Coal-mining billionaireChristopher Cline of North Palm Beach is among three dozen or so contributors who gave at least $1 million to President Donald Trump‘s inaugural committee, according to a report filed this week.
Other big inaugural donors from Palm Beach County include West Palm Beach-based sugar giant Florida Crystals Corp. ($500,000), Juno Beach-headquartered NextEra Energy ($250,000) and private prison contractor Geo Corrections Holding of Boca Raton ($250,000).
Contributors listing Florida addresses gave more than $6 million to the inaugural committee — but that figure is understated, said Tallahassee lobbyist Brian Ballard, who helped raise money for the committee.
“Whenever you look at Florida zip codes you’re underestimating people who live in New York and Chicago,” said Ballard. He estimates the inaugural committee’s haul from Florida could be in the $8 million to $10 million range.
Cline, for example, has a homestead exemption in unincorporated northern Palm Beach County, but is listed at a West Virginia address on the FEC report.
Among those with Florida addresses, Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Kahn and Brandon businessman Ronnie J. Ory also gave $1 million apiece.
Nationally, at least 36 contributors gave $1 million or more to the inaugural committee, including Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, who chipped in $5 million. Trump friend and frequent Mar-a-Lago guest Robert Kraft gave $1 million through his family’s Kraft Group LLC holding company.
Other Palm Beach County contributors listed in the FEC report include Gira Shah of Jupiter, Nicholas A. Mastroianni III of Palm Beach Gardens and James Zenni of Wellington at $100,000 a piece.
Members of the Florida National Guard are in Washington, D.C., to help local law enforcement with President Donald Trump’s inauguration.
About 340 Sunshine State troops assisted U.S. Park Police with crowd control south of the Capitol, and helped with cybersecurity efforts.
“Cyber security is an ever growing concern within the military services, as well as our government. Cyber warfare is a very real threat and we must be ready to meet that threat and safeguard our democracy,” said DCO Team Chief, Maj. Jennifer Hunt. “The Florida Army National Guard is honored to play a role in the Presidential Inauguration and for the opportunity to serve on the forefront of cyber defense operations for our nation.”
The Florida National Guard posted several images to its Facebook page showing its troops standing along barricades, positioned amongst the crowd on the west lawn and directing traffic.
Also assisting at the inauguration: members of the Martin County Sheriff’s Office, who stood guard along the inaugural parade route.
U.S. Rep. Lois Frankel donned a pink scarf Friday as a symbol of peaceful protest on the steps of the Capitol as more protesters marched outside the gates of President Donald Trump‘s inauguration.
Frankel, whose district includes much of southern and central Palm Beach County, was joined by several other Democratic House members in wearing the scarves — which were embroidered with “Planned Parenthood” — and other pink accessories.
She also wore two buttons: One from the activists group Emily’s List that said “Women Won’t Back Down,” and a blue button that said “#ProtectOurCare,” a nod to Frankel’s efforts to prevent the repeal of the Affordable Care Act.
A spokeswoman for Frankel said the congresswoman was “representing that women won’t back down and we will protect our care.”
“I will be fighting as hard as anybody to resist the actions by the Congress and by the new president if they try to devalue or strip people of important rights,” she said. “But I think you want to start out with an open hand. If the president rejects it, that’s up to him.”
“There may be another gesture of respectful opposition on the day of” the inauguration, she added.
She released this statement following the swearing-in ceremony:
“I’m grateful to former-President Obama, who led this country through one of the most challenging times in our history and breakthroughs for human rights.
“With all due respect to President Trump, as to his inaugural remarks today, I do not share his pessimistic view of America or his bias towards extreme nationalism. We are a nation of opportunity, a country that cherishes diversity and the leader of the free world.
“With that said, I am prepared to work cooperatively with the new administration where possible and be a force of resistance when necessary.”
The Democratic representative and former West Palm Beach mayor is slated to go to the rally after attending President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday, then co-hosting a breakfast Saturday morning to welcome Women’s March attendees from Florida.
Frankel spoke to The Palm Beach Post earlier this week about her participation and support for the rally, which organizers say could draw 200,000 people.
“We want to send a message to our new government on the first day in office that women’s rights are human rights, that we are standing together recognizing that defending the most marginalized among us is defending all of us,” Frankel said. “It is to be peaceful. That’s what our democracy should be about — making our voices heard, standing up for our safety, our rights, our families.”
Frankel said she thinks there is “a lot of fear” among women that the incoming administration could lead to women losing access to health care, including services provided by Planned Parenthood and benefits available under the Affordable Care Act.
“This is a productive way for people to channel their anxiety in a peaceful way with a strong message to not only the president-elect but to the Congress that will be there, that we are watching, that women are watching, that we are on our toes and we care very deeply about our country and our rights,” Frankel said.
From marching bands to dance groups, there are more 40 organizations composed of more than 8,000 people on the list, the committee said in a news release. No Palm Beach County groups are on the initial list, but one group slated to perform does include two Palm Beach County residents.
John Fischer of Delray Beach will play the bagpipes with the Coastal Florida Police & Fire Pipes & Drums, he told The Palm Beach Post earlier this month. J.T. Kavanagh of Delray Beach Fire Rescue also will perform with the group, playing the snare drum.
“I’m very patriotic and I love my country,” Fischer previously told The Post. “This is definitely a bucket-list item.”
Here’s the full list of groups set to perform in the parade. In addition to these groups, the committee said each branch of the military also will be represented.
• 1st Cavalry Division Horse Cavalry Detachment – Fort Hood, Texas
• 1st Infantry Commanding General’s Mounted Color – Ft. Riley, Kansas
• Boone County Elite 4-H Equestrian Drill Team – Burlington, Kentucky
• Caisson Platoon, Fort Myer – Fort Myer, Virginia
• Cleveland Police Mounted Unit – Cleveland, Ohio
• Coastal Florida Police & Fire Pipes & Drums – Palm Coast, Florida
• Columbus North High School Band – Columbus, Indiana
• Culver Academy Equestrian – Culver, Indiana
• First Troop Philadelphia City Cavalry – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
• Fishburne Military School Army JROTC Caissons Battalion – Fishburne, Virginia
• Frankfort High School Band – Ridgeley, West Virginia
• Franklin Regional High School Panther Marching Band – Murrysville, Pennsylvania
• Indianapolis Metro Police Motorcycle Drill Team – Indianapolis, Indiana
• Kids Overseas – Richmond Hill, Georgia
• Lil Wranglers – College Station, Texas
• Marist College Band – Poughkeepsie, New York
• Merced County Sheriff’s Posse – Hilmar, California
• Michigan Multi-Jurisdictional Mounted Police Drill Team & Color Guard – Ann Arbor, Michigan
• Mid America Cowgirls Rodeo Drill Team – New Buffalo, Michigan
• Nassau County Firefighters Pipes & Drums – East Meadow, New York
• North Carolina Vietnam Helicopter Pilots Association – Hillsborough, North Carolina
• NYPD Emerald Society Pipes & Drums – East Moriches, New York
• Olivet Nazarene University – Bourbonnais, Illinois
• Palmetto Ridge High School Band – Naples, Florida
• Russellville High School Band – Russellville, Arkansas
• Talladega College Band – Talladega, Alabama
• Texas State University Strutters – San Marcos, Texas
• The Citadel Regimental Band & Pipes and Summerall Guards – Charleston, South Carolina
• The Freedom Riders – Kersey, Colorado
• Tragedy Assistance Marching Unit – Arlington, Virginia
• Tupelo High School Band – Tupelo, Mississippi
• University of Tennessee Marching Band – Knoxville, Tennessee
• VMI Corps of Cadets – Lexington, Virginia
• West Monroe High School Marching Band – West Monroe, Louisiana
• American Veterans – National
• Boy Scouts of America – National
• US Customs and Border Protection Office of Field Operations – National
• Disabled American Veterans – National
• US Border Patrol Pipes & Drums – National
• Wounded Warriors – National
Historian Douglas Brinkley, who met with Trump on Wednesday, told CNN that Trump “wants to write the inaugural himself.” Trump is expected to work on the speech Thursday at Mar-a-Lago, his Palm Beach home where he has spent the past week and half for the Christmas holiday.
It wouldn’t be the first time a presidential speech was penned in Palm Beach. A draft of a speech John F. Kennedy wrote to announce his candidacy was sold for $160,000 at an auction in Boston in October 2015. The letterhead read “North Ocean Boulevard/Palm Beach, Florida.” It was most likely from 1959. JFK delivered the speech on Jan. 2, 1960, in the U.S. Senate Caucus Room.
As for Trump, incoming White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said in a conference call with reporters on Thursday that Trump will meet with several key advisers — incoming Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist and senior counselor Stephen Bannon, policy strategist Stephen Miller, K.T. McFarland and campaign chief and counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway — throughout the day to get input on his inaugural address.
Details of the inauguration continue to trickle out. Yesterday, the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced six faith leaders who will take part in the swearing-in ceremony, including Orlando-area Pastor Paula White, who has served as a spiritual adviser to Trump for years.
A schedule of events was released on Dec. 21. In addition to the swearing-in, parade and balls held on the day of Trump’s inauguration, there will be a “Make America Great Again!” Welcome Celebration open to the general public on Jan. 19 at the Lincoln Memorial.
White joins five others who will offer readings and participate in the invocation and benediction at the ceremony. Also on the list: the Rev. Franklin Graham, son of 98-year-old Christian evangelist Billy Graham.
“Since the first inaugural ceremony, our leaders have paid tribute to the blessings of liberty that have been bestowed upon our country and its people,” Presidential Inaugural Committee Chairman Tom Barrack said in a news release. “I am pleased to announce that a diverse set of faith leaders will offer readings and prayers at the swearing-in of President-elect Trump and honor the vital role religious faith plays in our multicultural, vibrant nation.”
According to the New Destiny Christian Church website, White has been senior pastor at the Apopka church since 2012. “By sharing her story of overcoming tragedy and finding restoration through the power of Christ, she has impacted people from every walk of life around the world,” the website states.
Jesus Christ has given you a brand new beginning in Him- #LiveItOut!
White has had her on TV show — on which Trump has appeared. Just before the Republican National Convention earlier this year, White spoke with The Christian Post about Trump’s faith. She spoke about her interactions with him, how they met — he saw one of her sermons on TV and contacted her — and why she supported him in the presidential race.
“I know Donald Trump. I know the strong leader he is,” she said. “I know how capable of a businessman he is. I know how compassionate he is. I know how smart he is. I know how he defends our values and the people whom he loves. I know how much he loves this country. I know how much he loves his children and how they admire and respect him.”
The Christian Post also asked White at the time if she might be called on to take part in the inauguration. “I don’t know and, frankly, I don’t care,” she said at the time. “The prayers I’m more interested in are prayers that are private, not public.”
Here are the other four faith leaders set to take part in the ceremony:
• Cardinal Timothy Dolan, Archbishop of New York
• The Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference
• Rabbi Marvin Hier, Simon Wiesenthal Center
• Bishop Wayne T. Jackson, Great Faith Ministries International