"Confident their party will gain strength in Congress next year, Florida Republicans are confronted by a dilemma: how to whack government spending without severely pinching the flow of federal funds to their growing and economically troubled state."
Florida Republicans admit they face tough choices but insist they can rein in spending while maintaining big-ticket projects ... ."Florida Republicans want to cut federal spending — but not in state".
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*See "A handful of gimme and a mouthful of much obliged".
"War of words"
The campaign to become Florida's next governor turned into a war of words this week over who had a role in shady business practices that led to fraud charges at the former companies of Democrat Alex Sink and Republican Rick Scott.""
Sink unleashed a new round of attacks Tuesday against Scott, marshaling police, sheriffs and state attorneys in two TV ads. One questioned Scott's decision to plead the Fifth Amendment 75 times in a lawsuit involving one of his companies. The other, featuring the law enforcement officials, accuses him of running attack ads that are "totally false" — a claim that disregards portions of Scott's ads that are accurate."With governor race tight, Alex Sink and Rick Scott launch brawling ad campaigns". More: "Sink accuses Scott of 'misconceptions, deceptions, lies'" and "Sink, Scott campaigns exchange volleys on each other's character".
See also "Rick Scott's attack on Alex Sink's ethics seen as potentially risky move".
"Sacred ground in Florida politics"
"On the eve of a pivotal debate in the U.S. Senate race, Gov. Charlie Crist on Tuesday pulled out a tried-and-true political weapon against frontrunner Marco Rubio: sounding the alarm on Social Security. Crist's new television ad assails Rubio for advocating an increase in the retirement age to qualify for federal benefits. Social Security, a lifeline in the state's large senior population, is considered sacred ground in Florida politics." "On eve of key debate, Crist hammers Rubio over Social Security". See also: "Florida Senate candidates prepare for second debate".
Webster runs from teabagger
Scott Maxwell: "Webster says he won't do a debate if Tea Party candidate Peg Dunmire is included. Grayson said he won't do one if she's not." "Both Webster, Grayson need to step up".
"Attorneys for a statewide teachers' union will go before the Florida Supreme Court Wednesday in an attempt to boot from the November ballot a proposed amendment dealing with school class sizes." "Class-size amendment fight goes to court". See also "Amendment 8 Opponents Fight Against Class Size Change". Background: "A primer on Amendment 8, which would change Florida class sizes".
About the AG candidates
Steve Bousquet: "Voters will choose a new attorney general for the third time in eight years. Republican Pam Bondi, a former Hillsborough County prosecutor, faces Democratic state Sen. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach, a former federal prosecutor. A third candidate, Fort Lauderdale lawyer Jim Lewis, is running as an independent candidate." "Three former prosecutors plead their case to voters in the attorney general's race".
Front-Loading Florida Elections
"A sharp increase in the number of Floridians casting absentee ballots is changing the ways of winning political campaigns." "Absentee Ballots Front-Load Florida Elections".
Meek turning his fire away from Crist, and onto Rubio
"With less than a month to go until the general election, the dynamics are changing in the election for the U.S. Senate seat. U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, the Democratic candidate in the race, is turning his fire away from NPA-candidate Charlie Crist, and onto Republican candidate Marco Rubio, the front-runner in the race." "With Meek Attacking Rubio Instead of Crist, Dynamic Changes in U.S. Senate Battle".
Meantime, "Rubio, Crist cap off busy days of politicking around Tampa Bay, key to statewide victory".
"Gov. Charlie Crist accused Republican Senate rival Marco Rubio of seeking to 'balance the budget on the backs of seniors' in a new TV ad Tuesday while Rubio's campaign accused Crist of using a 'desperate false attack' to try to scare retirees. The firefight over Social Security, which drew former Gov. Jeb Bush into the fray on behalf of Rubio, came on the eve of a televised debate that will give many Florida voters their first chance to see Rubio, independent Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek together." "Jeb Bush accuses Crist of trying to scare seniors with anti-Rubio ad".
Rubio wimps out
"Rubio has refused to appear [before the Palm Beach Post editorial board], and discuss his use of a party credit card. He won't discuss how he can criticize the economic stimulus while acknowledging that if he still had been in the Legislature he would have accepted the money. Mr. Rubio claims to represent new politics. Sounds more like old stonewalling." "Rubio has double standard: Meek, Crist took questions. He hasn't.".
Rove hearts Rubio
"Two groups conceived by former Bush White House Senior Advisor Karl Rove and former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie have new independent expenditure ads opposing Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and supporting Republican Florida candidate for U.S. Senate Marco Rubio. The ads appear the same day as campaign finance watchdog organizations wrote a letter to the IRS asking them to investigate the 501(c)(4) tax status of one of those groups, American Crossroads Grassroots Policy Strategies (GPS)." "American Crossroads, American Crossroads GPS release new ads, one supporting Rubio".
PBA goes after Scott's prison plan
"The state's two big police unions are backing Democrat Alex Sink for governor. Now one of them is bringing out its big guns to attack Sink's opponent, Republican Rick Scott. The Florida Police Benevolent Association debuted a new television ad Sept. 27, 2010, that claims that Scott's plan to cut state budgets will result in fewer prisons and the early release of tens of thousands of violent criminals." "PolitiFact: Police union attacks Scott's prison plan".
"South Floridians show support for ambitious rail system, despite the price tag".
Rollin' in the mud
"Conservative activist Ralph Hughes funneled $500,000 through a bank account set up for the wife of Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman so the Normans could buy a lakefront house in Arkansas, according to newly filed court documents."
Norman defeated Ambler in the Aug. 24 Republican primary for the District 12 state Senate seat and faces two write-in candidates in the Nov. 2 general election."Ambler: Hughes gave $500,000 to Normans through separate account".
Ambler is asking a Tallahassee judge to disqualify Norman's candidacy, arguing that Norman failed to disclose the Arkansas house and $500,000 he received from Hughes. If Norman is disqualified, Ambler wants his name on the ballot as the only remaining Republican who has legally qualified as a candidate.
The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman should abandon his race for the state Senate and allow the local Republican Party to replace him. The revelation that the late political powerbroker Ralph Hughes helped finance the purchase of a lakefront Arkansas home by Norman's wife destroys Norman's credibility." "Norman should abandon race".
Should McCollum be disqualified from lawsuit?
"McCollum should be disqualified from whistleblower suit, lawyer says".
"A new survey shows most Floridians are willing to support tax increases for public schools and health and human services even in these troubled economic times." "Survey shows Floridians support tax increases" (The telephone survey was taken in June, and included 1,003 adult Floridians with an error rate of plus or minus 4 percentage points.)
Grayson won't back down
The New York Times: "Calling voters on behalf of Alan Grayson, the Florida congressman and Democratic firebrand, can require the finer arts of persuasion."
Even Democrats occasionally ask: Must he be so negative? Labeling Republicans “knuckle-dragging Neanderthals” as he did last year? And now, running a television spot that calls his Republican opponent, Daniel Webster, “Taliban Dan” because of his conservative Christian views on marriage and abortion?"A Florida Lawmaker Not Known for Subtlety, and Proud of It".
“I tell people you have to look beyond personality,” said Leigh Doney, 55, a volunteer at the Grayson campaign office last week. “We’re not electing a personality. We’re electing a person with specific views on specific issues.”
Mr. Grayson, 52, has tried to define himself here in this swing district that includes Disney World as a freshman congressman who has delivered federal dollars, and a populist hero with the guts to punch back at Republicans. At a time when many Democratic supporters want their party to hit back, hard, he is winding up like a heavyweight. And yet, in part because of his brash approach — which has made him a top target for Republicans — Mr. Grayson has been struggling to control the conversation.
"One week after being widely criticized for running a TV spot that compared GOP foe Dan Webster to the Taliban and ripping the Florida Republican’s record on women’s issues, Grayson is out with another hard-hitting spot – slamming Webster’s record on women’s issues." "Grayson not backing down".
HDs 47, 61 and 67
"House District 47 race a study in contrast", "Neighbors vie for state House 61 seat" and 3 vie for state House District 67 job.
Meek + Sink
"Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kendrick Meek is struggling to keep Democratic voters from supporting Gov. Charlie Crist in their three-way race for the U.S. Senate with former House Speaker Marco Rubio."
But state and national Democratic party leaders have continued to strongly support Meek, with some saying he needs to remain viable to boost turnout for other Democratic candidates, particularly Alex Sink."Black Vote for Meek Crucial for Sink".
I'm a Jacobin myself
"Whig Party member running for Miami-Dade Congressional seat".