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121 posts from January 2007

January 28, 2007

Crist's man wins by lucky seven

Yesterday's vote for Jim Greer as the new chairman of the Republican Party of Florida was unexpectedly close: 102-89. That means that if seven GOP leaders had switched sides, Carole Jean Jordan would have won another term and Gov. Charlie Crist would have had mud on his face.

Activists said the vote had more to do with the rank and file's affection for Jordan than their feelings toward Crist and his little-known choice.

Read a profile of Greer here and click here  to lean more about the intrigue behind the vote, Republican politics and the 2008 presidential election. 


Bush excites conservative faithful

What's a true conservative looking for a presidential candidate to do? The top three choices: a Mormon from liberal Massachusetts, a senator who lashed out at Jerry Falwell, and a former mayor who thought it was fun to get dressed up as drag queen.

Ah, if only for Jeb Bush, who defended conservative Republican principles yesterday at a gathering of the Conservative Summit in Washington.

Read the Washington Post story here, and then check out another Post story here in which he compares very favorably to his presidential brother.

January 27, 2007

RPOF musical chairs

The music at last night's Republican Party of Florida reception in Orlando said it all.

When Gov. Charlie Crist walked into the ballroom, he was immediately greeted by his handpicked new party chairman, Jim Greer. The song playing at that moment: Tammy Wynette's "Stand By Your Man.''

Meanwhile, supporters of the current chairwoman, Carole Jean Jordan, were quietly trying to line up support for her re-election. When Greer took the stage to sing with the band, he belted out Elvis Presley's "Suspicious Minds.''

Read more about Greer here.

January 26, 2007

Broward hits a home run in the YR Hall of Fame

Their mommas must be proud. Tomorrow, two former chairmen of the Broward Republican Party - George LeMieux and Ed Pozzuoli - will be inducted into the Florida Young Republican Hall of Fame.

LeMieux is chief of staff to Gov. Charlie Crist. Pozzuoli is president of the Tripp Scott law firm in Fort Lauderdale. Previous inductees include newly elected Attorney General Bill McCollum and U.S. Rep. Bill Young.

"When they put you in the hall of fame, I think it means you're getting old,'' joked Pozzuoli, who is 44.

LeMieux, who is 37, said: "At least I'm still young enough to be a Young Republican."

Just barely. The Florida Federation of Young Republicans defines a YR as a registered voter who is 40 years old or under.

Monday morning quarterbacking on Miami-Dade strong mayor

African-Americans voted overwhelmingly against it. Hispanics supported it. Anglo voters were divided.

That's the post-election analysis of the Miami-Dade strong mayor referendum by Dario Moreno, director of The Metropolitan Center at Florida International University.

About 78 percent of Hispanic voters, 57 percent of Anglo voters and only 8 percent of African-American voters said yes to Mayor Carlos Alvarez's proposal.

The four black county commissioners ran a vigorous campaign against the measure, arguing that it would diminish their community's voice. It worked. Those four commission districts were the only areas that voted down the referendum.

A Miami Herald analysis showed that heavily Democratic precincts strongly opposed the measure boosting the Republican mayor, while majority Republican precincts favored it.

Another interesting factoid: early and absentee voters favored the referendum, while the Election Day vote was split. Had the county commissioners gotten their act together earlier, they might have prevailed.

Crist rewards Broward supporters

Remember when the Broward Republican Party took the unprecedented step of endorsing one Republican over another - Charlie Crist over Tom Gallagher - in the gubernatorial primary?

Now that Crist is governor, he figured a thank-you note wasn't enough. The party's chairman, Shane Strum, and vice chairwoman, Maureen Jaeger, have been put on the state payroll.

Strum, who helped launch a Pompano Beach company that builds software for the insurance industry, is the new deputy secretary for the Department of Management Services. Jaeger, a paralegal from the state attorney general's office, is a special assistant to the governor for Broward and Palm Beach counties.

"It's an honor to work for the governor,'' Jaeger said.

She and Strum resigned their local party posts. An election to pick their replacements will be held Feb. 26.

January 25, 2007

Couldn't make it to DC, there's still a chance to see your local reps

Most of South Florida's congressional delegation is scheduled to attend a mock swearing-in ceremony Monday on the steps of the federal courthouse in downtown Miami.

Those RSVP'ng for the 10 a.m. (SHARP, says the press release) include: Miami Republicans Ileana Ros. Lehtinen and Mario and Lincoln Diaz-Balart, along with Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, Rep. Kendrick Meek, D-Miami and Rep. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton. Former Rep. Carrie Meek, D-Miami, will attend as a special guest.

The oath of office will be administered by U.S. District Judge James Lawrence King.

Ros-Lehtinen's office said the local swearing-in ceremony is a tradition, allowing families, friends and interested parties who couldn't make the trek to DC for the official swearing-in. That ceremony took place Jan. 4 at the U.S. Capitol.

The courthouse is at 99 NE 4th St in Miami. The event - which is open to the public - will be followed by a reception, but attendees will have to show a photo ID to attend.

Rubio refuses to say if he ousted lawmakers

House Speaker Marco Rubio refused to answer questions Thursday on whether he had forced Rep. Don Brown, a DeFuniak Springs Reublican, and Rep. Dennis Ross, a Lakeland Republican, to give up their leadership posts in the Florida House. Rubio announced a day earlier that Ross and Brown had offered their resignations, but Ross said that Rubio demanded that he resign because Ross voted against the big insurance reform package passed by lawmakers on Monday.

"I stand by my statement,'' said Rubio, shortly after watching Crist sign the insurance bill into law. "I have nothing further to say on this issue."

Crist refuses to talk about paternity question

Gov. Charlie Crist said today he would ''not dignify with a comment'' a request from the parents of a girl adopted 17 years ago to confirm whether or not he is the child's biological father.

The couple, Marshall and Cecilia Tucker of St. Petersburg, told the St. Petersburg Times in today's editions that they have documentation indicating that the biological mother is Rebecca O'Dell Townsend, who has claimed that the governor is the father of the child. More here.

Katherine in the House, photographic evidence

U.S. News & World Report posts photographs of former Rep. Katherine Harris, R-Sarasota, making the rounds Tuesday night on the House floor.

Harris, who as a former member of Congress, retains the right to enter the chamber, apparently passed out business cards and invites to her Capitol Hill home before President Bush took the stage for his state of the union address.

Photos here: www.usnews.com/usnews/politics/washingtonwhispers/070124/and_you_thought_katherine_harr.htm