Patrick Murphy Archives - Page 7 of 74 - Florida Politics

Miami GOP rainmaker Mike Fernandez endorses Patrick Murphy, gives $100K

Mike Fernandez is backing Democrat Patrick Murphy in his race against Republican Marco Rubio for the U.S. Senate.

Fernandez, the Miami billionaire who is one of the nation’s largest GOP funders, announced his support of Murphy to the Miami Herald Friday morning. He told reporters the main reason he’s voting for Murphy is the Jupiter Democrat’s support for lifting the Cuba embargo.

As well as voting for Murphy, the Herald also reports Fernandez has given $100,000 to a pro-Murphy super PAC.

Fernandez has been a longtime Republican fundraiser — giving more than $3 million this cycle to a super PAC supporting Jeb Bush’s presidential run — and briefly served as finance chair for Gov. Rick Scott‘s 2014 re-election bid.

However, in September Fernandez announced he was formally endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.

 

Florida poll gives Hillary Clinton 4 point lead; calls Marco Rubio-Patrick Murphy race tied

A new Public Policy Polling survey commissioned by the gun-law-reform group Americans For Responsible Solutions finds that gun law reforms are an overwhelming issue for Floridians and that Hillary Clinton leads Donald Trump by four points in the Sunshine State and Marco Rubio and Patrick Murphy are tied.

The PPP poll, done for the political action committee founded by Democratic former U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords and her husband, retired NASA astronaut and Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, gives Democratic presidential nominee Clinton a 48 percent to 44 percent lead over Republican Trump. It also says Republican Sen. Rubio and Democratic U.S. Rep. Murphy are tied in Florida’s U.S. Senate race with 46 percent apiece.

The survey was conducted Tuesday and Wednesday among 742 likely Florida voters, with a mixture of telephone and internet interviews. PPP claims a margin of error of 3.6 percent.

Yet the real purpose of the poll was to drill down on how much gun issues are likely to impact votes in this election, and the results suggest they will be a major factor.

“Greater than nine in 10 Florida voters, 94 percent, say that making it harder for criminals to get guns is either a ‘very important’ or ‘somewhat important’ issue for them in the upcoming election — similar to the 95 percent who say creating jobs is important, 95 percent who say improving education is important, and 96 percent who say protecting Social Security is important. Seventy-four percent of Florida voters say abortion is an important issue for them this year,” states the poll analysis memo, written by PPP’s Justin Mayhew.

The memo was released Friday by Murphy’s campaign. Neither PPP nor AFRS has released the poll on its website or in press releases, and neither organization was immediately available to talk about it Friday. No cross-tabs, showing details on how voters responded to specific questions, were immediately available.

The most recent public poll conducted by PPP, done Oct. 12 and 13 and released Oct. 14, also gave Clinton a four-point lead, but had Rubio leading Murphy by five points.

The new poll done for AFRS also finds undecided voters are looking at gun violence prevention as a major factor in their upcoming vote. Of the 9 percent of voters who haven’t committed to a candidate for Senate, 82 percent said making it harder for criminals to get guns is an important issue, 72 percent said they support background checks on all gun sales, and 70 percent said they support prohibiting individuals on the FBI Terror Watch List from buying guns.

 

Jeanette Rubio highlights husband’s support of the Girls Count Act in new ad

Jeanette Rubio is praising her husband’s work against human trafficking in a new campaign ad.

The Marco Rubio campaign released a new advertisement Friday featuring the Miami Republican’s wife. The 30-second spot gives Jeanette Rubio a chance to highlight the Girls Count Act, which helps ensure children in developing countries are registered at birth.

“Human trafficking is a tragedy. Of all the things Marco has done, the Girls Count Act is the one thing I’m most proud of,” says Jeanette Rubio in the advertisement. “Marco wrote the law that forces any country in the word that receives American aid to give little girls birth certificates when they are born. It doesn’t sound like much, but that one thing could save thousands of girls, and even if it just saves one, it is truly a blessing.”

According to Girl Up, a program run by the United Nations Foundation, one in 12 people around the world is a girl or young woman between the ages of 10-24. The organization reported most developing counties did not account for the number of girls in their population. In some countries, the reason might be that they don’t have the capacity to do it, while some “don’t prioritize girls.”

“This means that as a girl grows up it will be difficult, if not impossible, for her to attend school or get a job. She will not be able to own her own land or start her own business,” according to the Girl Up website. “She will not be able to vote.  She will likely be confined to the home and left unpaid — an invisible member of society.”

President Barack Obama signed the bill, which was sponsored by Rubio, into law in June 2015.

“There is a massive worldwide problem involving boys and especially girls for whom no official records exist because they were not registered at birth,” said Rubio in a March 2015 statement introducing the bill. “This leaves them vulnerable to human trafficking and exploitation, but it also leaves them excluded from accessing basic services in their countries, such as education.”

Rubio faces Rep. Patrick Murphy in the Nov. 8 general election. Rubio has been leading in the polls for months, with RealClearPolitics showing he has an average 3.6 percent lead over Murphy.

Marco Rubio rallies the faithful during Naples stop

Sen. Marco Rubio used a stop in deep-red Collier County to gin up supporters and encourage Floridians to get out and vote.

The Miami Republican held a get-out-the vote rally in Naples on Thursday. The campaign stop came just one day after the second and final U.S. Senate debate, and Rubio used the stop to hammer Rep. Patrick Murphy over his limited congressional accomplishments.

“I’m running against someone who has been in Congress for four years; he’s not a theory, he’s not a businessman that’s coming in from the outside,” he told a crowd of about 200 people at 7th Avenue Social in downtown Naples, one block from a popular early voting location. “He’s been in Congress for four years, and yet he’s never had a bill that he wrote that has been passed into law.”

Rubio resorted to familiar attacks, pointing to claims Murphy padded his resume. The claims have been a frequent point of contention during the election, and have been at the center of several attack ads.

He criticized Murphy, honing in on comments the Treasure Coast Democrat made during the debate Wednesday.

“(He said) ‘when I got to Congress I started a bipartisan group. So I just passed all these laws, I’m banned from going to Nicaragua, I’m banned from going to Venezuela … and he’s bragging about starting a club,” said Rubio. “We cannot afford a U.S. senator from one of the most important states in the country that can’t get things done on behalf of you.”

The rally was meant to energize supporters in a deep red county. There are 199,889 registered voters in Collier County, 51 percent of whom are registered Republicans.

He hoped to tap back into that support network Thursday, encouraging the crowd to “vote early.”

“Vote once, and vote right,” he said, after joking he wanted to tell supporters to vote early and often. “We’ll win; we’ll turn this country around. We’re going to leave our children as the freest and most prosperous Americans that ever lived, and Florida as most prosperous state in America.”

According to the Division of Elections, as of Thursday more than 2.4 million had already cast their ballots.

“We’re not just choosing between political parties and ideologies, we’re choosing between two very different destinies: An America greater and ever more prosperous than before, or a once-great nation in decline,” said Rubio. “That is the crossroads with which we are at, and we must make a choice right now and it begins in this election.”

 

Marco Rubio: ‘I don’t have any plan, any intention, any desire to run for office in 2020’

Marco Rubio sidestepped questions about Donald Trump, saying voters “will have to make their own decisions” about the Republican nominee.

“I think every race has to stand on its own; I’ve said that from the beginning,” said Rubio, following a campaign stop in Naples on Thursday. “If he wins, that doesn’t mean I win. If he loses, that doesn’t mean I lose. I think every candidate is going to have to stand on their own merits and their own ideas.”

The Miami Republican has been criticized in recent weeks for his continued support of Trump. Rep. Patrick Murphy continually brought up the New York businessman during a televised debate Wednesday, and has been hammering Rubio over his decision to back him.

But Rubio said he has “strong disagreements” with both candidates, and backs Trump because he doesn’t “want Hillary Clinton to be president.”

“People look at this (race) and say these are not ideal choices,” said Rubio. “But that’s one of the reasons I ran for Senate, because I know no matter who wins, we’re going to have to have a strong Senate.”

Rubio announced he was running for re-election just days before the qualifying deadline. His decision came after he repeatedly said he would not run for re-election after mounting a failed presidential bid.

Whether Rubio would run for president again in 2020 has been a question from opponents and on the campaign trail. During the first U.S. Senate debate, he said he planned to serve a full six-year term. He reiterated that Thursday, telling reporters he doesn’t plan to run in 2020.

“If I wanted to run for president, I wouldn’t have run for Senate. This is the toughest swing state in the country, and I got in at the very last minute after running a presidential race, so I’m focused on serving in the Senate,” said Rubio. “I don’t have any plan, any intention, any desire to run for any other office in 2020. I look forward to being in the Senate for six years and achieving a lot on behalf of our state.”

Everglades Trust endorses Bob Buesing in the SD 18 race

Attorney and Senate District 18 Democratic candidate Bob Buesing boasts on the campaign trail he is a proud signer of the Now Or Neverglades Declaration, so it’s not exactly a surprise he is receiving the endorsement of the Everglades Trust.

Buesing was one of 18 candidates running in local, state, and federal races in Florida next month who received the backing of the Trust Thursday, the first time in their 22-year history the group is making endorsements.

“After years of inaction from political leaders, we decided it’s Now Or Neverglades,” said Everglades Trust Executive Director Kimberly Mitchell. “For the first time, the Trust is publicly endorsing candidates who are willing to put the future of America’s Everglades and the source of drinking water for eight million people ahead of Big Sugar’s political influence and interests.”

To earn the Trust’s endorsement, candidates needed to publicly support the Now Or Neverglades Declaration, including its core premise that “increased storage, treatment and conveyance of water south of Lake Okeechobee is essential to stop the damaging discharges to the coastal estuaries and to restore the flow of clean, fresh water to Everglades National Park, Florida Bay, and the Florida Keys.”

The declaration also includes supporting using Amendment 1 and other funds to identify and secure land south the lake without delay.

“With leadership from Senate President-designate Joe Negron and others, the upcoming legislative session will bring about meaningful change to save Florida’s Everglades and water supply,” said Mitchell. “We believe it is critical that elected officials with political will are recognized and supported in the electoral process, as well as the upcoming legislative session.”

Negron was one of five Republicans who earned backing from the Everglades Trust. In addition, the foundation is backing nine Democrats (including Patrick Murphy for Senate) and four non-party-affiliated candidates (including three who are running for the Palm Beach County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Negron announced in August he was putting forth a plan to buy 60,000 acres of sugar land south of Lake Okeechobee to build a reservoir to hold 120 billion gallons of lake water — providing a relief valve for what’s discharged east to the St. Lucie River and west to the Caloosahatchee River. It would cost $2.4 billion in all for purchase of the land and construction. Proceeds would come from Amendment 1, the 2014 constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2014.

The initiative required that 33 percent of the proceeds from an existing real-estate tax, known as documentary stamps, go for land and water maintenance and acquisition across Florida. A coalition of environmentalists went to court last year against the Legislature, contending more than $200 million had been diverted from conservation purposes to agency staffing and operational expenses.

A judge in Leon County removed part of a lawsuit last December.

Buesing is running against Republican Dana Young in the SD 18 race next month. Independents Joe Redner and Sheldon Upthegrove are also on the ballot.

Here’s the entire list of the endorsed candidates.

For United States Senate

  • Patrick Murphy (D) — on the ballot in all Florida counties

For United States Congress

  • Brian Mast (R) District 18 — on the ballot in St. Lucie, Martin, and parts of Palm Beach County

For Florida State Senate

  • Joe Negron (R) District 25 — on the ballot in parts of St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach counties

  • Bob Buesing (D) District 18 — on the ballot in parts of Hillsborough County

  • Anitere Flores (R) District 39 —on the ballot in Monroe and parts of Miami-Dade counties

  • Linda Stewart (D) District 13 — on the ballot in parts of Orange County

  • Dean Asher (R) District 13 — on the ballot in parts of Orange County

For Florida House of Representatives

  • Thad Altman (R) District 52 — on the ballot in parts of Brevard County

  • Ivette Gonzalez Petkovich (D) District 103 — on the ballot in parts of Miami-Dade and Broward

  • Ken Keechl (D) District 93 — on the ballot in parts of Broward County

  • Robert Simeone (D) District 85 — on the ballot in parts of Palm Beach County

  • Carlos Guillermo Smith (D) District 49 — on the ballot in parts of Orange County

  • John Scott (D) District 79 — on the ballot in parts of Lee County

  • Charles Messina (NPA) District 76 — on the ballot in parts of Lee County

For Palm Beach County Commission

  • Dave Kerner (D) — Palm Beach County Commission Dist. 3

For Palm Beach County Soil and Water Conservation District

  • Daniel Sohn (Group 2) — on the ballot throughout Palm Beach County

  • Patricia Edmonson (Group 3) — on the ballot throughout Palm Beach County

  • Rob Long (Group 4) — on the ballot throughout Palm Beach County

Marco Rubio campaign reports raising $2.85M

Sen. Marco Rubio raised nearly $3 million ahead of the election, his campaign announced this week.

The campaign announced Thursday that Rubio raised $2.85 million in 19 days. According to the campaign, $1.74 million of that went directly to the campaign, while 1.1 million went to the “Rubio Victory Committee.”

According to the most recent campaign finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission, Rubio raised more than $11.1 million through Sept. 30. Reports show he had $5.5 million cash-on-hand at the end of September.

The campaign announced its fundraising totals shortly after the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald reported Rep. Patrick Murphy loaned his campaign $1 million in October to pay for TV time in the final weeks of the election.

Federal campaign finance records show Murphy raised $13 million through Sept. 30. He reported having nearly $2.8 million cash-on-hand at the end of the month.

Campaigns are required to file pre-general election campaign reports by Thursday. Neither campaign’s report was immediately available Thursday afternoon.

Broward ballot battle over Amendment 2 makes Norm Kent a Democratic hero

norm-kent-2Norm Kent — criminal defense attorney in Broward County, publisher of the South Florida Gay News, and past chairman of NORML — may be the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton, Patrick Murphy, and Democrats throughout Broward.

At noon Thursday, Judge Lisa Phillips will hear Kent’s suit against Broward Supervisor of Elections and bastion of governmental incompetence, Brenda Snipes, brought on behalf of two registered voters in the county.

At issue is the widely reported absence of Amendment 2, “Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions,” from the vote-by-mail ballots of certain voters, and its absence from at least one early vote ballot.

Now you might be thinking, “what possible good for Democrats could come from election problems in the largest Democratic county in Florida?”

If Kent can successfully convince the court of his case’s merits, the answer is “lots.”

First, regardless of what happens today, my guess is that the most recent instances of nincompoopism emanating from Snipes’ office have ALREADY been a boon to Democrats’ prospects.

Consider this scenario: you’re an absentee voter, and like many such voters, your ballot has been sitting in your mail pile by the front door since it came last week. But then the evening news runs a story on ballots potentially missing Amendment 2.

What do you do? You go grab that ballot out of the stack of bills, negative campaign direct mail pieces, and car warranty offers … and you make sure Amendment 2 is there.

And now that you’ve opened your ballot and have it in front of you, you find a pen and a stamp, and you fill the damn thing out and stick it in the mail.

Ever see or hear about those campaign communications that don’t advocate for or against a candidate but shame or embarrass the voter into casting a ballot? “Your neighbors have voted, why haven’t you?” That sort of thing.

What’s going on in Broward County, and the attention it’s received thus far, should already be percolating a similar effect among Broward absentee voters.

The problems so far seem relatively minimal in scope, but likewise appear to be greater than what Snipes’ offices have presented them to be. And it also seems clear Snipes can’t say for certain what the actual scope is — because she doesn’t know.

So what is Kent proposing as a remedy?

Despite his vast and storied history as an activist bomb-thrower, his solutions seem reasonable and prudent on their face. He requests a clear remedial solution for absentee voters who have or had one of the misprinted ballots in question. Kent is asking the court the compel the SOE to educate and put on alert both SOE staff and Broward County voters as to the potential absence of Amendment 2, imploring their vigilance in making sure the issue is present on ballots.

At its most basic, what Kent seeks for Broward County voters — and by extension, Democrats writ large, since their numbers in the county are so dominant — is to have the SOE step up in a public way to reassure and educate the electorate on the essential integrity of the elections.

Putting aside that the SOE should already be doing so with both their conduct and public communications, think about what that means in a blue stronghold like Broward.

To atone for its screw ups, the SOE may wind up having to engage in what could have the effect of being a GOTV campaign countywide. Obviously, such a campaign would get out the votes of ALL Broward voters, but MOST Broward voters are voting D down the line.

And in a year where the presidential campaign is expected to turn voters out in record numbers, the conversation about medical marijuana as a turnout mechanism for Democrats (an existential fear for Republicans two years ago) has mostly fallen by the wayside.

But young, cynical, Bernie SandersRon PaulGary JohnsonJill Stein-type voters, who might, seeing polls for Amendment 2 in the 70s, otherwise stay home, will now have additional motivation to ensure they get to vote for medical marijuana.

And just as turning out a random Broward County voter means you’re likely turning out a Democratic voter, so too does turning out a random, unlikely medical marijuana voter.

Forty percent of Rick Scott voters voted for medical marijuana in 2014, so it’s not an entirely partisan proposition, but virtually every poll shows Democrats and Independents are overwhelmingly for this amendment.

So, if you’re a watcher of turnout in Florida, pay close attention today.

An old pothead with a fedora and a propensity toward righteous indignation could strike a major blow for the cause. Kent will be encouraging a massively blue county to open those absentee ballots languishing by the front door, lighting a fire (no pun intended) under Democrats — and naturally paranoid pot smokers — to get off their butts and vote.

And Hillary Clinton will get the benefits of perhaps 70-80 percent of those votes.

As a visibly intoxicated (but coherent nonetheless) John Morgan once said, “if you pieces of s*** don’t get out and vote … then f*** it all. We’re gonna lose.”

If Norm Kent’s day in court goes as planned, you may see similar messages coming out of the SOE’s office.

Minus the signature and John Morgan’s profane color, of course.

Iraq veteran says Marco Rubio insulted Kurdish forces in Senate debate

While discussing U.S. policy in Syria during the Senate debate between Marco Rubio and Patrick Murphy in Davie on Wednesday night, Rubio one-upped his Democratic opponent by chiding him for saying that the Kurdish resistance fighters known as the Peshmerga were fighting in Iraq, not Syria. Now a Democratic Representative and Iraq veteran is calling on Rubio to apologize for “using these brave soldiers as a punchline.”

“As a veteran of the war in Iraq, I know exactly what kind of sacrifice the Kurdish forces are making right now in the fight to recapture Mosul in Iraq,” said Rep. Ruben Gallego, an Arizona Democrat, in a statement released by the Murphy campaign after the debate. “The Peshmerga are some of the world’s bravest and most elite warriors. They have been some of our strongest allies in the multidimensional regional battle to defeat ISIS, a conflict that recognizes no national borders. Patrick was right — the Kurdish fighters are key in the fight against ISIS.”

The remark occurred when the Miami Herald’s Patricia Mazzei asked about how the candidates would deal with the more than five-year conflict in Syria. Rubio said currently it was important to ensure the war-torn nation not become a safe haven for terrorists.

Murphy said it was crucial to get rid of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, and that meant maintaining alliances with various actors in the Middle East.

Rubio countered by saying he wasn’t sure what alliances Murphy was referring to, “The one with the Kurds? The Syrian Kurds or the Turks? This is the situation this president has put us in.”

“It is important to note how many factions are in Syria right now,” responded Murphy. “Whether it’s the Kurds or the Peshmerga, Iraq, Hezbollah, Russia, the moderate rebel forces that we have tried to arm in many ways, and it’s important to talk about them.” He then pivoted towards denouncing Rubio for supporting Donald Trump, who he said wants to “tear up those alliances.”

The moderator indicated that the exchange was spent, but Rubio said he needed to get in a response.

“Congressman there are no Peshmerga in Syria. The Peshmerga are Iraqi,” Rubio said.

Murphy interjected, saying, “Yes, and they are helping us fight.”

“In Iraq, not in Syria,” Rubio responded. “The Syrian Kurds, in fact, don’t get along with the Iraqi Kurds which is adding more complexity to the region.”

In fact, there are reports Iraqi Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have entered into the fighting in Syria.

Al-Jazeera reported in July that some Peshmerga soldiers held back from the front line in fighting the Islamic State in Iraq have crossed the border into Syria to fight with the Kurdish People’s Protection Units, where soldiers can move from unit to unit with fewer restrictions.

The Murphy camp also provided a link to a CNN story from 2014 reporting of Iraqi-Kurdish Peshmerga fighters arriving in the besieged northern Syrian city of Kobani. And they trotted out Rep. Gallego, who was in the hall watching and supporting Murphy during the debate, to rebut Rubio’s comment.

“Tonight, Marco Rubio tried to use these brave soldiers as a punch line,” Gallego said Wednesday night. “He should apologize to our allies as they are fighting and dying on the battlefield right now. If Marco Rubio actually showed up to work at the Senate, he would know better than to insult the people fighting this war.”

The Rubio campaign maintains the Peshmerga are not the primary Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State in Syria.

“Marco met with Iraqi Kurds earlier this year in Erbil,” said Olivia Perez-Cubas, a Rubio spokeswoman, on Thursday. “The Peshmerga, who are Iraqi Kurds, have been fantastic allies in the fight against ISIL in Iraq. They are not the primary Kurdish force fighting ISIL in Syria. Patrick Murphy claims to be a national security expert but yet again appears to be embellishing his resume.”

Marco Rubio 49%, Patrick Murphy 43% according to new UNF poll

A University of North Florida poll released Thursday shows Sen. Marco Rubio poised to win re-election.

The survey, from the UNF Public Opinion Research Lab, shows Rubio ahead of his Democratic challenger, Rep. Patrick Murphy, 49 to 43 percent. Polling was conducted Oct. 20-25.

“Rubio is maintaining his six-percentage point lead from our poll earlier in the month,” said Dr. Michael Binder, research director of the Public Opinion Research Lab. “Rubio can attribute his lead to support from NPAs and more Democrats willing to cast a ballot for him than Republicans are for Murphy,”

Rubio has a three-point edge with NPA voters (44 to 41 percent). However, the biggest stunner in the poll is that 17 percent of Democrats surveyed choose the Republican incumbent over the Democratic challenger. That’s compared to 10 percent of Republicans swinging Murphy’s way.

The gender breakdown is worth noting as well. Predictably, Rubio leads Murphy 55 percent to 38 percent with men. However, with women, Murphy only leads Rubio 46 percent to 44 percent … within the 3.39 percent margin of error.

The survey was conducted by live phone calls, and assumes an electorate 40 percent Republican, 40 percent Democrat and 20 percent NPA.

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