Previous month:
January 2011
Next month:
March 2011

February 2011

Obama will be in Miami Beach Friday to raise money for Bill Nelson

Obama cartoon President Barack Obama will travel to Miami Beach Friday to raise a few bucks for Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson who is being targeted by Republicans in 2012.

Sen. Patty Murray, chairwoman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee will also be at the home of Judith and Michael Adler where the reception and dinner is taking place.

Michael Adler is chairman and CEO of The Adler Group, a real estate development and investment company. Adler has contributed hundreds-of-thousands to Democrats over the years.

Nelson won't get all the cash raised at the event. He has to split it with DSCC.

Follow us on Twitter @crowleyreport

Art by Patrick Crowley

A bad morning for Haridopolos but a great paycheck

Haridopolos BCC There is so much wrong with this that it is hard to believe that there is any possible good explanation.

Brendan Farrington of the AP Tallahassee bureau does a great job reporting on a very odd deal between Senate President Mike Haridopolos and Brevard Community College.

In brief, Haridopolos got paid $152,000 to write a book titled Florida Legislative History and Processes.

Farrington writes that the book is light on content, has errors and - are you ready for this - there is exactly one copy.

One copy.

Really. $152,000 for one copy.  Maybe he signed it.

None of this bodes well for Haridopolos who has just launched his campaign to be the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate.  You can already start writing the ad.

And of course, it makes Brevard Community College look like a bunch of idiots - at best.

Read Farrington's story here.

Newt Gingrich meets Scooter

Crowley Political Report
is not sure what Scooter thought about his encounter with Newt Gingrich but it was clear that the potential presidential candidate was very impressed with Scooter, an Asian bearcat.

Gingrich was visting the Palm Beach Zoo getting a personal tour from Terry Maple. The two men are co-authors of the 2007 book Contract with the Earth that makes the case that government, industry and environmentalists need to team together to save the planet.

Crowley Political Report joined Gingrich on his tour of the zoo. Gingrich used the opportunity to meet with television reporters to talk about the need to protect endangered animals such as Malayan tigers (only about 300 left in the wild), koalas and other species.NEWT_001 

"Part of the great purpose of zoos is to be a place to breed endangered species and give them a better chance to survive and go back into the wild," said Gingrich. "And part of the purpose of zoos is to introduce young people to the natural world and get them, hopefully, engaged in the idea that preserving this kind of variety and having this kind of experience is an important part of life."

"We want to have a world in which all the major species are still available in the wild for people to be able to go see them," said Gingrich.

Oz, the Palm Beach Zoo's male koala, seemed to take it all in stride.

Follow us on Twitter @crowleyreport

Photos by Lauren Lieberman / LILA PHOTO




Tea Party leader Michele Bachmann is going to Jupiter

   No, not the planet.

The humble village of Jupiter, Florida is where Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann  will meet with local Tea Party supporters at the Abacoa Golf Club.

The "dear patriots" email says Bachmann will be here March 4, from 10  to 11:30 a.m.

 According to the invitation, Bachmann, leader of the Tea Party congressional caucus,  will "speak to us about Spending & Constitutional Issues followed by a Q&A."

When Bachmann speaks, she does not go gentle into that good night. 

Continue reading "Tea Party leader Michele Bachmann is going to Jupiter" »

Newt Gingrich meets Tiger in Palm Beach

No, not that Tiger.

While Tiger Woods has built an impressive mansion on nearby Jupiter Island, Gingrich will be in West Palm Beach today spending time with the four legged version.

The former speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives and potential Republican presidential candidate is spending the afternoon at the Palm Beach Zoo.

While there, Gingrich is expected to speak about the rapidly diminishing population of tigers which are in danger of becoming extinct within a generation.Tiger

There are an extimated 3,200 tigers left. Several species of tigers are already extinct. Earlier this year, an international conservation summit to look for ways to save tigers was held in St. Petersburg, Russia. The summit was called by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Actor Leonardo DiCaprio also participated

Among the most endangered of the tigers is the Malayan tiger. There are only few hunder of those tigers left in the wild. The Palm Beach Zoo is part of a breeding effort to help save Malayan tigers. The zoo's pair of male and female tigers were introduced and hope springs eternal.

While at the zoo, Gingrich will meet tigers Berapi and Rimba. During his tour of the zoo he will spend time with other endangered species from koalas to jaguars. 

Newt Gingrich and Palm Beach Zoo president and CEO, Dr. Terry Maple, were co-authors of a 2007 book about the environment, A Contract with the Earth, which was applauded by conservationists, environmentalists and government leaders.

Is this the softer side of Newt?

Follow us on Twitter @Crowleyreport

Tea Party takes on Florida's capital - Wisconsin again?


Emails are flying inviting Tea Party supporters to travel to Tallahassee to fight for pension reform and less government spending.

Everett Wilkinson of the South Florida Tea Party is telling "dear patriots" that, "if you thought we were going to take our country back without a fight, you were wrong."

 He continues:  Like many of you I watched this past week as "union thugs" try to terrorize Wisconsin Legislators into giving way to immoral plunder of future generations’ prosperity. There are many teachers and union members who are in the tea party or agree with us. The Liberals are doing all they can to use them against us. The reality is that our country is broke and have to cut spending.

...Today the battle is Wisconsin, however in just a few weeks the battle will be here in Florida.

Continue reading "Tea Party takes on Florida's capital - Wisconsin again?" »

Newt Gingrich in Florida today - is he running?

Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich is giving the keynote speech at the Palm Beach County Republican Party's annual Lincoln Day dinner tonight.

Many folks think this is the year that Gingrich will finally run for president. He is expected to announce his decision next month.

This is most likely Gingrich's last chance. The Georgian will be 68 in June. So waiting until 2016 may be out of the question.

On the other hand, just the talk of a candidacy keeps Gingrich relevant in the Republican Party and certainly doesn't hurt his speaking fees and book sales.

Florida balks, New Hampshire prepares for temper tantrum

New hampshire


Really, Crowley Political Report loves New Hampshire.

Since 1980, CPR has spent many a cold winter night in the Granite State chasing presidential candidates and chatting with countless "Live Free or Die" residents.

There isn't a town or hamlet that has not been visited. Living there has been an occassional fantasy.

Unfortunately, New Hampshire has become a spoiled brat, clinging desperately to the notion that they alone must first determine who is the proper presidential nominee for the Republican and Democratic parties.

It is a quaint notion.

New Hampshire's primary has nothing to do with selecting presidents. Their record of soothesaying was pretty good for many years. But no longer. 

Consider - in 1996 New Hampshire voters picked Pat Buchanan to be the GOP presidential nominee. In 2000, the picked John McCain. Ditto 2008. Among Democrats, they passed over Bill Clinton in 1992 and Barack Obama in 2008.

New Hampshire's primary is a helluva lot fun. It's like going to political carnival. All the acts are there, easy to see and hear. You can go as often as you like and admission is almost always free. In fact, candidates wandering Elm Street in Manchester are more abundant than circus clowns at Ringling.

Continue reading "Florida balks, New Hampshire prepares for temper tantrum" »

Rick Scott derails a woman's dream.


 A woman called eager to chat. She was starting a new business that would be tied to Florida's new High Speed Rail train that would run from Tampa to Orlando and she wanted some advice.

My next message from her was she couldn't talk. She was distraught. Florida Gov. Rick Scott had just announced that the Sunshine State was bailing out of the rail business.

A day later, the woman called again. She still hopes the high speed rail will happen. She still plans to go ahead with a business plan. Only this time with far less certainty.

The fact is that if Scott believes building a high speed rail in Florida is bad for the state than he is right to do what he did. But an awful lot of folks think he is wrong - and not all of them have a financial stake in the outcome.

Continue reading "Rick Scott derails a woman's dream." »

Even Jeb Bush wonders what Rick Scott is doing

Demgoplo096 Well that didn't take long.

One day after tossing out plans for a Tampa-to-Orlando high speed rail train, a veto-proof majority of Florida senators - Democrats and Republicans - sent Scott a message that basically asked - "are you nuts?"

At the same time, according to PolitiJax, former Gov. Jeb Bush was left scratching his head about Scott's decision.

"I'm surprised he didn't let the process go to a conclusion...before pulling the plug," Bush said, saying he was somewhat taken aback by Scott's timing.

This morning, Crowley Political Report warned that Gov. Rick Scott that he would do serious damage to his relationship with the Florida Legislature - not just because of his decision about the train but because he didn't bother to tell legislative leaders about his decision.

Keep in mind - we're talking about a House and Senate controlled by his own party. And with the GOP holding veto-proof majorities in both chambers it appeared that Democrats would attend the legislative session as mere spectators.

Now, Scott has succeeded in building a veto-proof coalition of Republican and Democratic senators.

Continue reading "Even Jeb Bush wonders what Rick Scott is doing" »

Rick Scott snubs Florida legislature

GOP HATCHETT Really, truly, who in the world is giving Florida Rick Scott legislative advice.

Dear governor, you do not toss out a pet legislative project - like the high speed rail - and then either let lawmakers read about it on Twitter or in a text message.

Scott notified the Obama administration that Florida will not be accepting $2.4 billion in stimulus funds to build a high speed rail between Tampa and Orlando.

Then he had a press conference.

Meanwhile, Florida Senate budget chief learned about the decision from text messages. Other Republican leaders found out from other online sources but not the governor's office.

Continue reading "Rick Scott snubs Florida legislature" »

Rick Scott is the third GOP governor to reject high speed rail money

Florida joined Ohio and Wisconsin in rejecting the Obama administrations six-year plan to build a national high speed rail system.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott made his announcement this morning. He is third new Republican governor to reject the cash.  Gov. John Kasich of Ohio and Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin had previously said "no thanks."

Not everyone in Florida is happy with Scott's descision to turn down more than $2 billion in federal dollars.

According the the Orlando Sentinel, Florda Senate budget chairman J.D. Alexander learned about the move from a text message. Not the best way to treat a top a lawmaker.

Scott can expect a lot of heat from House and Senate members whose districts would have benefited from the Tampa to Orlando train.

This could get ugly.

Follow us on Twitter @crowleyreport


Rick Scott derails high speed train, tells Obama keep the money

Rscott079 Gov. Rick Scott just announced that he is nixing the proposed high speed rail from Tampa to Orlando.

Here are excerpts from Scott's prepared remarks: I am announcing my decision to reject the Obama administration’s plan to partially-fund the costly Tampa to Orlando high-speed rail project.

Moments ago I spoke with U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to inform him of my decision.   I appreciate the Secretary’s efforts to work with us and I look forward to working with him in the future.

My decision to reject the project comes down to three main economic realities:

First – capital cost overruns from the project could put Florida taxpayers on the hook for an additional $3 billion.

Second – ridership and revenue projections are historically overly-optimistic and would likely result in ongoing subsidies that state taxpayers would have to incur. (from $300 million – $575 million over 10 years) – Note: The state subsidizes Tri-Rail $34.6 million a year while passenger revenues covers only $10.4 million of the $64 million annual operating budget.

 Finally – if the project becomes too costly for taxpayers and is shut down, the state would have to return the $2.4 billion in federal funds to D.C.

This announcement is going to make a whole bunch of Central Florida folks very unhappy.

Follow us on Twitter @crowleyreport

Rick Scott, the Lord Voldemort of Florida

Voldemort You have to give Florida's new governor credit - no one has scared the hell out of state workers more than Rick Scott.

With his promises to cut thousands of government jobs - and eliminate some agencies - Scott has become the dark lord to those who fear the spell of unemployment.

And Scott is not hiding.

He met with workers at the Department of Community Affairs - an agency that Scott wants to largely eliminate, costing hundreds of jobs.

Clearly, they were not thrilled to see him. Reports from the Buzz and AP suggest that Scott pulled no punches. He told the workers that his first priority is creating private sector jobs not protecting government jobs.

Continue reading "Rick Scott, the Lord Voldemort of Florida" »

It is time to stop talking about Jeb Bush for president

Jeb Bush does not want to run  for president.

Certainly not in 2012. Bush has made that clear - repeatedly.

He has become the perfect fantasy candidate for some conservatives who believe that Bush is the rightful heir to the Bush family throne.

But a new poll by Fox News shows that Jeb Bush would lose to President Obama 54-34 in a hypothetical match-up between the two men.

Hang on to that word hypothetical.

Everything written and said about the 2012 presidential campaign is hypothetical at this point. The only real, continuing certainty is that Jeb Bush is not running.

Look, take him at his word. He's been saying it for years. Jeb Bush is not running for president - not in 2012 and probably never.

On the other hand, most Florida Republicans would love to see Bush run for the U.S. Senate against Democrat Bill Nelson.

It would be a helluva race. And if the former governor won, he would have new platform for his beloved topic of education reform.

But president. Not gonna happen.


Allen West at CPAC - my Honda is better than your Harley

Yes, Allen West did talk about the "horrific politics of charater assassination" during his keynote speech closing the Conservative Politcal Action Conference (CPAC) Saturday night - a spot that had been set aside for Sarah Palin until she found something better to do.

And of course the freshman congressman got cheers when he took credit for Keith Olbermann getting fired from MSNBC suggesting the liberal commentator got tossed after calling West "the worst person in the world five or six times."

Maybe Olbermann rides a Harley. More on that later.

The crowd clearly loved West, who defeated Democratic incumbent Ron Klein to win the seat that includes parts of Palm Beach and Broward counties.

West wears as a badge of honor the fact that Politico, Cook Political Report and others are suggesting West  could lose the 2012 election. Democrats are already running radio ads against him.

Continue reading "Allen West at CPAC - my Honda is better than your Harley" »

Admiral Donald Trump and the Mar-a-lago Pentagon

Does anyone seriously believe that Donald Trump is running for president?

Not here at Crowley Political Report. We've been to this play before.  Lots of media hype for a couple of months and then Trump moves on to his next advertising plan.

Frankly, when Trump spoke to CPAC, he sounded a lot more like a guy who wants to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

He tossed out the words "war" and "battle" and "victory" more than a dozen times.

"I've won many wars," said Trump to an enthusiastic crowd.

He sounded like he was ready to take military action against OPEC telling the crowd that he would tell OPEC leaders that oil prices "better get lower and it better get lower fast."

As an aside Trump said he would take on the Somali pirates - "give me one good admiral and a couple of good ships and we'd blast them out of the water so fast."

Guess all those nations that are trying to do just that need an admiral like Trump.

Which is why Crowley Political Report really believes Trump wants to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs. And he seemed to be hinting just that. Not only did he talk about wars, battles, and taking on OPEC and pirates, Trump also mentioned that he went to military school.

Continue reading "Admiral Donald Trump and the Mar-a-lago Pentagon" »

Are some of Rick Scott's budget cuts make-believe?

Did Gov. Rick Scott fib to the Tea Party and the rest of us?

It sure looks that way, according to a report this morning by Lloyd Dunkelberger, the long-time Tallahassee reporter for the Sarasota Herald Tribune, Lakeland Ledger and Gainesville Sun.

Apparently,  Scott's $5.2 billion in budget cuts is really only $3.5 billion.  Why? Because Scott wants to shift the $1.3 billion for university tuition and $453 million for county clerks of courts out of the state budget.

As Dunkelberger points out, the money is still collected but from Floridians but it is taken out of the state budget.

When Senate  budget chairman J.D. Alexander of Lake Wales asked the Scott's budget director, Jerry McDaniel, if the real reduction was only $3.5 billion, McDaniel said - "that's correct."

Who in the world thought it was a good idea for Gov. Scott to tell folks he was cutting the budget by more than $5.2 billion when in fact he is not?

 Art by Patrick Crowley

Is Rick Scott the new leader of the Tea Party?


  Actually, Crowley Political Report has two questions for your consideration - is Florida Gov. Rick Scott the new leader of the Tea Party?

And, is Rick Scott really a Republican?

It seems as if a case could be made that Florida's new governor is far more Tea Party than he is Republican.

Continue reading "Is Rick Scott the new leader of the Tea Party?" »

Mark Foley and forgiveness

Everything is not rosy for former Republican Congressman Mark Foley who was forced to resign in disgrace, but as a story by Brendan Farrington of the Associated Press shows, Foley's hometown has been willing to give him a second chance.

As Farrington found, there are still plenty of folks that strongly object to Foley's conduct but overall his return to a public life has been successful enough that he was recently considered a serious candidate for West Palm Beach mayor.

It's an interesting read that also includes a few comments from Crowley Political ReportFarrington's story is here.