Chattering class preparing for Charlie’s second act.

August 3rd, 2013

OK Floridians get ready for the sequel to the 2010 riveting feature Charlie Crist in the Tallahassee Hamlet. As you may recall, the Tallahassee chattering class was obsessed with whether a mild-mannered moderate Governor would forsake the Capital City for opportunities in the nation’s Capital. Click here and here if you want reminded.

In the sequel Charlie moves to St. Petersburg and teams up with a central Florida trial lawyer and kibitzes with Democrats to drive the Republican establishment crazy and leaves Democrats who are tired of losing panting like teeny boppers at a Justin Beiber concert.

Lloyd Dunkelberger sets the stage here. Check back weekly for an update to Charlie Crist in Hamlet, on Second Thought.

And if you think Charlie Crist is damaged goods as a politician here are two reports from three years ago.

The Crist Method

October 4th, 2010

Crist connecting with people in Orlando

The St. Petersburg Times’ Adam Smith watched Governor Charlie Crist, a no-party-affiliated candidate for the U.S. Senate, stroll through an airport terminal and writes “Crist didn’t just greet voters, he enveloped them in warmth and happiness. . . . even more remarkable considering Crist, 54, is on the verge of being cast into political oblivion.”

Smith’s account can be read here: Crist Charm Offensive.  

 And here’s an October 2009 radio story about the Crist method of politicking.  Crist Charisma.

Norman Steps Up Santorum Criticism

January 17th, 2012

The Florida Legislature is in the second week of its annual 60-day session. Tuesday morning Senator Don Gaetz spoke about an hour on the Senate redistricting proposal. It is mostly show. The issue will be decided in court.

While the Legislature lays the groundwork for major battles on the budget, gambling and redistricting I have been watching the Republican Presidential primary. A native Pennsylvanian I am completely befuddled by Rick Santorum’s support.  The fact that Santorum’s candidacy is viable is one of those things that leads me to ask the nation, “have you lost your mind?”

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette columnist Tony Norman has covered Santorum’s career from the start of his first congressional race nearly 20 years ago. Here’s an excerpt from his latest column on the former U.S. Senator.

“It is a sign of how decadent much of American Christianity has become: A candidate who enthusiastically condones assassination is the same man who 150 “Christian” leaders have decided best exemplifies the Christian values they want to see at work in the White House. Where does Jesus Christ fit in this scenario?”
Read more :

Columnist takes on Santorum

January 10th, 2012

Back in the gently rolling hills of Western Pennsylvania a columnist for Rick Santorum’s hometown newspaper is working to derail Santorum’s bid for the Republican Presidential nomination.

National cable pundits amused Tony Norman when they gushed about the Santorum narrative including a 72-year-old grandfather working in a coal mine. Norman may be less than impressed with Santorum’s working class credentials because every Western PA pol has a good grandpa story or as Norman observed it is just wrong to have a 72-year-old working in a coal mine.

In this column Norman writes “ There are so many myths, damned lies and statistics about the former senator that one hardly know where to begin.”   Click on ridiculous candidacy to read more.

Santorum supporters seem to fascinate Norman. He writes they must be in ”  perpetual state of denial about what he truly believes.” click on reality distortion field to read more.

Big Money and Local Politics

October 25th, 2011

David Sirota wrote the book “Back to our Future: How the 1980s explain the world we live in.”

He’s a Colorado morning radio show host and his wife, Emily, is a candidate for the school board.  It’s an unpaid position. However to the Sirotas’ surprise Emily’s candidacy has provoked a flood of outside money into her opponent’s campaign war chest. Sirota compares the resulting attack ads to a Saturday Night Live skit.

It’s an interesting read about the effort to nationalize the debate over local policy issues. Even former President George W Bush makes an appearance  to influence the outcome of a local education debate.  Click on school board race to read more.

A Times Writer Call to Occupy Newsrooms

October 25th, 2011

David Carr takes Gannett to task in a column he wrote for the New York Times. He notes that the former chief executive of Gannett, Craig Dubow, received a $37.1 million severance package. Dubow, during his tenure,  Dubow eliminated more than 30,000 jobs at Gannett newspapers, including the Tallahassee Democrat.

Carr credits USA Today for explaining that Wall Street’s practice of awarding millions in bonuses is driving the Occupy movement. He’s calling on protestors to start focusing on local newsrooms. To read his column click on  Occupy

Assignment Uganda: Completed: Letters 13, 14 and 15

October 24th, 2011

Former Leon County Commissioner Bob Rackleff  spent the summer volunteering in Africa.  Rackleff, through  American Jewish World Service, worked with the National Association of Professional Environmentalist (NAPE) in Uganda.  The 68-year old Rackleff, helped the group set up a web site and with other communication and fundraising activities.

While in Uganda, Rackleff wrote weekly letters to the Tallahassee Observer. To read about his final three weeks working in Kampala and wandering the Uganda countryside click on  Assignment Uganda.

A Soviet Exile’s Take on the Rubio Flap

October 24th, 2011

Andrew Pavelyev  writing for the Frum Forum  explains why he does not accept Rubio’s explanation for getting wrong key details of the Rubio family’s immigration story.

Pavelyev emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1992.  To read his comments click on Rubio’s False Bio.


Republicans Call for Corporate Tax Cuts

October 21st, 2011

Rep. Perry Thurston asks if corporate tax cuts create jobs then where are the jobs?


Florida lawmakers will need to close a $2 billion budget shortfall when they meet in January. State economists say tax collections hit a wall during the summer and revised their forecast down through 2015.

Senate President Mike Haridopolos and Senate Budget Chairman J.D. Alexander say the economists may be overly optimistic. Haridopolos says expect the shortfall to grow. The Revenue Estimating Conference will issue a forecast in January. That report will tell lawmakers how much money the state will have to spend next year. Haridopolos  says the Legislature will close any budget shortfall without raising taxes.

While Florida lawmakers have cut spending for six consecutive years., Governor Rick Scott is calling for more spending and tax cuts. It’s part of his plan to stimulate economic growth.

When Scott’s chief  lobbyists briefed the House Finance and Tax Committee on the Governor’s plan to revive a stalled economy Democrats on the panel expressed skepticism.  Broward Rep. Perry Thurston asked  Jon Costello if he knew of any report indicating the number of jobs created by previous corporate tax cuts. Costello said no. To hear a radio report on Democrats challenging what has become Republican orthodoxy that tax and spending cuts automatically create economic growth click on  tax cuts

High Court Will Say If Citizens Can Have Bad Faith

September 12th, 2011
Justices to decide whether Citizens is an insurer or funding mechanism

On the surface Citizens Property Insurance Corporation appears to be Florida’s biggest insurance company. Its one million policies represents 16-percent of the marke;  State Farms is second with 13-percent.

The state legislature created Citizens when for-profit companies stopped writing policies along the coast. Now, however Citizens’ attorney tells the Florida Supreme Court that Citizens is not an insurance company at all but a funding mechanism.
The statement came in a hearing during lawsuit brought against Citizens for decisions made following Hurricane Ivan in 2004. To hear a radio report click on CITIZENS.

Lopez Cantera Tweets Gelber

September 6th, 2011

Carlos Lopez-Cantera represents part of Miami-Dade County in the FL House.

Rep.  Carlos Lopez-Cantera tweet on former Senator Dan Gelber’s op ed piece in Tuesday’s Miami Herald. 

I think @DanGelber is a good man, but his opinion piece in Mia Hrld shows why D’s don’t get that their policies risk the future of the USA