Mike Thomas asks: "Could we see a Democratic resurgence in Florida this November, perhaps even a takeover of the Cabinet?" "Is GOP taking the Democrats' path to losing?".
"The most ethical administration in Florida history"
"His prison boss took bribes. His law enforcement chief compared two black leaders to criminals. The top man at his child-welfare department had cozy ties to lobbyists."
Nearly eight years after promising "the most ethical administration in Florida history," Gov. Jeb Bush has watched several of his leaders become mired in controversies that threaten to blemish his well-polished reputation as a reformer -- the envy of other governors and political opponents alike."Governor's hires under fire". See also "Bush held off on firing Crosby" and "Bush: FBI asked me to wait before firing prisons head".
The most recent scandal came Wednesday, when federal prosecutors revealed that James Crosby -- the man Bush tapped to lead the long-troubled Department of Corrections -- admitted his part in a $130,000 bribery and kickback scheme with a snack-bar vendor.
"Space Florida wants chief in six weeks" "Space Florida wants chief in six weeks".
Harris Under Attack
"With polls consistently showing U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris lagging 30 points behind Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, her Republican opponents are stepping up their attacks." "Harris' GOP rivals try to open doors as hers sticks". In the meantime, "Harris takes her campaign to Latino voters".
"Gays and conservative Christians are expected to clash today when the Orange County Commission considers adding sexual orientation to its fair-housing ordinance." "Gays, conservatives clash in Orlando over fair-housing law".
"Ignore the rhetoric - if you pay more, it's a tax hike".
"State Rep. Everett Rice dropped out of the race for state attorney general on Monday, ending a yearlong campaign waged in relative obscurity and beset with money woes." "Rice ends quest for state attorney general post".
"From irresponsible to pathological"
"Not many members of Congress can be described to voters this year as "Rep. B," the unindicted patsy in a federal prosecutor's formal account of bribery and election fraud. But given that the distinction belongs to Florida's own U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris, one would think she might steer clear from the subject of campaign contributions."
Then again, Harris already has advised voters she "cannot be controlled." Toward that end, her attempted smear last Thursday of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is Exhibit A."Exhibit A for Rep. B?". See also "Harris links Sen. Nelson to Riscorp".
Harris, it should be noted, won a Republican primary eight years ago with a commercial attacking her opponent for "illegal contributions" from the same Riscorp Inc. insurance executives that also had given money to her. So maybe that's what was going through Harris' mind when she told a Florida Republican Women's meeting in Kissimmee that Nelson had taken $80,000 in illegal contributions from Riscorp.
In point of fact, Nelson received $62,500 from the company in 1994. Riscorp executives pleaded guilty to campaign fraud in 1998 for bundling contributions worth $380,000 to 23 different candidates. But this is where the story goes. One of the other 23 was Katherine Harris.
"Dozier, 57, is a key figure in Republican Charlie Crist's effort to reach black voters in the attorney general's race for governor. Neither Bush nor Crist could be reached for comment. ... Dozier is a prominent black Republican who has recruited blacks to the GOP and advised President Bush. He was nominated to the judicial screening committee in 2001, and Gov. Bush reappointed him two years later. The governor also spoke at Dozier's church on Martin Luther King Jr. Day in 2003." "Controversial black minister quits Broward judicial committee at request of governor". See also "Reverend's words divisive".
"Record-shattering level of personal financing"
"In what appears to be a record-shattering level of personal financing for a Florida legislative contest, Democratic state Rep. Irving Slosberg of Boca Raton has pumped $629,000 of his own money into his race for a Palm Beach-Broward state Senate seat." "Slosberg's self-financing hits $629,000".
"If money talks, state Sen. Tom Lee and state Rep. Joe Negron should have some advantages in getting their names known in the final seven weeks of campaigning before Florida's Sept. 5 primary election. Lee has raised more than $1.6 million in his bid to win the Republican nomination for chief financial officer while his chief opponent, Republican state Rep. Randy Johnson, has just under $707,000. Lee raised $298,000 in the quarter that ended June 30 compared to $117,670 for Johnson. Negron, a Republican attorney from Stuart, has raised $1.3 million in the attorney general's race, but just $48,000 last quarter when legislators could not accept campaign contributions during their nine-week session." "Lee, Negron have money advantages".
Environmentalists Slam Putnam
"In Tampa, the full-page ad bought by the groups, appearing in The Tampa Tribune, attacked Rep. Adam Putnam, a rising Republican star and central architect of the House's historic vote to lift the drilling bans. Beneath a large photo of a bird fouled by oil, the ad copy declares that "no amount of cleanup will remove this stain from Adam Putnam's voting record." It attacks him for 'potentially exposing us to devastating spills' and urges readers to tell Putnam 'his loyalty is to the American taxpayer, not big oil corporations.'" "Environmentalists Slam Politicians On Drilling".
"But his cash-on-hand lead over Gallagher slips as the GOP pair wage the costliest gubernatorial primary in Florida history." "Crist wins another lap in fundraising race". See also "Gallagher Grabs $1.1 Million" and "Crist's cash tops Gallagher's in GOP contest for governor".
"Gallagher's Television Ad Portrays Him As Tax-Lowering".
"Candidates seeking public funds" See also "Coffers swell -- but public chips in".
Charlie is "Anti-Murder"
"Governor candidate uses Deltona mass murder as example of need for new 'anti-murder' law" "Crist pledges probation overhaul".
"Bush on Monday fired a verbal barb at Georgia's use of water from the Chattahoochee River, saying he would like to tell an Atlanta newspaper, 'Quit stealing our water.' "Governor: Georgia can get its water elsewhere".
Noncitizens in Uniform
"In Miami, U.S. senators draw attention to the effect of proposals on about 24,000 noncitizens in uniform." "Immigration hearing highlights military's role".
"Gov. Jeb Bush, back after a weeklong vacation in Maine, didn't say no Monday when asked that question. Does that mean the answer may be yes? While the governor has discounted rumors he'll run for president in 2008, he's not said he won't run for vice president." " McCain-Bush 2008 Ticket?". See also "Bush ducks question on interest in being McCain's running mate".
Battle of the Websites
"First came the anti-Charlie Crist web sites, now comes the debut of www.tomgallaghersucks.com." " Not Fond of Tom".
55 Bush Appointments?
"Just weeks before dozens of candidates are set to qualify for 55 new judicial seats statewide, a group of South Florida lawyers is asking the state Supreme Court to invalidate the elections. In a lawsuit filed last week, the Eleventh Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission has asked the high court to halt the election of the judges and instead allow Gov. Jeb Bush to appoint them." "Court to consider election of 55 judges".
"U.S. Rep. Jim Davis outraised his Democratic gubernatorial challenger by about $90,000 during the second three months of the year, the campaigns reported Friday. Sen. Rod Smith's campaign said it would report raising about $560,000. The Davis campaign said it raised more than $650,000. Smith was unable to raise money for five weeks during the quarter because Senate rules prohibit fundraising for state offices during the legislative session." "Davis reports $90,000 more than Smith in fundraising".
"Since 2000, nearly constant controversy has arisen over contracts the agency has entered into, ranging from problems with food services to an abrupt end of a contract to split and distribute prescription drugs to inmates. And the head of a now-defunct agency that oversaw the operation of private prisons was sent to federal prison earlier this year." "Outsourcing woes nothing new at DOC". See also "State prison scandals seem like familiar tales" and "Repeat prison offenses".
Insurance an Issue
"Both candidates say they are hearing about insurance concerns more often as they campaign. Though the first phase of the campaign was devoted to education, the debate clearly has shifted." "Democratic Governor Hopefuls Take Stance On Insurance Issue". See also "Smith: state should cover part of hurricane insurance", "Davis touts his insurance plans" and "Democratic candidates spar over insurance".