Monday, August 18, 2014

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

Miller looms as potential future statewide candidate

Jeff Henderson: "Jeff Miller drew some national attention on veterans' issues in recent months and he’s now using it to expand his profile and his political prominence across the state."

Miller is starting to pitch in for his fellow Republicans when they need help. In early March, less than two weeks before the special election, Miller did an event focusing on veterans' affairs with David Jolly, who was then running in a tight race against Alex Sink. This coming Tuesday, Miller will swing across North Florida to Jacksonville for an event with Ander Crenshaw on veterans' affairs.
Henderson continues:
The event comes a week before the Republican primary. Crenshaw has generally been an easy winner but he is facing a more serious challenge this time out in Ryman Shoaf, a Navy captain who worked briefly for Ted Yoho. Shoaf has waged an impressive campaign but remains an underdog. Still, this is the most serious challenge Crenshaw has seen in years and Miller dropping in a week before the primary can only help the longtime congressman.

Events across the state are a bit of a change-up for the Panhandle congressman. No doubt about it. Miller has always cast a longer shadow in the Beltway than he ever has in Florida. Part of that comes from Miller’s stomping ground, since the Panhandle is easily the most isolated and insular part of the state.

Still, Miller could end up as a potential candidate for statewide office, especially if his efforts to head up the House Intelligence Committee collapse. Despite his many years in politics, Miller is only 55 so there is time for him to head back to Florida, if that’s what he wants.

"Will It Soon be Jeff Miller Time in Florida?."

Finding truth in negative campaign ads

"PolitiFact Florida checks out a slew of claims made in the governor’s race involving oil drilling and energy companies." "Finding the truth in negative campaign ads in Florida’s governor’s race."

"The Horror Behind Curtain No. 2"

Nancy Smith: "All Aboard Florida (AAF) is like a rigged "Let's Make a Deal" TV experience. They tell you the Big Prize is the shiny new passenger train service. But no matter which curtain you choose, you're going to get what's behind curtain No. 2 -- the freight-train nightmare from hell." "All Aboard Florida: The Horror Behind Curtain No. 2."

MacDougall, Curbelo, go after each other

"Two candidates, Ed MacDougall and Carlos Curbelo, went after each other in what may be the last GOP debate for Florida’s 26th congressional district." "Miami GOP congressional candidates tussle in TV faceoff."

Crist talks pot

"Charlie Crist Takes On Scott Administration over Pot Plan."

Vanguards of the environment go after Crist

"The plane’s owner, Bay County contractor James Finch, has been fined in the past for filling in wetlands or allowing unfiltered runoff to flow into waterways, in violation of environmental permits, reports PolitiFact Florida." "GOP: Charlie Crist used jet owned by 'serial polluter'."

Churches as polling precincts

"Church's last election as polling site Aug. 26."

"Nothing rivals the pollution of political signs"'s Pierre Tristam: "Every election season glaciers and polar ice caps melt a bit more from the hot air. But nothing rivals the pollution of political signs. Those things take over properties at the busiest intersections, spiking up from the ground in the shape of stunted billboards or deranged name tags. They assault the eyes, soil the landscape, mock the First Amendment and serve almost no purpose."

The signs say nothing. A name is just a name. It doesn’t tell you whether the candidate is smart, compassionate, inquisitive, honest, ethical. It doesn’t tell you anything about the candidate’s history, the candidate’s voting record, the candidate’s work ethic. It may tell you a lot about the candidate’s ego. The larger the sign, the more the candidate is trying to compensate for something. The more frequent the sign, the more insecure its peddler. And the more colorful or dazzling the sign, the more empty-headed the man or woman behind it, as dazzle usually compensates for missing substance.
"The Phony War Over Campaign Signs."

Thurston picks up big endorsement

The South Florida Sun Sentinel editorial board: "Perry Thurston choice for attorney general."

Subsidizing political visits

"Florida taxpayers spent more than $2.46 million to provide security for Gov. Rick Scott as well as governors from other states. . . . . Taxpayers also paid for 58 protective details of other elected officials including three trips by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie." "Florida spent more than $2.46 million on security."

FlaBaggers in a dither

"Obamacare: 93,800 Florida ACA Customers Have Immigration ‘Inconsistencies’."

"Outlaw Libertarian"

"The Libertarian Party candidate for governor, Adrian Wyllie is running in a year when polls show voters are starved for an alternative to Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist, the likely Democratic nominee." "Meet Adrian Wyllie, the outlaw Libertarian in Florida’s governor’s race."