Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Thanks In Part To Trump, Florida Heats Up As A 2018 Battleground


EMILY's List has come up with a way for Democrats to lose in Florida again

Yesterday Lisa Hagen wrote that Florida governor, Trump crony and crooked multimillionaire Rick Scott is running into headwinds as he considers his Senate run against Bill Nelson. GOP analyst Rick Wilson: "He’s got the ability to lay the hammer down very quickly and be in the fight very quickly. At this point if you’re him, you want to wait as long as you can [because] Donald Trump is really unpopular in Florida with people outside the Republican base." He has until May 4 to file; no other Republicans will as long as they think Scott's going to.
Republicans are expected to face strong headwinds in both the Senate and House heading into November. Democrats have held a consistent lead in generic ballot polling, while an unexpected Democratic special election victory in deep-red rural Wisconsin last week served as just the latest suggestion that a Democratic wave could be coming in November. While Scott sits on the sidelines, Democrats haven’t wasted any time taking shots at him and his record as governor.

  ...[T]he Republican governor will need to walk a fine line on how closely he associates himself to the president. Trump has said he wants to be active in 2018 campaigns and it remains to be seen whether he comes down to Florida to boost Scott and vulnerable House Republicans.

There are already signs that Scott is seeking to distance himself from Trump. After news broke about Trump calling Haiti, El Salvador and African nations “shithole” countries, Scott released a statement that he does “not think this way, nor do I agree with this kind of sentiment.” Florida has a sizable number of Haitian-born residents who are registered to vote.

“What will hurt Rick Scott is the endless beat down of ads showing him next to Donald Trump,” Wilson, an outspoken GOP critic of Trump, said. “People who hate Donald Trump will crawl over broken glass to vote against people who like Donald Trump.” 
Goal ThermometerMeanwhile, in the race to replace Scott in Tallahassee, Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum-- the Blue America-endorsed candidate and thinly progressive the race-- is making spectacular games against the three right-of-center Democratic corporate shills in the race-- Gwen Graham, Philip Levin and Chris King. Writing for Tampa Bay Beat, Jim Bleyer noted that while Levine and Graham "are relying on piles of money and a legacy name to boost their respective candidacies,  Gillum has issued meaningful, detailed policies and criticized the positions of Rick Scott, Donald Trump, Ron DeSantis and other high-profile Republicans." Last Friday Gillum released Fair Share for Florida’s Future, "a plan to invest more than $1 billion in the middle class, education, and job training, by adjusting the state corporate income tax rate."
 “Thanks to President Trump’s tax scam, Florida’s richest corporations will take home even more sacks of money than they already do,” said Gillum. “For decades they’ve gotten richer and richer, while working families have fallen further behind. Now, I’m proposing that the tiny fraction of Florida’s richest corporations pay their fair share, so we can invest in working families through world class public schools, a pay raise for teachers, early childhood education, and SHOP 2.0 vocational training.”

Gillum’s plan adjusts the state corporate income tax rate on large corporations to 7.75%, more in line with a fast-growing populous state, and invests the added recurring revenue in public school construction, teacher pay raises, early childhood education programs, and vocational training.

Karen Woodall, of the Florida Center for Fiscal and Economic Policy termed the Gillum plan “a job creator for Florida's working families.”

And concrete proposals from Graham and Levine to help the Democratic constituency? Nada. Bupkes.

Levine and Graham are submissive at best; craven at worst.  Levine in the past allied himself with Donald Trump in criticizing the media; Graham’s voting record in Congress during her two-year stint as a public servant is undeniably abysmal.

Instead of taking on the GOP’s steamrolling of the 99 percent, the two corporatists have contracted with pay-to-play blogs to publicize their campaigns. A sample of their touted accomplishments: Levine helped Miami International schedule a direct flight to Tel Aviv. Graham developed a sudden epiphany to help displaced Puerto Ricans.

The pair’s pandering to two important Democratic constituencies in Florida are repugnant, transparent, and meaningless in light of their track records. Neither displays a shred of “thrausos.”

If Democrats continue rewarding corporate donors and ignoring the voters, they will always be in the minority, wrote Richard Eskow in this penetrating piece.

“I want Walter Cronkite to come back. I think we need objective news,” Levine said when asked about Trump tweeting out a clip of himself body-slamming someone with a CNN logo over their face.

In May, Levine threw the door wide open to shunning the Democratic label and running as an independent candidate for governor. Since he could not meet deadlines prescribed by law, he is now running as a Democrat.

“I love the Democratic Party. But you know what’s interesting? I actually like the Republican Party, and I like a lot of Republican ideas, and I like a lot of the people in the Republican Party as well,” he declared in Tampa.

“But this millionaire Democrat also is making headlines-- with words like ‘tirade’ and ‘flies off handle’-- because of his off-the-cuff remarks and juvenile posts on social media,” the South Florida Sun-Sentinel editorialized in March. “With the gubernatorial field beginning to take shape, Democrats should be asking themselves whether they really want a nominee whose temperament draws comparisons to that of 'President' Donald Trump.”

Graham is even more shameful. Her pivoting and pandering makes her anathema to voters of either major party.  If it weren’t for her last name and the carpet bombing of her pay-for-play propaganda, she would be polling in the low to mid single digits.

As a one term Congresswoman, Graham voted with the Republican majority in 39 of 90 key votes:  43 percent of the time. Among her indiscretions:
Voting for the Keystone pipeline
Voting against the Unfunded  Mandates and Transparency Act
Voting for the relaxation of permitting for natural gas pipelines
Voting for improving coal combustible residuals
Voting for the prohibition of transfers of prisoners held at Guantanamo
Voting for  a joint resolution for Congressional disapproval under Chapter 8 of Title 5, United States Code, of the rule submitted by the Corps of Engineers and the Environmental Protection Agency relating to the definition of “Waters of the United States” Under the Federal Water Pollution Control Act.
There are so many other environmental transgressions that John Muir is doing somersaults.

As Tampa Bay Beat reported a month ago, Graham would have no chance in a general election unless her opponent was at the epicenter of a Mooresque-proportioned scandal.

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At 5:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a battle between opposing forces of ineptitude/perfidy.

Will trump's toxicity and baby tantrums with the (over a century of) misanthropy of the party suppress Rs more than the ongoing corruption, fecklessness and haplessness of the democraps suppress their voters?

In a sane society, there would be 127 R voters and 74 D voters left. The rest would be searching for a Green or Socialist candidate to support.

But this is not a sane society, is it?


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