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Posts Tagged ‘US Senate’

On Tuesday, we discussed the two known candidates for the Florida U.S. Senate’s Democratic Party, Congressmen Patrick Murphy and Alan Grayson.  Today, we will meet the three unknown candidates:

  • Pam Keith – Labor attorney and former naval officer
  • Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente – Businessman and political activist
  • Reginald Luster –Attorney

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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 August 30th Florida primary is just over three weeks away and most people are unfamiliar with at least four of the candidates.  You may have only heard of Patrick Murphy because of his ads featuring President Barack Obama.

This year, there are five candidates in the Democratic Party vying to unseat Republican incumbent Marco Rubio.   Based on the polling, there is little chance that any of Rubio’s Republican challengers will defeat him.

The Democratic choices are:

  • Patrick Murphy – US Congressman 18th District
  • Alan Grayson – US Congressman 9th District
  • Pam Keith – Labor attorney and former naval officer
  • Roque “Rocky” De La Fuente – Businessman and political activist
  • Reginald Luster –Attorney

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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.

Tallahassee:

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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Actually, it probably should be ‘And the Rest’.  Who the hell are these people?

We’ve heard of all the main candidates for the Florida Gubernatorial and U.S. Senate races and we’ve heard mostly what the campaigns want us to hear.  But did you know that there are other people running in the primaries – and I’m not referring to third party candidates or people like Bud Chiles who is running as an Independent.  We’ll address the third party candidates closer to November.

Early voting started this week in Florida and thanks to the Sample Ballot I received in the mail, I found out that there were additional candidates running within the Democratic and Republican Parties. 

Florida U.S. Senate race

Yesterday, I published a post on the Republican crazies other candidates Dr. Bill Escoffery and Bill Kogut.  Both are running against de facto Republican nominee Marco Rubio.  [Read Florida GOP Ignores Other Senate Primary Candidates (because they’re nutjobs)]

The Democratic Party’s primary also has a couple of unknowns.  In addition to formerly assumed nominee Kendrick Meek and rich guy (self funded) candidate Jeff Greene (not to be confused with the Curb Your Enthusiasm character of the same name) there are 2 additional candidates on the ballot.

Maurice Ferre  [Campaign website]

If you’ve lived in Miami-Dade County after 1973, you have heard of Maurice Ferre.  He served as Mayor of Miami from 1973 – 1985 (6 terms).  He served in the Florida House of Representatives for one term in the 1960’s. 

He’s receiving barely any campaign contributions, has no name recognition outside of South Florida and his polling numbers are below meager.  A judge ruled his numbers too low to be included in the primary debate. 

Ferre is the classic political has-been hoping for one last hurrah. 

Glenn A Burkett [Campaign website]

Not knowing anything about Burkett, I did a Google search and found 2 different websites called GlennBurket.com.  One is his Senate website while the other re-routes to gburkett.com.

This is from the latter:

Glenn Burkett was born in Thomaston GA. to Aldine and Lorene Burkett. He graduated from R. E. Lee High school in 1968. In 1969, Glenn joined the U. S. Navy (from 1969 to 1973) and is a Vietnam Veteran.

Following his service in the Navy Glenn enrolled in college obtaining an AA degree from Pensacola Jr. College and a BS degree from the University of West Florida. Graduate studies included the University of Florida and Florida State.

Glenn has worked in the health club industry and in nutritional education. He has done extensive research and has taught many people how to take personal responsibility for their health.

Glenn is a Christian.

Glenn Burkett does not diagnose, treat, operate and prescribe for disease, pain, injury or other physical or mental condition.  Glenn Burkett is an educator.   Second opinions are always advised; seek from source with equivalent knowledge of Glenn Burkett.  Federal Law prohibits dietary supplements from being sold as disease treatment, therefore, Glenn Burkett does not claim any product as a disease treatment but rather, aids to help the condition.

What I found interesting he felt the need to point out his religious affiliation in his business website bio and the last paragraph.

According to CampaignMoney, Burkett has raised as much as I have – $0 and there are very few articles that mention him.

Florida Gubernatorial race

Mike McCalister [Campaign website

Rick Scott and Bill McCollum are not the only options in the Republican Gubernatorial primary and normally that would be very good news for voters but …

According to his campaign website, he has written the book that ‘everyone is talking about.’  (See, I’m talking about it now). 

“The Right Future for Florida and You … Starting Right Now!”

He is a retired Air Force Colonel and a PhD.  He’s taught at colleges around the U.S. and you can read his resume on his website.

With no previous political experience, McCalister and Scott’s campaigns are very similar with 2 small exceptions.  Scott has spent over $25 million of his own money on his campaign while McCalister has spent under $10,000.  And then there’s Scott’s whole Medicare fraud debacle. 

Of course, McCalister was not invited to the debates.  I for one, would have liked to learn more about McCalister. 

Brian Moore [Campaign website]

One might think that Florida CFO Alex Sink is running unopposed in the Democratic Party Gubernatorial primary however Brian Moore would have something to say about that.

He had previously been affiliated with the Republican, Independent, Green and Socialist Parties. 

I first heard about him in 2006 when as the Green Party candidate he challenged Bill Nelson and Katherine Harris for the U.S. Senate seat.  I gave him a serious look as I was desperately seeking a better alternative than Nelson and Harris. 

His name popped up again in 2008 when as a Socialist, he ran for president.

And now here he is as a Democrat challenging Sink. 

With the frequent party changes and the lack of dollars behind him, it’s no wonder Moore has been ignored. 

Bottom line

It’s clear that both parties allow anyone to file and run but they ignore anyone outside party brass and the only way to break in is if you come packed with a ton of money – like Rick Scott and Jeff Greene.  Without their money, Bill McCollum and Kendrick Meek would have waltzed in as their party’s nominees. 

However, looking at this collection of alternative choices, we’re better off voting for the establishment’s choice than any of these people mentioned – no matter how much we were hoping to find that hidden gem.

So as the Professor and Mary Ann proved their worth and their names made it into the opening credits of Gilligan’s Island, each one of these also-rans fall way short of the mark.

Gene

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It is now obvious why the Florida Republican Party pretends that Marco Rubio is the only candidate in the Republican primary.  The other 2 candidates are insane.

Dr. Bill Escoffery

His slogan is ‘Put God Back In America!’

That’s from someone who was born and educated in Jamaica and continued his education in Canada.  His top 3 issues:  Pro-Life, Pro-Gun, Pro-Family. 

This from his website, cleverly titled SenateBill  (emphasis mine)

The result is: God has been driven from our schools and public places, ethics and morals are degraded, unborn children murdered, sexual perversions encouraged, education dumbed down, Hollywood and Sports Thugs idolized, The Family destroyed . . . and our culture has become depraved.

Now, following our recent financial meltdown, the radical President Obama & his Marxist Czars are intent on wrecking private enterprise in America, instituting Socialism throughout the land, bankrupting our Nation, bowing down to foreign leaders, demeaning America, thwarting our fight against Islamic Terrorism and crippling our foreign power! 

Did he really say ‘sexual perversions encouraged?’  I’m surprised his slogan isn’t ‘You Kids Get Off the Lawn.’

And there we go again with that bogus bow garbage.  The problem with that nonsense is that there are pictures of George W Bush bowing in honor to the Pope and bowing, holding hands and kissing the Saudi prince.  President Eisenhower bowed to French President Charles De Gaulle and President Nixon bowed to the Emperor of Japan Hirohito.  [See pictures here]

He must be shooting for the endorsement of Sarah Palin and the Teabagger nation.  He’s actually worse than Rubio and if he would somehow win the Republican nomination, I actually see the Florida GOP begging Crist to return to the party or maybe Democrat Kendrick Meek.

Escoffery proudly displaying law signs

Escoffery & Bush's Brain Karl Rove

Bill Kogut

He’s running as a Constitutional Republican.  He is as his website boasts ‘The Difference’.  [site: Kogut2010

He says he wants to Protect our Constitution, Repeal Obama Care, Strongly Support our Military, Oppose Amnesty for Illegal Immigrants and Audit U.N. and Federal Reserve.

Kogut was born in Poland and I see no educational background listed.  Before he runs, we should force him to show us his immigration status and his high school / college diploma and transcripts.  (I’m a Schooler after all)

He is a former liquor store owner and on his website, you can see decades old pictures of Kogut with Pat Buchanan and Oliver North.

Not as far-out crazy as Escoffery or Rubio but holds steady on the core Teabagger NeoConservative Republican Party platforms of God, Guns and Gays.  He also claims to be a Tea Partier long before the Tea Party existed. 

Just how old is this guy?

Maybe if we look closely, we'll see Kogut

 

Kogut with Pat Buchanan

 

After reading the bios of each of Marco Rubio’s opponents in the primary, it is clear why the Florida GOP has pretended that neither of them exists.

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