newspaperFrom Miami Herald:

POLL

Crist keeps wide lead; Smith gains on Davis

By MARY ELLEN KLAS
meklas@MiamiHerald.com

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.

newspaperThe 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.

newspaperFrom Miami Herald: Big Sugar plays rough in governor race

Jim Davis has attacked Big Sugar’s support of his opponent Rod Smith, and Big Sugar has fought back to the tune of $1.7 million. They are labeling him “anti-agriculture.” It’s enough to almost make me vote for Davis…almost.

From Sun Sentinel:Katherine Harris: Separation of church and state ‘a lie’

“…if you’re not electing Christians, then in essence you are going to legislate sin,” she says in interview.

I can’t make up better quotes for Harris.

newspaperSt. Pete Times:Debate gets a bit testy

The Democratic candidates for governor try to accentuate their differences, and land sharp attacks.