Adam Smith argues that
If elections were decided at rubber chicken luncheons and Democratic club meetings, state Sen. Rod Smith, 56, could be well on his way to trouncing U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, 48, for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.He notes, however that
Whether it's Smith's courtroom-tested persuasiveness or Davis' affected speaking style, the underdog state senator is winning over gathering after gathering as the candidates campaign side by side.
Elections in America's fourth-biggest state aren't decided by the tiny sliver of the electorate that sees candidates in person, however, and most modern Florida governors have been dry public speakers."Davis has the cash but lacks panache".
"The lobbying scandal sparked by Jack Abramoff has focused national attention on private groups that shell out millions to underwrite trips for members of Congress. The fallout has sparked a drive for a ban or new limits. But that didn't stop Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Crystal River, from heading to the Middle East with a pro-Israeli group or deter Rep. Tom Feeney, R-Oviedo, from traveling to China on the tab of a private group." "Lawmakers say trips are work".
"Lawmakers aim to grow revenue by reforming a tax law for farmers that is widely abused by developers." "Farm tax reform is sought".
The Workers Remain ... They're Just Privatized
"Fewer state workers after two Bush terms".
"The way Florida administers the death penalty is fast becoming a national question after the U.S. Supreme Court halted two executions in recent weeks because of concerns over the state's use of lethal injection." "Florida's execution process faces death knell".
Same Sex Adoption
"Davis says he supports adoption by same-sex couples, not marriage".
In his shirt sleeves, with a quietly passionate speaking voice, Davis promised the gay community his support."How close is close enough?"
"You elect me governor," he said, "and I'll protect you, your partner, your lifetime companion and your family every day. And I'll treat you with respect and allow you to enjoy the freedom and dignity every Floridian should enjoy."
(State Sen. Rod Smith, Davis' opponent in the Democratic primary, had planned to attend the conference but canceled because he had to attend a funeral, event planners said.)
Davis said he would propose an end to the state's ban on gays and lesbians adopting children.
"The man who worked so hard to defeat Theresa LePore told the county's legislative delegation that he wants to eliminate voting on the Sunday before an election. He claims that working on Sunday puts 'a tremendous strain' on his staff and diminishes its ability to prepare for the Tuesday voting. What would any Florida elections supervisor be without complaints about the workload? Never mind that closing the polls on Sunday would disenfranchise some voters, which all the legislative reforms after the 2000 debacle were supposed to prevent. Mr. Anderson should be looking for more ways to give voters opportunities, not take them away." "A trail less followed".
Domestic partner benefits
"Unmarried workers at UF may not have signed up for health benefits for their partners because of tax penalties." "Domestic partner benefits plan nets few".
"Fla. legislators consider requiring generators for gas stations, nursing homes".
"State employees could try that while reading a letter that the Department of Management Services sent out last week, responding to news reports that some Convergys employees and a former subcontractor handled sensitive personnel files with a dignity one might find at a toga party. But, if you quaff a beer every time DMS Secretary Tom Lewis tells employees there's nothing to worry about, you might first want to stock up on hangover remedies." "DMS, don't worry Ð no, really, don't".
To Replace Harris
"Detert says she's Seabiscuit candidate".
"The eagerly anticipated first campaign finance report for Democratic congressional hopeful Tim Mahoney shows the rookie candidate garnered a not-to-be-sneezed-at $271,764 by adhering to one of the bedrock principles of political money-raising: Start with the people you know." "Foley opponent raises $271,764, much from self, outside district".
Crist's "Steady Crusade"
"With Tom Gallagher staking much of his campaign for governor on a faith and family appeal to religious conservatives, his rival is countering with his own mantle: consistency." "Steady Crusade An Asset For Crist".
George Bennett reports that "Attorney Maria Sachs sounds as if she's laying a predicate to challenge state Rep. Richard Machek, D-Delray Beach, in a Democratic primary.".
"Florida lawmakers can learn a painful lesson from Colorado's no-fault car-insurance debacle. Colorado lawmakers dumped no-fault car insurance three years ago. There have been so many consequences since then that they're now trying to resurrect it." "Painful lesson".
"Sensible Voting Districts"
"Detractors have dismissed [redistricting] effort as a political stunt, and it is true supporters are primarily aligned with Democrats - the party out of power. But it's also true that redistricting and reapportionment have become more about politicians choosing their voters than about voters choosing their representatives. Here are some facts. Only one of the 25 congressional races in 2004 had a margin of victory within 10 points. Forty percent of Florida's U.S. representatives - five Democrats and five Republicans - were elected without opposition from a major-party candidate. " "A Chance For Sensible Voting Districts".
"Presidential line-of-succession expert" ...
in state next week"".
No Gloating Zone
"Republican Charlie Crist and Democrats Jim Davis and Rod Smith - three of the four major candidates for governor - may be rejoicing over reports suggesting possible ethical conflicts of interest by the fourth, Republican Tom Gallagher, but they don't want to appear to gloat." "Rivals Tread Carefully On Gallagher".