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May 2010

New Rick Scott ad talks about HCA and slaps at McCollum

RickScott The new ad (on the next page) starts with a close-up of Rick Scott saying, "Bill McCollum has been in politics 30 years. You'd think he'd want to talk about his record instead he's just attacking me. That's what career politicians do."

Scott then goes on to say he is "going to do something politicians won't, give you the unvarnished truth."

Whatever the "unvarnished truth" is, politically Scott is smart to hit back fast.

Continue reading "New Rick Scott ad talks about HCA and slaps at McCollum" »

Not a good day on the campaign trail

Claude pepper jeep

Claude Pepper represented Florida in the U.S. Senate from 1936 to 1951. He lost reelection after a bitter Democratic primary battle with George Smathers who accused Pepper of being too friendly with communists especially Stalin.

Pepper returned to elected office with a successful run for Congress in 1962 where he stayed until his death in 1989.

Crowley Political Report has the above photo but not the details.

Carl Domino is barefoot and...

The music is a bit odd and the big grin on state Rep. Carl Domino's face is, well, interesting.

Crowley Political Report has seen the new Domino for state Senate quite a few times this week.

The Jupiter resident is running against state Rep. Ellyn Bogdanoff of Fort Lauderdale for the Republican nomination in Senate District 25.

This 30-second ad is apparently the first television buy in this campaign.



Meek on MSNBC blasts Crist

Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek was asked during an appearance this morning on MSNBC about independent Gov. Charlie Crist's changing stands on the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy .

Meek blasted the governor for saying he "didn't see anything wrong" with the policy on Monday but by Thursday Crist was saying he is  "inclined to support" repealing it.

Meek accused Crist of being incapable of making a decision, always "flip-flopping," and failing to be a leader.

Meek supports ending "don't ask, don't tell."  The two men are candidates for the U.S. Senate.

Florida ranks 6th among the most corrupt states

So says the Daily Beast which found a few clouds over the Sunshine State when they studied statistics for such crimes as public corruption, extortion, fraud and embezzlement.

An example they site is this:

 In Florida, one recent Medicare fraud case soars to new heights. By all appearances Ihosvany Marquez was a legitimate businessman interested in community health, running eight health clinics in Miami and Orange County.

Continue reading "Florida ranks 6th among the most corrupt states" »

Liberal Democrats love Arizona Law

These are often described as the most liberal of liberal Democrats.

They helped put and keep "fire breathing liberal" Robert Wexler in Congress until he decided to resign in search of better things.

But they didn't sound very liberal the other day. Sipping on coffee, some cupping ears, often interrupting speakers with loud "be quiets" to the rest of the crowd, these are the Democratic voters of Century Village.

This is a place where your candidate better be pro-choice, pro-union, pro-Medicare, pro-Social Security and pro-Israel.

They are also pro-Arizona. When the topic of Arizona's Immigration Law came up it became very clear that these liberal Democrats would favor having the same law in Florida. And they way some of them expressed their feeling also suggested that they would prefer that "those people" weren't here at all.

This is an interesting political dilemma for candidates  - especially Democrats - who might be inclined to oppose the Arizona law.

Robert Wexler - ambassador to Israel?

Former Congressman Robert Wexler may be leaving his Middle East think tank to become the new ambassador to Israel.

Politico is reporting speculation that the Obama administration is about to offer the post to the "fire-breathing liberal."

In a recent conversation with Wexler, he alluded to the fact that he may be making a career change in the not to distant future. Beyond that Wexler would say no more.

Wexler is a close friend of independent Florida Gov. Charlie Crist and there has been wide speculation that Wexler would endorse Crist. Being an ambassador may preclude a direct endorsement but Wexler's South Florida politcal team - led by Eric Johnson - is already helping Crist.

It will become very clear to South Florida's Jewish voters that their beloved Wexler wouldn't mind seeing Crist in the U.S. Senate. They'll get the message whether Wexler is in Washington or Israel.

Rick Scott about to get blasted by Cheney group

UPDATE: See Ad on next page.

Bill McCollum's folks have been hinting that even though they don't have the money for an all-out war against Rick Scott there would be "other sources" that would pick up the gauntlet.

Apparently that help is coming from a group - Alliance for America's Future - that is backed by Mary Cheney, daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney.  She formed the group with Ohio political operative Barry Bennett.

Continue reading "Rick Scott about to get blasted by Cheney group" »

Former Hobe Sound legislator Doc Myers dies

Dr. William G. "Doc" Myers, who served as a Legislator from Hobe Sound for over 20 years in both the Florida House of Representatives (1978-1982) and the Florida Senate (1982-2000), has died at the age of 79.
Myers was a 1986 candidate for governor in the Republican primary.
UPDATE from TCPalm:
Former State Sen. William G. “Doc” Myers died Tuesday afternoon at Jupiter Medical Center, following a lengthy illness, according to longtime friend and former legislative aide Byron “Mac” McCartney.

Myers, 79, also was the chairman of the Martin County Commission in 1972, when the first comprehensive land-use plan was approved and, as commissioner and legislator, he was a champion of the second Palm City bridge.

Myers was in public life for almost 39 years, when he retired from the senate in favor of State Rep. Ken Pruitt of Port St. Lucie in 1999. Myers served as county commissioner, state representative and senator.

During his legislative career, he was an influential vote for medical and health care issues, and took special care of veterans’ needs.


Greene's mom likes him

She's 83, a resident of Century Village in West Palm Beach and the star of billionaire candidate Jeff Greene's new campaign ad.

During his campaign stop in Century Village, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate spoke a lot about living in Israel as an exchange student, teaching Hebrew and showing of his mom - Barbara Greene to the crowd. It was a potent combination. This ad should play well in the condos.


Maddox: Putnam equals Tom Delay

Democrat Scott Maddox mingled with the folks at Century Village in West Palm Beach much to their delight.

In brief remarks, Maddox, a candidate for Commissioner of Agriculture, warned that dire things would happen if his rival, Republican U.S. Rep. Adam Putnam, wins the Cabinet post.

"He is a Tom Delay protege" Maddox said as some in the audience groaned at the name of the former Texas congressman. "We're going to make sure that brand of leadership doesn't come to Florida."

Greene: no opinion on gay marriage

Jeff Greene spoke today at Century Village in West Palm Beach offering the usual "stand by Israel," no nukes for Iran, lobbyists are bad, businessmen are good, career politicians are bad, speech that everyone gives.

The Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate lost a bit of Palm Beach County street cred when he mispronoucned Boca Raton - a malady that has spread in recent years. Raton is not prounced like "baton." It is pronounced like "phone" or as in Al "Capone."

Anyway, someone in the crowd asked Greene if he supports gay marriage. After a bit of a pause Greene said, "I haven't formed an opinion yet on gay marriage."

Later Greene was asked about the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Green said "America should be ashamed" of that policy.

Debates and the billionaire rule

Got a press release from Jeff Greene.  He is challenging U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek to a series of debates over who should be the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate.

This happens every election cycle. One candidate issues a challenge and the other ignores it usually with a comment something like, "there's plenty of time to debate." 

Rarely does the challenge come from the frontrunner whose handlers will say their opponent simply wants to raise his stature by getting on the same stage.

So what should Meek do? Let's create the billionaire exception to conventional political strategy - if your opponent is going to spend a small fortune in his effort to defeat you he's already buying the stage - debate him.

It would probably shock the Greene campaign which most likely expects Meek to decline so Greene start running ads saying Meek refuses to discuss the issues.

An added bonus to accepting for Meek is that it would shift some of the media attention away from independent Gov. Charlie Crist and Republican Marco Rubio.

Campaigning and the rule of 30

Recently Crowley Political Report met with a Republican leader who gave a long explanation concerning a potential political attack.

The problem with the answer was that explaining took longer than 30 seconds. In politics if your opponent runs a 30-second TV attack, you have only 30 seconds to reply or change the subject.

It is what makes an attack so easy and a defense so difficult. Most defenses take a lot longer than 30 seconds. The exception is a candidate on the defense who has a lot more money than his opponent in which case he can simply overwhelm the attacker with a barrage of his own attack ads.

So the effectiveness of Republican Rick Scott's new attack ad against Attorney General Bill McCollum is that the attack is simple and the defense is more difficult.

Continue reading "Campaigning and the rule of 30" »

Feuding Democrats in Broward

Donkr Okay so Democrats in Broward are always feuding. Lot's of drama, intrigue and backstabbing.

Bob Norman, who writes the Daily Pulp blog, has gained a huge following with his reporting on political shenanigans in Broward.  Norman is not shy about offering his strong opinions.

"Recently Broward Democratic chief and tax dollar-sucking lobbyist Mitch Ceasar, the grand pooh-bah of the whole donkey gang, has been back to his old tricks, trying to run the Tamarac Democratic Club out of existence."

Continue reading "Feuding Democrats in Broward " »

Salon: Kendrick Meek, the odd man out in Florida?

KendrickMeekFORWEB Joy-Ann Reid takes a lenghty in-depth look at Florida's Democratic U.S. Senate primary and probes into questions about the strength of U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek's campaign for Salon.

Crowley Political Report is among the many who are interviewed for the Salon story.

Some excerpts from Salon

When he announced his Senate run last January, four-term Miami Rep. Kendrick Meek had a lot going for him: a former president for a pal, prodigious fundraising (with Bill Clinton's help), a solid political pedigree, and with the nation's first black president sitting in the White House, a chance to make a little history of his own.

Continue reading "Salon: Kendrick Meek, the odd man out in Florida?" »

No money, no campaign

Execpaylo097 There is a simple equation Crowley Political Report uses to help determine the chances of a candidate winning statewide office in Florida.

Do you have the money?

It would be nice to think a candidate could just go door-to-door building support but with 4 million Republicans, 4.6 million Democrats and 2.5 million in the party of Other, that's a lot of doors.

So say you're in the Aug. 24 GOP primary expecting 25 percent turnout - or a bit more than 1.1 million voters.  Still a lot of doors. But you're hardy candidate who knocks on doors meeting 1,000 voters every day for 365 days. That's 365,000 voters.

Continue reading "No money, no campaign " »

Will Crist pull the rabbit out of the hat? FEA and a new poll

Crist majic So far Gov. Charlie Crist appears to be making the right moves. The newly minted independent candidate for the U.S. Senate managed to get an endorsement from the Florida Education Association Saturday. The FEA also endorsed Democratic U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek.

Endorsing both candidates was not a terribly courageous move on the part of FEA. In fact, it was politically dumb. But it's good news for Crist who wants teachers to remember that he vetoed the teacher pay bill that was a pet project of former Gov. Jeb Bush and Republican legislative leaders.

The FEA decision is bad news for Meek who under normal circumstances would have won the endorsement outright. The union's failure to just pick Meek will do little to silence Democrats who are worried about the viability of Meek's campaign.

Then there is this - a new St. Petersburg Times/Miami Herald poll showing Crist at 30 percent, Republican Marco Rubio at 27 and Meek at 15.  The margin of error is 4 points which suggests the race between Crist and Rubio remains tight. Meanwhile Meek, who has been campaigning since January 2009, continues to well behind his rivals.

Not a bad weekend for Crist.

Florida Teachers union supports Crist and Meek - Really?

It has been 42 years since Florida's teacher unions were nearly destroyed following the ill conceived 1968 statewide teachers strike. The union has not been the same since and today's decision to split their endorsement between independent Gov. Charlie Crist and Democrat U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek suggests they haven't learned much in all those years about exercising political power.

What is the point in endorsing both men? If the Florida Education Association's 140,000 members are looking for direction this decision gives them none. Making a decision for a single candidate would have taken leadership and political courage.

The press release from the Florida Education Association is on the next page. For up-to-minute reporting from the scene of the FEA and AFL-CIO conference in Jacksonville follow Mike Bender's Post On Politics.

Continue reading "Florida Teachers union supports Crist and Meek - Really?" »