Saturday, August 06, 2016

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

Write-in loophole games

"From Port of Palm Beach, where an incumbent commissioner recruited her mother as an opponent for the third time, to Naples, where someone filed to run in a legislative race 150 miles from her listed address, the tactics of write-in candidates are turning elections on their heads."

In Central Florida, the write-in candidacy of a veteran prosecutor in the Orange-Osceola State Attorney race is stopping more than 500,000 voters from casting a ballot this primary. And two write-ins in northeast Orange County's District 11 Senate race who are not campaigning have blocked Republicans from participating.
"It's all possible because of an exception to the state's closed primaries that critics say is being abused."
Now a new filing with the Florida Supreme Court seeks help ferreting out sham candidates. And it could affect races across the state if justices choose to hear it out.

It stems from a controversial State Attorney race in Jacksonville after the campaign manager of Republican incumbent Angela Corey, whose office prosecuted George Zimmerman, "personally delivered" an opponent's qualifying papers in Tallahassee, according to the lawsuit.

"Write-in candidate lawsuit heads to Florida Supreme Court."

More: "Write-in candidates are blocking full voter participation in six state Senate districts and 14 House districts on the Aug. 30 primary ballot, disenfranchising 1.6 million Florida voters." "Secretive write-in candidates lock out Florida voters."

The Tampa Bay Times editors: "Florida should close write-in loophole."

Trump's Khan Fight Could Cost Florida Veteran Vote

"GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has put himself between veterans after engaging in a heated spat earlier this week with the family of U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, killed in the Iraq war in 2004. And Trump's continued attacks on the family could prove costly in Florida, a state 1.6 million veterans call home." "Trump's Fight with Gold Star Family Could Cost Florida Veteran Vote."

Hill to Kissimmee

"Hillary Clinton to visit Kissimmee on Monday."

"Bitter Democratic primary"

William March: "County Commissioner Kevin Beckner is calling Clerk of Court Pat Frank 'part-time Pat' in their bitter Democratic primary for the clerk’s office, saying she doesn’t show up at the office enough to provide leadership there." "Frank camp turns tables on Beckner over work time."

What's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State

Marc Caputo: "Those times Scott cut mosquito-fighting money – Wasserman Schultz agrees to Canova face-off – Rep. Castor: Tampa will get Cuban consulate." "Florida Playbook."

Murphy harnesses Biden's popularity

Matt Dixon: "As Joe Biden walked into Olean’s Restaurant, a soul food joint that’s a regular campaign stop for politicians rolling through Florida’s Capitol city, he made clear why he was there." "Murphy hopes to harness Biden's popularity to win Senate race."

AHCA wrangling

"AHCA, hospitals wrangle over new rates, while HMOs get back payments."

And then there's that part

"Scott bashes feds over Zika funding, but slashed mosquito control money."

Bat mitzvah blues

"Former Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz acknowledged on Friday that Vice President Joe Biden had indeed recorded a video for her daughter’s bat mitzvah, a day after saying a POLITICO story on the matter was 'not true.'" "Wasserman Schultz contradicts self on Biden bat mitzvah tape."

DWS on defense

"After national Democratic turmoil, Wasserman Schultz returns home to defend her seat in Congress."

Chamber an arm of the FlaGOP

"U.S. Chamber takes aim at Murphy, endorses Rubio."

Another DWS fave?

"The day after Val Demings was given a prominent speaking role at the Democratic National Convention, two other Democrats vying for Florida's 10th Congressional District cried foul." "Rivals call out Democratic Party after Val Demings speech."

The best the FlaGOP can do?

"Beruff, who vows to cut taxes if elected, avoided $235,000 in 2015 taxes for his business holdings by claiming that the 1,884 acres his companies bought to develop in the future are agricultural land because they are leased to cattle companies or have planted pine trees or crops." "How U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff avoided $235,000 in taxes." Meanwhile, "In Sarasota, Rubio ignores GOP opponent in speech, while Beruff slams the incumbent."