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Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer considers U.S. House seat, punctures Marco Rubio's Senate hopes

U.S. Rep. Jim Greer? Just might happen.

The Florida Republican Party chairman confirmed to the Buzz that he's thinking of running against Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, D-New Smyrna Beach in 2010.

"People have talked to me about it. I'm looking at a number of things," said Greer, noting that the district leans Republican but stressing that he's focused on getting other Republicans elected.

And in a Political Connections interview airing on Bay News 9 today at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m., Greer warned Republican former House Speaker Marco Rubio of Miami that he would be misguided to challenge Gov. Charlie Crist in a Senate primary.

"I'd say (to Rubio) you've served Florida very well in the speakership in the Legislature, but I think we all know that Charlie Crist is a highly popular governor," said Greer, who owes his job to Crist. "Anyone thinking of challenging Charlie Crist for any public office, I would encourage them to look somewhere else."

Senate polls

Don't put much stock in polls taken this far out, but here's what Quinnipiac University's latest poll found in testing hypothetical Senate primaries:

For the Democrats, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Miami, drew 16 percent support; Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, 15 percent; U.S. Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton, 8 percent; state Sen. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, 5 percent; don't know, 53 percent.

Among Republicans: Crist, 54 percent; U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, 8 percent; former state House Speaker Marco Rubio, R-Miami, 8 percent; former state House Speaker Allan Bense, R-Panama City, 2 percent; don't know, 25 percent.

Is Sink sinking?

It's no surprise that Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink is not widely known by voters, but it was a little surprising to see her high disapproval rating. Quinnipiac found 33 percent of those polled approved of her performance and 18 percent disapproved, as compared to Attorney General Bill McCollum, who had a 48 percent approval rating and 18 percent disapproval.

One theory we've heard from Democrats and Republicans alike: The title, chief financial officer, hurts her.

"People at home on their couch hear chief financial officer and think, "Our finances are a mess," said GOP chairman Greer. "If I were her, I'd go to the Legislature and try to get my title changed."

Graham's tome

Former Florida Sen. Bob Graham is out with a new book, America, the Owner's Manual, a step-by-step guide for moving their ideas or issues into public policy.

Trying to sell a Crist site

Republican consultant Chris Ingram of Tampa, a vocal critic of Crist's supporting President Barack Obama's economic stimulus plan, purchased the URL www.charliecristforsenate.com, and is auctioning it on eBay. Proceeds, he says, will go to the U.S. Treasury's federal debt reduction account.

From the offer on eBay: "Someone in the governor's office was asleep at the wheel and didn't bother to buy this URL — we paid a whopping nine bucks for it. … With a starting bid of just $1, the web URL to Florida's big government, liberal in disguise, leadership-free, spendthrift, FOB (friend of Barack), pat you on the back governor can be yours! Use it to set up a hoax Web site, post true stories about how inept Charlie is, or just brag to your friends about it over drinks (You're probably drinking a lot these days worrying about how our kids are going to pay off our national debt)."

Winner

of the week

J.D. Alexander. The Republican Senate president managed to get a unanimous vote — even with Republicans with statewide political ambitions — on a budget package that includes a dollar tax increase on cigarettes.

Loser

of the week

Indicted former Florida House Speaker Ray Sansom is too obvious. So we'll give a tie for loser of the week to Republican state Reps. Rob Schenck, R-Brooksville, above, and Rep. Dave Murzin, R-Pensacola, who with little public notice ramrodded through Murzin's House Council an 81-page bill making sweeping changes to Florida elections law. Schenck even demanded that public testimony be cut off after just a few minutes. Something wrong with a little sunlight and public debate, gents? Some advice from Sansom's grand jury: "This state should be guided in openness and transparency."

Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer considers U.S. House seat, punctures Marco Rubio's Senate hopes 04/18/09 [Last modified: Saturday, April 18, 2009 10:12pm]
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