NOT THE HEADLINE YOU WANT Republican message needs a tuneup [Tampa Bay Times editorial] "The storm is only the latest unexpected development to knock Mitt Romney off his original focus of jobs, jobs, jobs. His selection of Paul Ryan as his running mate turned attention to Medicare and Ryan's plan to transform the entitlement into a voucher program for those under 55 years old. That is a hard sell in Florida, where 18 percent of the population — more than 3.4 million residents — are on Medicare. Exempting everyone 55 or older from any changes does not mean those older voters do not care about the future of the program. The firestorm over Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin and his reprehensible comments explaining his opposition to abortion rights, even in cases of rape, hasn't helped either"
Mitt Romney and GOP in Tampa: How Low Will They Go? [Mother Jones] "How far will they go? That is, in terms of nastiness, extremism, and fact-defiance."
Scott a "skunk at the garden party" [Palm Beach Post] "Arceneaux also said Republican organizers also are clearly looking to avoid potential duds. Scott, for example, is being pushed onto the stage soon after the opening night’s lights go on. 'He’s a skunk at the garden party,' Arceneaux said. 'They can’t ignore him, because he’s the host state’s governor. But they want to get him out of the way in a hurry.'”
New Video: The Romney Bunch [DNC] "If you didn't think Mitt Romney's foray into the birther movement yesterday was evidence enough that his campaign has stooped to dog whistling to the most extreme elements in the Republican Party, just look who he's surrounding himself with in Tampa" WATCH "THE ROMNEY BUNCH" HERE
New Video: Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan: The Do-Over - ConventionReinvention.com [OFA] "This is the exclusive online trailer premiere of the Romney-Ryan campaign's GOP convention reinvention of Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan: 'The Do-Over.'" WATCH "THE DO-OVER" HERE.
OFA Releases New TV Ad: "Promises" [OFA] ""It's a promise that was made long ago. You work hard, pay in. Your Medicare benefits are guaranteed. But Mitt Romney would break that promise...replace your benefits with a voucher." WATCH "PROMISES" HERE.
RNC, Here are Some Florida Facts [Florida Voices] "Republican conventioneers, welcome to Florida. It is only fitting you are convening here, as we truly are the laboratory for your tax policy, your education innovation and your quest for pure markets. Here in Florida, our Republican governors and right-wing legislatures have turned your bumper stickers into state policies. So, please take a stroll out of your hotel to see first-hand how well your approach to governance has fared."
THE PROTESTS Convention "Counter Events" Take Aim at Romney Platform [Public News Service] "Amid all the rain-soaked Romney supporters braving the threat of Hurricane Isaac for the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Tampa this week, there also are people protesting the presumed Republican nominee's platform. As weather permits, events are planned for protesters along the official convention parade route, near the Tampa Bay Times Forum."
Code Pink members dressed as vaginas protest Republican convention in Tampa [WMNF] "On Sunday Code Pink members dressed in vaginas chanted "Hey Hey GOP - Women want equality." They're protesting the Republican National Convention in Tampa."
Protesters rally for middle class, women's rights in Tampa before RNC [Tampa Bay Times] "Police patrolled on horseback, bicycle and foot. An ice sculpture formed the words "Middle Class." Some folks were dressed in suits depicting a female body part. Dogs described as Democrats by their owners sniffed suspiciously at reporters."
THE RON PAUL PROBLEM Ron Paul Republicans still not sure about Romney [Palm Beach Post] "Rand Paul has endorsed Romney for president, but Ron Paul has not, nor has he released his 177 delegates to Romney. And neither father nor son on Sunday mentioned the man who will officially become their party’s presidential nominee this week."
Ron Paul and the perpetually annoyed [Tampa Bay Times column] "Here was the libertarian version of one of those old, Soviet-era Kremlin funerals where — after fighting another head cold — the doddering leader went to that bowl of borscht in the sky, followed by days of mourning."
THE OP-ED Former Gov. Charlie Crist: Here's why I'm backing Barack Obama [Tampa Bay Times Guest Column] "As America prepares to pick our president for the next four years — and as Florida prepares once again to play a decisive role — I'm confident that President Barack Obama is the right leader for our state and the nation. I applaud and share his vision of a future built by a strong and confident middle class in an economy that gives us the opportunity to reap prosperity through hard work and personal responsibility. It is a vision of the future proven right by our history."
Crist to 'contrast the president's vision with Mitt Romney's' at Democratic convention [Tampa Bay Times] "Charlie Crist, who yesterday endorsed Barack Obama, will speak at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte next week."
OTHER (NON-CONVENTION) NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Democrats launch new web site to target David Rivera [Miami Herald] "U.S. Rep. David Rivera's latest political woes have provided convenient fodder for a liberal super-pac that does opposition research into Democratic opponents."
Congressman David Rivera sweats, ducks questions about federal grand-jury probe on TV [Miami Herald] "Rivera still hasn't answered, in any language, how he got access to Sternad's amended financial reports before they became public record."
Hooters, barroom brawls and road rage in Florida U.S. Senate race [LA Times] "The Nelson attack ad describes Mack as 'a promoter for Hooters with a history of bar room brawling, altercations and road rage' and goes after his 'questionable work habits' in Congress. (The 30-second ad manages to mention Medicare too)."
Florida election laws threaten the vote in a key swing state [Washington Post editorial] "As with many of the voter limitations imposed by Republican state governments since they won election in 2010, these measures are likely to favor Republican candidates — and Florida is the ultimate swing state. Thankfully, a federal judge in Florida has issued a preliminary injunction against the law, which would interfere with the ability of organizations like the League of Women Voters to register voters in time for the election. That’s good for now, but any attempt to discourage participation at the polls should be struck down for good."
Report: Florida’s Cuts to Higher Education Hurting Middle Class [FCIR] "Demos, a progressive public policy think tank, released a study that says the state’s continued cuts to higher education have shifted high costs to middle-class students and families that have for years been weathering a tough economy. According to the report, the state’s higher education system experienced a 22 percent decrease in state funding between 2007 and 2012."