Monday Musings: Leadership Blue, Glo Smith and Race, Carole Crist deals with Possible Sexism, Rick Scott and Rural Voters, Travel to Washington DC

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Congratulations to the Florida Democratic Party and Chairwoman Allison Tant on a successful (Jefferson-Jackson ) Leadership Blue weekend. The commitment the FDP is making to a field program is laudable though in fairness it is too late for 2014 to make a big difference. Still the mere discussion of this by the party chair is music to my ears. Still questions need to asked about the structure, fundraising and candidates for 2014. We’ve editorialized about the party’s failings here in the past and we remain concerned about much of it. The fundraising haul from the dinner is also a reminder to many progressives that raising money for state campaigns is nearly impossible without some outreach to business interests. All you need to do is to look at the LB program to see how important business interests were to this effort. The pragmatism of some in the party helped make this happen.  Even progressives must be grateful for this. However, we at TFS will be making sure party is held accountable for the promise that the $1.1 million number that was released to the press  is in fact spent on field efforts. – KK @kkfla737

While many of you probably haven’t heard about Glo Smith for Congress (pictured), she is a Republican woman running against Congresswoman Corrine Brown. Now, everybody knows that District 5 is one of the most gerrymandered districts in the nation and is at the center of several pending lawsuits. I do not know where the Republicans found a black woman to run against her, but Glo Smith has mounted a professional campaign that is at least organized and funded. Even though Corrine Brown is perfectly safe (as is the result of her gerrymandered district), the fact that Republicans went out of the way to challenge her speaks of the long-standing political tensions in the district. On Saturday, Smith had most of her large campaign signs stolen or vandalized, painting her face ghost white in an obvious racially charged statement. Now this brings several interesting questions about playing race in politics – will cause the same reaction considering she’s a Republican? While I do not rule out that this is a publicity stunt from the Smith campaign because they have had woeful luck getting any press in this race, it does seem a bit strange on all counts. Very curious to see how this turns out or if anyone is arrested or what happens next. – KB @BurnettKaty 

The media’s obsession over Carole Crist this week reminded me of the persecution that was levied at Hillary Clinton in the 1990s by a similar media complex. If a female spouse of an executive is successful financially red flags go up. If a male spouse of a female politician does well financially it is questioned less. While I rely on anecdotal evidence to make this claim, it seems obvious enough to write about. The efforts to make Carole Crist a campaign issue by the Scott campaign and some allies in the media are beyond shallow. We saw similar smacks of sexism from the RPOF levied at Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz last year. A pattern developing? Perhaps. Sexism like racism is played subtly in this day and age by savvy pols. The RPOF is nothing but savvy, and this might be part of an ongoing effort to gender bait. – KK @kkfla737

If you happen to hang out with truckers in north Florida around Tallahassee (just to be clear, this is not something I actually recommend), you will have heard strange rumors about Governor Scott from this past spring. During session while he was curiously absent from the halls of the capital, there are stories that the truckers tell that he was out in the small towns around Tallahassee doing small listening tours. No press, minimum staff, just small one hour meetings where he listened to small problems and offered to help fix them. And from the stories, it seems like he did – small bookkeeping adjustments for truckers got them all talking. The first time I heard this I laughed and dismissed it as a hairless Sasquatch sighting, but as I heard more of them – a lumber camp in Perry, in a lime-rock mine in O’Brien, a small Republican meeting in Havana, I began to doubt my dismissal. And I sat and realized how genius move it may have been. Truckers talk and spread information like wildfire. While Democrats have been working on Twitter bombs, he’s been out, quietly working the rural base. Is he onto something? Some special formula to connect with rural workers? While I am still skeptical of these stories, there is a lot to think of there. Surely the man was doing SOMETHING all spring, right?  –  KB@BurnettKaty 

This week advisers on Wall Street recommended United Airlines scrap its hub at Washington’s Dulles Airport. In the last few months United cut flights from Dulles to Miami, Fort Myers and Fort Lauderdale (which coincided with JetBlue shifting all Orlando and Fort Lauderdale to Washington flying to National Airport) though Frontier Airlines will begin Dulles-Fort Lauderdale and Fort Myers flights in September. I felt after 9/11 National Airport should have been closed for security purposes and the Federal Government should have invested in a high speed rail line from Dulles to Union Station. Instead National remained open and the Silver Line of the Metro took 13 more years to complete. While the areas around Dulles in Fairfax and Loudon Counties have grown rapidly, the Airport still cannot sustain enough domestic traffic to be a viable air traffic hub. (For example in November 2012 I had to travel to Leesburg in Loudon County just minutes from Dulles and yet flew into National) What has resulted is that Washington unlike the great capital cities of Europe and Asia lacks an integrated aviation hub which connects domestic traffic to international traffic. An airport like London’s Heathrow, Paris Charles DeGaulle or Beijing’s Capital. The German government realizing it had a similar problem in Berlin is close to completing a new airport in the capital city, and the three existing commercial airports will be closed. – KK @kkfla737

 

8 comments

  1. Mark Lynn · ·

    Something similar happened in Miami back in 1986. State Sen. Roberta Fox (D) was locked in a brutal re-election battle againt then-State Rep. Dexter Lehtinen (R). Toward the end of that campaign, over a weekend as I recall, Fox had every one of her billboards and signs across the district splattered with red paint (red inferring her political leanings). Police investigated, but never solved the crime. Meanwhile it was too late to repair all of this and too expensive. The media reported the incident a good bit, but in the end made no difference. Fox was defeated by Lehtinen, who ultimately gave up the seat only two years later.

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  2. Should be something faster than the MARC train to BWI also. That would be helpful and stimulate business and the capital region.

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    1. The Acela train has a stop at BWI Airport. So you can technically take high-speed rail a few times a day from Union Station to BWI. The cost roundtrip? Don’t ask. Probably as expensive as flying from BWI to some places on Southwest/.

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  3. Well you know the Republicans don’t have an exclusive pawnt on racism right?

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  4. Florida Dem · ·

    “This race has to be about what our vision of Florida is. Seriously. I want to hear from Nan Rich and Charlie Crist what they think Florida can be.” Alex Sink insight on the lost opportunity at the Florida Democratic Party event in South Florida.

    How is it possible that the party failed to highlight ANY of our elected leaders or candidates? Is the head of the party so insecure she couldn’t share the stage with the elected leaders and candidates we are suppose to exist to support?

    If I was Nan Rich, Charlie Crist, Chris Smith, Arthenia Joyner, Perry Thurston, Mark Pafford, George Sheldon or any one of dozens of incumbents in tight races, I would be outraged.

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  5. The stunt with Smith’s signs is classic Karl Rove. Do a dirty deed and blame it on your rival to get publicity.

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  6. Carole Crist and Allison Tant are big girls who don’t need you screaming SEXISM every time this happens.

    Sheesh!

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  7. I dont see how Crist is facing sexism? He was asked to release all of her tax returns just like all other candidates’ spouses have in the past. Where is the sexism?

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