Saturday, September 20, 2014

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

Scott attacks "are overstated and in some areas outright false"

"Former Gov. Charlie Crist’s close relationship with convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein is creating a vulnerability for Crist in the Florida governor’s race, but ads by Gov. Rick Scott exploiting the issue are overstated and in some areas outright false."

In one ad sponsored by the Republican Party, a Scott backer and victim of the Rothstein scam falsely charges he was “swindled” by Crist. The party and Scott himself refused to identify the speaker in that ad, so independent fact-checkers couldn’t check his story until the Miami Herald discovered his identity.
"The ad also charges that Crist sold appointments to judgeships in return for political contributions as governor — an accusation backed by no specifics, for which there is no evidence except an unsubstantiated claim by Rothstein’s made while he was seeking a lighter sentence for racketeering and fraud."
Crist, meanwhile, says he was deceived by Rothstein, as were many sports celebrities, religious and civic leaders and other politicians — mostly Republican — whom Rothstein showered with money. Crist, then a Republican, and others ultimately had to pay back much of the money.

Crist charges that Scott is using the issue to distract from Scott’s own history as head of a hospital chain that perpetrated the largest health care fraud in history against government programs that serve the elderly, the military and the poor.

"Ad Watch: Scott falsely tars Crist over Rothstein scandal."

"Very early voting starts"

"More than six weeks before Election Day, some voters are already casting ballots and helping elect Florida’s next governor. County elections supervisors have until Saturday to mail hundreds of thousands of ballots to Floridians living overseas, many of whom are active-duty military personnel." "Very early voting starts as wave of Florida ballots go overseas."

Sink Fade-Out

Jeff Henderson "Political Stage Fade-Out for Alex Sink."

Dems stand by DWS

"After being criticized for having a rocky, distant relationship with the Obama White House, Democrats stood by Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz." "White House, Democrats defend Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston." Meanwhile, Nancy Smith writes that "Now Debbie Does the Doghouse (Does She Ever!)"

Scott told to fix DCF

"A month after Javon Dade was fatally mauled by his father’s dogs, county commissioners are calling on the governor to fix the state’s child protection system." "Miami-Dade commissioners to Gov. Scott: Fix DCF."


"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."

Never mind

"Gov. Rick Scott focused Friday on private-sector growth with the release of Florida's latest jobless numbers, which ticked up in August from 6.2 percent to 6.3 percent." "Scott touts private jobs as unemployment ticks up."

Dems dismiss Domino's campaign as "flop"

"On Thursday, former state Rep. Carl Domino, the Republican challenger taking on U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., in November, invoked the legacy of the man his opponent beat in 2012: former U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla. Democrats, meanwhile, dismissed Domino's campaign as a 'flop.'" "Vietnam Vet Domino: I Have Allen West's Back."

Tuff Grrrl

"Attorney General Pam Bondi said she 'will not be bullied by the press' for her defense of Florida’s ban on gay marriage as she made two campaign stops on the Treasure Coast this week." "Bondi ‘won’t be bullied’ on campaign trail."

Complaint against Curbelo

"Florida’s 26th Congressional District has been plagued with political scandals since its inception four years ago. Now it may add another to its record."

Florida Democratic Chairwoman Allison Tant is asking the U.S. Justice Department to investigate GOP candidate Carlos Curbelo for not publicly disclosing the clients of his public relations, media and lobbying firm Capitol Gains.
"Florida’s 26th Congressional District Has a Short, but Jaded, Past."

Weekly Roundup

Kevin Derby"Political Bits and Pieces." See also "Weekly Roundup: Old Faces in New Places."

All Aboard

Nancy Smith: "All Aboard Florida Environmental Impact Study Released to Mixed Reviews."

Scott hack tapped

"Looking to a political ally to fill the job, Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday named state Rep. Jimmy Patronis to a seat on the Florida Public Service Commission."

In his application for a seat on the commission, Patronis pointed to his experience in helping run the restaurant, which he described as “one of the largest-grossing, family-owned, independent restaurants in the state of Florida.” He also cited his work in the Legislature, though he did not point to particular experience on utility-related issues.

Patronis has been part of the conservative leadership of the House, and his Twitter feed includes numerous postings in support of Scott. On Thursday morning, he tweeted that it was “dress your own way” day at his son’s school. The posting was accompanied by a picture of his son wearing a “Rick Scott” campaign T-shirt.

"Scott taps close supporters for board that regulates utilities." See also "Jimmy Patronis Stays on the Tallahassee Stage at PSC."