Monday, October 20, 2014

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

"Thinly-veiled partisan power grab"

"A low-profile ballot proposal that supporters say would avert a constitutional crisis but opponents say is nothing more than a thinly-veiled partisan power grab is headed to voters in November, possibly with the future of the Florida Supreme Court at stake." "Amendment 3 Could Determine Future of Court." More: "Voters face big decisions on 3 amendments."

Scott "too often let his hard-right ideology dictate his policies"

The conservative Orlando Sentinel slams Scott: in choosing between incumbent Republican Rick Scott and Democratic challenger Charlie Crist, "voters have the unusual advantage of being able to compare their terms in office."

If we shut out the cacophony of the campaign, and both candidates' flip-flops, our comparison of their records leads us to an inescapable conclusion. We recommend Charlie Crist.
"Though he ran as a conservative Republican in 2006, Crist governed as a moderate. He showed more interest in doing what was in the best interest of all Floridians than in placating his party base. Scott, by contrast, has too often let his hard-right ideology dictate his policies."
Scott has carried out a series of needlessly divisive policies as governor: shortening early voting, which contributed to the nation's worst lines in the 2012 elections; ordering drug tests for welfare applicants and state employees, until the courts stopped both programs; signing a bill that Crist had vetoed requiring ultrasounds for women seeking abortions.

The Legislature's Republican leaders have been partners with Scott in these policies. Florida would be less prone to ideological extremes if power in Tallahassee were better balanced between the parties. That's a final argument for voters in this race to pick a Democrat — even a newly minted one like Crist.

"Our choice for governor: Crist."

GOP poll dismisses "Fangate Effect"

"Widely reported and heavily mocked, the ‘Fangate’ from Wednesday’s governor’s debate doesn’t appear to have had any effect on the race, according to a new poll from the Republican-leaning firm 0ptimus that shows the contested remains tied." "0ptimus FL poll : Rick Scott tops Charlie Crist 41-40, no Fangate Effect found."

Columnist: When You compare actual records, "It's Crist by a landslide"

Scott Maxwell writes that "'Fangate' was the perfect piece of petty nonsense to encapsulate the petty, nonsensical campaign Floridians are being forced to endure this year."

Maxwell continues, "We still have one more debate to go. But I have to tell you:"

I'm done.

I am done listening to the yapping, the attacking and the lies. I'm done listening to two men who vilify each other far more than they speak about their own ideas.

"And I suggest you do the same. Here's why:"
Nothing these men say now means squat compared to their actual records. Why listen to constant attacks when you can look at proven actions?

And when I look at those, it's not even close.

It's Crist by a landslide.

"Forget fans, ads: Look at records in governor's race."

Early voting

"Early voting starts Monday." More: "Early voting starts today in Palm Beach, Martin, St. Lucie, Okeechobee" and "Early voting begins today in Pinellas County." See also "How to vote early."

"Pay attention to the legislative contests"

"The governor's race has top billing, but pay attention to the legislative contests as well. The Legislature, even more than the governor, has the power to shape the future of Florida." "For Florida House, incumbent candidates are hard to beat." See e.g., "HD 89: Can GOP Lean Help Bill Hager Beat David Silvers?."