David Jolly Archives - Page 7 of 62 - Florida Politics

Joe Henderson: GOP is distancing from Donald Trump. Except David Jolly; he was already there.

Many Republicans have distanced themselves from Donald Trump after crude sexual remarks about women he made surfaced on tape Friday, but stopped short of saying they won’t vote for him in November.

David Jolly is not one of those. His anti-Trump chops can no longer be debated. He is all-in on being all-out on Trump.

Jolly, trailing Democrat Charlie Crist in the race to represent Florida’s 13th Congressional District, flatly stated Trump’s banter in a decade-old tape is the last straw.

“A man who brags about sexual assault isn’t qualified to be president of the United States,” the Tampa Bay Times reported through a spokeswoman Saturday.

Jolly also told the Times/Herald, “I’m not voting for him.”

Jolly’s support for Trump always has been tepid at best. During the primary, his opponent, retired U.S. Marines Gen. Mark Bircher, stated the Republican Party should support him if Jolly refused to endorse Trump.

Jolly easily won the primary.

Last month, though, his support of Trump was still an issue. In an interview with Sunshine State News, Jolly said, “If the election were today, I would not support Donald Trump. I don’t know where I’ll be in November, but I don’t see a pathway to support Donald Trump.”

If there was a pathway then, it no longer exists.

Of course, it should be noted that politically this likely is Jolly’s best and only option. According to a recent Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee poll, he is trailing Crist 50-39 percent. Other polls have the race much closer.

Jolly is banking on his image as someone willing to buck the Republican establishment to win him votes in a new district that seems to favor a Democratic candidate. Most notably, he filed a bill aimed at party bosses who require their members of Congress to spend up to four hours daily on fundraising.

That didn’t make him popular in top GOP circles, and the party responded with crickets when Jolly abandoned a planned run for the U.S. Senate and announced he would try to keep his seat in the U.S. House.

It didn’t help that Beverly Young, widow of Republican icon C.W. Bill Young — the man Jolly succeeded — said she would vote for Crist. On her Facebook page, she said, Bill would be totally disgusted and ashamed of how (Jolly) has handled his district of 50 years.”

There is a lot of disgust going around in politics these days, and it was coming in waves since the Trump revelations. Whether that makes any difference in Jolly’s bid to stay in office remains to be seen. But after tap-dancing up to the edge with Donald Trump, there is no ambiguity now where Jolly stands.


David Jolly’s call for expanded early voting sites not shared by Pinellas GOP

The Charlie CristDavid Jolly matchup is one of the most keenly observed congressional races in the country. And while the two continue to engage in strong partisan rhetoric against each other, they did come together in common cause this week in calling on Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark to expand the number of early voting sites.

However, Clark still isn’t interested.

“She feels as though that our election plan provides equal ballot access to all Pinellas County voters,” said Jason Latimer, a spokesperson for the Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections office.

Early voting begins in Pinellas County Oct. 24, and Clark has maintained she will open only five early voting locations in the county, a smaller amount than is happening in similarly sized counties around the state. While voting by mail has become more popular each election cycle, nowhere has that style of voting been employed more than in Pinellas, thanks in part to Clark’s efforts to encourage voters to do so.

Of the five previously announced early voting sites in Pinellas, none are located further south than Fifth Avenue North in downtown St. Petersburg. That’s prompted Democratic Party activists and elected officials like Crist and St. Pete Mayor Rick Kriseman to call for another site to be opened in South St. Pete. And on Wednesday they were joined by Jolly, who wrote to Clark asking, “that your office ensure that all communities throughout Pinellas County have equal access to early voting locations.”

Not all Republicans agree with Jolly on requesting Clark to expand early voting access, however.

“I think Deb Clark is doing an outstanding job as supervisor of elections and her plan for this election is incredibly fair and non-partisan,” says Pinellas County Republican Executive Committee Chairman Nick DiCeglie. “The outreach her office has done in all communities over the last 16 years is a testament to her professionalism and non-partisanship.  I encourage all voters who may have difficulties getting to an early vote location or to their neighborhood poll on election day to request an absentee ballot. It has never been easier for ALL voters to exercise their right to vote.”

Although Jolly and DiCeglie appear not to be on the same page regarding early voting, that’s not the worst thing in the world for the GOP incumbent. In a district that has been redrawn to make it much more Democratic friendly, Jolly has been campaigning as a representative who listens to the public, and not party leadership. That’s the same independent ethic that has created a fissure between himself and his party’s leadership in Washington D.C.

More than 2.6 million ballots were sent out to Florida voters this week, a record amount.

Latest polling should serve as a warning to ‘Mean David’ Jolly

A new poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee shows Charlie Crist maintaining a double-digit lead over incumbent Republican David Jolly.

Crist leads Jolly by a 50-39 percent margin. The 11 percent of undecided voters lean Democratic by a 37-20 percent margin.

Despite this healthy lead, the Crist campaign would do well not to crow too loudly about these latest numbers. That’s because, as Republican political consultant Nick Hansen first noted on Twitter, Crist and his allies have spent more than $1 million more than Jolly since it last released its internal polling to the media and Crist’s lead has dropped by a point. In July, a poll from Anzalone Liszt Grove Research showed Crist leading Jolly by 12 points.

Unfortunately for Jolly, Crist does not have another $11 million to spend in order for the gap to close.

I, for one, do not believe Crist is up 11 or 12 points on Jolly. In fact, I am more confident with the recent survey from St. Pete Polls which shows the race a relative dead heat. My gut tells me Crist has pulled in front of Jolly because of a) Jolly’s debate performance and b) Crist’s resource advantage, but I don’t believe Crist has yet pulled away, as this internal poll would suggest.

The trouble for Jolly is — and it was my wife, Michelle Todd Schorsch, (a longtime Crist acolyte) who first suggested this issue to me — the indignant, if not angry, David Jolly in the local media and on the debate stage is nothing like the David Jolly first introduced to Pinellas voters when he ran against Alex Sink.

According to Crist’s internal polling, Jolly’s net favorable rating has shrunk from +23 to +14. As much as I disagree with the topline of this poll, I wholeheartedly believe this favorability number is accurate.

The more Jolly bares his teeth attacking Crist, the worse his numbers get.

As I’ve written before, Jolly’s hatred of Crist is seemingly personal. My theory is that Jolly’s resentment of Crist goes back, at least partially, to when Crist was governor and had to select a replacement for Mel Martinez in the U.S. Senate. The late congressman to whom Jolly owes his political career, C.W. “Bill” Young, was asked to interview for the position. To Crist’s surprise, the Indian Shores Republican arrived at the meeting in an untucked polo shirt and sneakers, and the 78-year-old proceeded to take charge — telling the governor directly he was not interested in an interim role as U.S. senator. Young’s camp did not appreciate Crist subjecting their guy to a dog-and-pony show.

Jolly’s animus for Crist has been on display for months, beginning with Jolly ill-advised decision to crash Crist’s campaign announcement. This animus infects Jolly’s tone when he speaks of Crist. Jolly seems almost to seethe when he talks about his opponent.

All of this is out of character with the measured, polite, and precise communication style that helped Jolly win a special election and build a national profile as a maverick Republican determined to reform the political process. Jolly is the son of a preacher, yet he, according to one Crist campaign aide, would not acknowledge Crist when both men were face-to-face backstage before the first debate.

It was at the debate when ‘Mean David’ was on full display. At first, I though Jolly had won the debate because he had landed the most jabs and scored more zingers, but as I read the comments on social media, my mind changed. Jolly was being compared to Donald Trump because of how many times he interrupted Crist.

For the first time since I met him, David Jolly, one of the last true gentlemen, was being described as “rude.”

That’s not the David Jolly I know.

Perhaps Jolly thinks there is no other way to win in this solidly Democratic district than with the playbook he’s running.

But I doubt ‘Mean David’ can win this election.

Mitch Perry Report for 10.7.16 — On any given Sunday

As I begin typing at 6:40 a.m., the worst effects from Hurricane Matthew have yet to occur on the Atlantic coast of Florida, though more than 300,000 are without power. A shift of the eye of the storm towards the east has made the expected damage not nearly as significant — as of early this morning.

There’s a lot going on this weekend, and it will all climax late Sunday night with the second presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump — that really may be Trump’s last, best hope to change the trajectory of the election.

That is not what it looked like two weeks ago, which makes any declarative forecast somewhat absurd. There’s no doubt Trump was ascendent and Clinton looked in decline going into that first debate at Hofstra University. Then the debate happened, and Clinton has received a nice bounce from virtually every single national and battleground state poll since then.

Trump held a town hall meeting in Sundown, New Hampshire last night before a select, invitation-only crowd of 160 people, where he was read questions from Boston radio talk show host Howie Carr — not exactly the same level of intensity that he’ll be getting from moderators Martha Raddatz and Anderson Cooper on Sunday.

Actually, Trump emphasized last night was not preparation for the debate, saying, “I want to be with the American people.”

I’m wondering if he thinks it’s a weakness to admit he would want to prepare. According to the Manchester Union-Leader, Trump then asked the the audience if they really believed that Clinton was prepping for days before Sunday’s debate.

“No,” audience members shouted. Trump said she was “resting.”

It’s sort of a weird world when, before an audience that will probably be at least 50 million nationally tuning in, you wouldn’t want to admit you were preparing, and wouldn’t want to admit you’re opponent was preparing. No?

Now, what about the substance? One would hope these two candidates would be asked how they intend to deal with climate change, an issue that has not been broached in either the  first presidential debate, nor the VP debate last Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Trump will be in Lakeland, Ocala, and Panama City next week, as he attempts to keep it close here in the Sunshine State. An Emerson University poll shows Trump leading Clinton in Florida, 45 percent to 44 percent. Most other polls have Clinton on top.

In other news …

While David Jolly and Charlie Crist were debating, the DCCC issued out their own internal poll which showed the Democrat by an astounding 12 percentage points. Other polls show the race much, much tighter.

One Republican voting across party lines for Crist is Beverly Young, the late Bill Young’s widow who now essentially loathes Jolly, a longtime aide to her husband.

We asked the six people running for the Tampa City Council District 7 seat what they thought about a Cuban consulate in Tampa, Mayor Buckhorn’s neutral stance on the idea, and how the citizens police review board is doing currently.

At Tiger Bay debate, Charlie Crist, David Jolly agree on at least one thing: their opponent is a liar

The two candidates in the race for Florida’s U.S. Congressional District 13 entered the Tiger’s Den at a Suncoast Tiger Bay Club luncheon Thursday and walked away agreeing that the other party is a liar.

The forum began peacefully enough with Republican incumbent David Jolly portraying himself as he has throughout the campaign — as a maverick Republican who bravely stands against his party on certain principles and works to create collaboration between the parties in Congress.

Jolly also assured the audience he is focused on serving his constituents, whether it’s by promoting legislation in their favor or providing individual help when he’s asked.

“We are doing the legwork a member of Congress needs to do,” Jolly said. He added he is also trying to change the political scene by building consensus between parties.

Democrat Charlie Crist, a former governor, portrayed himself as a man who has devoted his life to public service. He first ran for a political office at age nine while a student at Bay Point Junior High School in southern St. Pete. He’s been running ever since.

“I am dedicated to public service. … It’s in my heart,” Crist said. “Yes, I run for a lot of offices because I have a service heart.”

He added, “We deserve to have someone in the U.S. Congress who understands you, who will fight for you.”

The differences and antipathy between the candidates then became immediately apparent.

School Board member Linda Lerner was the first audience member to ask a question, which she directed at Jolly. Lerner noted that Jolly “fosters an image” of a pleasant, nice person, but attended Crist’s announcement of his candidacy and called him “bad names.”

Jolly acknowledged he had done so, saying, “I don’t believe Charlie Crist. I don’t trust Charlie Crist.”

Crist, he said, makes aspirational promises on the campaign trail, but rather than governing aspirationally, he “governs hypocritically.” Jolly added that he believes in speaking up, “so I did.”

One person asked a question about Jolly’s lobbying to privatize Social Security and for offshore drilling. Another asked about his voting against Planned Parenthood. Jolly denied all three, saying he was the victim of a “false narrative” and false statements put forth in part by an attack ad.

The truth, Jolly said, is that he has worked to strengthen the ban on offshore drilling and voted against his own party’s plan for Social Security. As for Planned Parenthood, Jolly said he voted against investigating the group. But, he conceded, he voted to suspend tax money paid to Planned Parenthood although he worked to restore the funding for women’s care in other ways.

Both were asked about Congress’ role in environmental disasters such as the recent sewage dumps by the county and some Pinellas municipalities, and the Mosaic sinkhole.

Crist responded that government has a role. He said Jolly had failed to step in and offer help to St. Petersburg until the two last debated and “I had to remind him of it.”

Jolly replied that the problem was city mismanagement of the sewer system. He said he had offered help to St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, who ignored the offer. Jolly added he had called in the Environmental Protection Agency to investigate the city — an action that could possibly result in criminal charges. The city is facing a very significant investigation, Jolly said, as a result of Crist’s asking for his involvement.

After the debate, Crist released a statement titled “Tiger Bay fact checks on David Jolly” that accused Jolly of making “some statements that disregarded a few inconvenient truths” when the Congressman commented about Social Security, oil drilling and women’s health issues.

Congressional District 13 covers the southern portion of Pinellas County. Although Jolly started the race in the lead, a poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and released hours before Thursday’s debate showed Crist in the lead, 50 percent to 39 percent with 11 percent undecided.

Beverly Young says she’s voting for Charlie Crist in CD 13 race

Beverly Young announced Thursday she’s voting for Charlie Crist over David Jolly in Florida’s 13th Congressional District.

Young made the announcement by placing a photo of her ballot on her Facebook page showing she had scribbled the bubble next to Crist’s name.

Young is the widow of Bill Young, who represented Pinellas County in Congress for more than 42 years before he died three years ago at the age of 82.

Shortly after his passing, Mrs. Young announced she would support Jolly in the special congressional election to succeed her late husband, and ultimately appeared in an ad endorsing him in his race against Democrat Alex Sink. Jolly was a former senior adviser to Young who was said to have been viewed as virtually a member of the Young family.

But her attitude towards Jolly changed when she said he reneged on his deathbed promise to Bill Young that Jolly would maintain Young’s staff immediately after the election.

“He made promises to my husband that he was going to continue to carry on his legacy, and the first thing he did was dump the people who made his legacy what it is,” Young told WFLA’s Lauren Mayk a month after Jolly’s election. “He’s made a mockery out of my husband’s life and his legacy.” Jolly told the press shortly after that interview that he was no longer speaking to Beverly Young.

Until this past June, Jolly was not intending to run again for the seat. But his ambitions to run for Senate ended when Marco Rubio announced he would run again for his Senate seat.

“World has changed so much,” Young wrote on her Facebook page, which also showed a picture of her selecting Donald Trump for president. “I can’t look away from Benghazi and pretend that 4 Americans, pleading for back up, were ignored and slaughtered and can’t believe Jolly is still saying Bill is his mentor, when Bill would be totally disgusted and ashamed how he has handled his district of 50 years.”

It should be noted that Beverly Young wasn’t exactly friendly towards Crist in the immediate aftermath of Bill Young’s death. She sent him an email after his passing to tell Crist “your presence at my husband’s memorial services will be unacceptable.”

“I have watched over the years, as Bill had, your transparent attempts to manipulate the political arena,” she wrote. “I don’t want my husband’s memorial service to be another opportunity for that and I will not tolerate anyone turning this into a platform for political gain.”

Charlie Crist leading David Jolly 50%-39%, new poll shows

According to a new poll commissioned by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), Charlie Crist is leading David Jolly in Florida’s 13th Congressional District, 50 percent to 39 percent, with 11 percent undecided.

According to the pollsters, Jolly’s favorability ratings have shrunk by nine percentage points over the past month. The new survey has him at 41 percent favorable/27 percent unfavorable, a plus-14 percent rating. Back in August, the GOP incumbent had a plus-23 percent favorable rating, with 46 percent favorable/23 percent unfavorable.

Some of that attrition can undoubtedly be attributed to negative television advertising, some of it supplied by the House Majority PAC, which has aired two-anti-Jolly ads.

There was also the first debate between the two candidates Sept. 19, where Jolly was aggressive in bringing up some of Crist’s previous positions.

A St. Pete Polls survey taken two-and-a-half weeks ago showed Jolly leading Crist, 46 percent to 43 percent.

The poll also shows those in CD 13 are barely giving Hillary Clinton more support than Donald Trump — she leads in the district 45 percent to 43 percent.

The survey has Democrat Patrick Murphy leading Marco Rubio in the U.S. Senate race, 46 percent to 43 percent.

Anzalone Liszt Grove Research conducted 400 live telephone interviews with likely 2016 voters in Florida’s 13th Congressional District from Oct. 2-4. Forty-five percent of the survey was completed via cell phone, with 55 percent completed by landline phone. Expected margin of sampling error is plus-or-minus 4.9 percent.

Mitch Perry Report for 10.6.16 — Do you want to live forever?

On the campaign trail last year, an ebullient Jeb Bush used to talk about how we were on the verge of the greatest time to be alive ever, with a limitless future ahead.

“We’re on the verge of where my little boy Jack, my four day-old Jack is going to live until he’s 130 years old,” Bush told hundreds of Republican activists at a New Hampshire Republican Party summit in April of 2015. Later, he moved it up to 150 years.

Jeb sounded like he had found common cause in believing in The Singularity, the moment when humans — with the aid of technology — will supposedly live forever.

One scientist, David Sinclair, a co-director of a lab on aging at Harvard Medical School, recently predicted that yes, the first person to live to 150 has already been born. “Over the last 10 years, my lab and many others around the world have shown that it’s not just possible to delay aging, but to reverse aspects of it,” he said last year.

Maybe so, but a new study made public yesterday suggests there is a natural limit to human lifespan of about 115 years old.

Jan Vijg, Xiao Dong, and Brandon Milholland, from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine have produced a new report saying that — after looking at demographic data from the last century — they believe human lifespan has a hard ceiling at around 115 years.

As The Atlantic reports, between the 1970s and early 1990s, our maximum age rose from around 110 to 115 — and then stopped after 1995. Despite sanitation, antibiotics, vaccines, and other medical advances, the stats show the oldest living people simply aren’t dying any later. They’re unlikely to either, the Atlantic reports, regardless of calorie restriction, drugs like rapamycin, and all of our other efforts to slow the flow of sand through the hourglass. “In science, you never know,” says Vijg. “But I’ve not seen anything that I think would break through the ceiling.”

“There’s no question that we have postponed aging,” says Judith Campisi from the Buck Institute for Research on Aging. “But to engineer an increase in maximum lifespan, we’ll probably have to modify so many genes that it won’t be possible within our lifespan—or even our grandchildren’s lifespan.”

So maybe Jeb’s grandson Jack won’t make it to 150, or 130.

Most importantly for all of us, though, is how long we can in a vigorous state, right? What’s the point of living to be 110 if the last 20 years amount to sitting on a couch?

In other news …

As they prepare to debate today in St. Petersburg, David Jolly joined with Charlie Crist in calling for an additional early voting site in South St. Pete. Jolly’s statement came after a Crist-led press conference in South St. Pete.

A new report from the Center for American Progress expresses concern about Florida’s voting machines, but the secretary of state’s office says many of those same counties have had upgrades since the 2014 election.

Hillsborough County Commissioners approved a six-month moratorium on the creation of any medical marijuana dispensaries. County staff will work on creating a regulatory framework for such entrepreneurs to get into the local market, as Floridians prepare to vote for Amendment 2 regarding medical pot next month.

Tampa City Council District 7 candidates have differing opinions on that major $251 million, 30-year stormwater tax approved last month by the current council.

Meanwhile, two of the candidates in that race — Luis Viera and Jim Davison, announced some new endorsements.

We spent a few minutes chatting up AFL-CIO President Rich Trumka when he was in Tampa earlier this week.

Former GOP Senate candidate Todd Wilcox has formed a new Super PAC, called “Restoring American Leadership.”

David Jolly calls on Pinellas elections office to ensure ‘all communities’ have early voting access

Charlie Crist, Rick Kriseman and Pinellas Democrats gained a new ally on Wednesday in their request for an additional early voting station in the southern part of the county — Republican Congressman David Jolly.

In a letter penned to Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark, the GOP incumbent in Congressional District 13 says he is writing to ask that “your office ensure that all communities throughout Pinellas County have equal access to early voting locations.”

Clark had steadfastly denied requests in recent weeks by Pinellas Democrats to add an early voting polling station in South St. Petersburg. As it stands now, there will be only five early voting locations set up when early voting begins later this month, much fewer than most other nearby counties of similar size. Hillsborough County, for example, will have 16 such sites.

For years, Clark has pushed for more and more voters to vote by mail, and more and more people are doing so in Pinellas County. However, there certainly are some voters who will only vote at the polls.

“Too often we hear of instances around the country where vulnerable communities encounter obstacles to the free and fair exercise of their lawful right to participate in elections,” Jolly writes to Clark, a fellow Republican. “As a foundational premise, we must strive to make voting as accessible as possible for all who wish to partake in our free elections. I believe this should include expanded early voting, expanded vote-by-mail, and expanded polling locations — insisting in each instance on simple, yet legitimate, identification requirements to protect the integrity of every vote.”

Earlier on Wednesday, Crist held a news conference with Pastor Manuel Sykes and Pinellas County Democratic Black Caucus president Corey Givens at the Lake Vista Recreation Center on 62nd Avenue South, where they once again called on Clark to provide at least one additional early voting site in the Southside.

Jolly and Crist are competing in the CD 13 race in what is expected to be an extremely close contest. The two will debate Thursday at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club.

Todd Wilcox launches Restoring American Leadership super PAC

Todd Wilcox, the former combat veteran and CIA case officer who ran for nearly a year as a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, announced Wednesday he is forming a Super PAC called “Restoring American Leadership.”

Wilcox will serve as chairman of this new committee.

We are at a crossroads in this country where we must decide whether we continue on the destructive path we have been on for eight years, or do we renew our commitment to American leadership,” said Wilcox. “I am fighting to do everything in my power to ensure we elect only those who will fight for the conservative principals of limited government, free market capitalism, strong national defense, and the liberty ensured by an originalist interpretation of our Constitution.”

Wilcox announced his candidacy for the U.S. Senate seat held by Marco Rubio on the 4th of July in 2015. He declared at that time he was “fed up with the status quo and I’m fed up with career politicians who care more about re-election or the next higher office than they do about their neighbors. That’s why I am declaring my candidacy for the U.S. Senate.”

For months he was the only non-politician in the GOP field, which also included Congressmen David Jolly and Ron DeSantis, and Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera. Earlier this year, Manatee developer Carlos Beruff joined the party.

But the race changed dramatically when Rubio’s chances for president faded and he decided in June to re-enter the contest. Although resistant at first to dropping out, Wilcox ultimately did exactly that, leaving Beruff to get manhandled by Rubio in the August primary.

As FloridaPolitics.com reported last month, Wilcox, a millionaire, has been giving out campaign contributions to federal candidates running in the Sunshine State since dropping out of the Senate race. And as POLITICO’s Marc Caputo reported Wednesday, Wilcox is getting behind Brian Mast, a combat veteran running in Florida’s 18th Congressional District against Democrat Randy Perkins.

Wilcox alluded to a spat the two candidates had at a meeting in front of the TC Palm editorial board recently when he wrote in an ad published in the Post on Wednesday that, “As a Green Beret in the United States Army, I had the tremendous honor of standing shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the bravest, hardest working Americans to ever step on a battlefield. Like most who saw your recent meltdown, I watched in total disgust as you questioned ‘why the sacrifices and the services’ Brian Mast provided for this country make him ‘capable of solving issues’ affecting seniors, children, single mothers, veterans, and families.”

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