"Alex Sink's first opportunity to showcase her running mate Rod Smith on Thursday was both a cheerleading session for the party ticket and target practice on the bickering Republicans."
Appearing for the first time since she announced Smith would be her lieutenant-governor choice, Sink criticized her potential opponents -- Republicans Bill McCollum and Rick Scott -- for "bickering'' and "personal attacks.''"Sink, running mate make first joint appearance". See also "New Dem running mate Smith: Fla. needs change". See also "Rod Smith Could Bring Big Money to Alex Sink Campaign". The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Smith adds appeal to ticket".
"I'm fed up with the lack of leadership, partisanship and absence of direction,'' said Sink, echoing a television ad she has been running since Sunday.
Sink told a room full of loyal Democrats at a brief event at the Palm Beach Police Benevolent Association Hall in West Palm Beach that given the challenges that face Florida, "there is no time for partisanship, special interests, or personal agendas.''
Smith, a former Gainesville state senator and former Alachua County state attorney, gave the more fiery and colorful speech.
He joked about how his oldest son was busy explaining to judges why his father wouldn't be in the courthouse for the next few weeks or months -- which prompted Sink to interrupt with "years.''
Oct. 24 Senate debate
"CNN, St. Petersburg Times and USF to host U.S. Senate debate on Oct. 24".
"Despite party anger over Gov. Charlie Crist's decision to leave the GOP and launch an independent run for the U.S. Senate, few early Crist donors have crossed over and contributed to Republican candidate Marco Rubio, records show." "Crist donors not flocking to Rubio". Related: The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Charlie Crist's refund".
Greene's rags to riches story
"Greene likes to tell a rags to riches tale of growing up in a working class family in Worcester, Mass., a working class city. He used to clear the dirty dishes off wealthy guests' tables at The Breakers in Palm Beach as a summer job when he was in college. He tells people he worked hard for everything he's earned. And he has earned a lot." "Fla. Sen. candidate Greene has altruistic message".
Just another challenge for Meek
Kendrick Meek points out that he has overcome "struggles in his life, political and personal. He was diagnosed with dyslexia in third grade. He worked his way through college while also playing football for Florida A&M. He led the effort to put class-size limits in the state constitution while then-Gov. Jeb Bush was campaigning against it. So when billionaire Jeff Greene entered the Democratic Senate primary and vowed to spend as much as it took to win, Meek, who was supposed to be a lock for the nomination, saw it as another challenge he could overcome." "Meek sees doubt as encouragement in Fla. Sen. race".
Gulf special session?
"Senate President Jeff Atwater says he'll be disappointed if a special legislative session on Florida's response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill isn't held 'at the earliest possible date.'" "State Senate president wants Gulf special session 'at earliest date'". See also "Jeff Atwater Offers Update on Special Session". But see "Promised special session in September looking unlikely" ("there are signs now that the session may not happen anytime soon.")
Daniel Ruth: "Looking to right-wing-nut elitist drive-by bloviator Glenn Beck for guidance on anything remotely having to do with the concept of 'honor' is like looking to the Blazing Saddles' Mongo as a role model for table manners."
This guy wouldn't grasp the meaning of "honor" if it was wrapped in a red, white and blue box and presented to him by Sgt. Alvin York, Pat Tillman and Nathan Hale."For the dishonorable, 'honor' just the ticket".
But there he will be next week on the National Mall surrounded by his fellow tea bag travelers, sycophants and gofers promoting a cause near and dear to the Lord Haw-Haw of the FOP News Network: Glenn Beck himself.
The Obama visit
"President Obama wrapped up a five-state political trip here today by raising an estimated $700,000 for the Florida Democratic Party and reaffirming his support for Kendrick Meek's Senate primary bid." "Obama visit affirms support for Meek, highlights Democrats' high hopes for Sink".
Scott's "grotesque display of misinformation and pandering"
The Orlando Sentinel editors: "Rick Scott, seeking the GOP nod for governor, has come out with a new ad blasting President Obama for defending the constitutional right of Muslims to build a mosque near ground zero. It's a grotesque display of misinformation and pandering to the worst prejudices about Muslims." "The truth (not)".
Utilities get theirs
"Crist received his final slate of candidates for appointment to the Public Service Commission on Thursday, the last piece in the legislative effort to replace all but one of the commissioners who rejected the billion dollar rate increases sought by the state's largest electric companies."
The nominating council refused to consider reappointing Argenziano and Skop in June because they too often aired the board's disagreements in public, said Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Sarasota, the council chairman. Bennett chairs a political fundraising committee called "Committee Supporting Utilities and Competitive Commerce.''"Gov. Charlie Crist gets PSC candidates list".
More than any appointments in Crist's term, the governor's appointees to the state utility board have encountered the most political backlash. The state's largest power companies, especially Juno Beach-based Florida Power & Light, mounted a campaign to oust four of his appointees after the PSC unanimously voted against the $1.3 billon rate increase request sought by the company. Only one of those commissioners, Lisa Edgar, will remain.
What's the difference?
"One political novice and two veterans are vying to keep the state attorney general post in Republican control for the next four years. But despite each one's solid resumes, polls suggest that most likely voters in the primary have difficulty distinguishing the three." "GOP candidates for AG struggling to stand out".
FlaDem rule problem redux
"Florida could have trouble abiding by proposed rules for the 2012 Democratic presidential primaries, state party Chairwoman Karen Thurman has warned the Democratic National Committee."
National party rules require state parties that are in the minority, as Democrats are in Florida, to show they have taken "provable positive steps" to persuade lawmakers to stay within the approved primary calendar."2012 presidential primary may again trouble Fla. Democrats".
Thurman wrote DNC Chairman Tim Kaine that the rules don't do enough to prevent states whose primaries are set by law from being penalized by the party if their legislatures do not abide by the rules.
That's what happened to Florida Democrats in 2008, when the Republican-led legislature moved the presidential primary to January to try to increase the state's influence.
Immigration issue cuts both ways
"Balking at Arizona's tough immigration-enforcement law, Florida Democrats appear out of step with national sentiment while Republicans wholeheartedly support the measure, a new Sunshine State News Poll reports." "GOP, Democrats Split on Immigration Law".
The Scott Story
Nancy Smith: "Did he forget the secret handshake? Lose his special decoder ring? Somebody please tell me what awful thing Rick Scott did in a period of a few months to make the Republicans in Tallahassee so mad at him." "When Your Own Treats You Like Dirt: The Rick Scott Story".
"Rubio hails American exceptionalism at Jacksonville campaign stop".
McCollum hits the tiki bar
"Republican gubernatorial candidate and Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum delivered stump-speech rhetoric to a crowd of supporters gathered at a tiki bar on the Sarasota bayfront Wednesday morning." "McCollum hits Sarasota to stump for last-minute support".
"The Republican is visiting Miami Jewish Health Systems, a nursing home and health care facility, on Friday." "Senate hopeful Rubio takes campaign to seniors".
Scott's past haunts him
"Scott's hospitals kept a double set of books. The one with inflated costs was sent to Medicare. The list of legitimate expenses, often marked "Confidential: Do Not Show to Medicare Auditors," was kept for internal record keeping, [alleged whistle-blower John] Schilling testified in court." "Scott's campaign still hears echoes of whistle-blower".
"A dispute over insurance between the state of Florida and Amtrak is delaying one of the most critical steps in creating the SunRail commuter train in Orlando." "Dispute could slow down Orlando commuter rail".
"David Rivera fights off nasty attack from GOP rivals for Congress".
Fourteenth amendment follies
Scott Maxwell: Health care, immigration — baby, do we have issues!".
"Science we find inconvenient"
Fred Grimm asks how do we Americans deal with "science we find inconvenient?" He answers his own question: "We "ignore it. Call it a lie. Make it out to be the stuff of elitist eggheads. Particularly when scientific recommendations cut into profits.
Evolution gets skeptical treatment in text books throughout the Bible belt. The Big Bang gets shut out. Lately, anti-evolution evangelicals have extended their war against science to include the heretical notion of man-caused global warming. Their argument goes (news to the passenger pigeon) that man does not have the power to undo what God has created."When science is inconvenient, just ignore it".
Which ought to fit nicely with a campaign against those godless geeks who've dared to denigrate God's BP-sauteed invertebrates in the Journal of the American Medical Association. ...
It's the great American paradox. We live bountifully off the fruits of scientific research while attacking scientific findings that offend religious or political ideologies. Or the bottom line.