Saturday, November 02, 2013

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

"The worst-kept secret in politics"

"The worst-kept secret in politics was confirmed Friday afternoon when the Republican Party of Florida spotted Crist’s official filing with the state Division of Elections." "Charlie Crist makes it official: He’s running for governor". See also "Charlie Crist Makes It Official, Files to Run for Governor as a Democrat", "Crist files papers to run for governor", "Former Fla. GOP Gov. Crist files to run for office again — as Democrat", "Crist enters governor race as Democrat", "Ex-GOP Fla. Gov. Crist to run for job as Democrat", "Crist files paperwork to run for governor" and "Charlie Crist to run for Florida governor".

More: "Scott re-election committee to air anti-Crist ad". Related: "On the eve of Crist's announcement, RPOF goes after SaintPetersBlog" and "Campaign Note: Cabinet: Governor" ("Peter Schorsch, a blogger and political consultant, was the subject of a Republican Party of Florida memo on Nov. 1, 2013.")

Weekly Roundup

"Week in Review for Nov. 1, 2013"; See also "Weekly Roundup: Political Fights and Gun Rights".

Sink on the move

"Alex Sink is running for C.W. Bill Young’s congressional seat, will move to Pinellas".

Partisan divide on medicinal marijuana initiative

"The initial divide on the proposed medicinal marijuana initiative appears to be partisan. The two announced Democratic candidates for governor support placing the proposal before voters while Republican leaders have gone to court to have it stricken from the ballot." "Rich supports medical marijuana; Crist says voters should decide; GOP wants it off ballot". See also "Former Fla. GOP Gov. Crist files to run for office again — as Democrat".

The rich are different

"The governor's 10th overseas economic development trip since taking office will focus on attracting foreign investment rather than boosting trade." "Scott off to Japan for week long business development trip".

Never mind

"Charter school retracts letter that threatens to remove students if they fail FCAT".

"They don’t know"

"It’s been a month since Florida's Affordable Care Act health exchange opened for business. So how many uninsured residents has the state’s largest federal “navigator” grant recipient enrolled? They don’t know." "Florida’s Top Obamacare Navigator Grant Recipient ‘Has No Enrollment Numbers’".

"At stake is the last major I-4 corridor city controlled by a Republican"

"The top spender on political television advertisements in the city’s mayoral race is not incumbent Bill Foster nor challenger Rick Kriseman."

It’s an electioneering group funded by the Republican Party of Florida.

In another sign of how the officially nonpartisan race has become a political battleground, the Tallahassee-based group Accountability in Government has spent more than $70,000 to flood the airwaves with more than 3,200 negative ads slamming Kriseman in the run-up to Tuesday’s election.

Classified as an electioneering group, Accountability in Government recently received $96,000 in donations from the state Republican Party. Its ads, which have aired over a four-week period, characterize Kriseman, a Democrat, as a career politician who voted to raise his own pay and never sponsored a single bill to create jobs.

The negative ad blitz might be a last-ditch bid to overturn Kriseman’s lead in recent polls. The level of spending is more than either candidate has allocated for TV spots throughout the long primary and general election campaigns. Foster, whose TV ads began airing in July, has spent $65,000 on them, records show. Kriseman’s campaign has spent about $61,000.

At stake is the last major city along the Interstate 4 corridor that is controlled by a Republican.

"St. Pete mayoral race turns nasty, partisan as vote nears".

Raid seeks evidence of unlawful absentee-ballot requests

"Investigators raided the private business office of North Miami Mayor Lucie Tondreau on Friday seeking evidence linking her to unlawful absentee-ballot requests that her political campaign may have submitted online earlier this year." "North Miami raid marks third investigation of fraudulent absentee-ballot requests".

Deadbeat privateers

"More than two weeks after the Department of Economic Opportunity switched to a $63 million system to process unemployment compensation claims, many Floridians cannot pull down their benefits."

DEO officials say they are working around the clock to fix problems with CONNECT, the new system built by Deloitte, and the two major problems with the site -- the resetting of personal identification numbers and a faulty link to claim benefits -- have been solved.
"Unemployed struggle to get benefits 2 weeks after system switch".

18 days late?

"The campaign of Miami city commission candidate Richard P. Dunn II came under scrutiny Friday when the city clerk asked the state to look into the campaign’s most recent finance report, and a U.S. Post Office inspector said he believed the candidate mailed the report to the city 18 days after the Oct. 4 deadline — much later than the campaign claims."

Dunn, considered the frontrunner for the city’s District 5 seat in Tuesday’s election, filed a campaign finance report with the city last week that listed some questionable spending, and the campaign has admitted to paying some workers in cash, which is against state elections law.
"Dunn finance report turned over to state; Miami postal inspector questions timing".