Wednesday, September 17, 2014

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

The Truth Behind Scott's Latest Ad

The Miami Herald exposes that the shill (Dean Kretschmar) featured in a massive anti-Crist ad buy attempting to tie Crist to Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein fails to mention that, before heading off to prison, Rothstein showered

mostly Republicans, with tainted money that almost all of them returned after the scheme was exposed in 2009. Rothstein used his close relationships with Crist, other politicians, sports stars, and area religious and charitable leaders as an advertising tool to dupe investors.

None of that context is in the ad cut by the 41-year-old Kretschmar. Repeating a disputed Rothstein claim that Crist sold judgeships, Kretschmar makes a series of omissions. . . .

Kretschmar fails to mention that his Fort Lauderdale lawyer is William R. Scherer, a Scott donor and GOP operative. Rothstein once called Scherer a “mentor.” And Scherer also tried to help get a lenient sentence for Rothstein — the very man Scherer’s client trashes in the ad, which has run about 4,000 times in Florida at a cost of at least $2 million. . . .

Scherer and his law firm have contributed at least $23,000 to Scott’s campaigns since 2010. Scott appointed Scherer to a JNC post in 2011. The next year, Scott appointed Scherer’s daughter, Elizabeth Ann Scherer, to a circuit court bench.

Much more here: "Mystery man in Rick Scott attack ad unveiled, misleads about Charlie Crist and Ponzi scheme." See also "" and "".

"Scott losing with women voters"

"Facing potential problems among women voters, Gov. Rick Scott held a campaign event in Tampa on Tuesday aimed squarely at women, particularly women business owners." "Scott, losing with women voters, courts them in Tampa." See also "Scott lauds women's rally."

"Big promises"

"Contenders for governor keep making big promises."

West's comeback

"Having opened the door to an electoral comeback attempt in 2016, former U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., a favorite of the tea party movement and conservatives, is supporting Republican campaigns across the nation and drawing fire from Democrats as a result." "Fighting for Conservatives, Allen West Just Loves that Democratic Flak."

Brain Trust

"Florida Delegation Still Debating the Merits of Obamacare."

Who's Worse?

Kevin Derby: "Less than 50 days to go until the general election, both Gov. Rick Scott and his Democratic challenger former Gov. Charlie Crist are hitting Florida’s airwaves as they exchange shots on education and other issues." "Who's Worse for Education, Rick Scott or Charlie Crist? TV Attack Ads Fly." From the right: "Take a Closer Look at School Spending 'Cuts'."

"Bondi fights to prevent lesbians’ divorce"

"Attorney General Pam Bondi may be fighting to prevent same-sex couples from marrying in Florida, but she is also taking a legal position that has the effect of forcing gay couples who married elsewhere to stay married, lawyers in a Tampa case say." "Bondi fights to prevent lesbians’ divorce." See also "Democrats attack Bondi over gay-marriage fight."

"Chicken Littles at the Florida Chamber of Commerce"

Scott Maxwell worries that "the Chicken Littles at the Florida Chamber of Commerce have already begun fear-mongering" over amendment 1. "Florida's environmental Amendment 1 is popular — for good reason"

Sorry Rick, but "employment in Florida tracks national conditions"

Even the GOP dead enders on the Tampa Trib editorial board recognize that "State politicians are masters at taking credit for creating jobs and blaming rivals for losing them, so it’s easy to overlook how closely employment in Florida tracks national conditions." "Editorial: Seeing sunny sides of dreary economy."


"Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Disastrous Summer."

Scott's Appointment record is "shameful"

The Miami Herald editors write that Scott has a "shamefully low" number minority appointments to the bench. The editors write that Scott's rationale is "insulting:"

“What I’m focused on is making sure that the people I appoint understand that there are three branches of government and that they don’t get to legislate. They don’t get to pass laws, just like I don’t get to pass laws.”

Really? Is he assuming black judicial candidates are deficient in that regard?

"Filling the bench."

Rubio struggles for relevancy

"Eyeing 2016, Rubio pushes American strength abroad."

"Too much testing"

The Gainesville Sun editors: "With all the state-mandated tests being taken by Florida students, it is a miracle that there is any time left to teach." "Too much testing."

Florida ranked behind only 2 states in rate of uninured residents

"Twenty percent of Floridians lacked health insurance last year, down slightly from a rate of 20.1 percent in 2012. But the change was within the margin of error, rendering it insignificant."

Florida ranked behind only Texas and Nevada in having the highest rate of uninsured residents in the nation. Texas had a rate of 22.1 percent and Nevada’s was 20.7 percent, but both those states showed improvement in lowering their rates year-over-year, unlike Florida. . . .

Massachusetts had the nation’s lowest rate at 3.7 percent.

Florida’s Republican-controlled Legislature last year decided against expanding Medicaid coverage to an estimated 1 million low-income Floridians under the federal health law.

"Uninsured rate remains unchanged in Florida."

Lazy? Really?

"Faceoff: Is early voting convenient or just lazy?."


"PolitiFact Florida found Joe Garcia’s statement about his Republican challenger Carlos Curbelo to be false." "Joe Garcia says Carlos Curbelo supports raising flood insurance rates."

Crist may use executive orders to bypass Legislature

"Charlie Crist says he believes there is 'a good argument' that a Florida governor could expand the state’s Medicaid program under the Affordable Care Act through an executive order, without approval by the Legislature, and he might seek to do so if he’s elected governor." "Crist would consider bypassing lawmakers to expand Medicaid."