IN: Tell me a little bit about yourself, your background and why you got in the District 2 race.
Radcliffe: My name is David Radcliffe and I have been an insurance agent with Underwood Anderson Insurance for 28 years, had a career a Prudential many years before that. I have been involved in small business in my insurance career, I have been involved with all types and sizes of businesses. Personally, with my family. We’ve owned and managed some commercial rental buildings. Me and my wife, we’ve personally owned, Breeze Mini Storage. We’ve owned, operated and managed that. We’ve done that for the past ten or 12 years, more than that, about 14 years.
I have been involved with—I have a Facebook page I’m gonna refer you to here in just a little while, a webpage where I have all this stuff listed out.
I live in south Santa Rosa County, I’ve lived here since I was 9-years-old, moved over from Escambia County. Went to Gulf Breeze High School, Pensacola Junior College, UWF, graduated and have a degree in business management from UWF.
Owning and operating, owning these businesses and buildings and everything, you just get—I think that’s what my campaign is kinda going to turn into is Of-All-the Stuff-Going-On-Right-Now-What’s-Bugging-David-Radcliffe-the-Most? That’s what my key issues are. The biggest thing right now is insurance. Two different types: homeowners insurance and the property casualty insurance market in Florida and dealing with the state-run Citizens program.
Tallahassee, down there, has totally let Citizens get out of hand and away from its original, core—to provide wind coverage in wind-prone areas. Before things get totally out of control, things need to be fixed. It has created a tremendous, unfunded exposure to all the residents of the state of Florida. If the big, bad storms ever hit Florida the assessments are going to be huge.
On the health insurance side of it, that’s something I think the legislature and what they’re doing down there now—health insurance got so mixed up, I ended up getting out of the health insurance business many years ago. Now it’s coming back down, I pay for my own employees, for all their health insurance. And the cost of that to me, and every other small business in Florida, and even big business in Florida, is I’m afraid what’s going to happen, it’s going to skyrocket and get out of control.
On the individual side and on the group side and on the—it looks like Florida’s going to make a decision on the Medicaid program, do the best that we can to handle the Medicaid programs.
BP money. When BP money comes, my opinion right now is that if the BP money—the current legislative delegation has done a great job of trying to direct, the eight most-effected counties in Florida will the ones benefit the most from the BP RESTORE money, but what I see is going to happen is, in this area, I think we’re dreaming if we think that BP money is going to flow and come right straight to us. There will be so many people trying to put their hands on it at every level, from the federal to the state. Trying to get that money here, to Pensacola, is going to be—I think we’re dreaming, people are dreaming if they think that money is going to get here.
And then, two, the next thing that I see happening, I can’t believe the people that are lining up trying to figure out how in the world to spend this money if it ever does show up. We have to have a good plan in place, we have to know how we’re going to spend it. Spend it on items that are going to help generate sustained job growth, tourism and the development of the economy of this area. I do not want to see that money frittered away on all kinds of wild plans.
I think the money should be—there’s groups and organizations out there, people that are already bringing lots of tourists to Pensacola Beach, the High Point Hotel, the Holiday Inn, the Hilton over there. Those guys already have in place an advertising program that are bringing tourists to Pensacola. Those are the kind of people, in my opinion, that need to continue getting, that need to have supplemental money, extra money, they know how to do it, they’re professionals at it. Help them. Don’t go out and create some kind of new bureaucracy to try to spend that money. Figure out how to get it to those guys.
Tourism and jobs.
Fishing regulations. You know, the state of Florida is already trying to buck the federal system. Might cost us in the end, but continue to fight for the fishing regulations. Get it to where it’s more understandable, to where you don’t have to take your lawyer with you just to go fishing.
Small business, and its regulations and everything. My brother’s a contractor trying to do business in Escambia County. He has clients, they want to build buildings over there. They’re already established, already got millions of dollars invested in southwest Escambia County, wants to grow.
Between Escambia County, ECUA, the Florida DEP you can’t get permits to expand his business in southwest Escambia County. All the permits he’s pulled recently have all been Baldwin County, Ala., because they have welcomed them with open arms. That’s just absolutely not right that you can’t go pull your own permit and do what you want to in Escambia, in this area. It’s not a dirty business at all, it’s a clean one.
What else? What else?
IN: That’s your What’s-Bugging-David-Radcliffe list, right there?
Radcliffe: Uh-huh. That gets me going.
IN: Okay, we’ll you hit on a lot of the stuff that I was going to ask you about, so I may not have too many more questions. What would you hope to accomplish if you won this election?
Radcliffe: To accomplish?
IN: Yeah, how would this area benefit from your service?
Radcliffe: I think sending me to Tallahassee, down there—number one, to fight for, in the near future, to fight for BP RESTORE money. Making sure that it actually gets here. And getting government out of the way so that businesses can grow and develop. Another hot-button issue, especially for my insurance business and everything here, construction. Construction is absolutely what drives this economy in this area. Get doing something. Fight with the banks, the mortgage companies, getting all these foreclosed houses off the books, out of the way, so the market can return to some normalcy, where people can—the construction industry can get cranked back up in this area.
Another hot button issue, while not exactly in this territory, or in this district, but in Santa Rosa County, protecting the military investment. Whiting Field up there, so Santa Rosa County, is of tremendous importance. Making sure that the area around that is protected, that there’s not too much growth in it.
IN: I’m gonna throw a few topics at you to get your thoughts.
Radcliffe: Pro gun. There’s already plenty enough regulations on the books. Support for conceal-carry, you know, we need to clarify what conceal carry—there’s a little issue going on down there now where people briefly expose, you know, a lady would open her purse and her gun would be in it and somebody could see it and then they’d want to come after, harass, you know the people with the conceal-carry people get harassed about it and everything, because, I mean—I’m totally pro-gun. And there is enough regulations on the books right now. I went to the gun show this weekend, I couldn’t buy a gun out there without a background check, you know, it’s been that way forever.
IN: What about gay marriage or domestic partnership?
Radcliffe: I’m not gonna take a position on that. I don’t think we need to have all that. I don’t know the answer to that one.
Radcliffe: I don’t know the answer to that one.
IN: Alright, fair enough. Marijuana?
Radcliffe: I think that just leads to harder drugs. I’m not for it, any legalization of it or anything. We don’t need it.
IN: You think we should explore it medically, or no?
Radcliffe: Medically, if they want to do something with it. As far as other things, trying to do like they did out there where they’re legalizing it, I think they have opened up problems they haven’t even thought of. What happens when a professional athlete goes to Colorado for the weekend and then he comes back to work and they test you for drugs. What’s going to happen? Go on a snow skiing trip to Colorado, it’s legal there but Monday morning you come home and they test you for drugs here. What’s gonna happen? I think they have just opened up a whole world of problems with that.
IN: What about healthcare?
Radcliffe: Healthcare is going to be a huge issue and I think premiums on that are going to go way up. Coverage is going to get more scarce, the doctors are going to fuss because of the pay scales that are going to be imposed on them and everything. It’s going to be very difficult for them to even deliver services—for the doctors and hospitals and the medical providers to provide services.
One thing, in the health insurance business—I”m so glad I’ve gotten out of the health insurance business—agents are gone. I mean, you’re not gonna find people that in the past helped you understand health insurance, buy the correct policies. Now you’re going to have, the term they use now is ‘navigator,’ to help you pick from among the couple of plans that they say are approved. And we’re going to end having the government—like when you sign up for Medicare—you make the phone call to somebody at some call center somewhere and they do it. The agents are out of the program. I think that’s a huge change and not for the good.
IN: Well, I think that just about covers everything I had. You got anything you want to add?
Radcliffe: No. Those are all the things, I think, that are bugging me.