"As Republican leaders in the Florida House and Senate move toward a deal on property taxes, it looks like one group might get left behind: Democrats."
Throughout this spring's 60-day regular session, Republican Senate President Ken Pruitt and his top deputies said they wanted to hatch a property-tax plan that would ultimately be supported by all 40 of the Senate's members, including its 14 Democrats."Are Dems being cast aside in property-tax proposal?".
It was a sentiment that clearly irritated Republican House Speaker Marco Rubio, who commands a 78-42 majority in the House and wanted GOP leaders in both chambers to forge ahead with particularly dramatic -- though controversial -- tax cuts.
But that session ended without a property-tax deal. And now, as lawmakers prepare for an 11-day special session on the subject later this month, Senate leaders appear a little less concerned about unanimity.
Draft Dodger in South Florida
"A record-breaking crowd of Broward Republicans turned out Saturday night to fill the local party's coffers with cash and get a close-up look at a top-tier presidential candidate. They got a dose of tough-on-terror talk from Rudolph Giuliani." "Giuliani visits, raises cash". More on Rudy's embarrassing comments here: "Giuliani in Broward: Dems in denial on terror". See also "Former Broward County Republican party chairman Pozzuoli signs up with Giuliani".
By the way, did you know tuff talking Rudy managed to avoid the draft. See "Giuliani's Vietnam Deferments May Cause Problems For '08 Run". See also "Draft questions cloud Giuliani’s chances".
New York Magazine reminds us that one of several deferments Rudy managed to wrangle was actually obtained for him by his boss:
Rudy Giuliani, speaking about terrorism and the Iraq war, said last week, "It is something I understand better than anyone else running for president." How long will John McCain—a real-life war hero down seventeen points in the polls—stand for such bluster, considering the lengths Giuliani went to to stay out of Vietnam?"Was Rudy Giuliani a Draft Dodger?"
He won’t mention Rudy’s military history—yet. It’s too early in the primary cycle to go negative. But opponents know this is the warrior-mayor’s biggest weakness. “If Giuliani is the nominee, we’re going to hammer him with ads, and it’s going to be easy because the issue is simple: He’s a draft dodger," says Jon Soltz, an Iraq vet who served as a captain and runs VoteVets.org, a left-leaning version of Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. "Giuliani gets a zero-zero," says General Wesley Clark, an adviser to the group. "he wasn’t willing to risk his life for his country, and he has no relevant experience that’s in any way useful to be commander-in-chief. He hosted the U.N. and had a large police force."
To recap: After receiving several deferments as a student, Giuliani applied for an occupational deferment as a law clerk, but his application was rejected. Giuliani appealed their decision, and asked the federal judge he was clerking for to petition the draft board for him. Which the judge did. When his deferment expired in 1970, Giuliani became susceptible to the draft. He received a high number and was never called. Giuliani "has made it clear that if he had been called up, he would have served," says Katie Levinson, Giuliani’s spokesperson. He was opposed to the war in Vietnam on "strategic and tactical" grounds, she says. Asked to clarify what tactics Giuliani opposed, Levinson declined to offer specifics.
Low Turnout Expected
"10-percent turnout optimistic in District 3 special election".
"High energy has helped state Rep. Joe Gibbons sell himself to Broward voters throughout his political career." "Gibbons' ways sway voters, lawmakers".
All in a Name
"A power struggle back in 2006 led to the National Federation of Republican Women to rescind the charter of the 57-year-old Florida Federation of Republican Women, whose leader, Anne Voss of Tampa, then created the Florida Republican Women's Network. It so happens that many of the network's loyalists happened to be backers of former state GOP chairwoman Carole Jean Jordan, who nearly beat Charlie Crist's hand-picked choice for state GOP chairman, Jim Greer."
Greer's recent instruction, per Florida statutes, that the network apply for permission to use "Republican" in its name did not go over so well."GOP truce".
"We are prepared to defend our rights to call ourselves Republican and to join with other Republican women to have our voice heard and our impact felt in the public arena. Anyone threatening to silence us should understand that we will not acquiesce to intimidation or unfair treatment, " said an e-mail from Voss and Judith Albertelli, an Republican activist from Jacksonville.
By week's end, it appeared Greer had at least temporarily resolved one of the most bitter disputes within the Florida GOP: The Voss/Albertelli group can use "Republican" in its name but won't be chartered by the state GOP, while its arch enemy leaders of the Florida New Federation of Republican Women will work more directly with the state party.
Searching for the Right Wingnut
Some of the GOPers
now helping the Law & Order actor's prospective '08 campaign: RZ "Sandy" Safley formerly with Mitt Romney, Curt Kiser (formerly with Rudy Giuliani) and Jack Latvala. It says something about a candidate who can earn endorsements from such moderate Pinellas Republicans as well as glowing words from former Florida gubernatorial candidate and Florida Right to Life president Ken Connor and Florida Family Policy Council president John Stemberger."Buddies ready for Thompson". Meet the real Fred Thompson: "Fred Thompson's Biggest Act". More wackiness here: "Testing waters, Thompson assails Dems".
The buzz is we can expect state Reps. Denise Grimsley, R-Lake Placid, and Doug Holder, R-Sarasota, to jump on board if Thompson gets all the way in. Lobbyist/politico Oscar Juarez of Orlando, another former Baker organizer, is enthusiastic about his longtime friend Thompson and may jump ship from John McCain, and former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has been calling a bunch of Florida GOP money raisers lately urging support for Thompson.
Wait Till Next Year
The Palm Beach Post editorial board suggests that"given the array of dramatic changes the Legislature is considering, however, he may have to add "next year."" "Consider state tax vote in January, not September".
Out Here In The Fields
"Man bridges gap between field and courtroom".
"The classroom landscape is changing in Florida, producing the ingredients for possible compromise on a constitutional mandate requiring smaller class sizses. This is a job tailor-made for Gov. Charlie Crist." "Flexible fixes for class sizes".
"One of the more intriguing scenarios for Florida's Democratic presidential primary is the prospect that a long-shot candidate could wind up on Jan. 29, overwhelmingly ahead in presidential delegates."
The Democratic National Committee rules bar any delegates going to a candidate who gets less than 15 percent of a state's vote or to someone who campaigns in a state, like Florida, that violates the party's primary calendar. Florida awards 208 delegates in the Democratic primary, compared with 172 for the earliest states - Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire and South Carolina - combined."Florida's primary".
So if, say, Joe Biden or Chris Dodd or Kucinich avoids campaigning in Florida - no speeches, no baby kissing, no money raising - they could well wind up with a mother lode of delegates so long as they can get at least 15 percent of the vote. We asked Kucinich if he'd consider skipping Florida in order to win a ton of delegates.
"Rubio's tax talk draws a crowd".
The Tampa Trib editors find it "disappointing to hear Mark Lunsford make an excuse for his 18-year-old son, who is charged with a felony for fondling a 14-year-old girl" "Romance No Excuse For Young Lunsford". I guess Charlie's boy has ended his political career before it started; see ""Crist pushes Lunsford to run for state House
"I Give I Take It Pays!".
"The Worst Haircut Since Moe Howard"
Daniel Ruth was on fire yesterday about "Chump Tower":
Trump has collected a tidy fortune flitting about the land selling the rights to use his name for various real estate ventures. In the case of Tampa's Mump Towers, SimDag paid $2.8 million to the mogul simply to stick his name over the door."Trumped? P.T. Barnum Was Right On".
You can hardly blame Trump if people want to give him obscene amounts of money just to be associated with the worst haircut since Moe Howard.
But wait! There's more!
How We Got Here
"To understand why Florida has stumbled on its way to cutting property taxes, look no farther than your living-room window." "Property-tax landscape is far from being even".
"In Washington by a Fluke"
"Democrat Rep. Tim Mahoney and Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan have a unique tie that both are trying to shake: a lot of people think they're in Washington by a fluke." "New Florida congressmen trying to prove they belong".
Adam Smith: "Sorry, Hillary, but [Alex] Sink told us the other day not to necessarily expect an endorsement in the presidential primary."