"The biggest winner in the Republican gubernatorial ad war roaring on the airwaves could be one of the candidates spending the least: Democrat Alex Sink."
Republicans Rick Scott and Bill McCollum are scheduled to pour more than $34 million into television ads — mostly bashing each other — through this week. But a new poll out Wednesday suggests both men's attacks are breeding explosive levels of voter dissatisfaction about Scott and McCollum."According to a new Public Policy Polling survey, a computerized "robo-poll" of 900 voters conducted July 16-18, the ad wars are turning off voters at a dramatic pace."
The two candidates are squaring off in a bare-knuckles Aug. 24 primary that has seen each side accuse the other of profiting from abortions and trying to one-up each other on cracking down against illegal immigration. Scott's adds sneer that McCollum is a "career politician"; McCollum's say Scott was involved in "the biggest Medicare fraud in American history."
The Democratic firm's survey suggested that 23 percent of the overall electorate had a favorable impression of Scott, while 41 percent had an unfavorable one."The big winner of Scott-McCollum ad war may be .. Alex Sink". See also "Poll Reveals a Struggling Bill McCollum".
The voter snapshot was even worse news for McCollum. The poll found 16 percent of the electorate viewed the 20-year Longwood congressman and sitting state attorney general favorably, while a whopping 51 percent had a poor impression of him. The survey's margin of error is plus or minus 3.26 percentage points.
"Buoyed by another $140,000 this week from Freedom First Committee (state Sen. Mike Haridopolos’ 527), Florida First Initiative released Tuesday a new television ad attacking his rival, Rick Scott, on his tenure as CEO of Columbia/HCA, the largest for-profit hospital chain in the U.S. Florida First Initiative has associations with Scott’s opponent, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum." "New 527 ad attacks Rick Scott’s past as CEO of Columbia/HCA".
"Ken Pruitt: Maybe Soon, Right Back Where He Belongs".
"Cretul was especially callous"
The Miami Herald editorial board: "If what was on display in Tallahassee Tuesday qualifies as leadership then Florida is a rudderless ship in perilous seas. In just two hours the Legislature convened, decided to not even debate Gov. Charlie Crist's proposed constitutional amendment banning oil drilling 10 miles off Florida's coast and adjourned."
House Speaker Larry Cretul was especially callous in brushing aside Senate President Jeff Atwater's attempt to add economic relief to the agenda. Instead, he created six committees to study economic relief proposals and then appointed some of the House's least experienced lawmakers to chair them. What does this say about Mr. Cretul's concern for Panhandle residents who have seen their tourist season fizzle because of the oil churning in the Gulf?"Spiteful politics snub spill victims".
"When he was a state legislator, Democratic Senate candidate Kendrick Meek failed to disclose his stock ownership in a medical-waste company that eventually went bankrupt and whose officials were accused of cooking the books. Meek's campaign said the stock was worthless when he left the board of Miami Lakes-based Med/Waste in 2000." "Kendrick Meek failed to disclose stock".
"With one month left in the costly and caustic Republican gubernatorial primary, the leading candidates both tramped across voter-rich Miami on Wednesday, with Rick Scott rolling out his long-awaited economic plan and Bill McCollum dismissing it as 'partially plagiarized.'" "Bill McCollum, Rick Scott duel in Miami-Dade". See also "Will voters be buying Rick Scott?".
"Crist signed an executive order Wednesday that could give homeowners and businesses in the Florida Panhandle stronger footing to seek financial relief from plummeting home values as a result of the BP oil spill." "Crist orders 'interim' valuations of property affected by BP spill". Related: "Gov. Crist signs executive order to help property owners send tab to BP", "Crist orders counties to reconsider property tax bills in wake of oil spill" and "Crist wants damage estimates".
See also "For oil spill victims, fair compensation requires a crystal ball", "Storm system unlikely to pose big threat; heavy rain forecast", "Report critical of the BP claims process", "Oil spill workgroup leaders not from Panhandle", "Storm system may hit us, then impact oil-spill cleanup" and "Ships ready to leave leaky well as storm brews".
Brown-Waite at the trough
"Congresswoman Ginny Brown-Waite raised more than $120,000 in the months before she made the surprise announcement that she wouldn't seek re-election because of health reasons."
Brown-Waite's impending retirement didn't curb her campaign spending, either."Brown-Waite raised, spent campaign funds with retirement imminent".
In the first three months of the year, she spent more than $65,000. Those disbursements included $24,500 spent on voter surveys and direct mail. In the second quarter, she spent more than $30,000 on fundraising consultants.
Dave Levinthal, spokesman for the nonpartisan watchdog group Center for Responsive Politics, said Brown-Waite's actions may have been legal, but they didn't follow the spirit of campaign laws.
"It seems to be a legitimate question to ask why someone would be spending time and resources fundraising when, in their mind, they're no longer a candidate," Levinthal said. "It's definitely not typical to conduct a campaign that way."
Campaign finance records show Brown-Waite used her campaign credit card liberally, paying for airline tickets, expensive dinners in Vail, Colo., and a night at the swanky Ritz Carlton hotel in Washington D.C. Since January, her campaign charged nearly $8,500.
He "received a check the next day"
"When a Democratic National Committee member sent an e-mail asking whom he should support in the Democratic Senate primary, at least one result came quickly."
The DNC member, Jon Ausman of Tallahassee, received a check the next day from the campaign of billionaire candidate Jeff Greene, hiring Ausman for political consultation and strategy."DNC member paid by Greene before endorsing him".
Six days after that, Ausman announced his endorsement in another e-mail: He was endorsing Greene.
He signed the endorsement e-mail as a DNC member but didn't mention that he was being paid by Greene. He says he provided 35,000 e-mail addresses in exchange for the money.
Federal handout, please
"Florida's citrus industry didn't get much help from the Legislature or Gov. Charlie Crist this year. Growers are hoping for better results in Washington, D.C." "Florida Citrus Industry Looks to Capitol Hill for Help".
Blah, blah, blah
"With the House and Senate adjourning instead of forwarding a proposed constitutional amendment banning oil drilling in Florida waters, candidates for statewide office promptly offered their opinions on the Legislature’s quick session." "Charlie Crist, Statewide Candidates Sound Off on Short Legislative Session". See also "Who's to blame for session meltdown?".
"Roundtable discussion of St. Johns River pollution receives mixed reviews".
Unemployment comp fix
"State Rep. Kevin Rader, D-Bonyton Beach, is making good on the vow he made Tuesday to pressure Gov. Charlie Crist to address a Florida statute snafu that will prevent some unemployed Floridians from receiving recently extended federal unemployment benefits." "State Rep. Kevin Rader formalizes his appeal to Crist for Florida unemployment fix".
"Millionaire's amendment" appeal
"Republican candidate for governor Rick Scott submitted his appeal brief to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeal in Atlanta at noon Tuesday, claiming that the federal district court's argument was flawed when it upheld the Florida law on public campaign finance in light of a U.S. Supreme Court decision striking down the 'millionaire's amendment' as an attempt to level the playing field." "Rick Scott files legal challenge to public campaign finance law".
Circumventing voting rights
The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "The public’s deep distrust of government helped fuel Amendment 4, the so-called 'Hometown Democracy' initiative on the November ballot. St. Petersburg is only feeding that distrust with a deceitful maneuver designed to circumvent residents’ voting rights if Amendment 4 becomes part of the Florida Constitution. City officials should work to defeat the amendment on its merits, not design a sneaky way to circumvent it." "A deceitful ploy".
A Hillsborough thing
Howard Troxler: "Joe Redner at 70 radiates health and serenity. And why not? He put his demons behind him years ago; he presides over a diversified business empire. He seems to be a happy man. Of course Redner is most known for his marquee, world-famous business, the Mons Venus nude-dancing club on Dale Mabry Highway." "Once more unto the breach for Joe Redner".
Entrepreneurs in action
"Craigslist scheme preying on unsuspecting Florida renters".