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November 2010

Joe Scarborough rips Sarah Palin

Bewitched_edited-1 You just know this is gonna be ugly.

Former Florida congressman Joe Scarborough, host of the MSNBC show Morning Joe, wrote an opinion piece for Politico today telling Republicans it is time for the GOP "to man up" and tell it like it is about Sarah Palin.

Scarborough clearly does not think much of the half-term former Alaska governor.

Scarborough says GOP leaders know Palin cannot win in 2012 but they are "too scared" to take on the "reality show star."

He says it is time to speak the truth about Palin. Scarborough seems particularly offended by Palin's trash-talk about Ronald Reagan who she dismissed as merely an actor. She also makes unpleasant comments about George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush.

This is all too much for Scarborough.

He does credit her with knowing "how to make millions of dollars, even if she embarrasses herself while doing it." 

Beyond Palin's ability to make money, it is clear Scarborough thinks little Palin and even less of GOP who grumble in private but are too afraid to challenge her publicly.


Jeb Bush - Charlie Crist would get crushed

Don't even think about it.

That's the message from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush to soon-to-be-departed Gov. Charlie Crist.

In an interview with Newsmax, Bush said he would not be surprised if Crist tried to run for public office again but if Crist tries to run as a Republican "he'll get crushed."

Bush said flatly that Crist is "not welcome back" into the Republican Party.

Bush also suggests that the Obama administration should take three months off and let things "chill" so that folks can sort things out without facing more controversial proposals.

And Bush once again says he has no interest in running for president in 2012.

Maybe Rick Scott knows the answer

(Note: After the jump we answer the question: Who are those guys?)

Brian Burgess, Gov-elect Rick Scott's communications director, called us after reading yesterday's Crowley Political Report assessment of what the new governor needs to do to improve relations with the Tallahassee Press Corps.

Burgess said Scott's communications team understands that things are different now. He suggested that the strategy for winning the election should not be taken as an indication of how Scott will interact with the media while he is governor.

Continue reading "Maybe Rick Scott knows the answer" »

Why Rick Scott needs the Tallahassee Press Corps

Press skits 001 
Tallahassee's press corps (bonus points if you can name everyone in the picture above)  doesn't think much of Florida's governor-elect Rick Scott.

They are suspicious of Scott. They don't trust him. And they resent the fact that Scott's team largely ignores them.

Scott violated all of the traditional rules during the campaign. He held few news conferences. He never waivered from his talking points: Question? Hey Rick what time is it?  Scott: I made mistakes, I learned from them. 

Scott also refused to attend a single editorial board vetting much to the angst of editorial writers throughout the state. Who could blame was easy enough to predict that no matter what Scott said or did no newspaper would endorse him.

Actually, Scott owes the Tallahassee Press Corps a great debt.  When Scott started his campaign he managed to spend millions in television ads before any serious story was written about him. 

Everyone was too busy chasing the Jim Greer and Charlie Crist drama in April to notice an unknown businessman suddenly announcing his was a candidate for governor.

Continue reading "Why Rick Scott needs the Tallahassee Press Corps" »

Frederica Wilson's big issue - her hat

Newly minted Democratic Congresswoman Frederica Wilson told the Miami Herald that she would like to have a chat with incoming Republican Speaker John Boehner about an issue vital to Floridians - whether she can where her hat on the House floor.

Seriously.  She is very concerned about not being about to wear one of her "signature" hats while the House is in session.

Wilson went as far as to tell the Herald that the ban on hats is - are you ready? - "sexist."

Of course it is.

She tells the Herald that "people get excited when they see the hats."

Of course they do.

Wilson, from Miami, told the News Service of Florida that if anyone tries to stop her from wearing her hat -  "there’s going to be a problem.”

It's time to give Rick Scott a chance

RickScott Last week, while giving a speech in Orlando a member of the audience asked - what kind of governor will Rick Scott be?

It was a tough question. The fact is that Floridians know very little about their new governor. 

Scott has been on Florida's political scene for about eight months. His campaign was a carefully crafted machine that relied almost entirely on Scott's personal wealth and 30-second commercials to win the election.

While the campaign strategists succeeded in getting Scott elected they did little to give Floridians any real sense what kind of person and leader Scott  is going to be.

Continue reading "It's time to give Rick Scott a chance" »

Allen West Chief of Staff quits

Joyce Kaufman has announced that she is quitting her new job as chief of staff to Republican Congressman-elect Allen West.

West's office issued this statement: "It is with deep regret that this Congressional office and the people of CD 22 will not have Joyce Kaufman as my Chief of Staff. Joyce is a good friend, and will remain loyal to South Floridians and to me. I will always seek Joyce’s counsel for being a good Representative of this Congressional District.”

Kaufman's pick was a silly decision by West (see Crowley Political Report earlier reports). But give West credit, he must have realized that his first congressional hire was a mistake.

Kaufman will continue her unchecked raving on South Florida's WFTL-850 am. 

Allen West and his silly decision

There is a lot of chatter out there about the silly decision Republican Congressman-elect Allen West made when he hired flamethrowing radio talk show host Joyce Kaufman to be his chief of staff.

It really is an astounding decision, one that suggests a complete misunderstanding about what happens inside a congressional office.

While Kaufman likes to talk about taking to the mountains and using violence to usurp the government (see video in earlier post), she ain't seen nothing like a angry constituent whose Social Security check is late.

By picking Kaufman, West has already damaged his reputation on Capitol Hill. Most of the folks working in those congressional offices work hard, put in long hours and do the drudge work. They are serious folks who often believe deeply in the ideals of their party - whether it is Republican or Democrat.

Continue reading "Allen West and his silly decision" »

Another way to make newspapers irrelevant

Fallingcocofinc This is fascinating.

At a time when newspapers are stuggling to keep subscribers this little nugget arrives in the mail - a one year renewal for the Palm Beach Post: $221.

Last year it was $110. Why the doubling in price? Well the Post has added a $91 "transportation cost."

Yup a delivery charge. They did add this sage bit of advice - "you have the option to pick up your newspaper to avoid transportation costs."

Indeed we do have that option.

But oddly another option is coming to mind that could save us the entire $221.

Good news for the many readers of Crowley Political Report - we have no plans to charge a  transportation fee.

Art by Patrick Crowley

FBI has questions for Robert Wexler

Dan Christensen of the Broward Bulldog has long and potentially troubling story for former Democratic Congressman Robert Wexler.

Let's put it this way - FBI and IRS investigations are never good things.

"Months before popular Democrat Robert Wexler abruptly quit Congress last year, federal agents interviewed two South Florida businessmen about his campaign's unconventional $150,000 investment in a real estate venture.

"Two sources who spoke with thoses agents, including a Republican opponent whose complaint apparently sparked the inquiry, said authorities were seeking to determine whether the Robert Wexler for Congress campaign had engaged in money laundering. No charges have been filed."

Read the complete Broward Bulldog story here

Allen West chief of staff - If ballots don't work bullets will

Well this is interesting.  The Palm Beach Post is reporting that newly-minted Republican Congressman- elect Allen West has hired South Florida's most rabid talk show host - Joyce Kaufman - to be his chief of staff.

Her qualifications? Apparently none.

She did give West loads of free air time during the campaign. And Kaufman makes Sarah Palin sound like a RINO.

Crowley Political Report found a video from this past July where a little more than six minutes in, Kaufman  says - "If ballots don't work bullets will."

Later in the video Kaufman says that her side loses the election she would quit her radio job and:

"I'm going to go up into the hills of Kentucky, I'm going to go out to the Midwest, I'm going to go up into the Vermont and New Hampshire outreaches and I'm going to gather men and women who  understand that some things are worth fightiing for and some things are worth dying for."

Here is more from the Post and below is the video.


A top Republican celebrates

David Johnson is one of Florida's saviest Republican political consultants.  A former executive director of the Florida GOP,  Johnson has worked on numerous campaigns both here and outside the Sunshine State.

He is also a clever writer and has a great sense of humor.

Crowley Politcal Report offers him a somewhat belated "Happy Birthday!!!" (it was Nov. 5).

Art by Patrick Crowley

Alex Sink blames White House for losing to Rick Scott

Asink Democrat Alex Sink is clearly bitter about her loss to Republican Rick Scott by fewer than 62,000 votes.

In an interview with Politico, Sink blasts the White House political operation calling it and President Obama "tone-deaf."

She blames the White House for mishandling the oil spill, health care legislation and the economy.

There is nothing in the interview that suggests Sink believes she did anything wrong.  She is clearly irritated that she lost the Florida governor's race to someone who she believes has, at best, questionable ethics.

Continue reading "Alex Sink blames White House for losing to Rick Scott" »

Allen West knows time is short

Allen West believes Republicans have no more than six months to prove to voters that they can get things done.

The newley elected congressman is the featured guest on this week's To the Point on WPTV-NewsChannel 5.

West says his new Republican colleagues have "90 to 120 days to show some of the key things we are doing to move in the right direction. People are not very patient right now."

And like many of the newly elected freshman, West will be confronting a reelection campaign in a matter of months. That's bound to add to the pressure to get something done and get it done quickly.

In addition, the district West ran in this time is going to be different when Florida legislature changes the congressional district lines in 2012 adding to the uncertainty.

Who knows, maybe Democrat Ron Klein will come back for a rematch.  

See West and Crowley Political Report Sunday at 10 a.m. on To the Point.

Rick Scott puts his lawyer in charge

Enu Enu Mainigi, a Washington based attorney, was named by Gov-elect Rick Scott to head his transition team.

She is partner in the law firm of Williams & Connolly. She received her law degree from Harvard in 1994 and her B.S. from American University in 1991.

Here's how W & C describes her on the firm's website:

Enu Mainigi has extensive experience in complex civil and criminal litigation in state and federal courts throughout the country and has tried multiple cases.

For the last several years, the focus of Ms. Mainigi's practice has been in the healthcare and pharmaceutical areas.

Ms. Mainigi has defended numerous pharmaceutical companies, PBMs, hospitals, medical device companies, insurance companies, healthcare companies and individuals in a variety of civil and criminal government investigations, including multi-state and concurrent state and federal investigations.

Ms. Mainigi has also defended these corporations in commercial disputes involving civil fraud, breach of contract, and breach of fiduciary duty, among others. She also frequently advises corporations on internal investigations and compliance issues.

A particular area of experience for Ms. Mainigi is the False Claims Act and she has represented a number of corporations at all stages of False Claims Act/Qui Tam proceedings.

Ms. Mainigi has also litigated a wide variety of other matters involving allegations of securities fraud, professional malpractice, antitrust violations, media issues, money laundering, mail and wire fraud, and false statements.

Ms. Mainigi has spoken frequently on topics related to government investigations and the False Claims Act.


Who is Rick Scott?

RickScott Florida's 45th governor is a virtual stranger to most Floridians.

Sure, most folks know that Rick Scott is a Republican businessman who got into a wee bit of trouble with one of the companies he once ran.

People understand that he is a conservative, a family man and someone who is not particularly deft in debates.

But Florida's governor-elect is one of the least known figures to move into the governor's mansion. Governors Lawton Chiles, Jeb Bush and Charlie Crist - to name a few - had spent years in Florida politics before winning the governor's race.

Floridians did not even know Scott existed seven months ago. $73 million of campaigning gave Scott name recognition but not much more.

Continue reading "Who is Rick Scott?" »

Florida Democrats isolated and irrelevant

Last night on the set of the WPTV-NewChannel 5, state Sen. David Aronberg got a call from someone on the Alex Sink campaign wondering about the Palm Beach County vote.

Aronberg, who lost the Democratic primary for attorney general, couldn't offer Sink's team any solace. As the night turned into the early morning hours it was beginning to look like Sink would not find enough votes to defeat Republican Rick Scott.

It is a lousy morning for Democrats all over the country but in Florida it couldn't get much worse. Only one Democrat statewide officeholder remains - U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson. And while Nelson was not on the ballot - the 2010 results will breed new challengers for him when he runs in 2012.

Four incumbent Democrats lost congressional seats.  Republicans now have a veto proof majority in the Florida House and Senate. All three cabinet seats are held by the GOP.

Florida has never been more solidly Republican.  Florida is now a one-party state. And that's bad news for President Obama in 2012 when the Sunshine State will have two additional electoral votes.

The immediate future for Florida Democrats is very grim.

Art by Patrick Crowley

Marco Rubio Florida's new political powerhouse

U.S. Senator-elect Marco Rubio has now become Florida most powerful politician.  Even if Rick Scott is elected governor he will be hardpressed to outshine Rubio.

Young, energtic, and telegenic, Rubio is instantly a national favorite of the Republican Party. And he will be in a strong position to help the GOP presidential nominee carry Florida in 2012 even if Rubio is not on the ticket.

The question now is how will Rubio try to position himself in the new Washington political landscape?

Art by Patrick Crowley

What does Charlie Crist do now?

No-Party Gov. Charlie Crist ended his bid to be Florida's next U.S. Senator in a brief speech before a small crowd of supporters.

You could sense his regret. You can't help but know that Crist is asking himself countless "what ifs."

"This has been an interesting race to say the least," Crist said as he thanked his campaign team for "doing a great job against tremendous odds."

"It's a tough night," he said. "But there's a bright future ahead of us."

Whether there is a bright future for Crist is still unclear.

Election night coverage on WPTV and the Wall Street Journal

Don't forget to join Crowley Political Report and the election night team at WPTV-NewsChannel 5 for election coverage throughout the night

Also look for Crowley Poltical Report on, for online video election coverage by the Wall Street Journal.

And follow Crowley Politcal Report here and on Twitter - @crowleyreport for election updates throughout the night.

WPTV's election coverage will also feature extensive coverage by NBC. Both begin at 9 p.m. In addition,  Newschannel 5 will have continuous coverage beginning at 7  p.m streaming live on wptv-com and on Concast cable channel 216 and digital channel 5 point 2.

This is bound to be an exciting election night and Republicans and Democrats duke it out for control of Florida's governor's mansion, congress and host of other elected offices.