Across Florida
What's happening on other political blogs?

Karl Rove’

Nelson, Mack both tout $2 million-plus fundraising marks heading to homestretch

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 by John Kennedy

Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson and Republican rival Connie Mack IV both topped the $2 million mark in fund-raising in the last full quarter before the Nov. 6 election, with both contenders saying Wednesday that they are in good shape for the campaign’s homestretch.

Mack said he raised $2.7 million while Nelson collected $2.3 million from July 1-Sept. 30. Mack has been a big beneficiary of third-party spending and said he and committees supporting him will spend as much as $30 million on the race.

Nelson said Wednesday that he has $6.5 million in the bank, more than double Mack’s cash-on-hand.

“When all the fundraising and polling are done, the voters of Florida will make a choice,” said Ryan Brown, a Nelson campaign spokesman.  “And in this election they have a clear choice: a common-sense senator who has a record of honesty and integrity versus a congressman beholding to special interests.”

Nelson has been helped by Democratic-allied spending groups, although at a level far less than Mack.

Still close to half of the TV spots aired in the race last month between Mack and Nelson were paid for by independent political committees, an analysis last week by the Wesleyan Media Project shows.

Mack has drawn the most outside help, with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Freedom PAC and the Karl Rove-founded American Crossroads committee airing millions of dollars of ads backing him. Mack, a four-term congressman from Fort Myers, is running his first statewide race — while Nelson is a former legislator, U.S. House member, Cabinet officer and candidate for governor.

Mack’s third-quarter fund-raising, though, was his best of the campaign.

“We could not be in a better position for the final stretch of this race,” said Jeff Cohen, Mack’s campaign manager.

“Our outstanding fundraising results reflect the fact that this race is far closer than the media and their public polls indicate,” he added. “Our own internal polling continues to show this race is a dead heat, and Floridians are now just weeks away from retiring Bill Nelson and his lockstep liberal agenda.”

Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney’s wife, Ann, is scheduled to appear Thursday at a Mack fund-raiser in Sarasota.

Polls show Mack trailing Nelson by an average 5.6 percent. But there’s been no survey of Florida voters since Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney’s recent surge in the polls — a move that may also be helping the chances of many GOP contenders, including Mack.

Romney’s once tattered coattails don’t look so bad at the moment.

“If Mitt Romney wins, I win. If I win, Mitt Romney wins,” Mack has said. “So we are certainly going to be tied together.”

While Romney’s recent debate performance helped boost his prospects against President Obama, Mack has his own chance to shine under the TV lights. Mack and Nelson are scheduled to meet next Wednesday for their only statewide television debate at Davie’s Nova Southeastern University.

In its report last week, Wesleyan found that from Sept. 9-30, $4.5 million was spent on TV spots in the Mack-Nelson race. Outside groups financed 48 percent of the ads, the fourth-highest percentage in 15 Senate races reviewed nationwide by the school.

Mack’s biggest backers include organizations founded by Rove, President George W. Bush’s former strategist; Freedom PAC, a committee financed heavily by Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson; and the Chamber.

Nelson has been helped by more modest ad buys from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic-allied American Bridge PAC, Majority PAC, and Saving Florida’s Future PAC.

Also in Mack’s corner is Americans For Prosperity, the grassroots organization founded by the billionaire Koch brothers. AFP, which claims 109,000 activists in Florida, aired $1 million in TV advertising this summer for Mack.

The brothers, who run Koch Industries, an oil services company, back a host of conservative causes. AFP has run TV ads against President Obama and are providing phone banks and get-out-the-vote efforts this fall nationwide.

 

Nelson begins airing pre-primary ads

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012 by John Kennedy

After weeks of getting slammed on Florida TV in opposition ads, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson will begin airing his own ‘getting-to-know-you’ spots Thursday across the state — in advance of the Aug. 14 primary.

Nelson’s campaign said the two-term Democrat has been on the receiving end of more than $10 million in critical advertising this summer, the bulk of it coming from Crossroads GPS, the political commitee allied with Karl Rove, the former adviser to President George W. Bush.

“It’s time the people of Florida started getting the truth,” said Nelson Campaign Manager Pete Mitchell. The campaign declined to elaborate on other details of the ad buy.

Nelson’s 30-second spot includes some fuzzy black-and-white photos from the lawmaker’s boyhood before segueing into his support for environmental issues, Medicare and education. It concludes with “Bill Nelson, Fighting for Florida.  Always has.  Always will.”

Nelson, who has held office in Florida almost continuously the past 40 years, faces self-styled opponent Glenn Burkett, a health care consultant, in the Aug. 14 Democratic primary. Nelson has $10 million cash-on-hand for his re-election campaign and the ad buy is likely a defensive move to remind supporters to come out for him in what is certain to be a low-turnout summer primary.

Plenty more ads will air this fall, when Nelson is expected to face Republican Connie Mack in one of the nation’s most-watched Senate races. Mack is looking to link Nelson with Obama as a pair of “lockstep liberals.” The Democratic senator is cautious about engaging Mack — yet.

Indeed, even with a no-sweat primary currently facing him, Nelson has been wary of saying too much.

Asked recently by the Palm Beach Post if his pre-Aug. 14 strategy would include a round of statewide television advertising to reintroduce himself to voters, Nelson ducked. “That’s campaign strategy, and I can’t telegraph that to you or my opponent,” Nelson said.

Crossroads GPS launches $6.5 million anti-Obama ads in Florida

Friday, July 6th, 2012 by Dara Kam

A political group founded by Karl Rove is spending $6.5 million to flood Florida airwaves with a TV ad blasting President Obama over the national debt.

Crossroads GPS, started by Rove and other former advisors to President George W. Bush, will launch the commercial, titled “Excuses,” in Florida on July 10, the group announced today. The ads will also run in Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio and Virginia, and are part of a $25 million national blitz between now and August.

Bachmann says no to Trump/Newsmax debate

Friday, December 9th, 2011 by Dara Kam

U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann won’t participate in a GOP presidential candidate debate hosted by West Palm Beach’s Newsmax and moderated by part-time Palm Beacher Donald Trump.

Bachmann’s spokeswoman Alice Stewart confirmed late last night that Bachmann will not take part in the Dec. 27 debate – the last before the first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses meet on Jan. 3 – but did not give a reason. Bachmann has met at least four times with Trump since she entered the race, most recently in New York on Nov. 21.

Thus far, only Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum have agreed to field questions from “The Donald,” although Newsmax executives have said three candidates have confirmed but would not identify them. Mitt Romney, Jon Huntsman, Rick Perry and Ron Paul have also refused to join the debate.

As recently as two weeks ago, Trump, who once flirted with running in the GOP primary, said he hasn’t ruled out running as an independent.

The possibility of the real estate mogul and reality TV show host entering the race prompted some GOP leaders, including Karl Rove and Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus, to condemn the debate.

“We appreciate what Mr. Trump has done, but if you’re still talking about potentially running as an independent candidate, I think that’s a problem,” Priebus said on Fox News last night. “I think that would be malpractice for me as an RNC chairman to not believe that that is an issue.”

The debate is slated to air on another Palm Beach institution – Ion Television, the former PAX TV, which is based in West Palm Beach and reaches more than 99 million households nationwide.

Crossroads ad looks to get Dems in crossfire

Wednesday, November 9th, 2011 by John Kennedy

The West Palm Beach TV market is one of the locations for a new ad by Republican-allied Crossroads GPS that looks to drive a wedge between President Obama and former President Clinton.

The spot, titled Two Presidents, begins airing today across Florida, Colorado, North Carolina, Ohio, and Pennsylvania as part of a $2.6 million buy. Crossroads was formed by Republican strategist Karl Rove and former GOP national chairman Ed Gillespie. It was the biggest outside spender in the 2010 election and plans to pour $240 million into next year’s campaigns against Obama and congressional Democrats.

 President Obama has launched a tax attack on American jobs that hits Main Street businesses, home mortgages, school and road repair funds and even charities,” said Crossroads GPS president and CEO Steven Law. “Former President Clinton and bipartisan majorities in Congress agree that Obama’s tax hikes won’t solve the problem.  The ad aims to get Obama to stop attacking and start listening.”

 Here’s the ad: http://bit.ly/vFGGp0

UPDATE:  Clinton has come back with a statement:

“The Republican Group American Crossroads has used a quote from me in a video opposing President Obama’s jobs plan and the “Buffett Rule.”  The advertisement implies that I opposed the “Buffett Rule”.  In fact, I support both the American Jobs Act and the “Buffett Rule”.  I believe that it’s only fair to ask those of us in high-income groups — who have received the primary benefits of the last decade’s economic growth and the majority of its tax cuts as well — to contribute to solving our long term debt problem.  What I did say was that the “Buffett Rule” cannot solve the problem alone.”

 

 

As Obama visits Florida, Rove PAC ad shows Bill Clinton disagreeing with Obama on tax hikes

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011 by George Bennett

American Crossroads, the PAC that Karl Rove helped found last year, is blasting President Obama‘s call for $1.5 trillion in tax hikes on the wealthy in ads timed to coincide with Obama’s visits to Pennsylvania and Florida today.

The ad includes a clip of former President Bill Clinton, in an interview with West Palm Beach-based NewsMax last month, disagreeing with the idea of raising taxes during an economic slump.

The ad features clips of Clinton saying “I personally don’t believe we ought to be raising taxes” and “it won’t solve the problem.”

Clinton’s full quote (beginning around 9:30 on this video) did indeed take issue with Obama’s tax-hike approach — but also with Republican calls for spending cuts:

“I personally don’t believe we ought to be raising taxes or cutting spending — either one — until we get this economy off the ground. This has been a dead-flat economy. And you don’t want, in something this flat, if we cut government spending, which I normally would be very inclined to do when the deficit’s this big, with interest rates already near zero you can’t get the benefits out of it.”

Later, around the 13:00 mark on the NewsMax video, Clinton adds that a millionaire’s tax “won’t solve the problem.”

Florida political tweeters
Video: Politics stories
Categories
Archives