Friday, October 03, 2014

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

Crist's Rope-a-Dope strategy Working

Marc Caputo: "After trailing in polls, Democrat Charlie Crist is marginally leading Gov. Rick Scott in two new surveys that show the governor’s race will be as close as they come."

The polls from SurveyUSA [FiveThirtyEight's top rated poll for accuracy] and a new Republican data-analysis firm named 0ptimus show Crist, respectively, ahead by 6 percentage points and 1 percentage point — leads that are both within the margins of error.

The apparent trend in Crist’s favor dovetails with his campaign’s decision to ramp up its ad spending statewide to counteract the effectiveness of Scott’s longer and larger media blitz.

As of Friday, Scott still led Crist in overall spending, dropping $41 million to the Democrat’s $16.7 million on current and future ads.

"New Fla. gov race polls show trend favoring Charlie Crist over Rick Scott — for now."

Rubio strides world stage, no one notices

"Marco Rubio Slams Obama's 'Deplorable' Treatment of Israel."

Saying "no" to the ad

"Of the many things that could be compared to candidates for governor, a wedding dress has to rank pretty low on the list."

But the College Republican National Committee did just that with its series of “Say Yes to the Candidate” ads, spoofs on the “Say Yes to the Dress” reality show that airs on TLC. First up was an ad comparing the “Rick Scott,” a modern dress favored by the bride, to the “Charlie Crist,” an “outdated” model favored by the bride’s mother.
"The ad quickly went viral, though perhaps not in the manner than the College Republican National Committee had hoped. Many of the first-blush responses panned the concept --- though some of the reviewers might not have been aware that it was a parody of a television reality show. And Democrats jumped at the chance to once again paint the GOP as out of touch with women."
“As a female who does not equate voting with choosing a wedding dress, I am offended by the Republicans’ reliance on sexism to communicate with voters,” said former state Rep. Ana Rivas Logan, who like Crist is a Republican-turned-Democrat. “It’s not surprising that a candidate who doesn’t trust women to make decisions about their bodies and refuses to fight for equal pay would think this is a good way to reach Florida’s women. Is this really how Rick Scott thinks women should decide who to vote for?”
"Rick Scott wedding dress ad clad in controversy Video." More: "Backroom Briefing: Dress for Electoral Success?."

Lie down with dogs

"With the clock ticking down until the gubernatorial election, anti-Common Core groups from across the state are assessing where they’ll be putting their votes on Nov. 4. Earlier in the year, some anti-Common Core activists said they’d be skipping this year’s election to send a message to Gov. Rick Scott by withholding their votes. They feel he hasn’t done his part in pumping the brakes on the standards." "Will There Be an Anti-Common Core Assault on November's Election?."

Political tweets

"And then there’s Mike Fasano."

Fasano, Pasco’s appointed tax collector (he’ll officially win election, unopposed, next month), is nothing if not outspoken. That’s part of his charm. It’s also much of what prompted Gov. Rick Scott to name him to fill the open post in the wake of Mike Olson’s death. Scott got Fasano, a thorn, out of Tallahassee; after 19 years trekking to the capital, Fasano got a job back home he’d had his eye on. Everybody won, including Pasco residents. The new guy has attacked his duties with energy, imagination and abundant good cheer.

But as one of Pasco’s constitutional officers, Fasano in many ways still operates like a maverick legislator. He doesn’t just endorse candidates. He records robo calls for them. And far more often than not, when he tweets to his 2,660 followers, it’s to land political punches. Against the Republican governor who appointed him. Against the Legislature’s GOP leadership.

This is disconcerting, not because Fasano is, nominally at least, a Republican himself — frankly, a little intraparty skirmishing is good for the soul — but because we expect less overt political activism in those chosen to carry out local government’s administrative duties.

"Officeholders shouldn’t pen political tweets."

Scott "has been lukewarm since a surprise turnaround"

"Theoretically, Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist agree on one thing in their hotly contested gubernatorial race — Florida should expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, better known as 'Obamacare.'"

But Crist, the Republican-turned-Democrat, said the difference is that he would fight to extend Medicaid to hundreds of thousands of Floridians, while Scott, a Republican who first ran for office as a fierce critic of the federal health care law, has been lukewarm since a surprise turnaround on the Medicaid issue last year.
"Scott, Crist worlds apart on Medicaid expansion."

Run!, Jeb, Run!

"Leading Republican voices are increasingly calling for former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., to run for the GOP’s presidential nomination, but conservatives have their doubts over his stances on immigration reform and Common Core." "GOP Leaders Want Jeb Bush to Run in 2016 Despite Conservative Doubts."

Rick Scott can't shake the fraud thing

"Orlando hotelier Nik Patel, who was arrested Tuesday on fraud allegations, held a fundraiser for Gov. Rick Scott at his home in Windermere in April." "Businessman Nik Patel held Rick Scott fundraiser at home."

Ross ascendant

"Dennis Ross' Star is Ascending in Washington."

On immigration

"The call for action on immigration is bipartisan, though candidates Carols Curbelo and Joe Garcia still find ways to criticize each other over the contentious issue." "On immigration, Miami congressional race between Carlos Curbelo and Joe Garcia is outlier."

When in doubt attack them thar "Washington liberals"

"While Democrat Murphy keeps it local, new ad by GOP’s Domino rips ‘Washington liberals’."

Hillary Clinton promotes Crist in Miami

Hillary "Clinton was also in South Florida to promote her book about her tenure as the nation’s top diplomat and to help Democrat Charlie Crist raise money for his gubernatorial campaign. CNN reported the event raised $1 million for the Crist campaign. Crist, a former Republican governor, is locked in a tight race with GOP Gov. Rick Scott, who has outspent the Democratic nominee by a 2-1 margin in television advertising." "Hillary Clinton promotes book, Crist in Miami."

Resurrection unlikely

Nancy Smith: "A High-Speed Rail Resurrection? Unlikely."