"Republicans are bracing for a tough 2012 U.S. Senate primary pitting such political heavyweights as a former U.S. senator, a sitting Florida Senate president and the congressman son of a Republican icon."
But to hear a growing number of Republican activists tell it, the candidate to watch is a fellow few Floridians have heard of."In tough 2012 Republican Senate primary, Adam Hasner may be one to watch".
"Absolutely — it's Adam Hasner," said Nancy McGowan, a prominent conservative activist and fundraiser from Jacksonville. ...
The 41-year-old former state House majority leader lacks the statewide profile of Senate President Mike Haridopolos, former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux and U.S. Rep. Connie Mack — the potential field vying to pick off Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida's only statewide Democratic leader. But for years the Boca Raton lawyer has built a conservative network and in recent weeks he has met with activists, fundraisers and political operatives in every corner of the state.
"I think he'll be a fabulous candidate,'' said Mel Sembler of St. Petersburg, former ambassador and finance chairman of the Republican National Committee. "I've followed his career and have a lot of respect for him. He's got a lot of friends and will have a lot of support."
Hasner says only that he's seriously looking at running for the 2012 GOP nomination and has heard lots of encouragement.
A pair of special elections in Miami-Dade and Broward
"Following a short and not-always-sweet campaign, early voting begins Monday in portions of Miami-Dade and Broward for a pair of special elections prompted by Democrat Frederica Wilson's jump to Congress. Four Democrats are jostling to succeed Wilson in the Florida Senate -- including state Rep. Oscar Braynon II, who had to resign to run for the post. That triggered another election, with three candidates vying for his seat. Braynon and three former state representatives -- Phillip Brutus, James Bush III and Darryl Reaves -- will face off to represent Senate District 33, which spans from Overtown to Miami Gardens and includes portions of El Portal, Miami Shores and North Miami." "Early voting starts today".
Even the Tampa Trib
The Tampa Tribune editorial board complains that Governor "Scott rarely recognizes that regulations also protect the public health, the environment and the economy." "Some state regulations are genuine job builders".
Floridians 'outa here
"Using the latest available data, census surveys estimate that only 461,088 people moved to Florida from another state in 2009. Nearly as many Floridians — 439,665 — moved to another state. That's roughly one-third fewer new residents compared with 2005, when 632,168 moved to Florida from another state." "Fewer people moving to Florida, census estimates show".
"Senate majority leader predicts choppy seas"
"The Senate majority leader predicts choppy seas for Rick Scott's budget proposal — not the smooth sailing forecast by the governor." "Front & Center: FL Senate Majority Leader Andy Gardiner".
What's wrong with Hillsborough?
"His work computer filled with pornographic and racist material, including racial slurs in reference President Barack Obama and his first lady Michelle Obama, Tim Marcum is on the verge of being fired as the ultra-successful head coach of the Arena League’s Tampa Bay Storm." "Tampa Bay Storm coach has racist material involving President Barack Obama". For more on our friends in Hillsborough County, see "'After All, He Is Black'".
"... without giving away what's left to developers"
The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Gov. Rick Scott told a group of editors and reporters this month that Florida needs to manage growth, but his actions suggest he is headed in a different direction."
First he demonized all state regulation, as if that were the root cause of the economic collapse in Florida. Then he appointed a former executive of the St. Joe Co. to run the Department of Community Affairs — at least as long as it exists. The reality is there are ample development opportunities in the pipeline, and there are ways to improve how Florida manages growth without giving away what's left to developers."Enforce rules in managing state growth".
"A disjointed movement without a specific leader"
The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "The [Tea Party Caucus] meeting attracted exactly four of a possible 47 GOP members. Many of those officials who attended tea party rallies and supported the basic ideas of the movement did now show up to the first meeting of the new caucus, which is chaired by Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota."
A case in point is freshman Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a social conservative and tea party favorite who didn't attend the caucus and questioned whether the Senate tea party caucus is a good idea."Tea party very alive, but influence is debatable".
Fact is, Rubio is an established Republican. And he represents a highly diverse state, and hopefully is intent on listening to all residents — including Democrats and independents. Rubio also said the strength of the party is that it's not a political organization run by people in Washington, but more of a grass-roots movement.
There are some Republicans who said they didn't want to join the caucus at present because it threatens to highlight divisions within the Republican Party. Also, the structure of the Senate itself — and the relative small size of the body — makes it less necessary for a senator to join a specific caucus in order to have influence.
And while the tea party has created plenty of headlines, controversy and policy ideas over the past two years, it is still basically a disjointed movement without a specific leader.
As long as we cut the corporate tax rate
"You thought this school year was bad? With the federal stimulus dollars set to run out in June, next year has the potential to be a lot worse, Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said." "Officials: Severe cuts expected for Fla. school districts".
2 more for the RPOFers?
"Republicans have the best shot at picking up Florida's two new congressional seats next year, a district-by-district analysis indicates. GOP congressional districts around the state have experienced heavier-than-average growth in voter registration over the past eight years, while Democrat-held districts have grown far more slowly."
The state's five fastest-growing congressional districts are all represented by Republicans:"GOP Poised to Grab Both Congressional Seats".
* David Rivera's CD 25 (voter registration up 43 percent since 2002).
* Richard Nugent's CD 5 (up 41 percent).
* Daniel Webster's CD 8 (up 34 percent).
* Cliff Stearns' CD 6 (up 34 percent).
* John Mica's CD 7 (up 32 percent).
By contrast, Democrats represent four of the slowest-growing congressional districts:
* Debbie Wasserman Shultz's CD 20 (up 5 percent).
* Ted Deutch's CD 19 (up 9 percent).
* Alcee Hastings' CD 23 (up 14 percent).
* Corrine Brown's CD 3 (up 16 percent).
Heroes and Zeroes
Nancy Smith thinks "Governor Rick Scott, Hero; Press Corps, Zero".
"John Boehner came to West Palm Beach in October to provide a high-profile campaign boost for Allen West, but West says it's Boehner who is indebted to West and other House Republican freshmen." "GOP brass owes us, West assures tea partyers".
Florida for Sale
"Florida should sell naming rights to everything from state roads to beaches to help cover its budget shortfall, according to state Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton." "South Florida lawmaker proposes selling naming rights for roads, statewide attractions".