Exclusive Interview: Florida’s Karen Harrington

Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s advocating for the boycott of Chick-Fil-A, puts American jobs at risk in a shameless attempt to score political points.

The Congresswoman is trying to deflect attention away from her support of President Obama’s failed economic policy, and the lack of job creation, by using a First Amendment issue to do so.

~ Karen Harrington The Shark Tank August 1, 2012

Contributor Isabel Matos, who created the GOP Are You Listening Facebook site, and authors The Follow-up recently spoke with congressional candidate Karen Harrington, the Conservative favorite to win the Republican nomination in this month’s Florida primary.

Isabel put together an online forum for her group, which allowed some members to ask Karen some questions as well. Interesting format. Something all candidates should consider.

Isabel is a supporter of Karen’s, as are we. The primary is August 14, and we all want to see Karen, the Conservative in the race, prevail.

~ Gary P Jackson

By Isabel Matos

I love to try new things, and this was no exception. It was a big deal, too. Just to give a little background, this event was originally scheduled for July 14th.

Since this IS “The Follow-up“, I have to let you know what happened.

As you may know, I created the Facebook group GOPAYL, acronym for GOP Are You Listening. For several months I had been toying with the idea of having grassroots meet GOP. Why not?! Well, Team Harrington is wonderful! They happen to do Facebook outreach and accepted my invitation do an on-line interview with Karen Harrington. She is challenging Debbie Wasserman Schultz for Congress Florida District 23.

We met as planned on July 14th, but because of a scheduling conflict, the interview had to be canceled. I didn’t think it would be rescheduled as promised; after all we are a small event compared to other field events. I was disappointed, but Karen had been so gracious to accept the invitation in the first place that I thought, why should I expect more?

But Karen did keep her promise and everything her team had said about the schedule snag was true. without giving too much away, it turns out that four members of the campaign must coordinate events in such a a way that if even one is not on the same page as the rest, snags can develop.

The event started promptly at eight. There were 25 people in attendance. We had one hour to get all our questions in so you will note some questions were left unanswered. Topics covered were Karen’s background, her position on taxes, ObamaCare and Israel:

ISABEL MATOS: Welcome Karen Harrington. It is so awesome to see you here. I will start as soon as you are ready.


~ We began with an opening prayer as we always do. ~


This event tonight is part of an on-going series called ‘The Power of One Voice‘ presented by GOPAYL.

We highlight writers, bloggers, journalists or personalities in the Conservative Movement who are making a difference. Tonight’s featured guest is Karen Harrington, Conservative Republican. She is running for Congress to unseat Democrat Congresswoman and DNC Chair, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, in Florida District 23.

Karen Harrington is already making a difference. She is one voice, one person, with one message: F.I.R.E. Debbie.

I met Karen for the first time at the opening of her new campaign office in Davie Florida on June 26th 2012. During her presentation that morning I learned she, a virtual unknown, had lost to Debbie Wasserman Schultz, by only 20 percentage points (60-40) in 2010. She expressed much optimism and confidence for 2012. Why? Because, Karen explained, people are fed up with Obama and are not willing to give the party a second chance.

Karen has lived in Florida for almost 45 years and owns three sports-bar cafes called “Ricky’s Restaurants” with her family. She has helped run them for thirty years. Now she is running a very successful campaign full-time.

Although she enjoys the support of her husband, two sons and a fourteen-year-old daughter, this is a sacrifice for the entire family and they are just as dedicated as she is. Karen is approachable and pleasant to chat with, but make no mistake, she is a savvy business person and takes her job seriously. She’s got Debbie scrambling and shaking in her boots already. Debbie will soon have nowhere to run!

Welcome, Karen. Did I miss anything?

KAREN HARRINGTON: Lol no I think you got it all. Thanks for having me on tonight.

MATOS: To start, could you please tell us what we need to know in just a few words. What is your message? How do YOU plan to do to bring reform both locally in South Florida and to DC?

KAREN HARRINGTON: As a small business owner I understand the impact government regulations and economic uncertainty cause job creators. What we need in D.C. are representatives who will speak their mind and be courageous enough to tackle the difficult issues.

MATOS: We can begin then with our first topic …. taxes.

Being the owner of three restaurants, please share briefly with us your unique view on how regulations under President Obama have affected small business.

KAREN HARRINGTON: Obamacare is a great example of how government can be a burden on small business. Insurance premiums have almost doubled and although I pay half of the premium many of my employees have decided to go without insurance rather than pay the increase. It is not fair to my employees or any employees to have to give up their insurance because of government.

MATOS: I heard you had to implement some software programs for your business that were costly and unneeded, like so many regulations are under President Obama.

Yes, because of the Dodd-Frank bill I had extra expenses to my business to deal with a problem that I have never had.

GUEST 1: One of the first things that must be repealed…Frank/Dodd. What are some of the ramifications of delaying the regulations as a small business owner…do you go charged fees and such for not enacting Obamacare?

KAREN HARRINGTON: If I do not comply with Dodd-Frank I get heavy fines imposed on my business.

MATOS: Our second question under TAXES:

This should be a media headline:

Karen Harrington Calls On Congresswoman Wasserman Schultz to Release Her Tax Returns“. But it’s not.

What is the deal with Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her tax returns?? Has she disclosed them yet,?

KAREN HARRINGTON: She has still not disclosed them. Although she continues to ask Mitt Romney to release more of his past tax returns. It is liberal hypocrisy at its finest. A lot of conservative media has picked up on our call for Debbie to release her taxes but the liberal media has completely run cover for her.

GUEST 1: Karen, are you willing to release and/or have you already?

MATOS: Our third question under Taxes: Debbie’s interpretation of the individual mandate: “it’s not a tax but a penalty.”

Laughable, but that is what you have to deal with. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz tells CNN’s Wolf Blitzer: ‘It’s Not A Tax.’ Blitzer discusses with DWS the implications of the IRS, an organization who’s existence is rooted in the collection of taxes, and collecting tax from the individual mandate along with other taxes. He asked, ‘The individual mandate tax is, in fact a tax. It is administered by the IRS. It will be collected on April 15th.Why can’t you acknowledge that it is, in fact, a tax?

Debbie’s was: ‘Because it’s a penalty, it’s not a tax. It is a penalty that if you decide to be irresponsible and continue to refuse to carry health insurance then you can do that.

We’re not going to actually require that you have health insurance. What we’re saying is that if you choose not to carry health insurance, than you will be assessed a penalty that will be assessed on your tax return, and that affects about 1% of Americans who choose to do that.

Like I said, ha!!, but this is what you have to deal with. Karen, Where do YOU stand on this issue (the individual mandate)? Is it a Tax or a ‘Penalty‘?”

KAREN HARRINGTON: It is a tax and it is unconstitutional. I never thought I would see a day in America where the government would demand that you buy a product or else be penalized. Debbie’s response is typical Washington speak, remember what the definition of ‘is‘ is. It is a blatant insult to the American people to try to spin it after they argued before the court that it is a tax.


You have been quoted saying this about Just Roberts’ ruling on OBAMACARE:

The U.S. Supreme Courts ruling on ObamaCare is nothing more than an outrageous misstep by the court that ignores the constitutional parameters that were initially put in place to keep the federal government in check.

As Americans we must help elect conservative minded individuals to the U.S. Congress this fall, that will help in the future effort of defunding and repealing this unconstitutional healthcare law that will further damage our ailing economy

On July 15th, a bipartisan majority in the House voted to repeal ObamaCare – a law that is driving up health care costs and hurting job growth.

There is genuine angst and anger about the ruling last month but things pass and people forget. Politicians don’t forget that we forget and before you know it, we have new regulations. We need to follow up on our public servants holding office That is what GOPayl will hopefully do for many years to come. Are they posturing? We DON’T trust anyone!

RNC Chair Priebus has never planned on just repealing it, even though they say full repeal to raise funds and Rubio is already talking about replacing it. It’s a big mess!

Mark Levin had said it could be attached to a reconciliation bill which would require ONLY 51 senators and not 60, and so we need to win back the Senate. Where do you stand on this?

KAREN HARRINGTON: I believe in repealing but I also want to replace. We ended up at this point because we failed to deal with these issues.

We need to create pools for those, like myself, with pre existing conditions. We need to allow portability of policies from state to state or from job to job. We also need to permit health insurance companies to sell across state lines to allow the free market to help us solve the issue of cost.

MATOS: Does anyone has any questions?

GUEST 2: Karen Harrington, Many republican candidates that were elected to congress in 2010, have their seats thanks to the Tea Party, but now they’ve forgotten who brought them to the dance. What are your thoughts on why this happened?

“There is something in the water in D.C. lol

: Yes, it is time to “drain the jacuzzi!

GUEST 2: Well, maybe you should bring your own water. LOL


Saturday was the start of the Olympic Games.. There was no moment of silence for the victims. What are your thoughts on that? We have a link here showing the Palestinians were thankful this happened.

It is blatant liberal political correctness. I cant a imagine a reason not to have a moment of silence. Once again the world turns its back on our great ally Israel.

GUEST 3: I am in Arizona and I am just curious where you stand on illegal immigration, WE sometimes wonder here in Arizona if anyone hears our pleas to close the borders.

I don’t sleep well and cannot wait till the borders are sealed. The drain on the economy nationwide for medical and entitlements is staggering.

KAREN HARRINGTON: I am opposed to any form of amnesty. We need to get our borders under control, implement an e-verify system and start a temporary worker program that they can apply for in their home countries.

MATOS: That seems to be the popular thing these days to pander to Hispanics. It is a security issue though.

GUEST 3: How long has this debate been going on for? when is someone going to stop this invasion? Even Mexico’s southern border is better than ours?

WE couldn’t do what Mexico is doing to OUR country in Reverse with out getting imprisoned or shot.

MATOS: Second question on ISRAEL.. DEBBIE is a DRAMA queen – and a dumb one at that. She is nothing but a HYPOCRITE! It seems she begged Obama to be DNC Chair apparently promising Jewish support in return but has been nothing but a headache to the Jewish community.

She recently got dis-invited from an appearance at a North Miami Beach Synagogue because she didn’t want anyone challenging her comments. (She just can’t stay out of trouble.) Can you give us any details we may not know about or anything else you may want to share .. Mr. Tate who happens to be a supporter of yours was at the center of the protest. He left the Temple causing the synagogue to cancel her speech last month.

Well, I know exactly what you know. The synagogue was going to allow Debbie speak on the U.S.-Israeli relationship but we all know this would have turned into a pep rally for Obama. Mr. Tate wanted an opportunity to present his views after Debbie spoke but was denied. Well we all know what happened after that.

MATOS: This is my last comment. This is a wonderful presentation and one more example why your kind of leadership is needed!

Karen Harrington on Israel’s Right to Exist

Karen, you have the primary coming up August 14th. GOOD LUCK!! A lot of people wish you well. You are a stand-up person and a wonderful example for others to follow.

KAREN HARRINGTON: Thank you all very much for your time, your questions and your support. Please help spread the word about our campaign.

GUEST 1: Thank you for your time and effort.

GUEST 2: God bless Karen Harrington, and help her beat the socks off DWS!

GUEST 3: Good luck. I will pray for you! Be STRONG! Truth Prevails!

Thank you Karen. Good luck and God Bless.

MATOS: That concludes this meeting. Good night everyone!


As you can see, Karen Harrington is a class act and the real deal. Not only that, she is clearly a great business person: we finished on time! 🙂 Can you imagine if things were done this way in Washington? If she continues doing what she is doing, she will defeat Debbie Wasserman Schultz hands down and by a huge margin! There is no comparison, but she still needs support in every way as the left has a way of targeting individuals such as herself. We wish her much luck!

Finally, I have to say I am glad I am actively involved in my local politics. I know I will help Karen out any way I can because I feel she deserves to win! It is my wish that this will inspire one of you to do what you can for a candidate you feel deserves your support. It may not be glamorous or convenient, but we have a country to save and you never know who might endorse your choice!

Thank you for reading. And thanks to all who participated. Posting will continue until August 14th and hopefully beyond that date. For more information, or to visit the event directly, just click on this link.

And to show your support, go to Karen’s website, “like” her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.


Filed under In The News, Politics

4 responses to “Exclusive Interview: Florida’s Karen Harrington

  1. Major Jim Low

    I have looked for a postal address for you in FL rather than a “boiler plate” in DC. Please send me your headquarters in the 20th district. Will gladly contribute.
    Major Jim Low

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