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282 posts from September 2010

September 30, 2010

Rubio up 13 points in Q poll

Quinnipiac University: Republican Marco Rubio holds a solid 46 – 33 percent likely voter lead over Gov. Charlie Crist, running as an independent in the race for Florida’s U.S. Senate seat, with Democrat U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek at 18 percent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today. Rubio, a former speaker of the Florida House of Representatives and a favorite of the Tea Party movement, is benefitting from strong voter anger at the federal government, likely voters tell the independent Quinnipiac  University survey, conducted by live interviewers.“It is no coincidence that Rubio is getting 46 percent of the vote and 48 percent of the electorate is angry at Washington,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

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September 29, 2010

Another take on the scrapped Cuba vote: Not enough votes to lift the travel ban?

The Hill posits that it was a shortage of lawmakers who would vote in favor that doomed consideration of legislation to lift the travel ban to Cuba: "The House Foreign Affairs Committee had scheduled a Wednesday markup on Rep. Collin Peterson’s (D-Minn.) measure, which was approved by Peterson’s Agriculture panel earlier this year. But the markup on Tuesday was postponed.

"Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-Calif.) has been trying to secure 24 votes on the 47-member panel to approve the bill, but an analysis by The Hill shows only 16 members have publicly committed to it."

Other blogs have speculated that the powerful Cuban American political action committee that backs the restrictions played a role.

New poll has Rubio up by 11, Scott by 2

CNN-Time:In Florida, Republican Marco Rubio is ahead of Governor Charlie Crist with 42% support of likely voters to Crist’s 31% and Democratic Rep. Kendrick Meek’s 23%. In the gubernatorial contest Democrat Alex Sink is losing 45% to Rick Scott’s 47%. Scott is pulling 50% of the Independent vote compared to Sink’s 37%.

Governor candidates saturate TV airwaves with 3,000+ ads

The top two candidates for governor -- Republican Rick Scott and Democrat Alex Sink -- combined for 3,038 TV ads in previous Monday-Sunday, according to a new report from The Nielsen Company.

While Scott ran 130 more ads, Sink pumped more into Orlando, according to the company's analysis. Ten percent of Sink's ads ran in primetime slots, compared to 6 percent of Scott's.

Neilsen also measured total TV exposure by combining closed-captioned mentions in paid and free media. According to that measure, Sink registered considerably more on-air mentions than Scott every day of the week.

Dems launch two more ads attacking Scott, introducing Sink

Who needs an attack ad when you have the media to do it? That's the situation the Alex Sink camp is in today with a new three-pack ad being aired by the Florida Democratic Party and another featuring Sink comparing her business record with Republican Rick Scott's.

The ad called "Trust" snatches quotes from television reports on Columbia/HCA's "medicare fraud." It quotes a television interview: "He took the fifth amendment 75 times in his last deposition" and it ends with a Fox News anchor asking: "The question here is how could you have missed such an abuse by your own company?"

The second ad, dubbed "Integrity" features Sink in a soft voice, with barely a sign of her southern accent, "saying Floridians have a lot of questions about Rick Scott." She quotes his company's $1.7 billion in fines and her bank's $1.7 billion in loans "Newspapers say I ran my company with honest and integrity," she says.


Atwater: Ausley has a free lunch problem

Only a day after Loranne Ausley called for the Legislature to follow the law and audit lobbyist expendiature reports, Jeff Atwater's campaign is hitting Ausley for a bill she sponsored that they say would undermine the lobbyist gift ban. The bill in question would have allowed lobbyists to pay for up to $19 in meals for a lawmaker at a meeting where governmental issues or items in the public were being discussed.

“That reform (requiring the lobbyist audits) included a very matter-of-fact gift ban,” said Atwater spokesman Brian Hughes. “Just a few years after that, she sponsored this legislation which undermined the gift ban. That’s hypocrisy.”

Ausley spokesman Kevin Cate e-mailed over a response that did not address her bill: “It’s nice to welcome Jeff Atwater to the campaign, if only to defend his refusal to follow the law and audit lobbyists. Now if only he had a platform, or a defense of his $2 billion in tax hikes, or his votes for the $48 million Taj Mahal, or the $110 million private prison to nowhere, or his RPOF AmEx card. I’m sure this will all be explained in detail at the debate that he refuses to have with the real fiscal watchdog in the campaign, Loranne Ausley. ”

Mailing it in: Dems attempt to paint Republicans as the 'usual suspects'


Hitting mail boxes this week is the latest installment in the Florida Democratic strategy to push their slate of statewide candidates by using the procession of recent problems at the Republican Party of Florida.

The mailer (here), which follows a similar piece distributed Saturday, is stamped three times with reminders for voters to return their mail ballots.

Inside the mailer are the St. Petersburg Times front pages following the arrests of former House Speaker Ray Sansom and former state Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer. It also mentions Republican U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio's recurring credit card questions and the record Medicare fraud committed by GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott's former hospital company.

"It's a great script for comedy," according to the piece, "but the joke has been on us."

Despite concerns now, Charlie Crist approved Taj Mahal courthouse. Three times

Gov. Charlie Crist is shocked -- shocked!-- that lawmakers in 2007 slipped money into the Florida budget to build what has become known as the Taj Mahal, the First District Court of Appeal building. Here's what he told a FOX station in Tampa: "Slipping something like that into the budget -- you know, secretly, essentially -- is always wrong. It's never appropriate."

But wait. Crist's office actually saw the appropriation in 2007 and never raised an objection. His internal records from the Office of Policy & Budget show that the item was attached to.... former House Speaker Ray Sansom, the budget chief at the time who was subsequently indicted for alleged wrongdoing in handling the state budget in another matter. The document, nicknamed the "turkey list," explicitly notes a $250,000 appropriation linked to an initial $33.5 million expenditure for the 1st DCA courthouse in HB985, a transportation-related bill.

Crist said he doesn't remember the appropriation in the state budget, but we know he closely reviewed the turkey list in 2007 because he proudly touted record vetoes of $459 million that year. To reach that eye-popping number, Crist used some creative math and counted a tuition fee increase worth $39 million -- even though that number wasn't in the budget document itself. Neither was all the DCA money (just $7.9m was), incidentally. Yet Crist chose not to veto it. Call that approval number 1.

Continue reading "Despite concerns now, Charlie Crist approved Taj Mahal courthouse. Three times" »

George LeMieux: Alan Grayson should apologize to Dan Webster

LeMieux via Twitter: "Alan Grayson's attack ad on Dan Webster is outrageous. He should take it down and apologize."

Was money talking when it came to decision to pull the Cuba travel bill?

That's what the blog, Along the Malecon, is asking, noting that House Foreign Affairs committee chair Howard Berman -- who says he supports lifting the travel ban but postponed a vote on the matter -- has accepted campaign dollars from the pro-embargo group, the U.S. Cuba Democracy PAC.

The group has contributed $7,000 to Berman this year, according to Open Secrets.org.