The GOP has zero compunction about using the government as a political campaign tool:
As a candidate for governor, Democrat Rod Smith has no real power to influence the state's insurance market. But that hasn't kept government regulators from criticizing an insurance reform plan that is part of his campaign."In his quest to appeal to the broadest possible constituency, the Republican candidate for governor has walked a fine line on the issue of abortion; so fine, in fact, it can be hard to tell where he stands." "Insurance reform? Report hits back".
The regulator's report was sought by staff of the Republican-controlled Legislature, and Democrats suggest it might be circulating now to discredit Smith and other party candidates in an election year.
The report was prepared by Florida's Office of Insurance Regulation, and it is highly critical of the Democrats' plan to convert the state's retail insurer, Citizens Property, and the state's reinsurance fund, into a new fund that would cover the first $100,000 in wind damage on any Florida home.
He Was For It Before He Was Against It ... Or Was He?
"Crist's stance on abortion still hazy". See also "Foes have taken both sides on abortion".
He Said It
The GOP's leading candidate in the CD 13 primary, Tramm Hudson, "apologized Thursday for making derogatory comments about the swimming ability of blacks at a Christian Coalition political forum earlier this year." "Candidate apologizes for racial remark". Hudson is "the immediate past Chair of the Republican Party of Sarasota County. In 1996, 2000 and 2004 he was a Sarasota County Delegate to the Republican National Convention. He is also a Pioneer in the Bush/Cheney ’04 campaign. A Pioneer is someone who has raised over $100,000 for the President’s re-election." "Black men can't swim?" See also "Congress candidate Hudson apologizes for comment" and "Tramm in trouble?"
"Jeb!" has successfully interevened on behalf of the nitwit nurse who claimed that Terri "Schiavo, far from being in a vegetative state, was responsive, spoke, laughed and even ate pudding and milkshakes."
After Gov. Jeb Bush's office got involved in the case, a state nursing panel Thursday dropped a complaint against a nurse who spoke publicly about Terri Schiavo's care."Comments on Schiavo unpunished".
Registered nurse Carla Sauer-Iyer, 42, of Plant City was accused of improperly disclosing patient information about Schiavo on CNN last year.
In interviews, she said Schiavo, far from being in a vegetative state, was responsive, spoke, laughed and even ate pudding and milkshakes. That prompted another nurse to complain that Sauer-Iyer violated Schiavo's privacy.
The state Health Department had pursued a complaint against Sauer-Iyer for several months and initially urged the nursing board's Panel of Probable Cause to authorize a complaint that could have cost Sauer-Iyer her license.
But the Health Department changed its position in July after the governor's office sided with Sauer-Iyer. In response, three members of the Senate Health Care Committee questioned Bush's involvement in the case.
On Thursday, the nursing board's two-member panel reversed itself, dismissing the case after the Health Department said it had new information, including a response from Sauer-Iyer and a copy of an affidavit she provided Bush's legal team in its defense of Terri's Law.
"Jeb: Glad the Gloves Are Off".
Mahoney v. Foley
"Republican Congressman Mark Foley and his Democratic challenger, Tim Mahoney, have pondered each other's politics and prepared for a fight to Election Day." "Foley, Mahoney trade barbs, make pitches".
Florida Progressive Coalition
Some recent posts at the FPC Blog: "Hudson: Blacks Can’t Swim", "My Friendly Martin Kiar FL-97" and "Vote for Phyllis".
GOP Convention Scramble
Tampa "City Council members informally decided to coordinate so only one of them would be at each event to welcome the Republican National Convention site selection committee." "City To Divide RNC Duties".
An Ugly Sight
"After buying a chicken costume, what's Frank Bolanos to do in Sen. District 38? Salsa." "Bolanos has rhythm".
"The state is now home to nearly half of all federal lawsuits over wages. Why? Well, at least four reasons." "Floridians make up for lost overtime".
"Bush dominates one of the two television ads Lee's camp launched on Monday. It opens with Bush telling viewers the state needs Tom Lee." And with brain dead voters like this in the GOP primary, you can't blame Lee:
"I haven't done a lot of research, but I saw the governor on television endorsing him (Lee), and that's good enough for me," [Patty] Cowherd said as she munched sushi Wednesday evening at the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Political Mingle."Bush, homeowners star in CFO candidates' ads". The straw poll results: "The results are in for the straw poll conducted Wednesday evening at the Winter Park Chamber of Commerce Political Mingle".
For the straw poll results at another such - GOP dominated - event, see "Central Florida Straw Poll: Round 2".
"Republican candidates for U.S. Senate".
"Jim Davis has the widow of former Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles in his corner, and now Rod Smith has his son. Lawton 'Bud' Chiles III endorsed Smith's gubernatorial campaign today, telling reporters on a conference call that Smith could "move the Democratic Party back towards a centrist, moderate, fiscally conservative...socially conscious party that's willing to reach out and help people."" "A Chiles in Every Corner". See also "Chiles family splits primary vote" and "Bud Chiles for Rod".
Trib Endorses Castor
"Kathy Castor Is The Choice In Strong Field For Congress". The Dem primary winner is expected to easily win the general.
No Room For Discussion
"Republican U.S. Senate candidate Peter Monroe says his three primary opponents are 'all soft on the embargo on Cuba,' but two of them say he has misrepresented their positions. In a speech Wednesday night at the Versailles Restaurant in the heart of Miami's Little Havana, Monroe said two of his opponents 'want the embargo lifted and the third actually said she wants Mexico and Spain to review the U.S. embargo.'" "Cuba embargo speech stirs up GOP Senate opponents".
Big of 'Em
"State tells developers to stop burying tortoises alive while bulldozing sites".
Shaw Holds A Hearing
"In a town with a visible undocumented worker population, leaders and candidates debated the best way to regulate immigration." "Views vary at Shaw hearing". See also "US Rep. Shaw holds Lake Worth immigration hearing".
"Several hundred residents of Century Village, a large retirement community west of West Palm Beach, turned out Thursday for a town hall meeting on Florida's escalating property insurance rates." "Scared Century Village seniors pack meeting on Florida's insurance crisis".
The News-Journal observes that "Once upon a time, property insurance policy was the exclusive province of wonks and bean-counters. But with flurries of cancellation notices and rate hikes arriving in mailboxes across Florida, windstorm insurance -- which protects against hurricanes, tornadoes and other violent weather -- has become one of the defining issues of 2006." "Worthy risk".
"It's been a tough week for Sen. Gary Siplin, found guilty Monday of stealing thousands of dollars in taxpayer money stemming from his allegedly having three members of his legislative staff work on his 2004 re-election campaign. But he caught a break Thursday from the Florida Elections Commission, which waived a possible $1,875 fine hanging over Siplin for submitting a campaign finance report due last April 10, eight days late." "Siplin Gets a Pass".
"Lee on Storms"
"State Sen. Tom Lee is staying carefully neutral in the primary to replace him in Senate District 10. But before taping a 'Political Connections' interview [the Buzz]asked the Republican CFO candidate how he thinks Ronda Storms often combative style would play in Tallahassee." "Lee on Storms".
A Chamber Thing
"Chamber of Commerce Chairman J. Russell Greene said it's important for the business community to keep a close eye on the county's schools and their students." "Better teachers won't necessarily be better for schools, superintendent says".
Calling The Kettle Black
"U.S. Senate candidate Peter Monroe wants specifics from fellow Republican Will McBride on immigration. But Monroe isn't very exact himself, judging by his website's 'key issues' section." "Lost in translation".
"For the past three months, LeRoy Collins Jr. and Peter Monroe have felt like the kids in the back of the class. They have something to say, they're waving their hands, but it's hard to get the teacher -- or the voting public -- to pay attention." "Collins, Monroe play catch-up for Senate race".
"Jeb Bush reinstates death warrant". But see "New death warrant may be blocked".
No One Came
"U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris came to Sen. Bill Nelson's hometown Thursday to try to prove she could unseat him in the fall, but the help she hoped for didn't come. It was expected to be one of Harris' biggest events leading up to the Republican Senate primary next month, with a host of prominent public officials standing by her side. But no elected official showed up at Orlando Executive Airport for Harris' fly-in - just 30 to 40 people, in a hangar that could hold hundreds." "Touted guests missing at Harris rally". See also "No-shows batter beleaguered Harris".
What a Jerk
After stiffing state employees on wage increases for years, Jebbie has the temerity to challenge "state employees Thursday to raise $2.5 million in the annual United Way campaign for the Big Bend area." "Bush urges state workers to dig deep".
"Davis, who derides the state Legislature for giving insurance companies a break by approving a 'loophole' in hurricane coverage, also happens to be tarring a bunch of legislators who have already endorsed him but voted for the measure approved by wide margins during the 2005 session." "Campaign Crosswinds". See also "Davis Slamming His Own Team?"
"Maybe Charlie Crist should have changed shirts. It turns out that the 'response' ad that Crist began airing Wednesday as a reply to an ad Tom Gallagher put on the air Tuesday was actually made as early as May. Both are candidates in the Republican primary for governor.In the Wednesday ad, Crist, the state's attorney general, is wearing a black shirt as he is posed outside in a front of a body of water. It is the same shirt and same setting that were used in another ad that began airing in early June." "Crist 'response' ad filmed well before Gallagher criticism".
Herald Hearts Mel
The effort to rehabilitate the Cellophane Man is underway: "Fast learner Martinez moves to forefront"
"Fifty-five years ago, Florida was a sleepy Southern state of fewer than 3 million people; now six times that number call Florida home." "Why remember?".