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308 posts from October 2010

October 28, 2010

Video: Rick Scott on the road: Day 3, Six cities

Republican Rick Scott spent Day 3 of his statewide bus tour Wednesday traveling from Vero Beach, Titusville, Lake Mary, Ocala, Newberry and Gainesville. He treated his supporters to two breakfasts and one pizza lunch. He stopped for his weekly hair cut at the Bent Pole in Melbourne and he finished the night at a black tie and blue jeans event at and equestrian stadium in Gainesville.

Video: Rick Scott on the road: Day 3, Six cities

Ocla, Republican Rick Scott spent Day 3 of his statewide bus tour Wednesday traveling from Vero Beach, Titusville, Lake Mary, Ocala, Newberry and Gainesville. He treated his supporters to two breakfasts and one pizza lunch. He stopped for his weekly hair cut at the Bent Pole in Melbourne and he finished the night at a black tie and blue jeans event at and equistrian stadium in Gainesville.

Meek denies thinking about quitting

Kendrick Meek's campaign manager, Abe Dyk, said of the Politico story about the U.S. Senate race. "The article is not true. Kendrick Meek was never dropping out of this race, is never dropping out of this race, and will never drop out of this race. Kendrick Meek will always stand up for the middle class and will not leave Floridians a choice between two lifelong conservative Republicans who only stand with the special interests. Kendrick is the Democratic nominee so if anyone should drop out, it's Charlie Crist."

Dyk noted that the article says Meek and Clinton spoke in Jacksonville but they were never together in that city last week. They campaigned together Tuesday in St. Petersburg and Wednesday in Orlando. Meek was in Jacksonville on Thurday, Dyk said, but not with Clinton.

Democratic source confirms Clinton told Meek to quit

A prominent Florida Democrat is confirming the Politico story that says former President Bill Clinton urged Democrat Kendrick Meek to drop out of the Senate race. Meek has been mired in third place, splitting the Democratic vote with Gov. Charlie Crist as Republican Marco Rubio surged to the lead.

"There was an effort to get Kendrick out of the race, a heart to heart conversation with Kendrick about dropping out of the race,'' said the source, who asked not to be identified. "Clinton is totally loyal but there's no glory in finishing third. As the polls are coming out now with Kendrick in the teens, anyone who is really his friend would tell him he needs to think about how he can make a difference in this race." 

Politico: Clinton tried to get Meek to drop out

Politico: Bill Clinton sought to persuade Rep. Kendrick Meek to drop out of the race for Senate during a trip to Florida last week – and nearly succeeded.

Meek agreed – twice – to drop out and endorse Governor Charlie Crist’s independent bid in a last-ditch effort to stop the Marco Rubio, the Republican nominee who stands on the cusp of national stardom.

Meek, a staunch Clinton ally from Miami, has failed to broaden his appeal around the state and is mired in third place in most public polls, with a survey today showing him with just 15% of the vote. His withdrawal, polls suggest, would throw core Democratic voters to the moderate governor, rocking a complicated three-way contest and likely throwing the election to Crist.

The former President’s top aide, Doug Band, initially served as the intermediary between Meek and Crist, and Clinton became involved only when Meek signaled that he would seriously consider the option, Clinton spokesman Matt McKenna confirmed to POLITICO.

“The argument was: ‘You can be a hero here. You can stop him, you can change this race in one swoop,’” said another Democrat familiar with the conversations, who said Clinton had bluntly told Meek that he couldn’t win the race.

More here.

Gelber defended against "toxic to Jewish education" attack

Powerful lawyers accustomed to throwing their weight around the courtroom have condemned an attack ad saying Dan Gelber, Democratic candidate for attorney general, is "toxic to Jewish education.''

The lawyers argue that the mailer, sent recently to Jewish voters in South Florida, was funded by an anonymous group that supports Gelber's Republican opponent, Pam Bondi.

Bondi, incidentally, supports taxpayer-funded education vouchers for private schools. Gelber does not.

The mailer was paid for by the Committee for Florida's Education, Inc., which describes itself as a newly formed coalition of Jewish advocates. It has targeted not only Gelber, a Jewish state senator from Miami Beach, but also Alex Sink, Democratic candidate for governor, and Loranne Ausley, Democratic candidate for chief financial officer.

The group's complaint: All three Democrats don't support the state scholarship program for children who want to attend religious schools, especially in Jewish communities. Gelber's legal allies said in a letter that the mailer contains "blatant falsehoods.''

"The most inflammatory claims deal with Senator Gelber's call for investigations of how voucher money was being spent,'' states the letter, penned by former South Florida federal prosecutor Bruce Udolf. "The truth?  Senator Gelber expressed deep concern that one school receiving voucher money, the Islamic Academy of Florida, sent $350,000 overseas to fund terrorist activity.''

The letter was signed by 100 high-profile South Floridian members of the Jewish faith, including U.S. Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and former Congressman Robert Wexler.

A spokeswoman for Bondi's campaign said it was not behind the attack ad. "Our campaign had nothing to do with this flyer,'' Kim Kirtley said.

 -- JAY WEAVER

  


Rick Scott's new ad uses Sink's statements on cheating against her

"If someone lies or cheats, I hold them accountable." Those words from a television ad of Democrat Alex Sink's early in the campaign are now being used against her in a new web ad by the Rick Scott campaign for governor. Scott's add strings together media reports on the debate episode in which Sink received a message on a Droid phone from her political advisor on Monday. Sink fired the aide, Brian May, and later said she didn't know what the message said.

With three new polls showing a statistical tie, and three days after the incident, Scott's campaign is running the ad statewide.

Crist to Dems: Who loves ya baby?

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Not so fast! Rasmussen poll says Rick Scott ahead of Alex Sink by 3

Two polls show Alex Sink leads Rick Scott. But Rasmussen Reports shows (kind of) the opposite: Scott over Sink 48-45:

The Florida governor’s race is a bit tighter as Election Day nears.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the Sunshine State finds Republican Rick Scott with a three-point lead – 48% to 45% - over Democrat Alex Sink. Three percent (3%) prefer some other candidate in the race, while four percent (4%) are still undecided. The race, which shifted a week ago to Leans Republican, now moves back to a Toss-Up in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.

 More here

2 polls show Alex Sink up, Rick Scott disliked by half of likely voters

   Democrat Alex Sink has a slight lead over Rick Scott in two new governor's race polls that both show half of likely voters have a negative impression of her Republican rival.

Sink leads Scott by 3 percentage points in a Mason-Dixon Polling & Research survey. And she's up by 4 percentage points in the Quinnipiac University poll released earlier Thursday.

Both leads aren't solid and are essentially within the polls' error margins. Also, the Quinnipiac survey found that 9 percent of those who name a candidate say they could change their mind by Nov. 2. That makes the race too close to call, putting pressure on both candidates and their political parties to turn out their base voters. Sink could have more of a challenge motivating Democrats, who are less enthusiastic about voting this year.

Both polls anticipate a disproportionately higher number of Republican voters casting ballots this year, but Sink leads anyway thanks to the support of independent voters, who decide close Florida elections. Also, registered Democrats greatly outnumber registered Republicans in Florida.

“A very large Republican turn-out margin seems to be the only shot Scott has to win this race,'' Mason-Dixon pollster Brad Coker said in an analysis.

Coker's poll shows Sink with a 51-37 advantage over Scott among independent voters. Quinnipiac's independent split: 42 percent for Sink and 37 percent for Scott. Both polls show that more Republicans will vote for Sink when compared to the Democrats who will vote for Scott.

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