Charlie Crist Archives - Page 5 of 67 - Florida Politics

Charlie Crist nets another $7K from lobbyists, Morgan & Morgan employees

Former Gov. Charlie Crist reported another $7,000 in contributions in a new FEC filing Tuesday, including checks from a pair of Morgan & Morgan employees.

The donor roll included attorneys Adam Brum and Keith Carter of Morgan & Morgan, who gave $1,500 and $1,000, respectively. Crist took a job at Morgan & Morgan after his lone term as Florida governor ended in 2011.

Also in the filing were Tallahassee lobbyist Jeff Sharkey and Nicholas Herbach of Index Management Services, who each gave $1,000, as well as the American Federation of Government Employees PAC, which gave $2,500.

Crist is running in Florida’s 13th Congressional District against incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly, who also filed a notice with the FEC Tuesday to report a $1,000 contribution from a PAC tied to Florida East Coast Industries.

Through Oct. 19 Jolly had brought in about $1.9 million and had about $160,000 of that money on hand, while Crist had raised about $1.5 million through Oct. 19 and had about $170,000 in his campaign account.

Since those reports, the candidates have been neck-and-neck, with each of them turning in new notices to the FEC on a daily basis.

Congressman, civil rights icon John Lewis: Vote, vote, vote

Charlie Crist
Charlie Crist

Civil rights icon John Lewis, now a congressman from Georgia, came to St. Petersburg on Wednesday to support former Gov. Charlie Crist.

Crist, a Democrat, is running against Republican incumbent David Jolly for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

Lewis, who has represented Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District since 1986, said he had followed Crist’s career.

“I’m delighted and very pleased and honored to be standing here with you,” Lewis told Crist. “I’m here to support you. I’m looking forward to getting things done.”

Lewis said Crist could help make things better not only for the CD 13, but also the state of Florida and the U.S.

Crist said he was “grateful beyond words” for Lewis’ support. If elected, he said, he looked forward to working with Lewis.

The two spoke at a press conference outside the Greater Mount Zion AME Church, 1045 16th St. S. The two had been part of a meeting and prayer inside the church before speaking. Others who joined them included former St. Petersburg Council Member Wengay Newton, who is running for state House District 70, and Pinellas County Commissioner Ken Welch.

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor was unable to attend but sent a representative from her office.

Lewis was not in town only to support Crist. He also urged residents to get out and “vote, vote, vote.”

A vote “is powerful,” Lewis said. He added, “I gave a little blood on that bridge in Selma for the right to vote.”

Lewis was referring to an incident on March 7, 1965, that has become known as “Bloody Sunday.”

Lewis and Hosea Williams, another civil rights advocate, had planned to lead 600 peaceful, orderly protestors in a march from Selma to Montgomery to demonstrate the need for voting rights in Alabama. They got as far as the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma when state troopers and local police blocked the way and demanded they turn around. When they refused, they were tear gassed and beaten with billy clubs.

A successful march was held later that month with federal protection. And, that August, the Voting Rights Act was passed.

Lewis was also scheduled to appear at the University of South Florida’s St. Petersburg campus to discuss civil rights. Later, he was scheduled to tour Jordan Park.

Early voting in Pinellas ends Sunday. Election Day is Tuesday.

Opening for state Supreme Court gets first application

Conservative appellate judge C. Alan Lawson has become the first applicant for the open seat on the Florida Supreme Court.

Jason Unger, the Tallahassee attorney who chairs the Supreme Court Judicial Nominating Commission, confirmed the name Tuesday night.

Lawson
Lawson

Lawson is now chief judge of the 5th District Court of Appeal in Daytona Beach.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott will make the pick, his first chance to select a member of the seven-member state Supreme Court that often splits 5-2 on matters of public policy.

Now, Justices Charles Canady and Ricky Polston are the court’s only reliable conservative votes.

The man Lawson seeks to replace, Justice James E.C. Perry, is the same person who beat him in 2009 for the high court job, itself created by the retirement of Justice Charles T. Wells.

Lawson was backed by “religious conservatives and the National Rifle Association,” wrote politics reporter William March in a February 2009 story for the now-defunct Tampa Tribune, while Perry was favored by “liberal groups and black leaders.”

The appointment created a quandary for then-Gov. Charlie Crist, March wrote, “pit(ting) conservatives in his own party (then Republican) against a minority community Crist is courting.” He eventually picked Perry, who joined the court the next month.

Lawson, born in Lakeland, graduated from Tallahassee Community College and later Clemson University with a degree in Parks, Recreation & Tourism Management, according to his online bio. He got his law degree from Florida State University in 1987.

He was in private practice for several years before becoming an assistant county attorney in Orange County and then a circuit judge in 2002.

Lawson also was a Florida Bar exam question writer and grader. He moved to the 5th District appellate bench in 2006.

In 2012, he was a member of a three-judge appeals panel that considered a custody battle between two women who were formerly in a relationship.

The majority said both women have parental rights, but Lawson wrote “a blistering dissent,” in which he said a child can have only one mother, according to the Associated Press.

The court shouldn’t recognize two mothers “unless we are also willing to invalidate laws prohibiting same-sex marriage, bigamy, polygamy, or adult incestuous relationships on the same basis,” Lawson said.

In a 4-3 opinion, the state Supreme Court later said the non-birth mother could seek shared custody.

Perry’s retirement is effective Dec. 30. His absence otherwise leaves Peggy A. Quince as the only African-American on the court.

The nominating commission is scheduled to interview finalists on Nov. 28 and submit a list to Scott of possible replacements by Dec. 13.

 

Mitch Perry Report for 11.2.16 — Hillary Clinton returns to the oldie but goodies in Dade City speech

Remember when Hillary Clinton would invoke Michelle Obama‘s phrase when dealing with Donald Trump that, “When they go low, we go high?”

That was so, oh, I don’t know, October-like.

In Pasco County yesterday, the Democratic presidential nominee spent considerable time tearing apart Trump, invoking his greatest hits of insults as she tries to rally the base in the final week of the campaign.

Clinton dug deep, referring to how The Donald boasted on Howard Stern’s show about how he used to go backstage at beauty pageants to barge in on the women while they were getting dressed.

“He said he did that — he said he did that to ‘inspect’ them. That was his word — and he said, ‘I sort of get away with things like that.’ And sure enough, contestants have come forward to say, ‘Yes, that’s exactly what he did to us.’ Now, as bad as that is, he didn’t just do it at the Miss USA pageant or the Miss Universe pageant. He’s also been accused of doing it at the Miss Teen USA pageant. Contestants say that Donald Trump came in to look at them when they were changing. Some of them were just 15 years old. We cannot hide from this. We’ve got to be willing to face it. This man wants to be president of the United States of America and our First Lady, Michelle Obama, spoke for many of us when she said Donald Trump’s words have shaken her to her core.”

Obviously, talking about policies has never been at the forefront of this campaign, but undoubtedly this will probably be the nature of her oratory over the next six days. Not exactly the soaring rhetoric her team could have intended to be her message in closing out this interminable campaign.

There are reports this morning that Team Clinton and their allies are freaking out about the black vote not being as robust for Clinton so far in early/absentee voting, in comparison to 2008 and 2012.

Message to the rest of planet Earth — Nobody every thought it could be. Barack Obama‘s name on the ballot was revolutionary in 2008, and though much less so in 2012, it still brought out the black vote in unprecedented ways. Did anybody seriously think Clinton was going to match that number?

Clinton remains strong with older blacks, but millennials have never bought into her to the same extent. A friend of mine yesterday questioned the entire premise that Clinton was so popular among blacks. He said, wasn’t that what “they” said took her over the top over Bernie Sanders?

That wasn’t an opinion; that was a fact. Clinton dominated the black vote — a huge demographic in Democratic primaries — over the Vermont-based socialist senator. I’ve argued that if he had made stronger inroads with the African-American community to any extent prior to his unlikely rise over the past year, he might have had a fighting chance at the nomination.

But Clinton, and certainly Sanders, were never going to get a comparable black vote in 2008 or 2012. Not going to happen.

In other news …

One interesting trend in Florida with less than a week before the voting ends is the record vote from the Latino community to date.

SD 18 Democrat Bob Buesing has gone up on TV with his final ad (he says).

David Jolly isn’t giving up on trying to take part of the black vote in St. Petersburg away from Charlie Crist. The CD 13 Republican is airing a new ad that once again goes back in time to the era when his Democratic opponent was known as “Chain-Gang Charlie.”

Former Florida Sen. and Gov. Bob Graham held a conference call yesterday to detail his problems with Amendment 1, the solar power initiative. Graham said its passage could neutralize the Amendment 4 solar power measure that passed by 73 percent in August. A spokesperson for the measure strongly disagrees with him.

Civil engineer Wael Odeh hopes to win a Temple Terrace City Council seat next week, despite a hate-filled letter spread to households in the city last month regarding his character because he is a Muslim.

Newly leaked WikiLeaks emails indicate that while former DNC head Debbie Wasserman Schultz was all about Hillary Clinton, the feeling among some of her staffers absolutely wasn’t mutual.

Former St. Pete Rep. Rudy Bradley stars in David Jolly’s latest ad

David Jolly again revives Charlie Crist‘s visit to a prison in Alabama where he observed a literal prison chain gang in 1995 in a new running on television and on the internet.

The ad, called “See How it Feels,” stars former St. Petersburg Democrat-turned-Republican state lawmaker Rudy Bradley, who looks sternly into the camera and says the incident is personal to him, “because he forced my brother-in-law, Harry K. Singletary, to watch.”

Singletary was selected as Florida’s Secretary of the Department of Corrections by then-Gov. Lawton Chiles. He accompanied Crist to Limestone Correctional Institution in Alabama in June of 1995 to see how that state ran its chain gang program, a legislative interest of then-state Sen. Crist at the time.

“Harry felt sick because Crist felt joy in black men being humiliated,” Bradley says in the ad. A graphic flashes on the screen with a quote that “Singletary was visibly sickened,” citing a Sunshine State News story from 2014 written by columnist Nancy Smith.

Bradley served in the Florida House from 1994-2000. He was initially elected as a Democrat, but then switched parties and became a Republican.

This is the second digital ad Jolly has aired referring to the incident, which Jolly first brought to the campaign during the first debate between the two candidates in September.

Crist has responded he supported chain gangs because of the high crime rate in Florida. When confronted by Jolly in that debate, Crist pivoted and attempted to put Jolly on the defensive, saying the notion his tough-on-crime stance had anything to do with race was simply “appalling.”

Florida’s 13th Congressional District was redistricted last year, making it much more Democratic-friendly, in large part because of the inclusion of parts of St. Petersburg GOP lawmakers had previously carved out and left for Congressional District 14 Democrat Kathy Castor to inherit from across Tampa Bay. The Florida Supreme Court ruled in 2015 that the district should no longer cross the water, making it more compact.

Polls have been all over the place in the race, but there’s no doubt that Jolly needs to sway a certain percentage of Democrats to switch over and vote for him to allow him to retain the seat. The revival of the “Chain-Gang Charlie” persona of the mid 1990s is part of that strategy.

Watch the video below:

 

 

 

Convincing black folk to not vote for Charlie Crist now central to David Jolly’s re-election campaign

With a week to go before Election Day, a shocking development has taken place in the race for Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

According to several sources, there are black people in the district! Not only that, they may not all vote as a monolithic block.

And, believe it or not, the Republican incumbent, David Jolly, is actually campaigning for the votes of black residents.

“It’s stunning,” said one St. Petersburg-based political consultant who asked to remain anonymous because it’s easier to say what you think when you don’t have to go on the record, even though it looks better for the writer if there are quotation marks in the top third of a story. “All along, the local GOP had just assumed that there was no way to convince a black person to vote for both Democrat Hillary Clinton and a Republican for Congress.”

“Mind blown,” said another Republican activist in between sending Snaps to his friends.

Separating black voters who support Clinton from Democrat Charlie Crist appears to be the key to Jolly’s re-election strategy. And there’s some math to back up Jolly’s logic.

In the only survey conducted by St. Pete Polls that had Jolly up on Crist, it was because the former governor’s partisan support was soft. In that poll — which showed Jolly with a three-point lead — Crist held only 67 percent of the Democratic base, with Jolly earning 20 percent.

In subsequent polls, all of which show Crist leading, the Democrat has been able to capture about three-fourths of his base.

Since that poll, which coincided with the first debate between Crist and Jolly, the Republican has aggressively targeted CD 13’s black voters.

It’s almost as if Jolly woke up Sept. 20 and discovered south St. Petersburg.

What a candidate posts to his Facebook page is, by no means, a scientific indicator of how they are spending the resources of money and time, but in the time since that poll showed Jolly with a pathway to victory that wound through Midtown St. Petersburg, he has posted disproportionately more about campaigning with black voters.

In the period between when Jolly announced he would drop out of the U.S. Senate race to the first debate (June 17 to Sept. 19), Jolly’s campaign posted approximately 61 photos to Facebook. Of those photos, 40 feature people who where white, 21 of people who were black.

Since the debate, Jolly’s campaign has featured 16 photos with faces of color, while only four are of white people.

Mind you, this is all back-of-the-envelope math, so scroll through Jolly’s Facebook page yourself. Do so and you will see that the battle for CD 13 is not being fought in the tony neighborhoods of Old Northeast and Snell Isle or the beach communities.

No, the winner of Congressional District 13 may very well be decided by the black folk of south St. Petersburg.

 

Direct mail round-up: Jack Latvala reminds Pinellas voters what’s at stake this election

A new mailer from Clearwater Republican state Sen. Jack Latvala offers a simple message: “This election is not just about Washington D.C.”

Latvala’s mailer lets Pinellas County voters know what he believes is at stake this November — at both the state and local levels — with a handy voters’ guide for down-ballot races.

“It’s also about Florida and Pinellas County!” he says.

On the congressional level, the mailer suggests support for Republicans Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate and David Jolly for Florida’s 13th Congressional District. Photos of Democratic opponents — Congressman Patrick Murphy and former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist — are shown shadowed with their faces crossed out.

“Of these men, who can best be trusted to keep our taxes low, our nation secure and government out of our lives,” the flyer says. “YOUR VOTE could make the difference in these races.”

As for representing Pinellas in Tallahassee, Latvala is joined by state Reps. Chris Latvala of House District 67 and Chris Sprowls of HD 65.

“Do we want to turn back the clock on our state to a time when crime rates were skyrocketing, taxes were increased every year, and our public schools had no accountability?” Latvala asks. “YOUR VOTE can keep leaders like Jack Latvala, Chris Sprowls, and Chris Latvala fighting for us in Tallahassee!”

Locally, the flyer endorses Mike Mikruak for Pinellas County Commissioner; if he wins, it could result in a return to Republican majority on the board.

“YOUR VOTE for Mike Mikurak can help Republicans win back the majority on our County Commission that was lost in 2014 for the first time in 50 years!” the mailer says.

With such discord at the top of the presidential ticket this year, Latvala’s flyer reminds us that all politics — and good governance — is indeed local.

latvala-stake_page_1 latvala-stake_page_2

October money race shows David Jolly keeping pace with Charlie Crist in CD 13

Charlie Crist reported another $24,100 in contributions to his congressional campaign at the end of last week, while incumbent Republican Rep. David Jolly reported $22,600.

Crist reported another 17 contributions since Thursday, including $1,000 from Democratic State Sen. Maria Sachs, $1,000 from Connecticut Democratic U.S. Rep. Jim Himes, and $2,700 from philanthropist and former diplomat Elaine Schuster.

Jolly’s newly filed numbers showed eight new contributions, including $5,000 from Caspers Company CEO Blake Casper, $1,000 from Maryland Republican U.S. Rep. Andy Harris, and $2,600 from Pat Mooney, who ran in the crowded primary to replace Rep. Ron DeSantis earlier this cycle.

People for Pinellas, a committee backing Jolly’s re-election campaign, also filed a few more notices ahead of the weekend.

On Thursday, the group reported spending $20,000 for online advertising with Virginia-based Red Digital, and spent another $1,600 on calls from Election Connections’ telephone banks.

Jolly led Crist in total fundraising after the pair filed their most recent reports, which covered through Oct. 19. At that point, Jolly had brought in about $1.9 million and had about $160,000 of that money on hand.

Crist had raised about $1.5 million through Oct. 19 and had about $170,000 in his campaign account.

Duke, FPL fuel pro-David Jolly super PAC

U.S. Rep. David Jolly’s re-election campaign in Florida’s 13th Congressional District took in $625,000 over the first 19 days of October, with half coming from utility companies.

People for Pinellas, the committee backing the incumbent Republican, received a $250,000 check from Florida Power & Light and another $100,000 from Duke Energy, with the American Society of Anesthesiologists PAC donating $100,000, and St. Pete businessmen James MacDougald and Bill Edwards giving $50,000 apiece.

Jolly has been on the receiving end of attack ads due to his ties to Duke Energy, which has charged Pinellas County customers millions in “nuclear cost recovery fees” for nuclear power plants that have not been built.

The finance report shows People for Pinellas spent about $250,000 during the reporting period, mainly on media production and placement, and had about $574,000 on hand as of Oct. 19.

The committee has filed several notices since the close of the reporting period, including a $163,000 payment to Virginia-based Media Ad Ventures for media placement and another $20,000 to Red Digital for online advertising.

Jolly is running against former Gov. Charlie Crist, a Democrat. CD 13 covers the southern half of Pinellas County.

Pro-David Jolly super PAC calls Charlie Crist a ‘career flip-flopper’ in new ad

A super PAC backing Rep. David Jolly is out with a new advertisement slamming Charlie Crist.

People for Pinellas,” the super PAC backing Jolly’s re-election bid in Florida’s 13th Congressional District, released a new ad this week. The 30-second spot, called “Enough,” calls the former Florida governor a “political lightweight” and “career flip-flopper.”

“We’ve had enough. These politicians making it about them, not us. And that’s the Charlie Crist story. Thirty years running for office, nothing to show for it,” an announcer says in the ad.

“David Jolly is different,” the announcer continues. “Washington insiders can’t stand him because Jolly stands with us, not them; fighting for Pinellas.”

The match-up in Florida’s 13th Congressional District is one of the most-watched congressional races this election cycle. The district has been ranked as “lean Democratic” by the Cook Political Report.

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