The red flag has been waved on Charlie Crist at the Daytona International Speedway.
A campaign gift of a NASCAR sponsorship for Saturday's nationally televised Coke Zero 400 is now off — not because the rival Republican Party of Florida complained, but because the registered owner of the race car in question, record producer Mike Curb, used to be a Republican lieutenant governor of California and asked the decals not appear....
Given how frugal Charlie Crist has tended to be with his campaign money, this surprised us, even knowing that adviser Steve Schale is a racing buff: His campaign is sponsoring a car in the Coke Zero 400. These sponsorships can cost as much as hundreds of thousands of dollars.
"The campaign spent no money on this and the cost of wrapping the car was an in kind donation from a supporter who is a big NASCAR fan," said campaign spokesman Brendan Gilfillian....
Gravis Marketing has a new robo poll out that appears in line with most other public polls recently: Rick Scott leads Charlie Crist in the governor's race 41 percent to 39 percent, which is within the survey's plus of minus 3 percent margin of error. Libertarian nomineee Adrian Wylie draws 6 percent
Meanwhile, only 50 percent of voters support legal medical marrijuana as a general concept - significantly less than the 60 percent thresshold for passage - but 59 percent would vote for the ballot language....
From Tampa Bay Times Editor of Editorials Tim Nickens:
Rick Scott has done more damage to this state than any modern governor.
The Republican has starved public schools and higher education, disregarded voting rights and privacy rights, and dismantled environmental protections. He has little feel for Florida and sides with electric utilities, property insurers, developers and the National Rifle Association over the concerns of families struggling to pay bills, afford health insurance, find quality public schools for their kids and keep their neighborhoods safe....
For the first time in two decades, Florida Democrats are likely to field a gubernatorial candidate well known across the state. Charlie Crist is breaking Democratic fundraising records and taking on an incumbent who is among the most unpopular and vulnerable governors in the country.
But even as former President Bill Clinton fired up 1,600 party activists and donors Saturday night at a swank, ocean-front hotel in South Florida, Democrats in America's biggest battleground state faced a bleak reality: Election Day in four months could pull their already beleaguered party to a new low....
06/28/14 State Roundup
For the first time in two decades, Florida Democrats are likely to field a gubernatorial candidate well known across the state. Charlie Crist is breaking Democratic fundraising records and taking on an incumbent who is among the most unpopular and vulnerable governors in the country. But even as former President Bill Clinton fired up 1,600 party activists and donors Saturday night at a swank, oceanfront hotel in South Florida, Democrats in America's biggest battleground state faced a bleak reality: Election Day in four months could pull their already beleaguered party to a new low....
06/28/14 State Roundup
Charlie Crist's campaign in recent days has been in full outrage mode, suggesting that Gov. Rick Scott and his allies have hit "a new low" in sleazy, negative campaigning. Why?
Because Scott's Let's Get to Work Committee released an ad Wednesday that featured an image of former first lady Carole Crist and noting that the Crists are declining to release her tax returns. "What's he hiding?" the ad asks. Crist campaign adviser Kevin Cate contends that targeting a candidate's spouse in a TV ad is unprecedented in Florida and beyond the pale....
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Nan Rich appears Sunday on Political Connections on Bay News 9, where she laments that the state and national Democratic parties are "putting their finger on the scale" in favor of Charlie Crist. In fact, the former Broward County state legislator argues, she would make a far stronger nominee to take on Gov. Rick Scott than Crist.
Political Connections airs at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. on Bay News 9 in Tampa Bay. Here's a clip....
Charlie Crist's campaign in recent days has been in full outrage mode, suggesting that Rick Scott and his allies have hit "a new low" in sleazy, negative campaigning. Why? Because Scott's Let's Get to Work Committee released an ad yesterday that featured an image of former First Lady Carole Crist and noting that the Crists are declining to release her tax returnns. "What's he hiding?" the ad asks, while Crist campaign adviser Kevin Cate contends targeting a candidate's spouse in a TV ad is unprecedented in Florida and beyond the pale....
The Sarasota Herald-Tribine took a closer look at one of the obscure, longshot Republicans running for governor. From the H-t:
How does a Nigerian-educated pharmacist raise $182,000 in the governor’s race with no name recognition, no political ties and a website that says she’s running for “new age ruler?”
She gets it from hundreds of donors who say they live in Florida but do not, from dozens of addresses that don’t show up on a map and from at least three people who appear to be dead....
From the Sun-Sentinel:
When former state legislator Mandy Dawson appeared in court four months ago, a federal judge who could have returned her to prison for violating probation instead gave her a second chance.
But that chance may now be blown.
Dawson, 57, was arrested at her home in Daytona Beach on Friday after a urine test revealed that she had again used cocaine while on probation stemming from a guilty plea to federal tax evasion, according to a warrant executed by the U.S. Marshals Service....
But it was in 2010, not 2014, when former Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon's political committee paid for tough TV ads ripping Rick Scott as a sleazy businessman with no business in the governor's mansion. At this point four years ago, Scottt was a stranger and nearly a pariaah to the Florida GOP establishment which was determined to hand the nomination to Bill McCollum. Today, Scott is the GOP establishment....
Former State Senator Nan Rich filed this morning to run as a Democratic candidate for Governor of Florida, ensuriung a credible - though perhaps not viable given her paltry fundraising and lack of name recognition - primary challenger to Charlie Crist.
“Today, I reaffirm my commitment to this race and my commitment to Florida’s voters,” said Rich in a news release. “When I announced my candidacy for governor a little over 2 years ago, I was answering the call of a growing chorus of Democratic voices rising across Florida. They were the voices of voters and activists who were frustrated with the failure of the last 3 Republican governors to offer real leadership to help solve Florida’s critical problems or to face the challenges ahead....
The Florida Democratic party says its first TV ad in the governor's race is a six-figure buy for the Tampa, Orlando, and West Palm Beach markets. The subject? Gov. Rick Scott's background leading a health care company that paid record fines for alleged Medicare fraud. Focusing on his private sector background, rather than Scott's record as governor, reflecrs a wide-held view that 2010 Democratic nominee did not prosecute the Medicare fraud issue aggressively enough....
06/14/14 State Roundup
It's one of the main arguments that Rick Scott and the Florida GOP are making against likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee Charlie Crist: When Florida's economy tanked and residents needed his leadership most, Crist bailed to run for the U.S. Senate. "He didn't stay to fix the mess. He ran away," says a TV ad slamming Crist as a "slick politician, lousy governor."
History may show that Crist's decision not to seek a second term as governor was the dumbest political decision he ever made, but in a Political Connections interview airing today on Bay News 9, Crist makes no apologies for that decision and has no regrets about it....