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ORPAC

 

The Ocean Reef Political Action Committee (ORPAC) is committed to supporting elected officials who best represent the interest of our residents and the Ocean Reef community. In essence, ORPAC builds relationships with the elected officials so we can have a say in how our taxes are being spent, and have a seat at the table when regulations are being considered.

Over the years, we have completely turned around the elected official’s view of our community. While some have to resort to suing the government in an attempt to get what they want, we use our power of persuasion and built up political capital. Of course, we do not win every battle or make every politician happy.

2018 will be a big election year. A number or Federal and State offices are up for election and most of the local politicians will also be in a race. There will be a number of Constitutional Amendments on the ballot – some of which will be very complex.

Every election cycle a small group of ORPAC members (those that are here in the summer) interview candidates running for office. This is usually done over a one or two day period. During the last election cycle we interviewed over 30 candidates, so there will be many more this cycle. In addition, campaign materials must be combed through and interviews with lobbyist, stakeholders, political advisors and other politicians will be conducted. At the end of the process, recommendations will be sent to Ocean Reef registered voters. We will communicate with you by email, US mail, notices in TORN and the ORCA website, signs at the polling place and stories in the Reef Press.

ORPAC raises money for its general fund and for individual races. Currently, ORPAC has about $70,000 in its account. Most candidates that OPRAC endorses receive a check between $250 and $500. There can be about 10 races in the Primary and another 10 or so in the General Election that we fund.

In addition, we raise money for specific candidates. ORPAC Chairman Alan Goldstein makes a special appeal to members of ORPAC, the Directors of ORCA and The Club and other generous individuals at the Reef. These checks are then hand delivered to the candidate. This past election we were very successful and the vast majority of races went our way.

The County Commissioners are the most visible politicians and we pay close attention to them for both tax reasons and regulatory reasons. Some people are surprised to learn that property taxes only account for about a third of the county’s total revenue.

 

Background:

The Ocean Reef Political Action Committee (ORPAC) is over 30 years old. Russ Post was the first chairman and Alan Goldstein has been the chairman for the past 25 years. David Ritz has served on the PAC since 1992 chairing the meetings in the summer in Mr. Goldstein’s absence. The mission of the PAC hasn’t changed much in all of those years; determine what issues are important to Ocean Reef, determine what political offices can influence those issues and help elect those individuals that help us. Political party is less important than the individual running for office. Incumbents that help the community will be rewarded with our loyalty even if there is a good chance they will lose the next election.

We have been fortunate that most of the community seems to understand the importance of voting as a block and follows ORPAC’s lead. Having said that, each year we hear from a few voters who support the other candidate and are not happy with our recommendations. ORPAC is managed by ORCA, and David Ritz represents both The Club and community in most governmental issues. Lobbyists are often hired to assist us with complex issues, and both ORCA and The Club help pay the bill. We concentrate on the local races since they impact us the most. Usually there are some statewide races we get involved in but rarely do we get involved in national politics.

 

Get Your Absentee Ballot

ORPAC would like to remind everyone that absentee ballots will no longer be sent automatically - You must now request one every two years. The Supervisor of Elections Office is accepting vote by mail ballot requests now. They can accept the request by phone, fax, email, mail or via the elections website application:

  • T:(305)453-8740
  • Fax:(305)292-3406
  • Email:info@keys-elections.org
  • Mailing address: 530 Whitehead Street #101, Key West, FL 33040
  • Website Application: https://www.keyselections.org/Voters/Vote-by-Mail-Request


Their office will need your name, address, date of birth, where to send the ballot and for which elections a ballot is needed. 

If the request is in writing, your signature is required.  

Note: If you are requesting a ballot to be sent to a new address, the request must be made in writing; telephone requests will not be accepted. 


 

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