"A new poll shows Gov. Charlie Crist with a commanding lead in the Republican U.S. Senate primary against Marco Rubio, and Republican Bill McCollum leading Democrat Alex Sink in the governor's race."
The poll, done by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research for Ron Sachs Communications, showed Crist with 53 percent, Rubio with 18 percent and 29 percent undecided among a sample of Republican voters."Poll: Crist, McCollum get early leads". See also "Poll: Crist has big lead over competition" and "Poll: McCollum leading Sink; Crist crushing Rubio and Meek".
Among all voters in the governor's race, McCollum led Sink 40 percent to 34 percent, with 25 percent undecided.[*]
The poll was done May 14-18, after Sink, state chief financial officer, announced her candidacy, but before McCollum, state attorney general, announced his.
It included telephone interviews with 625 Florida voters, for an error margin of 4 points. The error margin for the Crist-Rubio question, asked of 300 Republican voters, is 6 points.
- - - - - - - - - -
*More: "Another recent poll matching the two head-to-head showed McCollum with a one-point lead, less than the error margin - 36 percent to Sink's 35 percent, with 27 percent undecided."
Charlie burnishes his killer cred
"Last month, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist decided it was time for John Marek and David Johnston to die. Crist picked out Marek and Johnston from nearly two dozen death-row inmates whose appeals are exhausted. Exactly how he came to pick those two prisoners -- and why -- is a subject only the governor can answer." "Only Florida's governors can say how they pick execution order".
"But it didn't have to be like that"
Bill Cotterell: "Everything Charlie Crist does for the next 16 months will be viewed through a political prism, with friend and foe alike gauging how his decisions affect his chances of winning a U.S. Senate seat."
But it didn't have to be like that."Don't look for Crist to be taking any risks now".
Had Crist announced last week that he was running for re-election, rather than trying to succeed U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez, then everything he does for the next 16 months would be evaluated in terms of how it might affect his chances of remaining governor for the ensuing four years.
Makes all the difference in the world, doesn't it?
All due respect, historians will not list Crist on the same page with LeRoy Collins and Reubin Askew, when citing tough leadership decisions made at great personal political risk. Oh, he did the "green" thing with solar energy, worked for restoration of voting rights for convicted felons and moved the Martin Lee Anderson liability settlement. But those decisions didn't cost much — except with the farthest-right wing of his party, which wasn't wild about him anyway.
Now, as he starts his Senate campaign, Crist faces some budget choices that can cost him politically and affect state employees.
Thank you, Mr. Obama
"The Alachua County School District will use federal stimulus money to pay approximately 250 teachers on annual contracts for the next two school years." "Stimulus funds to pay teachers".
OMG ... he's a "banker"
"Florida Senate President Jeff Atwater is the first candidate to enter the race for chief financial officer, one of two statewide Cabinet seats that have opened due to the domino effect of Gov. Charlie Crist's decision to run for the U.S. Senate instead of seeking re-election. Atwater, a Republican banker from North Palm Beach, made his formal announcement Tuesday, a day after he filed as a candidate with the Department of State." "Former Senate president announces bid for CFO post". Adam Smith: "Senate President Jeff Atwater quietly announces CFO candidacy".
Crist a tax fiend!
"Gov. Charlie Crist to approve cigarette tax". So much for Charlie's brain dead "pledge" not to raise taxes.
Charlie does some fundraising
"Crist named Maryam H. Ghyabi, 50, of Ormond Beach, and Richard G. Hamann, 58, of Gainesville, to the St. Johns River Water Management District governing board, which controls water consumption permits, approves wetland permits and decides how much water the local utilities can siphon from the St. Johns River. The district includes parts of 18 counties, including most of metro Orlando."
Ghyabi is president of Ghyabi & Associates, a transportation engineering and planning firm that has been a consultant on many local transportation issues. She is a sister of Mori Hosseini, a big-time developer based in Daytona Beach. Hosseini is a Republican super-fundraiser, ranking as a “Ranger” who raised at least $200,000 for President Bush's 2004 re-election campaign. Hosseini and his array of companies frequently show up in many elected officials' campaign finance reports."Crist names developer, environmental lawyer to water-management board".
"Obama supporters have been told that Ashley Walker will be the Florida director of Organizing for America" "Obama 2.0 hires Florida director".
"Borrowing from Peter to pay Paul"
The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Florida lawmakers have had the unnerving habit of borrowing from Peter to pay Paul for several years now; it's less politically costly to them than raising taxes outright to meet the obligations of government." "Trust fund safety".
"Greer is receiving well-earned rebukes"
The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer is receiving well-earned rebukes from Republicans across the state for throwing his support to Gov. Charlie Crist for U.S. Senate and Attorney General Bill McCollum for governor in 2010." "Let Republican voters select their candidates".
Aaron Deslatte: "On paper, there are a lot of reasons why Florida Republican leaders are scurrying to shut off potential primary campaigns for the historic number of statewide offices up for grabs in the 2010 election."
22 million of them."Big bucks behind the race to shut down primaries".
That’s how much Republicans Charlie Crist and Tom Gallagher spent beating each other up in the 2006 gubernatorial primary, before Crist emerged and ultimately defeated Democrat Jim Davis, who had exhausted his own $4.4 million war chest to get past a bruising primary challenge from Alachua lawyer Rod Smith.
Now, confronting a terrible economy and the first time in more than a century that all of the state's Cabinet seats are coming open at once, top Republicans -- and Democrats -- are desperate to avoid costly primary battles.
"Blue Cross Blue Shield has joined with consumer and union groups to urge Gov. Charlie Crist to veto legislation they claim will inflate health care costs." "Insurer: Bill will increase costs". Background: "Groups want veto of bill they say would hike health care costs".
"The Florida Supreme Court will decide if Gov. Charlie Crist must make a court appointment from a list of six nominees that lacks racial diversity." "Fla. justices hearing court appointment dispute".
The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Even if we assume the best of intentions, Gov. Crist is wrong in his standoff over choosing a judge." "Crist vs. the constitution".
"Orlando lawyer Will McBride said today he’s being 'pushed by friends and supporters' [???] to run for attorney general but hasn’t made up his mind."
Meantime, "McBride would not endorse Rubio’s candidacy, saying that, for now, he needs to focus on deciding whether he would run. Rubio, on the other hand, said he wants McBride’s support, especially to reach out to Central Florida’s Hispanic voters." "McBride, Rubio meet -- but there's no endorsement".
Chain gang Charlie ...
... is a moderate today: "Crist, now a U.S. Senate candidate, said Tuesday he would have made the 'pragmatic' decision to vote for the $787 billion federal stimulus bill, differentiating himself from fellow-Republican opponent Marco Rubio and the man he is trying to replace — Mel Martinez." "Crist: I'd have voted for federal stimulus bill". See also "Crist cheers fed stimulus plan".
It will be interesting to see which suit he'll be wearing tomorrow: "Crist coming to Ocala on Thursday".
Lazy public employees
"Firefighters catch suspected purse snatcher". See also "FHP trooper injured in crash".
"Former state Rep. Curtis Richardson joined the race Tuesday to succeed state Sen. Al Lawson, saying his experience in state government and rural communities best prepares him for the job." "Richardson joins the race for Florida Senate seat".
"Students willing to pay for renewables; state won't let them"
The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial Board: "Across the nation, scores of public colleges and universities are the beneficiaries of similar renewable energy projects as this good idea catches fire through student networks and trustees and legislators approve."
It was ablaze in Florida, too, until this spring, when the state Senate's Higher Education Appropriation Committee doused initiatives at several colleges and universities, among them FSU, UF and UCF. Actually lawmakers were determined to jack up tuition rates by double digits at public universities and didn't want the various proposals for "green fees" to jeopardize that effort. Students were told it wouldn't be fair to saddle paying parents with the extra expense (up to $30 a year). And for the students who finance their own college education? Now, now, the Legislature knows what's best for them."No 'green fees'".
All depends what you mean by "free"?
The Miami Herald editorial board: "As long as Cuba is not free, OAS should not invite its membership". "An independence day with nothing to cheer".
"Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink on Tuesday launched a Web page to open Florida's state finances to scrutiny by the public." "Sink launches 'Florida's Checkbook'".
"Floridians can get past their reactionary Legislature"
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "It's easy to despair at how our Legislature slowed efforts to reduce the emissions that cause global warming. It derailed plans for a commuter train serving Central Florida. Refused to set goals reducing emissions from cars, trucks and utilities. Hammered growth-management laws. It even tried to let oil companies drill for more oil just three miles off the Gulf's shore and deepen our addiction to fossil fuels." "Get past Tallahassee".
"Crist distances himself from party boss Greer". Related: "Greer: RNC branding Dems socialist is 'stupid'".
"Downsizing its payroll in tough economic times, the Broward Sheriff's Office has told 177 employees, including 48 uniformed deputies, that they will be laid off effective July 31, the Sun Sentinel has learned." "Broward Sheriff's Office lays off 177 employees - including 48 deputies".
Another Crist flop
"Environmentalists had been fighting to make Florida the 15th state to adopt California's strict clean-air auto regulations, a proposal backed [sic] by Gov. Charlie Crist."
But earlier this month, the proposal was rejected by the legislature. Now, the new federal regulations give the environmentalists exactly what they were seeking."Fla. drivers like mileage standards".
"Florida is the most vulnerable state in the country to the effects of global warming," Eric Draper, a lobbyist for Audubon, said, referring to Florida's exposure to rising seas.
Have more sycophantic words ...
... ever been written? The Tampa Tribune editorial board: Charlie Crist "on virtually every policy decision seeks first to 'listen to the people of Florida.'"
Money for nothing
"Three bidders submitted their pitches Tuesday to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., to acquire the ailing thrift. The FDIC, which is overseeing the sale of the Coral Gables-based thrift, would not say when the agency will decide on a winner, or acknowledge the bidding process was under way." "Bidders line up to acquire ailing BankUnited".
Fort Lauderdale follies
"The city bungled the spending of federal money meant for poor people over the past two decades and now must pay back $2.5 million." "Feds rip Fort Lauderdale's spending for the poor, demand $2.5 million repayment".
Bogdanoff to announce
"With state Sen. Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, officially in the race for chief financial officer, state Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, said she plans to make an announcement Wednesday that she is running for Atwater's Senate district, which runs up the coast from Fort Lauderdale to Juno Beach." "Bogdanoff to announce run for Atwater's Senate seat ...".
Eric Buermann, chairman of the South Florida Water Management District governing board:
Everglades restoration has been a priority at the South Florida Water Management District for more than a decade. That priority was underscored this month with a landmark decision by the district’s governing board to invest $536 million in the largest land buy in the agency’s history — a 73,000-acre acquisition that will provide unprecedented opportunities for preserving the River of Grass."Florida's Louisiana Purchase".
"Political fundraising shakedowns"
"The board that runs Orlando International Airport is considering reforms that could ban political fundraising shakedowns like those alleged at the expressway authority." "Orlando airport authority to consider fundraising reforms".
"Peoples Gas rates going up $2.82 a month in Fla." "Peoples Gas System rates are going up by $2.82 a month for average residential customers using 20 therms.".