In CNN's amateurish early days as a 24-hour cable news outlet, critics called it the "Chicken Noodle Network." CNN has come a long way, but for tonight's final debate in the Florida governor's race, those three letters might as well stand for "Can't. No. Nope."
Political debates in Florida are a big deal, especially in a neck-and-neck race like this one between Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist, and CNN is the sponsor of a live one-hour faceoff at 7 p.m. at WJXT in Jacksonville. The network is determined to protect its place as the exclusive host....
TALLAHASSEE — Early voting got under way in 30 counties across Florida on Monday, including Pinellas, Miami-Dade and Broward, as both parties ramped up their get-out-the-vote efforts in the final two weeks of the race for governor.
Nearly 900,000 people have already returned mail-in ballots, and early-voting sites are open for up to 14 days in some counties, and at more sites, than in past years. ...
The Republican Party of Florida has a new ad that uses Democrat Charlie Crist's support of President Barack Obama to drive GOP turnout, along with a new mail piece by the state party that reminds conservatives that Obama won in 2012 "because too many Florida conservatives didn't vote."
The message: If it happens again, Gov. Rick Scott will lose....
10/17/14 State Roundup
For the past year, living in Florida has meant having Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist as constant and mostly unwanted companions.
If you own a TV, you get the picture.
Ads infinitum. Ad nauseam. About $83 million since March.
For months, TV viewers have been forced to withstand a seemingly endless barrage of vicious ads from Scott and Crist as they try to trash talk their way to the Governor's Mansion, 30 seconds at a time....
The costliest and nastiest race for Florida governor is unlike any in the state's long and colorful history. Rick Scott is seeking to be the second Republican governor in state history (after Jeb Bush) to serve consecutive terms, and Democrat Charlie Crist is seeking to regain his old job, which he held before Scott as a Republican. Voters have been bombarded with TV ads in which Scott and Crist have attacked each other's character. Polls show a tight race which is likely to be decided by turnout in South Florida, where turnout lags behind the rest of the state in off-presidential election years. Also on the ballot are Adrian Wyllie of the Libertarian Party of Florida and two candidates with no party affiliation, Glenn Burkett and Farid Kharavi, neither of whom has mounted a visible campaign. ...
10/16/14 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott's sudden absence at the start of a statewide TV debate reshaped the governor's race Thursday as event sponsors accused Charlie Crist of breaking the rules and Scott's side fretted over whether he damaged his re-election prospects.
At the center of the storm was a $20 fan that viewers couldn't see, quietly whirring near Crist's feet as he stood alone on stage Wednesday night at Broward College in Davie....
The organizers of Wednesday's statewide TV debate between Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist released a statement Thursday saying that Crist's insistence on having a portable electric fan was a violation of debate rules. Crist adviser Dan Gelber hotly disputes the organizers' accounts and said FPA president Dean Ridings accepted a document with a handwritten notation that included the words "with understanding that debate hosts will address any temperature issues with a fan if necessary."...
The fan. It’s Charlie Crist’s security blanket.
The fan that created a nationwide uproar in Wednesday’s TV debate is never far from Crist.
The man with the tan doesn’t want people to see him sweating under the glare of hot TV lights. So Crist keeps a portable fan handy whenever he knows he’s going to be on camera.
He brought one to his first debate in the 2006 election for governor with Republican rival Tom Gallagher at a steamy hall in Poinciana in Polk County. When Gallagher threatened to walk out, organizers raced to provide him with a fan....
10/16/14 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — For as long as Charlie Crist has been in the spotlight, he has used a fan to keep cool, and on more than one occasion, to put the heat on his rivals.
It's Crist's security blanket.
The man with the tan doesn't want people to see him sweating under the glare of hot TV lights, so he keeps a portable fan handy whenever he knows he's going to be on camera.
He brought one to his first debate in the 2006 election for governor with Republican rival Tom Gallagher at a steamy hall in Polk County. When Gallagher threatened to walk out, organizers gave him a fan, too....
You call this a debate? The candidates hugged each other at the beginning and the end.
The candidates in Florida's most competitive race for Congress politely faced off Wednesday before a crowd of about 500 people at the Donald L. Tucker Civic Center in Tallahassee, sponsored by the Capital Tiger Bay Club. Republican U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland and Democrat Gwen Graham offered opposing views on some issues, but they agreed on a lot, too. They agreed on the need to secure the border to illegal immigration and for campaign finance reform. They shared doubts about how President Barack Obama has handled the crisis in Syria and called for a ban on all civilian air travel from West Africa to the U.S. during the Ebola crisis....
FORT LAUDERDALE — Broward County is smack in the center of South Florida and is more populous than a dozen states, but many people couldn't find it on a map.
This vast and increasingly diverse place is where Florida Democrats are counting on a win that would end nearly two decades of futility in the fight for the Governor's Mansion.
For Charlie Crist, it's ground zero. He has largely staked this election on Broward, home to 545,000 Democrats, more than in Pinellas and Hillsborough counties combined. He set up a headquarters here and rented a condo on the beach in Fort Lauderdale....
It was inevitable, but it's still going to infuriate Republicans.
It's a new TV ad that features Republican Mike Fasano, the former state legislator from Pasco County who was appointed tax collector by Gov. Rick Scott, explaining why he supports Democrat Charlie Crist for governor.
In the 30-second spot, Fasano describes Scott's campaign for re-election as being all about "tearing people down."...
10/13/14 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — Yinka Adeshina's invisible campaign for governor never caught on with Florida voters, but it drew attention from state law enforcement agents.
Adeshina, who finished a distant third to Gov. Rick Scott in the Republican primary, was arrested on two felony counts of fraud on Monday and booked into the Leon County jail in Tallahassee on $10,000 bail.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Adeshina falsely claimed $182,000 in campaign contributions from dozens of people who do not exist....
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Monday that former Republican candidate for governor Yinka Adeskina has been arrested for fraud for submitting false campaign reports to the state Division of Elections.
FDLE said Adeshina was arrested by the Tallahassee police and transported to the Leon County jail by the Leon County sheriff's office. Bond was set at $10,000.
In her campaign filings, Adeshina said she raised $182,000 in campaign contributors. However, FDLE said, "donors she listed in the report did not exist and FDLE believes she fabricated donors and addresses to show she had raised more than $150,000."...
Gov. Rick Scott's campaign accused Charlie Crist's campaign Monday of "surreptitiously" refunding $42,500 in campaign contributions that exceeded the $3,000 legal limit on individual donations. The "surreptitious" refunds are listed on the Division of Elections' web site, as are Scott's.
A review of Scott's campaign finances by Times/Herald reporter Marc Caputo shows that Scott has returned slightly more money, $43,095.
Crist's refunds are fewer and in bigger amounts. Scott's refunds are more numerous and in smaller amounts and most of them went to Florida-based hospitals and rehabilitation centers....