"Almost from day-one of his campaign to succeed Gov. Jeb Bush, Tom Gallagher's highly touted campaign team talked of The Plan. Veterans of the Bush-Cheney successful voter mobilization program, the pros advising the Republican chief financial officer talked up their laser-like precision for turning out socially conservative voters. Sure enough, with three weeks before early voting starts, the Gallagher team is faithfully and methodically sticking to the script it mapped out more than a year ago." "Trailing, Gallagher sticks to The Plan". See also "Gallagher says he's behind in polls, but it's early", "Gallagher's Latest Ad Focuses On Education" and "Gallagher unveils insurance proposals".
But Daniel Ruth asks if "Is It Time To Cue The Macarena?" See also ""3 polls put Crist far ahead of Gallagher".
The "Empty Suit" Strategy
"With polls showing Charlie Crist holding a 2-to-1 lead over Republican gubernatorial rival Tom Gallagher, Florida Democrats began teeing off Wednesday on the frontrunner's latest television spot for being big on imagery but light on details." "Beware of Tan Man". See also "Crist's complexion in the spotlight again" ("his political opponents for years have suggested that it's a salon tan or a result of too many hours at the beach, implying he's simplistic or even spacey.")
"Florida's electric utilities got a rate increase last fall to offset rising costs. Now they're getting an earful from steamed customers." "Rates rising. Heat sweltering. Bills surging".
"Jeb!" Hearts King
"In siding with King, who served as Senate president during the 2003 and 2004 legislative sessions, Bush credited him with helping earlier efforts to keep Schiavo alive. In particular, the governor cited King's support of the 2003 "Terri's Law," which allowed Bush to order Schiavo's tube restored." "Governor backs King in bitter GOP battle".
Some GOoPers are mad: "I am horrified at his decision to endorse Senator King. King has rejected everything it means to be a Republican. From his votes to give college tuition to illegal aliens, support abortion on demand, or allow homosexuals to adopt children, he has left the Republican base behind. I would urge Governor Bush in the strongest possible terms to reconsider what he’s doing”, said Kay Reagan Durden, Executive Committee member, and Campaign Coordinator for Ronald Reagan in 1980 for Northeast Florida." "The Soul of the FL GOP".
"A prominent Republican fundraiser who is the subject of a federal grand jury investigation in Miami has abruptly discontinued his support of Attorney General Charlie Crist's campaign for governor. Sergio Pino, a Miami real estate developer and builder, wrote Crist a letter saying 'it would be in your campaign's best interest' for him to end his fundraising support for the leading Republican candidate for governor. A federal grand jury in Miami is investigating Pino and a Miami-Dade County commissioner, Jose 'Pepe' Diaz." "Crist ally cuts ties amid grand jury investigation". See also "Top Crist fundraiser departs campaign".
Dean Blasts Harris
"Democrat leader Howard Dean compared Republican Senate candidate Katherine Harris to Stalin for her role in the 2000 presidential election recount and called the Iraqi prime minister an 'anti-Semite,' during a speech before party loyalists Wednesday." "Howard Dean blasts Katherine Harris and Iraqi leader in West Palm speech". See also "Democratic Party chief calls for end to divisiveness".
Big Davis Lead in Q Poll
"Davis leads Smith 47 – 19 percent among likely Democratic primary voters, with leaners, and 39 – 15 percent among all registered Democrats, compared to a 32 – 16 percent Davis lead June 29. But the Democratic race is more fluid because 33 percent of likely voters remain undecided and 64 percent of those who name a candidate say they might change their mind." "Q Poll: Big Crist, Davis Leads". See also "Crist, Davis maintain substantial leads in latest poll".
Harris in Trouble
"Quinnipiac: Harris Not a Sure Thing in GOP Primary".
Lack of Protection
"Despite the active storm seasons of 2004 and 2005, the Panhandle still lags other areas of the state in safety standards for new construction." "A dangerous lack of hurricane protection".
This doesn't help: "Chris Ingram, former communications director for Katherine Harris' U.S. Senate campaign, joined the team of one of her opponents.
Ingram is the new campaign manager for LeRoy Collins campaign for Senate." "Musical chairs". See also "Harris' Ex-Aide Switches Candidates".
"Builders for Davis"
"Jim Davis was endorsed Wednesday by the 1,800-member Tampa Bay Builders Association." "Builders for Davis".
Car Dealers Battle
"Longboat Key Republican Vern Buchanan expected some mudslinging as he runs for Congress. But what he didn't expect was a blistering attack from Jerry Mullinax, a Central Florida car dealer whom Buchanan says he barely knows. ... Buchanan, owner of 19 auto dealerships, including Sarasota Ford, flew to Orlando on Wednesday and met with Mullinax." "Attack ads target Buchanan".
GOP "Listened only to the insurance industry"
"Democrats had ideas during the March-May legislative session, but the governor and the GOP didn't want to listen. They listened only to the insurance industry. So, Democrats are taking their ideas on the road. This week, they were in Palm Beach County. If the governor is ignoring them, though, another Republican is paying attention. Attorney General Charlie Crist, who is running for governor and watches polls the way forecasters watch radar screens, indicated some support for the Democrats' approach." "Hear out the Democrats on hurricane insurance". See also "Bush pushes plan to insure businesses".
They can't help themselves:
Both candidates -- Attorney General Charlie Crist and Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher -- have played the fear card in their campaigns for the Sept. 5 primary vote. Crist's emotional evocation of three young girls abducted and killed in the past two years -- Jessica Lunsford, Sarah Lunde and Carlie Brucia -- is a standard plea in his speeches on the need for "anti-murder" legislation to lock up violent offenders who violate their probation."Candidates play off voter fear".>
With a less fevered pitch, Gallagher has also warned of threats to public safety in recent weeks, tying restrictions on immigration to terrorism threats. And in his role as CFO, Gallagher announced earlier this week a Web site that will allow residents to identify sexual predators' vehicles.
No Book Banning
"The Vamos a Cuba debate played to divided public sentiments for months, but when the conflict reached the courts, the ruling was focused and clear. U.S. District Judge Alan Gold delivered an 89-page opinion that emphatically rejected the Miami-Dade County School Board's arguments for banning the book. He wrote that the board 'abused its discretion in a manner that violated the transcendent imperatives of the First Amendment.'" "The court has spoken -- time to move on".
"For the first time since 1939, the League of Women Voters of Florida decided not to hold a voter registration drive this year because of a new state law imposing heavy fines on organizations that fail to meet deadlines to submit applications, the league's president testified Wednesday." "Voter Law Challenged In Court".
"Migrant issue is not dead in Avon Park".
"The only time U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris had second thoughts about her surgery to remove an ovarian mass was as she was being wheeled into the operating room last week." "Cancer scare renews purpose of striving for goals, Harris says".
"Support for Israel is mandatory in the race between Republican U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw and his Democratic opponent, state Sen. Ron Klein." "Who's more pro-Israel, Shaw or Klein?".
"About a third of Florida voters haven't settled on candidates for attorney general, chief financial officer or agriculture commissioner,a new Mason-Dixon poll found." "Voters unsure about Cabinet". See also "Some Soon Will Be Powerful, But Few Know Their Names", "Ex-client criticizes candidate" and "Poll: Races for Cabinet posts running close".