"Florida Republican leaders worked hard to thwart any costly and potentially divisive primaries in this busy election cycle. They could not have failed more and looked less disciplined if they were Democrats."
Look at almost every statewide race and you'll see contests for the Republican nomination."GOP's primary goal wasn't a flurry of primaries".
• U.S. Senate: Former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio is making life increasingly difficult for Crist, who had expected a cakewalk.
• Attorney general: Normally a sitting lieutenant governor would be the overwhelming favorite, but Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp has drawn a challenge from former state Rep. Holly Benson of Pensacola. Tampa prosecutor Pam Bondi probably will jump in soon.
• Agriculture commissioner: U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Bartow, was going to walk into this seat, conventional wisdom had it. But state Sen. Carey Baker of Eustis had other ideas and seems to keep racking up significant endorsements from the likes of the Association of Professional Firefighters and the Fraternal Order of Police.
• Governor: Dockery may be unknown to most of the state, but with a personal fortune at her disposal and a message that paints McCollum as a career politician, she has the potential to become a serious threat.
"Not something to be proud of"
The Miami Herald editorial board: "It is no coincidence that the cases before the [SCOTUS] came from Florida, because this state leads the nation in the number of criminals serving life sentences for crimes they committed while juveniles in which no one was killed. Out of 106 such prisoners, 77 are in Florida. This is not something to be proud of." "Teens and jails". The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "When life is too long a sentence".
"Elderly and disabled residents of Sunshine Village could lose their homes." "Wal-Mart may oust Palm Springs mobile home park".
Crist's pants on fire
"Crist touts his tax-cutting record over and over, in news releases, political speeches and in the first radio ad for his U.S. Senate campaign. The line is good politics. But is it true?" "Crist's tax claim doesn't add up".
"Crist surprised many by saying he did not know President Barack Obama was in Jacksonville recently to visit with U.S. troops. But newly obtained e-mails show Crist's aides in Washington and Tallahassee were notified of the trip." "Crist aides knew of Obama trip".
"U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd’s much-awaited, much-debated Panama City town hall came and went Tuesday night. And if attendance is any indicator, then, much like Tropical Storm Ida, the show did not live up to the hype." "Turnout low for Boyd town hall".
Dockery kick off
William March: "Paula Dockery kicked off her insurgent campaign for governor Tuesday night, delivering what campaign aides billed as her first major speech."
She rattled off a list of recent scandals involving Republicans and said such misconduct has become business as usual. "Credit card abuse, free trips to Europe on the dime of donors, and a refusal to let Republican voters decide their own nominees," she said."Dockery bills herself as antidote for GOP's ills".
Dockery said she's the antidote to all that - "a conservative, common-sense Florida Republican," anti-abortion, pro-gun rights but also pro-environment and opposed to "sweetheart deals or corporate subsidies."
"The state's insurance regulators sharply questioned Citizens Property Insurance officials Tuesday, challenging a proposed rate hike for high-risk policyholders with wind protection." "Citizens pressed over hike request".
Twittergate slime rolls uphill
"Steele says Nungesser told him GOP executive director Delmar Johnson had been aware of the fake account, which the party denies. Nungesser has not returned calls. Now another witness, Melbourne attorney Richard Torpy, says he also heard Nungesser say Johnson had been aware of the fake account." "Witness ties Twittergate to Delmar Johnson".
Mark Lane: "Between 2006 and 2008, the Census Bureau characterized 5.9 percent of Florida households as made up of "unmarried partners" -- 5.2 percent are opposite-sex couples and 0.7 percent are same-sex couples." "Registry reflects realities".
Democrat Suzanne Kosmas may have irritated her liberal base when she voted against Nancy Pelosi's health-care bill. But she also backed the National Republican Congressional Committee into a corner … at least she would have if the party hacks had any shame or integrity."Hack time".
For months, the NRCC had been sending out releases, asking whether Kosmas had the courage to do the right thing (in its mind anyway) and stand up to "Pelosi's health-care takeover."
Well, she did. She voted against it.
This apparently confused the simpletons at the NRCC, who don't know how to do anything but gripe. So now, they are continuing to bash her on the topic, saying: OK, she may have done what they wanted — but not for the reasons they wanted. So they still hate her.
"Nearly 72 percent said they favored new government programs to create jobs. Meanwhile, 63 percent said the federal government needs to give aid to states in serious financial trouble. Those positions were strongest among Democrats and independents, while Republicans were narrowly opposed."
"President Barack Obama mostly faired well in poll, with 84 percent saying he was good communicator, 76 percent that he was warm and friendly and 54 percent that he was trustworthy, a question that broke sharply along partisan lines. More than 61 percent said Obama "cared about like people like me," including 51 percent of white males." "Poll: Southerners want federal help, fear for jobs".
Something's gotta give
"Bear shot twice in north Florida".
Tea Party wingnuttery
Eugene Robinson: "The tea party people have made clear, however, that logic doesn't count — and that this is just the beginning."
The next target, now that they've made the world safe from Scozzafava, seems to be Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running for the Senate. Crist committed the unforgivable sin of supporting Obama's stimulus bill, and must face a conservative former state legislator, Marco Rubio, in the primary."Next on far-right GOP hit list: Charlie Crist".
[Erick Erickson, editor in chief of the Web site RedState.com] wrote that "if Crist wants to own the mantle of 'GOP Establishment Candidate,' let's tie it around his waist and throw him in one of Florida's many lagoons."
I guess Florida lagoons are a substitute for Siberian tundra.
"Regulators challenge Citizens' request to raise rates for wind-only policies".
Brown-Waite "back in the fringe-light"
Scott Maxwell writes that Brooksville Republican Ginny Brown-Waite
seems to be steadily drifting away from the mainstream and into the fringe-stream."A one-woman fringe festival?".
It started back when "Freedom fries" and France-bashing was all the rage. Brown-Waite actually suggested digging up the bodies of American soldiers in French cemeteries, shipping the corpses back to the U.S. and re-burying them in "patriotic soil."
Now she's back in the fringe-light, teaming up with Ron Paul and Cliff Stearns to demand that President Barack Obama ask permission from Congress before accepting the Nobel Prize.
Brown-Waite says she'd grant Obama permission to accept the award. She just wants him to ask first, because the three think they've spied a passage in the Constitution that requires it.
The award was over the top. Even the president called himself undeserving. But really, don't you guys have anything better to do?
Besides, what kind of Freedom-fry-and-American-soil-loving patriot tries to tarnish her own country's Nobel Prize?
"Fort Lauderdale attorney Scott Rothstein is suspected of defrauding client Ed Morse, the South Florida auto mogul, of up to $57 million -- yet another accusation against the lawyer under investigation for allegedly running a massive Ponzi scheme. " "Rothstein accused of $57M swindle". Background: "Rothstein raised funds for Crist, Florida GOP".
"State utility regulators postpone a decision to set energy-saving goals for Florida utility companies." "PSC delays decision on energy-conservation goals".
Contractor wins one
"EVAC, a private nonprofit company, has provided emergency medical transport services countywide for the past 27 years under contract to the county. And over the years, county officials have repeatedly denied cities' requests to take over the service in their jurisdictions." "Emergency services bills set aside after debate".