As "Jeb!" continues to embarass himself ("Jeb's Take on the Dems' Debate", "Bush says Democrats negative, lacking vision"), it is refreshing to see the "Democrats fire back".
"Political attacks are what the Bushes do best, but the American people have had enough. It’s time for change. Florida needs a leader like Jim Davis or Rod Smith in the governor's office, not a partisan attack dog, frothing at the mouth to attack anyone who disagrees with him."We need to see more of this.
"The Republican candidates for governor continued to swipe at each other while stumping Thursday across central Florida." "Gallagher, Crist throw jabs at each other on road".
What Does Chalie Stand For? Besides Chain Gangs?
Charlie Crist's all things to all people campaign has worked like a charm. Crist has largely been given a pass on his purposeful evasion of taking a firm stand on many issues. Could that be about to change?
"At campaign stops and at meetings with his own supporters, Charlie Crist has been asked to define his stance on abortion." "Abortion questions plague Crist campaign". See also "Crist forced to defend his abortion stance".
Will the media savage Crist's intentional ambiguity on this critical issue the same way the media dismantled Bill McBride on the class size funding issue? Don't hold your breath.
"Silent Senator Smith"
"Voters learned a harsh lesson in 2004 about the corrosive power of independent 'issue groups' and their ability to wage smear campaigns. The so-called Swift Boat attacks against Sen. John Kerry took his distinguished service record and portrayed it as something to be ashamed of. Now the same thing is happening to U.S. Rep. Jim Davis. This time, the attacks are funded by the state's biggest sugar grower, apparently in retaliation for Davis' tough stance on the Everglades cleanup." "Big Sugar and silent Senator Smith". See also "Sugar-allied mailer sour about Davis' record" and "Davis decries attacks by mail, TV".
Pitts and Lee
"Seizing on a 16-year-old vote by Jim Davis to deny compensation to two wrongfully convicted men, Big Sugar has unleashed another attack ad against the front-running Democratic candidate for governor." "40-year-old murder case becomes issue in governor's race".
Sarasota Politics Weird
Jeremy Wallace: "The Top 10 reasons Sarasota is Capital Weird".
Black Female Running Mate For Charlie?
Wait till the GOP primary voters get a load of this:
State Rep. Jennifer Carroll, in what may be an audition for another job, gave a rousing introduction for Attorney General Charlie Crist at a dinner-time meeting of the Leaders for Tomorrow Republican Club in downtown Jacksonville. The Green Cove Springs Republican told the group of 75 people, which consists primarily of black Republicans, that Crist did not change his stances on issues just because he was running for higher office and did not "flip-flop." Crist's rival, Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, contends Crist is hard to pin down on such high profile issues as abortion. ... The 46-year-old Carroll is viewed by many as a potential running mate for governor."LG audition for Jennifer Carroll?"
"The TV ad for Will McBride, an underdog candidate for the Senate nomination, claims votes for Katherine Harris will ultimately be wasted." "Harris rival to air ads in Republican primary".
"Curtis' motivation to enter this race was spawned by an association he had with Feeney in 2000, the year Feeney was sworn in as speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. At that time, Curtis was lead programmer for an Oviedo software company. Curtis says that in the fall of 2000, Feeney asked the company to create a computer prototype that could be used to rig elections without detection. Curtis, then a Republican, says he created the software because he believed Feeney wanted to use it to prevent fraud. Curtis, though, says he discovered that Feeney intended to use the program to control votes in favor of Feeney-backed candidates. Feeney denies the accusation, and his campaign has dismissed Curtis' candidacy, labeling him as a disgruntled ex-employee of the software company. Curtis has signed an affidavit, subject to penalty of perjury, supporting his statements. He has also testified under oath before a congressional committee." "To challenge Feeney".
Hope Springs Eternal
"Palm Beach County officials confident about voting system, backups ready".
On the Debates
Tampa Trib editorial board:
Voters across the state this week got their first good look at the four men campaigning to be Florida's next governor. Although they saw plenty of politicking during the first televised debates, viewers had to come away feeling that the choices are strong, though polarized."Debates Had Political Fireworks And Even A Bit Of Substance".
The Republican candidates did their best to link themselves to Jeb Bush, a popular governor. The Democratic candidates, on the other hand, made it clear they would dismantle much of what Bush has done, particularly his education reforms.
"This is a typical end of the campaign ad where the candidate uses newspaper endorsements to demonstrate independent support for his candidacy. Crist takes the ad a step further by using the final seconds to point out newspaper criticism of Gallagher. The statements in the ad accurately reflect what the newspapers stated." "Ad Watch: Charlie Crist for governor".
One Can Hope
"Peter Monroe knows Washington. The Safety Harbor developer and U.S. Senate hopeful built a solid reputation as a behind-the-scenes player on Capitol Hill, tackling some of the nation’s stickier messes, including managing the taxpayer-backed $140 billion savings and loan bailout." "Monroe hopes experience will help him beat Harris in GOP primary".
"Republican gubernatorial frontrunner Charlie Crist is making a belated entrance into the political fray over ways to remedy Florida's battered insurance market." "Candidate Crist has his own insurance plan".
"League hopes to increase voting numbers with guide".
GOP Hearts Insurance Company Money
Florida Republicans don't reaise an eyebrow when insurance companies demand even higher increases:
The basic solution to Florida's hurricane insurance crisis is for consumers to pay more, despite double-digit increases already levied over two years, insurance officials said Thursday, the anniversary of Hurricane Andrew."Insurance firms: State premiums still not high enough". Let's see here:
Representatives from reinsurance companies, which back up losses for primary insurers like Allstate and Nationwide, told a state panel convened by Gov. Jeb Bush to solve the problem that the industry is over-regulated and buildings aren't up to code. ...
Those on the committee -- which is chaired by Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings and includes businessmen, state legislators, a retired teacher, a NASA employee and others -- objected to complaints about weak codes, but did not question ... the need for higher premiums.
At least $4 million has been given in the last decade to the Republican Party of Florida, mainly from industry trade groups and associations but also from insurers, their lobbyists and executives. By contrast, the Florida Democratic Party received slightly more than $1 million."Insurance companies shower Fla. politicians with donations to get rate hikes".
Saving Black Males
"State Rep. Frank Peterman of St. Petersburg is on a mission to save black males in Florida. And Peterman, who represents mostly black House District 55, has a plan. " "A plan to help young black males".
"McBride ad ties Harris to Washington scandals".
"Republican U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris reveled in her underdog status Thursday during campaign appearances in Democrat-friendly Broward County." "Harris thrills Broward fans".
"Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Davis of Tampa and Republican U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw of Fort Lauderdale are both using an Everglades cleanup measure pushed by Big Sugar in 2003 to club opponents in their respective races." "Strange bedfellows in the Everglades".
"Jim Davis appeared before the Tiger Bay Tallahassee chapter Thursday and came away a winner in a straw poll. Davis 49. Smith 21." "Davis by a Straw".
Not Staying the Course
"Davis: Florida must not 'stay the course'":
Republicans use moral issues like gay marriage and abortion as clubs to batter opponents, rather than confronting issues that affect Florida's working families, Democrat Jim Davis said Thursday.More.
The Tampa congressman also told a Tallahassee audience that Gov. Jeb Bush and the Republican-run Legislature have sought to "dismantle" state government through privatization and tax breaks. Davis cited the pending sentencing in October of former Department of Corrections Secretary Jim Crosby on corruption charges as an example of privatization gone wrong. Crosby pleaded guilty to taking $130,000 in kickbacks.
Tampa Trib: "In Debate, Davis May Have Stuck Closest To The Facts".
"Republicans David Langheier and state Rep. Gus Bilirakis are vying for the right to face Democrat and former Hillsborough County Commissioner Phyllis Busansky in the Nov. 7 general election." "District 9 U.S. House Race".
"More Voters Casting Their Ballots Early".
"For months, the polls have been saying U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris is the front-runner in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate nomination with Will McBride a distant second. But in the race to collect editorial endorsements, retired Adm. LeRoy Collins Jr., is the clear front-runner, with Peter Monroe running second." "Collins leads Harris in Senate race endorsements". See also "Collins' strength a surprise".
"The head of the Polk County Republican Party has filed a campaign finance complaint against James 'Jim' Davis, the Democratic candidate in the race for the District 63 seat in the Florida House of Representatives. Among several accusations, Eric Allen, chairman of the Polk GOP, claims Davis illegally accepted a $2,850 loan from Polk County personal injury lawyer Kent Lilly." "Polk GOP Files Complaint On Democrat".
"Harris blames Nelson for surging insurance costs".
Our Green Governor
"Gov. Bush puts clout behind use of biofuel".