October 14, 2014

Republicans use Miami Rep. Joe Garcia's own words against him in new 'scandal' ad

@PatriciaMazzei

Joe Garcia won his South Florida congressional seat two years ago in part by attacking then-Rep. David Rivera, who was plagued by state and federal investigations, on his integrity.

Now Carlos Curbelo is trying to the same thing against Garcia -- and his supporters have the congressman's own words to use against him.

Republicans on Tuesday revealed a television advertisement that extensively quotes a 2012 spot by Garcia. It's the second 2014 campaign spot in which conservatives accuse Garcia of hypocrisy by attacking him with his own promises. One was launched last week by the American Action Network.

The latest piece, by the National Republican Congressional Committee, cites Garcia decrying "Scandals. Corruption. Partisan infighting."

"I say enough is enough," Garcia says.

Then comes the voice-over: "Joe Garcia's only added to the lies and scandals."

That refers to a state investigation that led Garcia's former chief of staff to plead guilty to attempted absentee-ballot manipulation, and to an ongoing federal investigation into Garcia's 2010 campaign over a suspected straw candidate.

"Corrupt Congressman Joe Garcia ran on a promise that he would end corruption in South Florida," NRCC spokeswoman Katie Prill said in a statement. "Seems laughable now knowing Garcia has two criminal investigations into his 2010 and 2012 campaigns."

The ad also refers to Garcia's "misleading ads" rated False by PolitiFact Florida. Unmentioned is that the fact-checkers have made the same ruling against Curbelo.

 

Charlie Crist uses Rick Scott's job-creation flip flop, false denial in new attack ad

@MarcACaputo

There are two major ways to attack a foe: at his weak point and at his strength.

Charlie Crist has chosen the latter route in his new attack ad targeting Gov. Rick Scott over his flip-flopping on his job-creation promise. PolitiFact rated the reversal a "full flop." Scott would have been looking at a "Pants on Fire" rating had PolitFact examined his clearly false denial that he ever said the new jobs created would be on top of forecast employment gains.

Scott's campaign is sure to shoot back with its standard campaign line about the rampant job loss under Crist. So not only is Crist attack Scott at his strength (jobs), he's doing it from a pretty weak position. But then, Scott's former hospital company was engaged in historic fraud and he attacks Crist as a fraud. 

One note: the ad features the voice of an unknown "reporter" -- that's Michael C. Bender, former Tampa Bay Times reporter from the combined state capital bureau with the Miami Herald. Mike broke the story in 2011....

 

Another shady FL candidate gets busted

Oops. Steve Bousquet posted this yesterday. So since I posted something else on this topic, here's his original post, as updated:

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Monday that former Republican candidate for governor Yinka Adeshina has been arrested for fraud for submitting false campaign reports to the state Division of Elections.

FDLE said Adeshina was arrested by the Tallahassee police and transported to the Leon County jail by the Leon County sheriff's office. Bond was set at $10,000. In her campaign filings, Adeshina said she raised $182,000 in campaign contributors. However, FDLE said, "donors she listed in the report did not exist and FDLE believes she fabricated donors and addresses to show she had raised more than $150,000."

Continue reading "Another shady FL candidate gets busted" »

October 13, 2014

Michelle Obama to campaign for Crist on Friday

@tbtia

First Lady Michelle Obama is attending a Friday rally in Orlando to campaign alongside Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist.

Tickets for this free "grassroots event" will be available Tuesday through Thursday, but the Crist campaign is requiring people to pick up paper tickets -- no more than two in total -- by visiting one of Crist's three Orlando field offices.

The event will be held at the Barnett Park gymnasium, and doors open at 11:30 a.m. Friday.

Ever the data-miner, the Crist campaign wants people to RSVP here if they want more information.

Bondi reverses course, now asks Florida Supreme Court to rule on gay marriage

Bondi supreme court@SteveRothaus

In a startling move Monday night, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said she wants the Florida Supreme Court to decide once-and-for-all whether same-sex couples can marry in the Sunshine State.

“That is unquestionably an important issue, and the Plaintiffs, the State, and all citizens deserve a definitive answer,” Bondi’s office wrote in a 6 p.m. filing to the state’s Third District Court of Appeal. “Until recently, the issue was squarely before the United States Supreme Court, and it appeared that a definitive answer was coming. ... Unfortunately, the United States Supreme Court decided not to answer the question.”  Download Attorney general's motion to send marriage case to Florida Supreme Court

Last Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court settled the gay marriage issue in Utah, Oklahoma and Virginia, along with Wisconsin and Indiana, when it announced justices would not hear appeals in federal court decisions allowing same-sex marriages in those states. Since then, same-sex couples have also been allowed to wed in North Carolina, Idaho and Alaska. Now, 59 percent of Americans live in at least 30 states were same-sex marriage is legal, according to Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest LGBT activist group.

On July 17, Monroe County Chief Circuit Judge Luis Garcia declared Florida’s 2008 gay-marriage ban unconstitutional, ruling against Bondi, whose office defended the ban. He ordered that a Key West couple, Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, had the right to marry, but an automatic stay in the case prevented the nuptials. On July 25, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Sarah Zabel also declared Florida’s ban unconstitutional, finding in favor of six same-sex couples who want to marry. Her ruling also was stayed pending appeal.

The attorney general took both losses to the Miami-based Third District Court of Appeal, where the cases were consolidated. Lawyers for the plaintiffs asked the Florida Supreme Court to take the cases immediately, but Bondi asked to wait until the U.S. Supreme Court decided the issue.

Bondi, who is up for reelection in November, also said subsequent similar losses in Broward and Palm Beach counties, as well as federal court in Tallahassee, should be decided in Washington.

Since it is unlikely the U.S. Supreme Court will decide same-sex marriage anytime soon, Bondi has relented. Story here. 

 

 

Gov. Scott's lawyers ask California judge to rule on docs, but it'll be after the election

Google letterGov. Rick Scott's lawyers have asked a judge in California to wait until after the election to decide whether Google can release details about the Gmail accounts used by the governor and two former members of his staff.

Lawyers for the governor filed notice for a Nov. 7 hearing, three days after the election, in which they are asking a judge to quash a subpoena sought by Tallahassee lawyer Steven R. Andrews.

Andrews is suing the governor to get access to emails in Scott’s private account, alleging that he and his staff created the accounts to circumvent Florida’s open records law when conducting sensitive public business. The hearing date was set without his input.

Last month, a Florida judge ordered the governor to stop fighting the subpoena, but the governor took the battle across the country and hired a California lawyer to fight it in Google’s hometown. On Monday, the governor's office announced that he will no longer have taxpayers pay for the legal expenses to fight this in California but would not say who is paying the bill.

"Andrews’ tactics in the Florida action are a ploy to force the revelation of irrelevant private material so that it can be introduced into a public court file, and later, widely disseminated,’’ wrote Daniel J. Leahy, attorney for Scott, in a memo to the court.  Download 2014.10.03 MEMO OF POINTS & AUTH IN SUPP OF PET-r (2) (1)

Andrews is pushing back. On Monday, he served the governor with notice to appear in a Santa Clara County courtroom for the Nov. 7 hearing and called for a the governor to appear in a videotape deposition in Tallahassee on Oct. 28 about his gov.rls@gmail.com account.  Download 2014.10.13 NOT OF VIDEODEPO OF RICK SCOTT

Scott spokesman John Tupps called it a “fishing expedition” for information “that is not a public record” and he accused Andrews of “seeking out revenge for his personal grudge against the Cabinet and state government.” Story here. 

Continue reading "Gov. Scott's lawyers ask California judge to rule on docs, but it'll be after the election" »

Insults fly between Miami GOP congressional candidate and former Republican foe

@PatriciaMazzei

Ed MacDougall, the Cutler Bay mayor who came a distant second to Carlos Curbelo in the Republican primary for Florida's 26th congressional district, has told acquaintances not to vote for Curbelo in the Nov. 4 general election.

In an email to Larry Hawkins, a former Miami-Dade County commissioner and state lawmaker, MacDougall said he couldn't endorse his former opponent because Curbelo refuses to disclose the clients of his government and public relations firm.

"It's not sour grapes, I can tell you that," Hawkins said of MacDougall, whom he has known for more than three decades.

Curbelo acknowledged Friday that among his former clients are Ecuadorean bankers Roberto and William Isaías.

"The people have no stomach for another scandal in this district," MacDougall wrote. "Carlos Curbelo refuses to release his lobbyist clients while serving on the Miami Dade School board. If he had done so and it proved honorable, I would support him. But he refuses, so this is the reason I ask all good republicans not vote for Carlos Curbelo.

Continue reading "Insults fly between Miami GOP congressional candidate and former Republican foe" »

St. Pete Poll: Scott-Crist at 45-44%; medical marijuana support low, at 54%

From Saint Petersblog:

Much as it has been for months, Florida’s gubernatorial race remains locked in a virtual tie, according to a new statewide poll released Monday from StPetePolls.

It’s important to note that this may be one, if not the, most comprehensive polls of the governor’s race. It includes a mix of both robo-calls and email polling. The poll has also been rebalanced to reflect the three percent partisan advantage most forecasters give to the GOP.

Republican Rick Scott holds a one-point lead over Democrat Charlie Crist, 44 to 43 percent. Scott’s slim advantage is still within the poll’s margin of error....

Also losing steam in the minds of voters is the push for Amendment 2, the referendum to allow marijuana for treatment of medical conditions. Polling found that only 52 percent of likely voters said they favor Amendment 2, with just under 39 percent saying “no” and 10 percent undecided. Those numbers are under the 60 percent approval needed for the referendum to pass.

More on the poll here

The post is here 

FDLE accuses ex-candidate for governor of fraud

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement said Monday that former Republican candidate for governor Yinka Adeshina has been arrested for fraud for submitting false campaign reports to the state Division of Elections.

FDLE said Adeshina was arrested by the Tallahassee police and transported to the Leon County jail by the Leon County sheriff's office. Bond was set at $10,000. In her campaign filings, Adeshina said she raised $182,000 in campaign contributors. However, FDLE said, "donors she listed in the report did not exist and FDLE believes she fabricated donors and addresses to show she had raised more than $150,000."

FDLE noted that under state law, any candidate who raises more than $150,000 is eligible for matching funds from taxpayers. Adeshina never collected matching funds, but she did provide false information in an effort to receive the money, the agency said.

She was arrested as she arrived home Monday afternoon at Tallahassee Regional Airport after a three-week vacation.

Also from FDLE's statement: "Due to the fact that she was returning from the West African nation of Nigeria she had been screened medically in Atlanta and was determined to not have any symptoms or signs of illness. Nigeria is currently not among the nations of high concern and she demonstrated no symptoms of illness. Out of an abundance of caution she was arrested by TPD officers and Leon County Sheriff’s Deputies who donned gloves and masks. There are currently no cases of Ebola in Florida."

McLaughlin poll: Rick Scott over Charlie Crist 43-42 percent, Wyllie at 6

@MarcACaputo

Gov. Rick Scott is slightly leading Democrat Charlie Crist 43-42 percent, according to a new poll from Republican pollster McLaughlin & Associates.

Like other recent polls that show Crist up by a point or two, Scott's lead in the McLaughlin survey is within the margin of error, making the race essentially tied. The Republican Party of Florida paid for the poll of 1,000 likely voters.

Scott's big advantage: independents, leaning 39-32 percent in his favor. Both candidates draw about the same level of support from their respective bases and from voters of the opposite party.

So far, about $72 million has been spent on broadcast and cable TV ads that have run or will run by Election Day. Scott's side has spent more than $51 million, and Crist about $21 million. Most of the ads have been negative, dragging down the candidate's standing in the polls.

There's another reason the race is so close: both candidates are essentially up for re-election -- Scott’s the incumbent, but Crist is his predecessor, pollster Jim McLaughlin said.

“It’s an anti-incumbent year,” McLaughlin said. “What’s different about this race is you have basically two incumbents. The real question is, if you’re undecided on Nov. 3, do you still vote?”

Continue reading "McLaughlin poll: Rick Scott over Charlie Crist 43-42 percent, Wyllie at 6" »