July 01, 2015

On Cuban embassy news, Marco Rubio restates vow to oppose ambassador


U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, a key voice opposing the United States’ opening to Cuba, reacted to the news that the two nations are set to establish their embassies by repeating his vow to oppose one of the next steps in the thawing process -- the confirmation of an ambassador to the island nation -- until certain conditions are met.

The opening to Cuba was first announced in December. It is a multi-pronged effort that has already relaxed some travel and financial restrictions and is quickly moving toward the establishment of a greater diplomatic presence in Havana. On Tuesday, word leaked that the two nations were planning to open embassies in their respective capitals; a formal announcement on that is expected Wednesday.

The thawing could eventually lead to a full lifting of the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba and open travel there. The White House can accomplish some steps on its own, while Congress would need to weigh in on other aspects.

Rubio, a Republican from West Miami who is in the top tier of GOP presidential candidates for the 2016 nomination, is a leading voice against the Cuban opening. While the politics of the Cuban opening are somewhat mixed, other GOP lawmakers tend to defer to Rubio on the issue.

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September 14, 2012

Frankel and Hasner to speak at the Forum Club Sept. 24

Two former state legislators battling for the Broward/Palm Beach Congressional 22 seat will speak at the Forum Club in West Palm Beach at 12:15 Sept. 24.

The contest between Democrat Lois Frankel, former mayor of West Palm Beach and former house minority leader, and Adam Hasner, former house Majority leader and Boca Raton Republican is shaping up to be one of the most expensive Congressional contests in Florida. Frankel raised about $2.4 million while Hasner raised about $2.3 million just before the primary.

The only more expensive Congressional race in Florida is the contest between Republican U.S. Rep. Allen West, who raised more than $10.7 million and businessman and Democrat Patrick Murphy, who raised more than $2.3 million, who are running in the Treasure Coast. The West-Murphy race is the third most expensive House contest in the nation, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. West currently represents Congressional District 22 but redistricting transformed the swing district into a left-leaning district so West moved his campaign to the north.

The Cook and Rothenberg political reports both consider the Frankel-Hasner race to be "lean Democratic."

"We think its competitive," said David Wasserman, an editor at Cook. But "the fundamentals of the district favor a Democrat."

Frankel's fate is closely tied with Obama as well as the ability of Hasner to define her negatively. Critics have called her abrasive and criticized her spending decisions at City Hall.

"She has her share of liabilities," Wasserman said. "Republicans need to find a way to capture that and cast her as an unacceptable representative in Washington."

However,  "Democrats will absolutely hammer Hasner as a tea party acolyte who was campaigning for  U.S. Senate as the most conservative person in the race and obviously now he has to posture a little  more to the middle to win the district."

Hasner dropped out of the GOP Senate primary and switched to run in  Congressional  District 22 after West announced he was switching districts.







March 01, 2012

February 16, 2012

LaMarca tests the waters in Allen West's district

When Republican Congressman Allen West announced he was switching districts for the 2012 election and would endorse former Boca Raton state legislator Adam Hasner to run in his place, it appeared that the Republican powerbrokers had worked out a behind the scenes plan. The goal: coalesce around one GOPer while the Democrats duked it out in a crowded primary. And coalesce they did: West, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and former Gov. Jeb Bush all endorsed Hasner.

But Broward County Commissioner Chip LaMarca is exploring a bid anyway. Though Congressional District 22 in Broward/Palm Beach will steer far more to the left due to redistricting, LaMarca has proven he can appeal to the middle: in 2010 he ousted Democrat Ken Keechl in a swing district. He says he will make a decision by next Friday about whether to run.

Isn’t LaMarca, a former Broward County GOP chair, afraid that if he jumps in he will anger party leaders?

“I was a party leader. I don’t know that I was ever mad somebody got into a race. The people I would be most concerned with turning off would be voters,” said LaMarca, who is trying to test the support he could draw as a candidate from Broward.

LaMarca said he spoke with West before he endorsed Hasner: “He was clear he wanted to support one person and didn’t want a primary.”

And LaMarca notes one influential Republican from Broward hasn’t announced who he is backing yet: Former Congressman Clay Shaw who represented the district for more than two decades before Ron Klein ousted him in 2006 only to be ousted himself by West four years later.

LaMarca could be one of three Broward county commissioners to run. Kristin Jacobs, a Democrat, said she will run and John Rodstrom, a term-limited Democrat, is considering it. And as if that doesn’t create enough tension at County Hall, Commissioner Sue Gunzburger has endorsed Democrat Lois Frankel in that race -- the former West Palm Beach mayor and state legislator who has already raised more than $1.4 million.

Hasner! gets the endorsement of Jeb!

Senate candidate-turned Congressional candidate Adam Hasner scores a big endorsement, Jeb Bush, former Republican governor simply campaigned as Jeb! His endorsement in a GOP primary is a big deal. Any other Republicans planning to run now need to ask themselves if it's worth it.

From a press release:

Boca Raton, FL - U.S. House candidate Adam Hasner today announced that he has received the endorsement of former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

In announcing his endorsement, Jeb Bush said the following: "I am proud to endorse my friend Adam Hasner for the U.S. House of Representatives in District 22.  Adam has a passion for reform and for common-sense conservative solutions, and he will take that passion to a Washington that is certainly in need of both. 

"The challenges America faces grow each and every day, and we need representatives that share Adam's commitment to principle, his dedication to government accountability and his proven record in working for his community. 

"Adam served Palm Beach and Broward counties with distinction in the state legislature, and I know he will continue to do so in the U.S. House."

Adam Hasner said, "I am deeply honored by the support and endorsement of my friend Governor Jeb Bush.  He stands as one of the greatest governors of our time for good reason: his passion for education, his commitment to reform, and his record of fostering economic growth is second to none. It was an honor to work with him when I represented Palm Beach and Broward counties in the Florida Legislature and I am proud to have Jeb on my side in the race ahead."


February 09, 2012

Adam Hasner gets NRCC "On the Radar" nod

Adam Hasner, the former state lawmaker with his eye on the congressional seat Rep. Allen West is leaving behind, is one of 21 Republicans who'll have backing from the GOP committee charged with holding onto control of the House of Representatives. 

The National Republican Congressional Committee is announcing that Hasner made it into the second stage of its so-called "Young Guns" program, which helps candidates who've proven their ability to meet crucial campaign benchmarks to develop their campaigns. Hasner made it to the "On the Radar" status,  the second set of  organizational and fundraising benchmarks.

"Adam Hasner's dedication and experience positions him to advocate for pro-growth policies and fight the failed Democrat status quo in Washington," said NRCC Chairman Pete Sessions, R-Texas.

Hasner, who dropped his bid for U.S. Senate last month, is one of 21 Republican congressional candidates to make the NRCC list. He raised $1.3 million in his bid for statewide office, and has $666,000 cash on hand. Hasner also has the backing of West, who plans to run in a friendlier Palm Beach County-based congressional seat. 

The endorsements from West and the NRCC come in the midst a political scramble for Florida's congressional seats. Thanks to redistricting, sitting lawmakers are trying to find friendly home districts -- and so are potential challengers. 

Two Democrats also are in the race: Former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel, and Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs, who just entered the race. Democrat Patrick Murphy, who had also been seeking the seat, announced this week he will instead take on West.

February 01, 2012

Allen West endorses Adam Hasner

Republican Rep. Allen West will endorse former state lawmaker Adam Hasner, who is announcing that he'll drop his U.S. Senate bid and run for the seat West is leaving. West plans to run in a friendlier Palm Beach County-based congressional seat. 

The endorsement from the Tea Party-backed West comes in the midst a political scramble for Florida's congressional seats. Thanks to redistricting, sitting lawmakers are trying to find friendly home districts -- and so are potential challengers. 

A chain reaction of announcements culminated Tuesday when Republican U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, who currently represents Martin, St. Lucie and Palm Beach Counties, announced he’d run in a new proposed congressional district that stretches from Martin to Charlotte County.

West then said he’d run in Rooney’s old seat, opening up a slot for a Republican in West’s District 22 seat, which straddles Palm Beach and Broward counties.

That allows Adam Hasner to exit the U.S. Senate race and run for West’s old seat. Hasner, who was struggling in a five-way Republican Senate race, would be running in a congressional seat that mirrors his old Delray-Beach-based state legislative district. 

West's endorsement stands to bring thousands of dollars Hasner's way in what will be one of the most expensive congressional races in the country. 

So far, there's two Democrats in the race: Former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel, and businessman Patrick Murphy. Several other Democrats have said they'd consider running for the seat: Broward County commissioners John Rodstrom and Kristin Jacobs.

The Dems who may run in the Allen West-less district

There is a lot of chatter about Democrats who may jump into the Congressional District 22 primary now that Republican Allen West has said he'll run in a district to the north instead.

Broward County Commissioners John Rodstrom and Kristin Jacobs are both considering a bid. Jacobs told us she is "seriously" considering it. Jacobs had thought about running in the past before West's announcement -- she faces term limits in a couple of years so this would move up her potential plans to run.

Former Congressman Ron Klein, who lost the district to West in 2010, said today he has ruled out running this cycle. Fort Lauderdale Mayor Jack Seiler had not even won his re-election bid Tuesday before he started getting calls urging him to run but Seiler said he won't run for the seat.


January 31, 2012

Shakeup: Adam Hasner to run for West's CD seat; Mack could walk in U.S. Senate primary

The dominoes are falling.

U.S. Senate candidate Adam Hasner will likely leave the race and run for Allen West's soon-to-be-vacated Congressional seat, a source tells us. West's seat looks a lot like Hasner's old legislative Delray Beach-based district.

Hasner's move makes sense on more levels than that. Rep. Connie Mack, of Fort Myers, is cruising in the U.S. Senate race, leading in the polls and, soon, fundraising. Hasner could have handled that.

But Hasner's campaign was dealt a serious blow, of sorts, bythe presidential campaign of Mitt Romney, who stumped in the final days across Florida with Mack. Mack picked up precious TV time and the aura of the favored.

Meanwhile, to avoid a bloody primary, leadership in the U.S. House asked Hasner to run for West's seat. But first, West had to announce he'd leave his seat and run for Tom Rooney's seat. And before that happened, Rooney had to announce he'd leave his district and run for a new district.

Connie Mack still has to run in a primary, though, and former Sen. George LeMieux is sticking with it. At least for now.

All of the shifting has been sparked in large part by the Constitutional requirement to redraw congressional districts every 10 years after the U.S. Census. A new state constitutional requirement forbids state legislators, who must redraw the maps, from favoring or disfavoring an incumbent or political party.

 Translation: It's a recipe for a lawsuit.

So now the question is: What happens to this Republican congressional musical-chairs game if Democrats sue and win the right to have new maps?

January 07, 2012

Adam Hasner loses his mouthpiece..... to New Jersey GOP

Doug Mayer, described here in July as US Senate candidate Adam Hasner's new mouthpiece, has left Florida for the verdant splendor of the Garden State, where he's the new spokesman for the New Jersey Republican Party, according to Politicker NJ.

Mayer's departure isn't a big shock for Hasner. There's relatively little attention being paid to the Republican Senate race amid the jockeying for Florida's Jan. 31 GOP presidential primary. There's just not much for a spokesman to say. Also, Hasner is struggling in the bottom of the polls right now, which can affect fundraising, which makes it tougher to pay a spokesman who has not much to say.

The voluble Rick Wilson and Alberto Martinez are still with Hasner. And we recently got a press release from someone named Hannah Tarrian, so Hasner might still be overstaffed.

Hasner still has time. The primary is  Aug. 14. That's a few lifetimes in politics. Still, US Rep. Connie Mack is dominating in the primary and former Sen. George LeMieux looks like a distant number 2 in most polls. Hasner is often vying in the single digits with Mike McCalister and Craig Miller.