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Frankel to team up with Pelosi for Medicare forum in North Boca Monday

Friday, August 3rd, 2012 by Dara Kam

Lois Frankel

Former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel is adding a high-profile notch to her Congressional candidacy belt a week before the Aug. 14 Democratic primary.

U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.


U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the former House leader from California, will join Frankel for a Medicare forum at an assisted living facility in North Boca Raton Monday morning.

National Democrats, who’ve made the new Palm Beach-Broward District 22 one of their highest-priority races in the country, have thrown their clout behind Frankel in the race, thus far virtually ignoring the primary match-up against Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs. They’re focused instead on the November contest against Republican Adam Hasner, who doesn’t have a primary.

While Pelosi’s a divisive figure on the national stage, appearing side-by-side with the often-vilified former majority leader just a week before the primary – and after early voting begins this weekend – likely won’t hurt Frankel with hard-core Dems who typically show up at the polls in primaries.

Frankel garnered the support of Emily’s List, Planned Parenthood, the National Organization for Women and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. The DCCC chief, U.S. Rep. Steve Israel, joined Frankel for a fundraiser earlier this year. Frankel jumped into the race last year in an effort to oust U.S. Rep. Allen West, who moved out of the coastal district after the GOP-dominated legislature redrew it with a Democratic edge.

The Monday event will be held at the The Veranda Club at 10:30 a.m.

CD 22: Underdog Jacobs outraises Frankel, Hasner eclipses both Dems

Friday, August 3rd, 2012 by Dara Kam

Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs, the underdog in the U.S. House District 22 Democratic primary, outraised former West Palm Beach mayor Lois Frankel by more than $9,000 over the last four weeks, according to the latest campaign finance reports.

Jacobs – eclipsed overall in fundraising by Frankel, who has a year-long head start in the race, and with just a fraction of Frankel’s cash-on-hand – raised $59,230 in the short July 1- July 25 pre-primary period and another $8,000 since then, according to the reports. And Frankel collected $53,192 for the period and another $5,000 as of Aug. 2.

But GOP candidate Adam Hasner, who does not have a primary in the new Palm Beach-Broward congressional district, overshadowed both Democrats over the past month. Hasner raked in more than $172,847 and another $3,000, bringing his total for the short fundraising period to more than the Democrats’ combined contributions.

And, with $1 million in his campaign war chest as of July 25, Hasner had a slight edge over Frankel, who reported $950,000 cash on hand after spending more than $330,000 on TV ads and nearly $16,000 on polling. Jacobs had about $48,000 going into the Aug. 14 primary.

UPDATE: Allen West calls Social Security ‘a form of slavery’

Monday, July 9th, 2012 by Dara Kam

Tea party firebrand U.S. Rep. Allen West likened Social Security to a “form of slavery” in an interview on Fox News this weekend.

West, running for a second term in Congress in the new Palm Beach County-Treasure Coast District 18, said the number of Americans going on Social Security disability is higher since 2009 than the number of new jobs created, blaming President Obama for “creating this sense of economic dependence, which to me is a form of modern, 21st-century slavery.”

West blamed the “liberal media” for misrepresenting his comments in a post on his Facebook page.

“Over the weekend I was on Fox & Friends discussing the growing number of Americans becoming dependent on government programs from food stamps to social security disability. Of course the liberal media is now putting words in mouth and saying I attacked Social Security. The fact is, I will work to protect Social Security and Medicare for our seniors and for future generations. It is too bad the media refuses to report on the failed economic policies of Washington liberals and the dependency culture career politicians are creating to expand their political power,” West said in the post.

West opted to run for the new district instead of seeking reelection to his newly redrawn District 22 seat where Democrats now have a 9-point edge. West’s race against Democrat Patrick Murphy is one of the most high-profile Congressional battles in the state.

Murphy’s campaign jumped on West’s Social Security-bashing, pointing out in a press release that residents over the age of 65 make up about 22 percent of District 18.

“Our seniors have worked their whole lives for a safety net that will allow them to retire with dignity, and Allen West is intent on doing anything he can to make it disappear,” Murphy’s campaign manager Anthony Kusich said.

A week ago, West accused President Obama of wanting to enslave Americans with government programs.

“He does not want you to have the self-esteem of getting up and earning and having that title of American. He’d rather you be his slave,” West told the crowd at a campaign event in Port St. Lucie.

Frankel scores big in quarterly fundraising

Monday, July 2nd, 2012 by Dara Kam

Former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel nailed down $400,000 in this second quarter of fundraising for her congressional race, her campaign announced today.

That brings Frankel’s total contributions to a whopping $2.2 million and making her one of the country’s top-performing fundraisers, according to a press release issued by her campaign.

It’s the fifth quarter in a row in which Frankel raked in more than $300,000. Frankel’s the financial frontrunner District 22 Democratic primary pitting her against Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs. The official campaign finance reports aren’t due to federal elections officials until July 15.

Frankel entered the District 22 race last year in a challenge to incumbent U.S. Rep. Allen West. But after state legislators redrew the Palm Beach-Broward district with a pronounced Democratic tilt, West opted to run for a Palm Beach-Treasure Coast district instead. Jacobs jumped in, setting up an all-female, Democratic duel.

Frankel’s press release boasting about her quarterly figures ignores the primary altogether and instead focuses on Republican District 22 candidate Adam Hasner.

“Our campaign continues to build a grassroots campaign based upon the idea of focusing on getting our economy working again. Over the next 5 months, Lois’ campaign will have the resources necessary to her message out in
Broward and Palm Beach Counties,” the release reads.

Also today, Frankel announced the endorsement of fellow Palm Beach County politico U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, while Jacobs announced the support of the SEIU labor union.

Back at you: Frankel challenges Jacobs to play nice in U.S. House race

Monday, June 25th, 2012 by Dara Kam

Congressional hopeful Lois Frankel said she’ll debate her Democratic opponent Kristin Jacobs before the Aug. 14 Democratic primary.

But in return, she’s asking Jacobs, a Broward County Commissioner, to agree to play nice in the U.S. House District 22 campaigns. The winner of the contest between the two women will face off against Adam Hasner, a former state House representative who also served as House majority leader, in November.

Earlier today, Jacobs’ campaign manager asked Frankel to reconsider her refusal to participate in a Palm Beach Post/WPTV Channel 5 debate scheduled for July 12. The debate was canceled after Frankel said no.

In her response, Frankel agreed to a debate (Jacobs wants four before the primary election) without saying when. Then she made her own request.

“As I’m sure you know I have always debated my previous opponents- and I expect that we will debate as well.
However, with all the critical issues facing South Florida and our nation as well as the dysfunction of the Republican-led House of Representatives, we need to be concerned first and foremost about sending a Democrat to Congress from this seat. I’m sure you agree that has to be the most important outcome of this election cycle.

To that end, I am joining with both the Palm Beach and Broward Democratic County Chairs in calling for a positive primary campaign. I pledge to run no negative commercials against you, send no negative mailings
or any other kind of communications if you simply do the same. Voters are tired of the same old slash and burn campaigns, and we do not need to give Adam Hasner and his extremist allies any comfort from a needlessly divisive Democratic primary,” Frankel wrote, adding that she would be happy to work with Jacobs’ campaign to set up a debate date.

Kristin Jacobs challenges Lois Frankel to debates in U.S. House race

Monday, June 25th, 2012 by Dara Kam

A July 12 pre-primary debate planned by The Palm Beach Post and WPTV Channel 5 between Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs and former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel won’t happen because Frankel refused to participate.

But Jacobs, the underdog in the Democratic race for the U.S. House District 22 seat, is pressuring Frankel to change her mind.

Jacobs’ campaign manager Marcia Monserrat sent Frankel’s campaign chief Greg Richardson a letter today asking for four debates before the Aug. 14 primary. The winner of the Democratic race will face off against Republican Adam Hasner. The seat, now held by U.S. Rep. Allen West, was redrawn and is now a Democratic-leaning district that encompasses parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties. Jacobs is asking Frankel for two debates in each county.

Frankel, a former state representative who also served as the state House Democratic Leader, has been in the race longer and is sitting on a much fatter war chest. While she refused the invitation to debate on July 12, Frankel hasn’t ruled out another date before the primary election.

“It’s time for Democratic voters to see the candidates side-by-side and hear where we stand on the issues,” Jacobs said in a press release. “Voters deserve to know about the key differences between the candidates. That’s why I’m calling for a total of four debates, two in each county, so that people can hear from the candidates about the issues that matter most.”

West slams door on U.S. Senate run

Monday, August 22nd, 2011 by Dara Kam

U.S. Rep. Allen West has officially shut the door on a U.S. Senate run and will instead seek reelection to his current seat, West said in a statement issued today.

The outspoken West, a tea party idol from Plantation and the only Republican in the Congressional Black Caucus, recently made news when he called himself a modern-day Harriet Tubman during an interview with FoxNews’ Bill O’Reilly.

“Over the last several weeks, numerous leaders of the Florida Republican Party, including current and past elected officials, have spoken to me about the race for the United States Senate. Out of respect, I was willing to listen,” West said in the release.

“I have been given one of the highest honors to serve in the House of Representatives and I will continue to serve the citizens in that capacity. I will not seek the Republican nomination for the United States Senate in 2012. With regard to my future, the only goal I have is to do my very best to represent the constituents of the Congressional District and to restore the exceptionalism of our nation.”

Last week, West told reporters the door was open “a crack” to the possibility that he would run, saying it would be disrespectful to supporters to “slam the door in their face.”

Nancy Argenziano to run as Democrat against incumbent Southerland

Monday, August 1st, 2011 by Dara Kam

Nancy Argenziano, a former chairwoman of the Public Service Commission and lifelong Republican, is running against incumbent freshman U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland – as a Democrat. Southerland, a Panama City Republican, ousted Congressional veteran Allen Boyd, a Democrat, from his North Florida District 2 seat in November.

Argenziano, who earned a reputation as a maverick during her tenure in both the state House and Senate, will formally enter the race for the North Florida Congressional seat within two weeks, Argenziano said.

Argenziano sent a letter to supporters declaring her intention to run as a Democrat, saying she needs at least $200,000 to be taken seriously as a candidate and to get the Democratic National Congressional Committee to throw some money her way.

Argenziano has been an outspoken critic of GOP leaders as a legislator and as a utility regulator, appointed by Gov. Charlie Crist, and unleashed her sharp tongue in her message to supporters, explaining why she is switching parties. Crist also abandoned the GOP in a failing bid as an independent against now-U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

“Current Republican leaders have neither patience with nor allowance for honest elected officials, and they demand that members of the various legislatures – who, after all, have sworn to uphold the Constitution – instead just follow the hijacked party line and shut up,” Argenziano wrote. “While I am of the opinion that Americans are not ready to vote in a third party, greater parity of the two parties in state legislatures would allow for far better public policy. When one party – or one intransigent, ideological arm of a party – controls governmental and political policy, as in Florida, it breeds a dangerous hubris and promotes the worst kind of extremism and acceptance of those whose public service is merely a well paid hobby.”

Scott testified in DC on pill mills – watch live

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011 by Dara Kam

Gov. Rick Scott testifies in front of the House Energy and Commerce Committee about prescription drug abuse.

Gov. Rick Scott will appear before a Congressional committee on Thursday to testify about prescription drug abuse.

Watch the hearing live now.

Scott will join Gov. Steve Beshear of Kentucky, a Democrat, at the hearing entitled “Warning: The Growing Danger of Prescription Drug Diversion” at the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade chaired by Rep. Mary Bono Mack.

Scott, who previously asked lawmakers for a repeal of the statewide prescription drug database law enforcement officials say is crucial in cracking down on prescription drug abuse, yesterday signed off on the latest state House pill mill bill that would keep the database, restrict doctors’ ability to dole out the drugs and establish new standards for pharmacies. The compromise raises hopes that the House and Senate will strike a deal on pill mill legislation before the session ends on May 6.

Democrat challenges ‘right wing extremist’ West

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011 by Dara Kam

Ft. Lauderdale businessman Patrick Murphy, a Democrat, is running against U.S. Rep. Allen West, a tea party favorite who unseated U.S. Rep. Ron Klein in November.

“I love my country. I love South Florida. I’m not going to stand by while right wing extremists like Allen West divide us,” Murphy, vice president of Coastal Environmental Services, said in a press release today announcing his candidacy for District 22, which includes parts of Broward and Palm Beach counties.

National Democrats have targeted West in next year’s elections.

“South Florida simply deserves better than what it’s now getting out of Washington. If we’re going to actually create jobs and protect families, we need representation that isn’t looking backwards,” Murphy said.

Murphy’s company specializes in disaster relief and environmental cleanup, and last year, the native Floridian spent six months in the Gulf of Mexico doing clean-up work after BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil disaster. West, who lives in Plantation, supports offshore oil drilling.

Snakes alive! Rooney joins python posse push

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009 by Dara Kam

U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney has filed a bill to blacklist Burmese pythons and other unwelcome animal immigrants from entering the country.

The Tequesta Republican has joined the movement, led by Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, to rid the River of Grass of the perilous pests after a pet python strangled to death a two-year-old Florida girl.

python1About 150,000 pythons, not native to Florida, have taken up residence in the Everglades, threatening other endangered wildlife there, including Florida panthers and wood storks.

Rooney’s backing two bills to crack down on bringing invasive animals into the country.

One McCarthy-esque proposal would create a black list of nonnative species would create a black list of nonnative species barred from being brought into the United States and a green list of creatures that would be welcome.
The other would add Burmese pythons to the list of dangerous animals, similar to a measure Nelson filed several months ago.

Rooney’s hunting proposal is similar to a Nelson made today asking U.S. Department of the Interior Ken Salazar to approve a python-killing season in the ‘Glades to rid the national treasure of the invaders.

Read Rooney’s press release here.

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