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13 posts from July 2006

July 29, 2006

Car dealers choose Crist

While the general election for the next governor of Florida is more than three months away, there's no doubt who car dealers and other businesses in the auto industry want to succeed Gov. Jeb Bush.

It's Attorney General Charlie Crist, who has received 465 contributions totaling about $225,000 from executives and companies in the automotive industry. That's by far the most the industry has contributed to any candidate in the race. Here's the lowdown.

July 28, 2006

Presidential attention

Top Republicans have made no secret of their dismay over Rep. Katherine Harris's run for the Senate. But President Bush had kind words for the Sarasota congressman when he saw her last week at a bill signing in the Rose Garden.

"The president just congratulated me on being cancer free. Isn't that nice?" said Harris, who underwent recent surgery to remove an ovarian mass. "I didn't think he even knew."

Bush chatted only briefly with Harris, but he appeared delighted to see Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, the Weston Democrat who was also at the bill signing for a law that cracks down on sexual predators. He grabbed Wasserman Schultz's hand and then her shoulder, noting that he was heading down to Florida "to see my little brother."

"Oh, my good friend," retorted Wasserman Schultz, who as a Florida House member was a frequent critic of Gov. Jeb Bush's administration.

Wasserman Schultz said Bush greeted her when he walked out to the ceremony. "He said, 'Hey Deb, How are you doing,' " Wasserman Schultz said. "He was so nice to me I almost fell over."

Perhaps it was the recent publicity the congresswoman has earned: She was named one of the 50 Most Beautiful people on Capitol Hill in an article by the Hill, a Capitol Hill publication.

Fundraiser in chief

President Bush, in town Sunday and Monday for an image-boosting trip that includes a tour of the port of Miami and a return visit to the National Hurricane Center, will top off the visit with a top dollar fundraiser to benefit the Republican National Committee.

The committee, which runs much of the party's get-out-the-vote efforts, closed the quarter with $44.7 million in the bank, outgunning the Democratic National Committee which has $10.8 million in the bank. But the Democrats' House and Senate campaign organizations hold a $23 million edge over similar Republicans efforts.

The $25,000 per person or $50,000 a couple event will be held at Miami developer Armando Codina's Coral Gables home. Bush will be joined by his brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, a former business partner of Codina.