Sunday, October 27, 2013

Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry.

"Charlie Crist show"

William March: "Florida Democrats are gathered this weekend to kick off a 2014 campaign season in which they hope an unpopular Republican governor, Rick Scott, and damage to the Republican Party’s image from the government shutdown will boost them to greater power in state government."

Working the crowd of some 1,500 Democrats at a Disney resort for the party’s pre-election year conference, and getting the rock star treatment, is the all-but-declared candidate to take on Scott, former governor and former Republican Charlie Crist.

Despite the Democrats’ ebullience, however, the road ahead is not entirely clear.

Not all of them are fully convinced that Crist should be their champion against Scott.

"Florida Democrats say GOP governor’s performance an asset". See also "Crist plots political comeback as Democrat", "Democrats zero in on a fundamental question: Crist or Rich?" and "Florida Democrats conference becomes Charlie Crist show".

Heaven help us

Gerald Ensley: "Advertising signs on Florida's seven scenic trails." "On the trail toward ad dollars".

Strategists and candidates are grappling with the realities of replacing Young

"With people still grieving the death of U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, political strategists and candidates are grappling with the realities of finding someone else to represent the constituents whose interests he watched over for 42 years." "Special election to replace Young faces complicated time table".

Regaining House rests on shoulders of FlaDems

Jeremy Wallace: "Any hope national Democrats have in regaining the majority of seats in the U.S. House rests squarely on the shoulders of Florida Democrats."

For hundreds of activists and party leaders gathered here over three days, the governor’s race is the star attraction in 2014, but there is a growing buzz about the party’s prospects to regain at least two seats in the U.S. House if they field the right candidates in 2014.

Two may not seem a lot in a state with 27 Congressional seats, but national political experts say there is almost no way national Democrats retake the Congress unless Florida Democrats come up big in 2014. That means winning at least two seats, and losing none of the three districts considered their most vulnerable.

"To retake House, Democrats need Florida". More: "Five districts to watch in 2014".

Union haters: Never mind that supply and demand stuff

The latest garbage from the haters at the Associated Builders and Contractors:

[ABC lobbyist Geoff Burr] said he talks to commercial builders who pay $30 an hour and still can't find workers.
Here's the reality: "Some industry experts say low wages, not a lack of labor, are to blame for the shortage." "Builders look across border to hire help".

Investigation into AB scheme isn’t over

"Miami Congressman Joe Garcia’s former chief of staff began serving a 90-day jail sentence last week, becoming the first person convicted for submitting hundreds of phony absentee-ballot requests online during last year’s elections."

But despite Jeffrey Garcia’s sentence, the investigation into the scheme isn’t over.

Still pending is what prosecutors from Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fern├índez Rundle’s office will do about the campaign underlings who recruited their relatives to fill out the ballot request forms without voters’ permission.

"After conviction, absentee-ballot case turns to 2 former Joe Garcia aides".

Part-time state workers jump on Obamacare

"For the first time ever, part-time state workers are signing up for health insurance through their employers, something they can do under a new state law designed to get Florida in compliance with the federal Affordable Care Act." "Some part-time state workers are now eligible for benefits".