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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Eikenberg on 'Crist vs. Rubio' and why Tom Gallagher Republicans will be wrong again



TO:    Campaign Grassroots Team
FROM:  Eric Eikenberg, Campaign Manager
RE:    Crist Campaign Update
DATE:   December 18, 2009

As we prepare for the coming campaign season, on behalf of Governor Crist, I thank you for your continued support of this campaign.  I am proud and honored to serve as campaign manager and realize any effort this critical takes a team.  We are beginning to look ahead to next year, so I wanted to take this opportunity to update you on the status of the campaign and state of the race.  We are well positioned to elect Charlie Crist as the next U.S. Senator from Florida in the coming year, and I look forward to continuing working with you to ensure victory.


As many of you know, we are building our campaign team.  While it’s important to keep our staff lean in order to most effectively take advantage of all of our resources, we have the right group of people who are focused on results and serving the governor and the state of Florida to the best of their abilities.  While other campaigns are focused on winning over Washington insiders, we are focused on changing the way Washington works.  In order to win this election, Governor Crist has asked me to work with our county leaders to develop the most aggressive and sophisticated grassroots campaign Florida has ever seen.  No small task, but with you as our foot soldiers on the ground communicating Gov. Crist’s vision, we will accomplish this goal and change Washington for the better of every American.

So today I ask you to do two simple things: sign up to give just $25 dollars before December, 31 st .  Second, I ask that you recruit 10 friends to sign up at and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Regarding our campaign staff, we are thrilled to have Andrea Saul serve as our campaign communications director as she works to get our message out that Charlie Crist is the proven conservative leader Florida needs.  Pablo Diaz is doing a great job as political director setting up our grassroots and ground campaign; he recently brought on George Riley and Anna Alexopoulos as our field representatives in the Tampa Bay and Broward and Palm Beach areas.  We look forward to bringing on even more energetic field staff after the first of the year to better communicate with our grassroots supporters and help facilitate opportunities to help the governor.  Our finance team of Dane Eagle and Kristin Seidel continue to do a fantastic job each quarter of meeting our goals, which will be pivotal to our success next year.


In our first quarter we broke the record for fundraising in a U.S. Senate race in Florida, and we have met our goals time and again thanks to many of you who have invested in the Governor’s message and vision of commonsense conservative leadership.  Florida is an expensive state to run a statewide campaign.  Not only because of the cost to purchase television ads in 13 media markets across the state, but also because of our focus on personal interaction.  In order to accomplish our goal, we will have to open field offices across the state, recruit over 5,000 volunteers and deploy hundreds of cell phones.   Our fundraising efforts will continue to be a major focus, while at the same time we will quickly ramp up our field operation.

While it is uncertain what other campaigns are doing on the fundraising and spending front this quarter, we are making our plans assuming that the other campaigns will be fully funded.  We will continue to work to keep our expenses low and bring in more donations in hopes that our cash on hand will exceed those of other campaigns. 

However, we will need your continued support in order to ensure Florida is well represented in the next Congress.  The fundraising quarter is quickly coming to an end, and we need your help to be successful.  While visiting , please take a moment and invest in the future – contribute to the winning team and help us meet our goal of $25,000 raised from now until the end of the year. 


Over the last six weeks, we have begun communicating our message – Charlie Crist’s record as Governor as well as his vision as a candidate for the United States Senate.  We have the right message and the right candidate for Florida.  As evident in his time as governor, and his entire career of public service, Charlie Crist does not just talk the talk, but he walks the walk. 

Our state has faced the most challenging economic environment in more than a generation.  Despite these challenges, Governor Crist has led our state with the style of leadership needed during these times.  The Governor’s leadership has produced the largest tax cut in Florida’s history, reduced government spending, provided homes for more than 10,000 children adopted out of foster care, and allowed for SunRail in central Florida and the pending purchase of 80,000 acres of agriculture land to preserve the Everglades.

There is more to do.  The Governor looks forward to the upcoming legislative session to do whatever he can to incentivize businesses to create jobs and promote an environment of economic growth.

The Governor believes that decisions being made in Washington are having a profound impact on each of our lives.  That is why he is running for the U.S. Senate.  Charlie Crist is committed to bringing his common sense approach to Congress, where he will seek to balance the federal budget, provide the line item veto and protect the second amendment.

Crist vs. Rubio  

As it has come to light in recent weeks, Marco Rubio is not the conservative he has painted himself out to be.  Don’t take my word for it, a quick look at some of the recent headlines on everything from taxes and spending to gun rights and cap and trade, his campaign rhetoric is very different from the reality of his record.

“Marco Rubio accused of switching stance on global warming” Miami Herald, Dec. 11, 2009
WATCH Rubio's Inconvenient Truth on Cap and Trade
“Rubio backtracking on stimulus?” -Politico, Dec. 10, 2009
WATCH Rubio Admit “I Would Have Accepted Stimulus Money”
“Marco Rubio's 2 Faces” -St. Petersburg Times Editorial, Dec. 9, 2009
WATCH Rubio’s Waffle on Rail
“Rubio has several pro-tax votes” -St. Petersburg Times, Nov. 25, 2009
“Marco Rubio's gun problem” -Miami Herald, Nov. 16, 2009
“Rubio's immigration stance faces scrutiny” -Miami Herald, Nov. 8, 2009
 “Rubio record diverges from campaign rhetoric” -St. Petersburg Times, Nov. 8, 2009

We will continue to work to show Florida voters that there is a clear choice between proven leadership with Charlie Crist and a typical double-talking politician with Marco Rubio.  Floridians deserve a senator who will always put their best interests first, and that candidate is Gov. Charlie Crist.


In short, we have the campaign structure and funding with the right message and best candidate to ensure victory next year.  

Gov. Crist is the only candidate in this race who has demonstrated time and again the ability to win Republican primaries and statewide elections in Florida.  In 2006, all of the pundits put their hope in Gallagher for the Republican primary, citing straw polls and stronger alleged support from the base, and Crist proved them all wrong by winning by a 30 point margin.  We are confident that not only will Republican voters choose Crist in the primary, but he is the only candidate in this race who has a proven ability to also win in the general election.

We will continue to update date you on the progress of the campaign as well as opportunities in 2010 to attend events with the governor.  Don’t forget to sign up for updates at .  I look forward to seeing you on the road. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah to you and yours.

Eric Eikenberg, Campaign Manager

P.S. Show your support for Charlie Crist.  Go to and help us raise $25K by the end of December!

[Last modified: Thursday, September 9, 2010 1:10pm]


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