Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"Crist may have just handed the election to Rubio"

The thunderous crashing sound off in the distance is Crist’s Senate candidacy hitting the ground in a million tiny pieces while his Senate opponent Marco Rubio phones in an order for a ‘Thank You’ basket to send Charlie’s way....

The Problem With Charlie is now one of accountability, credibility, and truthfulness. more...

And if Gov. weren't intent on proving he's a total asshat already:

Thursday, October 22, 2009

You can take the Asshat out of Florida...

St. Petersburg Times: Newest senator takes low road

Published Wednesday, October 21, 2009

In just six weeks, U.S. Sen. George LeMieux has succumbed to Washington. In his initial floor speech, LeMieux opted for partisan rhetoric over honest debate about the growing federal deficit. Florida's junior senator squandered a golden opportunity to use the bully pulpit he'll command for just 16 months.

In Tallahassee, LeMieux, Gov. Charlie Crist's former chief of staff, was credited with helping the governor's populist appeal. But Wednesday, he sacrificed candor in a predictable play to a partisan constituency. He reasonably equated Congress to a family who recklessly relies on credit cards to pay the bills. But he implied the runaway spending stems from Democratic control, ignoring that it began under President George W. Bush.

LeMieux really lost the high ground when he bragged that Crist and the Florida Legislature have cut spending by nearly 10 percent, or $7 billion, to balance the budget. LeMieux's omission: This year's state budget was balanced only because of $5 billion in federal stimulus dollars and $2.2 billion in new taxes and fees. Florida didn't live within its means. In fact, it was more like the spoiled offspring of a wealthy family who called Mom or Dad for a bailout.

Congress needs to make some hard choices, which would include both reducing spending and raising taxes, to address the deficit. But LeMieux did nothing to advance that cause. He lambasted congressional spending after building a career in Florida accepting its largesse. He bemoaned both the current health care system and Democratic reform plans, but offered no solution of his own. He championed further tax cuts but criticized potential cuts to Medicare, thereby defending an entitlement that is among the main drivers of the deficit. LeMieux can't have it both ways. He can't work for solutions and join the partisan fighting that does neither America nor Florida in particular any good.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Dented equipment ready to fail in Sarasota

Via the Brad Blog:

The November 3rd Election Day is nearing, so naturally the words "glitch," "hiccup," "snafu," and "snag" are back in the headlines, instead of the word "failure," which would be the appropriate one to use in such cases.

Today, it's our old friends in Sarasota, under the continuing and now-legendarily failed direction of Supervisor of Elections Kathy Dent and her latest failed voting system, this one an optical-scan system made by Diebold, featured in the Charlotte Sun's"Scanning glitch in vote machine test": more...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Yes, but how many were elected representatives?

Feds: 223 Gang Arrests in Florida

Saturday, October 17, 2009

WASHINGTON — U.S. immigration authorities say 223 gang members and associates were arrested in Florida in the last fiscal year.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says Operation Community Shield led to 1,785 arrests in 89 cities nationwide. The arrests were made between Oct. 1, 2008, and Sept. 30.

The 223 gang members and associates arrested in Florida faced charges of attempted murder, robbery, and various drug and weapons charges.

In Operation Community Shield, federal, state and local law enforcement agencies share information and resources to arrest, prosecute and imprison or deport gang members.

Florida immigration officials say the operation has helped dismantle or disrupt numerous gang and drug trafficking organizations. Link.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Teabaggers Stupify Even Republicans

In Florida, Republican leaders were elated when popular Florida Gov. Charlie Crist agreed to run for the Senate. He has adopted policies such as an aggressive approach to global warming that appeal even to Democrats. Those very policies infuriated conservatives, as did Mr. Crist's decision to campaign with President Barack Obama on behalf of the president's $787 billion stimulus package.

"He was Judas to the Republican Party in the state of Florida and across the country," says Robin Stublen, 53, of Punta Gorda, co-state coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots, a loose national coalition. "He sold us out for 13 pieces of gold."

A spokesman for Mr. Crist said the governor made sure stimulus dollars went to items important to Florida voters.

Mr. Crist has drawn a primary challenge from Marco Rubio, a former Florida House speaker, who is aggressively seeking tea-party members' support. #

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Another distinction for Florida

A recent string of arrests of public officials in Florida has led Gov. Charlie Crist to ask for a special grand jury. It will examine whether Florida has, as the governor suggests, a "culture of corruption." Link.

"It's obvious to me that something's wrong," said Crist, who noted he has removed 30 officials from their jobs since becoming governor in January 2007. "Fundamental problems within the system ... may be in fact cultivating a culture of corruption."

A similar effort a decade ago by former Gov. Jeb Bush to toughen laws that would make it easier to ferret out public corruption was largely rejected by Florida's Republican-dominated Legislature.

Crist's decision to have the high court impanel a statewide grand jury comes just two weeks after one of his top campaign contributors, Dr. Alan Mendelsohn of Hollywood, surrendered to the FBI on charges he ran a multimillion-dollar fraudulent fund raising and lobbying operation.

Three prominent politicians in Florida's second-most populous county, Democrat-controlled Broward County, were arrested last month on federal corruption charges, accused of accepting thousands of dollars in cash from undercover FBI agents posing as businessmen seeking illegal favors.

Crist issued executive orders suspending Broward County Commissioner Josephus Eggelletion - who just hours before his arrest voted on the county's annual budget in a late-night meeting - and county school board member Beverly Gallagher from office pending the outcome of the case.

The third person arrested, former Miramar city commissioner Fitzroy Salesman had lost his bid for re-election earlier this year. More...

A case that gathered far more publicity statewide involved former House Speaker Ray Sansom, a Destin Republican who was forced from his post in February after a state grand jury indicted him for perjury and official misconduct. The latter charge was recently dismissed.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The next time you get Vern's frugging "Poll"

Consider the context in which Vern Buchanan offers his kneejerk questions:

Surveys designed to persuade rather than survey are a common though dirty tactic in the political arena, the text equivalent of telephone push-polls. The sending of polls for fundraising purposes is also widely considered unethical, a practice known as "frugging" -- fundraising under the guise of research. In August, the RNC suggested in a similarly formatted "Future of American Health Care Survey" that "GOP voters might be discriminated against for medical treatment in a Democrat-imposed health care rationing system." Following on outcry from Democrats, a Republican Party spokesperson called that survey "inartfully worded."
More context

Another near first-place triumph for Penile State

Florida has the second-lowest rate of health insurance for people younger than 65 in the country, trailing only Texas, a new U.S. Census survey shows. Excluding Medicare-eligible senior citizens, one in four Floridians lives without any form of medical coverage. Link.