Crist holding a slim lead
"A new statewide poll shows Gov. Charlie Crist holding a slim lead in the three-way race for the U.S. Senate."
A survey by Quinnipiac University of 1,133 registered Florida voters shows Crist's independent bid slightly ahead of Republican Marco Rubio. Crist received 37 percent to Rubio's 33 percent while Democrat Kendrick Meek received 17 percent in the poll taken June 1 through 7."Crist has small lead in Senate". See also "Poll: Crist leading Senate race by tiny margin".
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, running as an independent, edges Republican Marco Rubio 37 - 33 percent in the U.S. Senate race, with 17 percent for Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. If Jeff Greene gets the Democratic nod, Crist tops Rubio 40 - 33 percent with 14 percent for Greene. ..."From June 1 - 7, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,133 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points. For the Chiles matchups, there were 435 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.7 percent." See also "Crist, Rubio Neck-and-Neck in Senate Race".
"Gov. Charlie Crist leads Marco Rubio by a nose in the Senate race. Obviously there is a long time until November, but the Governor is doing very well among independent voters, almost as well among Democrats as Meek, and better among Democrats than Greene," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "With Rubio getting two-thirds of the Republican vote, the fate of Gov. Crist, who switched from a Republican to independent six weeks ago, depends heavily on his ability to appeal to Democratic voters."
"A federal appeals court has reversed the bribery conviction of former Florida Senate President W.D. Childers. A three-judge panel of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeal in Atlanta issued the 2-1 ruling Tuesday." "Federal appeals court reverses Childers conviction".
"A decade ago, U.S. government regulators warned that a major deepwater oil spill could start with a fire on a drilling rig, prove hard to stop and cause extensive damage to fish eggs and wetlands because there were few good ways to capture oil underwater." "U.S. knew of Gulf oil spill risk".
The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Tuesday marked Day 50 of Deepwater Horizon's assault on the Gulf of Mexico. The president is finally angry. Big Oil is finally paying, and we're all trying to figure out the extent of the toll wrought by the disaster." "Gone for good".
More: "Panel meeting to aid Fla. businesses hurt by oil", "Oil spill response received differently in Escambia, Santa Rosa counties", "Update: Oil spill economic recovery task force holds first meeting", "Gov. Charlie Crist, Cabinet berate BP over spill response", "It's boom times for companies cleaning up oil spill", "AP IMPACT: BP spill response plans severely flawed", "BP grant lacking, Florida complains", "BP plans to burn some oil pumping up to surface".
"In the wake of the Gulf oil spill, Florida voters oppose 51 - 42 percent increasing the amount of offshore oil drilling, a 48-point swing from the 66 - 27 percent support for drilling in an April 19 survey by the independent Quinnipiac University." "Voters Oppose Offshore Drilling In 48-Point Swing".
Rothstein Gets 50
"Ponzi King Scott Rothstein Gets 50 Years".
McCollum, Scott lead Sink
"Both Republican gubernatorial hopefuls - Attorney General Bill McCollum and businessman Rick Scott - lead Democratic frontrunner Alex Sink [in new Q poll]. Scott leads Sink 42 percent to 32 percent while McCollum leads by a 42-34 margin." "Sink scrambles".
Two Republicans, State Attorney General Bill McCollum and health care executive Rick Scott, lead Democrat Alex Sink 42 - 34 percent and 42 - 32 percent respectively in the race for Governor. A three-way race including independent Bud Chiles scrambles the race considerably. But a three-way gubernatorial race was tested only after Chiles announced his independent candidacy and has a larger sampling error than the rest of the poll. ..."From June 1 - 7, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,133 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points. For the Chiles matchups, there were 435 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.7 percent."
With Chiles on the ballot, McCollum leads in the governor's race, with 33 percent to 25 percent for Sink and 19 percent for Chiles. If Scott is the GOP nominee, he gets 35 percent with Sink at 26 percent and Chiles at 13 percent.
McCollum is the best known candidate for governor with only 32 percent of voters not knowing enough about him to have an opinion, compared to 56 percent for Sink, 46 percent for Scott and 81 percent for Chiles, son of former Governor and Senator Lawton Chiles.
"The governor's race was close even before Chiles entered it. But now, it's a whole new and even closer ballgame. The dynamics of a three-way race will force the Republican and Democratic candidates to reconsider their strategies," said Brown. "Ms. Sink remains relatively unknown after four years as Florida's chief financial officer. Scott, a political unknown until his multi-million dollar TV ad buys, is actually better known than she at this point."
"Two polls released Wednesday on the Florida gubernatorial race show that health care executive Rick Scott is now posting larger numbers than fellow Republican Attorney General Bill McCollum against state CFO Alex Sink, the leading Democrat running for governor." "Hard-Charging Rick Scott Looking Strong in GOP Gubernatorial Race".
"a tough row to hoe"
"If Gov. Charlie Crist thinks he can reap votes from Florida's agriculture industry, his vetoes of ag-related legislation make that a tough row to hoe." "Agriculture Industry Rips Crist Vetoes".
Pataki Backs McCollum lawsuit
"Attorney General Bill McCollum’s lawsuit against the federal government for new health care laws backed by President Barack Obama is getting the support of former New York Gov. George Pataki who has been active in the political fight of repealing the new laws." "Pataki Backs McCollum's Suit Against Obama Health Plan".
Sink pushes Crist to embrace tax reduction plan
"Tax breaks for Gulf coast property owners could be part of the mix in a proposed special session sparked by the Deepwater Horizon oil spill which Gov. Charlie Crist is looking to call as early as next month. Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink pushed Crist to embrace the tax reduction plan Tuesday as the governor and Cabinet heard presentations from BP along with state environmental, wildlife and revenue officials about the effects of the massive spill." "Gulf Coast Tax Breaks Another Special Session".
Obama's approval a negative 40 - 54 percent in Florida
From Quinnipiac's latest poll: "President Barack Obama's job approval is a negative 40 - 54 percent, his lowest point ever in Florida and down from a 50 - 45 percent approval April 19, right after his call for increased offshore drilling."
"Clearly, the gulf oil spill has changed the way Floridians view offshore drilling and almost certainly is responsible for the drop in President Obama's approval rating," said [Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute]. "Voters disapprove 54 - 37 percent of the way Obama is handling the spill.""From June 1 - 7, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,133 Florida voters with a margin of error of +/- 2.9 percentage points. For the Chiles matchups, there were 435 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.7 percent."
"LeMieux wanted GOP boss to stay"
"Crist says he wasn't aware of Jim Greer's financial freelancing, but he apparently received plenty of input from two of his closest political advisers about the party boss." "Crist Advisers Wrangled Over Greer".
"Contest is far from over and may have many twists and turns"
Larry J. Sabato, Director, of the U.Va. Center for Politics, last week:
Florida—Gov. Charlie Crist (R) shocked his state twice. First, he decided against a second gubernatorial term, preferring to seek an open U.S. Senate seat. Then, ... Crist abandoned the GOP and filed as an Independent for the November election, ceding the Republican nod to Rubio. "Statehouse Picture Slowly Emerging".
So far Crist has a slight, shaky edge over Rubio (and likely Democratic nominee Kendrick Meeks, who is mired in third place). ...
Even though he is being opposed by a wealthy businessman (Rick Scott), state Attorney General Bill McCollum, is the likely GOP gubernatorial nominee. That is not to say that McCollum is not being tested early; Scott may spend as much as $30 million before the Aug. 24th primary, and he has gained ground on McCollum.
Meanwhile, state CFO Alex Sink, a mild-mannered banker originally from North Carolina, will likely be the Democratic nominee (despite a possible late challenge from Bud Chiles, son of the late Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles). Sink might become the first woman governor of the Sunshine State. McCollum appears to be the November favorite, and he has ex-Gov. Bush’s backing, though McCollum is a bit dull and has already lost two U.S. Senate contests in Florida. Further, McCollum’s task is now complicated by Crist’s independent bid for Senate. Sink will try to combine the moderate Crist vote with Meek’s Democratic base—which is easier said than done. While we give an early edge to the Republican, this contest is far from over and may have many twists and turns. LEANS REPUBLICAN HOLD.
"Past and potentially future presidential candidates are gearing up to head to the Sunshine State to help Florida Republicans -- and perhaps their own prospects for 2012." "Possible 2012 Candidates Line Up Behind Rubio, Florida GOP".
The The Orlando Sentinel editorial board thinks employers ought to be "fair" to their employees ... at least if the employee is a teabagger:
North Florida State Attorney Robert "Skip" Jarvis is facing a federal lawsuit for firing one of his assistants. Her offense? Engaging in political activity."Fired prosecutor KrisAnne Hall".
KrisAnne Hall spoke at Tea Party rallies and in other conservative forums, and defied Mr. Jarvis' order to stop. She and other assistants in his office serve at his will, so it might be a challenge to prove that he didn't have the legal authority to can her.
Legality is one issue, fairness is another. And the latter is a much tougher case to make.
$254 million to grade FCAT tests?
The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Florida agreed last year to pay NCS Pearson, the nation's leading scorer of standardized tests, $254 million over five years to score the annual Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test and report those scores back to the state in a timely manner. But Pearson is failing the timeliness test. Some results due in May may not be available until the end of June, throwing a wrench into school districts' planning for the next school year. With other states also reporting problems getting accurate and timely results from the company, Florida should hold Pearson accountable for its tardiness. " "Make company pay for FCAT failures".