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Is Sen. Bill Nelson Under Attack?

None other than the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching attack ads against U.S. Sen Bill Nelson of Florida.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce announced that it is launching a second round of attack ads against Bill Nelson, this time highlighting his support for federal labor regulations.

Without being specific about which labor regulations or laws upset the chamber (other than screen text that mentions “Card Check” and “Ambush elections”) the ad declares, “Now, Nelson is siding with national unions, voting against Florida’s workers and employers.” ... “Support more jobs. Not Bill Nelson and the union bosses,” the narrator concludes.

GOP VIPs to Host Paul Ryan Fundraiser Saturday

The list of those hosting the fundraiser for Republican vice presidential Paul Ryan reads not just like a Who's Who of Tampa Bay politics, but of state and national GOP politics. Brian Ballard, AK Desai, the Semblers and Courtney and Will Weatherford are among those headlining the event this Saturday at Bill Edwards' The Club at Treasure Island.

A $2,500 check gains you entrance to the General Reception, but it will cost ten times that for admission to a VIP Reception. View the invite here.

Can Connie Be the Victor?

Rep. Connie Mack IV cruised to victory on Tuesday in Florida’s Republican Senate primary, winning nearly 60 percent of the vote against nominal competition he barely acknowledged during the campaign.

But toppling Sen. Bill Nelson, a likable second-term Democrat with a nearly $9 million campaign account is a considerably more demanding task. Mack begins the race as an underdog, but not one without a path to victory. To pull an upset, he’ll need to tighten up a shaky campaign.

Zac Brown's RNC Show a Real Gas

The American Petroleum Institute is hosting a party Aug. 30 at the Republican National Convention. The event, hosted by API's Vote4energ.org, is being dubbed the "Fueling the Future" event, and will feature the Zac Brown Band. "We expect a huge crowd that may include some special guests from the campaign trail," write API's spokesman Eric Wohlschlegel. PI hears those special guests may include members of the Romney family.

More RNC Entertainment

  • Country singer-songwriter Rodney Atkins and a troupe of Busch Gardens acrobats will perform at the official welcome party Aug. 26 at Tropicana Field.
  • Former presidential candidates Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann are among the speakers scheduled to appear at a Tampa church the day before the start of the Republican National Convention.

HOW TED YOHO PICK-OFFED STEARNS by Matt Dixon of the Florida Times-Union

"How did a 12-term incumbent and chairman of Florida’s 25-member congressional delegation lose a GOP primary to a political neophyte?

"Many involved in the campaign said Yoho simply outworked Stearns. The incumbent rarely made trips to local district events, and left $2 million collecting dust his campaign account. There were few indications that Stearns ran an active campaign.

“I did not see any of his signs here, and he was rarely here himself,” said Mary Lou Sharp, chair of the Suwanee County Republican Executive Committee, of Stearns. “Ted was here all the time. He was everywhere.”

Ethics Complaint Against Keith Fitzgerald

Sarah Kennedy of the Bradenton Herald reports that Fitzgerald denied the allegation. He said the filing of the complaint was "sleazy."

The complaint filed earlier this month by George Del Monte, 76, a retired engineer from Bradenton, alleges Fitzgerald, a former Florida House member from Sarasota, failed "to disclose his conflict of interest in voting on millions of dollars in taxpayer funds benefitting his employer, New College of Florida."

The complaint also alleges Fitzgerald "voted on several budgets that provided New College with nearly $121 million and failed to disclose his conflict of interest," as required by law.

Asked how he came to file the complaint, Del Monte said, "Frankly, I guess I've been sort of stewing in my own juices; I never did anything like that, but something just lit my fire."

"It just set me on fire because I feel individuals are helpless, and by submitting a complaint, I multiplied myself; there'll be more than one of us, sort of like a de facto member of the commission if they do something about this," he said.

Florida House to Have First Openly Gay Lawmaker

David Richardson is about to become Florida’s first openly gay member of the Florida House of Representatives. ... Richardson amassed 33 percent of the votes, for a total of 3,059 out of 9,260 votes.

Richardson said he’s a “realist” when it comes to the LGBT population he’ll be serving. “I feel strongly about equality. We have to get there by taking small steps. But my experience has shown me that we never make true progress until we sit at the table,” he said.

Bill Stokes August 17, 2012 at 05:12 PM
The Chamber has become the handmaiden for extremist right wing causes and small businesses should seriously if their best interests are being served by funding this mega contributor these causes.
CHARLES August 17, 2012 at 07:47 PM
JUDGING BY NELSON'S LACKLUSTER, RUBBER STAMP CAREER , HE SHOULD BE UNDER ATTACK .NEVER AN ORIGIN THOUGHT . NEVER INTRDUCED A BILL OF SIGNIFICANCE . IT IS TIME FOR HIM TO OFFICIALY RETIRE !
Dennis M August 17, 2012 at 08:36 PM
In November we can get rid of Bill Nelson, the loser.
Liz September 18, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Look at it this way folks, if Nelson loses, and if Obama, God forbid, gets back in and continues to Change the America I love, at least he will have one less vote.
Ray McAnally September 18, 2012 at 11:14 PM
Lately I have been amazed at the liberal’s use of the word “hate”. Every time we disagree with your stance, we get accused of being a hater. Yet I hear much more hate coming from the mouths of liberals in the form of their solutions to the problems. “Kill the conservatives. String up the Republican candidates.” or the simple “shut up!” By merely disagreeing with you, our rights as contributing citizens should be revoked. I don’t know when all this intolerance to discourse started, but clearly it is undermining our ability to reach any kind of an acceptable consensus between the groups.

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