Chicken Fried Politics

Home » Posts tagged 'Florida 2014'

Tag Archives: Florida 2014

Clinton and Giuliani appear in ads for Florida candidates they once opposed

Clinton calls Democrat Charlie Crist “the people’s governor,” as Giuliani slams Crist in an ad for Republican Rick Scott

♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com

florida mugMIAMI (CFP) — Just eight years after working to defeat Charlie Crist in the 2006 Florida governor’s race, former President Bill Clinton has cut a new television ad touting Crist as “the people’s governor.”

In the ad, which began airing statewide October 28, Clinton tells voters the Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat “really cares about making your life better.”

“I hope you’ll stand with Charlie. He needs your vote.”

Not to be outdone in the surrogate wars, the campaign of Crist’s opponent, Republican Governor Rick Scott, began airing a clip of a recent speech by former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani in which he slams the party-switching Crist.

“I’ve never met a person in politics that I disrespect more than Charlie Crist,” Giuliani said.

When Crist ran for governor in 2006 as a Republican, Clinton came to the Sunshine State to campaign for his opponent, former Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, while Giuliani campaigned for Crist.

In 2010, after Crist decided to forsake Tallahassee and run for the U.S. Senate as an independent, Giuliani supported one of Scott’s opponents, former Attorney General Bill McCollum, in the GOP primary.

With less than a week to go before the election, polls show the race between Scott and Crist is too close to call.

Watch the ads featuring Clinton and Giuliani:

Analysis: Florida Democrats putting their eggs in Charlie Crist’s (flawed) basket

Democrats are gambling that Crist won’t do something foolish or shameless before election day

♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor

More than 4.6 million registered Democrats call Florida home. Surely, in a pool of people that enormous, the party could have found somebody — anybody — to nominate for governor who is not as inherently flawed as Charlie Crist.CFP Facebook Mugshot

But what’s done is done. Democrats have given one of their prized political possessions to a man who has pulled off the hat trick of being a Republican, an independent and a Democrat in just four short years. Look in the dictionary under “political opportunist,” and you will find his uber-tanned countenance, smiling sweetly back at you.

Now, Democrats must hold their breath until November, hoping that Crist won’t do something foolish or shameless in the next three months that will ensure Governor Rick Scott’s re-election. Good luck with that.

Given Scott’s frequently turbulent tenure in Tallahassee, the governor should be in a lot more trouble than he is. Surely this should have been a race into which politically ambitious Democrats were anxious to plunge. But none of them were, and, as a result, this contest is, essentially, a dead heat, even though the Democrat should be well ahead.

Democrats may still believe that the divisive flavor of Scott’s first term will be enough to push Crist to victory, and the results in November may still prove them right. But an argument can also be made that they would be in better shape right now had they not nominated a man who has enough political baggage to fill all his overhead bins.

That was essentially the argument that Nan Rich made in the Democratic primary. Nobody listened to her. Her decades of service to the Democratic Party went unrewarded. Crist, who in comparison to Rich has been a Democrat for about 15 minutes, took the prize instead.

So what made Crist’s resurrection possible? In a word, money. He has the ability to raise a ton of it. Not as much as Scott, of course, who can also  just get out his hefty personal checkbook if need be. But Crist’s argument that he was person best equipped to defeat Scott apparently resonated with Democrats.

Or maybe that was just wishful thinking.

In any case, no other up-and-coming Democrats were willing to endure the prospect of facing big-spending Crist in the primary and, then, if successful, facing the bigger-spending Scott in the general election. The result? Crist is heading into the general election without having fought for the Democratic nomination, a fight that might have demonstrated whether he still has the political chops to go the distance.

If Crist loses in November, Florida Democrats — particularly those who view Scott as nothing short of diabolical — will be kicking themselves for the next four years. And Charlie Crist? Well, there’s a Senate race in 2016, and he hasn’t been a Libertarian yet.

Florida’s last two governors, Rick Scott and Charlie Crist, to battle in November

Crist, who served a single term as governor as a Republican, wins the Democratic nomination to face off with incumbent Republican Scott

florida mugTALLAHASSEE, Florida (CFP) — This November, Florida voters will choose between their current governor and his immediate predecessor in what’s likely to be an expensive and pitched battle for the state’s top job.

Former Governor Charlie Crist won the Democratic nomination for governor in the August 26 primary, besting former State Senator Nan Rich with 74 percent of the vote. Republican Governor Rick Scott, 61, did even better in his primary, taking 88 percent against two little known opponents.

Crist’s win caps a remarkable political makeover for a man who started out in politics as a conservative Republican, serving as attorney general before getting elected governor in 2006.

In 2010, he gave up the governorship to pursue an open U.S. Senate seat. When he fell way behind the eventual winner, GOP U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, in the polls, he bolted the GOP and ran unsuccessfully as an independent. in 2012, after endorsing President Obama for re-election, he became a Democrat and then jumped into the governor’s race.

In her campaign, Rich tried to make the case to Democrats that, unlike Crist, she was a longtime party loyalist. But her campaign never caught traction.

In a victory speech to supporters in Fort Lauderdale, Crist said the general election will be “about making sure that Floridians get their Florida back.”

“Our Florida is one where fairness and opportunity trump money and partisanship,” he said. “Our Florida is one where common sense and compassion come before cynicism and cronyism. And most importantly, our Florida is one where the government works for and answers to the people, not the special interests.”

Scott did not make a public speech on election night, instead releasing a statement saying the November election will be about “talk versus action.”

“That means Florida will have a choice between a governor who sent our state into a tailspin and a governor who gets results,” he said. “Charlie Crist failed as governor, lost 830,000 jobs, and tried to run off to Washington – and now he wants his job back.”

Scott, an multimillionaire former health care executive, pumped $75 million of his own money to win the governorship in 2010 in his first run for political office. He is expected to have a significant financial advantage over Crist in a state with numerous, expensive media markets, although Crist has so far raised more than $20 million.

Polls show the race as a dead heat with a little more than two months left before the general election.

Florida judge upholds new U.S. House map, but it won’t be used until 2016

Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis’s ruling clears the way for the state’s August 26 primary

♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitcs.com editor

florida mugTALLAHASSEE, Florida (CFP) — Just days before Florida’s primary, a state judge has approved a redrawn map for the state’s 27 congressional districts but delayed its implementation until the 2016 elections.

Florida Circuit Judge Terry Lewis

Florida Circuit Judge Terry Lewis

The August 22 ruling by Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis clears the way for the August 26 primary to proceed without the possibility of a special election later in the year under the redrawn map.

The ruling was a victory for the leadership of the GOP-controlled legislature, who maintained that imposing the new map now would have wreaked havoc on the state’s electoral process.

“Thankfully, the court listened to supervisors of elections and the Secretary of State and rejected plaintiffs’ plan, which would have thrown the 2014 elections into chaos and could have resulted in our state being without congressional representation for weeks or even months,” said State Senate President Don Gaetz in a statement.

However, the groups that sued to strike down the map, including the League of Women Voters, say they will appeal the ruling, contending that the changes made by the legislature during a special session earlier in the month didn’t go far enough to fix the unconstitutional gerrymandering that prompted Lewis to strike down the original map.

Lewis ruled that the new map “adequately addresses the constitutional deficiencies” he found in the original map drawn after the 2010 Census.

While conceding that alternatives offered by the plaintiffs might be less gerrymandered, Lewis said the legislature isn’t required “to produce a map that the plaintiffs, or I, or anyone else might prefer.”

“The legislature is only required to produce a map that meets the requirements of the constitution,” Lewis said. He also said the plaintiffs had failed to prove that using the new map this year was “legally and logistically doable.”

In July, Lewis ruled that two districts in northwestern and central Florida — the majority black 5th District and the Republican-leaning 10th District — violated two constitutional amendments Florida voters approved in 2010 designed to limit political gerrymandering.

Under the new rules, districts cannot be drawn to benefit any political party and must be geographically compact. However, the amendments left redistricting in the hands of legislators, rather than turning it over to an independent outside panel.

In the original map, the 5th District, held by Democratic U.S. Rep Corrine Brown, was a majority black district that meandered from Jacksonville over to Gainesville and then down to Orlando. At one point, it is the width of a highway. The 10th District, held by Republican U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster, was anchored in central Florida west of Orlando but had an appendage that wrapped around Orlando to take in GOP voters to the east in Seminole County.

Lewis ruled that the map draw packed black voters into the 5th District to make surrounding districts more Republican and that the appendage was added to the 10th District to help Webster, both of which were unconstitutional.

In the new map, the 5th District still runs from Jacksonville to Orlando, but some black voters in the Orlando area were shifted to adjacent districts and some more rural areas were added south of Jacksonville to make the district geographically wider. The new district is 48 percent black. The new map also removed the appendage from Webster’s district.

Because House districts must have equal population, the changes to those two districts required slight changes in five surrounding districts in central Florida.

The League of Women Voters proposed a different map that would have the 5th District running due west from Jacksonville past Tallahassee — a change that would have required a wholesale revision of the map statewide.

A Democratic alternative rejected by the legislature didn’t as far as the plaintiff’s map, but it would have made the 7th and 10th districts more evenly split between Republicans and Democrats.

Although Florida is evenly divided politically, Republicans enjoy a 17-10 advantage in the state’s congressional delegation, largely due to their control of the redistricting process. The new map is not expected to change the delegation’s partisan balance.

Florida Legislature approves changes to U.S. House map

New plan makes slight alterations to 10 districts and is unlikely to disturb delegation’s GOP tilt

♦By Rich Shumate, Chickenfriedpolitics.com editor

florida mugTALLAHASSEE, Florida (CFP) — On a largely party-line vote, the Republican-controlled Florida House and Senate have approved a bill redrawing the state’s U.S. House map, which a state judge ruled last month was unconstitutionally gerrymandered.

The new map makes only minor alterations to 10 of the state’s 27 districts that are unlikely to change the House delegation’s partisan balance. The groups that sued to strike down the map, including the League of Women Voters, are demanding more substantial changes that could trigger new districts statewide and are expected to ask the judge to reject the redrawn map.

The Senate approved the new map by a vote of 25-12 on August 11. The House gave its approval a short time later by a vote of 71-38. Lawmakers rejected a democratic alternative that would have made two GOP-held districts near Orlando more competitive.

Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis ruled that two districts in northwestern and central Florida — the majority black 5th District and the Republican-leaning 10th District — violated two constitutional amendments Florida voters approved in 2010 designed to limit political gerrymandering.

Under the new rules, districts cannot be drawn to benefit any political party and must be geographically compact. However, the amendments left redistricting in the hands of legislators, rather than turning it over to an independent outside panel.

Lewis ruled that the map draw by legislators packed black voters into the oddly shaped 5th District to make surrounding districts more Republican and also added an appendage to the 10th District east of Orlando to add more Republican voters.

Lewis ordered legislators to draw a new map by August 15, although he has not said whether he will order the map to be used in this year’s congressional elections. That could throw the Sunshine State’s election process into chaos as absentee ballots have already been sent out for the August 26 primary.

While Republican leaders in the legislature decided to comply with Lewis’s order to redraw the map rather than appeal, they have said they will only support using the new map beginning in 2016 and want to continue this year’s elections under the old map.

Lewis has set a hearing for August 20 to hear arguments on implementing the new map.

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown

U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown

Under the original map, the 5th District, held by Democratic U.S. Rep Corrine Brown of Jacksonville, was a majority black district that meandered from Jacksonville over to Gainesville and then down to Orlando, taking in heavily black precincts to create a black majority At one point, it is the width of a highway.

In the new map, the 5th District still runs from Jacksonville to Orlando, but some black voters in the Orlando area are shifted to adjacent districts and some more rural areas are added south of Jacksonville to make the district geographically wider. The new district is 48 percent black.

Brown joined with Republicans in supporting the original map, which she said met the Voting Rights Act’s requirement to create majority minority districts wherever possible.

The new map also makes changes to the 10th District, held by U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster, and the adjacent 7th District, held by U.S. Rep. John Mica, that will make them less Republican. Because House districts must have equal population, the changes to those three districts required slight changes in seven surrounding districts in central Florida.

The League of Women Voters and the other plaintiffs are criticizing the new map, saying it doesn’t fix the geographic problems with the 5th District. They have proposed a different map that would have the 5th District running due west from Jacksonville past Tallahassee — a change that would require a wholesale revision of the map statewide.

The Democratic alternative rejected by the legislature doesn’t go as far as the plaintiff’s map, but it would have made the 7th and 10th districts more evenly split between Republicans and Democrats.

Although Florida is evenly divided politically, Republicans enjoy a 17-10 advantage in the state’s congressional delegation, largely due to their control of the redistricting process.

In his ruling striking down the map, Lewis was highly critical of the behind-the-scenes role Republican political consultants played in the redistricting process, which was supposed to be apolitical.

“They made a mockery of the legislature’s proclaimed transparent and open process of redistricting by doing all of this in the shadow of that process, utilizing the access it gave them to the decision makers, but going to great lengths to conceal from the public their plan and their participation in it,” Lewis said.

<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: