March 27, 2013

Bill Nelson has 'no intention' of running for gov, stays mum on Crist

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said he is not planning to run against Gov. Rick Scott in the 2014 governor's race but stopped short of completely ruling it out.

"I'm not planning to run for governor," he said Wednesday in Tallahassee. "I have no intention of running for governor. I've got plenty to do as serving as the senator of this state, and that's why I'm here today, in my role as senator."

Will you say that you won't run for governor? a reporter asked. "I said what I said," Nelson replied

Continue reading "Bill Nelson has 'no intention' of running for gov, stays mum on Crist" »

March 13, 2013

Fallout is fast for Allied Veterans, lobbying team resigns

The lobbying team who represented Allied Veterans, and its software company International Internet Technologies, terminated its relationship yesterday in light of the federal investigation into racketeering when they determined that the company has misrepresented itself to them, said its former spokeswoman Sarah Bascom.

The lobbying team:

   Sarah Bascom
   H. Douglas Bruce
   Carlos M. Cruz
   Scott Dick
   Richard E. Gentry
   Ron Greenstein
   Jeff Hartley
   Eliakim Nortelus
   William Gregory Turbeville

International Internet Technologies and its owners and affiliates have spent $340,000 in campaign contributions in the last election cycle and $195,000 in the 2010 cycle. Allied Veterans also gave $25,000 to Gov. Rick Scott for his inauguration and the money went to the Wounded Warriors program. 

 

February 05, 2013

Alex Sink: Florida's new male-centric business brand is 'terrible'

FloridaClimateforBiz_LogoFormer CFO Alex Sink is weighing in on the state’s new proposal to rebrand itself for business, calling it “terrible” and joining a growing list of critics who are slamming the orange-tie imagery as sexist.

Here’s what Sink posted on Facebook this afternoon:

Did you see this? http://bit.ly/YB9rnx What a terrible way to brand our state. We are diverse. We are modern. And we won't stand for our state to be portrayed as having a stuffy, outdated climate for business. Share this photo if you agree and let your friends and family know that we are the state of innovators and entrepreneurs. Ditch the tie and join us. DitchTheTie_AlexSink

Sink, who fell 60,000 votes short of becoming the state’s first female governor in 2010, was defeated by Gov. Rick Scott.

Last week Scott hailed the orange tie image as “a brand that will solidify our reputation to the nation and the world.”

Enterprise Florida is standing by the brand, even as it deals with a barrage of controversy in recent days, starting with its decision to outsource a $200,000 Florida branding contract to a Tennessee-based company. When the new business brand was unveiled, several businesswomen slammed it as sexist, because it was anchored on the image of a necktie. On Tuesday, a watchdog group blasted EFI for engaging in “pay-to-play” cronyism and “corporate welfare” through its multimillion-dollar incentives program. Lawmakers are also looking to crack down on incentives, and EFI has been defending them as proven investments in economic development.

Sink is one of a handful of potential 2014 challengers to Scott, who is facing dangerously low poll numbers.

 @ToluseO

January 27, 2013

Despite dismal poll numbers, Rick Scott still a challenge for Democrats

by MarcACaputo

Rick Scott’s poll numbers look dismal. His finances don’t.

"One number should worry you: $70 million. That’s how much Rick Scott spent in 2010," Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, Miami-Dade’s new Democratic chairwoman, told Democrats this weekend.

To be clear, she was referring to Scott’s personal money. And it was actually closer to $75.1 million.

Include the Republican Party, and Scott probably spent just under $100 million. He was worth at least $218 million at the time, but reports he lost net worth after becoming governor. His wife has millions more.

Scott is prepared to spend as much or more in 2014.

The money race is on. And Democrats are losing it. But they know it.

Continue reading "Despite dismal poll numbers, Rick Scott still a challenge for Democrats" »

January 16, 2013

PPP: Rick Scott would get killed by Charlie Crist, could lose to Alex Sink, Pam Iorio, Debbie Wasserman Schultz

From Public Policy Polling, which typically surveys for Democrats and liberals. Note: It looks like it didn't poll a Charlie Crist-Alex Sink Democratic match-up:

Raleigh, N.C. – While Floridians might not be familiar with some of the potential Democratic candidates running against Governor Rick Scott for the Governor race in 2014, poll numbers show that they are not happy with Scott’s job performance.

Florida voter approval of Rick Scott’s job performance is 33% with 57% disapproving.

When asked about the favorability of newly turned Democrat Charlie Crist, the former Republican Governor of Florida, voters have a 49% favorable opinion while 38% have an unfavorable opinion of him.
Among Republican primary voters, Governor Rick Scott has a 56% approval rating and 32% disapproval rating. When pitted against Republican Pam Bondi for Governor in 2014, Rick Scott leads (49-25). If challenging Republican Allen West, Rick Scott trails (37-38).

Continue reading "PPP: Rick Scott would get killed by Charlie Crist, could lose to Alex Sink, Pam Iorio, Debbie Wasserman Schultz" »

January 09, 2013

Alex Sink backs Alan Clendenin in FL Dem Party chair race

Interesting high-profile endorsement for Alan Clendenin in his bid to lead the Florida Democratic Party: Alex Sink, the 2010 and possibly 2014 candidate for governor. To date, Clendenin opponent Allison Tant has soaked up all the establishment help, namely Sen. Bill Nelson and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz. The press release:

Continue reading "Alex Sink backs Alan Clendenin in FL Dem Party chair race" »

January 04, 2013

Alex Sink posts about late husband Bill McBride, thanks supporters

Alex Sink just posted a message on her Facebook page thanking the people who have offered words of comfort and sympathy in the two weeks following the death of her husband, Bill McBride. The 67-year-old former gubernatorial candidate died of a heart attack on Dec. 22 and was funeralized last week.

Sink's post today is the first time she updated her Facebook page since the death of her husband. Here is what she wrote:

Dear friends:
You have comforted and inspired me and our children by your support, love and prayers, and by your touching, heart-felt tributes to Bill, which continue to pour in, even now, nearly two weeks after his passing.
My daughter, Lexi, my son, Bert, and I, can’t thank you enough.
The remembrances and testimonials, coming from those of you who knew Bill well, less well, or from those of you who knew him simply by reading or hearing about him, are uplifting.
You noted how Bill’s life’s work was about helping others, and to make the world a better place for those struggling or less fortunate.
At the memorial service last week in Tampa, Bert also spoke of the invaluable lessons Bill bestowed on him about making the world a better place. And Lexi spoke so movingly about how Bill was such a devoted and wonderful father and family man.
In the media, in your calls, cards, emails and messages, either here on Facebook or elsewhere, we heard you talk about how “Bill believed that public service was a higher calling;” of “the selflessness he bestowed on friends and strangers alike, his cherished Florida and the causes that needed him;” and how Bill “wasn’t looking down party lines; he was looking at people and what they believed in and stood for and if they, too, believed in making Florida better.”
We heard you describe Bill as “always willing to listen, find a solution and help others … strong and courageous, gentle and compassionate.” We heard you talk about how “Bill's light shines bright today through those of us who were fortunate enough to know him.”
I will always recall, as will many other people who knew Bill, the words he almost always used to end his conversations … and Bill always meant them: “Is there anything I can do for you?”
Your words paint a loving picture of my husband, Bill McBride, and a wonderful legacy.
Thank you, everyone, from the bottom of my heart.
Alex

December 24, 2012

Memorial service for Bill McBride is Friday

A memorial service for former gubernatorial candidate Bill McBride will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at the Palma Ceia Presbyterian Church, 3501 San Jose St. in Tampa.

The service is open to the public. The family will receive friends in the courtyard of the church at the conclusion of the service.

McBride, 67, died of a heart attack Saturday while on a holiday trip in Mount Airy, N.C. 

Stay tuned to this link for more information.

December 23, 2012

Bill McBride, husband of Alex Sink and former gubernatorial candidate, dies

Bill McBride, a former Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Tampa lawyer, died Saturday.

He had a heart attack Saturday evening while in Mount Airy, N.C., with family, according to his wife, Alex Sink, also a former Democratic gubernatorial candidate.

Mr. McBride, who lost the 2002 gubernatorial election to Jeb Bush, was 67 years old.

Watch this link for more information.

December 13, 2012

Private poll: Crist has big lead in Democratic primary

A new private poll of 1,000 Democratic voters gives former Gov. Charlie Crist an overwhelming advantage over all other Democrats in a hypothetical primary for governor, including a 21-point lead in a test matchup against Alex Sink, the party's 2010 nominee.

Neither Crist nor Sink has announced plans to run for governor. The poll concludes that Crist is far better known than Sink and that 75 percent of Democrats believe he has the best chance of beating Republican Gov. Rick Scott in 2014. 

In a coincidence of timing, about half of the poll was done before Crist's Dec. 7 announcement that he was becoming a Democrat, and half was conducted afterward. The poll showed Crist increasing his lead over Sink from 17 points to 25 after his switch became public at a White House holiday reception, for a bottom-line advantage of 21 points (55 percent to 34 percent with 11 percent undecided).

The poll was done for an undisclosed client of ClearView Research from Dec. 4-9, and has a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points. ClearView, a market research firm, is run in part by Screven Watson, a former executive director of the Florida Democratic Party and a Tallahassee political operative who said he has no connection to Crist. 

"This was not done to promote or demote anybody," Watson said. "A client had a curiosity. We do not have a dog in this fight."

According to the poll, 79 percent of Democrats have a somewhat or very favorable view of Crist compared to 58 percent for Sink. Crist, a former Republican governor who ran as an independent Senate candidate in 2010, completed his conversion to the Democratic Party Thursday.

The poll tested six other names, all of whom had much lower favorability ratings than Crist or Sink, larggely because they are less well-known: Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler, former Sen. Nan Rich, former Attorney General Bob Butterworth, Florida Democratic Party chairman Rod Smith and former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio.

Nearly half of voters (47 percent) said they would be "much more likely" to vote for Crist if he were endorsed by Democratic leaders such as former Gov. Bob Graham, Sen. Bill Nelson or President Barack Obama. The poll shows Crist is weakest where the president is, too: among "Dixiecrats," conservative Democrats in North Florida

The pollster also offered voters a series of "push" statements that did not affect the results in any statistically significant way. Among the statements: that Crist endorsed Sarah Palin for vice-president in 2008 and campaigned for Obama in 2012; that he "can't be trusted" because he has switched parties and positions so often; that Sink and her husband, Bill McBride, have both run for governor and lost; and that Sink is pro-choice.

-- Steve Bousquet