"Incumbent John Mica, a Winter Park Republican, is bidding for a ninth term against first-time candidate Faye Armitage, a Democrat from St. Johns County. Armitage, 50, has been an economics professor, a grass-roots activist and a self-described "soccer mom." Mica, 65, is a former businessman and international trade consultant first elected to Congress in 1992." "John Mica faces 'soccer mom' Faye Armitage for U.S. House District 7 seat". Donate here.
"Sarah Palin led a glitzy, private reception and fundraising dinner here Monday night, raising an estimated $1 million amid a crucial, two-day Florida campaign swing." "Sarah Palin wows 1,000 at private party". See also "Sarah Palin makes stop in South Florida amid support, protest".
"Palin lived up to her 'Barracuda' nickname Monday morning in Clearwater, ripping Barack Obama as an unpatriotic tax raiser who is friendly with terrorists and does not support American troops abroad." "Palin goes on attack in visit to Clearwater". See also "Updated: Palin stopping in Jacksonville, Pensacola today", "Palin warns: It may get 'kinda rough'", "Republican vice presidential nominee stops in Southwest Florida for fund-raisers, public speech/a>", "Palin to participate in rally in Jacksonville", "Hockey mom Palin goes on attack at hockey rink" and "Campaigns get rougher, await debate" ("Palin is on a two-day campaign swing aimed at firing up Republicans and raising as much as $3 million.")
Kudos to the Orlando Sentinel's Jim Stratton for explicitly calling Palin out on her lies:
Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, launching a two-day swing through Florida, is sharpening her criticism of Democrat Barack Obama, telling several thousand supporters in Clearwater this morning that Obama would raise their taxes to pay for "almost a trillion dollars" in new programs.
"Palin restarts attacks on Obama at stop in Clearwater".
Obama has said he would cut taxes for everyone making less than $250,000 a year. A handful of independent reviews have concluded his proposals offer more tax relief than those of Republican presidential candidate John McCain.
Palin, appearing at a waterfront park, also resurrected Obama's ties to William Ayers, a university professor who during the Vietnam era was a founder of a radical group that planned bombings of the U.S. Pentagon and Capitol. Obama, who was a child while Ayers was with the Weather Underground, has acknowledged that Ayers is an acquaintance and denounced his activities.
The Maitland housewife asks ...
"Could we really be saying goodbye to Tom Feeney and Ric Keller, two birds of a feather who may get booted out of Congress together?" "Feeney, Keller face expulsion from the nest".
"The Battle for Florida"
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel: "Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain both promise to spur the nationwide economy and to pull the big growth state of Florida out of its doldrums. Yet they offer very different remedies. Here's a look at what they want, how they differ and the choices they pose for voters on Nov. 4." "The Battle for Florida: Obama vs McCain". See also "Housing" and "Everglades".
"Billions of gallons drain away amid push for more water restrictions".
"Hispanic evangelical voters"
"They lean right on abortion and marriage, left on immigration and the economy."
This election season, Hispanic evangelical voters are caught in a moral tug of war that has their Republican loyalties slipping, religious leaders say.
"Hispanic evangelical voters face a dilemma".
Anti-immigrant rhetoric in the GOP has estranged many in the fast-growing group of conservative Latinos, said the Rev. Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. That leaves significant numbers facing a dilemma, he said: "Will I walk into the voting booth as a Christian or Latino?"
The shift could boost Sen. Barack Obama's chances in Florida, historically home to a large Republican Latino base. That has both campaigns trying to lure Hispanic evangelicals in South Florida.
Poor Chain Gang Charlie Charlie ...
So many decisions. Can't we just do things the way we used to do? What's an empty suit to do?The South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorial board: "Gov. Charlie Crist gave arm's length support to leasing Alligator Alley two weeks ago. The governor should go another step forward and oppose the controversial proposal. ... In response to a question about the plan to lease part of Interstate 75, the governor clarified that he supported 'looking into' the proposal, as opposed to outright backing a lease. A small distinction, perhaps, but the state's motorists and businesses should hope it is a sign that the governor is hearing the growing chorus of opposition to the idea. If so, Florida could be on the right track, finally, on this issue." "Let's hope governor's slight backpedaling on Alley lease plan is promising sign".
"Sack Of Chad"
Daniel Ruth: "Right about now it would be understandable if Buddy Johnson's Democratic opponent, Phyllis Busansky, was becoming more annoyed than Sarah Palin finding herself stuck in an elevator with Katie Couric at the National Press Club."
After all, Busansky has raised about $132,000 in her quest to unseat Johnson, yet her opponent continues to enjoy more public exposure than Hannah Montana, and much of it at public expense.
"Dear Buddy: Please Stop Writing Us".
At this point in the campaign season, if you are a registered voter, a nonregistered voter, a rabid badger, or even if you are dead, chances are you've received mail from Buddy Johnson, Hillsborough County supervisor of elections, reminding you that he is Buddy Johnson, Hillsborough County supervisor of elections
Thank goodness "Jeb!" eliminated the intangibles tax
The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "With state and national economies reeling and many Floridians in an angry mood about property taxes, some of the services that citizens have taken for granted will be provided by cities, counties and school districts may be reduced or even eliminated." "Community-based budgeting".
Deep thinkers: "Florida officials: Sell state jet to save big money".
Hey, we found the memo?
"Thieves break into rental car of Sen. Mel Martinez".
"Florida's popular class-size law may be put on ice, thanks to a weakening economy and a statewide budget crisis. Despite strong public support, a broad consensus is forming that the goal of limiting class size is simply too expensive during the current economic crunch." "School class-size rules may be relaxed in Florida's budget crunch".
"Florida's community colleges are increasingly becoming the beneficiaries of the state's Bright Futures Scholarship program as students seek alternatives to jampacked universities and take advantage of a recent change in state law." "Bright Futures Scholarships give two-year colleges a boost".
CD 13 Poll: Buchanan ahead
"Overall, Buchanan had a 49-33 lead over Jennings in the poll. Independent candidate Jan Schneider had 9 percent, mostly from strong Hispanic support, and independent candidate Don Baldauf had 3 percent. Six percent of voters polled said they were undecided. The telephone poll surveyed 900 adults in the congressional district last week and has a margin of error of 4.1 percent. It was conducted for television stations in Tampa and Cape Coral."
What is it with the PBA?: "The Florida Police Benevolent Association has endorsed Rep. Vern Buchanan in his re-election bid, his campaign said Monday." "Poll: Buchanan in Dist. 13 lead".
"Teachers work more for less".
Lauderdale-by-the-Sea "plans to install a cluster of electrified artificial reefs off the beach and run a low-voltage current through steel frames to stimulate the growth of corals, creating habitat for fish, crabs and other marine creatures. Shaped like airplane hangars, the six undersea structures each would stretch 6 feet along the ocean floor. Two buoys with solar panels would deliver electricity through insulated cables."
"Coral reefs, often called the rain forests of the ocean, have been battered by global warming, pollution, overfishing and ship groundings. Hoping to reinvigorate its reefs, Lauderdale-by-the-Sea has approved a $60,000 contract with Global Coral Reef Alliance of Cambridge, Mass., which has constructed electrified reefs in Mexico, Jamaica, Indonesia, the Maldives and other countries." "Lauderdale-by-the-sea will try electricity to stimulate coral growth off South Florida coast".