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August 2014

Bill Clinton to campaign for Charlie Crist in Miami

Former President Bill Clinton is coming to Miami Friday to campaign for Charlie Crist, the Demoocratic candidate for Florida governor.

The campaign rally will be at the J.W.Marriott Marquis on Biscayne Boulevard. The rally begins at 6 p.m.

It comes as no surprise that Clinton would be campaigning for Crist.  While Hillary Clinton continues to ponder her own presidential run, her husband knows better than most just how important Florida is to presidential candidates.

Clinton has credited his victory in the Florida Democratic Party's straw ballot at its 1991 convention with helping to launch his presidential campaign. Clinton won 54 percent in the December straw poll moving him from obscurity to rising political star.

In the final days of the 1992 campaign he pulled out of Florida and later regretted that decision convinced he could have won the Sunshine State had he hung on until election day. Instead George H.W. Bush won Florida by about 100,000 votes. That year Reform Party candidate Ross Perot won nearly 20 percents of Florida votes.

If Demoncrats hope to win Florida in 2016, it would be helpful to have a Democrat in the governor's mansion.

For more details about the rally read here.


Nan Rich letter

Nan Rich says goodbye.

In every election, someone wins and someone loses.  Yesterday was not our day to win.

Last night, I called Governor Crist to offer him my congratulations.  He will now bear the Democratic standard in a contest where nothing less than the future of Florida is at stake.  It will be a very tough fight to beat Rick Scott.  Charlie Crist will need all of our support to win.  He has mine.

I am very grateful to all the loyal and dedicated volunteers who worked so hard and for so long on our campaign these past many months. Your support meant so much me.  I hope you know, as I do, that the election results were not a rejection of our ideas or ideals.

As I traveled across our state these past two years, I met and spoke with thousands of Floridians -- thousands of working men and women, retirees, and students.  Not all of them were Democrats.  But almost all of them shared a desire for making Florida better by investing in education and making healthcare available for everyone.  The voters we reached believe in fairness and social justice for all.  These are all issues Floridians care about.  And they remain an important part of the dialog of this election.

I entered this race to defeat Rick Scott and get Florida back on the right track.  That is a goal to which I remain committed.

Tomorrow I’ll be attending Democratic unity rallies in Orange County and Broward County. They will kick off the run to the General Election – the run that, with your support, will make Rick Scott a one-term governor.

Thank you all again for all of your support!

Statement from Rick Scott on his victory

As expected Florida Governor Rick Scott breezed by his no-name opponents in the Republican Primary tonight. His campaign released this statement:

TALLAHASSEE – Governor Rick Scott made the following statement regarding tonight’s primary election results:

“The next few months are about talk versus action. That means Florida will have a choice between a governor who sent our state into a tailspin and a governor who gets results. Charlie Crist failed as governor, lost 830,000 jobs, and tried to run off to Washington – and now he wants his job back. We’ve come a long way in the last few years, but there’s plenty of work left to do. Let’s keep working."

Rick Scott to Jennifer Carroll "It's tough being lieutenant governor"

Jennifer carroll book
She says she was treated like a step child. That the governor was aloof. That the staff treated her poorly. Florida's fired lieutenant governor - Jennifer Carroll - has written a book damning Scott and his administration for paying her little heed and tossing her overboard in a panic.

Few people will care. Few people will read the book. Few people know who was lieutenant governor or, who is now.

But for the folks who like this stuff, there is some interesting tidbits as reported by the Tallahassee Democrat and the Tampa Bay Times.

From the Tallahassee Democrat:

After being questioned by two Florida Department of Law Enforcement agents about work her public relations firm had done for a charity operating Internet cafes, Carroll said she was stunned when Scott chief of staff Adam Hollingsworth handed her a one-sentence resignation letter.

 “It was a knee-jerk reaction,” she said of her decision not to fight for her elected post. “It was so demoralizing and disrespectful for Gov. Scott to send a subordinate to fire me.”

(Note: Carroll was never accused of any wrongdoing).

". . .during the inauguration, I was treated like an unwanted stepchild,” Carroll wrote. “That night at the ball, I was even instructed not to go out into the crowd. ... I think his staff was afraid he’d be upstaged.”

Early in the administration, she said, an attorney suggested she be sent to head theDepartment of Business and Professional Regulation or Department of Children and Families.

 “I wondered if they just wanted me on the ticket to win, and after that were trying to push me out of the position by making me an agency head,” she wrote. “That way, the governor wouldn’t have to deal with me regularly or have to share the spotlight.”

". . . “No matter what I did to try to establish a relationship with the governor, nothing worked.”

From the Times:

In a parting shot, here's what Carroll has to say about her successor, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, who was chosen after a 10-month absence: "The new lieutenant governor is being treated even worse than I was from what I hear. He only has a small staff and he doesn’t have security. They gave him a car to drive himself around in. They haven’t given him much to do."

One should never be a lieutenant governor. Few have been happy in the job. Few have been taken seriously.  Most are thrilled to be asked and miserable moments after the inauguration when they realize that the governor and his staff simply wants the LG to stay out of the way.

It is a position with no power or  influence unless it is bestowed by the governor. After having his staff fire Carroll, Scott waited a year to appoint a new lieutenant governor. 

Cleary Scott thinks the position is a waste of his time.

If Carroll really wants to cause mischief, she will start campaigning for Charlie Crist.

An issue no one is talking about in the Florida governor’s race


Not a word has been uttered. Not a campaign ad has been created. Not a single news story has been written. Yet, this will be one of the most important decisions the next Florida governor will make – and it only happens every 20 years.

And Democrats, in particular, should be very worried.

Either Republican Rick Scott or Democrat Charlie Crist will appoint 15 members to a new Constitutional Revision Commission. The last time the Commission met was in 1997.  When its work was done nine constitutional amendments went to voters including one that reduced Florida’s elected Cabinet from 6 members to 3 – increasing the power of the governor.

Thirty days before the start of the 2017 Legislature, the members of the commission will be picked. The Commission will hold hearings, examine ways to change the Florida Constitution, and then 6 months before the 2018 general election, place it proposed amendments on the ballot.

In addition to the 15 members chosen by the governor, the House Speaker and Senate President will each pick 9 members. Three members will be chosen by Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court.  The Attorney General is an automatic member.

The governor picks one of the 37 members to serve as chairman of the commission.

When the 1997 commission was formed, Democrat Lawton Chiles was governor.  Republican Toni Jennings was Senate President. Republican Dan Webster, now a member of Congress, was House Speaker.  The Attorney General was Democrat Bob Butterworth.

With Chiles appointing 15 members, plus Democrat Butterworth, and the GOP legislative leaders appointing 18 members, the commission was politically balanced.  The three appointees from the Chief Justice allowed a patina of impartiality.

In 2017, Democrats could have a huge problem.

Continue reading "An issue no one is talking about in the Florida governor’s race" »

Charlie Crist begins three day bus tour focusing on education

Democratic candidate for Florida governor, Charlie Crist begins a three day campaign bus tour tomorrow. 
Crowley Political Report suspects some folks from Republican Governor Rick Scott's campaign may show up along the way. 
Here's the news release from the Crist campaign.
Crist to Launch Three-Day “Restore the Cuts” School Bus Tour

Tallahassee, Fla. – Charlie Crist, the People’s Governor, will launch a three-day school bus tour across Florida to highlight Rick Scott’s $1.3 billion cut to education – including $20 million to pre-K – in Tallahassee on Wednesday morning. The tour will continue with stops in Jacksonville on Wednesday, Orlando and Tampa on Thursday, and Miami on Friday.

In his first budget proposal, Rick Scott proposed cutting $3.3 billion from K-12 education – the legislature forced him reduce those cuts to $1.3 billion.

Wednesday, August 13 – Tallahassee à Jacksonville

What: Restore the Cuts Bus Tour Kick Off Press Conference in Tallahassee

When: Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 13th at 12:00PM

Where: Chain of Parks, 229 W. Park Avenue, Tallahassee, FL


What: Restore the Cuts Press Conference in Jacksonville

When: Tomorrow, Wednesday, August 13th at 4:30PM

Where: A. Phillip Randolph Heritage Park, 1096 A. Phillip Randolph Blvd, Jacksonville, FL


Thursday, August 14 – Orlando à Tampa Bay

Details on Orlando and Tampa Bay events will be released on Wednesday.

Friday, August 15 – Miami

Details on the Miami event will be released on Thursday.


These two ads in Florida governor's race may leave voters baffled

During the first 10 seconds of these campaign ads, the footage is identical. After that, however, one ad blames Republican Governor Rick Scott for the problem. The other ad blames Democratic candidate Charlie Crist. 

Voters are sure to be baffled.

The first ad is from NextGen Climate, largely funded by billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer who is spending millions on races around the country. He is helping Crist.



The Florida Republican Party wasted no time responding turning the attack back on Crist.


Patrick Murphy and Carl Domino start television campaign

Republican Carl Domino is taking a page from the Charlie Crist playbook by running an ad against Democratic Congressman Patrick Murphy before Domino has won the August 26, GOP primary.

Domino is clearly the favorite to win the six-person primary and many would be surprised if he lost the GOP nomination for the District 18 seat. The district is dominated by the Treasure Coast and includes part of northern Palm Beach County.

Murphy defeated Republican first termer, Allen West in a district that Mitt Romney won with 52 percent of the vote. Since then, Murphy has worked the district like a small town mayor. He also has not been shy about bucking the White House. 

In Domino's first television ad, he reminds voters that Murphy supports ObamaCare and immigration reform.  (Note:  Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush also support immigration reform). Murphy is one of only a handful of Democrats to cross the aisle to support dozens of legislative fixes to the healthcare law.

Domino is getting little help from Republican leaders and is relying on his own deep pockets to foot much of the bill for his campaign.

Murphy, who is one of the congressional Democrats top fundraisers, is offering a centrist posture to voters. Roll Call recently changed its rating of the race from "Lean Democrat" to "Democrat Favored."

Domino's ad opens with these lines:

"Washington is broken and Congressman Patrick Murphy is a piece of the problem. Standing with Nancy Pelosi on issues like ObamaCare and amnesty for illegal immigrants."

"To fix Washington, Patrick Murphy is a bad fit."

Here is the Domino ad:


In Murphy's ad, he looks directly at the camera and begins with:

"I'm Patrick Murphy. Two years ago, I promised to be an independent fighter for you. Remember?"

The ad then shows a clip from his 2012 campaign where Murphy says:

"In Congress, I will work across party lines to make it happen."

Here is the Murphy ad:


Follow us on Twitter @CrowleyReport

You have to love this Florida Republican Party video

You have to admire the gumption behind this latest Florida Republican Party video. It uses footage of Democratic candidate for governor Charlie Crist getting off a private jet. This voice over makes fun of Crist for using the jet "on the way to an event, get this, about green issues."

Yup, Crist uses private jets. Most statewide candidates do. Rumor has it that Governor Rick Scott has been known to enjoy traveling by private jet. 

In fact, Crowley Political Report is a big fan of the private. Anyone want to give us a ride? 

Charlie Crist offers new jobs plan

This just in from the Charlie Crist for Governor campaign. We should expect a quick response from Rick Scott's campaign.

Here is the release:

Crist Rolls Out Part One of “Fair Shot Florida: A Middle Class Jobs and Opportunity Plan”

 Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. – Charlie Crist, the People’s Governor, today released the first part of his comprehensive middle class jobs and opportunity plan, “Fair Shot Florida.” The first part of the plan focuses on investing in the middle class - because Charlie understands the importance of growing our economy from the middle class out – not from the top down. The full plan can be viewed here.

 “America’s economy has improved since the darkest days of the Great Recession – but Florida’s middle class families and small businesses could be doing better,” Crist said. “To ensure that everyone has a fair shot, Florida needs a governor who will invest in them, not just the big corporations. By restoring funding to education, giving Florida workers a raise, and investing in training programs that will prepare our workers for the jobs of the 21st century, we can expand the middle class and create sustainable economic growth.”

Continue reading "Charlie Crist offers new jobs plan" »

Florida Democrats latest video about Rick Scott

Just as Florida Governor Rick Scott has unfairly blamed his predecessor and now opponent Charlie Crist for jobs lost during the Great Recession, this Florida Democratic Party video attempts to suggest that Scott has not done all he promised about creating new jobs for Floridians.

This video relies a lot on company layoffs but ignores the simple fact that during Scott's term unemployment in Florida has dropped significantly.

Both sides are guilty of gross political exaggeration when it comes to talking about jobs.

Here is the latest video from the Democrats: 

Art by Patrick Crowley

Follow us on Twitter @CrowleyReport

GOP asks where does Charlie Crist live

Does Charlie Crist really live in a condo in St. Petersburg? Governor Rick Scott's campaign is suggesting that Crist has moved and no one knows where.

Is this just a bit of campaign silliness or has Scott's campaign found another thing to throw the Crist campaign off its stride?

We'll wait for Crist's response. Meanwhile, here's the email from Scott campaign spokesman Matt Moon.

UPDATE: Crist says he lives in a different unit in the same building. Apparently a lot of silliness from the Scott folks. 

Continue reading "GOP asks where does Charlie Crist live" »

Florida begins redrawing congressional maps on Thursday as taxpayers foot the bill

After a Leon County Judge tossed out Florida's congressional map and ordered a new one by August 15, Florida legislators will trudge back to Tallahassee Thursday to do it over again. Florida taxpayers should feel a tad cranky about this.

So far, taxpayers have footed the bill for the original map - found to be a gerrymandered mess that violates Florida's constitution. Republican leaders decided to fight challenges to the map and that trial also is being paid for by the taxpayers.

Now, taxpayers will pay again to fix a map that Republican leaders - with the acquiesence of most Democratic legislators - created with little interest in what was best and fair for Florida voters.

On Sunday, House Speaker Will Weatherford sent an email to House members letting them know they may have to adjust their vacation plans.

Here's the email:

Continue reading "Florida begins redrawing congressional maps on Thursday as taxpayers foot the bill" »

Judge orders Florida to redraw congressional map by August 15

Hatchet135 copy
Well this is going to create quite a stir. Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis today ordered the Florida Legislature to redraw congressional seats by August 15 followed by a special election.

This is certain to create uncertainty for Florida's congressional delegation. This order raises almost as many questions as it answers. If there is a special election in August does that mean winners will have to run again in November?

What will the Republican led Legislature do during this special session to avoid further court action? Will Governor Rick Scott weigh in? Will this be an issue in the already contentious governor's race?

Republicans may a mess of the congressional map in an effort to gain a political edge. It now appears to have been a costly and foolish mistake. Unfortunately, taxpayers will foot the bill for fixing it.

This story continues to develope.

 UPDATE: Excerpts from Lewis ruling -

"I agree the Legislature should redraw the map. Unless and until it becomes obvious that it cannot or will not do so, I will not consider other options."

"The Legislature's only obligation is to produce a constitutionally compliant map."

"To do nothing, when you could, means that you lessen the ability of many citizens to fairly elect a representative of their choice..."

"The State finds itself facing elections under an unlawful redistricting plan."

"The Legislature has shown. . . that it is capable of adopting and submitting a remedial map very quickly when time is of the essence."

It is Ordered:

"The Legislature shall submit a remedial or revised map no later than noon, on Aug. 15, 2014."

"The Secretary of State and Supervisors of Elections shall collaborate to present by noon, Aug. 15, 2014, a proposed special election schedule and comments or suggestions regarding the conduct of such an election, assuming a revised map will be in place no later than Aug. 21."

 "By noon Aug. 18, 2014, the parties shall submit objections, if any, to the revised map and/or election schedule."

"Oral argument, if appropriate, will be heard on objections to the map and/or proposed election schedule on August 20, at 9 a.m."

Read the entire ruling here: