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March 2013

Should Bill Nelson run against Charlie Crist?

Is U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson the real savior of the Florida Democratic Party? Some folks think that Nelson should run for governor.

So with that in mind, a few questions:

Would newly minted Democrat Charlie Crist run against Nelson in a Democratic primary?

Could Crist defeat Nelson?

Would Nelson be able to raise the money?

Would Crist stay out of the raise if Nelson got in?

Is there anybody else in the Democratic Party who could give Crist a serious run for the nomination?

These questions are being asked in Democratic circles - the answers will say a lot about the future of the Florida Democratic Party.

Last week, The Palm Beach Post reported this:

“Right now Sen. Nelson cannot envision a circumstance under which he would run for governor. But he remains very concerned about the state’s future,” Nelson communications director Dan McLaughlin said.

If you are one of those who believe Nelson should run - hang your hopes on the words, "Right now."


Is Rick Scott a one-term governor

Another poll, another bad day for Florida Gov. Rick Scott. A new Quinnipiac University poll has Scott trailing former Gov. Charlie Crist by 16 points.

Even worse is this tidbit from the Q-poll: 

Florida voters say 50 – 40 percent that Crist’s switch from Republican to independent and now to Democrat is a positive thing that shows he is a pragmatist, rather than a negative thing that shows he lacks core beliefs.  

And then there is this:

Scott’s potential vulnerability is evidenced by the fact that only 32 percent of voters say he deserves a second term in office, including just 28 percent of independent voters.  His job approval rating is a negative 36 – 49 percent, compared to his negative 36 – 45 percent disapproval in a December 19 survey. . .

There is a touch of good news for Scott. The poll suggests he should win the GOP primary:

Scott’s support among Republicans appears pretty solid, although he has a lot of fences to mend with independent voters and he has virtually no crossover appeal to Democrats.

The poll suggests that if Republican Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam wants to challenge Scott in the GOP primary Putnam would have a difficult time. 

Here's how the poll was done:

From March 13 – 18, Quinnipiac University surveyed 1,000 registered voters with a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points.  The survey includes 353 Republicans with a margin of error of +/- 5.2 percent.  Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.



Jennifer Carroll explains her resignation as Florida lieutenant governor

From former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll

My decision yesterday to resign as Lieutenant Governor represents my unwavering commitment to the great state of Florida. I simply refuse to allow the allegations facing a former client of my public relations firm to undermine the important work of the Governor and his administration. It was a difficult decision, but one that I know is right for Florida, my family and me.

As has been widely reported in the press, prior to my election as Lt. Governor, a company I co-owned, 3 N.&J.C. Corporation, provided consulting services for Allied Veterans of the World, Inc. Having learned that Allied Veterans is now the subject of an investigation by federal and state agencies, I have and will continue to fully cooperate with any investigation. Although I do not believe I or my company are targets of the investigation, I could not allow my company's former affiliation with Allied Veterans to distract from the administration's important work for the families of Florida.

Through my years of public service, I have always tried to work for the betterment of my state and my nation. The jobs I was able to bring to Florida in the space, aerospace and the military support industries provided job opportunities for many displaced workers. I am particularly proud of our successful efforts over the last two years to bring aircraft manufacturing for the Light Air Support program to Jacksonville.

Continue reading "Jennifer Carroll explains her resignation as Florida lieutenant governor" »

Who will replace Jennifer Carroll as Florida's lieutenant governor

Crisis in Tallahassee? Stay calm people. The resignation today of Florida's lieutenant governor means little to the overall body politic. 

The Federal investigation that led to her resignation is unpleasant - for her. And it certainly does not help the image of Gov. Rick Scott who judgement on a host of issues has led to him being one of the nation's most unpopular governors.

The most difficult part of all this for Scott is the fact that he must pick a replacement for Carroll. Already in campaign mode, Carroll is doing Scott a huge favor by getting out of the way now. Still, Scott is going to have to careful about his next selection.

Will he try to appease the Tea Party be picking someone that makes those folks happy? They are a bit ticked off with Scott after his embrace of ObamaCare, his proposal for across-the-board teacher raises and other issues where Tea Party advocates believe he has strayed to the left.

Or, will Scott look for a moderate? 

Whoever he picks, that person will be dissected by the Tallahassee Press Corps, Democrats and even some GOP opponents.

A couple of quick names: 

Former state Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff. She lost a her seat to Democrat Maria Sachs but Bogdanoff, 53, could help Scott in Broward and Palm Beach counties. More importantly, she could be very effective for Scott in pushing his agenda in the state Senate. At this point, he needs all the help he can get. If Scott has a miserable session, it's not going to help him during next year's campaign.

BOGDANOFF UPDATE: BUDDY NEVINS AT BROWARD BEAT.COM quotes Bogdanoff as saying: “If the governor called, I would be glad to have that conversation.” Read more here.

Bill McCollum. Okay stop chuckling. McCollum is not especially fond of Scott but he is even less Mccolumfin
fond of not being in public office. McCollum could be a safe pick, a GOP establishment figure, and someone who could do more than just wait for Scott to croak.

Of course there are others who should be on the list. If you have any ideas share them. We know the gov's office looks here.

BREAKING: WCTV is reporting a raid in Tallahassee: About a dozen

Continue reading "Who will replace Jennifer Carroll as Florida's lieutenant governor" »

Cory Booker to attend pink slip Rick Scott breakfast

Florida Gov. Rick Scott gave his re-election, oops, state-of-the-State speech today. Scott wisely focused on topics that he believes will help him win a second term - teacher payraises, falling in love with Obamacare, and jobs.

His take-away campaign phrase - "It's working." 

Very nice. Fits perfectly on a bumper sticker.

While Scott was speaking, the Palm Beach County Democratic Party announced that Newark, N.J., Mayor Cory Booker will be the guest speaker at a "Pink Slip Rick Breakfast."

Details are below.

Cory Booker

Who not to tick off in Tallahassee

Press corps skits one
Many of them have been in Florida's Capital for decades. They have seen it all.  They have a reputation as one of the toughest groups in the nation. And they are not to be fooled with or you will really tick them off.

Florida's Capital Press Corps is about to embark on another legislative session. It is a considerably smaller group than it once was. News organizations have sharply cut back and much talent has been lost.

But for those of you who dismiss the "Mainstream Media," you do so at your peril. No one looks deeper, works harder, knows more, and has more impact in Tallahassee than the Capital Press Corps.


Many of the "leaders" in Tallahassee learn this the hard way. No one has had a tougher lesson than Gov. Rick Scott who stormed the Capital two years ago with a haughty attitude toward the press corps that created a lasting anmosity. He is still paying the price.

Consider this - some of the reporters have been in Tallahassee since Bob Graham was governor. Many can name the last 10 House Speakers and Senate Presidents. 

They know how long Wayne Mixson was governor (look it up).

Of course no one is perfect. The press corps will spend the next 60 days telling readers and viewers about every tiny step in passing the state budget. After all is said and done, they will spend almost no time during the next 10 months actually following how the money is spent.

Sometimes you get the feeling that they have been in Tallahassee too long and need to spend a couple of months back at their home newspapers to get a better feel for their readers. They might learn that no one cares that the deputy assistant to the assistant deputy has been transferred from the who-cares Senate Committee to the who-cares House Committee.

But that is nitpicking. When it matters, there is no tougher group of reporters. They carry on a long tradition that dates back to the 1970s when reporters like Bob Shaw, Virginia Ellis, John Van Gieson, Barbara Frye, Bill Mansfield, and others raised hell.

Who do you think are the best reporters in Tallahassee today?

Bonus points if you can name reporters in photo above.

  Press corps

Dinner with Marco Rubio just $10,000 at the home of Pepe Fanjul

Florida's favorite Republican U.S. Senator - Marco Rubio - is going to Palm Beach on March 8 to attend a $10,000 per person dinner for the Rubio Victory Committee.

This tidbit comes from the Palm Beach Daily News, affectionately known as The Shiny Sheet.

"The evening begins with a 6 p.m. reception at the home of Jim and Dot Patterson. The cost is $1,000 per person or $2,500 for a photo op at the reception. A 7:30 p.m. dinner will follow at the home of J. Pepe and Emilia Fanjul at a cost of $10,000 per person.

"The Pattersons, the Fanjuls, and Wilbur and Hilary Ross are the main sponsors of the event. The Rubio Victory Committee is a joint fundraising committee composed of Marco Rubio for Senate and Reclaim America PAC."

"Other members of the host committee are: Larry and Suzanne DeGeorge, Pepe and Lourdes Fanjul Jr., Cyrus and Mitzi Freidheim, Stanley and Gay Gaines, Marc Goldman, Ambassador Al and Dawn Hoffman, Jerry and Darlene Jordan, Rodger and Hillary Krouse, Marc Leder, George and Frayda Lindemann, Dan Mangru, Ken Meares, Ambassador Mary Ourisman, Michael Peragine, John Rangos Sr., David Reinke, Chris Ruddy, and Dwight and Martha Schar."

Read more about event here.

Chris Christie dropping by Palm Beach to pick up a few bucks

Poor Chris Christie. After failing to pass the American Conservative Union's purity test (is this a bit like Florida's new drug test for welfare recipients?), the New Jersey governor is going to Palm Beach to see if he still has any friends.

Never mind that the folks in New Jersey think their governor is swell. In fact, just about everybody in New Jersey likes Christie - one poll has him at 92 percent, Florida Gov. Rick Scott would cut off his right hand to have poll numbers like that.

Well if you think conservatives were ticked off when former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist hugged Crist obama hug2
President Barack Obama, you won't believe the lather they are in now because Christie accepted federal money (that omg might raise the deficit) to help pay for Sandy relief for the devastated home and business owners in his state.

The final straw for Christie was when he decided to let New Jersey join the Medicaid expansion that is part of Obamacare. This dual shock means that Christie, one of the rock stars of the 2012 ACU sponsored Conservative Political Action Conference, is persona non-grata at this year's CPAC gathering.

Apparently one key to being invited to speak is be a loser. Among the three dozen plus speakers are these luminaries from the 2012 campaign:

Mitt Romney - lost. Demgoplo096

Newt Gingrich - lost.

Rick Perry - lost.

Paul Ryan - lost. (Okay he kept is House seat).

Rick Santorum - lost.

Allen West - lost.

And of course you get Wayne LaPierre (NRA), David Keene (NRA) Sarah Palin, and Rand Paul.

The list also includes Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and Bobby Jindal among the speakers. One suspects they don't have a lot in common with Allen West.

Continue reading "Chris Christie dropping by Palm Beach to pick up a few bucks" »