by Javier ManjarresThe U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce held their annual meeting at the Fountainbleu Hotel in Miami Beach, Florida, with hundreds of Hispanic business owners gathered to give one another ‘attaboys’ for their efforts as they pertain to ‘minority’ job creation. Unfortunately, these attendees were severely lacking in proper etiquette and manners, as Senator Marco Rubio, who keynoted the event soon found out. Rubio and other dignitaries were shown unbelievable disrepect when the crowd of about 500-600 carried on about themselves and ignored the speakers as they addressed the crowd, and many in the crowd were probably were raising their voices as loud as they could in an attempt to drown out the event’s invited speakers- such as classless crowd, but I repeat myself.
One of the rarest occurrences in Florida politics is a chance encounter with Democrat U.S. Senator Bill Nelson. As I exited the event, lo and behold, there was Senator Nelson himself! Senator Nelson was checking into the hotel and was lounging in the waiting area, so I moseyed my way over to the good Senator to say hello and had the chance to ask him a couple of questions that many Floridians would like answered.
Regarding the Republican U.S. Senate primary race, Nelson acknowledged that he knows Senator LeMieux and that his past association with former Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) boss, Jim Greer could have a negative impact on his chances in the primary race. Aside from LeMieux, Nelson indicated he has not been following the race or could name any of the other candidates.
Because the jobs issue is front and center in the political world, I asked Senator Nelson about the recent NASA ‘shutdown’ and what will happen to his beloved space program. Senator Nelson said that NASA is alive and well, and the Obama administration had to cut the program and lay off workers due to the ailing economy. The most interesting reason Senator Nelson gave for shutting down the space program was that according to him, NASA needed to make the safer space crafts before anymore manned space exploration could continue. Nelson also went on to say that these jobs will come back when NASA resumes plans of future space exploration, starting with the recent launch to explore the planet of Jupiter. According to Nelson, over the next 10-20 years, NASA will take upon very lofty endeavors of landing a manned space vessel on Mars, as well as landing one on an Asteroid.
The Florida Space Coast has been decimated with staggering unemployment numbers after President Obama halted NASA operations and stated that NASA would be used for ‘Muslim outreach’- no word yet from the Obama administration on just how well those outreach efforts are going.
“We needed to make the spacecraft safer.” – Senator Bill Nelson, on why NASA suspended space flight and the shuttle program