"With his status as front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination slipping, Rudy Giuliani will attempt to stanch his campaign's slide Saturday, with a major address aimed at shifting the spotlight from the controversies that have dogged him in recent weeks." "Giuliani Winters in Florida". Indeed, Giliuani's campaign recently pointed to Florida when he was questioned about his low poll numbers elsewhere:
Giuliani showed the importance he places on Florida in a "Meet The Press" interview Sunday."With Lead Fading, Giuliani To Speak In Tampa". It's the so-called "late primary strategy". But Marshall asks,
Host Tim Russert asked him to react to polls showing him trailing in the early states, and Giuliani repeatedly responded, "I wish you'd show Florida."
A Quinnipiac University poll last week showed Giuliani with 30 percent among Florida Republicans, Romney 12 percent, Huckabee 11 percent, Thompson 10 percent and John McCain 9 percent.
can Rudy really win the nomination after losing Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina? One, two, three, in that order?But for the strategy to work, Giliuani has to win Florida. It ain't happening - As TPM reported yesterday, the Quinnipiac numbers aren't holding up:
As far back as I can remember, there's always been a candidate who tries something like this, tried to hang back on the low-count early primaries and then break out nationwide on that year's "Super Tuesday". Often it was a candidate trying to wait until a slew of Southern primaries and try to break out there. But this has basically never worked. The catalytic effect of victories in the early states almost always creates unstoppable momentum and an aura of victory for whichever candidate wins Iowa, New Hampshire or both. For the Republicans at least the list definitely also includes South Carolina.
So much for Rudy's late primary strategy."Rudy Down to Third in Florida". See also "Giuliani alters plan as poll denotes lag".
A new Rasmussen poll has him at 19% in Florida, behind Mike Huckabee's 27% and Mitt Romney's 23%.
If Rudy's not going to make his stand in Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, or Florida, what's he banking on?
"Divine intervention", it works every time
"How Joanne Rush came to sit among complete strangers in a dimly lit room at Bonefish Grill is a story, she explains, of divine intervention. The Realtor and evangelical Christian from Valrico happened to catch the recent presidential debate in St. Petersburg on TV and was struck by one of the men on stage. He seemed genuine and spoke convincingly of God." "Political boom is built on faith".
"Crist promotes prop tax amendment". See also "Gov. Crist turns Orlando home into stump site on property taxes" and "Crist opens tax plan drive".
Back at the ranch, "TaxWatch rightly doubts Crist's tax-cut promises": "TaxWatch President Dominic Calabro called the amendment inadequate. If it passes, Mr. Calabro said, the Legislature won't feel compelled to make the necessary reforms to the state's tax system. In an interview Thursday, Mr. Calabro said TaxWatch hasn't taken a final position. But the organization will issue a report, perhaps next week, that he believes will be 'pretty unassailable.'"
Surely this is a mistake
Stop the presses! The Orlando Sentinel puts this story in its "politics section" (as opposed to being buried in the business section): "Worker still seeks '96 back pay".
Perhaps the story was given a prominent place (indeed, in the paper's print edition, it is the headline story in yesterday's "state and local section") because it is about the impotence of the National Labor Relations Board - it would be consistent with the Sentinel's well known anti-union proclivities to remind workers that unionizing is a dangerous thing and ought to be avoided: otherwise, like the poor souls in the cited articles, you may have to wait more than a decade if you are illegally fired for union activity.
Renters don't vote
"In Orange County, where the governor helped launch the tax-cut campaign Friday, about four out of every 10 residents do not own a home. Across Florida, more than 5 million residents rent and stand to gain little from the tax measure, landlords say." "Orlando-area renters may gain little from property tax amendment".
Here's a shocker ...
"Business interests Friday ripped a proposal that would expand Florida's sales tax to many services and goods now excluded or exempt even though it also would cut property taxes, including their own, buy about 40 percent."
The proposal pending before the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission would repeal most school property taxes - about $9 billion in the first year. It also would require the Legislature to replace that money out of a potential $4 billion in exempt goods and $23 billion in excluded services."Businesses rip trade of property tax cuts for taxing services".
Representatives of a wide range of businesses, including agriculture, real estate, accounting and manufacturing, appeared before the commission's Governmental Procedures and Structure Committee, which may vote on the proposed state constitutional amendment next month.
Huckabee kisses off the country clubbers
"Mike Huckabee and Fred Thompson have begun casting Republican rival Mitt Romney as a scion of the upper class, contrasting him with their more humble roots in hopes of undermining the richest candidate in a well-off group." "Foes use 'class warfare' against Romney".
"Stunningly illogical, right?"
"Twenty-thousand more babies were born to teenagers in 2006 than in 2005. The increase in the teen birth rate was the first in 15 years - proof, obviously, that abstinence-only education is working. Stunningly illogical, right?"
Last year, Florida received $10.7 million in federal money for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs. ... [S]tate officials need to ask themselves: What will the numbers be if we continue to bury our heads in the sand?"Abstinence-only? Abstain".
"Liberty City Seven jurors skeptical about intent to bomb buildings". See also "Paintballers Plotted World Takeover". "Govt's Kooky Cult Terrorism Case Goes Bust".
The Palm Beach Post puts it this way: "The Liberty City dupes?":"Eighteen months ago, after the arrest of seven terrorism suspects in Miami, then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales hyped the capture as a triumph for national security. He always did have trouble getting his story straight."
On Thursday, a federal jury in Miami acquitted one of the defendants. A mistrial was declared in the other six cases. That's it? After the public heard that these Al-Qaeda loyalists wanted to blow up the Sears Tower in Chicago?Don't forget the paint ball guns.
Under President Bush, however, the Justice Department has compiled a better record of exaggerating terrorism cases than of obtaining convictions. Meanwhile, far from Liberty City, the man responsible for 9/11 remains at large.
"Florida has soured on California-grown citrus. A legal dispute has emerged between the two states over the importing of fresh citrus and concerns of fungus-laden fruit making its way into Florida groves and markets and, eventually, into Korea." "Food fight pits Florida, California on citrus sales".
A KBR thing
"Florida Sen. Bill Nelson has asked the Pentagon and the Justice Department for a thorough investigation into charges by two women, including one from Tampa, that they were raped by government contractors in Iraq." "Senator seeks inquiry of rape claims".
"Rep. Paige Kreegel, R-Punta Gorda, has been accused of violating state election and open records laws in a formal complaint filed Friday with House Speaker Marco Rubio."
The allegations stem from the actions of Barry Millman, a Kreegel aide who was forced to resign last month after an internal investigation determined that Millman violated the state's public record law, lied to a constituent and used state computers to research the background of Keith Richter, Kreegel's 2008 GOP opponent."Lawmaker accused of records violations".
"There's little doubt that Boca Raton's city manager and city attorney deserve a good raise this year. Likewise, though, those 45 city employees who got walking papers this summer deserved to keep their jobs and put food on the family table."
But tough decisions have to be made in tough economic times, and Boca felt budget cuts left them little choice but to do the unthinkable: trim the city's full-time work force by 5 percent and put 45 employees out of work."Boca raises fall like a slap to laid-off workers".
It smacks as a slap in the face, then, to turn around a few months later and reward the city's top two managers with healthy 7 percent raises.