"Most politicians in Florida are keeping a safe distance from the explosive issue of immigration this year, but the ongoing national debate could make a crucial difference in the campaigns for governor and several close congressional races."
For many immigrants and Hispanic leaders, proposed legislation to give unauthorized immigrants a path to citizenship is a rallying cry to turn out the vote for Democrats, including Alex Sink for governor."Immigration issue could sway key races in Florida".
Garcia and Rivera trade punches
"In their first TV debate Sunday, congressional hopefuls Joe Garcia and David Rivera spoke over each other and argued fiercely in a face-off as nasty as their campaign."
Reiterating attacks they have previously made in their campaigns, Rivera linked Garcia, a former member of President Barack Obama's administration, to Washington, D.C., and Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a favorite GOP target this year as Republicans try to regain control of Congress."Joe Garcia and David Rivera step up attacks in TV debate".
Garcia emphasized the ties Rivera, an eight-year state representative, has to Tallahassee and compared him to a Miami-Dade County Commission increasingly unpopular with Hispanic voters.
The debate, held at the Pembroke Park studios of WPLG-ABC 10 and broadcast live on This Week in South Florida With Michael Putney, lasted less than 30 minutes and marked the first and perhaps only time the two candidates will face off on local television.
Never mind that "outsider" stuff
"The wealthy Naples businessman told supporters on primary election night that in Tallahassee "the dealmakers are crying in their cocktails" in response to his stunning victory. He'd just spent about $50 million of his own money winning the Republican nomination, and said if he's elected governor he won't owe any political favors."
Now, with less than a month to go before the general election, Scott has gotten more than chummy with many of the same GOP "insiders" and special interests he railed against - and who raised millions of dollars to defeat him in the primary. They are helping each other refill their coffers and put their newly found mutual admiration on display at campaign events."'Outsider' Scott makes nice with GOP establishment".
Many of these Republican insiders were critical of Scott because of his link to a massive Medicare fraud scandal at the hospital corporation he founded - but they aren't talking about that anymore. ...
His campaign co-chairs included former Gov. Bob Martinez, former state party chief Tom Slade, U.S. Sen. George Lemieux and a host of GOP members of Congress and state lawmakers. Most of them supported his primary opponent, Attorney General Bill McCollum - who, incidentally, has withheld his endorsement. He says he has concerns about Scott's character.
Scott smiled and shook hands recently at a glitzy $500,000 campaign fundraiser in Sarasota put on by a group of influential Republican politicians and donors. Lately he's appeared at fundraisers hosted by big sugar companies and the business lobby Associated Industries of Florida.
He's been endorsed by the politically powerful Florida Chamber of Commerce, which alone spent millions trying to defeat him in the primary.
Charlie's strange brew
"Put together [Crist's] big sister, a longtime Tampa Bay GOP organizer, a veteran Democratic strategist and college buddy [Mike Hamby, executive of the Florida Democratic Party], and a New York City political hotshot with no Florida experience, and it sounds like a recipe for dysfunction." "Meet Charlie Crist's unconventional U.S. Senate campaign team".
"Trial Lawyers Double Down"
"$3 million-plus in attorney contributions eclipse any other group, including unions". "Trial Lawyers Double Down for Democrats, Alex Sink".
Klein takes on teabagger
"U.S. Rep. Ron Klein and Republican challenger Allen West argued about `don't ask, don't tell,' tax cuts and other issues during a testy Sunday debate." "Klein-West debate turns nasty". See also "Klein, West fire familiar volleys in televised debate".
"Close enough for government work"
Bill Cotterell: "State employees have more at stake than usual in this year's statewide campaigns, particularly the race for governor."
It's pointless to keep saying it, but Florida government is the nation's smallest, in ratio of employees to population, and cheapest, in per-resident personnel costs. Facts are stubborn things, as Gov. Charlie Crist said on an unrelated point in last week's U.S. Senate debate, and government employment data don't fit well into a 30-second television advertisement or bumper sticker. ..."Special interests join bruising battle".
It would be simplistic to say Republicans hate state workers and want to get rid of as many as possible, while Democrats like them and want more. But, as the saying goes, it would be close enough for government work.
"The current national mood ahead of the midterm elections is unfavorable for Democrats across the country. While that’s true for many parts of Florida, Senate District 14 isn’t one of them." "Democrat Perry McGriff in Hot Pursuit of Steve Oelrich's 'winnable' SD 14 Seat".
Obama SoFla fundraiser today
"Eager to retain Democratic majorities in the House and Senate, President Barack Obama returns today for his third Miami fundraiser of the year — this time to benefit House races, including an increasingly competitive South Florida contest."
The reception and dinner at the Coral Gables home of retired Miami Heat star Alonzo Mourning will benefit the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and Boca Raton Democrat Rep. Ron Klein, whose tea party-backed challenger, Allen West, is nearly matching him dollar-for-dollar. The pair squared off in a debate Sunday."Obama returning to Miami for fundraiser". See also "Barack Obama returns to South Florida on Monday for Democratic fundraising".
Republicans are gunning to pick up at least 39 Democratic seats to claim a 218-vote House majority and have energetically targeted four Democratic-held districts in Florida, including Klein's seat. In 2006, Klein won by ousting veteran Republican Rep. E. Clay Shaw.
Obama's last fundraiser in Miami in August raised an estimated $700,000 for the Florida Democratic Party. In April, he raised $2.5 million for the Democratic National Committee at Gloria and Emilio Estefan's house in Miami Beach. Picking up the pace as the election approaches, he headlined four DNC fundraisers in September, helping the party raise $16 million — its best monthly haul.
After all, she was black
"Here's how justice system let innocent woman sit in jail for 3 months".
"Final days seem like eternity"
Steve Otto: "It's not all bad news. In a little more than three weeks this most pathetic of campaign seasons will be over and at least for a couple of weeks before the next round begins we can enjoy the holidays with no other ballots to be cast other than the ones that decide which team is going to what bowl game. Meanwhile you are going to have to suck it up and make some decisions here." "The final days seem like eternity as campaign season grinds on".
The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Dan Gelber for attorney general".
Amendments 5 and 6
"There are Florida legislative and congressional voting districts so oddly shaped they resemble your small intestine." "Amendments' goals: Curb tailor-made voting districts".
"Rubio doesn't rest"
Jeremy Wallace: "Republican Marco Rubio is not ready to rest easy, even though polls consistently show he is pulling ahead of independent Charlie Crist in the U.S. Senate race with just three weeks to go." "Despite topping polls, Rubio doesn't rest".
Aaronson considers bailing
"Still fighting to win votes from his own party in the final weeks of the general election campaign, Democratic Senate nominee Kendrick Meek plans to meet Wednesday with Democratic Palm Beach County Commissioner Burt Aaronson, who's been mulling an endorsement of independent Charlie Crist." "Meek looks to lock in Aaronson endorsement".
"Getting U.S. Sugar land ready for Glades restoration would cost millions".
A Hillsborough thing
"On Tuesday, a Tallahassee judge will hear a case that could make or break the 18-year political career of Hillsborough County Commissioner Jim Norman." "Ambler's suit to knock Norman off ballot goes to trial Tuesday".
Will RPOFers run wild in Tally
Gary Fineout: "Millions of dollars are being spent to elect Florida's next governor, but what happens over the next four years may hinge just as much on little-noticed races going on in Gainesville, Sarasota, Tampa and West Palm Beach."
The Florida Legislature is already solidly Republican and Election Day will do little to change that. But a handful of races in the state House and Senate could give Republicans a veto-proof majority."Power may not rest in governor".
Mica now saying "yes" stim bucks
"For communities facing high unemployment and with a long list of transportation projects, the problem is not finding funding but getting it delivered. So says U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park, who was in Flagler County Thursday to spread a hopeful message regarding federal stimulus dollars." "Mica vows push for stimulus".
The Sarasota Herald Tribune editors: "Florida's public campaign funding requirement, enshrined in the state constitution in 1998, should not be repealed." "'No' on Amendment 1".
"U.S. military personnel serving outside the United States would be eligible for an additional property tax break under a proposed constitutional amendment facing voters Nov. 2." "Amendment 2: Military Tax Breaks Spur Little Opposition".
RPOFer looks for loophole
"A convicted Palm Beach County commissioner hopes to have his criminal record erased, arguing his failure to disclose a financial interest in land deals no longer stands up as illegal since the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal law prosecutors used against him. Anthony Masilotti's legal challenge is the first by a South Florida public official convicted of 'honest services fraud,' following the high court's far-reaching decision in June." "Jailed official puts hope in high court ruling".
"Starkly opposite positions"
"Floridians can't vote on President Obama's national health-care plan next month, but they can decide whether their state should continue fighting it in court." "Health care factor in attorney general race".
"Confusion in a year dominated by extreme views"
"The 2010 elections may go down as a year of polar politics, when the extremes of the tea party on one side and a progressive agenda on the other left those in the center feeling out in the cold. And, then, there's the race for Florida's House District 26, where voters may actually need the R and the D on the ballot to tell the candidates apart." "Area's largest district finds fewer extremes".