Previous month:
May 2014
Next month:
July 2014

June 2014

Charlie Crist offers 20 years of tax returns telling Rick Scott to do the same

Well it appears that tax returns are becoming a focal point of electing the next governor of Florida. Former Governor Charlie Crist just unloaded 10 years of tax returns and is promising to provide another 10 years. 

Now, of course, Crist is demanding that incumbent Governor Rick Scott do the same thing. A few days ago, Scott began demanding that Crist reveal the tax returns of his wife, Carole. Crist said - "no." 

Scott has released tax returns for three years, including his wife's returns.

Fascinating little squabble but not exactly the kind of thing Florida voters are expressing deep concern about. This is all about trying to make the other guy look shifty.

Here's the Crist press release:

Crist Releases Ten More Years of Tax Returns – And Ten More Years Are Coming

St. Petersburg, Fla.– Charlie Crist, the People’s Governor, today is releasing an additional 10 years of tax returns, stretching back to 2001. In the coming days he will release returns going back to 1991 - before he even joined the Florida State Senate, before Rick Scott even lived in Florida, and before Scott was forced to plead the fifth 75 times to avoid self-incrimination. If he can find more from before 1991, he will release those too. 

“Charlie is giving Florida families an unprecedented look into his life because they deserve to know their Governor is looking out for them. He’s calling on Rick Scott to release his returns going back 20 years as well,” said Crist campaign manager Omar Khan. “Given that Rick Scott hides his assets and has dodged personal accountability his entire career, we suspect he will hide his taxes, just as he has hidden all of the depositions from his days as a corporate raider."

Continue reading "Charlie Crist offers 20 years of tax returns telling Rick Scott to do the same" »

Rick Scott takes on Charlie Crist's wife

In a new campaign ad from the Republican Party of Florida on behalf of Gov. Rick Scott, the GOP goes after Democrat Charlie Crist's wife Carole demanding that she release her financial information.

It is a little surprising.

When was the last time a campaign for governor attacked the spouse of an opponent?

And what door does this open?

Does this mean that Scott's wife is fair game? His adult children? 

This ad is an interesting road to take. 

Crist has told the Tampa Bay Times that he has no intention of asking his wife to release her tax returns to the public.

Here is the ad:




Charlie Crist Cuba trip

Charlie Crist is not going to visit Cuba. In a statement from his campaign the Democratic candidate for governor said he still opposes the embargo but will not go to Cuba this summer as he suggested he might. 

Here is the statement:

Statement from Brendan Gilfillan, Crist campaign spokesperson, on Cuba

 "Despite his stark disagreements with the government in Cuba, the governor continues to believe the embargo hasn’t worked for the Cuban people and is bad for Florida's economy. If at some point after the election there is an opportunity to travel there to learn from the people of Cuba and help find opportunities for Florida businesses the governor will go.

 "Between now and November, Governor Crist is determined to spend as much time as possible meeting with Floridians to discuss creating a stronger economy for our middle class families. The future of our state and our people deserve nothing less."

New Rick Scott ad features students and teachers criticizing Charlie Crist

An earnest looking student identified as Erin begins the new video for Republican Governor Rick Scott by lamenting that "college has become so expensive."

That is the start of a well-executed ad that blames Democrat Charlie Crist for tuition increases while he was governor. It is a theme that the Scott has been hammering at for weeks.

Erin fades out and teacher named Bianca comes into view. "Governor Crist was a governor who was not looking out for Florida," she says looking a bit ticked off.

Then a mother named Jennifer says "tuition is skyrocketing. You know, Charlie Crist made college cost more."

Couple of other folks speak and then the ad switches to praise for Rick Scott.

The question for Scott's campaign is - is it working?

Recent polls suggest that Scott massive media buy has significantly closed the gap with Crist.  

Here's the ad.

Jeb Bush gets demoted

Tea Party Republicans and ardent opponents of Common Core loathe the idea of former Florida governor Jeb Bush becoming the Republican Party nominee for president.  Now the speculation is that Bush would be the perfect - are you ready - Veep.

Vice President Bush?

Crowley Political Report has repeatedly said that when its all over Bush will not run for president. Here is one of our reports. Some have suggested our thinking is nuts. 

Perhaps. But vice-president? Squirrels are chasing that one.

The National Journal's Tom DeFrank offers the Bush as VEEP theory suggesting that Virginia Congressman Eric Cantor's defeat has led some party statewarts to look to Bush not as a top-of-the-ticket guy but as a handy number two.

DeFrank writes:

Even before Eric Cantor’s seismic loss to a political novice backed by the tea party last week, many Republican elders had concluded that Jeb Bush, who really wants to become the third President Bush, won’t run in 2016.

The emerging consensus explains why some of these party mandarins have launched a new political boomlet touting the ex-Florida governor: Jeb for Veep.

At first the notion seems a little weird.

Yes. Yes it does. DeFranks goes on to explain the weirdness and why it may not be that weird to some folks.

More from DeFrank:

“Jeb would be perfectly acceptable to the base if the nominee is a proven conservative,” said a prominent Republican consultant. “If it’s [New Jersey Gov. Chris] Christie or some moderate, Jeb would be a no go. On the other hand, if a right-wing nominee wanted to make a bow towards the middle and add some Hispanic vote appeal, Jeb would be a good choice.”

One must then imagine someone such as Texas Sen. Ted Cruz winning the nomination and then Bush cheerfully being willing to play second fiddle.

Ummmmm. No.

DeFrank goes on at some length to discuss possible VEEP scenarios for Bush. He even suggests that since Bush's wife Columba is vehemently opposed to a public life that she might be willing to see her hubby spend just a few months on the campaign trail as the VEEP candidate as opposed to a couple of years running for president.

Ummmmm. No.

Bush is just not made of VEEP stuff. Yes, he is qualified for the number two slot. But Bush would be miserable. He is not a ribbon cutter. He is not interested in breaking tie votes in the U.S. Senate. He is not going to be the guy who travels the world for funerals of heads-of-state.

Recently, one Bush insider said the odds of him running for president is about 40 percent. That's up from 20 percent in January in this individual's estimate. That's still a 60 percent no.

Bush has repeatedly said he will make his decision about running for president by the end of the year. The answer will most likely be no. The answer to being VEEP will be - hell no.

Read the entire National Journal story here.

Follow us on Twitter @CrowleyReport

Art by Patrick Crowley

Charlie Crist, Adam Smith and Trust

The Republican Party of Florida just posted this bit of video showing Tampa Bay Times reporter Adam Smith quizzing Democratic candidate for governor Charlie Crist about his relationship with Jim Greer. 

How this is supposed to help the Rick Scott for reelection campaign is unclear. You be the judge.


Florida Democratic Party TV ad opens fire on Rick Scott

 With recent polls suggesting that Governor Rick Scott is closing the gap with Charlie Crist, the Florida Democratic Party is hoping to do a bit of damage with its first campaign ad in 2014 governor's race.

The 30-second ad is intended to question Scott's integrity by reminding voters that he was CEO of Columbia/HCA - a national hospital company - that paid $1.7 billion in fines for Medicare fraud. Scott, who was forced to resign from the company said he was unaware of any wrongdoing and would have stopped it had he known.

This ad reminds voters that during depositions, Scott refused to answer questions 75 times.

The male voice in ad says:

Maybe you’ve heard about what was the largest Medicare fraud in history, committed when Rick Scott was a CEO.  

Or that Scott’s company paid record fraud fines of 1.7 billion dollars.  

And when Scott was deposed in lawsuits about his company, he took the fifth seventy-five times.  

Meaning, seventy-five times, Scott refused to answer questions because – if he had – he might admit to committing a crime.

A troubling past.  And now Rick Scott is our governor.  

Scott's campaign has spent many millions over the past months building up Scott and tearing down Crist. Democrats have been on the sidelines with political advertising lacking the money to match Scott's impressive firepower.

It will be interesting to see if this ad has any impact.

Follow on Twitter: @CrowleyReport




Pam Bondi statement about campaign leaves out gay marriage

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi caught a lot of heat when she opposed challenges to Florida's constitutional ban of same sex marriage. Her explanation earlier this month was that as Attorney General she was obligated to protect Florida's constitution and laws. This led Crowley Political Report to wonder if she was going to enforce Florida's ban on adults living together without be married. 

No direct reference to her fight to stop same-sex marriage in her press release announcing she filed for reelection today. Still, one should note this sentence where she talks about "tirelessly" working to defend: "Florida’s constitutional rights against the federal health care law and federal government overreach."

Here's the entire release:

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi Submits Qualification Documents for Re-election Bid

Tallahassee, Fla. – Attorney General Pam Bondi today filed qualification documents with the Florida Department of State to run for re-election.Bondi is the 37th Attorney General of the nation’s soon-to-be third most populous state.  

“It is an honor to serve Florida’s more than 19 million residents as state attorney general,” said Pam Bondi. “Thanks to the strong partnerships and hard work of agencies and people across our state, Florida’s crime rates are at record lows – this is an important aspect of making Florida the greatest place to live, work, and raise a family.”

Continue reading "Pam Bondi statement about campaign leaves out gay marriage" »

Rick Scott blind trust is given sight

Governor Rick Scott filed for reelection today and along the way dropped off 188 pages of tax returns. In addition, Scott revoked his blind trust long for folks to take a peek and then immediately started a new blind trust of his assests.

Below is an email from his campaign followed by addtional information supplied by the governor's campaign.

Governor Scott Provides Full Public Transparency in Qualifying Process & Release of Joint Tax Returns

Governor Scott Calls on Charlie Crist to Release 2011 & 2012 Joint Taxes 

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Rick Scott today made a sweeping disclosure of his personal finances as he completed the qualifying process as a candidate for reelection, going well beyond the requirements of Florida transparency laws.

The Governor qualified for reelection with the Secretary of State and also filed his financial assets in a personal financial disclosure with the Florida Commission on Ethics to provide the public full transparency. The Governor then immediately placed his assets back into a blind trust. The use of a blind trust avoids even the appearance of a conflict of interest for an elected official, protects the people of Florida from  an elected official making decisions based on  personal finances, and is recommended by the Florida Commission on Ethics for this reason. In fact, Charlie Crist’s grand jury on ethics reform recommended blind trusts be used by Governors, Lieutenant Governors and Cabinet officials in 2010.

Continue reading "Rick Scott blind trust is given sight" »

Rick Scott ads hurting Charlie Crist according to new poll



A new poll from Public Policy Polling shows Republican Governor Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist tied at 42-42. The Scott campaign has been hammering Crist for months in a series of television advertisments. Crist is not expected to run his ads until later this summer.

"Rick Scott's ad blitz has taken a big toll on Charlie Crist's image in Florida," said Dean Debnam, president of PPP in press release. "Although Scott himself remains unpopular, he's driven Crist's negatives high enough to make this into a toss up race."

Scott remains at a high 48 percent disapproval with only 39 percent of those surveyed approving his job performance. Crist also is at a high 48 percent disapproval with 32 percent approval.

Read the entire poll here: Download PPP_Release_FL_610

Jim Greer book says Charlie Crist and wife destroyed hotel room

Well this could get ugly.  WTSP's Mike Deeson is reporting that former Florida Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer's jailhouse book includes an accusation that Charlie Crist, his wife Carol, and a friend "owed a hotel in Brazil $12,000 for destroying their room."

The Tampa Bay area television reporter's story suggests much of the book - The Chairman - The Rise and Betrayel of Jim Greer - is a rehash of charges that Greer made after his arrest. 

After months of insisting he was innocent, Greer pleaded guilty, He is due to leave prison later this summer. 

In another story posted by Deeson, he reports that the book also goes after Republican Party leaders, including state Senator John Thrasher who is being considered for president of Florida State University.

Deeson writes about Crist:   The book says Greer was indicted for something Crist gave him permission to do: Form a fund company called Victory Strategies.

It says in a deposition, Crist lied, when he said he did not give permission to Greer to start Victory Strategies. Greer says in the book it is not true and the papers in the book prove that.

The author of the book is Peter Golenbock. Deeson, who has done a number of interviews with Greer since the start of his troubles, obtained a copy of the book on Monday.

In a written statement, Crist told WTSP that Greer's accusations are "desperate and sad."

While the book apparently insists that Greer was betrayed and set-up for a fall by Republican Party leaders - it will be interesting to hear whether Greer explains his guilty plea.

Finally, will Greer's book have any impact on the race for governor? 

First 2016 attack ad challenges Hillary Clinton

Could it really be that the first attack ad of the 2016 presidential campaign is happening in 2014? It would appear that way. William Kristol and Gary Bauer created Emergency Committee for Israel which appears largely to be a device for attacking Democrats - expecially those involved in the Obama administration.

In this new ad, which came out just hours ago, Kristol and Bauer use the ad to say former Secreatry of State Hillary Clinton failed to condemn her successor, John Kerry, when he said Israel could "become an apartheid state."

According to NBC's First Read, the ad is airing in Washington D. C. and New York.

It would not be surprising if the ad were to soon air in South Florida, home to one of the nation's largests populations of Jewish voters.

The ad: 


Rick Scott and Charlie Crist new video attacks

We start the week with a new video from the Florida Democratic Party intended to remind voters that Republican Governor Rick Scott once had a bit of the Medicare problem with the federal government. 


Not one to stay on the sideline, The Republican Party of Florida fired off this video, once again accusing Democratic candidate Charlie Crist of repeatedly saying "it's the right thing to do" on a variety of issues that the GOP believes were the wrong thing to do.



Four years ago, it was hard to imagine that an unknown, wealthy Republican candidate who was CEO of a hospital company that paid nearly $2 billion in fines for Medicare fraud, would be able to win the GOP nomination and then become governor.

Scott succeeded with a chunk of help from Tea Party voters.

While Scott was winning - despite the fact that he "took the fifth," 75 times - Crist was losing his independent bid for the U.S. Senate at the hand of Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio.

If nothing else, the Sunshine State continues to offer the nation some of the country's most bizarre politics. This year's battle between Crist and Scott will continue that proud tradition,


Charlie Crist brings back the hug

 Well this is interesting. On what has become known on social media as "Throwback Thursday" the Charlie Crist campaign for Florida governor has posted a February 2009 video of his infamous speech welcoming President Barack Obama to the Sunshine State. 

At the time of Obama's visit to Fort Myers, the nation's economy had collapsed and Florida was one of the hardest hit states.

In his introduction of the President, the Crist, then a Republican, alks about how Florida balances its budget, the need to cut the state budget while not raising taxes, and the importance of the stimulus package "to help education, to help our infrastructure, and to have health care for those who need it the most, the most vulnerable among us."

Crist goes on to say: "We need to do it in a bipartisan way. This issue about helping our country is about helping our country. This is not about partisan politics. This is about rising about that, helping America and reigniting our economy."

At the end of his brief remarks, Crist reaches out to shake Obama's hand and Obama leans into Crist turning the shake into a sort of hug that would become the rallying cry for Tea Party voters who loathed Obama. 

Crist's plans to become a U.S. senator went up in flames as Republican Marco Rubio deftly capitalized on Tea Party anger to throw Crist out of the Grand Old Party and get himself elected to the Senate.  

One might think that this 1 minute and 42 seconds that helped stall Crist's political career would be something he would rather forget. 

Apparently not.

And the newly minted Democrat does not appear ready to abandon Obama.

Expect Governor Rick Scott's campaign to fire back at this video.

Follow us on Twitter: @crowleyreport


Will Pam Bondi enforce shacking up law?

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi says she is fighting a lawsuit challenging the state's constitution ban on same-sex marriage. Bondi insists she is doing it because as Attorney General it is her job to protect us.

In a press release posted on her campaign website, Bondi says: "anything less than the best defense of our voters' policy preferences would disenfranchise the electorate, undermine the judicial process, and cast aside the professional responsibility that guides me every day as Attorney General."

Of course, this is nonsense. Attorneys General in other states have not pursued similar cases in light of a series of federal court decisions saying state bans of same sex marriage violate the U.S. Constitution.

Bondi explains her position this way: “This case is not about which policy choice is better or worse. And this case is not about whether the debate should continue (which it surely will). This case is about whether states can make their own determinations."

Indeed. And Florida has made some interesting determinations.

You better not be living with someone of the opposite sex. It is against the law.

Yup. Florida is one of only three state that forbids a man and woman from living together. 

Continue reading "Will Pam Bondi enforce shacking up law?" »