched the development and watchdog process over the recent years and they’ve seen some of the organizations such as Collier Audubon and Florida Wildlife Federation sort of left to do the dirty work, if you will, the litigation, when the going got rough, and The Conservancy sometimes was not there with them? Can you do anything with mending those fences and getting back together with those groups?
Moher: Well, I would dispute that characterization. First of all, we do partner a lot of those groups on multiple issues such as (water) nutrient criteria. We find coalitions on issues that we all agree on and we work together on. A good example was the very tough battle around the Cocohatchee Slough, around Corkscrew Swamp. You know, we had Terrafina, all these developments, that were going to take over 1,200 acres of wetlands. We collaborated with all those groups and created a very effective coalition. We were the first groups, I think, to be able to effectively challenge an Army Corps of Engineers permit.
NewsMakers - Manny Garcia
Manny Garcia, Editor of the D
Lytle: Talk to me about your arrival from Miami — a major, major metropolitan area. Also, we have a new publisher on the way from Tampa, another major metropolitan area. We have those two ... the confluence of those two things, and we also have an economy that’s starting to come back to life.
Will you connect the dots and the big picture there?
Garcia: Absolutely. What I absolutely see is ... First of all, coming from South Florida from the East Coast, there’s a lot of synergy here. There’s a lot of affection for the Naples area; a lot of South Floridians, in the Miami-Fort Lauderdale area, they come vacation here; they have family; they have second homes. And so there’s a natural transition, there’s a natural flow going westward.
For me, again, I look at things very strategically, the big picture, and talking to our new publisher, Bill Barker, he does the same way. And what we’re looking at is a dynamic market that’s growing, that’s coming out of the recession, and you see it in the our housing starts, and you see it in the investments, you see Hertz moving down to Estero, and so all that it really makes for a dynamic area to be involved in the news business.