Sunday, October 04, 2020

Florida, Florida, Florida!



Florida, the ultimate swing state, has played a decisive role in too many presidential elections. Every single vote counts in any statewide election there. In 2018, Republican Ron DeSantis beat Democrat Andrew Gillum 49.6% to 49.2% in the gubernatorial race and Rick Scott beat Bill Nelson (basically a walking corpse) 50.1% to 49.9% in the Senate election. Two years earlier, Trump had beaten Hillary 49.0% to 47.8%.

This cycle there's only one statewide election: U.S. president. Republicans in Florida feel lucky that Ron DeSantis isn't on the ballot. He's more hated by his constituents than any other governor in America. Recently, his job approval rating dropped from an already horrible 40% to an astounding 29%! Perhaps that's because no other big state governor has mishandled the pandemic as badly as DeSantis. Yesterday, Florida reported 2,787 new cases, bring the state's total to 714,591-- 33,271 cases per million Floridians. That's far worse than Texas or California, the only two states with numbers of cases anywhere near Florida's.

And luckily for the GOP, neither Marco Rubio nor Rick Scott is up for reelection either. Floridians rate them both badly. Yesterday, a NY Times/Siena poll of likely Florida voters showed the bottom falling out for Trump among independent voters, a cohort where Biden leads statewide 45-33%. And the debate accelerated his decline. The Times wrote that the revulsion against Trump’s performance "extended well into his reliable base. One-third of the president’s supporters said they disapproved of his performance, including 11 percent who did so strongly. A modest but potentially significant 8 percent of people who backed him in the survey said the debate made them less likely" to vote for him... In Miami-Dade County Biden leads, 61-30 and Biden even led among Cuban-American voters who were registered as Republicans by nearly a two-to-one margin! And 60% of Floridians say they find Trump neither honest nor trustworthy. Only 36% of likely voters say he is. And 69% of independents say he's dishonest and untrustworthy.

That's the state of the race in Florida, the most likely state to try to steal the election for Trump regardless of what the voters want... and the state opening up everything with no restrictions despite a horrific and raging pandemic. In fact, Fauci just singled out Florida (DeSantis) for making huge pandemic mistakes.
One of the more dangerous aspects of the coronavirus is that a downtrend in new infections can give off the impression that life can finally revert back to normal. And so, in a scenario that we’ve seen play out numerous times over the past few months, cities that are quick to open things back up after a decline in new coronavirus cases typically see a huge surge in new infections weeks down the line.

The most recent example of this dynamic playing out can be seen in Florida. While Florida was previously a huge hotspot for coronavirus cases, the state in recent weeks saw its coronavirus numbers go way down after people started taking social distancing and mask-wearing more seriously. As a result, some schools in Miami are planning to open back up two weeks earlier than initially planned. What’s more, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis recently announced a plan to lift COVID-19 restrictions on bars and restaurants. And while bars and restaurants in most states are currently operating at 25-50% capacity, bars and restaurants in Florida will be allowed to operate at 100% capacity.

Needless to say, Dr. Anthony Fauci is beyond frustrated with the direction Florida is headed.

During an appearance on Good Morning America this week, Fauci explained:
That is very concerning to me. We have always said this is something we really need to be careful about. Because when you’re dealing with community spread, and you have the kind of congregate setting where people get together, particularly without masks, you’re really asking for trouble.
Right now we're suddenly down to the final days of this election cycle. In Florida, the state candidate fundraising deadline is 5 days prior to election day, giving state candidates there about 3 weeks to raise the money they need to run successful campaigns. I asked Fergie Reid, the principal at 90 for 90, one of the organizations that went against Florida Democratic Party wishes and recruited Democratic candidates in the districts the Democrats had decided to cede to the GOP uncontested, how the campaign is looking a month out.

He reminded me that the Florida Democratic Environmental Caucus worked with 90 for 90 to recruit 36 candidates for legislative districts the Florida Democrats were, for one reason or another (including grotesque corruption) leaving unchallenged in the state Legislature. They successfully filled each and every ballot line without a Democratic contestant. "For the first time in anyone’s living memory," he told me, "Florida Democrats are contesting Republican incumbents throughout the state. The Biden/Harris campaign has not yet fully understood the awesome value of this important fact; but, they may be catching onto that value now. These 36 candidates are running in the most Republican districts and areas of the state: the western panhandle, 'the Villages', the 'First Coast', the Everglades, the Southwestern coastline-- from Sarasota to Naples, etc. These campaigns will help Joe Biden flip Florida's 29 electoral college votes."

Reid seems confident that if the Biden/Harris campaign and their strategists finally understand this fact-- and how these down-ballot candidates, whether they win or lose-- can turn out voters, Biden will take the state of Florida. And some of these candidates, who once looked like long shots, now look like winners, particularly Kathy Lewis, whose victory will, in all likelihood, flip the state Senate.

"Bloomberg," continued Reid, "has committed to a very substantial expenditure in Florida on Biden’s behalf. A pittance of this sum could-- and should-- be allocated to utilize the 36 candidates and their campaigns to benefit Joe Biden. Blanket endorsements, social media, robo-calls, text messaging, etc., are 'low cost-high yield' measures that should be financed immediately by the Biden support structure. Not to do so is political malpractice. Many of these 36 candidates are still waiting to hear from Florida’s Biden campaign ground operatives."

Goal ThermometerBlue America has been working with the Environmental Caucus and 90 For 90 to identify progressive candidates among the recruits and there are candidates running for Congress, the state House and the state Senate. The 2020 thermometer on the right is strictly for Florida candidates who could make a pivotal difference in re-jiggling the state power structure. The state Senate is on the verge of flipping-- and Kathy Lewis, Rachel Brown and Katherine Norman could do exactly that, giving the Democrats a seat at the table when it's time next year to redraw the district maps.

In terms of the presidential race, there has been talk that the decision could be made in the House. Each state gets one vote based on a canvas among the members of the state delegation. Right now Florida has 14 Republicans and 13 Democrats. A victory by either Adam Christensen or Cindy Banyai could literally make the difference between 4 more years of Trump or a Biden/Harris administration. In fact, let me leave you with the brand new first Adam Christensen ad... while you consider contributing to this slate of candidates.

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At 9:58 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Every donation here in Florida matters. We have numerous quality candidates who need your support and financial help to finish these last 30 days strong. Support them by donating.

At 10:01 AM, Anonymous ap215 said...

Good work 90 For 90 stand up against those bully party bosses & fight for every seat for those voters in Florida.

At 3:06 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about the Democrats go collect a "finder's fee" for the trillions of dollars they gave away to Wall St? My $1200 got used up a long time ago.

At 6:51 PM, Anonymous Jack Hannold said...

Kat Cammack is even worse than Adam Christensen says in the video you linked. She’s promised to co-sponsor the grotesquely misnamed, anti-working-class, anti- middle-class “FairTax” if she’s elected. Her pledge signing is on YouTube.[1]

The “FairTax” (that name should never be written without those quotation marks) is what purports to be a 23% national sales tax that proponents want to replace all federal income taxes (corporate and personal), estate, gift and capital gains taxes, payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare — everything!

But in fact, it’s not really a 23% tax, but a 30% national sales tax! (To be precise, it’s 29.87% because 23 divided by 77 is 0.298701... — a repeating decimal, with the six-digit sequence “298701” repeating infinitely — but we’ll round it off to 30%.)

Let’s compare this deceptive scheme to a conventional state sales tax.

When a store prices an item at $100, you pay $105 if the state sales tax is 5%, $106 if it’s 6%, etc., because the sales tax is added to the posted price. But under the “FairTax,” the tax is hidden in the posted price, so the store would have to post the price as $129.87 in order to keep $100 while complying with the grossly unfair “FairTax.”

All sales taxes are inherently regressive, but a 30% federal tax would be much more regressive than any existing state sales tax. It would be more than four times California’s 7.25% sales tax, which is the highest in the nation. Only four states have a 7.0% sales tax, and only seven other states have rates between 6.0 and 7.0%

For a detailed analysis, you might turn to “Why the FairTax Won't Work”[2] by Bruce Bartlett, a conservative who worked in the Reagan and Bush I administrations.

Incidentally, this harebrained “FairTax” idea originated with a now deceased Texas billionaire, and most of the support for it over the years has come from states that were in the Confederacy. And isn’t that what you’d expect?




At 7:07 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Florida being this important is testament to the idiocy of our electoral college.

FL isn't the massive evil that TX or WY are or the stupid that OK is. It's more like an asylum.

We are all hoping the asylum might be less insane this time than all other times because of the electoral college.

fuck we're stupid!!


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