September 13, 2006
Charlie Crist (Rep) and Jim Davis (Dem ) are expected to announce today who will be their Lt. Gov. candidates.
The rumored possible running mates are –
Crist: From the State House: Rep. Jeff Kottkamp, R-Cape Coral, Rep. Jennifer Carroll, R-Green Cove Springs, and former House Speaker Allan Bense of Panama City. Also state Sen. Lisa Carlton, R-Osprey and Helen Aguirre Ferre, a bilingual journalist from Miami who is editor of the opinion pages of Diario Las Americas. Carroll is an African-American with a military background. Bense is in line to be the next Florida Republican Party chairman.
For Davis: two black lawmakers – state Rep. Chris Smith of Fort Lauderdale and former state Sen. Daryl Jones of Miami. Also mentioned -former Miami-Dade commissioner Jimmy Morales and Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle.
August 31, 2006
From Miami Herald:
Crist keeps wide lead; Smith gains on Davis
By MARY ELLEN KLAS
Attorney General Charlie Crist’s formidable lead over Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher in the Republican primary for governor appears secure, according to a poll released Wednesday by Quinnipiac University, but with less than a week to go before Tuesday’s election, the race between the leading Democrats is still up for grabs.
Crist is ahead of Gallagher 57 to 32 percent, according to the Connecticut-based public opinion research group.
But the poll says the contest between U.S. Rep. Jim Davis and state Sen. Rod Smith is much tighter, with Davis leading 43-32 percent, while a substantial 24 percent of Democrats surveyed are still undecided. Among Republican voters, 12 percent say they have not made up their minds.
”The thing about undecideds is many of them often don’t vote,” said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, adding that many Democrats have ”not been inspired” by the Democratic candidates this year.
The poll showed that Crist’s lead includes voters who identify themselves as ”born-again or evangelical Christians.” Among Republicans, 45 percent describe themselves within that conservative subset, and among those voters, Crist leads Gallagher 53 to 38 percent, although that sample has a margin of error of 8.7 percentage points.
The university surveyed likely primary voters in Florida Aug. 23-28, including 317 Republicans and 312 Democrats. Because of the small sample, the poll had a margin of error of 5.5 percentage points.
August 27, 2006
The St. Petersburg Times has published a special report on Enterprise Florida: Deal me in. Enterprise Florida is the public-private partnership responsible for leading Florida’s statewide economic development efforts. Most importantly, it determines where state incentive dollars are spent.
BellSouth Telecommunications began a $700-million modernization and expansion in early 2000. Even though it didn’t appear to meet the criteria, BellSouth applied for a capital investment tax credit from Enterprise Florida.
However BellSouth executive Joe Lacher was a member of the board overseeing Enterprise Florida, and he had advocated several bonuses for the EF president and other senior managers. BellSouth was the second larger corporate contributor to EF – $400,000 from 2000-2005.
EF staff helped BellSouth revise its application, arranged meetings for BellSouth with aides to Gov. Bush and twice recommended the requests be approved
In December 2003, BellSouth got the credit which saved it $2-million in state taxes.
The St. Pete article is good investigative reporting by the best daily newspaper in the state.
RO NOTE: The current vice-chair of the Enterprise Florida board is Susan Story, Gulf Power, but she wasn’t on board then. Both GOP governor candidates – Charlie Crist and Tom Gallagher -are on the EF board.
August 23, 2006
From Miami Herald:
A state building panel voted to let the Panhandle keep some exemptions from windstorm building codes. Critics say the move will aggravate the insurance crisis.
St. Pete Times:
Between answering questions on insurance and property taxes, the pair pepper each other with accusations of liberalism and ethical slips.
August 21, 2006
”He’s (Crist) going to win the general election because he has a long history of principled, conservative leadership in this state,” McCain told 400 people at Mark’s Street Senior Recreation Center in Orlando.
Gallagher has tied his political fortune to the Jeb Bush legacy. Crist has countered that “He tells audiences he is a Republican in the Ronald Reagan mold who wants `less government and more freedom’.”
Read the Miami Herald story: McCain woos crowds
August 20, 2006
The hottest posts over the weekend.
August 19, 2006
Somewhere between 200-250 ardent Republicans and bevy of Republican politicians attended the Friday dusk rally for Atty. Gen. Charlie Crist – the frontrunner for the GOP nomination for Florida Governor.
The emcee was U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Chumuckla. Short speeches were given by U.S. John McCain (possible GOP presidential candidate 2008); U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez; FL House Speaker Allan Bense,who is a possible running mate.
Some of the politicians and others at the rally: Sheriff Ron McNesby & his wife, state Rep. Holly Benson and her mom Lois Benson (ECUA board), state Rep. Dave Murzin, Esc. Co. Superintendent of Education Jim Paul, Asst Supdt. Ronnie Arnold, S.Rosa Property Appraiser Greg Brown, S. Rosa Co. Commissioners Don Salter and Bob Cole, state Sen. Durell Peaden, Pensacola City Councilmen P.C. Wu, Mike De Sorbo and Jack Nobles, Okaloosa Superintendent Don Gaetz, Nancy Fetterman – candidates Gene Valentino (Esc. Commission), Doug Waters (Esc. Co. School Board).
There was one humorous moment when a someone dressed in a chicken suit got on the Barkley House grounds with a sign that said, “Hey, Jeff Miller. Debate Joe Roberts”. Roberts is Miller’s Democratic challenger. This really isn’t an original ploy. This is blog revealed a similar stunt pulled in South Florida (see Why can’t our political races be like this one? )
Atty Jim Reeves (former State Rep. & Pensacola City Councilman) hosted a private party for Crist after the rally.
August 16, 2006
Attonery General Charlie “Slightly Golden” Crist has announced the latest issue for his Republican gubernatorial campaign……drumroll, please……the “anti murder” bill.
Huh?….Come on, Charlie, your marketing and PR can come with a better name than that…like “No Murderer Left Behind” or “Operation Gotcha”.
If you can’t do better marketing than the “anti-murder” bill, I’m voting for somebody else.
August 11, 2006
From Dr. Larry Sabato, Director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia:
If you hate “the politics of personal destruction” and unpleasant private issues that seep into campaigns, then Florida is one state you do not want to be these days. Three of the four gubernatorial candidates in both parties are spending time talking about their painful marital pasts.
Hardest hit has been the GOP’s *Tom Gallagher*, whose first marriage ended very badly and let to charges of theft, drug use, and, well, let’s just stop there.
His Republican opponent, *Charlie Crist*, had one brief marriage must earlier in life, and his lack of a family has led to scurrilous rumors about his sexual orientation which have plagued his campaign for months.
Add Democrat *Rod Smith* to the list of messy divorces, and throw in an old accusation of unpaid child support.
Smith’s Democratic foe, Congressman *Jim Davis*, is the only one of the gubernatorial quartet with a happy, enduring first marriage.
Will any of this matter come the primaries or the general? If the candidates and the press keep talking about it, probably so.
August 8, 2006
RO: We’ve heard the McCain-Crist love fest will be coming to Pensacola soon for a private party at the Barkley House.
McCain backs Crist in governor’s race
By STEVE BOUSQUET, St. Petersburg Times Staff Writer
Published August 8, 2006
TALLAHASSEE – Charlie Crist’s campaign for governor has won the endorsement of Arizona Sen. John McCain, who will campaign for Crist in four cities next week, including areas with many veterans.Crist called McCain’s support enormously helpful. McCain called Crist a reformer who’s right on the issues.
McCain is a decorated Vietnam War veteran and former prisoner of war and a likely 2008 Republican presidential candidate. Florida’s 27 electoral votes are a highly sought-after prize in any White House run, and McCain’s reward for endorsing Crist would likely include Crist’s support and fundraising help if Crist becomes governor.
“I admire his independence, I admire his forthrightness,” McCain said in a telephone interview. “I also think it’s important that he’ll carry on in Jeb’s tradition.”
There has been media speculation that if McCain runs for president in 2008, he would consider Gov. Jeb Bush as a running mate.
McCain, who lived in Orange Park near Jacksonville after his release from a Vietnam POW camp, has stepped up his Florida visits in recent months. He and Crist met recently at a Lincoln Day dinner in Polk County and at a McCain event in Miami.
“I offered to support him some months ago. I think it was an easy call then,” McCain said.