Gov. Rick Scott will contribute to a new Huffington Post blog aimed at spotlighting job creation, Scott’s spokesperson Brian Burgess confirmed via Nora McAlvanah of FLDemocracy2012.com
He will write for the pre-convention blog called “Opportunity: What Is Working,” featuring posts from governors, mayors, and other elected officials focused on “coming up with strategies to bring jobs to their constituents.”
Arianna Huffington, president and editor-in-chief of Huffington Post Media Group, sent Scott an e-mail this week inviting him to contribute to the blog, which she said was “aimed at highlighting successes in turning around the country’s economic morass.”
Florida Recovery Is 'Bumpy, Sluggish'
The University of Central Florida's latest economic forecast tries hard to find something nice to say about the state's condition. Being in a recovery — even a bumpy, sluggish, unsatisfying one — "sure beats an economic recession," says the report released Friday.
Does Obama Have a South Problem?
Jonathan Martin: Ever since his national debut at the 2004 Democratic convention, Barack Obama's calling card has been that he practices consensus-oriented politics that transcend traditional divisions. But four years after his historic presidential election, the country he sought to bring together is even more divided than when he launched his candidacy. And no place is more polarized than the South.
"Any hope that the nation's first black president would usher in a period of reconciliation in the old Confederacy has crashed on the rocks of a harsh reality: African-Americans overwhelmingly support him and whites make up much of the opposition. Far from being a transformational figure in the South, Obama has instead reinforced the region's oldest and sturdiest divide. ...
The South ... is ... at once the heart of the Obama resistance but also a region that is crucial to his reelection hopes. If he loses Florida, North Carolina and Virginia, it's a virtual certainty that he'll be a one-term president."
Michael Tomasky argues that, come November, we might see an Obama landslide (note: I absolutely do not endorse this view. We have a closely divided country ceteris paribus; that, plus our epically crap economy, all but guarantees a close election. Romney is an exceptionally weak candidate but the Republicans could nominate a ham sandwich and it would not change this dynamic. But I link to Tomasky's piece because it's provocative and it is getting some attention across the blogosphere).
Where Art Thou, Crist? Florida Dems Ask
The Florida Democratic Party used to have no problem criticizing Crist when he was a Republican, particularly for taking days away from Tallahassee. But check out Scott Arceneaux, executive director of the party, on Political Connections on Bay News 9 to see how diplomatic he is about Crist.
"I keep waiting for him to show up at the office with his party switch card, but he just never shows up," he quipped, dodging a question about whether Crist would be welcomed by Democrats.
RNC Pre-Party in St. Petersburg
Myself, Sarah Bascom of Bascom Communications, Kevin Cate of Kevin Cate Communications, Brian Hughes of Meteoric Media Strategies, Michelle Todd and Rick Wilson will be hosting an invitation-only “Full Lid Party” the Sunday before the Republican convention begins. Cassis American Brasserie will be the venue. Sponsors include The Mosaic Company, All Children’s Hospital, Progress Energy and Tucker Hall. The invite list guarantees that reporters and campaign insiders will share plenty of scoops, spin and drinks. Details here.
Spend the Night With Jeb and Marco in Ybor
Al Cardenas & Ed Gillespie hosting ... "Nuestra Noche: Midnight in Ybor" benefitting the Future Majority Project & the American Conservative Union. Featured guests include Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Luis Fortuno, Governor of Puerto Rico, Susana Martinez, Governor of New Mexico and Brian Sandoval, Governor of Nevada. Event is billed as a "Late Night Speakeasy" featuring entertainment by Willy Chirino & DJ Nino. Festivities begin at 10 pm at the Cuban Club in Ybor City, Tampa.
Brandes-Frishe Slugfest but No KO
Jeff Brandes and Jim Frishe are slugging it out for Senate District 22, one of Florida's most competitive primary races, reports Mark Puente of the Tampa Bay Times
The men have amassed sizable war chests, affording them the ability to flood airwaves and mailboxes. They have collected big-name endorsements, with Brandes snagging former Gov. Jeb Bush and Frishe landing former Gov. Bob Martinez.
Obscure political groups seeking to influence the leadership of the Senate in 2016 also are pouring money into the race. Frishe backs state Sen. Jack Latvala. Brandes doesn't.
... Brandes said Frishe has been ineffective as a career politician, adding: "He's the established candidate. If he has the answers, why hasn't he used them in the last 40 years?"
... Frishe scoffed. "Jeff clearly doesn't want to admit that I've done anything. He doesn't have a track record to run on. I've been active in my community for 40 years."
- Read the latest mailer attacking Jeff Brandes here.