"Education accountability in Florida would be turned upside down if Democrat Jim Davis is elected governor."
Davis released a new education plan Wednesday called "Achieve Florida." In it, he proposes replacing the A through F school grading system that is a staple of Gov. Jeb Bush's A+ program by labeling schools excellent, achieving or needing improvement."Davis Plan Would Declaw FCAT". See also "Davis presents his education platform", "Davis' FCAT Plan", "Davis' education plan unravels Bush reforms", "Davis releases plan to broaden school assessment standards", "Davis introduces 'Achieve Florida'", "Democrat announces school plan", "Davis' education plan places less emphasis on FCAT", "Candidate Davis says too much importance is placed on FCAT testing in schools" and "Davis plan would end grading system".
FCAT scores remain a factor, but are joined with broader measurements, such as class size, graduation rates and parental involvement. Instead of rewarding the highest achieving schools with financial bonuses, Davis proposes sending more resources to underachieving schools to help them improve.
He already has proposed diverting the bonus money for A-rated schools to help fund an across-the-board teacher pay increase.
Harris Continues To Lag In Poll
"A new poll shows an old story for Katherine Harris. She still trails incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson by 18 points - almost exactly the position she was in more than a year ago." "Harris Trails Nelson 18 Points In Poll". See also "Poll: Nelson still has big lead over Harris", "Nelson leads Harris by 18 points in new poll" and "Harris adds GOP votes but has long way to go".
Here's one way to put it: "Harris closing gap in Senate race".
"With five weeks remaining until the election and the Longboat Key congresswoman way behind in the polls, her campaign now refuses to talk specifics on whether she has spent that much or her fundraising strategy in what many political observers believe is a lost cause." "Harris silent on strategy to finance campaign".
Jebbie's "Lucrative Goodbye Gift for a Close Corporate Friend"
"As Gov. Jeb Bush prepares to leave office, his Transportation Department has worked out a lucrative goodbye gift for a close corporate friend. As proposed by the state Department of Transportation, a legislative committee on Tuesday approved an unusual $46-million land purchase from St. Joe Co. It's unusual because the appraisal of the land's value hasn't been done yet." "Bush's $46-million favor to St. Joe". See also "Appearances".
"A nonprofit that rewards police tipsters denied an award in the long-unsolved killings of two civil rights activists, fueling criticism that the reopened investigation by Attorney General Charlie Crist’s office did not solve it. ... Crist spokeswoman JoAnn Carrin said criticism that the announcement was politically motivated was 'ridiculous,' and Crist took up the case long ago after the couple’s daughter Evangeline Moore contacted him." "CrimeLine decision could cast doubt on cold case conclusion". See also "Central Fla. panel decides reward not merited in slayings of civil rights activists".
"Democrats have unearthed a 13-year-old vote by Charlie Crist they plan to use to attack the Republican gubernatorial nominee's record on public safety, a centerpiece of his platform."
As a state senator in 1993, Crist was the only legislator who voted against a bill that raised the fee for criminal background checks for gun buyers from $5 to $8. Some of the money might have been used to buy bulletproof vests for police."Democrats seize on Crist's '93 gun vote". See also "Crist's Voting Record Isn't Bulletproof".
"Inexcusable," the Florida Democratic Party said, calling Crist "the only lawmaker to vote against bulletproof vests for police."
Democrats controlled both chambers of the Legislature at the time. The bill passed the House 115-0 and the Senate 36-1, and Crist cast the lone dissenting vote.
No Tampa GOP Convention
"Tampa loses race to host GOP convention". See also "Tampa's Out But Not Down" ("Just remember, there's always 2012.")
"Fending off criticism that he is ducking his lesser-known opponent, Republican attorney general candidate Bill McCollum on Wednesday agreed to at least three formal debates before Election Day." "Attorney general rivals will debate".
"Republican Senate President Tom Lee and Democrat retired banker Alex Sink faced each other Wednesday in the season's first debate between the two candidates for Florida chief financial officer." "Rivals for CFO job tout talents". See also "Lee and Sink spar at CFO forum".
Charlie Wants $30-million
Chasing that lofty $30-million fund-raising goal, Charlie Crist is on a feverish pace all over the state. He is going to nightly fund-raising receptions where donors must give or raise at least $10,000 to the Republican Party to get in the door. For $50K, donors get to attend a VIP reception and be photographed with the Republican nominee."For $50 Grand, Your Photo With Crist". See also "Cha-Ching".
McCollum Defends Role As Anti-Clinton Wingnut
"McCollum stands by impeachment". See also "How hot was it?", "McCollum: No regrets about his role during Clinton's impeachment", "McCollum: 'I did my duty'".
Charlie's "Election-year Conversion"
"Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist continued his crusade against rising property taxes Tuesday, while his Democratic opponent Jim Davis said Crist is experiencing an election-year conversion after years of inaction as a GOP leader." "Hopefuls spar over property taxes". See also "Property tax promises: Davis' is vague; Crist's is fraught with glitches".
"Republican Vern Buchanan is flexing his financial muscle early, putting major pressure on Democratic rival Christine Jennings and national Democrats who also covet the 13th Congressional District seat. Buchanan's first ad campaign after the primary has been a mega-buy on cable and network television, estimated to have cost more than $400,000 in just a week. That's more money than Democrats running for Congress in this region typically spend on an entire two-year campaign." "Campaigns examine impact of shower of negative ads".
In the meantime, Jeremy Wallace reports that "More Republicans supporting Jennings": "Others quoted in the WSJ article include Bruce Bartlett, a former Treasury Department official for George H.W. Bush, and MSNBC talk show host Joe Scarborough. Neither Barlett or Scarborough talked specfically about Jennings like Fein [a conservative attorney with ties to Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon], but they still spoke about why they wanted Democrats to win in November.".
From The "Values" Crowd
"For the fifth straight year, the number of Americans without health insurance increased in 2005, reaching a total of 46.6 million, according to a report by the nonpartisan, nonprofit Economic Policy Institute." "Health care quality rises, participants fall".
The Best They Can Do?
"RPOF: Where was Jim?".
"One of the Florida's largest business organizations has weighed in with endorsements in statewide races and, no surprise, gave a clean sweep to Republican candidates. Associated Industries of Florida's two allied companies, which get involved in political activities, gave the nod to Charlie Crist for governor, Tom Lee for chief financial officer, Bill McCollum for attorney general, and Charles Bronson for agriculture commissioner." "AIF Likes GOP".
"A regional crisis in property insurance".
"With a win in the four-way Democratic primary, Delray Beach lawyer Maria Sachs' path to Tallahassee is clear. Sachs faces write-in candidate Kathleen Faherty-Ruby in the Nov. 7 general election to replace Rep. Anne Gannon, D-Delray Beach, who declined to seek reelection to the state House District 86 seat so she could run for Palm Beach County Tax Collector. The district in southern Palm Beach County runs from Hypoluxo Road to Glades Road." "Sachs faces nearly absent opponent".
"Saying it was stymied in a request for vote totals from the 2006 primary, The DeLand-Deltona Beacon has sued Volusia County Supervisor of Elections Ann McFall." "DeLand paper sues elections supervisor over poll records".
"Crist's 15-point lead is almost three times as big as the edge incumbent Gov. Jeb Bush had at the time over Democrat Bill McBride. Bush was up just 49 percent to 43 percent, according to the Sept. 25, 2002, Mason-Dixon poll. Davis' gap is actually identical to the one that was separating Bush and Democrat Buddy MacKay in September 1998. That Mason-Dixon survey put Bush up 52 percent to 37 percent." "Poll Perspective".
The Money Thing
"More campaign money helps win races but not always".
As Knuckledraggers Move On, ACLU Expanding In Florida
"In what could be taken as another sign that Gov. Jeb Bush is leaving office, the American Civil Liberties Union announced Wednesday that it is expanding its operations in Florida." "On Your Left!".
Lay Down With Dogs ...
"In an election season rife with anti-incumbent sentiment, Democrat Busansky has not had to lift a finger to tie her Republican opponent to the current Congress or to the White House. With approval ratings for President Bush hovering around 40 percent and for Congress a dismal 27 percent, most Republican candidates in competitive races are keen on emphasizing their independence." "Bilirakis' presidential ties could benefit foe".
Foley Spending Big Bucks
"Foley's third ad of the year could be considered tame in what has become a combative race. The latest ad describes Mahoney's campaign with adjectives also used in several of Foley's other spots, but most of the air time is used to promote Foley." "Ad watch: Mark Foley".
"Giuliani: Shaw strong ally in terror fight". See also "Shaw-Klein congressional race revives debate about future of Social Security" and "Former mayor of NYC stumps for Shaw, GOP" ("Giuliani campaigned for U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw, whose race against Democratic state Sen. Ron Klein is being watched nationally.")
"It didn't take a 200-plus page study by the National Research Council of the National Academies to tell Floridians that the joint federal-state government effort to restore the Florida Everglades is in trouble. " "Environment".
"Environment Florida wants candidates, especially in the 9th Congressional District, to back its platform." "Conservation group woos congressional hopefuls".