"Republican Rick Scott is on an unprecedented spending spree. He's poured more than $21 million — and counting — into his race for governor."
Attorney General Bill McCollum, the one-time frontrunner and Republican establishment favorite, has one hope to keep up: Florida's public financing system for statewide campaigns."Public funding may be Bill McCollum's last hope". Related: "McCollum's campaign almost broke; Scott tries to spend even more".
That's the system that Republicans — including many of the people supporting McCollum — have for years derided as "welfare for politicians." GOP legislators even put an amendment repealing the system on the November ballot this year.
Today, lawyers for Scott and McCollum go into federal court in Tallahassee, where Scott has sued to throw out a portion of the law that provides matching money for a candidate whose opponent exceeds a state-mandated spending cap, as Scott says he will do. If Scott's motion prevails, McCollum's campaign may well be doomed.
Wingnuts run wild
"With the push for an Arizona-style immigration law already playing a central role in the Republican primary for governor, a pair of Florida legislators Tuesday sought to add the issue to next week’s special session on oil-drilling." "Arizona-Style Immigration Bills Filed for Special Session". See also "State Rep. Ambler files immigration bills for special session".
"Pressure is mounting for legislators to expand the special session next week to revamp Florida's laws to help ailing Panhandle residents recover from the financial hit of the oil disaster. A committee of the Senate's leading Republicans and Democrats, along with Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, are urging Gov. Charlie Crist and the House to go beyond the debate over putting a constitutional amendment on the November ballot when they meet July 20-23 to including economic relief for thousands of businesses, individuals and governments." "Charlie Crist may ask lawmakers for Panhandle relief". See also "No deal reached yet on how to handle special session".
"As a new poll showed Gov. Charlie Crist holding his lead over Marco Rubio in the Senate race, Rubio began a series of policy announcements with a speech advocating tax cuts he said are necessary to prevent national decay."
Rep. Kendrick Meek, meanwhile, released a new video underlining his claim to be "the only Democrat" in the race for Florida's Senate seat.Meanwhile,
He also got an endorsement from the Florida Planned Parenthood chapters, which cited his 100 percent voting record on Planned Parenthood's women's health, gender equality and reproductive rights issues.
The July 9-11 Reuters/Ipsos poll of 600 registered voters showed Crist, a no-party candidate, maintaining his lead over Republican Rubio 35 percent to 28 percent, with Meek at 17 percent. The poll has a 4-point error margin."Rubio visits Tampa area; poll shows Crist leading Senate race".
Crist held almost the same lead with Jeff Greene listed as the Democratic candidate instead of Meek.
Most other recent polls have also shown Crist narrowly ahead of Rubio.
Crist also got favorable ratings on his job performance from 53 percent of poll respondents.
"Since jumping into Florida's Republican gubernatorial primary in April, millionaire hospital executive Rick Scott has spent a fortune beating the heck out of the Republican establishment's choice, state Attorney General Bill McCollum. McCollum is now nearly out of money, and hoping Florida's public financing laws will bail him out. Though the race is not over yet, Scott is looking more and more like a frontrunner -- a development that could leave Republicans with an eccentric, disgraced CEO to carry their flag into the open race for governor in the fall." "How A Super Rich Republican Is Burying And Bankrupting A GOP Favorite In Florida".
Out-of-state rats take work from Floridians
"Work got under way in April on a $200 million Palm Beach County Solid Waste Authority project, and the parking lots at SWA have been filling up with out-of-state license tags ever since." "Half of jobs at PB County solid-waste project going to out-of-state workers".
"A pivotal moment in the Gulf oil crisis was derailed Tuesday evening when officials announced they needed more time before they could begin choking off the geyser of crude at the bottom of the sea." "Key test on Gulf oil spill cap hits unexpected snag".
"As sea turtle nesting season gets into full swing on Volusia and Flagler county beaches, a large-scale effort is under way to rescue sea turtles trapped by the growing oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. " "Rescuers rush to save sea turtles, move eggs to safety".
The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Kenneth Feinberg made clear that the oil compensation process will be claimant-friendly and Florida will not be overlooked." "Oil claims chief eases Floridians' fears".
See also "BP says no to Crist's request for $50 million", "Apalachicola Bay oystermen fight for livelihood -- and identity", "Gulf oil to keep flowing while cap is analyzed", "Gulf Oil Still Gushing After Cap Efforts Suddenly Halted", "Now that new cap is on leak, BP prepares for tests to see how it holds oil", "", "Gulf oil to keep flowing while cap is analyzed", "Scientists say Gulf spill altering food web", "Turtles relocated from Gulf released into Atlantic" and "Obama administration bills BP for $99.7 million".
Rubio's same old song and dance
"Marco Rubio outlined almost two dozen ideas Tuesday to revive the economy and deal with the Gulf oil spill, and took some digs at his former GOP rival, Charlie Crist." "Rubio lists his plans for Senate".
Consider these shining points of light:
• Extending the Bush-era income tax cuts.No wonder the teabaggers are all over the guy.
• Cutting corporate taxes.
• Eliminating inheritance, capital gains and dividends taxes.
• Opposing a cap-and-trade plan to limit carbon pollution.
• Repealing health care reform and replacing it with a tax cut for those who buy their own health insurance and more limits on malpractice lawsuits.
... Speaking of Teabaggers
"Tea Party Billboard Compares Obama To Hitler, Lenin". Related: "Right Wing Rallies Around Tea Party After NAACP Condemns Movement".
"Deep ties to utility companies"
"Gov. Charlie Crist is expected to announce his replacements for his two ousted appointees to the state utility-regulation board on Wednesday, and will choose from a list of eight applicants that includes many with deep ties to utility companies." "Utility links color Florida Public Service Commission picks".
Perhaps we should be increasing wages?
Mike Thomas apparently has a problem with supply and demand: "If illegal immigrants go, produce prices would skyrocket".
"Billionaire Senate candidate Jeff Greene is spending millions on TV and campaign mailers casting himself as the 'proven job creator,' but proving how many jobs he has created isn't so easy." "Greene's jobs record unclear".
Bondi ... never mind
"Pam Bondi is running for attorney general as a conservative Republican, but for much of her adult life she was a registered Democrat." "GOP attorney general candidate Pam Bondi has Democratic roots".
The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Public school accountability will not work unless there is confidence in the accuracy of the testing system. This year's delayed FCAT results and potential anomalies have raised enough questions that the state should not release school grades until an audit is complete. " "School grades and FCAT uncertainty".
"Dave Aronberg should drop his manufactured outrage over Dan Gelber's alleged links to BP."
Sen. Aronberg of Greenacres faces Sen. Gelber of Miami Beach in the Aug. 24 Democratic primary for Florida attorney general. The job is enormously important. Incumbent Bill McCollum, a Republican running for governor, has shown how politics can sidetrack the office. Under Mr. McCollum, Florida is wasting resources by opposing federal heath insurance reform and trying to keep gay people from adopting children.More: "Slick campaigning on BP: Despite Aronberg's claims, Gelber isn't tainted.".
Sen. Aronberg, by focusing on an irrelevant aspect of the BP disaster, is showing no better sense of priorities than Mr. McCollum. Here's the so-called issue:
Sen. Gelber worked for the Akerman Senterfitt law firm, which in May accepted BP as a client after the Deepwater Horizon explosion and spill. After he learned in early June that BP had hired the firm, Sen. Gelber took several weeks to wrap up his cases and then resigned. Sen. Gelber said in an interview he didn't leave immediately because that would not have been professionally responsible.
"Lenders on pace to take back 50,000 South Florida homes this year".
Scott "deceitful" and "heartless"?
"The St. Petersburg Times hammers Florida gubernatorial hopeful Rick Scott today in an editorial that describes him as "deceitful" and "heartless." The editors accuse Scott of "shamelessly exploiting the tragedy of a family of a severely disabled young woman" in order to "burnish" his pro-life bona fides." "Florida Gov Candidate Assailed By Local Newspaper".
Teabaggers can't find "Everglades" in the U.S. Constitution
"Tea partiers and a Republican political action committee say they will descend on South Florida Water Management District headquarters today to protest the agency's purchase of U.S. Sugar property for Everglades restoration." "Tea Parties Boiling Over Crist's U.S. Sugar Deal".
"With six weeks to go until the primary, the two leading Democrats battling it out for their party’s nomination for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by George LeMieux released new commercials to hit Florida's airwaves." "Dem Candidates in U.S. Senate Race Release New Ads".
Federal help, please ...
"With 30 state banks failing since 2007, and BP oil lapping at Gulf shores, the Florida Bankers Association is pleading for relief from Washington." "Florida Banks Plead for Relief from Regulators".
"Algal blooms and fish kills"
"Recent algal blooms and fish kills in the St. Johns River have begun to make their way into the increasingly heated 2010 election cycle."
U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Jacksonville, along with Rep. Allen Boyd, D-Tallahassee, recently made headlines when they proposed to add a rider to an amendment that would impact funding to the EPA and likely halt regulation of runoff into the St. Johns."Rep. Ander Crenshaw takes heat for ties to St. Johns-polluting industry".
Now Crenshaw’s Republican primary opponent, Troy Stanley, is calling out the congressman for his ties to industries polluting the St. Johns.
Reaping the rerwards
"Mel Martinez to be Fla. chairman for JPMorgan Chase".
Gaming the election process
The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Once again in Hillsborough County and other communities throughout Florida, write-in candidates have gamed the election process, slamming precinct doors in the faces of hundreds of thousands of registered voters and violating the spirit of the state constitution. It's time for the Legislature to call this what it really is - a sham - and finally take steps to stop it." "Disruptive write-ins".
McCollum counter sues
Yesterday: "Outspent by Rick Scott, his independently wealthy GOP opponent, Bill McCollum asked a court to rebuff Scott's bid to deny him matching campaign funds from the state." "Cash-strapped Bill McCollum files to keep public funds".
"Historic policy shift"
"Seven former political prisoners from Cuba smiled and gave victory signs Tuesday after they and their families were flown to freedom [sic] in Madrid, the first of 52 dissidents the Cuban government has promised to free in a historic policy shift." "7 Cuban dissidents find freedom in Spain". Related: "Tiny plastic foam boat carries Cuban migrant to US".