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Florida Democratic Party News Clips - July 16, 2012

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FLORIDA DEMS SLAM TOXIC GOP BRAND, ROMNEY-SCOTT VISION Democrats' 2012 strategy includes attacks on Scott [AP] "Party officials gathered for the Democrats' largest annual fundraiser repeatedly held Scott up as an example of Republican extremism. While Scott isn't up for re-election until 2014, his approval rating is low. Democrats want to take advantage of that by casting guilt by association with Republicans who are running this year. 'Two words that I'll use tonight and for the rest of this campaign: Rick Scott,' Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith said Saturday evening. 'We are absolutely convinced that Rick Scott is the face of the tea party, is the voice of the tea party in Florida. He's been speaking for the tea party, and for the next three of four months we're going to make sure that his statements and his method of governance is well discussed.'"

Democrats target Florida Governor Scott to gain votes in presidential election [News Service of Florida] "With Scott's poll numbers continuing to struggle and Florida a critical battleground in the November election, Democrats see the unpopular businessman governor as a uniquely powerful albatross against Romney, a former Massachusetts governor under fire for his time at the head of private equity firm Bain Capital as he runs against President Barack Obama." 

Florida Democrats slam Mitt Romney and Gov. Rick Scott at annual dinner in Hollywood [Miami Herald] "Florida Democrats bashed Republican Gov. Rick Scott as they all gathered Saturday night for their annual Jefferson Jackson dinner in Hollywood."

At Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, Democrats target Rick Scott, Mitt Romney [Palm Beach Post] "Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a congresswoman from Broward County, suggested Scott and his 'extreme policies' would influence Florida voters in their choice for president."

Democrats see path to victory [Sun Sentinel] "At the Hollywood gathering, Democrats at all levels repeated the same themes over and over. Speaking to reporters and in speeches at the big Saturday night dinner, party leaders repeatedly invoked the name of Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who isn't on the ballot in November but who polls show is exceedingly unpopular with Florida voters. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, said voters wouldn't like the 'Romney-Scott vision.'" 

Florida Democrats Zero In On Mitt Romney’s Weak Points [CBSMiami] "Smith knocked 'the toxic brand of Allen West politics,' and when West appeared on screen during a video at the dinner, attendees booed. But most of the fire was reserved for Scott — or what Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz called the 'Romney-Scott vision.'" 

 

PRESIDENT OBAMA TO FLORIDA Obama campaigns in Florida this week [News Service of Florida] "President Obama will be in Jacksonville and West Palm Beach for campaign events on Thursday, the Washington newspaper Politico reported. Obama plans to spend the night in the Palm Beach area and on Friday plans to campaign in Fort Myers and Orlando."

Follow the money? Not with Romney [Tampa Bay Times column] "Mitt Romney's millions have been dispatched around the world, conveniently finding homes in foreign tax shelters. Is that really as irrelevant as Romney wants to make it? Romney is thought to be worth an estimated $250 million. He's a successful businessman, but is he a good citizen? Has Romney contributed to the commonweal by paying his fair share of taxes, or has he employed clever and controversial tax avoidance schemes? It's a question Romney could easily answer by disclosing several more years of tax records and the details of his overseas assets, but he won't."

OFA Releases New Ad, "Firms" [OFA] Watch "Firms" here

Poll: Florida voters favor President Barack Obama’s immigration policies [Miami Herald] "Florida voters, particularly in immigrant-rich pockets of South and Central Florida, overwhelmingly say they support comprehensive immigration reform" 

 

TAMPA BAY TIMES ENDORSES WELDON, MACK AN "OPPORTUNIST" WHO "DOES NOT INSPIRE CONFIDENCE" Senate primaries give voters few options [Tampa Bay Times Editorial] "Mack, 44, has the reputation of an opportunist with an unremarkable record in Congress…Beyond his policy positions, Mack's approach to public service does not inspire confidence. He refused to debate his Republican primary opponents or meet with editorial boards, including this one. By one measure, he has missed more than twice as many votes in the House as the average member since taking office. There also remain questions about how much time he spends in his district…In the Republican primary for U.S. Senate, the Tampa Bay Times recommends Dave Weldon."

Major Florida Paper Endorses Mack’s Rival In Senate Primary [Talking Points Memo] "The Tampa Bay Times endorsed long-shot Senate candidate Dave Weldon on Sunday over presumptive nominee Rep. Connie Mack. In an editorial that was not flattering to either candidate, the editors argued that at least Weldon was a 'more serious-minded lawmaker.'" 

 

ON THE CONGRESSIONAL FRONT — RIVERA ALMOST CHARGED, YOUNG STILL TAKING HEAT FOR OUT OF TOUCH COMMENTS, DEMINGS BEATS WEBSTER IN FUNDRAISING 

State cops, prosecutors were ready to charge U.S. Rep. David Rivera before case fell apart [Miami Herald] "The lengthy probe of Rivera’s finances 'unequivocally explains the theft and/or fraud of campaign funds,' FDLE inspector Brett Lycett wrote in a July 5, 2011, e-mail to a prosecutor. 'We believe the violations are quite evident.'” 

Low-wage working man told to 'get a job' wants apology from Florida Congressman [Sun Sentinel] "Do our leaders really hear us? GOP Congressman C.W. Bill Young, who represents Florida's 10th district, told Pepe Kovanis to "get a job" when he asked Congressman C.W. Bill Young about increasing the minimum wage, reports WTSP CBS News-10 in Tampa Bay."

Man Told to 'Get a Job' by Rep. Young Speaks Out [Patch.com] "Pepe Kovanis stood among supporters and the press in St. Petersburg asking for an apology from Congressman C.W. "Bill" Young. 'I would like an apology for not only myself but for low wage workers around the country,' Kovanis told Patch. 'I think he has insulted them with his remarks to ‘get a job’. I think that he has failed his responsibilities as a representative. He is suppose to listen to his constituents not belittle them.'" 

Demings maintains fundraising edge on Webster [Orlando Sentinel] "Democrat Val Demings continues to outpace the fundraising the U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, R-Winter Garden — netting about $292,000 in the last three months to his $200,000, according to election reports due Sunday. It’s the fourth straight quarter that Demings has beaten the incumbent"

 OUT OF TOUCH AND NOT AROUND Allen West Goes on National Fundraising Tour: Eight Out-Of-State Fundraisers [Broward News Times] "But the documents also show travel costs for plane tickets, hotels, and meals incurred on the road, highlighting that not only is West bringing in contributions from every state in the union, but he (and his staff) are traveling extensively to collect it." 

Oelrich, Stearns continue bashing each other over election complaints [Florida Times Union] "And the political jabbing via news release continues between U.S. Rep. Cliff Stearns and state Sen. Steve Oelrich, R - Cross Creek."

   

SAY WHAT?! Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll: I can't be gay because I'm married and 'black women that look like me' aren't lesbians [GaySouthFlorida] "Speaking to Channel 10 News in Tampa Bay -- at the opening of Mitt Romney's campaign headquarters there -- Carroll explained that she couldn't be gay because she's been married to a man for 29 years ('My husband doesn't want to hear that. He knows the type of woman I am. I mean, my kids know the type of woman I am') and that -- giggling -- 'usually black women that look like me don't engage in relationships like that.' Giggle." 

Attention no Lt. Gov wants [Sun Sentinel Editorial] "Certainly, they are an unwelcome, if not debilitating, distraction. It's hard enough to make a name for yourself when you are Florida's lieutenant governor, a post that carries no real constitutional duties other than to step into the governor's role if the incumbent becomes incapacitated or is otherwise unable to serve."

 

OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Democrat Dwight Dudley raises $31K during second quarter for campaign for House District 68 [SaintPetersBlog] "Attorney and small business owner Dwight Dudley, the Democratic nominee for Florida House of Representatives District 68, released strong fundraising numbers in the first full quarter of his campaign, bringing in over $31,000."

Health exchange by another name: Marco Rubio's 'marketplace' [Times/Herald] "And though Republicans such as Rubio and Scott won't admit it, Florida's marketplace is a lot like President Barack Obama's exchange."

The GOP’s kiss-off of the uninsured [Miami Herald column] "The Republican message to uninsured Americans in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling couldn’t be clearer: You’re on your own."

Campaign may turn on whether GOP starving or remaking schools [Orlando Sentinel] "Gov. Rick Scott and the Republican-controlled Legislature passed $1.35 billion in education cuts in 2011, dropping per-pupil funding to its lowest level since 2004…Democrats, though, are pouncing on the education cuts as proof the GOP is out of step with voters. 'These are the issues. If it's not jobs and the economy, it's education and concerns that their kids aren't receiving a good education,' said Democrat Joe Saunders, a grassroots organizer running for House District 49 in eastern Orange County."

Primary registration deadline is today in Florida [Tampa Tribune] "Today is the last day residents can change their political party affiliations or register to vote in next month's primary election."