Sunday, October 06, 2013

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

"Scott’s mantra: bash and blame Obama"

"As Gov. Rick Scott stood before a group of Realtors in Clearwater on Tuesday, he used the spike in federal flood insurance rates to do what has become his weekly mantra: blame President Barack Obama."

Nevermind that it was congressional inaction that allowed a key provision in the federal flood insurance act to take effect — despite misgivings about the unintended consequences by most of its supporters. Scott accused the president of threatening to cripple Florida’s real estate recovery by failing to stop rates from rising.
"In seeking reelection in 2014, Florida’s Republican governor, whose favorable rating hovers below 40 percent in most polls, has found a favorite, equally vulnerable target in the nation’s Democratic president."
With Obama only slightly more popular than Florida’s governor, Scott loses nothing by bashing the president. And he’s got plenty to gain by revving up his Republican base while winning over independents unhappy with the president. . . .

In the last month, Scott has blamed Obama for federal budget cuts to Florida’s National Guard troops. He’s complained about the president’s failures in launching the Affordable Care Act. He’s accused the administration of failing to repair the aging dike that threatens Lake Okeechobee. And he has chastised the president for failing to lead as the government headed toward a shutdown.

“The buck stops with the President. We need leadership now,” Scott said in a Tweet to his 40,000 followers on Wednesday.

It’s an attack campaign without an opponent as Obama serves as a convenient straw-man to Crist and Democrat Nan Rich, a former state senator also running for governor. Crist is expected to announce later this month that he will return to the arena to challenge Scott for his old job.

Scott’s Obama-bashing strategy can work in Florida, pollsters say, because the longer Washington remains mired in partisan dysfunction, the more the president’s numbers decline — especially among independent voters who often dictate races in Florida.

"Gov. Scott’s mantra: bash and blame Obama". See also "Florida Republicans wary of potential Crist challenge" and "For Florida GOP, 2014 is a pivotal year".

FlaDems will be pressed to merely defend current House seats in 2014

"The governor’s race and a few congressional battles will be the Florida elections that get the most attention next year, but keep an eye on the Florida House races. Unlike the Senate contests, where incumbents should easily keep their seats, the House offers some interesting races in 2014. Democrats made great strides in the Florida House in 2012, moving up from 39 seats to 44. They could keep that momentum up in the days to come but, as of now, they will be hard pressed to do much more than defend their current incumbents in 2014." "GOP has a Chance to Expand Florida House Majority in 2014".

Weekly Roundup

"Week in Review for Oct. 4., 2013". See also "Weekly Roundup".

Latvala fears shutown will hurt GOPers

"In the aftermath of last week’s government shutdown, even some Republicans are worried the result could be a political debacle for their party and its candidates."

“I remember the last government shutdown in the ’90s. It had a disastrous effect on the Republican Party,” said Republican state Sen. Jack Latvala of Clearwater. “I fear this one will, too.”

National polls suggest Republicans will indeed suffer from the shutdown.

"Shutdown’s effect on GOP not clear-cut".

Disney heir calls on Publix to sign Fair Food agreement

American filmmaker, Abigail E. Disney, the daughter of Roy E. Disney and granddaughter of Roy O. Disney, co-founder of The Walt Disney Company with his brother Walt Disney "has taken up the fight for farmworkers rights."

Abigail Disney rallied with farmworkers Saturday at a Publix store in Fort Myers, the News-Press is reporting.

Disney called on the grocery chain to sign the Fair Food agreement, which would improve pay and working conditions for farmworkers.

"Disney descendant joins Publix protest".

"The Great Republican Tantrum"

Carl Hiaasen: "Boehner’s empty suit". Fabiola Santiago: "In Mother-in-Chief version of The Great Republican Tantrum, a happy ending".

Third Miami congressman steps into immigration debate

"Rep. Joe Garcia became the third Miami congressman this year to play a major role in the nation’s immigration debate when he joined House Democrats on Wednesday to unveil a bipartisan plan that includes a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants."

But unlike Miami U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, Garcia isn’t a Republican. And the bill Garcia and fellow Democrats are pushing has so little chance of passing right now that, coupled with the all-Democrat cast that unveiled the proposal, the legislation is perceived on Capitol Hill to be more of a political play to pressure stalling House Republicans.
"Rep. Garcia is new Miami face of long-odds immigration push".