July 1, 2006 Regular News Cannon was drawn to politics early in life Cannon was drawn to politics early in life Jan Pudlow Senior Editor When Dean Cannon was just a kid growing up in Lakeland, the YMCA’s youth legislator program gave him his first taste of politics. Who knew then that when he grew up he’d be invited to the full banquet of power and influence, in line to serve as Florida’s speaker of the House in 2010?It’s as though he’s been preparing for that honor since he was a teenager.Once in college at the University of Florida, Cannon was a student lobbyist, making his opinions known on higher education issues like tuition rates. Next, he became a student senator. While in law school, he became the UF student government president.“It was exciting to begin to appreciate how government affects our daily lives,” Cannon said. “At the same time I was getting my legal training, I was beginning to understand the different roles of the three branches of government. I studied Florida constitutional law and learned more about the structure of government, and it continued to fuel my interest in government.”Now, he’s a 37-year-old lawyer-legislator from Winter Park, looking forward to becoming speaker of the House in four years — if the GOP maintains its majority — after Rep. Marco Rubio, R-Miami, serves 2006-07, and Rep. Ray Sansom, R-Fort Walton Beach, takes the helm of the House in 2008-09.This trio of up-and-coming Republican leaders is engaging in what they call “bold public policy” of listening to innovative ideas from the people of Florida and holding government accountable for results.The night before he talked to the News, Cannon was in Ocala at an “idea raiser,” where he listened to people’s ideas for a better Florida.“It’s exhilarating as a constitutional law student,” Cannon said. “It’s a dynamic and vigorous exercise in democracy.”He invites lawyers to go to the Web site — www.100ideas.org — and share innovative ideas for Florida’s future.“My colleagues in the Bar, if you have ideas and innovative thoughts to improve the criminal justice system or adoptions or family law or civil litigation, we want to hear from you,” Cannon said. “You can post your own idea on the Web and receive reviews and comments. It stimulates a town hall meeting in an electronic discourse.”So far, they have received more than 700 ideas, “ranging from the profound to the somewhat odd: everything from ways to increase local controls of public education dollars to ways to deliver primary health care at the local level. There are wild ideas out there, too. People who want to increase nude beaches.“Part of the goal of the movement,” Cannon said, “is to get people to offer input in areas they have special expertise.”He’s glad he built his legal expertise before becoming a legislator. Since 1995, he’s been a lawyer at GrayRobinson in Orlando, where he practices land use, property rights, and local government law, and he is a member of the Bar’s Environmental and Law Use Law Section. He has lectured on such topics as resolving land use disputes, environmental permitting, and the “environmental and socio-political aspects of landfill siting and regulation.”Practicing as a lawyer for 11 years before he became an elected official in 2004, Cannon said, helped him appreciate the same things his constituents are concerned about: the cost of health insurance, earning a living, and supporting a family.Being a lawyer helps him in his job at the legislature, where he serves on the Civil Justice Committee, Health Care Appropriations Committee, Insurance Committee, Select Committee to Protect Private Property Rights, Transportation Committee, and the Water & Natural Resources Committee.“It’s extra invigorating when you realize the interplay between the statutes enacted by the legislature that are interpreted by the judiciary, and then carried out by the executive branch. It makes you appreciate the finer points. It’s like flying an airplane instead of just reading a book about how a plane works,” said Cannon, who, by the way, is a licensed private pilot.“I believe it makes me more thoughtful, because I have done everything from land use cases, to appearing in court, to adoption cases. I see the relationship between statutory law enacted by representatives and then how it works on the ground in the real lives of Floridians.”Another benefit of his training as a lawyer, Cannon said, is he has learned “how to disagree respectfully, treating people with dignity and respect, even as adversaries.”That attribute came in handy during the debate on HB 145, as co-sponsor of the controversial bill that deleted exceptions to a requirement for liability percentage of fault instead of joint and several liability in damages in civil actions.“I believe that the most fair and equitable way for us to allocate fault as apportioned by the finder of facts. That allocation by juries of people’s peers ought to stand. If someone is 2 percent negligent, they ought to be responsible for 2 percent,” Cannon said. “People had strong feelings on both sides, and that is part of a healthy democracy.. . . I certainly respect people who disagreed with that decision.. . . I have been proud of those in The Florida Bar who lobby different perspectives, to advise and advocate. As long as the advocacy is done in an admirable and zealous fashion, I respect that, regardless of the position.”Cannon, a Baptist, sponsored legislation creating the Florida Faith-based and Community-based Advisory Council within the Executive Office of the Governor (HB 599). His training in constitutional law, he said, made sure to protect the separation of church and state in drafting the legislation.“Essentially, it is to function as a source of information protected by the First Amendment,” Cannon said. “But it is prohibited from establishing religion. No one could identify anything that violated the anti-establishment clause of the state and federal constitutions.”As he looks to critical issues of the future, Cannon lists the “economic impact of the class size amendment, continuing increases in the costs of Medicaid, and the state’s infrastructure of roads, airports, and seaports.”He is married to Ellen Friedley, and they have two children, Dean III and Katherine.“The law is a profession that can do so much good, professionally and privately,” Cannon said. “Whether volunteering time through the Guardian ad Litem Program or running for political office, we can have a great and positive impact on the state. I encourage lawyers to do that.”
Published on April 12, 2011 at 12:00 pm Contact Ryne: [email protected] Comments Facebook Twitter Google+ After falling behind 1-2 in the count, Stephanie Watts and Lisaira Daniels were both retired in the bottom of the first inning Sunday. The next hitter, Lacey Kohl, avoided the same hole by sending the third pitch of an even count over the right-field wall.Kohl jumped on a fastball and put Syracuse on the board first against Notre Dame in SU’s home opener last weekend. But for the rest of the game, the Orange was often down in the count, making it tough to score runs in a 9-2 loss.It’s something SU head coach Leigh Ross identifies as a problem. Ross said her team needs to be more aggressive at the plate. SU has been too patient during its recent struggles.‘I think there needs to be a sense of urgency,’ Ross said in a phone interview Tuesday. ‘Let’s attack a good pitch. Let’s not wait and get two strikes on us and get deep in the count every time.’Syracuse (24-10, 3-5 Big East) is currently on a five-game losing streak in the Big East after a program-record start to the season. SU has scored just 10 runs in those five games. The lack of run production has forced the Orange to play from behind in most of the losses.AdvertisementThis is placeholder textFor Ross, the offensive struggles will end when the team changes its approach. The Orange had success when it was aggressive with the bats early in the season.‘There is a time and a place when you do go deep in a count and you do want to let (the pitcher) throw as many pitches as possible,’ Ross said. ‘But I think we’re a really good team when we do have that attack mentality.’Syracuse had that attack mentality and pounded its opponents during an eight-game winning streak that directly preceded the losing streak. The team scored 38 runs in three games at Rutgers, including a program-record 23 runs in one game.But against tougher competition, the Orange offense has sputtered. South Florida and Notre Dame — currently tied atop the Big East — both swept Syracuse.Ross said the Notre Dame pitching staff was particularly tough. The one-two punch of reigning Big East Pitcher of the Year Jody Valdivia and standout freshman Laura Winter silenced the SU bats.The Fighting Irish pitching staff has allowed the second fewest walks in the Big East with 55 this season. The Notre Dame pair only surrendered three walks to Syracuse all weekend.Ross said her team knew to expect strikes. Syracuse got pitches to hit, but failed to capitalize. The Orange didn’t make the opposing pitchers work enough.‘What good pitchers hate are those hitters that jump on them early,’ Ross said. ‘And foul off balls and they keep battling in there until they get a good pitch.’With two runners on and one out, Daniels stepped to the plate in the fifth inning in that first game. She quickly found herself down 0-2 in the count. Daniels extended her arms and barely fouled off the third pitch on the outside corner to stay alive. She then fouled off four more pitches and took a ball to keep the at-bat going.Finally, on the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Daniels skied a fly ball into foul territory behind third base. The shortstop caught the ball and ended the battle. Kohl followed and worked a full count, but struck out swinging.The Orange had a chance to cut into a five-run lead, but couldn’t come through with the big hit. Daniels said each player has felt too much pressure to perform. She said everyone has to play well.‘We put so much pressure on ourselves to do everything — to hit a home run, to get a triple,’ Daniels said. ‘We forget there’s 25 other people on our team.’SU ace Jenna Caira said the team has to calm down when playing from behind because momentum can shift at any time. But sometimes the other team is just better.‘We faced two great pitchers on Notre Dame,’ Caira said. ‘They hit their spots. They made us adjust. We just unfortunately didn’t get the timely hits.’Ross said SU’s hitters understand their strengths and weaknesses. She said they also have good plate discipline. Now they just have to attack the right pitches again.‘The key is not missing on that pitch that you’re waiting for,’ Ross said. ‘It’s more of attacking in a smart way. It’s calculated.’[email protected]
Lionel Messi will forever be an icon of football.The Argentinean maestro has illuminated the world game with his dazzling skills and individual brilliance during his time with Barcelona.And today marks exactly 12 years to the day that the forward scored his first ever goal for the Catalan giants.There have been 501 more since, but the image of Messi being hoisted above the shoulders of Ronaldinho after scoring against Albacete, will forever live in the memory.Relive the historic moment above….