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2010 election’

Scott slams Sink with new ads

Monday, September 27th, 2010 by Dara Kam

GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott’s campaign released two new ads attacking his Democrat opponent Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink accusing her of steering no-bid contracts to her former employer and slamming her for poor oversight of the state’s pension fund.

Sink spent more than two decades as a banker and ended her career as the head of Bank of America’s Florida operations.

One of the ads accuses Sink of steering at least $770,000 to Bank of America and its subsidiaries in her role as a member of the board of trustees that oversees the State Board of Administration. Sink sits on the board with fellow Cabinet members Attorney General Bill McCollum and Gov. Charlie Crist.

Sink has said she did not declare a conflict of interest in voting on matters affecting her former employer because her investments are in a blind trust.

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RPOF Chairman Thrasher on Crist, credit cards and condemnation

Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 by Dara Kam

Sen. John Thrasher, chairman of the maligned Republican Party of Florida, has a lot to contend with.

Things are heating up in the legislature with less than 10 days to go before the session’s end.

Federal investigators are snooping around former high-ranking GOP officials, including his predecessor at the Party Jim Greer, and their credit card spending.

And Gov. Charlie Crist is considering abandoning the party that helped him to victory in the state Senate, two Cabinet seats and the governor’s mansion.

Crist’s consideration of dropping out of the GOP primary against former House Speaker Marco Rubio and running as an independent in the fall has Crist’s former allies (and those who weren’t big fans of the governor to begin with) coming out in droves to distance themselves from the former sure-bet for U.S. Senate.

Thrasher offered some advice to Crist’s critics, including House Speaker Larry Cretul: Chill.
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Crist on running as an independent: ‘Things change.’

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 by Dara Kam

After repeatedly insisting that he’s not going to jump the Republican Party ship, Gov. Charlie Crist had a simple response to what he would say to Floridians if he does now that he’s considering running for U.S. Senate as an independent.

“Things change,” Crist said.

Those things might include GOP leaders demanding that Crist drop out of the race altogether if he decides to run as a no-party candidate.

Yesterday, the executive director of the National Republican Senate Committee said he believes there’s “zero chance” Crist will remain in the GOP primary against former House Speaker Marco Rubio, once an underdog in the race but who now holds a double-digit lead over Crist in the polls.

“It is our view that if Gov. Crist believes he cannot win a primary then the proper course of action is he drop out of the race and wait for another day,” NRSC executive director Rob Jesmer wrote in a memo.

Crist dismissed the suggestion in his typical populist style.

“I think I’ll take the advice of people in Florida instead of the advice of people in Washington. They’re telling us a lot,” he said.

Numerous GOP leaders in and outside of Florida are distancing themselves from Crist since he vetoed two bills important to Republicans in the legislature: a bill measure that would have allowed “leadership funds” and a teacher merit-pay bill pushed by Sen. John Thrasher, who is also the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida.

He said he’s “getting a lot of calls and a lot of text messages” offering him advice on what to do.

Crist acknowledged the almost surreal shift in the race in which he was once the hands-down leader and GOP officials virtually pretended that Rubio was not even in the race.

“These are unusual times. Arent’ they?” he said.

Thrasher, who said Crist reneged after telling him he would sign the controversial teacher bill into law, offered some lukewarm encouragement to Crist.

“In spite of policy differences that we’ve had, we have a big tent and I just hope he stays Republican,” the chairman said.

Republicans who once backed Crist may abandon him if he runs as an independent, which could hurt the Republican nominee. Or, he could take their support with him, something Republicans fear.

“I don’t know that they do. That’s the dilemma he probably has now. Again, you’d have to go follower-by-follower to find that out,” said Thrasher, R-Jacksonville.

Dan Webster won’t run against “Die quickly” Congressman

Tuesday, October 13th, 2009 by Dara Kam

Daniel Webster

Daniel Webster

Former state Sen. Daniel Webster won’t run against U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson despite pressure from GOP leaders for the conservative Republican to enter the race.

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson

Grayson, a freshman Democratic Congressman from Orlando, catapulted to infamy with his characterization of Republicans’ health care proposal as “Don’t get sick and if you do get sick, die quickly.”

Grayson then drew even more criticism after an “apology” on the floor likening the current health crisis to the Holocaust.

Webster, a Christian conservative who served nearly three decades in the Florida legislature and served as House Speaker, said in a statement that despite encouragement from supporters he was prompted to “follow a principle that has always served me well: ‘When in doubt, don’t.’”

“I do firmly believe that in every public office there needs to be a resurgence of the basic principles on which this Republic was founded, and a return to our original standards of integrity and character,” he said.

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