“Increasing taxes at this time is the wrong thing to do,” Crist said during the taped interview on Friday, Feb. 26.
Watch the video now:
“Increasing taxes at this time is the wrong thing to do,” Crist said during the taped interview on Friday, Feb. 26.
Watch the video now:
Sen. Mike Haridopolos and Rep. Dean Cannon – on tap to be the next Senate President and House Speaker – aren’t coughing up their state GOP-issued credit card statements, the pair said in a press release today.
“While the media is now calling for the release of many of the Party’s internal financial records, it is our firm belief that the professional auditors should be allowed to do their job without the interference of a media circus surrounding the release of any records,” Haridopolos, R-Melbourne, and Cannon, R-Winter Park, said in the release.
The leaders-to-be issued the release after former House Speaker Marco Rubio’s American Express statements were leaked to the media earlier this week, causing embarrassment for Rubio’s U.S. Senate campaign and glee for his GOP primary opponent Gov. Charlie Crist.
Crist has said that the Republican Party of Florida books should be opened up because of questionable spending by RPOF staff. The party’s spending was among the reasons former state GOP boss Jim Greer was forced out last month.
New RPOF Chairman Sen. John Thrasher, R-Jacksonville, ordered an audit of the party’s books to begin on Monday.
But he won’t release the statements, either.
The Democratic National Committee released a second video highlighting U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio’s state GOP party-issued credit card spending when Rubio was Florida House Speaker.
The Dems’ attack ad is curious, however, because it appears to promote Rubio’s opponent Gov. Charlie Crist.
Interspersed with newsclips from MSNBC and FoxNews are interviews with Crist in which he criticizes Rubio’s AmEx spending and comments that if Rubio doesn’t like the flak, “That’s too bad. Welcome to the NFL.”
Rubio racked up nearly $110,000 on his Republican Party of Florida American Express card -including expenditures for items like Internet music, wine and repairs to his family mini-van – that are raising eyebrows on TV news shows nationwide.
The first ad is a take-off on the MasterCard “Priceless” marketing campaign. It also ends with the RPOF’s Tallahassee street address and advises watchers to send their credit card bills there.
The Post‘s Andrew Abramson spotted this message along Dixie Highway in Lake Worth.
It’s no secret that the Florida U.S. Senate race has captured the attention of the national media and is a crucial race for both parties.
But much of the focus has been on the GOP primary featuring Gov. Charlie Crist, who is leaving office after only one term to pursue the post, and former House Speaker Marco Rubio, the first Cuban-American speaker of the Florida House whose somber face ran on the cover of The New York Times Sunday magazine not long ago, prompting Crist’s campaign to dub him “New York Times Cover Boy.”
While Rubio and Crist slug it out (and it’s getting uglier every day), U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, the Democrat who will likely face off against one of them in November, has been busily stumping around the state gathering petition signatures in the hopes of becoming the first U.S. Senate candidate from Florida ever to qualify by petition.
Read today’s New York Times article on Meek here.
Capitalizing on the scandal erupting over the state GOP’s credit card spending, national Democrats released a video take-off of the MasterCard “Priceless” television campaign.
The spoof highlights some of the Republican Party of Florida-issued credit card charges now-U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio made when Florida House Speaker, including $1,000 in repairs to his family mini-van.
“Getting your personal bills paid for by the Republican Party of Florida like Marco Rubio: Priceless,” the Democratic National Committee video mocks.
The state GOP may get some unwanted mail as a result of the “Priceless” satire.
“Want your bills paid for by the Republican Party of Florida? Just send them in. 420 E. Jefferson Street, Tallahassee, Florida 32301,” it concludes.
The DNC ad targets Rubio at a time when the once-long-shot candidate’s popularity is soaring while his GOP primary opponent Gov. Charlie Crist’s is on the wane.
While the expense showed up on the Republican AmEx, Rubio paid the tab at Churchill’s Barber Shop himself and never charged it to the state GOP, a Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos said today.
Still, the expenditure generated the kind of tonsorial attention lavished on Bill Clinton for his Christophe-administered Air Force One clip job in 1993 or John “Two Americas” Edwards for his $400 coiffures during the 2008 presidential campaign.
House budget chief David Rivera is abandoning his state Senate run and jumping into the race for Congress to replace U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, who’s switching seats.
Rivera, a Miami Republican close to former House Speaker Marco Rubio, made the announcement this morning.
Senate Majority Leader Alex Diaz de la Portilla is expected to get into the race but took an uncharacteristically subtle approach to Rivera’s decision with the following statement, entitled “First Things First.”
With the beginning of the 2010 legislative session just days away and unemployment in the double-digits and a $3 billion budget gap to close, DLP says he’s going to focus on the issues at hand.
The Majority Leader’s primary job is to ensure that Republicans have the votes they need to pass leaders’ priority bills.
“As Senate Majority Leader, these issues weigh heavily on my shoulders each and every day because I know how they impact families and small businesses across our state. It would be unfair to Floridians for me to take my focus off finding real solutions to the problems we are facing and instead turn my attention to my next campaign or career opportunity. As I continue the process of deciding whether to seek higher office, I will not make my decision based on the artificial pressures of time or the actions of others. Instead, I am humbled by the grassroots supports and will continue to receive input from my friends, family and supporters and I will announce my decision when the time is right,” Diaz de la Portilla wrote.
Both of the GOP Cuban-American lawmakers from Miami are term-limited out of office this year.
The 5-2 ruling also threw out all the convictions associated with the robbery and murder of Jimmy Johns and ordered a new trial for Tumblin.
It is the fifth death sentence the Supreme Court has thrown out in the past four years.
Justices Charles Canady and Ricky Polston, both appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist, dissented.
Tumblin’s accomplice Anthony Mayes testified against Tumblin and provided the only eyewitness testimony to the crimes. There was no DNA evidence linking Tumblin, then 25, to the murder.
The high court ruled that Tumblin’s previous trial should have ended in a mistrial because St. Lucie County Deputy Dennis Smith’s testimony that Mayes was telling the truth could have tainted the jury’s decision.
For more on this topic, read the TCoastTalk post, Supreme Court orders new trial for man convicted of Fort Pierce murder
Marco Rubio’s Senate campaign fired back at GOP primary rival Charlie Crist late Wednesday night following the release to the Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times of Rubio’s Republican Party of Florida credit card statements from 2005-2008. Rubio accuses Crist of trying to “change the subject” from his own record.
Unlike a letter Rubio released Wednesday night, the new video doesn’t address the specifics related to the RPOF American Express card — perhaps because it appears to have been shot months ago, at the same time Rubio was taping this video on health care reform.
Sheriff Morris Young of Gadsden County announced today he’s backing state Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, in the Democratic primary for attorney general.
Young is the 13th Florida sheriff to endorse Aronberg, who has sought to boost his law enforcement cred against primary rival Dan Gelber, a state Senator from Miami Beach who is a former federal prosecutor.
Aronberg’s sheriff endorsements include Palm Beach County’s Ric Bradshaw and St. Lucie County’s Ken Mascara and the sheriffs of Calhoun, Jackson, Citrus, Hamilton, Wakulla, Alachua, Glades, Hendry, Baker and Bradford counties.
Senate President Jeff Atwater sent a letter to the state’s Congressional delegation today asking them to back legislation requiring a balanced federal budget like Florida’s own laws mandate.
Atwater, a North Palm Beach banker, is running for chief financial officer.
“Unfunded mandates, insurmountable debt, and unconscionable spending are mortgaging our children and grandchildren’s future. Therefore I ask for your help to protect our Nation’s economic liberty. A strong economy is nothing short of the very foundation on which our Republic stands. That is why we need a Federal Balanced Budget Amendment,” Atwater wrote to Florida’s Congressional delegation leader U.S. Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart.
Atwater asks the Florida delegation to sign a “Pledge for America’s Future comprised of spending-related “whereases” that Atwater and his staff crafted on their own, Atwater spokeswoman Jaryn Emhof said.
Here’s a sample:
“WHEREAS, the Federal Government has for too long relied on revenue increases and borrowing against our future rather than on prudent spending decisions within the limits of current revenues, and
WHEREAS, lasting resolution of this nation’s budget deficit can be achieved only by addressing the spending habits of our Federal Government, not by increasing the tax burden under which our citizens already labor.”
The flame war between GOP operative Michael Caputo and Sen. Paula Dockery (and her campaign for governor) over a Tea Party schism got hotter last night.
Caputo, who’s involved in a federal lawsuit a bunch of Tea Party activists filed against Orlando political gadfly Doug Guetzloe and his brand of Tea Partiers, and Dockery exchanged a rash of e-mails yesterday peppered with questions about their links to Guetzloe in the spirit of “Will the real Tea Party people please stand up?”
Caputo says he is not being paid by Attorney General Bill McCollum, Dockery’s GOP primary opponent in the governor’s race.
The Florida Democratic Party is running a television ad blasting GOP candidate for governor Bill McCollum.
The TV spot was released the same day the the Republican Governors Association let loose a television campaign slamming Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the presumptive Democratic nominee for governor.
The FDP ad blames McCollum for costing taxpayers billions of dollars during his two decades in Congress.
The RGA ad roasts Sink for earning millions of dollars as NationsBank’s Florida chief in 1998 while giving pink slips to thousands of bank workers during the financial institution’s buy-out of Barnett Bank.
The Democrats’ ad skewers McCollum for voting for Congressional pay hikes four times, for his $75,000-a-year Congressional pension taxpayers are now footing and for voting five times to increase the national debt that skyrocketed to $4.7 trillion while the Republican was in office.
“Bill McCollum. Just another Washington politician Florida can’t afford,” the 30-second commercial ends.
McCollum’s campaign dismissed the Sink ad in much the same way her campaign responded to the RGA ad earlier today. Both sides accused the other of being “misleading” and “desperate.”
“This is a weak, misleading ad from a candidate and party desperate to salvage a message-less, issue-less campaign that has been roundly derided by even their strongest supporters. Alex Sink needs to stop complaining and start explaining. She eliminated thousands of Florida jobs will taking millions in salary and bonuses. The Republican Governors Association raises serious questions and Alex Sink will have to answer to Florida voters in November,” McCollum campaign Kristy Campbell wrote in a press release.
State senator and GOP governor hopeful Paula Dockery blasted Republican operative Michael Caputo for linking her with Orlando politico Doug Guetzloe, the center of a Tea Party turf battle playing out in federal court.
Guetzloe joined forces with Dockery in fighting the SunRail/CSX deal during the special legislative session and has supported her candidacy against Attorney General Bill McCollum in the Republican primary for governor.
Caputo, a Republican operative who has worked on campaigns in and out of the U.S. and who is closely linked with Roger Stone, and a variety of local Tea Party groups filed a lawsuit against Guetzloe and his cohorts accusing them of hijacking the “real” Tea Party and asking the court to order him to stop using the “Tea Party” moniker.
The flame war began when Caputo sent out an e-mail questioning whether Guetzloe is secretly backing Dockery’s campaign and calling the Lakeland Republican a “liberal.”
Dockery responded with an e-mail asking Caputo with some answers plus her own list of questions.
Guetzloe “is not and has not been paid by my campaign or on behalf of my campaign. I am asking you to refrain from making this claim as you have now been formally told there is no truth to your assertion. Please provide your rationale for making these false claims,” she writes.
The exchange also includes a “Who’s the better Republican?” line with Dockery saying she’s a life-long GOP’er who was first elected in 1996.
Caputo one-ups her there: He says he’s been a Republican since he first got into politics in the 1980s when he worked on President Ronald Reagan’s reelection campaign.
Dockery also tries to extricate herself from the Tea Party wars, writing: “I have absolutely nothing to do with the forming of another party and have, in fact, suggested that the formation of a “tea party” will actually harm reform-minded Republican candidates like me.”
Caputo’s snarky response to Dockery also challenges her to distance herself from Guetzloe.
“If you seek Tea Party support for your candidacy, your work with Doug Guetzloe does not endear you to thousands of authentic Florida Tea Party activists who are enflamed by his hijack attempt of their name and cause,” Caputo wrote.
“If what you say is true, it is not enough to stand silently. We ask you to denounce Guetzloe’s Tea Party political party. Please call upon him to disband it immediately and demand he end his personal threats
on true citizen activists in Florida’s Tea Party movement. Our plaintiffs – 34 Tea Party activists and organizations deeply concerned about the damage of Guetzloe’s third party – can help get your message out.”
Read the three messages after the jump.
The Republican Governors Association hammered Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, the state’s presumptive Democratic candidate for governor and former banker.
The ad is the RGA’s first TV campaign for the 2010 election season and shows that the Florida governor’s race will be one of the premier gubernatorial battles in the country.
Attorney General Bill McCollum is facing off against long-shot state Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, in a GOP primary.
The ad charges that Sink did away with thousands of jobs while president of Florida’s NationsBank operations while earning $8 million in salary and bonuses, capitalizing on the current animosity toward bankers who took billions of dollars in federal bail-out money, spent much of it on executive bonuses and did little to ease the nation’s credit crunch.
The RGA also launched a new website – alexsinksflorida.com – featuring the video, which ends “Alex Sink. Not one of us. One of them.”
Sink was head of NationsBank in Florida when the financial institution acquired Barnett Bank, in 1998, for $62 billion. The merger resulted in the loss of 6,000 jobs, many of them in Florida, according to the ad.
Conservatives have been lavishing praise on Republican Senate hopeful Marco Rubio’s speech last week to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.
Admiration of Rubio’s speech also comes from the left in this piece by The New Republic‘s John Judis, who called Rubio’s speech “a masterpiece of political positioning” that “hovered above partisanship.”
Judis says Rubio’s blend of biography and political vision was reminiscent of Barack Obama and Bill Clinton. And he said Rubio avoided what he considered the rhetorical excesses of other CPAC spekers.
“Rubio also didn’t brand his political opponents socialists. He didn’t describe the White House as followers, as one daffy speaker put it, of Marx, Engels, Che Guevara, Hugo Chavez, and Saul Alinsky.”
The unnamed “daffy” speaker was South Florida Republican congressional hopeful Allen West.
Of Rubio, Judis concludes: “The 39-year-old Cuban-American who has the looks of a matinee idol and speaks with wit and vigor is a force to be reckoned with.”
Among the first orders of business for the five-member commission will be choosing a chairman and vice-chairman.
The ethics panel, plus representatives from the State Attorney and Public Defender offices, will sit as the selection committee for a new inspector general position. The inspector general post, modeled after one in Miami-Dade County, is the centerpiece of reforms approved Dec. 1. Applications for the inspector general’s job and for a new executive director for the ethics commission are due Friday.
The ethics panelists were chosen by a variety of groups outside county government. Read about them after the jump…..
Former Florida House speaker Rubio has a 54-to-36 percent lead over Crist in a poll of 442 likely Republican voters taken last Thursday — the day Rubio made a much-publicized speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington.In the poll, which has a 5 percent margin of error, Rubio is viewed favorably by 67 percent of Republican voters and Crist is viewed favorably by 54 percent. Crist’s approval rating as governor is 48 percent, with 49 percent disapproving. In January, Crist had a 62 percent favorability rating among Republicans and his approval-disapproval score as governor was 56-43.
Rubio had a 12-point lead in a late-January Rasmussen poll. Rubio and Crist were tied in December.
Committee Chairman Bill Galvano:
“As a result of Speaker Sansom’s resignation as a member of the Florida House, further action by this committee is rendered moot. We’re without authority to fulfill the charge of this select committee,” Galvano, R-Bradenton, said.