I have held four citizenships. But I have not been a citizen of four countries! Does that sound like one of those screwy Test Questions, or what? The mystery is solved when I explain that I was born on the Island of Jamaica when it was a British Colony, and remained there after we gained independence (at which point I became Jamaican). My Canadian sojourn was a stepping-stone to getting in line for U.S. citizenship since there was no significant quota in my time to come to the U.S. legally from Jamaican. As I tell folks in my stump speech it was too far to swim, and I couldnt just walk over the border with my bag of Marijuana from Tijuana! So I had to do it legally! My various citizenships were therefore either fortuitous or part of my plan to ultimately achieve U.S. Citizenship.
I think my experience of different governmental paradigms gives me a unique context from which to judge, appreciate and applaud our U.S. brand of Republican Government. My Constitutional Law training as an attorney also gives me an understanding of the damage to the Republic that the Seventeenth Amendment has done by requiring that Senators be elected by popular vote rather than being appointed by the states. The result is that the Senate must now pander to the fickle whim of the voting Democracy (47% of whom receive more from the government than they return in taxes); and the states have lost all official representation as states per se, at the federal level. I will work to reverse that by seeking repeal of the seventeenth Amendment.
I lived in Florida for ten years between 1977 & 1987 when the Malpractice Crisis of those days drove many of us physicians from the state. But Florida is my First Love and I returned to stay permanently when an opportunity presented itself in 2006. I am therefore now coming up on 14 years total in Florida at the end of 2010. I have been in the U.S. for 35 years so the other 21 years would have been spent elsewhere, mainly in Kansas and Indiana.
I think that the experience of having lived all across this great land gives me a first-hand knowledge of the diversity, complexity and strength of our country and helps me to think in terms of the necessity for integration of Floridas needs and concerns into a larger tapestry. I can also envision the solutions to Floridian problems from a wider perspective. I have lived in: Kansas (a number of times), Indiana, Texas, Montana (east and west of The Rockies) & Michigan (in that context I am a Yuper) as well as Florida. I have also lived in London, England; Montreal & Toronto Canada; and of course many places in Jamaica. These experiences have allowed me to be tremendously adaptable and to appreciate, savor and respect many different cultures.
I studied law following my involvement as a Leader in the medical fight against malpractice lawyers in Florida in the late 1980s. I was chairman & founder of the Medical Chiefs of Staff Coalition (COSCO) supported by over 30 medical hospital staffs. We won some victories but ultimately did not defeat the plaintiffs bar in this state. As I returned to a safer medical liability environment in Kansas, it occurred to me that I had lacked essential legal knowledge for the fight. Thus the notion that I should become an attorney. I had also defended myself against a nuisance Med-Mal suit in the early eighties which went to jury selection. We ultimately settled for a pittance, but in the final meeting the judge said: Doctor, you did so well in your presentation and at jury selection that if you ever decide to become an attorney, Ill write you a recommendation. AND HE DID! (His statement rattled around my mind for years until I finally succumbed). Also, at the time I entered Law-school, the Clintons were trying to take over Health-Care and I thought that The Law might be a good, optional Second Profession. It certainly did give me a greater knowledge of the Constitutional History of our nation than I might otherwise have had. Obviously this is one of the best things I could have done to prepare for a career at the Federal Government level.
Finally, with regard to your concerns about reptile pets: I absolutely oppose PETA & the like and I would joyfully stand for you against the wrongful attack on your hobby. You mention Bill Nelson. My Plan B if I am not successful in this election cycle, is to achieve enough name recognition and stature in the next couple of years to take him on when his Senate seat comes up for a vote in 2012.
I hope this answers your queries and I do apologize for the length of my response.
Wow! That has to be the most responsive direct response to a tough freeper question ever made publicly by someone running for public office. Thank you so much for your openness candidness and willingness to face the tough crowd of freeperland directly. You are a Real patriot sir may God richly bless you for your service.