"Get ready to see a Democratic presidential campaign the likes of which this state has never seen."
Starting next week, some 400 specially trained Barack Obama campaign "fellows" will fan out across Florida, including the Tampa Bay area, for an intensive six weeks of registering voters, mobilizing volunteers, as well as working to bring Hillary Rodham Clinton supporters into the fold."Obama backers will blitz Florida".
The Obama campaign has 20 paid organizers in the state — compared to John McCain's two — and within days is expected to name its Florida campaign team. With more than 150,000 Florida supporters signed up for volunteer duty, the campaign is talking about an unprecedented voter mobilization effort.
Much as the Bush-Cheney campaign roared to Florida victory in 2004 with neighbor-to-neighbor campaigning, the Obama campaign sees a volunteer army large enough not only to target key voting precincts, but even specific streets and blocks.
"Obama's campaign plans a trip to Jacksonville on June 20 for an event related to his two-week tour on economic issues. Obama will also hold a fund-raiser, being planned by former gubernatorial candidate Steve Pajcic, attorney Wayne Hogan and investor Bobby Stein."
"When the U.S. Conference of Mayors meets next week in Miami, they'll get one of the most sought-after political speakers in the country: Barack Obama, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee." "Obama to address nation's mayors in Miami".
One can only guess ...
"McCain, who aired a Spanish-language radio ad in Miami on Tuesday, was scheduled to make his 19th trip to Florida on Friday for "private meetings" in Orlando."
His trip would coincide with the semiannual spring meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Orlando. The bishops group is scheduled to vote Friday on a resolution to oppose embryonic stem cell research. McCain has supported federal funding for embryonic stem cell research."Both candidates planning campaign stops in Florida".
One wonders how long McSame will adhere to his previous position of supporting "federal funding for embryonic stem cell research". He's just so hard to pin down on these things: "In August 1999, McCain told the San Francisco Chronicle that he would "not support repeal of Roe vs Wade" because it would force women to undergo illegal operations. He has subsequently said that he was speaking about the need to change the "culture of America", and supports the repeal of Roe vs Wade."
Charlie "On the down-low"?
"On Wednesday, [Crist] signed next year's pared-down budget that sets a modern record for the fewest [budget vetoes] — three — and he did it as quietly as he could." "Crist keeps budget approval on the down-low".
Surely the headline writer wasn't trying to be coy by saying Charlie was keeping on the "down-low", which of course means "men who sleep with other men but do not consider themselves to be gay. These men live "on the down low," the "DL" for short".
"Crist signed the state's $66.2 billion budget into law this afternoon, leaving the spending plan almost untouched." "Crist signs $66.2 billion spending plan". See also "Crist signs austere $66 billion state budget", "Crist signs budget, vetoes $251.1 million" and "Governor Signs Budget".
"A year after he chopped a record $459 million from the state budget, Gov. Charlie Crist said Tuesday that he wouldn't try a repeat because legislators already trimmed billions in state money and deeper cuts could be harmful to the already teetering economy." "Crist says reimbursement for hospital safe from veto".
GOPers go after drilling moratorium
"With gasoline prices soaring past the $4-a-gallon mark, Congress is again wrestling with proposals to open the eastern Gulf of Mexico's outer continental shelf to oil and gas drilling. The latest skirmish occurred today when a House subcommittee rejected a proposal to lift the drilling moratorium off the Florida Gulf Coast on a straight party line vote." "Rising oil price reignites debate on drilling off Florida's coast".
"Environmental groups were breathing easier and at least one lawmaker was miffed after Gov. Charlie Crist said Tuesday that he will veto a bill that critics warn would devastate the sea grasses that are the lifeblood of the marine habitat." "Crist vows to veto destructive sea-grass bill".
Maitland housewife ...
... struggles to state the obvious: "Scrooge-Santa duel makes for a wild '08 race".
Once a 'ho
The Palm Beach Post editorial Board:
Former House Speaker Allan Bense is doing his distinguished [sic] reputation no favors as he becomes a mouthpiece for the school voucher movement. Bad enough that as chairman he allowed the Florida Taxation and Budget Reform Commission to be hijacked by the voucher agenda. Now he is engaging in a type of obfuscation that cheapens the political debate."Bense tarnishes reputation".
Yeah, McBush is drawing that youth vote ...
... with his kewl blogging daughter and all that. "The Millennial Generation. Echo Boomers. Generation Y. Whatever you call them, voters under 30 have gained prominence across America and will have a huge influence on the November presidential elections and beyond."
Like many politicians, Sens. Barack Obama and John McCain are taking great care to win them over. But it may take people like Amanda Morrison to ensure that young people actually have a voice in the 2008 races."Young voters could have big impact in November". More: "McCain's daughter dishes on frothier side of campaign".
"The political posturing is obvious"
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board:"McCain's recent airboat ride through the Everglades was a smart political move that should net him some Brownie points among Florida voters." One suspects that most Floridians recognize such airboat rids (as well as canoing and kayaking)* - whether by Dems or GOPers - as obvious, and expected, pandering, as opposed to "a smart political move", breathlessly conceived in a late night strategy session on the campaign bus.
The editors continue, and correctly underscore the
But the trip will have little meaning unless the presumptive Republican nominee, who opposed a recent bill that authorized several restoration projects, puts some muscle behind his promise to push Congress to address the issue."The political posturing is obvious."
McCain said he opposed the water projects bill because the legislation had what he said was $20 billion worth of pork projects. Now that he has visited the River of Grass, he thinks the restoration efforts are worth supporting as a separate project.
It's no secret Florida will be a pivotal state in the general election, and we can expect lots of attention from both McCain and the presumptive Democratic nominee, Sen. Barack Obama. "McCain must use clout to win Everglades support".
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*A less caricatured move might have been to take a trip down the St. Johns in a rented pontoon boat with a grille.
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "McCollum's "sunshine" advocate has critical role to play for citizens".
"Crist on Tuesday signed a bill aimed at improving the safety of government workers -- a measure that stems from a 2006 explosion at the Bethune Point wastewater-treatment plant in Daytona Beach."
Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards apply to private-sector workers but not government employees."Crist approves worker safety bill".
The Daytona Beach explosion killed two city workers and severely injured another.
"Crist can't do what the Legislature didn't"
The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "Crist can't do what the Legislature didn't on insurance, but he can undo something the Legislature did. After a bad storm year, the state-run Citizens Property Insurance Corp. also would have to pay claims, and the public would have to cover any of that shortage. Florida wants to attract more private companies that would spread the risk. To attract them, the Legislature created a fund of $250 million. But to create the fund, the Legislature took the money from Citizens, leaving the company less money in reserves to pay claims." "Let Citizens keep money".
Do your duty
"Rep. Wexler: It's 'a sworn duty' to impeach Bush".
Get well soon
"Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum underwent brief, successful surgery this morning to clear a blocked coronary artery." "State Attorney General undergoes heart surgery".
Off topic ...
ahem, ... he's a GOPer, appointed by Reagan:
the materials, which included a photo of naked women on all fours painted to look like cows and a video of a half-dressed man cavorting with a sexually aroused farm animal. ..."9th Circuit's chief judge posted sexually explicit matter on his website".
Kozinski said he would delete some material from his site, including the photo depicting women as cows, which he said was "degrading . . . and just gross." He also said he planned to get rid of a graphic step-by-step pictorial in which a woman is seen shaving her pubic hair. ...
The sexually explicit material on Kozinski's site earlier this week was extensive, including images of masturbation, public sex and contortionist sex. There was a slide show striptease featuring a transsexual, and a folder that contained a series of photos of women's crotches as seen through snug fitting clothing or underwear. There were also themes of defecation and urination, though they are not presented in a sexual context.
Alex, your self-righteous, right-wing hypocrisy is showing.
Out here in the fields
The Palm Beach Post editorial Board: "Fortunately, the state moved quickly, and by Tuesday afternoon products from Florida were on the 'safe' list. A representative for the growers had estimated that $40 million worth of tomatoes could be lost. Florida agriculture has faced, and is facing enough trouble without this." "Florida sliced, not diced".
"Dudley Goodlette had a successful career in the Florida Legislature. His latest assignment was giving legal advice to the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission. Now the Republican lawyer from Naples wants to be a justice of the Florida Supreme Court, where four of seven justices will leave by the end of 2009."
He voted with the Republican House majority on two highly contentious issues struck down as unconstitutional by the Supreme Court: allowing then-Gov. Jeb Bush to override the courts in the Terri Schiavo case in October 2003 and tax-supported school vouchers in April 1999."Former state Rep. Dudley Goodlette wants seat on state high court".
"Defense and prosecution wrapped up their cases Tuesday in the ethics and perjury trial of 1st District Court of Appeal Judge Michael Allen, setting up for closing arguments this morning."
But Allen's lawyers concluded Tuesday's action with a motion to remove one of the Judicial Qualifications Commission panel members, saying his questioning of witnesses was prejudicial. Bruce Rogow, Allen's attorney, asked the panel's chair, Broward County Judge Paul Backman, to take Miles McGrane III off the case."Allen case set for closing arguments".
The People's money
"You're still paying for this": "And you will be for a while. Gov. Charlie Crist and Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink voted Tuesday to have the state take on $625-million in additional debt to cover claims from the 2004 and 2005 hurricanes. The cost will be paid by property, car and boat insurance policyholders statewide." More: "Florida homeowners will pay insurance surcharge until 2014" and "Insurance rates rise to pay off 2005 hurricane claims".
Sally Swartz: "The mysterious ads, credited to a group of Tallahassee lobbyists operating as the "Committee to Protect Florida's Natural Environment Inc.," puzzled both sides in Martin's growth debate until last week. Who paid for them? Why now?" "Ads pop up. So do questions".