I met Kevin Rader this morning at Palm Beach Bagel in The Reserve (441 and Clint Moore). He was very impressive. I’ve been interviewing candidates for various offices and Rader is probably the most knowledgeable of all of them.
Earlier I met with Joshua Izaak, who is running against Rader in a Democratic primary. Their election is August 26th. We also published an article by Izaak on education policy. There is no Republican candidate and no others we know of.
Ideologically Rader and Izaak are roughly the same – liberal Democrats. The difference comes down to knowledge, experience and realism. Rader has all three on his side. We talked about a number of issues and with a couple of exceptions he knew them in great depth.
Perhaps most important is that Rader understands his role. He’s in the minority in the legislature facing an large Republican majority. In that situation he knows he can’t enact much legislation and can’t outright stop the Republicans if they’re determined. Instead he realizes his tremendous power to ask hard questions. I’ve been in that situation myself on my hometown town board.
Rader also has a deep understanding of insurance issues because he works in that field. He says most of his work is in an unusual niche – beekeeping insurance.
In our earlier interview Izaak criticized a moment Rader had on the House floor. Here it is:
Rader didn’t flinch and he had a better answer for me than he had on the video. The condo association at Century Village asked him to propose the amendment. He explained the finer points of why the amendment would have made things better. It didn’t seem like a huge issue.
What’s important about this is that Izaak accused Rader of being affected by special interests in the insurance industry. That didn’t make a lot of sense as it just changes what the insurers are selling to whom. Rather Rader admits he was influenced by the condo association, which is also a special interest in a sense but not a terribly offensive one by the standards of most people.
Also, in simple terms, I just liked the guy. There are some key issues where we disagree but he was completely honest and didn’t try to please me by softening his positions.
When I asked about guns Rader didn’t hesitate to say he would ban AK-47s, for example. The ensuing conversation showed he knows almost nothing about firearms. He didn’t know that typical hunting rifles are more powerful, nor that rifles are rarely used in crimes. He wasn’t sure if he’s ever even fired a rifle. Rader also referred to the Sandy Hook shooting as the main reason for banning such guns, as if the deaths of twenty white schoolchildren are somehow more important than the thousands of black and Hispanic victims of all ages that don’t make the national news. On the bright side he seemed open to a discussion of the drug war’s role in causing violence.
When I asked Izaak about the gun issue I didn’t feel he was honest about his real views, and he still didn’t know anything about firearms. There’s no Second Amendment supporter in the race so this issue should not be decisive for any voter.
The big differences come down to knowledge, experience, and realism. For those reasons West Boca News endorses Kevin Rader for State Representative.
With that said, the conversation reflected an underlying problem with our political system. Rader is a consummate insider. He believes the system works better when insiders run it. He spoke approvingly of the nature of that system, where those who play the game are rewarded and others are not. While we don’t like it, we appreciate his honesty about it. We also doubt that Izaak would do anything to change it.
See the Kevin Rader website or his campaign Facebook page for more.
The Glades Public Library is located at 20701 95th Avenue South. To preregister for events, call 482-4554. The West Boca Public Library is located at 18685 State Road 7. To preregister for events, call 470-1600.
Afternoon Crafts, August 11th at 2:30 p.m. at the West Boca Public Library. Ages 3-8.
Gator Chomp, August 12th at 3 p.m. at the Glades Road Library. Ages 5-9. Explore the world of alligators and meet a baby gator! Presented by the Daggerwing Nature Center. Preregister.
How Charming!, August 12th at 6 p.m. at the Glades Road Library. Ages 11-17. Make charms and keychains with polymer clay. Preregister at 482-4554.
Look Out Kindergarten – Here I come!, August 13th at 11 a.m. at the Glades Public Library. August 16th at 10:30 a.m. at the West Boca Public Library. Ages 4-6. Join us as we help beginning kindergarten students get ready for their 1st day at school with stories, music, a film and a craft. Preregister.
Popsicle Stick Crafting, August 14th at 11 a.m. Ages 5-10. West Boca Public Library. Preregister.
The Art of Making and Keeping Friends, August 14th at 3 p.m. at the Glades Public Library. Ages 5-8. Maisy Ross, from the PBC Extension Office, will discuss back to school basics such as making and keeping friends, talking to other kids, tattling and what to do in case of bullying. Preregister.
Summer Scrapbooking, August 14th at 2:30 p.m. at West Boca Public Library. Grades 6-12. Accentuate your summer memories! All materials provided, just bring a picture or two and together we will create a scrapbook page. Preregister.
Traffic Smarts, August 15th at 3 p.m. at the Glades Public Library. All ages. Learn ways to stay safe around traffic and trains. Presented by the Department of Transportation. Preregister.
Story Time for Children with Special Needs, August 16th at 11 a.m. Glades Public Library. All ages.
Mr. Peabody & Sherman, August 12-14 at 10 a.m. Cinemark Palace 20 located at 3200 Airport Road in Boca Raton. The movie is rated PG.
A reader alerted us to a confrontation at Northwest Sandalfoot Plaza. Deputies with guns drawn arrested two men. See the video.
Two readers sent us photos of a crash scene earlier today involving a postal vehicle. It was at the intersection of Military Trail and Potomac.
Readers described it as a head-on collision and the postal worker was injured but not badly.
Postal worker was cut up and bandaged on the scene, but otherwise okay. The older man who hit him had no injuries.
The older man cut over Military southbound into the path of the mail carrier and hit him, causing the mail carrier to then hit the pole to the traffic light.