Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the good buddy of Gov. Rick Scott and a possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate, will be the keynote speaker at the Okaloosa County Republican Party's annual Lincoln Day dinner next month. The event is May 12 at the Ramada Beach Plaza Resort in Fort Walton Beach. Party officials say they are not sure whether Scott will attend. Tickets start at $60 and $1,500 gets you into a VIP reception with Perry.
Perry is a frequent visitor to Florida and has campaigned in Jacksonville for mayoral hopeful Lenny Curry, a former state GOP chairman.
In the current issue of The Federalist, Perry has a first-person opinion piece that should be required reading for Scott and Florida legislators as they consider a major overhaul of the state prison system. The article is entitled "America Needs to Stop Jailing So Many Non-Violent Offenders."
Here's an excerpt: "We expanded our commitment to drug courts that allow offenders to stay out of jail if they agreed to comprehensive supervision, drug testing, and treatment. We invested more in treatment and rehabilitation programs for drug addiction and mental illness, and shifted our focus to diversionary programs like community supervision. We reformed our approach to parole, imposing graduated sanctions for minor violations instead of immediate re-incarceration."