November 19, 2013

How Sen. Bill Nelson might be better known as a country singer, sans pizzazz

@MarcACaputo

Sen. Bill Nelson isn't quieting talk from supporters that the Democrat might run for governor, which carries risks for his party as well as new Democrat and current candidate Charlie Crist.

The reasons for all that are outlined in Monday's column. The Sun-Sentinel's Gary Stein adds a new issue: Nelson isn't so well-known and he's boring to some, according to this column "Does Bill Nelson have the pizzazz to run for governor?"

"Here’s something that will surely get everybody in Florida excited.

"Bill Nelson might run for the Democratic nomination for governor.

"Half of you might be saying 'Who is Bill Nelson?'

The other half are saying  “Is he the country western singer?"

Column here

***Blog note: The original post had a messed-up headline and, in trying to unmess it, I deleted the original post.

November 15, 2013

Charlie Crist's first cash haul: $872k in 13 days (includes a Jeb-ite in the Crist pile)

@MarcACaputo

Former Gov. Charlie Crist still has a Midas touch for fundraising even though he's in his second political party (now a Democrat after being an independent and a Republican), having pulled in $812,000 $872,000 between  Nov. 4 and Nov. 16.**

Caveats: It's soft money (i.e., limitless un-capped cash one can raise from a donor or a few donors) contributed to his committee, Charlie Crist for Florida. The campaign "hard" money has yet to be reported. And Gov. Rick Scott is still the soft-money king and plans to have as much as $100 million to spend. Crist hopes to have at least half of that amount.

Also, it will be tough for Crist to keep pace. He's not a current office holder, so he lacks that leverage. And now some people affiliated with Sen. Bill Nelson are trying to keep the door open for the senior Democrat (who has told time and again that he doesn't want to run and doesn't intend to), but in doing so, the Nelsonites run the risk of freezing some Florida and DC donations to Crist, the Democrats' frontrunner.

Of interest: There's a Jeb Bush-ite in the Crist donor pile: David Rancourt, former Bush insider and now-retired lobbyist. Most of Crist's money is from trial lawyers because he is, well, a trial lawyer and they're among the deepest pockets for Democrats

**Note: Between the time we posted this and noon, Crist's folks added four more contributions, boosting the total. Here's the new list:

Barbara Stiefel  $100,000
Sheldon J. Schlessinger P.A.  $  25,000
Schlesinger Law Offices, P.A.  $  25,000
Mayville and Associates  $    5,000
James Savko  $    5,000
Rosalie Danbury  $100,000
William Merlin, Jr.  $  10,000
The Yerrid Law Firm  $  10,000
Francoise Haasch-Jones  $    4,000
George Chandler  $    1,000
Rosalie Danbury  $  50,000
William Andrew Haggard  $100,000
David Rancourt  $  50,000
Grossman Roth, P.A.  $250,000
Oakland Investments, Inc.  $  25,000
John Uustall  $  25,000
Michael Cohen  $  10,000
Michael Moskowitz  $    5,000
Timothy Ritvo  $    2,000
Robert Kelley  $  25,000
Robert O'Neil  $  10,000
Moskowitz, Mandell,   $    5,000
Las Olas Recovery, LLC  $    5,000
Bob Poe  $  25,000
   $872,000

November 08, 2013

Obama raises cash in Miami -- with Crist as guest

Segovia Tower Coral GablesPresident Obama arrived in Miami Friday afternoon to headline three Democratic Party fundraisers hosted by the Democratic National Committee and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Florida’s newest high-profile Democrat, former Gov. Charlie Crist, was spotted at the Segovia Tower in Coral Gables at a $32,000-a-head fundraiser hosted by personal injury attorney Ralph G. Patino.

Obama moved next to a fundraiser hosted by Jorge Mas Santos, a Cuban American National Foundation leader and CEO of MasTec There, the president thanked Mas Santos, who stood next to him, and singled out U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson of Florida and Mike Bennet of Colorado. 

Continue reading "Obama raises cash in Miami -- with Crist as guest" »

October 30, 2013

Bill Nelson wants feds to investigate Florida's unemployment website

via Brittany Davis, @brit_alana

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson is calling for a federal investigation into problems plaguing Florida’s new unemployment website.

The Florida Democrat has asked the U.S. Department of Labor to investigate what is going wrong with the $63 million overhaul, which has erroneously blocked some jobless people from applying for their benefits.

Continue reading "Bill Nelson wants feds to investigate Florida's unemployment website" »

October 29, 2013

After Twitterbomb, Nelson agrees to sign Employment Nondiscrimination Act

@SteveRothaus

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, the Florida Democrat, has signed on as a co-sponsor of ENDA, the Employment Nondiscrimination Act, reports HRC.

Last week, Equality Florida pressured Nelson to become a co-sponsor by Twitterbombing him. Last April, Nelson reversed his position and became the 51st U.S. senator to support marriage equality.

From Huffington Post:

There are now just two Democratic senators -- Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Mark Pryor (D-Ark.) -- who are not co-sponsors of the legislation, which would bar workplace discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. It is already illegal to discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, nationality, religion, age or disability.

 

 

October 27, 2013

Wasserman Schultz: Obamacare's working, Rubio's delay plan is "baloney"

@MarcACaputo

ImageIt’s tough to find an Obamacare success story.

But one of them– Plantation resident Carolyn Newman – found her local congresswoman, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who's touting her case to pushback against Republican criticisms that the Affordable Care Act is a failure because of the problems plaguing its website.

“Obamacare is working,” Wasserman Schultz told reporters Saturday. “It’s working, and when we get the website kinks ironed out, we’re going to make that everybody has access to quality affordable care.”

A 50-year-old cancer survivor, Newman got a letter from insurer Florida Blue that informed her Sept. 26 that it was she cancelling her high-risk plan.

But then came the good news, she said: The plan they were offering had more benefits and a significantly lower monthly premium cost, $640.82 – 49 percent less than she pays now.

“I think I’m going to frame that letter,” Newman told The Herald in a recent interview.

Continue reading "Wasserman Schultz: Obamacare's working, Rubio's delay plan is "baloney" " »

October 24, 2013

Bill Nelson: "somebody ought to get fired" for Obamacare website fiasco

@learyreports

Sen. Bill Nelson today called the fiasco over the Obamacare enrollment website "inexcusable” and “somebody ought to get fired.”

But first he said the administration needs to fix the problems.

Nelson's comments came this afternoon during an interview with reporters in his Tampa regional office.  They echoed ones he made late yesterday in an interview with one of the state’s veteran political journalists, Michael Putney.

 “They should wait and get the thing up and running, and then determine and let somebody be held accountable,” Nelson told Putney, who hosts "This Week In South Florida with Michael Putney" on Miami's ABC affiliate, WPLG-Channel 10.

 “That’s the problem in government today,” Nelson said.  “People are not held to account.”

October 22, 2013

Following Prez. Clinton, Sen. Bill Nelson endorses Phil Levine for Miami Beach mayor

@MarcACaputo

If endorsements decided elections, Philip Levine would be Miami Beach's mayor by now.

On Tuesday, a few days after former President Bill Clinton endorsed Levine, Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson followed suit.

"I know him. I believe in him," Nelson said. "I know his willingness to step outside of his comfort zone and enter public service."

Nelson referenced the importance of Clinton's endorsement in the heavily Democratic area, but he said that Levine isn't sitting back in his race against Commissioner Michael Gongora and personality Steve Berke.

Nelson said Levine's door-knocking work ethic reminds him of his first races decades ago.

"I pounded the  streets, along with my wife. It is amazing what you learn about the needs and wishes of people when you are knocking on doors and listening to people," Nelson said. "It's also amazing what you learn about dogs. I have a profound profound respect for postmen."

October 17, 2013

Bill Nelson tapped for (doomed to fail?) bipartisan budget-compromise committee

@MarcACaputo

Pardon the parenthetical in the headline above. It's tough to see how anything in Washington can succeed if it has these three words: "budget," "compromise" and "congress."

Good luck to them all. And good luck to us.

Here's the press release:

Continue reading "Bill Nelson tapped for (doomed to fail?) bipartisan budget-compromise committee" »

October 04, 2013

Sen. Bill Nelson: 'reckless right-wing' House members instigated gridlock

An email to supporters from Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, parlaying off the finding of most polls finding that Americans are more inclined to blame the GOP from the current logjam in Congress:

I want to apologize for the partisan gridlock over the budget that a handful of irresponsible and reckless right-wing members of the U.S. House of Representatives have instigated.

They have managed to shut down many of the federal government's services and programs simply because they couldn’t get their own way and get rid of the country's health care law.

Continue reading "Sen. Bill Nelson: 'reckless right-wing' House members instigated gridlock" »