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August 2016

Marco Rubio's latest pitch for money.

In his new email to raise money for his campaign, Marco Rubio offers a two minute audio message to potential donors. 

Rubio starts saying he is "took a pause from campaigning today so I could record this important message for you."  Listeners then get a common political message where "the stakes have never been higher" and "your support has never been more critical."

He then warns that President Obama and the Democratic Party are working hard to defeat him because, "they know if they can defeat me they can control the Senate." Rubio also manages to take a swipe at the media.

Rubio is expected to easily defeat Carlos Beruff in the August 30 Republican primary. Many expect that he will face Democrat Patrick Murphy who is expected to defeat Alan Grayson.

You can here Rubio's pitch below:


Donald Trump campaign's new ad Two Americas to air in Florida

Donald Trump's campaign released it first campaign ad talking about immigration and Hillary Clinton. The ad is expected to appear in key Florida markets, particularly in Orlando and the Tampa Bay area.

From a Trump news release:

The new ad provides a stark comparison between Hillary Clinton’s reality in which Americans are victims of the rigged system in Washington that compromises our borders, jeopardizes our jobs, and flouts our laws, and Mr. Trump’s vision for our country in which we secure our borders and put American jobs and safety first.

The campaign will spend $4.8 million dollars to air this ad and more on television stations over the next 10 days in the battleground states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Florida.

Here is a transcript provided by the campaign:

VO: In Hillary Clinton’s America:

The system stays rigged against Americans.

Syrian refugees flood in.

Illegal immigrants convicted of committing crimes get to stay.

Collecting Social Security benefits, skipping the line.

Our border open.

It’s more of the same, but worse.

Donald Trump’s America is secure.

Terrorists and dangerous criminals: kept out.

The border: secured.

Our families: safe.

Change that makes America safe again.

Donald Trump for President.

I’m Donald Trump, and I approve this message.

Here is the video:




Florida Democrats eat their young



Jeff Clemens, a candidate for the Florida senate, Patrick Murphy, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, and Gwen Graham, a likely future candidate for governor, represent the future to many Florida Democrats, a party that desperately needs a future.

But as often happens among Democrats, little is done to groom the new kids. Instead, Florida Democrats would rather squabble among themselves as sometimes aging politicians decide elected office is better than golf.

A little history.

Florida’s Democratic Party died in 1998. It remained on life support for a few years but voters in subsequent elections pulled the plug. Today, the party is a mess of parochial interests with much chatter about returning to its old glory but little idea how to get there.

During the 20th Century, Floridians elected just three Republicans to be governor – Claude Kirk (1967-71), Bob Martinez (1987-1991) and Jeb Bush who would end the 20th Century taking the keys to the mansion in January 1999.

The only other interruption to Democratic reign was Prohibition Party governor Sidney Catts who ran a hateful anti-Catholic campaign and described African-Americans as being part of an “inferior race.” He was governor from 1917 to 1921.

Democrats, who also ruled most of 19th Century Florida politics, controlled Tallahassee during the period of 1900 to 1999 for 87 years. Today, Florida Democrats are largely irrelevant. They have little influence in Tallahassee and even less in Washington.

During its 20th Century reign, the Florida Democratic Party fought it out in the primaries and took a nap during the general election when often hapless Republicans were slaughtered. Conservatives, liberals, moderates all found a fraction of the party they could call their own. It was a party where North Florida Democrats looked with great suspicion on South Florida Democrats – and it was equally true in the reverse.

It was a party of personality – Napoleon Broward, Doyle Carlton, Spessard Holland, Claude Pepper, Bill Gunter, LeRoy Collins, Reubin Askew, Bob Graham, Lawton Chiles, and others.

DonkrToday, the party is one of petty fiefdoms, petty rivalries, and petty politics. It is often hapless in its attempts to confront Republicans who brush them aside like pesky gnats. So desperate for political success, the party rented it soul to Charlie Crist when the former Republican governor got kicked out his party and decided to run for governor as a Democrat. Now, he is running for Congress in Democratically favored St. Petersburg district.

Florida Democrats, rightly so, get love and attention during presidential election years when the state’s otherwise red glow begins to get a purple hue.

What they don’t notice is that national Democrats are lavishing even more love on independents who really decide where Florida’s 29 electoral votes will go.

So while Democratic activists can get all giddy about Hillary Clinton, they may want to save some energy for what really matters to the future of the party – the down ballot races. Here, Democrats have some interesting choices to make on August 30.

Continue reading "Florida Democrats eat their young" »

Marco Rubio video features mother he helped when daughter had cancer

This is one of those ads that - while being used for politics - rises above it all.  Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio helped this mother when her daughter was dying of breast cancer. 

"Thanks to Marco, I had three more months with my daughter," she says. "Marco Rubio was there for me when I needed him most."

If nothing else, the ad is reminder that politics at its best is about helping those who feel helpless.

Here's the video:


Patrick Murphy video reminds Marco Rubio that he called Donald Trump a con man

RubiofinThis is not a video that will be much of a surprise to the Marco Rubio or his campaign team. They have been preparing for battle with Democrat Patrick Murphy and there little doubt that they have expected Murphy to remind Florida voters about some of the things Rubio said about Donald Trump.

In this minute-plus video, we repeatedly hear Rubio call Trump a "con man." The video also shows Rubio repeatedly being asked how he can support Trump now after spending months calling him a con man.

Left out of the video is Rubio's explanation that as much as he disagrees with Trump, he disagrees with everything that Hillary Clinton believes. Rubio also says if he returns to the Senate, he will be in a position to provide opposition to policies he disagrees with no matter which candidate enters the White House.

Still, Rubio has neatly tied himself to Trump and his supporters. The only question that remains: If Trump implodes does Rubio fall with him?

Here's the video:


Are Florida Republicans leaderless?

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Are Florida Republicans a leaderless party?

Who is the leader of the Florida Republican Party?

Governor Rick Scott? Marco Rubio? Adam Putnam? Pam Bondi? Jeff Atwater?

Or perhaps Jeb Bush?

Or – are Florida Republicans so fractured that there is no single leader of the party?

Today’s Florida Republican Party is very different than the one Bush took over when he staged a coup in 1994. He showed up in that year’s governor’s race as candidate who had never run for office, had limited campaign experience and a business background marked by notable failures. Like Donald Trump, what he did have was a name everyone knew – Bush.

With the help of his family name, Bush easily pushed aside more established GOP candidates to become the party’s nominee for governor. Bush would narrowly lose that election to incumbent Democrat Lawton Chiles, but the GOP would take over the Senate and the Florida Cabinet. And Bush began his reign has the undisputed leader of the Florida Republican Party.

Today, Florida Republicans are rudderless. The party that Bush ruled with a firm hand for more than a decade, is fractured. The slide began with the election of Charlie Crist as governor in 2006. It’s hard to believe now that at one point Crist was among those being considered to be John McCain’s running mate in the 2008 presidential campaign.

Crist, much like his arch-enemy Marco Rubio, was always a malleable Republican shifting direction as fit his political ambitions. Florida Republicans tolerated Crist because, well, he was governor. And by golly, if a Floridian became vice president that would be swell too.

Bush deeply cared about the machinery of politics. He put his best people in the right places. Crist could care less. He turned the party machine over to the now notorious Jim Greer who plundered the party coffers and ended up in prison.

Crist’s hold on the party was so tenuous that a faux hug from President Obama led to screams from Eler
the hard right and opportunity for Rubio. The once moderate Rubio found maneuvering room by suddenly becoming an ardent follower of the emerging Tea Party movement. Many establishment Republicans laughed at the notion that Rubio could successfully challenge Crist who decided he would rather be a U.S. Senator than run for a second term as governor.

It was a calamitous moment for the Florida GOP and it began the cracking of party unity.

Rubio became a hero of the Tea Party and as the 2010 primary approached, his ardent followers were overwhelming the GOP establishment. And Republicans who had been lukewarm about Crist suddenly had an opportunity to abandon him

Crist leaves the GOP to run as independent. Rubio captures the party nomination and goes on to win a three way race defeating Crist and Democrat Kendrick Meek.

At the same time, a stranger arrived in town – Rick Scott.

Continue reading "Are Florida Republicans leaderless?" »

Poll showing Francis Rooney ahead was done by his campaign consultant

Florida Politics, a website owned by Peter Schorsch, reported today that a new poll shows Florida congressional candidate Francis Rooney way ahead with a "double digit lead over his Republican rivals."

The "poll" was done by an organization called Remington Research Group. 

Pray tell - who is that?

According to Florida Politics, the Remington poll shows that:  Rooney leads the pack with 45 percent of the vote. Chauncey Goss is in second with 29 percent, while Dan Bongino received 15 percent support. The poll found 11 percent of respondents were still undecided.  . . . Remington Research Group surveyed 1,606 likely Republican primary voters in Florida’s 19th Congressional District from Aug. 14 through Aug. 15.  The automated survey has a margin of error of 2.4 percent.

But pray tell - who is Remington?

A bit of Googling led us to discover that Remington Research Group was founded by Jeff Roe who most recently gained fame for managing Ted Cruz's presidential campaign. He is also the founder of Axiom Strategies based in Kansas City, Mo.

Roe is rapidly becoming one of the Republican Party's most sought after political consultants.

But pray tell - what does this have to do with the Remington poll?

Well a visit to the FEC website for Francis Rooney campaign expenditures came up with this:





There is a second expenditure for $7,500 bringing the total sent to Axiom to $60,774.

Once again let's note:

From WikipediaIn addition to Axiom Strategies, Roe founded creative agency and direct mail firm Candidate Command and polling and public opinion research company Remington Research Group.

Or let's look at Axiom's websiteAxiom Strategies, in collaboration with Remington Research Group, has studied election results in seven battleground states to identify Axiom’s Battleground Counties.

Yup, Axiom and Remington are both owned by Rooney's campaign consultant.

So forgive us if we don't find the Remington poll to be worth much as polls go....although it appears to be worth at least $60,774. 

You can read the Florida Politics report here.  Less than an hour after offering its readers the Rooney poll, Florida Politics began reporting that it has "obtained" a poll for the district 18 congressional race. No source is named. So we'll pass. But if you are interested the link is here.

Obama asks for money for Patrick Murphy

You just know this is going to tick off the easily tick-offable Alan Grayson. President Barack Obama has signed a fundraising email for Grayson's senate campaign rival Patrick Murphy.

This comes on the heels of Vice President Joe Biden campaigning for Murphy. One of these two Democrats will face the winner of the Republican primary - incumbent Marco Rubio or political newbie Carlos Beruff.

Here's the email:


Friend -- I’m emailing today to tell you why I’m with Patrick Murphy.

Patrick's a strong progressive who's fought special interests on behalf of working families -- and won. In Congress, he’s also fought to strengthen Medicare and Social Security, stand up to the NRA for gun violence prevention, and protect a woman’s right to choose.

With all that's at stake, we need Patrick Murphy in the Senate. But he’ll need your help to get there.

Will you please join me in standing with Patrick and contribute $5 so he can meet his $50,000 goal before the FEC pre-primary deadline, tomorrow at midnight?

Patrick stands up to Republicans on behalf of our shared values. It's why they're attacking him. They know he can win in November and help Democrats retake the Senate, and they’ll spare no expense to defeat him.

We need you on our side to fight back. Can you step up and chip in to help Patrick meet his goal before tomorrow’s big deadline?

I count on Patrick Murphy. You can too, friend.

Thank you,
Barack Obama


Joe Negron offers $2.4 billion plan to store water south of Lake Okeechobee

Soon-to-be state Senate President Joe Negron just announced a plan to help reduce discharges of Lake Okeechobee water into the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers. One thing can be certain - the plan will be controversial.

Here's the news release:

President-Designate Negron Announces Plans for Major Water Storage Expansion

60,000 acres of land to provide 120 billion gallons of new water storage south of Lake Okeechobee

Stuart–Florida Senate President-Designate Joe Negron (R-Stuart) today announced plans to pursue funding to add ‎120 billion gallons of new water storage south of Lake Okeechobee.

“For too long, our community has been plagued by tremendous environmental and economic impacts as hundreds of millions of gallons of water are released from Lake Okeechobee each year,” said President-Designate Negron. “Permanent storage South of Lake Okeechobee is unquestionably needed as part of the overall plan to solve this catastrophic problem, particularly given the very devastating effects the current toxic algal blooms are causing in both our estuaries and the Everglades.” 

Over the last several months, President-Designate Negron has been meeting with the agricultural community, Florida’s best scientists, community advocates, and others with relevant backgrounds and knowledge, regarding strategies to reduce and eventually eliminate harmful discharges from Lake Okeechobee.

Continue reading "Joe Negron offers $2.4 billion plan to store water south of Lake Okeechobee" »

Orlando shooter's father attends Hillary Clinton event

Sitting behind Hillary Clinton during her Kissimmee rally Monday, and in full view of the media, was Seddique Mateen, the father of Orlando mass shooter Omar Mateen. Wearing a bright red, Mercedes-logo cap, Mateen was spotted by WPTV NewsChannel 5's Tory Dunnan. She spoke to him briefly outside the event where Mateen seemed little interested in chatting. Later, she found him at a rest stop where Mateen became more talkative.

From Dunnan's report:

NewsChannel 5 asked Mateen what he was thinking about when Clinton spoke about the Orlando incident. 

"We've been cooperating with the federal government, and that's about it," he said. "Thank you."  Mateen didn't want to answer any other questions, but just hours later, we ran into him by chance at a rest stop on the way back to West Palm Beach.  He wanted to do an interview and show us a sign he made for Clinton.

"Hillary Clinton is good for United States versus Donald Trump, who has no solutions," he said.

We asked what went into his decision to go to the event right near Orlando, where the Pulse Nightclub shooting happened.

"I spoke a lot about that and wish that my son joined the Army and fought ISIS. That would be much better," he said.

When questioned whether Clinton's campaign knew he was going to the event and sitting directly behind the presidential candidate, Mateen said, " It's a Democratic party, so everyone can join."

Dunnan tweeted this response from the Clinton campaign: Clinton campaign statement part I: "This rally was a 3,000-person, open-door event for the public. This individual wasn't invited as a guest. Part II: and the campaign was unaware of his attendance until after the event.

Below is Dunnan's report. 


Donald Trump rallies planned for Fort Lauderdale and Kissimmee

Donald Trump is planning two rallies in Florida this week. The first is Wednesday at the BB&T Center in Fort Lauderdale. On Thursday, Trump will attend a rally in Kissimmee at the Silver Spurs Arena. Both events are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., with doors opening at 4 p.m.

Ticket information for the Fort Lauderdale event can be found here.  Tickets information for the Kissimmee event can be found here.

Are Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio political twins?

Long shot Republican senate candidate Carlos Beruff has a new ad suggesting that former Florida Governor Charlie Crist and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio are political twins.

Beruff's ad calls both men political opportunists who rely on political doublespeak. Beruff's campaign is based on being a successful businessman  and political outsider.  Sound familiar?

Here's the ad:


John Oliver slams owners of Florida newspapers on HBO

John Oliver's Last Week Tonight on HBO is one of the funniest and most thought provoking programs on television. Each week, he looks at a different issue in depth. On Sunday, Oliver focused on the struggle inside newspaper newsrooms. 

One of his targets is TRONC, the horribly named company that owns the Orlando Sentinel, Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel and other newspapers. 

It is very much worth watching....and you should be worried.


Hillary Clinton in Florida Monday and Tuesday

Hillary Clinton brings her campaign for president to Florida today and Tuesday with stops in St. Petersburg, Kissimmee and Miami.

From the campaign:

Today she will tour 3 Daughters Brewery, a small business in St. Petersburg. Later that day, at jobs rallies hosted by the Florida Democratic Party in St. Petersburg and Kissimmee, Clinton will outline her plan to make the biggest investment in good-paying jobs since World War II during her first 100 days in office.

On Tuesday, August 9, Clinton will be in Miami to tour a local health care clinic to raise awareness about the public health threat of Zika virus.

Jeb Bush's son George says it is time to support Donald Trump

Donald Trump is getting support from an unlikely source - Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush, son of Jeb.

In an exclusive, the Texas Tribune reports that:

Addressing state GOP activists Saturday, Bush said it was time to put aside any lingering animosity from the primaries — where Trump defeated Bush's dad, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, among others — and get behind Trump. 

"From Team Bush, it's a bitter pill to swallow, but you know what? You get back up and you help the man that won, and you make sure that we stop Hillary Clinton," Bush said, according to video  (see below) of the remarks provided by an audience member.

Bush was speaking in his capacity as the Texas GOP's victory chairman, who is responsible for overseeing the party's statewide campaign in November. Bush had been criticized for taking the role without backing the party's presidential nominee.

Read the Tribune story here.

One wonders, after the verbal beating he took from Trump, what does Jeb think about his son's decision.