Fla Insider Poll: Sen. Artiles should resign or be booted from office
The votes are still coming in on our latest Florida Insider Poll launched this morning, but so far there is an overwhelming consensus among Florida political elites and conventional wisdom setters about state Sen. Frank Artiles, R-Miami: He needs to go.
Artiles apologized on the Florida Senate floor today for making racist comments to legislative colleagues. But among more than 140* 160 180 political pros, lobbyists, campaign fundraisers, and assorted other veterans of Florida politics surveyed in today's Insider poll, that should not be the end of the story. More than three in four, 75 percent, said Artiles should resign from the legislature. That includes more than six in 10 two thirds of Artiles' fellow Republicans participating so far in the survey.
Seventy four percent of the Florida said Republicans should urge Artiles to resign and move to expel him should he decline.
"The Republican Party has always believed in the importance of character. Holding Artiles accountable for his disgusting and inexcusable behavior is an opportunity to show that we still do," said one Republican.
"Artiles should resign immediately, but he will not," predicted another. "The Senate should move to expel, but they will not. The only way to get him out of office at this point will be for the Senate Leadership to primary him themselves in 2018, but they will not. Normally one would think Artiles had your Loser of the Week locked up, but not this week. Until I see differently, that is Joe Negron."
"While his statements were gross, being an asshole doesn't disqualify from being a member of the Florida Senate," another Republican suggested.
"Let the voters be the judge of his comments next time he seeks political office," agreed a Democrat. "A special election is costly, besides."
From another Democrat: "Unfortunately for Frank, this latest incident further demonstrates a pattern of inappropriate behavior from him that is unbecoming of a Florida Senator. He should be an embarrassment to the entire chamber and any respectable public servant--including his Republican colleagues."
And this from a Republican: "All jerks are eventually exposed. This was Frank Artiles' moment and now it's time for him to go."
We allow Florida Insider Poll participants to comment and vote anonymously to encourage sincere answers from people who don't want to antagonize a client or friend or someone they must work with.
This week's Florida Insider include:
Slater Bayliss, Nikki Lowrey, Barry Edwards, Brian Crowley, Pete Dunbar, Amber Stoner, Bob Graham, Jeff Johnson, Tom Alte, Richard DeNapoli, John Wehrung, Dominic Calabro, Ken Jones, Meredith O'Rourke, Don Hinkle, Greg Blair, Brad Coker, Katie Bohnett, Dean Cannon, Ellen Freidin, Van Poole, Erik Kirk, Jamie Miller, Gus Corbella, Leslie Wimes, Steve Vancore, Stephen Bittel, Josh Geise, David Ramba, Pablo Diaz, Joe Gruters, Julia Woodward, Kristen Dougherty, Mac Stipanovich, Cory Tilley, Geoffrey Becker, Brian Franklin, John French, Chris Hartline, John Morgan, Darrick D. McGhee, Jack Seiler, Nancy Texeira, Richard Gentry, Tim Baker, Tre Evers, Scott Barnhart, Christian Ulvert, Jon Costello, Christian Ziegler, Susie Wiles, Beth Leytham, Ashley Bauman, Towson Fraser, Kartik Krishnaiyer, Beth Leytham, Ashley Bauman, Towson Fraser, Stephanie McClung, Frank Tsamoutales, Screven Watson, Karl Koch, Phillip Thompson, Zachariah Zachariah, Peter Wallace, Jason Unger, Max Steele, Jason Altmire, Alex Sink, David Bishop, Jim Rimes, Kathy Mears, George Riley, Rodney Barreto, Steve Uhlfelder, Erin VanSickle, Fred Cunningham, Meredith O'Rourke, Rich Ramos, Ron Bilbao, Doc Dockery, Jackie Lee, Scott Arceneaux, Alex Patton, Marc Reichelderfer, Susannah Randolph, Andy Ford, Evelun Perez-Verdia, Bernie Campbell, Jim Holton, Kirk Pepper, Bud Shorstein, Marion Hammer, Mike Hamby, Darryl Paulson, Ana Cruz, Jack Hebert, Richard Swann, Wayne Bertsch, Brian Goff, Matthew Isbell, Nick Hansen, Sarah Rumpf, Rick Wilson, Kevin Cate, David Johnson, Anthony Bonna, Hayden Dempsey, Brian Hughes, Patrick Slevin, Paul Mitchell, Abel Harding, Matthew Van Name, Steve Schale, Monica Russo, Rich Heffley, Jim Cherry, Sean Philippi, Patrick Manteiga, Mark Ferrulo, Doug Kaplan, Franco Ripple, Ashley Walker, David Mica, Jim Davis, Henry Kelley, Jim Horne, Ryan Banfill, Ron Gunzburger, Robin Rorapaugh, Christian Camara, Eric Jotkoff, Jack Furnari, Ann Herberger, Damien Filer, Thomas Grigsby, Pete Mitchell, Chris Hand, Mike Williams, Mike Fasano, Alan Clendenin, Aubrey Jewett, John Dowless, Clarence Mckee, Beth Matuga, Dave Aronberg, Cindy Graves, Edie Ousley, Jim Kitchens, Steve Geller, Stafford Jones, David Beattie, Nan Rich, Susan Glickman, Mark Zubaly, Mike Hanna, Christina Johnson, Kirk Fordham, Gayle Andrews, Nancy McGowan, April Salter, Karen Unger, Gregory Wilson, Greg C. Truax, Jon Mills, Bill Lee, Marty Fiorentino, Bob Poe, Bill Helmich, April Schiff, Betty Castor, Bob Sparks, Matt Bryan, Jason Roth, Ron Pierce, Tony DiMatteo, Javier Manjerres, Kathleen Shanahan, Seth McKee, David Rancourt, Roly Marante, Frank Mirabella, Jon Ausman, Paula Dockery, Husein Cumber, Lucy Morgan, Christina Baker, Stephanie Kunkel.
*NOTE: We've updated this post several times as results have come in