Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Please forward to your entire address book!

October 30, 2006 
October 28, 2006 
October 27, 2006 
October 26, 2006 
October 25, 2006 

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Phone Bank From Your Home

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By signing up to be a Phone Volunteer you're committing to call voters for:
  • one hour a day for the last four days before the election, and
  • two hours on Election Day, November 7th.
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"It makes it easy to help out with the campaign, right from my home and computer. It's a brilliant program." — John W., Astoria, NY

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Davis -2- Crist -0-

Davis Earns Strong Reviews of Debate Performance
Florida Media Outlets Say Crist Struggled While Davis Looked Strong
TAMPA – Media reports across Florida this morning confirm most Floridians’ impressions of last night’s second gubernatorial debate:  Democratic nominee Jim Davis showed the depth and substance Floridians want in their next governor, while Crist struggled to defend his record on issues like rising crime rates, rising insurance costs and government intrusion into the life of Terri Schiavo.
Listed below is just a sampling of this morning’s coverage of Davis ’s performance:
MacManus:   Davis “Came Through” and was the “Winner” of the Debate
Offering her own post-debate spin on WFLA-TV, Dr. Susan MacManus said Davis’s strong performance earned him the support of undecided voters, making him the “winner”:  “Well I certainly think [the undecided voters] learned a lot about who can act best under fire and who really knows the facts, and I have to say that I think Davis really came through with a lot of facts, and if I had to score a winner, it’d probably be him.”  [WFLA-NBC, 10.30.06]
Adam Smith: Davis ’s Performance Showed Voters “A Smart and Steady Prospective Governor”
Noting Davis ’s win over Crist in last week’s debate, Adam Smith of the St. Petersburg Times called Davis ’s performance last night even “stronger.”  He said “Davis came off as comfortable and quick on his feet,” and compared Crist’s poor performance to Bill McBride’s during the 2002 debate: “Crist in contrast seemed not even to have a decent sound bite ready — a la Bill McBride in his 2002 debate with Gov. Jeb Bush.”  Smith said Davis ’s performance would influence undecided voters who would see him as a “smart and steady prospective governor.”  [ St. Petersburg Times, 10.31.06]
Scott Maxwell:   Davis “Seemed Confident” and “Convincing”
Scott Maxwell of the Orlando Sentinel said Davis “held his own” during the debate:  “ Davis seemed confident -- especially when calling out Crist, who sat on the sidelines in the Schiavo case. After Crist claimed he opposed Jeb Bush’s intervention in the case, Davis calmly responded in convincing fashion:  ‘No, he didn’t. Charlie refused to take a position.’ Couple that with Davis’ repeatedly stressing that Crist talks about wanting to take on insurance companies now, when he has done little on that front as attorney general, and Davis helped create an image of a man who was more talk than action.” [Orlando Sentinel, 10.31.06]
Tampa Tribune: “Crist Took a Pounding” While Davis Had His “Best Moment”
The Tampa Tribune said Crist spent most of the debate on the defensive:  “In the raucous atmosphere… [the] normally mild-mannered Crist took a pounding.”  Davis , on the other hand, emerged looking strong: “[t]he debate turned into what some considered the best moment so far in Davis ' underdog campaign.” [ Tampa Tribune, 10.31.06]
Sun-Sentinel: Crist “Appeared Uncharacteristically Angered by the Questioning”
The Sun-Sentinel said Davis handled the tough questioning better than Crist: “Crist appeared uncharacteristically angered by the questioning, while Davis, who in previous debates and stage appearances has appeared nervous, delved a bit more eagerly into the verbal tussle.”  [Sun-Sentinel, 10.31.06]
Miami Herald: Crist “on the Defensive” on His Record on Crime
“Crist found himself on the defensive on the issue that has been at the forefront of the attorney general's platform: crime. Crist claimed that crime ‘has gone down in our state,’ but when Matthews noted that violent crime was up, Crist responded: ‘The only violent crime that’s up is murder.’  That prompted Matthews to compare Crist to disgraced Washington Mayor Marion Berry, who used to boast that crime was down even though murder was up. ‘For most people, murder is the big one,’ Matthews said.”  [Miami Herald, 10.31.06]
Orlando Sentinel: Crist “Skewered” for Use of Crime Statistics
“At one point, Matthews skewered Crist for touting the state’s record-low crime rate, even as the candidate acknowledged that murders in Florida , particularly in Orlando , are soaring.  Matthews said Crist sounded like disgraced former Washington , D.C. , mayor Marion Barry.  ‘For most people, murder is the big one. Why didn't you say that?’ Matthews said. ‘Crime is going down, but murder is going up? That's what Marion Barry used to say in D.C.’” [Orlando Sentinel, 10.31.06]
Sun-Sentinel: Davis Used Opportunity To “Flay” Crist on Property Insurance Issue
According to the Sun-Sentinel: “Near the end of the debate, Matthews directed the conversation toward the topic that has overwhelmed the campaign up until now -- homeowner insurance costs.  Davis used the topic to flay Crist for wanting to "stay the course" with Republican policies and for failing to stand up to powerful insurance lobbyists…. Davis blasted Crist for reportedly accepting at least $2 million campaign donations from insurers and criticized Crist's proposal to stabilize the market, even suggesting that Jeb Bush, who attended the debate, has expressed doubts about the workability of his solutions.”  [Sun-Sentinel, 10.31.06]
Miami Herald: “Crist Made a Few Misstatements”
“Crist made a few misstatements. He said that before Sept. 11, the U.S. ‘had never been attacked on our soil before,’ overlooking Pearl Harbor . He also said he opposed congressional efforts to stop the husband of Terri Schiavo from removing the brain-damaged woman’s feeding tubes; but Crist did not take a public position until months after the controversy was over.” [ Miami Herald, 10.31.06]
Palm Beach Post: Crist Claims on Schiavo Not “Borne Out By The Record”
“In another instance, Matthews pressed Crist on the Republican-led intervention into the Terri Schiavo case, asking whether he had taken a position during the state and federal maneuvering over the fate of the brain-damaged woman. Crist finally said: ‘Yes, I did.’… Crist's statement does not appear to be borne out by the record. Crist, the state's top lawyer, was noticeably absent from the discussion at the time and did not take a public stand. During the first debate, Crist said that lack of a public position was proof of his sentiment on the matter. ‘That’s why I stayed out ... because it wasn’t the right thing to do in my point of view,’ Crist said last week.” [Palm Beach Post, 10.31.06]

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Monday, October 30, 2006

Kottkamp's firm investigated

Kottkamp's firm investigated
Here's a story that ran in the Miami Herald pertaining to state Rep. Jeff Kottkamp, R-Cape Coral, who's running for lieutenant governor on Charlie Crist's ticket.
Fundraiser host being investigated
The Florida Bar is investigating a complaint against the law firm that employs the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor.
The trial lawyer who co-hosted a major fundraiser Thursday in Orlando for Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist is under investigation by the Florida Bar for what was described in a complaint as illegal ''patient brokering'' with a chiropractic chain.
The lawyer, John Morgan, heads Morgan & Morgan, which specializes in personal injury cases, among other things.
Crist's running mate, state Rep. Jeff Kottkamp of Fort Myers, is a lawyer at the firm.
The Bar complaint against Morgan & Morgan does not mention Kottkamp. But it could ruffle the traditional Republican political base of medical, insurance and business interests that have fought for limits on personal-injury lawsuits.
The complaint was filed last year by another trial lawyer, J. Steele Olmstead of Tampa. Olmstead claims that Morgan's firm was soliciting accident victims through the 1st Health company headed by chiropractor Gary Kompothecras, whose TV ads urge injured viewers to call 1-800-ASK-GARY.
Olmstead said he called 1st Health posing as an accident victim. About an hour later, Olmstead said, he received a call from a paralegal at the Morgan & Morgan law firm.
''I'm not trying to attack him. I just want him to play by the rules,'' said Olmstead, who added that he does not advertise.
Olmstead's complaint to the Bar claims Morgan & Morgan may be paying ''kickbacks'' to Kompothecras for the referrals but says he has no direct knowledge of any such payments.
Florida Bar rules forbid lawyers from soliciting clients in person or through a third party. And state law says it is a third-degree felony for anyone to offer money in exchange for patient referrals to anyone, including a lawyer.
Kompothecras and Morgan have denied any wrongdoing. Asked about the investigation, John Morgan told The Miami Herald: The thing with ASK-GARY is over with us. The Bar just closed the file.''
However, Florida Bar spokeswoman Francine Walker said Thursday that the investigation is ongoing.
Morgan said his firm resolved the issue by agreeing to send an attorney to a three-hour class on advertising. He dismissed the complaint as one of dozens lodged each year by disgruntled potential clients and competitors who dislike his aggressive advertising.
He also said the firm does not ''take any more cases'' from Kompothecras' company. ''The Bar has sent this letter to 100 other law firms,'' Morgan said. This referral service is not just us. I don't even know [Kompothecras]. He advertises his services and then refers cases out to attorneys.''
He added: 'It's such a minor thing. We said, Do you end it, or do you let it go on?' ''
Kompothecras said he did nothing wrong. He said people who call the phone number are asked if they need a lawyer. If they say yes, they are offered a referral.
''We provide a service,'' he said. We're not trying to scam anyone.''
Through a campaign spokeswoman, Kottkamp said he had heard about the complaint but wasn't familiar with the details

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Sunday, October 29, 2006

A October Suprise?

Or A Trick-Or-Treat

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Friday, October 27, 2006

Bill Nelson ponies up

Sen. Nelson is the latest Democrat to transfer cash to the party from his campaign account:
Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson -- ahead in the polls and in fundraising -- transferred another $250,000 to the Florida Democratic Party on Thursday, a sign that his campaign is confident of a win and in his ability to help his party.
Nelson already had given $250,000 to the state party in September and raised another $600,000 for the party and tight races for governor, attorney general and chief financial officer.
The Orlando Democrat also raised or donated $1.2 million to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, bringing his total contribution to the party in the 2006 elections to $2.3 million.
There are others. The point of the Use It Or Lose It campaign isn't to give kudos for money "raised" for others. Those are usually merely campaign appearances that also serve to further their own political ends, or an email blast in which politicians take credit for the generosity of their list members. Those help, but they aren't what we've been talking about.
We're talking about digging into their bank accounts, and Nelson has done so to the tune of $500K to the Florida Democratic Party (which is helping run several competitive state and federal races), and an undisclosed amount more for the DSCC. This is particularly encouraging given that he's still working to put Katherine Harris' political career out of its misery.

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Clay Shaw Flip Flopping

Clay Shaw says one thing and does another, this last week he ran a radio ad in Palm Beach
touting his support of Bill Clinton
While Having one of the highest pro Bush Voting records in the House
How  Much Did Shaw Vote with Bush?  

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Mandy Dawson's Prescription For Change


or just the ramblings of another Hillbilly Heroin Addict 


Mandy Dawson With Crist

Democratic State Sen. Mandy Dawson will be supporting Republican Charlie Crist, says the Coalition for Bipartisan Progress. She was another Rod Smith supporter.
Read her letter here.

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Mahoney Sweeps Newspaper Endorsements

Mahoney Sweeps Newspaper Endorsements

Earns Support of Three Major Newspapers

Tim Mahoney, Democratic Candidate for U.S. Congress in Florida’s 16th District has received newspaper endorsements from The Charlotte Sun Herald, The Palm Beach Post and The Sarasota Herald Tribune. With fourteen days left until Election Day, Mahoney has proven himself to be a moderate voice and the change Washington desperately needs.

"I am honored to have received these endorsements. I will be a moderate voice for all Floridians and will work across the aisle to restore personal responsibility and fiscal responsibility to Washington and get America back on track. It is time for change and I am the candidate who will deliver that change for Florida voters," Tim Mahoney said.

The Charlotte Herald Sun – "Mahoney has a businessman’s approach to government – look at all the data and make the best decision. He is strong on fiscal conservatism and has pledged to work with Republicans to change the course on spending and to better secure our borders and our ports – two priorities he says have not been funded by the current administration. We are impressed with Tim Mahoney’s moderate, business-like approach to government."

The Palm Beach Post – "The man with a fresher perspective is Mr. Mahoney, owner of Palm Beach Gardens financial services company and first-time candidate." "Lack of change seems certain with Rep. Negron. The Post recommends Mr. Mahoney, to give change a chance."

The Sarasota Herald Tribune – There are better reasons to vote for Mahoney, "He runs a successful financial services business, will push Florida as a center for the production of alternative energy, espouses balanced policies on immigration (similar to those that gained bipartisan support in the U.S. Senate), urges a change of course in Iraq but not an abrupt retreat, and supports women’s reproductive rights."

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The GOP's Best AD

The AD the RNC did not want you to see:

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Davis vs. Crist

St. Petersburg Times editorial:  “ Davis Spoke More Clearly And Specifically About The Issues”
Jim Davis had a good night Tuesday night, and Charlie Crist had an average one. In the first televised debate between the candidates for governor, Davis spoke more clearly and specifically about the issues that matter most to Floridians: taxes, education and homeowners insurance…He put his best foot forward Tuesday night.”  [St. Petersburg Times editorial, 10/25/06]
Adam Smith, St. Petersburg Times:  Davis “Came Off As Sharp, Substantive”
“ Davis …came off as sharp, substantive and better-equipped with specifics than Republican Attorney General Crist… Davis has dramatically improved… Davis scored points when he repeatedly pressed Crist for not supporting tax relief for businesses and renters…He may have made a strong impression on some of those strangers Tuesday, and gave his supporters reason for excitement in the final stretch.”  [Adam Smith, St. Petersburg Times, 10/25/06]
Scott Maxwell, Orlando Sentinel:  “ Davis …Edged Out Charlie Crist”
“ Davis looked as calm and confident as ever tonight. And I think he left the stage having edged out Charlie Crist…I think Davis 's message resonates a lot louder.”  [Scott Maxwell, Orlando Sentinel, 10/25/06]
Miami Herald:  “ Davis Was Prepared”
“ Davis was prepared… Davis offered a catchy defense of his record in Congress:  ‘It's not just about showing up. It's about standing up. Charlie as attorney general has done nothing to stand up to the insurance companies.’”  [ Miami Herald, 10/25/06]
Palm Beach Post:  “ Davis Was More Aggressive”
“ Davis was more aggressive than he had been in the Democratic primary…[he] went through the encounter with barely a hitch.”  [ Palm Beach Post, 10/25/06]
Daytona Beach News-Journal:  Davis “Would Bring About Changes In The State”
“During the debate, Davis presented himself as the candidate who would bring about changes in the state and repeatedly criticized Crist for wanting to ‘stay the course.’”  [Daytona Beach News-Journal, 10/25/06]
Sun-Sentinel:  “ Davis Labeled Crist As…‘Stay The Course’”
Davis labeled Crist as the candidate for voters who wanted to "stay the course." Davis said he was the candidate for people who wanted the state to do better, while Crist is part of the Tallahassee establishment controlled by special interests.  [Sun-Sentinel, 10/25/06]
St. Petersburg Times:  Davis “Showed A More Aggressive Side”
“ Davis …showed a more aggressive side. He portrayed Crist as a symbol of the status quo of high student dropout rates and rising taxes, who has refused to stand up to the insurance industry as attorney general… Davis warned a restive electorate that Crist is the candidate who would ‘stay the course’ at a time when change is needed.”  [St. Petersburg Times, 10/25/06]
Orlando Sentinel:  “It Was Clear Davis Was Ready”
“Tuesday night marked Davis ' long-awaited opportunity to share the stage with Crist, who has avoided joint appearances with his opponent and been content to rely on an avalanche of 30-second TV ads.  And it was clear Davis was ready.”  [Orlando Sentinel, 10/25/06]
Tampa Tribune:  Davis “Turned The Attack Around”
“Davis diffused Crist's attempts to gain the higher ground on civil rights…Davis said both Freddie Pitts and Wilbert Lee accepted his apology and noted that Pitts was in attendance at Nova Southeastern University in Davie to support him at the debate. He then turned the attack around.”  [Tampa Tribune, 10/25/06]

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Monday, October 23, 2006

Davis And Crist Tied

Entering Tuesday's first Florida gubernatorial debate, the race has tightened to a statistical dead heat, with 46 percent of likely voters for State Attorney General Charlie Crist, the Republican, and 44 percent for U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, the Democrat, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.  Eight percent of voters are undecided and 11 percent of those who name a candidate say they might change their mind before Election Day.
The change from an October 10 poll by the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe- ack) University, showing Crist ahead 53 – 43 percent, is almost all because of a 21-point shift to Rep. Davis among independent voters who went from 50 – 43 percent for Crist to 50 – 36 percent for Davis.  Davis leads among Democrats 74 – 19 percent, while Crist is ahead among Republicans 85 – 8 percent.
There also is a large gender gap, with men backing the Republican 56 – 34 percent and women backing the Democrat 54 – 38.
“The Florida Governor’s election is now a real horse race," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. “It took Jim Davis a while to introduce himself to Florida voters, but he seems to have broken through and made a positive impression on many Floridians to whom he was until recently an unknown.”
In the poll two weeks ago, 57 percent of Florida voters said they did not know enough about Davis to be able to say whether they viewed him favorably or unfavorably.
In this latest survey, Florida voters give Davis a 35 – 22 percent favorability, with 19 percent mixed and 23 percent who haven’t heard enough to form an opinion.
Crist gets a 48 – 19 percent favorability, with 21 percent mixed and 10 percent who don’t know enough to form an opinion.  That compares to a 42 – 14  percent favorability October 10.
“Because of his financial disadvantage, Jim Davis was late in getting on television.   But obviously now that his ads have been on the air he has made significant progress,” said Brown.  “The large swing among independent voters may also reflect a national Democratic wave that seems to be taking hold around the country.
“Although women generally vote more Democratic and men more Republican, the size of the gender gap in the governor's race is extraordinary.
“In the last two weeks, Davis has hit a chord with women.  He had been tied with Crist among female voters; now he leads by 16 points.  It isn't enough to offset Crist’s 22 point lead among men, but it has gotten him back in the game,” said Brown.
From October 18 – 22, Quinnipiac University surveyed 816 Florida likely voters, with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points.
The Quinnipiac University Poll, directed by Douglas Schwartz, Ph.D., conducts public opinion surveys in Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Ohio and the nation as a public service and for research. 

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Sunday, October 22, 2006

Following the 'Bipartisan' Money

Following the 'Bipartisan' Money

Your local Publix supermarket, your insurance agent and a gambling company that's part of Broward's slot-machine future are kicking in the big bucks to the Coalition for Bipartisan Progress, that group of supporters of Democrat Rod Smith now running radio ads backing Republican Charlie Crist's bid for governor.
The coalition includes lobbyist/political consultant James Harris, Smith's former legislative aide Mike Murtha, and Todd Wilder, a former aide to Lt. Gov. Buddy MacKay who works for Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne.
The group raised $155,000 in the first two weeks of October. IMPACT, the political fund-raising group of Florida insurance agents, gave $50,000, as did Publix. Another $50,000 came from two companies that are part of the Magna Entertainment, a Canadian gaming conglomerate that owns Gulfstream Park in Hallandale: Orchid Concessions gave $25,000 and Gulfstream's Thoroughbred Training Center gave $25,000.

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Crist Running

With polls still showing him up 11 points (albeit narrowing) Florida's Republican Gubernatorial candidate, Attorney General Charlie Crist, is trying to run out the clock until Election Day.

He will hold two debates with Democrat Jim Davis, but
only behind a podium
. Florida Politics calls this pusillanimous,
lacking courage. He has also been changing his positions on keyissues,including felons' voting rights, in tune he says with the public mood.

Mainly Crist has been portraying himself as a populist, a friend of the little guy, allowing hard-right staffers from Governor Jeb Bush to cross over to the legislature. And it's working. The state's newspapers note that he's picking up substantial black and latino
support (not just the Cubans either). State Democrats admit to
being worried
. Others say they're disgusted with their candidate.

Can Crist run out the clock? It depends partly on the "gay issue," which is now bubbling
into newspapers
. Republicans note that Crist did not make his reputation as
a gay-basher, but still deny he is, in fact, gay.

If that stance can keep working for two weeks, and Crist wins, maybe he can
come out at the podium.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Davis Has The MO

Rasmussen Has Davis Picking up momentum
Davis 41 to Crist 46
that is 5 points and we still have the Debates
if Charile does not Cut And Run
 Crist 46-41 Davis            Ras

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Charlie "I'll Say What ever it takes to win"- Flip Flopping Again

Miami Herald -- October 18, 2006
by Mary Ellen Klas
Regardless of who becomes governor of Florida in three weeks, one thing now appears certain: The 136-year-old rule that keeps most felons from being able to vote after they have completed their sentences will be scrapped.
Republican Charlie Crist has switched his position and joined Democratic opponent Jim Davis in favoring restoring the civil rights of all felons automatically after they have served their time. Until recently, Crist opposed automatic restoration.
''It all comes down to one fundamental question: Do you believe that an individual has paid his debt to society?'' Crist said Tuesday in an interview with The Miami Herald editorial board. ``If they've really paid their debt to society, then why not restore their right to vote?''
Unlike other promises the candidates have made, undoing the 1870 rule is something a governor can do with a simple signature on an executive order, said Randall Berg, director of the Florida Justice Institute, a civil rights advocacy organization.
Gov. Jeb Bush streamlined the process to make it easier for felons to get their rights restored after a Miami Herald series examined the clemency system, but Bush has opposed changing the rule. Florida's new governor could amend the rules of executive clemency, require the felons' names to be automatically forwarded to the Cabinet, which sits as the Clemency Review Board, and the board could automatically approve the civil rights -- which includes the rights to vote, sit on a jury and run for elected office, Berg said.
That would automatically give 700,000 felons the right to vote and open the door to hundreds of jobs they do not have access to now because they have not had their civil rights restored, he said.
Florida is one of only three states that still employ the Jim Crow-era law that bans felons from voting unless they engage in the cumbersome restoration process.
Gov. Reubin Askew changed the rule in 1975 and allowed felons automatic restoration of rights. But in the early 1990s, when Florida's crowded prisons released prisoners after they served only a fraction of their sentences, Gov. Lawton Chiles tightened the rules.
Since then, about 85 percent of the felons released from prison must complete a review by the clemency board before their rights are restored, and the backlog of felons waiting to complete the process has ballooned.
Crist, who as attorney general is a member of the clemency board, acknowledged Tuesday that he had a change of heart since the September primary. At the time, he wrote in a Miami Herald editorial page questionnaire: ``I do not believe in the automatic restoration of civil rights for all felons, but do believe that Florida should have a fair and efficient process to review restoration requests.''
Davis, by contrast, has consistently vowed to automatically restore rights to felons if elected and has increasingly drawn the contrast with Crist on the campaign trail.
Crist said Tuesday that meeting people on the campaign trail has persuaded him to change: ''I ask everybody for their vote and many times the answer is: I can't,'' he told the newspaper board. He denied his change is politically motivated. ``It's an evolution. It is. Life's a journey.''
But civil rights advocates are not persuaded.
State Sen. Frederica Wilson, a Miami Democrat who has repeatedly failed to pass legislation to change the state rule, said Crist never helped her efforts to lower the hurdles for felons and often was the lone vote blocking the restoration of rights for many who came before the clemency board.
''This man will say anything to win,'' she said. ``It is misleading and pandering to the black vote and it will blow up in his face.''
Wilson and former state Sen. Daryl Jones -- now Davis' running mate -- each headed the Black Legislative Caucus when it successfully sued the state to accelerate felons' rights cases and eliminate the backlog. Berg represented them.
According to the American Civil Liberties Union, about 30 percent of all black men in Florida cannot vote because they have committed felonies.
Davis spokesman Josh Earnest called it another example of Crist ``using civil rights to score political points instead of fighting for justice.''
Bush was curt when asked to comment about Crist's change of heart. ''He's the candidate,'' he said.
Felon voting has played a role during Bush's administration, beginning in 2000, when the state elections division attempted to purge felons from the voting rolls, only to have the purge list riddled with errors.
In 2004, the state was forced to scrap a list of more than 48,000 felons it had sent to county election officials after news reports found the list had problems. That same year, the Republican Party of Florida threatened to issue voting challenges to an estimated 15,000 ineligible voters.
This year, Florida has all but dropped efforts to purge the list of ineligible felons.
Sterling Ivey, a spokesman for the Department of State, said the state would cross-check long-standing voters against criminal databases in the future as resources permit.
Berg said if the new governor makes this change, it could have a profound change on the lives of felons in Florida.
''It's not just the right to vote. A more important thing is the ability to get decent-paying jobs and to earn a living,'' he said.


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Sunday, October 15, 2006

The Corporate State Of Florida

Special interests behind push for Amendment 3

One of the most audacious and cynical attacks on the rights of Florida voters will appear as ''Amendment 3'' on the Nov. 7 ballot.A coalition of powerful special interest groups wants to amend the state Constitution to make it harder to -- of all things -- amend the state Constitution. To thwart grass-roots movements that threaten their chokehold on the Tallahassee power structure, the promoters of Amendment 3 want the ruleschanged so that all future amendments will require 60 percent of the popularvote, instead of the current simple majority.

Crist Is Cutting And Running

Is Crist trying to avoid a Hardball moment?

For weeks Charlie Crist's campaign has been trying to persuade WFLA-TV in Tampa to change the "talk show" format of the debate with Democrat Jim Davis moderated by MSNBC host Chris Matthews, to a traditional format -- in which the candidates are separated by podiums. Progress has been slow so, this week, the campaign began shopping for an alternative.

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Sunday, October 08, 2006

Harris- Nelson Is The Devil

Asked to qualify her claims Ms Harris began frothing at the mouth, and speaking
in tongues but could not specify specific policies - in any language, living or

Earlier this summer Ms Harris told the Florida Baptist Witness newsletter that
Christians should be involved in politics because otherwise legislative bodies
would "legislate sin," and that the separation of church and state is
"a lie we have been told," while showing symptoms of stigmata.

Ms Harris spokeswoman Jennifer Marks defended the congresswoman's comments.
"She was simply drawing a comparison between herself as a practicing
Fundamentalist Christian and the incumbent who is allegedly a pagan idolater
and who may or may not be gay, and that we can neither confirm or deny is
virtually an al-Qaeda
candidate with a list of misdemeanors a mile long. It's up to people to look
into their Bibles and making an informed decision.''

With about a month to go before the Nov. 7 election, Harris trails Nelson by
double digits in most polls, much to the relief of Democrats and Republicans
alike. She has had a disastrous campaign, with questions about her IQ, dealings
with a corrupt defense contractor, endless waves of staff resignations, failed
rallies and top Republicans initially trying to recruit another candidate, any
candidate, anyone. When Ms Harris heard of this she allegedly rang up Karl Rove
and screamed into the phone, 'Teach your friends some manners. Tell them that
without me they wouldn’t have a job. WITHOUT ME THERE WOULDN’T BE ANY BUSH

Harris, as Florida secretary of state, 'oversaw' the Florida recount that illegitimately
gave George W. Bush the presidency in 2000 and has brought the U.S. to the state
that it's in today. Few have forgiven her. Her words at a press conference in
2000 were, 'We didn't need votes we had God. Just us, the cameras, and those
wonderful people out there in the dark!... All right, Mr
, I'm ready for my close-up.'

[Inset - Despite continuing opinions to the contrary, this photo has
not been digitally altered].

GOP And Fox Stll Blaming Dems

On the October 8 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday,
host Chris Wallace left unchallenged Rep. Jack Kingston's (R-GA) false claim
that Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is a
"partisan 527 organization." In fact, CREW is a nonpartisan and nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.

Kingston misrepresented CREW while baselessly suggesting that CREW may have
been complicit in a scheme to benefit Democrats by withholding from the media
incriminating emails that former Rep. Mark Foley (R-FL) allegedly sent to
underage congressional pages under shortly before the midterm elections. In
fact, The Hill newspaper reported that the media received Foley's alleged emails "from a House GOP aide" who "has been a registered Republican since becoming eligible to
vote," and ABC investigative reporter Brian Ross reportedly said that the sources for his initial Foley report -- to the extent they had partisan affiliations -- were Republicans; CREW provided
the FBI with the emails allegedly sent from Foley to a former page on July 21,
two months before ABC News reported their existence, as Media Matters for America has noted.
The FBI has claimed that CREW did not provide the necessary follow-up information to act on the tip, but the FBI's account is inconsistent and contradictory, as Media Matters has also shown.

As Media Matters has documented, Kingston and Rep. Patrick McHenry (R-NC) pushed wholly unsubstantiated conspiracy theories about Democrats' purported prior knowledge of Foley's
electronic communications during an October 6 appearance on MSNBC's Hardball with Chris Matthews. Fox News host Sean Hannity and U.S. News & World Report senior writer Michael Barone have also baselessly accused CREW of withholding Foley's alleged communications with underage pages, as Media Matters has also noted.

From the October 8 edition of Fox Broadcasting Co.'s Fox News Sunday:

WALLACE: Let me ask you about that, Congressman Kingston. What does [House
Democratic Leader] Nancy Pelosi and [Rep.] Rahm Emmanuel [D-IL] -- they, of
course, are two Democratic leaders -- what do they have to go under oath

KINGSTON: Well, Chris, what I don't understand is, where have these emails
been for three years? Are we saying that a 15-year-old child would have sat on
e-mails that were X -- triple X-rated for three years and suddenly spring them
out right on the eve of an election? That's just a little bit too suspicious,
even for Washington, D.C. We do know that George Soros, a huge Democrat
[sic] backer, has a group called CREW, it's a 527 partisan group, they
apparently had the emails as late as this April and did not do anything about
And that's according to the FBI, as reported in one statement. But
again, if [House Speaker] Denny Hastert [R-IL] knew this guy was sexually
deviant, he would have tossed him overboard a year ago because it is a safe
Republican seat. It's a generic Republican seat. Anybody with a Republican
jersey could have won. All we would have had to do is say, "Mark, you're
doing some bad stuff. You gotta move on." We would not have to spend a
nickel to protect that seat.


Chris Wallace


FOX Broadcasting Company


FOX News Sunday
News Sunday


Fox News Channel
News Channel



1211 Avenue of the Americas

New York, NY 10036

Friday, October 06, 2006

Charlie Crist wants to Cut And Run

Crist Leery Of Debate With Davis

TAMPA - It's an axiom in sports as well as politics: When you've got a long
lead, hold the ball.

Republican Attorney General Charlie Crist, with a solid lead in the race for
governor, is showing little enthusiasm for events in which he would directly
confront opponent Jim Davis. Those forums and debates are the political
equivalent of a one-on-one fast break.

Crist denies he's holding the ball: "We're running like we're 20 points
behind and taking nothing for granted," said campaign spokeswoman Erin

Despite this, he has declined recently to participate in two such events,
forums on health care and child welfare issues, even after their organizers
thought the campaign had agreed to them.

This week, Crist also threatened to withdraw from one of two planned
televised debates with Davis. His campaign objects to the format of the event,
an unstructured conversation between the two candidates and Chris Matthews, host
of MSNBC's "Hardball."

The negotiations over the debate "are just in the beginning
stages," campaign chief George LeMieux said Thursday, adding the campaign
wants a debate format with a moderator and podiums.

LeMieux denied Crist is reluctant to debate Davis. He said Crist has
challenged Davis to two debates, and expects two televised debates.

Recent polls have shown Crist leading Davis by margins of 15 to 20 percentage

The debate would be broadcast by WFLA-TV, the NBC affiliate in Tampa. The
Tampa Tribune and WFLA are owned by Media General Inc. and work cooperatively in
news coverage.

The debate is a project of NBC News Channel, a news network including WFLA
and other NBC affiliate TV stations.

The news directors of the nine stations that plan to air the debate
statewide, most of them NBC affiliates, intend to stick with their planned
format, said WFLA News Director Don North.

North wouldn't say what they'll do if Crist withdraws.

He said Florida NBC stations planning the debate believe viewers are well
served by the format used in "Meet the Press" with Tim Russert and
Matthews' "Hardball." Subjects and interviewer are seated and exchange
thoughts and spontaneous questions.

'More Natural Conversation'

"A more natural conversation," North called it, "that lends
itself better to follow-up questions and spontaneity." The format, he
added, provides "a feel for what kind of people the candidates are as well
as where they are on the issues."

LeMieux said a more conventional format "is what people expect, it's
what they want to see. It's supposed to be a debate, not a talk show."

He said the Crist campaign has agreed to a televised debate Oct. 24 with a
traditional format, to be broadcast by Public Broadcasting System stations and
moderated by Ray Suarez of the News Hour with Jim Lehrer.

University of South Florida political scientist Darryl Paulson, a Republican,
said a frontrunner might have reasons for wanting a debate in "a more
controlled environment."

It's "the standard political rationale" that front-runners are
risking more in any debate, because they have the most to lose and relatively
little to gain, he said. The conventional format puts the frontrunner at less
risk, allowing the candidates to stick to their preplanned messages, he said.

In addition, Paulson said, both Russert and Matthews formerly worked for
Democratic politicians - Matthews with former House Speaker Thomas P.
"Tip" O'Neill - but Russert has a better-established reputation for

Matthews Not The Problem

LeMieux said the campaign has no objection to Matthews.

The debate has been in the works since early this year. LeMieux said the
campaign learned of the format only four days ago, but WFLA officials said it
was discussed before then.

Davis has agreed to both debates, his campaign said.

State Rep. J.C. Planas, a Miami Republican and one of the sponsors of the
child issues summit in Orlando, said he was responsible for a misunderstanding
that led organizers to believe Crist had firmly committed to attend.

Crist's campaign had said for months he planned to attend, but his scheduler
never formally confirmed the date, Planas said.

"Do I take full responsibility for the miscommunication? Yes,"
Planas said. "But in reality they never said 'No,' and all indications were
that he wanted to go."

Sponsors of a planned Sept. 25 health care policy forum with Crist and Davis
at the University of Miami also said they believed Crist would attend because of
his continued expressions of interest.

But Isaac said despite that interest, the campaign never formally confirmed
the date. Crist told the sponsors Sept. 15 he had a scheduling conflict.

Reporter William March can be reached at wmarch@tampatrib.com
or (813) 259-7761.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Fox News The Propaganda Network, Just Like George Orwell's 1984

Fox News The Propaganda Network, Just Like George Orwell's 1984
Now trying to convince it's sheeple that Foley is a Democrat

For News And Commentary:
For Florida Election News See:
Political Talk For And By Political Junkies
NOTICE: Due to Presidential Executive Orders, the National Security Agency may have read this email without warning, warrant, or notice. They may do this without any judicial or legislative oversight. You have no recourse nor protection save to call for the impeachment of the current President.

FBI and Justice Department informed the Florida Governor's office, Attorney General Crist

From : Wayne Madsen .com

Informed sources in Tallahassee, Florida have told WMR that Governor Jeb Bush
was fully aware of ex-Rep. Mark Foley's conduct with underage male pages but sat
on the information to protect Foley and another top GOP Florida official,
Attorney General Charlie Crist, who is currently running for governor to replace
Bush. Today, Jeb Bush said he had not previously known about Foley's behavior
with the pages before being informed by House Speaker Dennis Hastert in a letter
dated October 1, 2006. Bush said he was "dismayed and shocked to
learn about Congressman Foley's unacceptable behavior."

However, according to our Florida sources, the FBI and Justice Department
informed the Florida Governor's office, Attorney General Crist, and the Florida
AG's Child Protection Cybercrime Unit at least a year ago about Foley's
predatory emails and instant messages. WMR was told that Crist's
conflict-of-interest in the case stems from Crist's and Foley's involvement in
gay sex parties, some of which took place during 2003 in trendy Coconut Grove,

Foley scandal reverberating in Florida gubernatorial race.
Left to right: Crist, Foley, and Jeb Bush.

Informed Florida sources claim that up until now, Crist and Jeb Bush have
been able to keep a lid on the once-divorced Crist's life style, touting his
conservative Christian credentials, but that the Foley revelations will severely
impact the Crist gubernatorial campaign. The links between Foley and Crist are
certain to harm Crist with his conservative backers who admire Crist for his
anti-gay rights stance. Floridians begin early voting on October 23.

WMR has learned from informed sources in the
Justice Department that the salacious e-mails from Rep. Mark Foley were leaked
to ABC News by career Justice Department prosecutors and FBI agents who are
incensed that Attorneys General John Ashcroft and Alberto Gonzales covered up
the House page scandal for political reasons. The back story of Pagegate is that
there was a criminal conspiracy by the top political leadership of the Justice
Department to cover up the predatory activities of Foley and other GOP members
of Congress since at least 2003 and, likely, as early as 2001.

Other informed sources in the nation's capital report that Pagegate will soon
implicate a number of GOP staffers in both the House and the Senate who
intimidated and pressured male pages into inappropriate sexual relationships.
One source confided that the staff members' contact with pages was "more
egregious" than Foley's behavior.

GOP in crisis, meltdown mode

The Pagegate scandal also involves senior officials of the Republican
National Committee, located near the House Office Buildings, according to our
Capitol Hill sources.

The bottom line is that the GOP is facing its worst political scandal since
Watergate and the White House, already under assault from the revelations in Bob
Woodward's insider account of the Bush presidency and the Iraq war, has told GOP
members of Congress that they are on their own as far as Pagegate damage control
is concerned.

October 3, 2006 -- The Pagegate scandal surrounding ex-Rep. Mark Foley
(R-FL) is growing in scope. According to congressional sources, Foley's
predatory sexual advances on underage male pages was tolerated because Foley was
a major campaign cash source for other Republican members. Although it has been
reported that Foley gave National Republican Congressional Committee chair Tom
Reynolds (R-NY) a $100,000 contribution, WMR has learned that Foley's
contributions to Reynolds' committee totaled $330,000. Meanwhile, the
conservative Washington Times, aware of the widening nature of the
scandal, has called for House Speaker Dennis Hastert to resign his leadership position.

WMR has also learned that Tom Reynolds, who is facing a serious challenge
from Democrat Jack Davis, is now in serious political trouble in his northern
New York district and looks likely to lose it in the November 7 election.

posted at: Wayne
Madsen .com

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Oh Katherine Please!

Harris implies Dems, media knew

of Foley scandal

In the following video clip from WESH-TV, Congresswoman and Senatorial
candidate Katherine Harris claims that Republicans did not know about the Mark
Foley page scandal, but implies that people "in the media and on the other
side of the aisle," may have known and withheld it from the public.



Foley, Gays and the Religious Right: Is This the Nail
in the GOP Coffin?

By Evan Derkacz, AlterNet.

If there's any question as to why former Rep. Mark Foley was able to continue
his harassment of teenage congressional pages, look no further than the spin of
Bush spokesman Tony Snow:
"Look, I hate to tell you but it's not always pretty up there on Capitol
Hill, and there have been other scandals, as you know, that have been more than
simply, uh, uh, uh, naughty emails."

Those "naughty emails" (and instant messages) included "I
would drive a few miles for a hot stud like you," requests for photos,
unambiguous advances ("we eat …we drink … who knows … hang out …
late into the night"), and exchanges like this one (Maf54 is Foley):

Maf54: What ya wearing?

Teen: T-shirt and shorts.

Maf54: Love to slip them off of you.

As egregious as his behavior appears to be, the writer of the above messages
isn't the whole story -- he's merely a catalyst. Foley, who resigned on Friday,
has checked into alcohol rehab and stated that he was "deeply sorry."
He faces an FBI investigation to perhaps, ironically, be convicted under some of
the laws he helped to pass.

But the bigger, more institutional question remains: What did the GOP
leadership know, and when did they know it? Evidence suggests that Speaker
Dennis Hastert and Majority Leader Jim Boehner both knew that there were issues
-- though neither, of course, cops to awareness of anything approaching the text
above. In fact, evidence suggests that Foley's behavior was well known in GOP
circles for years, with former page Matthew Loraditch telling ABC News that
pages were warned to "watch out for Foley" as early as 2001.

After initially stating simply that he knew nothing until it was reported in
the press, House Speaker Dennis Hastert eventually owned up to the fact that his
office was notified of "over-friendly" communications between Foley
and a page many months earlier. His office was also notified that the page's
family "wanted the contact to stop."

This was roughly a year ago, in the fall of 2005, yet the speaker did
nothing. In fact, though he admits he was personally told about this by Rep.
Rodney Alexander, he also claims to not "explicitly recall" the
conversation. Alexander is the congressman of the page on the other end of
Foley's advances.

According to an AP report, "Rep. Thomas Reynolds, who heads the House Republican election
effort, said Saturday he told Hastert months ago about concerns that a fellow
Republican lawmaker, Rep. Mark Foley, had sent inappropriate messages to a
teenage boy."

Then there's Majority Leader Jim Boehner's conversation
with Hastert, during which, Boehner says, Hastert claimed that "we're
taking care of it." That was this spring. Since then, Hastert has allowed
Foley several months of "over-friendly" "contact" with a
teenager. In a CNN interview, conservative Bay Buchanan noted
that the earliest emails "had predator stamped all over it." And that:
"No one in the country can suggest otherwise."

Hastert has consistently followed the Katrina approach to leadership: ignore
the warning signs, keep cronies in power and undercut investigations of
wrongdoing. Hastert himself is the beneficiary of cronyism -- he was shepherded
into the position of leadership by Tom DeLay after Newt Gingrich's resignation
and the resignation of the man who was poised to replace Gingrich. A
third-stringer, as it were.

According to the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman, Hastert's office was well known to take a "laissez-faire"
approach to ethics issues. Weisman quotes a Republican source, who adds:
"They don't respond when things are bending, but they get very excited when
they break."

Sure, this could easily describe Hastert's actions with regard to the Foley
case. But the story actually appeared earlier this year when Hastert came under
fire for his softball treatment of bribery and corruption allegations against
Republican Bob Ney. Ney, who's now in prison, was officially subpoenaed for
documents in the Abramoff scandal months before being asked "to temporarily
relinquish the chairmanship of the House Administration Committee." Still,
upon learning of "over-friendly" communications with a teenage boy,
Hastert didn't even ask Foley to quit his post as chairman of the Missing and
Exploited Children's Caucus.

Prior to that, Hastert had bent over backwards to protect Tom DeLay and
others, going so far as to replace the Republican head of the ethics committee
when he attempted to actually enforce ethics rules. Then, when DeLay faced a
determined Texas prosecutor in Ronnie Earle, Hastert went and changed the House
ethics rules altogether. The changes were eventually repealed as they allowed
too much leeway for even this House to deal with.

It's clear that this isn't a problem that can be taken care of by ousting one
or two bad apples. It's institutional. Insider journal Roll Call writes:

As of Saturday evening, nearly a dozen House GOP lawmakers and staffers have
acknowledged that they knew of the initial batch of nonsexually explicit
messages from Foley to a 16-year-old former House page, some of them for a
year or more. These include Hastert; Majority Leader John Boehner (Ohio);
National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Reynolds (N.Y.);
Reps. Rodney Alexander (La.) and John Shimkus (Ill.); Mike Stokke, the
speaker’s deputy chief of staff; Ted Van Der Meid, Hastert’s counsel;
Paula Nowakowski, Boehner’s chief of staff; Jeff Trandahl, the former clerk
of the House; and another Hastert aide and Alexander’s chief of staff,
according to public statements and GOP insiders.

Not one of the above ever told a Democrat about Foley's actions, including
the only Democrat on the House page board, Rep. Dale Kildee. On Monday, the
political maneuvering became even more vivid, with Hastert telling CNN that he was probably informed by Reynolds "in the context of maybe
a half a dozen or a dozen other things ... that might have affected

Winning campaigns is, of course, a necessity in this line of work. The
problem has been that Hastert and much of the GOP-led congress has let the
desire to win overshadow the best interests of the American people. It was the
case with DeLay, Ney and now Foley, whose actions could have been hindered much
earlier, were a better balance struck between elections and ethics.

Up to this point, the "coverup" had been a mostly passive one, sins
of omission, shades of plausible denial and Reaganesque "I can't
recall's." But then, as the first emails began to emerge, Tom Reynolds,
whose job is to get Republicans elected, lent his chief of staff, Kirk Fordham,
to Foley. Or "lent him back" to Foley, I should say, as Fordham was Foley's
chief of staff for a decade. Fordham promptly attempted to bury his former
boss's behavior by making a deal with ABC's Brian Ross, who broke the story:

The correspondent [Ross], who had dozens of instant messages that Foley sent
to teenage House pages, had asked to interview the Florida Republican. Foley's
former chief of staff said the congressman was quitting and that Ross could
have that information exclusively if he agreed not to publish the raw,
sexually explicit messages.

In effect, an operative from the office that promotes the election of
Republicans attempted to suppress the most damaging elements of the emerging
scandal. With just weeks to go before the midterm election, analysts are
predicting that the fallout could be huge. The pundit zeitgeist seems to be
favoring the natural disaster theme: "8 or 9 on the Richter scale,"
according to Hotline's Chuck Todd and John Mercurio.

But there's another dimension to this scandal which could prove even more
damaging than the specifics of the Foley case and its coverup: the issue of gays
in the Republican Party. Howie Klein expands on what Josh Bearman refers to as "karmic irony for Republicans." Meaning: the party of
gay-haters being packed with gay politicians.

Klein notes that Republicans David Dreier, Jim Kolbe and Michael Huffington,
are well known to be gay, in addition to a number Bush's high level staff who
are thought to be as well.

Kenyn Cureton, vice president of the 16 million strong Southern Baptist
Convention, noted recently
that "Conservative Christians are somewhat disenchanted with
Republicans," and that "It has not escaped our notice that they waited
until just a few months from the November elections to address our agenda."
The No. 1 priority on that agenda, ahead of abortion even, is gays.

In the Wall Street Journal last week, former House Majority Leader
Dick Armey called the Christian right "thugs" and "nasty
bullies," while the week before that, Focus on the Family founder James
Dobson expressed his frustration at the Republican party, saying that he's
"flat-out ... ticked."

As for Bush himself, in just the past two years, he's gone from 78 percent
support from white evangelicals to a bruising 42 percent disapproval rating.
Into this rift lands the Foley wedge. That wedge is widened by the fact that
many in the GOP knew Foley was gay but didn't say anything for months or years
-- a tacit acceptance, even for political reasons, of gays in the party.

In a post entitled "Pro-Homosexual Political Correctness Sowed Seeds for
Foley Scandal," power pastor Tony Perkins writes: "Democrats seeking
to exploit the resignation of Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., are right to criticize
the slow response of Republican congressional leaders to his communications with
male pages." Of course, he goes on to cite faulty data connecting gays to
abuse, but the point remains, the rift is opening and the GOP is in danger of
losing its lifeblood: conservative Christian votes.

On Monday's Good Morning America, George Stephanopoulos stuck with the natural disaster
theme to paint a grim picture:

Right now it's a category 3 hurricane and it's picking up steam. Republicans
all across the country are getting questions about it. But here's the key
question: Did any Republican leaders know about those x-rated emails? If they
did, it's game over. The leadership will have to resign. It will cost
Republicans control of Congress. As one top GOP aide told me this morning,
"the place will burn down."

Evan Derkacz is AlterNet's associate editor and writer of PEEK,
the blog of blogs.