Adam C. Smith, Times Political Editor

Adam C. Smith

Political editor since 2001, Adam Smith was named the best political writer in Florida by and one of the country's Top 10 political reporters by the Columbia Journalism Review. He focuses on state and national politics.

Smith has been with the Times since 1992 and has covered local and state government, as well as general assignment and investigative beats. He appears most Sundays on Political Connections on Bay News 9, is a primary contributor to The Buzz political blog. Smith grew up in New York City, graduated Kenyon College in Ohio, and when he's not chasing politicians tries to keep up with his wife, three kids and basset hound.

Phone: (727) 893-8241


Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @AdamSmithTimes

  1. Who's that big shot Dem campaigning for GOP Fla House candidate?


    Whoda thunk you'd see Democratic consultant Steve Schale pounding the pavement in Pinellas County on behalf of Republican state House candidate Chris Latvala? Schale, after all,  is one of the brightest lights in Florida Democratic political circles, having helped Obama win Florida twice and now helping Charlie Crist, try to unseat Gov. Rick Scott. And House District 67 at least on paper should be one of the more competitive districts in Florida, one in which some credible Democrats are running....

    Steve Schale and Chris Latvala
  2. About those scandalous Charlie Crist billboards


    The Republican Party of Florida filed a complaint with the the Florida Elections Commission against the Charlie Crist campaign this week for allegedly failing to include the mandatory prominent disclaimers  that tell people who is paying for the ad. Yawn. Seemed like yet another petty complaint that nobody other than a couple partisan operatives cares about.

    To us, the real scandal would be if the Charlie Crist campaign actually spent money to erect big billboards near his hometown where his name ID already is 99 percent. Turns out, the billboard were in-kind donations from W.S. Media Inc. of Sarasota, an outfit connected with chiropractor and longtime Crist ally Gary Kompothecras and Jay Burmer, another longtime Crist friend and political operative who works with Mr. 1-800-Ask-Gary....

    Here's the actual billboard. Bugs Bunny wouldn't be able to read the disclaimer
  3. Fla poll: Rick Scott 44%, Charlie Crist 41%, Adrian Wyllie 4%


    The latest Survey USA  robo poll for WFLA-8,shows Rick Scott leading Charlie Crist, but within the 4.2 percent margin of error. From WFLA:

    Gov. Rick Scott has a 3-point lead over Democrat Charlie Crist, heading into the week before the primary election, according to the latest News Channel 8 poll.

    The poll shows Scott with 44 percent of the vote compared with 41 percent for Crist, the former governor now running as a Democrat. Crist takes on former state senator Nan Rich in the primary election August 26, but has focused his campaign against the current governor....

  4. Annette Taddeo raising money in St Pete


    Charlie Crist's younger sister Catherine Kennedy will host lt. Gov. candidate Annette Taddeo at her Placido Bayou home in St. Petersburg Wednesday evening. The minimum suggested contribution is $250 to attend the  "Women for Charlie" reception .

  5. Poll: Anxious 50-plus Fla voters favor Rick Scott over Charlie Crist


    AARP Florida sponsored a June 26 - July 6 Hart Research Associates/North Star Opinion Research poll  of 1,202 likely voters age 50 and over, including an oversample of 400 Hispanic voters. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent. The Scott vs. Crist numbers number have likely shifted over the past month -- this survey came before Crist even started airing TV ads - but for comparison sake exit polls in 2010 showed Scott beat Democrat Sink 51 percent to 47 percent among voters at least 50 years old. Here's AARP's release:...

  6. Charlie Crist wantsPresident Obama to campaign for him


    With Barack Obama's approval ratings lately barely cracking 40 percent, plenty of Democrats will keep their distance from the president heading into the midterms, just as Alex Sink did she when ran for governor in 2010. Not Charlie Crist, who said today he hopes to be campaigning side by side with the president.

    "I hope so," he said when asked about campaigning with Obama. "I hope everybody does."...

  7. New Florida Chamber poll: Scott 41%, Crist 35%, Wyllie 4%


    A new poll of likely Florida voters for the Republican-leaning Florida Chamber of Commerce finds Floridians increasingly bullish on the direction of the state, and Republican Gov. Rick Scott leading likely Democratic nominee Charlie Crist 44 percent to 41 percent. When Libertarian nominee Adrian Wyllie is thrown into the mix, Gov. Scott leads 41 percent to 35 percent for Crist with 4 percent for the little-known Wyllie....

  8. Winner and loser of the week in Fla politics


    Winner of the week

    Medical marijuana opponents. They landed a big voice in their corner — Jeb Bush. He gave a kind of full-throated call to reject the ballot initiative, something Gov. Rick Scott has declined to make.

    Loser of the week The group seeking to require common sense, competitive legislative and congressional districts won a huge court victory only to face a still-defiant GOP legislative leadership unwilling to make anything more than the bare minimum of changes to congressional districts ruled illegal....

  9. Crist blasts Scott on lottery plan to select marijuana producers

    State Roundup

    The growing tensions between prospective producers of medical marijuana and state regulators have now become political fodder as former Gov. Charlie Crist on Friday blasted Gov. Rick Scott's administration for a plan to use a lottery to select the companies that will develop legalized pot in Florida.

    Speaking to reporters in Miami on Friday, Crist said he believes the system should be based on merit, similar to one endorsed by nurseries, investors and families of people suffering from the ailments the low-THC marijuana will be used to treat....

  10. An unlikely, budding friendship between Sheldon Adelson and John Morgan, medical marijuana foes


    Trial lawyer John Morgan — whose outsized persona is already etched onto Florida's consciousness — said medical marijuana has boosted his celebrity even higher.

    At the Orlando airport last week, eight to 10 people stopped him between the plane and his car to thank him for bankrolling the constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana, Morgan said. "Two or three wanted to have their pictures taken with me."...

  11. Tom Lee is behind the 1.2-mil-plus robo calls against Charlie Crist


    State Sen. Tom Lee hosted a fundraiser for Charlie Crist at his Brandon home in 1998 when Crist ran against Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Graham. When Lee joined Crist in the Florida Senate in 1996, he says, he admired Republican "Chain Gang Charlie's" gift for public relations and public speaking. Crist introduced Lee to Grover Norquist, the antitax crusader, and tried to persuade his fellow Tampa Bay Republican to sign Norquist's pledge never to raise taxes....

  12. Sen. Tom Lee is behind those 'conservative Charlie Crist' robocalls

    State Roundup

    TAMPA — State Sen. Tom Lee hosted a fundraiser for Charlie Crist at his Brandon home in 1998 when Crist ran against Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Graham. When Lee joined Crist in the Florida Senate in 1996, he says, he admired Republican "Chain Gang Charlie's" gift for public relations and public speaking. Crist introduced Lee to Grover Norquist, the antitax crusader, and tried to persuade his fellow Tampa Bay Republican to sign Norquist's pledge never to raise taxes....

    State Sen. Tom Lee is behind the robocalls featuring Charlie Crist's own voice touting his conservative credentials. Lee has also started a website that features the calls and old campaign flyers.
  13. Rich's mailer touts record as progressive

    State Roundup

    With early voting already under way in several counties, Democratic candidate for governor Nan Rich has a new mailer out.

    One side includes an endorsement from former Democratic Gov. Buddy MacKay.

    The other highlights Rich's experience in the Florida Senate, where she served for eight years, and stresses her progressive credentials.

    "Nan has always been a leading progressive advocate for children, women, seniors and social justice issues," the mailer reads. "Her successful efforts to expand support for home and community-based care programs for seniors has allowed thousands of Florida's frail elderly to remain in their own homes instead of moving into nursing homes."...

    Former Gov. Buddy MacKay has endorsed Nan Rich.
  14. Jeb campaigns with Rick Scott Friday


    Charlie Crist's three-day bus tour concludes Friday with to-be-announced event in Miami, after campaign stops in Tallahassee and Jacksonville Wednesday, and Orlando and Tampa Bay on Thursday.

    But in south Florida Friday,  former Jeb Bush Republican-turned Democratic nominee Crist may have trouble dominating the media as the original Jeb Bush Republican - Jeb Bush - makes his first campaign appearance this year with Rick Scott. Only a few months ago, Crist called Bush a "great" governor....

    Old friends
  15. Voice on anti-Charlie Crist robocall is 2006's Charlie Crist

    State Roundup

    Democrats across Florida heard a mysterious recorded call over the weekend that seemed aimed at attacking likely Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist.

    The voice in the recording? Charlie Crist.

    "Hi, this is Charlie Crist calling to set the record straight. I'm pro-life. I oppose amnesty for illegal immigrants, I support traditional marriage, and I have never supported a new tax or big spending program. It's sad that in his fourth try for governor my opponent has resorted to distortions and untruths. … Floridians need a consistent, conservative governor that they can trust. I would appreciate your vote on Election Day."...