Wednesday, October 22, 2014

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

Scott on verge of dipping into his wallet for $20 million more

Gary Stein: "It is time for Gov. Rick Scott to bring out the heaviest hitter in his political arsenal."

We’re talking about his wallet.

After spending more than $75 million of his own money to get into the governor’s mansion four years ago, Scott is now in pretty much a dead heat with Charlie Crist as they head into tonight’s final debate, and then the last two weeks of a campaign that has turned off so many voters.

According to a report in the Miami Herald, Scott has spent $56 million on ads, more than double what Crist has spent.

But still, they are tied.

When asked if he would spend his own money as the campaign winds down, Scott replied "we'll see." Rumors are he might spend as much as $20 million more.

"Tuesday: Will Rick Scott spend his millions to win the election?."

"A heated moment"

"For a live hour on CNN and in TV stations across Florida, Rick Scott and Charlie Crist disagreed, distorted each others’ records and exchanged insults." "Final Florida governor’s debate between Charlie Crist and Rick Scott: nasty and personal."

"A heated moment came when Crist accused Scott of delaying an execution so that his attorney general could attend a political fundraiser."

"She asked me to delay it because it didn't work on the dates that she thought it was going to be on," Scott said in response. "She apologized."

In September 2013, Pam Bondi apologized for delaying the planned execution of Marshall Lee Gore, a notorious rapist and murderer, because it conflicted with a fundraiser.

Scott denied at the time that he knew the reason for the delay.

"Did you know it was for a political fundraiser?" Crist pressed.

"What would you like her to do?" Scott asked.

Crist went on to blast Scott for not answering questions.

"Florida debate turns bitter over executions." See also "Few holds barred in final Crist-Scott debate before election" and "Final Florida governor’s debate between Charlie Crist and Rick Scott: nasty and personal."

Bogdanoff agin' Sachs

"SD34: Can Ellyn Bogdanoff Beat Maria Sachs in the Rematch?."

CD 2

"Conservatives and Pelosi Lieutenants Roll into CD 2."

Q Poll

Here's today's Q poll. Although Scott and Crist are now "tied" 42 - 42 among likely voters, the most recent survey on September 24 had Scott with 44 percent of likely voters, and Crist trailing with 42 percent.

More: "Democratic chair: Election is 'neck and neck'," "Poll: Scott, Crist in dead heat in governor’s race," "'No Nice Guys' in Deadlocked Scott-Crist Race, Says Q-Pollster," "Poll: Rick Scott and Charlie Crist are deadlocked and "Poll: Scott is from Mars, Crist is from Venus."

Rubio proposes travel ban

"Marco Rubio Launches Ebola Travel Ban Bill."

First Amendment right to be a "conduit" in Sunshine Law violation?

"An Orange County judge on Tuesday dismissed a charge of breaking the state's public meeting laws against former state representative-turned-lobbyist Chris Dorworth."

Judge Tanya Davis Wilson, who was set to start jury selection Thursday, ruled Dorworth's First Amendment right to free speech was violated by the misdemeanor charge against him.

"A private citizen has a protected constitutional right to communicate with public officials or members of a public body about matters that may come before that body," Wilson wrote. lRelated Former toll road board member Scott Batterson sentenced to 7-1/2 years in prison

Dorworth's attorney, Richard Hornsby of Orlando, said, "I'm pleased. I thought this was a flawed prosecution from the beginning." Orange/Osceola State Attorney Jeff Ashton said he "respectfully disagrees" with Wilson and intends to appeal the decision.

Dorworth's prosecution was believed to be the first time a conduit was charged under the Sunshine law in the state, officials with Florida's First Amendment Foundation said.

"Sunshine Law case against Chris Dorworth dismissed."

Slade passes

"Tom Slade: Republican Party leader for Florida was influential, colorful."