Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Florida Senatorial Election Essential Reads

Marco Rubio: Voters don't want 'experts'

Marco Rubio does not see a problem with Christine O'Donnell's past of financial trouble and bizarre quotes, noting that system is not designed to elect “a bunch of experts” to the Senate.

Rubio made the comments in a question and answer session with the Kitchen Cabinet, a conservative women’s group which will post the full interview on their website Wednesday.

“We actually have some people running that are not particularly experienced or maybe as skilled as some, in Delaware for instance, where there are some real questions about Christine O’Donnell,” the group asked Rubio, Florida’s Republican nominee for the Senate.

“The republic works and isn’t designed to elect a bunch of experts,” Rubio responded.

“Really to be an expert in our republic means to know what life is like in the real world,” added Rubio, who did not mention O’Donnell by name in his response. “I think that’s the promising thing of this election.

"I think the more you are in touch with the real lives of everyday people; the better you are going to be as a representative of those people in a Republic.”
Trouble looming for Marco Rubio?

Could there be trouble on the horizon for Marco Rubio, the front-runner in the race to fill Florida's U.S. Senate seat?

Earlier today, the St. Petersburg Times reported that Rubio's name had surfaced in an e-mail from judges that named the "heroes" who had helped them obtain funding for an extravagant $48 million courthouse on the outskirts of Tallahassee.

Now, the Times is reporting that a Leon County grand jury will hear a complaint about the courthouse next week. Rubio, who was speaker when money was appropriated for the courthouse, has blamed the Florida senate for the last-minute funding bill.
Crist: Shore up Social Security by allowing illegal immigrants to earn citizenship

Crist called Social Security "one of the only federal programs that's working'' and criticized his U.S. Senate rivals for proposing reforms. Republican Marco Rubio has suggested raising the retirement age, while Democrat Kendrick Meek wants to "punt it to a commission," said Crist, a former Republican running without party affiliation.

"I'm the only candidate in the race who is saying we need to preserve it as it is and protect it," Crist told about 400 Century Village residents.

He added: "There are other ways we can help fund it, by creating a pathway to citizenship. Secure the border, make sure we have a pathway that is earned — no amnesty — and if we have those 11 to 14 million people productively participating in the American economy and paying the payroll taxes that would be attended to it, that would help Social Security."

Asked to back up Crist's position, his campaign pointed to a Christian Science Monitor column by Robert Reich, the former Labor Secretary under President Bill Clinton.

"One logical way to deal with the crisis of funding Social Security and Medicare is to have more workers per retiree, and the simplest way to do that is to allow more immigrants into the United States," Reich, a Democrat, wrote in April. "Immigration reform and entitlement reform have a lot to do with one another."

And it was Democrats, not Republicans, that Crist was going after Wednesday to support his unprecedented independent bid. He also sent out a mailing this week to Democrats that touts his opposition to expanding offshore oil drilling and his veto of legislation unpopular with public school teachers. "Charlie Crist for U.S. Senate: A Leader who Stands up for Us," the mailer says.

Many of the seniors filing out of the Crist event carried Saran-wrapped leftovers of marble cake and bagels, and gushed over the governor's personable demeanor.

"I get a good feeling about him," said 76-year-old Rae Lupo, a lifelong Democrat.

At the same time he is making overtures to Democrats, Crist is struggling to retain Republican votes — but with a different pitch.

"Charlie Crist for U.S. Senate Shares Our Values'' is the headline on a mailer sent to Republicans this week that describes him as a fiscal hawk and gun rights advocate.
Wexler may endorse Crist
The self-described fire-breathing liberal appears set to breathe some Democratic fire into Gov. Charlie Crist’s independent race for a U.S. Senate seat.

Crist campaign aides today declined to confirm whether former U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler planned to endorse Crist. However, speaking today at Century Village at Pembroke Pines, a Democratic stronghold, Crist repeatedly mentioned his friendship with Wexler and introduced Wexler’s father, Sonny, who lives in the 14,000-resident community in southern Broward County. The senior Wexler, who said he has never voted for a candidate outside the Democratic Party, said he supports Crist.

He is still a favorite among Jewish retirees, said Sean Forman, an assistant professor of political science at Barry University.

“A Wexler endorsement could be significant,” he said. “He has a loyal group of followers, particularly among older Jewish voters who are seen as the swing vote (between Crist and Meek) in this election.”
Crist wins national FOP endorsement
Gov. Charlie Crist, the newly independent candidate for U.S. Senate, never fails to remind audiences, when trying to establish his conservative bona fides, that as a state senator he was known as “Chain-gang Charlie” for legislation to re-establish manacled road crews of convicts in Florida.

That position has always played well with law enforcement. And it apparently still does, as the Crist campaign announced Wednesday that the National Fraternal Order of Police has endorsed him for senator. The Florida State Lodge of the FOP and Florida Police Benevolent Association had previously given him their nod.

“The National FOP is proud to endorse a candidate who understands the sacrifices law enforcement officers make every day to keep our communities safe…,” wrote National FOP President Chuck Canterbury. “I believe you will do your best for rank-and-file officers on the many issues which concern them such as jobs, education, health care, immigration, defense, and public safety.”
Gov. Charlie Crist lauds gay-adoption ruling as 'great,' says he will immediately stop enforcing the ban
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist announced Wednesday afternoon he will cease enforcing the state's 33-year-old gay adoption law, which was declared unconstitutional by a Miami appeals court Wednesday morning.

Crist lauded the court ruling as ``great'' and told reporters at a 2:30 news conference he would immediately stop enforcing the ban. Crist said he wanted to confer with the adoptive father at the center of the case before deciding whether to appeal. He said, however, that he believes the state Supreme Court wouldn't overturn the court rulings.
Gore to campaign with Meek next week in Tampa
Former Vice President Al Gore is coming to Tampa to stump for Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Kendrick Meek, the congressman’s latest effort to bring in a high-profile surrogate to bring life to his seemingly stagnant campaign.

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