"A bunch of Republican candidates want to unseat firebrand U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, but there's not much difference among them when it comes to issues."
That much was clear Wednesday at one of the first forums for candidates seeking the GOP nomination to run against Grayson, the Orlando Democrat, in Florida's 8th District: Ross Bieling of Sanford; Dan Fanelli of Windermere; state Rep. Kurt Kelly of Ocala; Winter Park attorney Todd Long; Patricia Sullivan of Eustis; and former state senator Dan Webster."Six of the seven candidates — businessman Bruce O'Donoghue did not attend — stuck to core conservative principles, saying the federal government bureaucracy should be dismantled and regulators such as the Department of Labor eliminated.".
All pledged to vote to repeal health-care reforms recently passed by Congress. ..."Alan Grayson opponents stick to GOP issues at forum". Related: "G-R-A-Y-S-O-N spells frustration for congressman".
•Bieling, who owns a company that manufactures medical devices, pushed the furthest to the right, more than once decrying the Obama administration's "Marxist principles."
•Fanelli, a retired Navy and airline pilot, focused on his military experience and cited his Internet campaign ads that use swarthy actors to suggest the government should focus on Middle Easterners when screening airline passengers.
•Kelly called for deep spending cuts, including eliminating a third of all federal departments.
•Long, who lost the Republican primary two years ago to then-incumbent Ric Keller, trumpeted fiscal conservatism.
•Sullivan, a stay-at-home mom and Tea Party activist, said she believes in fiscal responsibility, free markets, small government and national defense.
•Webster stressed the experience he gained during a long career in the Florida Legislature, noting that Republicans were in the minority when he was first elected, and he eventually became House Speaker.
GOPer revisionist history
Whenever a GOPer blathers about Republicans having "fought for civil rights bills", someone who has read a book needs to remind them of the "Hayes-Tilden Betrayal" (see "The Republican sell-out (and the Florida connection)") and/or the familiar Republican "Southern Strategy". Who can forget this classic or this infamous Karl Rove push
poll smear in South Carolina: "Voters were asked, 'Would you be more or less likely to vote for John McCain...if you knew he had fathered an illegitimate black child?'".
We know the truth, Mr. Steele, and so should you.
Budget axe a comin'
"Friday is Gov. Charlie Crist's deadline for approving - or vetoing - thousands of spending proposals that lawmakers passed last month. Crist is expected to axe millions of dollars worth of individual spending items, having already criticized lawmakers for packing the $70.4 billion budget at the last minute with home-district projects." "Crist expected to axe spending".
"Republican foe of SB 6 dodges conservative challenger"
"While there was speculation that he would face trouble in his bid for a second term, it appears Republican Rep. Mike Weinstein will have an easier path to reelection than expected. There were signs that Weinstein was in trouble. He loaned his campaign $50,000 in the first quarter of 2010. He opposed Senate Bill 6, a measure pushed by the Republican leadership in the Legislature, and he faced a primary challenge from a serious contender. But the Orange Park maverick appears headed for a second term because none of his opponents have done well in fund-raising." "Despite Rough Spots, Mike Weinstein Poised to Win 2nd Florida House Term".
Whoopee! ... the best he can do?
Can you imagine anything more insipid than this silly RPOFer public relations stunt? "Gov. Crist reinstates sales tax holiday".
labor's litmus tests
Bill Cotterell: "Like many harried housewives, Lady Macbeth had a hard time getting her husband to do things around the house so, when she wanted him to kill the king, she just flat-out told the big angst-ridden lug, 'From this time, such I account thy love.'"
That's essentially what organized labor told Florida politicians last weekend in Jacksonville. Don't say you care about working families, the AFL-CIO seemed to say to candidates for statewide and legislative offices, if you're not against Senate Bill 6."Labor has its litmus tests".
Or, if they're running for the U.S. Senate or House, the labor federation wants candidates to "screw your courage to the sticking point" (again, Mrs. Macbeth) and vote for something called the Employee Free Choice Act. That's a bill that makes it harder for companies to impede union organizing.
Diaz de la Portilla hit with restraining order
"Senate Majority Leader Alex Diaz de la Portilla has been ordered to stay away from his estranged wife and the Governors Club, a popular Tallahassee institution, under a temporary injunction issued last week by a Tallahassee circuit judge." "Fla. Senate majority leader hit with restraining order".
Cooperating with unions ... imagine that
The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Crist and his team appear to have learned the right lesson from Florida's failure to secure a federal 'Race to the Top' grant earlier this year. When pursuing reform, collaboration and flexibility are far superior to top-down mandates." "Race to the Top - again". See also "Florida Hopes Second Time's a Charm in Race to the Top".
Spill, baby! Spill!
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "The Gulf is victim of cheaper, faster".
More: "Tests under way on suspected Florida tarballs", "Key West charter boat company sues BP", "Indirect losses associated with oil spill may be hard for Southwest Florida businesses to claim" and "Obama extends stop on deepwater wells".
From the right ...
Kevin Derby's "Political Bits and Pieces".
The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "If you want your child in public school to learn about the upside of McCarthyism and to think approvingly of Confederate generals, then Texas is your state."
The ultraconservative members on the Texas Board of Education have just finished putting their imprint on social studies standards for schoolchildren in the state. The result is a new emphasis on the roles of Christianity, conservative political activism and historical figures who opposed the civil rights movement. Texas has politicized social studies curriculum in a way that will handicap students as they move on to college and into the world, and other states should not make the same mistake. ...Here's why it is important to Florida:
At one point there was even a proposal to rename the U.S. slave trade the "Atlantic triangular trade," as a way to lessen the offense of slavery. You could almost hear the luggage being pulled out of closets as smart Texas social studies teachers started packing their bags.
These politicized changes to public education matter even to people outside Texas, because the second-largest state tends to have an outsized influence on the content of textbooks sold to the rest of the country. That's probably less true today, with the flexibility that comes with digital publishing. The Florida Department of Education says there will be no impact in the Sunshine State, which sets its own standards. But Texas schoolchildren will be fellow citizens in a mobile society where there is still a need for a reasonable understanding of American history grounded in facts rather than ideology. They should be educated in a curriculum that objective scholars have agreed upon, not indoctrinated by politicians with a political and religious agenda."Politicized curriculum will handicap students".
Enough with the "business leaders"
"Host of Florida Business Leaders Running for Office".
Save Our Homes Amendment
"The state Supreme Court again has rejected a challenge to the Florida Constitution's Save Our Homes Amendment." "Florida Supreme Court Rejects Property Tax Appeal".
Rubio supports DADT
"With President Barack Obama looking to repeal the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” Defense Department policy prohibiting homosexuals from coming out of the closet during their military service, U.S. Senate candidates in Florida are weighing in on the issue." "Senate Candidates Weigh In On 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' Repeal".
RPOFers "use trickery to bypass the democracy"
Howard Troxler asks if you "Want to know one of the sneaky things the Florida Legislature did this year?"
It put Amendment 7 on this November's ballot."Amendment 7 is a sneaky attempt to trick Florida voters".
Amendment 7 is a piece of work. It is an attempt to trick the voters of Florida ...
... into wiping out Amendments 5 and 6, the previous two measures on the ballot —even if they pass. ...
Amendment 7, tries to use trickery to bypass the democracy. It tries to fool the voters into canceling out themselves. It should be thrown off the ballot.
I am shocked, shocked ...
U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Rockledge, "a member of Florida’s congressional delegation and a conservative Florida think tank [the James Madison Institute] say the largest federal financial regulation reform act proposed since the Great Depression doesn’t fix the problems that created the current recession." "Posey: Financial Overhaul Bad for Nation, Businesses".
At the trough
"Capital Movers: Rick McAllister".
"Former Rep. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) is being courted to be Obama's ambassador to Israel, three Washington Middle East hands tell POLITICO." "Wexler for Israel?".
"Palm Beach County priorities, child-related bills among the 60 Crist signs Wednesday".
A little late
"Crist's office has asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the collapse of a 20-year-old inmate while he exercised on his first day at a prison for youth offenders." "Gov. Crist asks FDLE to investigate 20-year-old's collapse at Gainesville-area prison".
Possible UF veto
"Charlie Crist says he may veto UF research center at Lake Nona".