Posts Tagged ‘Florida’

When you are the establishment’s chosen candidate, you can afford to duck debates.

My Florida voting district has two races for the U.S Congress, Florida Senator and Florida Congressional District 23.

For the U.S. Senate, Republicans have four choices; incumbent Marco Rubio, Carlos Beruff, Ernie Rivera and Dwight Young.  Unless you read my earlier post The Florida US Senate Republican Primary – And the Rest, you probably have never heard of the last three men.  That is exactly what Rubio is counting on.  Name recognition is a primary reason that there is over a 90% re-election rate in Congress.

There is no motivation for Rubio to debate.  It’s not out of lack of experience.  Rubio has participated in many debates over the past year as a candidate for the Republican Party nomination for president.



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The headline sounds almost like it was written for The Onion but I assure you, someone plagiarized someone.

Tomorrow is Election Day in Florida and I decided to look at the various endorsements out on the internet when something struck me.  I read the ChristianCitizens.org endorsement of Rick Scott and it sounded extremely familiar.

Here is the link to the Daily Kos article – Florida Primary Elections Preview – dated August 19, 2014 (more…)

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The 2012 election season has already begun.  Numerous Republicans are already testing the waters and CPAC held their conference and straw poll last week. 

In Florida, Democrat Bill Nelson will be seeking a third term.  He easily defeated former Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris 60.3% to 38.1% in 2006.

Bill Nelson

This next go-round will not be as easy for Nelson.  In 2006, the country was dissatisfied with the direction led by the Republican Party so Nelson rode the pendulum in the other direction.  But now we’re seeing that pendulum swing back to the right.

But that only tells a portion of the story.  The fact is, most Floridians are apathetic to the job Nelson has done.  A PPP Poll from December, 2010 shows Nelson with a job approval of 36%, a disapproval of 33% and another 31% are not sure.

When you look at Nelson’s chief competition for 2012 you see that many Floridians probably are not familiar with the Republican field.

Former Governor Jeb Bush has a 51% favorable rating as opposed to 40% unfavorable. 

70% have no opinion of Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos.  78% have no opinion on State Representative Adam Hasner.  56% have no opinion on Connie Mack IV.  Mack even has some name recognition as his father (Connie Mack III) was a former US Senator. 

Mason-Dixon polling just released a new poll asking the question ‘if the election were held today, who would you vote for?’ Since numerous candidates have zero name recognition, the poll is mostly meaningless however there is one strong indicator – most people don’t seem to be enamored by Bill Nelson (side note: including me).

Jeb Bush leads Nelson 49% to 41%.

Jeb & George Bush

Nelson holds leads on each of the remaining Republican challengers:                 

  • Adam Hasner 46 – 24
  • Haridopolos 48 – 25 
  • Nelson beats Connie Mack IV 45 – 40
  • Former US Senator George LeMieux 49 – 35

Why is this important?  On August 19, 2009, former Florida Governor Charlie Crist led former Speaker of the House Marco Rubio in the polls by a wide 55% – 26% margin.  At that time, Crist was an extremely popular governor (who’s only real mistake was hugging President Obama while supporting the stimulus package) and Rubio was still relatively unknown.

A full 6 months earlier in the election cycle, Nelson finds himself in closer races with even bigger unknown candidates.  Granted, the Crist – Rubio polling included only Republicans but the point is the same.  Rubio was unknown and the polling numbers showed it.

There are more than 20 months until the 2012 election and plenty of time to make whoever ends up being the GOP candidate a household name.  At the same time, they can easily demonstrate the weaknesses of Nelson.

Mike Haridopolos

Nelson is also in trouble within his own party.  He is not a popular senator and showed very little while serving in a Republican majority.  He has shown slightly more since the Democrats reclaimed the Senate and then the White House but he has not demonstrated that he can be a strong leader.

It would be wise if the Democratic Party put up a primary challenger for Nelson.  But there are too few Democrats and even less than can generate a positive buzz.  History has shown that the Florida Democratic Party struggles when promoting their candidates regardless of the culture. 

Former Florida CEO Alex Sink ran for governor against an unknown Rick Scott, who was CEO of Columbia / HCA when they were charged with the largest Medicare fraud in US history.  His current company, Solantic is currently under investigation and the Democratic Party could not lead her to victory.

Worse still was the campaign for former Congressman Kendrick Meek.  It was amazing that the Democratic Party could not get Meek’s message out.  Very few people knew about Meek or what he stood for outside of the straight Democratic Party line. 

Even with the changes in the Florida Democratic Party leadership, there have been no indications that anything is going to improve.  No viable candidates.  No strong message.  Very weak campaigns.

More than 1 year prior to the 2010 election, I called the Florida Senate race for Marco Rubio.  Today, I call the race for whomever the Republicans nominate. 

Jeb Bush is a shoo-in and will win with over 60% of the vote.  Mike Haridopolos will also win handedly.  Hasner would be the closest of the 3.  I doubt very strongly if LeMieux wins the nomination nor do I feel Mack will win the nomination. 

Bill Nelson’s re-election in 2012 is in serious jeopardy and I don’t see Nelson or the Florida Democratic Party doing the right things to prevent that.

Adam Hasner

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The Sun Sentinel’s Editorial Board shockingly endorsed Republican Marco Rubio for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat being vacated by George LeMieux.

Their main argument for the endorsement was that Rubio’s ‘fiscal conservative stances will move the Democrats to the center.’  Clearly, the paper believes that the Republicans are fiscal conservatives which with a little research will prove to be completely false.  Just look at the spending under Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. 

The spending on the auto bailouts and cash-for-clunkers have already paid off as the American auto companies are now doing well and have already begun paying back the money from the bailout. 

The stimulus program has generated many jobs and more importantly saved thousands of others.  9,000 teachers in Florida alone had been rehired thanks to the stimulus.  Experts show that the unemployment rates would be 2-3% higher without the stimulus. 

More unemployment means more home foreclosures and less spending which means more small business would fail.

Now back to Rubio:  The implication is that Rubio is fiscally conservative which is incorrect as well.  First, one only has to look at his own financial record.

In 1999, Rubio reported his earnings at $99,000.  In 2008, it was up to $414,000 even though Rubio’s net worth was listed at just $8,300. 

The Sun Sentinel called Rubio ‘fiscally conservative’ yet Rubio is carrying nearly one million dollars in debt which includes 2 mortgages on his current home and over $100,000 in student loans. 

That also doesn’t include the house that Rubio and David Rivera shared in Tallahassee that earlier this year saw the lender begin the foreclosure process.  Once this information became public, Rubio made good on this loan, then claimed the house was never in foreclosure saying it was only a smear attempt by the Charlie Crist campaign.

This so-called fiscal conservative is also currently under IRS investigation for misuse of a Republican Party American Express card for personal expenses. 

So, if the Sun Sentinel really believes that Rubio will help control spending, they are sadly mistaken.

Questions of Rubio’s ethics also come into play as he profited financially as a result of being in the House leadership. 

Between 2002 and 2005, law firm Broad & Cassel billed Florida taxpayers $4.5 MILLION for legal work.  An audit of the firm’s work was conducted but never released. 

Rubio also received $1.2 million over 4 years from Broad & Cassel for (as they described) reviewing zoning applications.  [Personally, it looks like a 25% commission.]

During his time as House Speaker, Rubio ‘secured a special line item in the budget that gave Jackson Memorial Hospital an additional $20 million in 2008.  Several months later, Jackson hired Rubio as a consultant under a $96,000 a year contract.’

Additional deals Rubio received after leaving state government:  Miami Children’s Hospital paying him $102,000.    Florida International University – $69,000.  Univision – as an on-air commentator for $8,000.

These deals call into question Rubio’s ethics and how he’ll work to personally benefit while in Washington D.C.

This race is interesting because there are actually 10 people running for the vacant seat but only 3 are getting any press.  Both former Republican turned Independent Governor Charlie Crist and Democratic Congressman Kendrick Meek will make good United States Senators.  Both are worthy of our votes.

The reason, I endorse Crist over Meek is simple.  Meek is a staunch Democrat who will stand with the Democrats in the Senate which does nothing about ending the partisan politics.  Rubio promises to Obstruct every issue standing with the Republicans on everything.  This obstruction has actually hurt the progress of economic recovery.  In fact, Republicans have added little to the debate since losing the White House. 

Crist meanwhile has always shown a propensity for trying to find common ground on every issue regardless of party line.  I have found evidence dating back to his time as Florida Attorney General.  His opponents call it flip-flopping but the truth is politics is not black-and-white.  There are many shade of gray with each issue. 

This article is more about the Sun Sentinel’s terrible endorsement rather than who I endorse. 

If you are seeking a candidate that will continue the extreme partisan politics, has personal fiscal irresponsibility, major ethical problems and is currently under IRS investigation – then Marco Rubio is your candidate.

If you support someone who has demonstrated that he will put party and self before the American people – then the Sun Sentinel made the correct decision in endorsing Marco Rubio.

If you’re looking for someone that will work with the president giving him a well deserved 2 more years to try to repair the mess the previous administration created – then Kendrick Meek is your candidate.

And if you’re looking for someone that will work to eliminate partisan politics and analyze each issue and how it impacts America, the American people and the federal deficit – then Charlie Crist is your candidate.

For more on Rubio’s money issues – see the following:  Marco Rubio – Follow the Money

For more details & descriptions – see: Marco Rubio – Costing taxpayers – Increasing personal income


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By now, we all know that Rick Scott is the Medicare Fraud champ.  His former company paid the largest Medicare fraud fine in U.S. history – $1.7 billion.  We also know that his current company Solantic is currently under investigation having provided a deposition merely days before filing for the gubernatorial race.

Rick Scott served during a press conference

The Republican nominee for Florida governor, Scott has openly run against President Obama’s agenda and tying his Democratic opponent Alex Sink to Obama rather than running directly against Sink.

One of his strongest positions is against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 better known as the Stimulus Package.

He has stated that the Stimulus has not created a single private-sector job.

As it is with hypocrisy, one doesn’t have to look beyond Rick Scott himself.

Scott is minority owner of XFONE which has received $99.7 million in stimulus dollars.  That’s right – 99.7 MILLION DOLLARS of the same stimulus program that he criticizes.

On September 13th, XFONE subsidiary Pride Network received $36.1 million from the stimulus which the company is stating has created 1,300 jobs.

Scott’s ownership stake is currently at 15% but he is looking to sell a portion of the company which would leave him with roughly a 5% stake.

Scott’s campaign is currently airing an ad attacking Democrat Alex Sink for backing a “failed stimulus bill” that “created debt, not jobs.”

I’d love to see an ad from Alex Sink’s campaign airing that comment from Scott – then mentioning the 1,300 jobs just created from the stimulus in Rick Scott’s company. 

Interestingly, Medicare fraud and hypocrisy aren’t the only things the Scott campaign stands for.  They stand by the comments that ‘the stimulus has not created one private-sector job.’  Then again, that statement is true – 1,300 isn’t one.

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Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Kendrick Meek stand as far apart on the political stage as two candidates possibly can – but they both agree on one thing.  Independent challenger Charlie Crist “is a political opportunist who will say and do anything just to win an election.”

Rubio slams Crist for being Conservative one day and Liberal the next and that Crist moved right when he and Rubio were battling in the Republican Senatorial primary and moved to the middle once he left the party for his Independent bid.

Meek slams Crist for pretending to be moderate-to-liberal when in fact he’s really a Conservative.

They both criticize Crist for positioning himself on the issues playing to the polls and public opinion in order to win the Florida U.S. Senate seat vacated by Mel Martinez.

Let’s put up the mirror so we can have both Meek and Rubio look at themselves.

During this Congressional session, Meek voted with the Democratic Party 98.2% of the time. 

Since Rubio is not currently in office, all we have to go on is his stance on the issues.  The only issue where Rubio seems to waver with his party is on Immigration therefore on every other issue, Rubio steadfastly stands with his party.

This begs the question: Do voters really prefer a candidate that will stubbornly stand with their party regardless of its position on an issue?  Whether or not that position is in the best interests of its constituents? 

We know that Meek and Rubio will stand with party regardless of the cause and regardless of how it would impact the country, Florida and Floridians.

On the flip side, we have watched Charlie Crist as governor for nearly 4 years and have observed a man who painstakingly reviews each issue – whether its legislation he has to sign or veto or an issue that is being dealt with by the state or country.  Before he decides on the issue, he clearly determines what is best for Floridians.

Both Meek and Rubio say that Crist will say or do anything to get elected.  But wouldn’t that be true of each candidate?  In the primary, Meek wanted to demonstrate that he was more liberal than Jeff Greene while Rubio was trying to prove he was more conservative than Crist (before Crist changed party affiliation).


 All politicians say and do whatever it takes to get elected.  They hug who they need to hug.  That’s why you look at their records.  Since Meek hugged Crist and Rubio hugged Crist can we now get off of the Obama hugged Crist crap?

When you’re part of the political party system, you have to pander to your party.  Rubio has to show he can be mainstream without losing his Republican support.  Meek on the other hand has decided that his best hope is to prove that he is the only candidate that can be liberal – all the time.

That is why it was so refreshing to see Crist change his party affiliation to Independent.   He has been able to run on his record as governor and position himself on each issue in the best interests of Floridians. That isn’t pandering or being an opportunist.  It is called doing what we elected him to do.

You know what you’ll get with both Rubio and Meek in DC.  More of the same ‘vote along party lines’ atmosphere that is causing voter anger today.

With Crist, you know you will get a candidate that will carefully examine each issue and allow for positive open and meaningful debate.  If the US Senate had 100 Senators like this today, we’d probably see better, more thought out legislation passing like a Healthcare Reform bill that really reforms the health insurance system at a much cheaper cost to Americans.

With Rubio currently out of office and Meek one of 435 in Congress they sit and nitpick Crist on everything he says.  That’s pretty easy to do from the sidelines.

If you prefer a Democratic candidate who will consistently vote along party lines regardless of cost, benefit or impact – Kendrick Meek is your candidate.

If you prefer a Republican candidate who will consistently vote with his party, obstruct the opposition regardless of cost, benefit or impact – Marco Rubio is your candidate.

If you prefer an Independent candidate who will consistently examine each issue, bill, amendment, etc and determine whether it is in the best interests of Floridians, Florida and America regardless of what the Republican or Democratic Party’s think – Charlie Crist is your candidate.

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If the 2004 Republican primary for the Florida U.S. Senate seat would have gone differently, this year’s elections for the same seat and the gubernatorial race would be vastly different.

First a little history:

In 2004, Bill McCollum and Mel Martinez were battling it out for the U.S. Senate seat to replace retiring Bob Graham.  Martinez had won numerous endorsements.  That is until he took the campaign into the gutter.  He called McCollum “the new darling of the homosexual extremists” and accused him of making statements designed to appease “the radical homosexual lobby.”

Mel Martinez

Bill McCollum











As a result of those ads the St. Petersburg Times rescinded their endorsement of Martinez but Martinez won the primary decisively by a 45 to 31 margin.

In August, 2009, Martinez resigned stating it was his “desire to move on and get on with the rest of my life.”  Two weeks following the resignation, Martinez joined law firm DLA Piper, a lobbying shop.

Governor Charlie Crist appointed George LeMieux to complete Martinez’s term.

Had McCollum defeated Martinez and gone on to defeat Democratic challenger Betty Castor in the General Election, McCollum would be the junior senator from Florida and would be running for re-election in the Senate rather than making a run for the governor’s mansion.

Also, as a result of that election, Crist would most likely be running for re-election as governor rather than a run at the senate.

That also changes the scope of the challengers.  McCollum would most likely be unchallenged in the Republican primary for the senate waiting on the winner of the Democratic primary. 

The question is does Kendrick Meek give up his seat in Congress for a gamble against a Republican incumbent.  Also in question is whether billionaire Jeff Greene attempts the run either.

It would be shocking if McCollum wouldn’t win a second term in Washington.


As a result of the McCollum senate run, Charlie Crist would undoubtedly run for re-election as governor.  His approval rating is currently over 50% and it would take a massive faux pas from Crist to unseat him.

Charlie Crist

After Crist’s gambling deal with the Seminole Tribe in 2007, the Florida legislature, led by then-House speaker Marco Rubio fought the deal in court.  [Read here and here]  After the deal was nullified by the court, Rubio announced he would likely challenge Crist for governor in 2010.

It would be interesting to see if the popular governor would have seen the fringe Republican rally around Rubio and push Crist out of the party in a re-election campaign like Crist saw in his bid for the Senate. 

From the Democratic Party, it is hard to imagine Alex Sink making a run against Crist and it is difficult to see who would actually give it a go.

The big question is:  Does Rick Scott spend millions of his own money to challenge an incumbent?  It seems unlikely.  What seems more likely is Scott identifying candidates throughout the country most sympathetic to his anti-healthcare reform position. 

Regardless, Crist would be difficult to beat as an incumbent in a General Election. 

Following the Crist re-election victory in November, he would probably start planning for either a Senate run in 2012 against Democrat Bill Nelson or a White House run in hopes of challenging President Barack Obama. 

It is amazing how one election can change the entire shape of politics within a state.  Instead of 2 dull reelection campaigns, Florida has 2 of the most talked about elections in the country.

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