Floridians for Ethics and Truth (a pro-Pam Bondi/anti-Dan Gelber political group) takes the Democrat to task for saying he won't say mean things about his opponent -- only to do just that.
Florida Democrats had been proudly touting the fact that they were doing better in absentee voting requests then they had in 2006, but the Republican Party of Florida has its own stats that could spell doom for every Democrat on a statewide ballot this year.
RPOF says that, for the first time ever, they've won the first two days of early voting. And compared to 2008 (the year of Obama, when Dems outperformed Reps), Republicans are doing far better in absentee voting requests and returns. If true and the trend continues, Democrats have a dim future. Maybe governor candidate Alex Sink could squeak by Republican Rick Scott, in large part because she'd not running as a Democrat and she's at times running away from President Obama. But the numbers suggest the Obama millstone will weigh her down as the red wave swamps Florida.
Requested absentee ballots: Republicans lead by 228,930 – a 13.21% lead over Democrats. In 2008, Republicans had an 8.89% lead by Election Day. Then, President Obama only won by 2.8 percentage points after a massive ad blitz.
Voted absentee ballots: Republicans lead by 112,534 absentee votes – a 21.88% lead. In 2008, Republicans had a 10.8% lead on Election Day.
Early Voted: Republicans lead by 15,281 votes – a 11.32% lead (Monday and Tuesday). In 2008, Republicans were losing by 73,384 votes at this point in 2008. By Election Day, Republicans had lost the Early Vote by 23.97%.
"We don’t expect to win early voting, but any lead at all is shocking at this point and a testament to the incredible enthusiasm amongst Republicans," RPOF spokesman Dan Conston said.
The upcoming debates for the three Cabinet positions have been canceled, according to Florida Press Association president Dean Ridings. He said the campaigns of Pam Bondi and Jeff Atwater never confirmed their participation in the debate. “There’s not much of a debate without either of those two,” Ridings said.
Atwater's press guy Brian Hughes e-mailed this: "The schedule in
these final weeks of the campaign is packed with candidate forums,
grassroots organizing, and travel around the state. There are countless
requests of Jeff's time and we simply can't be everywhere all the time."
Bondi had a similar statement.
Scheduled for Oct. 5 at the Bob Graham Center at the University of Florida, the other four Cabinet candidates had said they would debate, including Dan Gelber, Loranne Ausley and both Agriculture Commission candidates, Adam Putnam and Scott Maddox.
Ridings said his group, along with Leadership Florida, declined to just produce the Ag
Commission debate because of logistics. The two groups are still on to
produce debates for the governor's race and the U.S. Senate race at Nova
Pointing to the dozens of indictments of public officials, Democratic attorney general candidate Dan Gelber on Friday called for a new unit dedicated to investigating public corruption in state government.
“Floridians are really tired of the overwhelming influence of special
interests, the overwhelming influence of money,” said Gelber, of Miami
Beach. “They read about back-room deals that stink to high heaven, and
they wonder why nothing ever happens to them.”
Gelber said the unit would consist of a mix of U.S. Department of
Justice lawyers as well as a few attorneys from the state attorney
general’s office. Gelber has written U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder about the proposal, but has not yet received a response.
Several high profile cases – such as a fancy new courthouse and the indictment of Ray Sansom
– were sparked by newspaper reports. Gelber did not discuss other
potential cases, but said the team “would have plenty of work to do.
And it would result in a change in the behavior of state government.”
With less than two months before the election, Republican Pam Bondi's campaign for attorney general is hiring someone who knows the office: Sandi Copes, the current spokeswoman for Attorney General Bill McCollum.
Copes, who is taking a two-month unpaid leave from the AG's Office, starts Wednesday as the campaign spokeswoman from Bondi's Tampa headquarters. It's her first foray in to the campaign world.
Alex Sink's supporters trickled in after 6 p.m. for the Democratic
nominee's victory party in the ballroom of the Sheraton Riverwalk in
Tampa. More than 100 people milled around waiting for the big
announcement. After CNN declared her the winner of the democratic
primary for governor, the room erupted.
She took the stage just before 8:30 p.m. and issued a challenge to whoever she would be facing in November.
"Let's debate the issues in three statewide debates," she said. "Let's call out our differences instead of calling names."
Sink told reporters her message will not change because of her opponent: "We've seen a lot of partisan bickering causing Floridians to see that there is another candidate in the race."
-- Robbyn Mitchell, Times staff writer
It was an early night for Sen. Dan Gelber, who cruised to a relatively easy win over Sen. Dave Aronberg in the Dem primary for attorney general.
Just a few minutes ago, Gelber found out his opponent when Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp tweeted that he had called Pam Bondi to congratulate her on winning the GOP primary.
After their dueling endorsements, Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin have now recorded dueling robo-calls for their favored candidates in the AG race.
Check out Palin's robocall for Pam Bondi here. We got a hold of Newt's call, where he says "there is no candidate more qualified than Holly Benson." Check out that call here:
Pam Bondi likes to talk about how she's not a typical politician. But on a softball question about party unity, she showed the deftness of a career pol.
The Buzz put a pro forma question to all three Republican attorney
general candidates: If you lose Tuesday night, will you enthusiastically
support the duly elected nominee of your party?
"Absolutely," saiid Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp. "Certainly," said Kristen Bridges, a spokeswoman for Holly Benson.
But Bondi, who has voiced disgust at the brickbats tossed her way by Kottkamp, won't commit: "I haven't even thought about that. I'm focusing on winning Tuesday night," Bondi said.
If Undecided were a candidate, he or she would win the election for Florida attorney general in a landslide.
Republican Pam Bondi and Democrat Dan Gelber have slight leads in their respective primaries, according to a new poll released Friday.
But most people still don't know whom they will support in the two races, which have failed to capture the attention of voters in a year crowded with contentious primary contests for governor and U.S. Senate.
"There's more people undecided in both races than there are people committed to a candidate," said Brad Coker of Mason-Dixon Polling & Research, which conducted the survey. "When you have that situation, you really can't go out and say that any of these candidates is a favorite."
The next AG will have to deal with high-profile, influential issues: a lawsuit over federal healthcare reform, Gulf oil damage claims, immigration. Yet the three Republicans and two Democrats vying to succeed GOP gubernatorial hopeful Bill McCollum have struggled to resonate with voters.
Bondi, a former Tampa prosecutor and frequent commentator on Fox News, edges Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp 27 percent to 23 percent, with former state House member and municipal bond lawyer Holly Benson coming in at 22 percent. Twenty-eight percent were undecided.
Among Democrats, Gelber has pulled further ahead of fellow state Sen. Dave Aronberg. Gelber now leads 32 percent to 25 percent, with 43 percent undecided.
The poll surveyed 500 likely Republican voters and 500 likely Democratic voters statewide between Aug. 17 and 19. It has a margin of error of plus-or-minus 4.5 percent. Full story here.