May 29, 2012

George Zimmerman prosecutor backs George LeMieux for Senate

Not sure if this helps, hurts or makes no difference. Stll, it's interesting, given the attention over the prosecution of George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. The press release:

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. – George LeMieux today announced the endorsement of Florida State Attorney Angela Corey of the Fourth Judicial Circuit.

“For years, I have known George LeMieux and seen the positive impact he has had on our state and nation,” said State Attorney Angela Corey. “During his time as the Deputy Attorney General, George fought for justice and successfully argued a death penalty case before the US Supreme Court. While serving in the Senate, George LeMieux made reducing the debt his top priority and showed true leadership. George has always been a friend to Northeast Florida and I look forward to seeing him serve us once again in the US Senate."

“For more than 30 years, Angela has worked to make Northeast Florida safer - first as an Assistant State Attorney and now as the State Attorney for the Fourth Judicial Circuit,” said George LeMieux.  “As former Deputy Attorney General, I know how hard our prosecutors work. Angela is widely known for her fairness, integrity, and work ethic and I am honored to have her support.”

Corey joins a strong team in Jacksonville dedicated to George LeMieux’s election to the US Senate, including former RPOF Chairman Tom Slade, former Jacksonville Mayor John Peyton, Duval County Sheriff John H. Rutherford, State Senator Stephen Wise, City Councilmen William Bishop, Matt Schellenberg, and Bill Gulliford, and Public Defender Matt Shirk. 

This announcement follows four consecutive landslide straw poll victories, the endorsement of Senator Tom Coburn, Herman Cain, 34 sitting Florida legislators, former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour, the National Tax Limitation Committee PAC, former Mayor Rich Crotty, conservative radio host Joyce Kaufman, and the Recreational Fishing Alliance.

May 24, 2012

Q Poll: Sen. Bill Nelson tied with Connie Mack, who's killing GOP rivals. Voters back Stand Your Ground

From a press release:

U.S. Rep. Connie Mack holds a wide lead in the race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination, getting 40 percent of the vote to 7 percent for former Sen. George LeMieux and 8 percent for Tea party favorite Mike McCalister, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.***  Another 41 percent are undecided.

A general election matchup is too close to call as Mack gets 42 percent to Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s 41 percent.

Gov. Rick Scott’s job approval has risen above 40 percent for the first time, although he still remains underwater with a negative 41 – 46 percent rating from voters, the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University survey finds.

A majority of registered voters, 56 – 35 percent, support the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law that has come under recent scrutiny.   Support is 78 – 15 percent among Republicans and   58 – 35 percent among independent voters while Democrats are opposed 59 – 32 percent.  Men support “Stand Your Ground” 65 – 31 percent while women support it 48 – 39 percent.  Support is 61 – 31 percent among white voters and 53 – 36 percent among Hispanic voters while black voters are opposed 56 – 30 percent.

“Although some activists have been critical of Congressman Connie Mack and his campaign, he retains an overwhelming lead in the race for the Republican Senate nomination and is tied with Sen. Bill Nelson,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac   University Polling Institute. 

“It is not clear how the late entrance of former Congressman Dave Weldon into the race will affect the campaign, but Mack’s lead is pretty formidable with three months until the primary.”

*** There will be some partisan handwringing regarding the undersample of self-identified Democrats in the poll. Go here for more about that

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May 23, 2012

You want fries with that? Connie Mack campaign finds the funny spot. At Whataburger

The other day, Connie Mack's Senate campaign got a little too huffy and puffy over the story about Republican rival George LeMieux for the way he went about getting an interim Senate appointment in 2009 (story here).

Today, Team Mack got a sense of humor, playing up the details of a high-stakes meeting that LeMieux and other insiders had at a Tallahassee Whataburger at 1 a.m. The image is depressing: The cruel flourescent lights, the grease in the air, the late hour in a town that had hit REM sleep hours before. But the Mack press release is pretty funny:

What-a-tale – It’s What’s In the Whataburger George?

What Legitimate Business Warranted George LeMieux Demanding and Getting a 1:00 AM Meeting with Former RPOF Chair Jim Greer and Charlie Crist's Chief of Staff, Eric Eikenberg?
MIAMI – Startling revelations revealed over the past four days by the Tampa Tribune and the Times/Herald that George LeMieux allegedly exerted significant – and as of yet unexplained – significant pressure on Charlie Crist to appoint him to Florida’s vacant U.S. Senate seat.
The latest revelation came today, when the Tampa Bay Times / Miami Herald reported, “LeMieux was adamant that he deserved an interview, however, and met with Greer and Crist's chief of staff, Eric Eikenberg, at 1 a.m. at a Tallahassee Whataburger.”
Based on this new information, Mack Deputy Campaign Manager David James stated that a few simple questions should be asked of LeMieux, Crist, Eikenberg and Greer:
“Just exactly what was discussed at the 1:00 AM meeting at Whataburger, why were they there, who all really was there and what deals were made?”
Floridians may not know the full details of the meeting until the July trial of Jim Greer, which will likely feature George LeMieux sitting in front of the jury, but as Jim Greer said this week, "There's a lot more to this story and I'm not ready to tell it.”

Sen. Tom Coburn endorses George LeMieux for Senate

From a press release endorsement by U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla:

"I am proud to endorse George LeMieux in his election to return to the U.S. Senate. I served with George and have seen firsthand his commitment to reducing our national debt and stopping Washington's out-of-control spending. During his time in the Senate, George was a proven leader. He passed necessary legislation to prevent Medicare fraud and offered the 2007 Solution, a roadmap to balance our budget. America is facing a difficult time and it is imperative we elect people like George LeMieux to go to Washington to make the difficult decisions that will save our country for future generations."

May 22, 2012

How George LeMieux's fellow Rs got shived for him to become interim Senator

George LeMieux is an old hand running political campaigns, but he wound up in the U.S. Senate by ferociously campaigning for just one vote: Gov. Charlie Crist’s.

How LeMieux pulled it off — tapped to serve a vacant Senate seat in 2009 by a governor who had reservations about his former chief of staff — speaks volumes about LeMieux’s ambition, savvy and knack for bare-knuckle politics that’s again playing out as he campaigns to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.

"He really wanted to do it. So he was going to do everything he could," former Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp said. "He really, really wanted to do it."

Kottkamp had been told he would be picked. Other top contenders included former Secretary of State Jim Smith, U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, former U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw and Board of Education member Roberto Martinez.

University of North Florida President John Delaney was told he could start looking for a place to live in D.C. The job was his.

But then LeMieux allies created an anonymous website attacking Delaney. It noted that when Delaney was Jacksonville mayor in 2008, he had publicly opposed a property-tax initiative promoted by Crist. The Senate offer was promptly yanked.

It was a tactic repeated again and again as potential picks gained steam.

"I’ve got to salute him. He was playing politics, and the rest of us weren’t," Delaney said of LeMieux. "We were playing by Marquess of Queensbury rules. He got what he wanted."

More here

Read more here:

May 21, 2012




Pardon the ALL CAPS craziness, but Republican Rep. Connie Mack's Senate campaign has once again notched it up to 11. It actually is calling for a federal investigation into LeMieux's appointment, saying it smacks of "extortion" or "bribery"

But there's no real evidence of any attempt to extort or bribe Crist by LeMieux.

Who says? The guys who spilled the story about LeMieux's manuevers: Former Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp and former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer (who's under indictment in what appears to be an ever-weakening fraud case that he bilked the GOP).

"No, I don’t believe he committed a crime. I don’t believe he committed one," Greer said. "If a guy comes in and says hey I want an appointment remind him of all the things I’ve done for him – some he’d like to forget, some he’d remember – is that a crime? I don’t know...

"George had very strong points –all the things he had done for the governor. He felt confident if he got an interview with the governor, he was confident he’d get the appointment. He got the interview. And he got the appointment."

Here's Kottkamp when asked if he believed anything illegal happened: “I doubt it. I doubt it…. I don’t know what they talked about.”

Continue reading "OUTRAGE ALERT!!! FROM CONNIE MACK'S CAMPAIGN!!! Again." »

May 18, 2012

It's official: Dave Weldon to run for U.S. Senate in Florida

Former Florida Congressman Dave Weldon announced Friday that he will join a crowded field of Republicans seeking to unseat incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson.

“We are at a time in our nation’s history where we the people have to make tough choices that will determine our national direction for the next 4 years ... choices that determine America’s direction for decades,” Weldon, who represented the Space Coast from 1994-2008, said in a written statement.

Weldon’s entrance in the race comes as Congressman Connie Mack is solidifying his spot as the GOP frontrunner, having received the endorsement this week of presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Continue reading "It's official: Dave Weldon to run for U.S. Senate in Florida" »

May 09, 2012

US Chamber of Commerce to bash Bill Nelson in TV ads

Associated Press:

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching ads in Florida, Missouri, Hawaii and Ohio as Democrats struggle to hold Senate seats and their slim majority. The Republican-friendly lobbying group is also targeting 17 House races from New York to Minnesota....

The chamber declined to say how much it will spend in this round of advertising. Ad buys earlier this year in eight Senate races and 12 House races was estimated at $10 million.....

In Florida, two-term Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson has raised more than $9 million while his Republican foes, Rep. Connie Mack and former Sen. George LeMieux, have struggled in attracting significant donations for a state with 10 major media markets, including expensive Miami. The chamber advertising is certain to fill in the gap for the GOP which won’t settle on a nominee to challenge Nelson until Aug. 14.

Continue reading "US Chamber of Commerce to bash Bill Nelson in TV ads" »

May 02, 2012

Marco Rubio or Gulf Coast oil spill deal? George LeMieux chooses the crude cash

U.S. Sen. candidate George LeMieux has been campaigning more and more as the Tea Party candidate these days. But then he appeared on 1620 AM radio yesterday in Pensacola.

LeMieux, a former interim U.S. senator, was asked if he would have voted for the so-called "Restore Act," which would have allocated BP oil-spill money to the Gulf Coast. Or would he have voted against it like Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, the only Gulf Coast senator to oppose the act because it allowed for oil-spill money to be spent in unaffected states?

LeMieux chose the act.

"I would have voted for it, in all due respect to Marco," LeMieux explained. He noted that, when he was in the Senate, he helped ensure that the money would be directed to Gulf Coast states.

LeMieux's answer is probably good for a general election. But for a Republican primary, it might be toxic. Conventional wisdom says a conservative candidate needs to say two words over and over again to win the GOP race: "Marco Rubio." LeMieux's stance, even though it might be well-intentioned, could be held against him because the Senate's Restore Act was a product of Washington deal-making. And that's something Rubio decried today during a speech Tuesday at the Panama City Beach Chamber of Commerce, where he was asked about his nay vote for a bill that he initially sponsored.

Rubio said the bill became an out of hand "free for all" as Senators began loading it up with goodies for their home states.

“The minute I started supporting that kinds of stuff is the minute I become like them," Rubio said. “That money should not be diverted to other parts of the country. That had nothing to do with the oil spill I know that’s how they cut deals in Washington, but that’s not what I went to Washington to do.”

Rep. Connie Mack, the frontrunner in the GOP primary, had the luxury of voting on a more conservative House plan before it went to the Senate, where it was approved 74-22. The bill needs to be reconciled in conference. But before that happens, expect more politics.


Dennis Baxley, Crist critic and Stand Your Ground author, endorses George LeMieux

Forget about Herman Cain's endorsement of Republican Senate candidate George LeMieux. Ocala Rep. Dennis Baxley's probably is more significant. Baxley is a former Florida Christian Coalition head and he sponsored the controversial 2005 Stand Your Ground law. Baxley also carried the Republican legislation cracking down on voter-registration -- a piece of legislation the Democrats say amounts to "voter suppression."

In short: Baxley is a real-deal heartland conservative. Perhaps most significantly, Baxley was a critic of former Gov. Charlie Crist, whose top advisor was LeMieux. Crist's decision to bolt the GOP in his 2010 failed Senate race against Marco Rubio made him one of the most-reviled politicians in the GOP. So, with Baxley's endorsement, maybe (just maybe) LeMieux is shedding the Crist baggage.

Still, he's short on money and name ID when compared to Republican Connie Mack.

The press release:

Continue reading "Dennis Baxley, Crist critic and Stand Your Ground author, endorses George LeMieux" »