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July 2010

Overhandling the media on the Scott tour

This morning Palm Beach Post Tallahassee reporter Mike Bender reported on his political blog that during a campaign stop Rick Scott told a Dunedin voter that "Marco has lost momentum."

This apparently has caused great consternation aboard the campaign bus of the Republican candidate for Florida governor.

Campaign staff are insisting that Scott was taken out of context. Interesting, can someone explain how a simple statement like "Marco has lost momentum" can be taken out of context?

The statement does not imply that Scott is not supporting Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate. And most candidates lose momentum at various points of the campaign. Winners overcome those moments. Recent polling has suggested that Rubio's campaign is stalled but that does not mean his campaign is over.

Sounds like a bit of overaction from the campaign staff. Sometimes the best thing to do is take a deep breath and leave it alone. Besides, Bender has Scott's statement on video.

New Jewish group campaigning against Crist

Last week, a new 527 group dubbing itself "Jewish Floridians for Truth" was formed to oppose Gov. Charlie Crist in his race for the U.S. Senate.

The group is being led by Ed Werner of Surfside who fought Crist over the execution of deathrow inmate Martin Grossman. Jewish Floridians for Truth is connected to another Werner 527 -

In a strongly worded statement, the group's website declares that, "Charlie Crist is so willing to win the Senate seat at all costs that he executed a mentally challenged man whom he knew was innocent in order to score a few extra political points."

Continue reading "New Jewish group campaigning against Crist" »

Scott's campaign says GOP lawmakers "behind the 8 ball"

Eler In an email this afternoon to campaign staff, Rick Scott spokesman Joe Kildea suggests that Florida's GOP leaders in Tallahassee might want to rethink their support of Bill McCollum.

Kildea writes: The new PPP Poll out today with numbers for the Republican Primary showing Rick Scott with a commanding 43-29 lead. After spend $8 million in 8 weeks attacking Rick Scott with his negative ads that have backfired, Bill McCollum has put Florida Republican state legislative candidates behind the 8 ball with the money they have wasted funding Bill McCollum’s negative attacks – money that should have been spent working to grow our legislative majorities.

We're only guessing but Crowley Political Report would not be surprised if the campaign sends out an "8-8-8" themed press release. The Scott campaign seems to like triple digits. Their economic plan is "7-7-7."

Which of course leaves the Scott campaign open to a counterattack by rivals who might suggest Scott is "6-6-6."

One Scott insider claims that internal polls are even stronger than the PPP result with internals showing Scott with a 19 point lead. Whatever the real numbers - a double digit deficit is gloomy news for McCollum.

New poll - Scott 43, McCollum 29

If these numbers from Public Policy Polling are even remotely correct this suggests the total collapse of Bill McCollum's campaign for governor.

Rick Scott's withering onslaught of television, radio, Facebook and other internet ads appear to have completely derailed the McCollum campaign.

With just a bit more than a month left before the Aug. 24 primary, McCollum has is work cut out for him in the days ahead.  It will be interesting to see if other public polls match PPP's numbers.

Sources says that Scott's internal polls show him with a double digit lead.

Public Policy Poll says: Scott has certainly succeeded in destroying McCollum's popularity with GOP primary voters. Only 26% have a favorable opinion of the Attorney General while 40% see him unfavorably. He (Scott) hasn't done much though to make Republicans take a charitable view of him. 35% see him positively while 32% have a negative opinion of him, not usually the kind of favorability numbers you want to see with your party's base.

Read more from PPP.

Are we only getting half the story about Rick Scott?

While campaigning in South Florida, Attorney General Bill McCollum had this observation about Rick Scott.

"He can say what he wants to say, but all you know about him is what he says in his TV ads. I have a record. There's no record for him other than the Columbia/HCA mess."

McCollum raises an interesting point. What do we really know about Rick Scott?

Well if you don't know about Scott's experience as CEO of Columbia/HCA, please turn in your voter registration card. But that is only part of the story of Rick Scott.

Continue reading "Are we only getting half the story about Rick Scott?" »

Florida doctors may dump AMA over healthcare reform

Washington's The Hill is reporting that the Florida Medical Association is expected to vote next month on a resolution to cut ties with the American Medical Association.

According to The Hill, a "scathing resolution" will go before the FMA's House of Delegates during their annual meeting in Orlando which runs from Aug 13-15.

The resolution accuses the AMA of having,"failed to achieve one single concession” in the healthcare reform bill. It also accuses the AMA of “failing to lead and represent America’s physicians and the American People on the signature medical legislative issue of this century.”

According to The Hill, the resolution bears the name of Dr. Douglas Stevens, a past president of the Lee County Medical Society.

Read more of The Hill's report here.

Rick Scott economic plan - move along nothing to see here

Rscott079 Rick Scott is rich. And he has in recent years been a successful businessman and investor. Now, he wants to run government as business.

The GOP candidate for governor is traveling the state aboard his campaign motorhome touting his 7-Step economic plan. He is promising 700,000 jobs within 7 years.

All those in favor of waiting seven years for a job raise your hand. Six? Five? Three? One?

Scott outlines his plan in great detail on his website but you can get an abridged view on his website here.

Unfortunately there's not much new in his plan. Scott wants more accountable state budgeting, less state spending, regulatory reform, stronger focus on job creation, world-class universities, lower property taxes, and elimination of the state's business income tax.

Or put another way "less governement, less taxes, more freedom."  Now where have we heard that before?

Rick Scott should say thank you

Florida's GOP lawmakers did Rick Scott a favor by abruptly calling it quits and going home rather than play oil-pong with Gov. Charlie Crist.

Scott is scheduled to begin his first campaign bus tour Wednesday and if lawmakers had stayed in Tallahassee for their special session it could have deprived Scott of free coverage of his campaign to win the Republican nomination for governor.

Of course Scott is pretending he is outraged by GOP leaders who shut down the session mere hours after it began. He wanted them to stick around and pass an "Arizona style immigration law."

Continue reading "Rick Scott should say thank you" »

Crist tells Wall Street Journal he would not repeal health care plan

Crist cartoon head The Wall Street Journal features a question and answere session with Gov. Charlie Crist in which he talks about the Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan, abortion, guns and the encouragement he received from Sen. Joe Lieberman.

An excerpt:

Q: How do you feel about the health care overhaul?

A: “I think it needs to be improved. I’m concerned about so much government control for it. But there are the same time there are good aspects to it.”

Q: Should it be repealed?

A: “I think it should be modified. It can be made better.”

Q: When the bill passed, you called for its repeal.

A: “Well, I wanted it to be changed….. People get caught up in, ‘I’m going to say it’s going to be repealed’ like they’re hammering their fist on the desk and be impressed with themselves. That’s part of the purity test.”

Q: Is that an example of something you had to do in the primary campaign as a Republican?

A: “Perhaps. And I just don’t have to do that anymore. I’m liberated to a greater degree, and I’m very happy about it.”

Read the entire interview here.

Alex Sink rips GOP lawmakers

Asink Democratic candidate for governor Alex Sink has often been criticized for running a lackluster campaign. She has made some staff changes and today hinted that maybe she is finding her voice.

In what may be to her strongest statement yet, Sink rips GOP lawmakers in Tallahassee who are meeting today at the behest of Gov. Charlie Crist to consider a constitutional amendment banning oil drilling off Florida's coast.

GOP leaders are balking and threatening to go home without doing anything. Sink's reaction:

"Today at noon, I expect to see the culmination of the complete failure of the Florida Legislature to be in tune with what’s going on the real world of Florida. In the same chamber, where House Republicans shoved through a proposal in just a few days to open state waters to oil drilling, those same Republicans will stand at their desks to claim they don’t have enough time.

"They don’t have enough time for small business owners in Northwest Florida. They don’t have enough time for the oystermen or the bait tackle shop owner or the countless other working class folks that call Northwest Florida home.’’

They should have moved the Capitol to Orlando


 Tallahassee is a lovely little town. Isolated from nearly everything - hours from any city of any size, our state Capital is a remote island where reality is often suspended.

This comes to mind as Florida lawmakers return to Tallahassee today for a special session called by Gov. Charlie Crist.

The "No I can't win the U.S. Senate race as a Republican so I'll start the Crist Party" candidate for U.S. Senate has summoned lawmakers for the purpose of passing a proposed constitutional amendment banning oil drilling off our pristine condo and mansion ladened coastline.

Miffed that Crist has interfered with their summer plans and simply boiling with rage that Crist dared leave the GOP, House members have threatened to just show up for a couple hours and then leave town without doing a thing.

It is all meaningless showmanship. Crist will cry foul and continue to insist that he just wants to help the little folks keep the few beaches that are open to them clean.

Repubican lawmakers will stomp around insisting that they are not about to fall for Crist's blatant publicity stunt. Democrats will be shocked - shocked I tell you - that GOP leaders are ignoring the "will of the people."

And they say Disney World is fantasy land.

Another very odd McCollum-Scott video

This new computer-animated video features Crowley Political Report. We have no idea who is behind these videos. This is the fifth in a series by someone dubbed KirkPeppersHead.

We first reported on this series of videos last week and noted that the video-maker is clearly not fond of Bill McCollum or Tallahassee GOP political operative Rick Wilson. The earlier video also takes shots at Miami Herald reporter Marc Caputo and St. Pete Times reporter Adam Smith. You can see that video here.


Rick Scott attacks Bill McCollum for use of state plane

While technically it is not a Rick Scott ad but the group "Let's Get to Work" financed by Scott's wife, Crowley Political Report declines to play the game.

It's a strong ad likely to wrinkle the noses of people who see it. The ad accuses Attorney General Bill McCollum of using the state plane for personal travel. The ad is based on stories by the Miami Herald and St. Petersburg Times.

Now here's an interesting Politifact. The Times/Herald Politifact dubbed the ad "barely true" because:

The 53 trips to Central Florida were found to have a public purpose by the Florida Commission on Ethics, and an ethics complaint against McCollum was dismissed. The auditor who labeled those trips a likely misuse of state resources did not include those findings in her final report.

So does that mean the original stories were "barely true?"  The video is on the next page.

Continue reading "Rick Scott attacks Bill McCollum for use of state plane" »

Crist and the GOP's chances of taking over the Senate

Website FiveThirtyEight has another of thoughtful analysis of the U.S. Senate campaigns based on a host of statewide polls and other data.

FiveThirtyEight says their model "gives Republicans a 15 percent chance of taking over the Senate if Charlie Crist caucuses with them, up significantly from 6 percent three weeks ago.

"If Crist does not caucus with them, their chances of a takeover are 11 percent. However, the model does not account for the contingency that someone like Joe Lieberman or Ben Nelson could decide to switch parties, which makes their chances slightly better than we suggest here.

"Democrats' chances of gaining a net of one or more seat and re-claiming a 60-seat majority are 7 percent, down from 12 percent three weeks ago. If they could persuade Charlie Crist to caucus with them, however, their chances would improve to 10 percent."

Read more of this very lengthy FiveThirtyEight Senate outlook here.

Gay marriage discussion gets heated for Alex Sink spokesman

Steve Gaskill, communications director for Alex Sink, is confronted by some angry gay activists who demand to know why the Democratic candidate for governor is not a vocal supporter of gay marriage.

The video starts with some silliness but you quickly get to the depth of feelings of some of those in the room who feel passionately about the issue.

It is an example of some of the intense discussions that go on in politics among groups of liberals and conservatives who feel very strongly about issues whether it is abortion, gun rights, taxes, gay marriage or a host of other issues that every politician confronts.


Rick Scott's bus tour schedule

Okay folks step right up for Rick Scott bus tour soon to be in a town near you.

Here's the schedule just released by the campaign. Not a lot of details but it is a start.

Fort Lauderdale – The Rick Scott for Florida campaign announced the following preliminary details of the 7-7-7 Bus Tour to roll out the campaign Economic Plan, scheduled for Wednesday, July 21st – Monday, July 26th:

Wed., July 21, 2010   Miami-Dade County
Thurs., July 22, 2010 Broward County, Collier County, Lee County, Sarasota County, Sumter County, Pinellas County
Fri., July 23, 2010  Pinellas County, Hillsborough County, Orange County
Sat., July 24, 2010  Brevard County, Volusia County, Flagler County, St. Johns County, Clay County, Duval County

Sun., July 25, 2010  Duval County, Leon County, Franklin County, Bay County

Mon., July 26, 2010  Bay County, Okaloosa County, Walton County, Escambia County, Bay County


Aronberg blasts Gelber in "Dear Friends" letter

Justiceswing112 One of the sad things about campaigns for state Cabinet offices is that they get very little media coverage in the best of years.

This is particularly bad year for the folks running for Attorney General, Chief Financial Officer and Agriculture Commissioner.

It is nearly impossible for these folks to break through the clutter of dramatic races for U.S. Senate and governor. Most voters will go to the polls knowing very little about the Cabinet candidates.

Apparently, in scathing letter to "Dear Friends," Democrat David Aronberg is trying to grab a minute of the spotlight by attacking fellow Democrat Dan Gelber.

Continue reading "Aronberg blasts Gelber in "Dear Friends" letter" »

Crist has twice the cash Rubio has

Electfinal_edited-1 Charlie Crist, former Republican and now the state's first No Party Affliliation governor, raised $1.8 million in the three month period ending June 30.

Not bad for a guy who made a lot of former GOP donors cranky. Meanwhile Republican Marco Rubio raised $4.5 million during the same three months.

The most telling thing however is how much cash they have left in the bank. That's the dough they will be spending leading up to the November elections.

Continue reading "Crist has twice the cash Rubio has" »

But McCollum didn't get frequent flyer miles

You knew this was coming. Rick Scott continues his attacks on Bill McCollum with a new ad about McCollum's use of state aircraft.

As Florida's attorney general, McCollum has priority use of the state plane. But questions have been raised by the St. Petersburg Times and the Miami Herald about whether McCollum has always used the plane for official business. Questions also were raised about Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink's use of the plane.

Both denied abusing the privilege of using state aircraft.