Monday Musings: Sally Guthrie Passes, Tampa Bay Times Crist Profile Raises Eyebrows, Who is Stafford Jones, and is Nan Rich Gaining Momentum?

The Gainesville Democratic community was saddened with the death of one of our own this weekend. A warrior until the end, Sally Guthrie passed away late Saturday evening after having a heart attack canvassing for our local Democratic congressional candidate Marihelen Wheeler. Many local DECs, especially those in the smaller counties, are held together by a few brave souls like Sally, who show up at every event, every phone bank, and every canvass to help out other Democrats. It is important to make sure that these volunteers are appreciated and given the proper respect that they deserve. In a busy election season, it is easy to overlook these foot soldiers, but we all depend on them to register voters, knock on doors, and get out the vote. So honor the volunteers! Flowers, cards, and candy are always appreciated, especially during these long last few weeks before election day. Spend a few hours in the next week on a local campaign and get to know these warriors. This tragedy shocked many of us, but it has also given us a renewed commitment and sense of community. Rest in peace, Sally, and we’ll carry on the fight.  –   KB@BurnettKaty 

The Tampa Bay Times is one of my favorite newspapers. The winner of ten Pulitzer prizes, the paper has established itself as one of the best in the English speaking world. One of the things The Times is known for is investigative journalism. Typically the paper is painstakingly objective when they investigate stories and public figures. However, last weekend’s story about Charlie Crist which continues to make the rounds politically has left a  bad taste in my mouth. It’s difficult to say this about a paper I genuinely love but the article to me was over the top. The well-researched and written piece was from where I sit excessively personal in nature. It raised multiple questions that have no relevance to the Governor’s race.  Why did The Times select Crist for such a thorough examination when they have not put the current Governor through the same sort of ringer? Perhaps it is because Crist is from St Petersburg? But The Times is not only a Pinellas County paper but is the paper of record statewide and one of the most trusted news sources nationally. I certainly hope that The Times will have a similar styled story about Governor Scott in the near future. But then again Governor Crist’s life is easier to investigate for a Florida-based publication since he actually grew up in this state unlike our current Governor. – KK @kkfla737

While a few outside of Alachua County are aware of Stafford Jones, the whole state was exposed to his handiwork last weekend with the robocall about Charlie Crist. While Senator Tom Lee is taking credit, it was Jones’s committee that put together the calls under the name “The Conservatives.” This is exactly the kind of handiwork that Jones has become famous for around the state for years now. According to the division of election’s website, funding for this committee has some big names: Disney Worldwide Services, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, the Florida Medical Association and Anheuser Busch Companies. Obviously, this is a little bigger than simply Senator Lee. If you Google Stafford Jones, you’ll come up with a long line of ethics complaints from around the state, on subjects ranging from failure to disclose financial documents for his various ‘committees’ to his various attempts to limit the college vote through various state legislation. Now, many are aware of a personal feud between Jones and Crist that was aired publicly in a Palm Beach Post article where Crist exposes some of Jones’s schemes.  While everyone is up in arms about the sugar trips to Kings Ranch in Texas, perhaps we need to pay more attention to things going on in our own backyard. Not that the Kings Ranch trips are insignificant, but many more shenanigans are happening much closer to home. In other words, watch out for whoever is hanging around Stafford Jones. We will see if his efforts pay off in November.  –   KB@BurnettKaty 

It seems more and more activists from around the state that I talk to have made the decision to vote for Nan Rich in the August 26th Democratic Primary. I wouldn’t say a sea change is taking place, but the combination of the above mentioned Tampa Bay Times story, Charlie Crist’s unwillingness to debate Nan Rich and the perceived lackluster nature of the Crist campaign among some activists is fueling a mini-resurgence for Senator Rich. Many of those supporting Rich are simply progressives who after months of playing good partisan soldier feel that they should support the more liberal candidate. Others are hoping to send a message to Crist about his campaign. Rich still has nearly insurmountable odds to win the nomination, but she has more support now then she did just a few weeks ago. -KK @kkfla737


  1. The Tampa Bay Times article on Crist was by Adam Smith and Michael Kruse. They are both well-respected outstanding writers. Smith has been named best political writer in Florida by the Washington post. and one of the country’s Top 10 political reporters by the Columbia Journalism Review. Michael Kruse is winner of the Paul Hansell Award for Distinguished Achievement in Florida Journalism and the American Society of News Editors’ distinguished nondeadline writing award. I believe they put together a piece that was nuanced, detailed and insightful.


  2. I agree on the Times piece. Over the top. I too await the similar article on Scott.


  3. David Fifer · · Reply

    Sally was one hell of a woman and she will be missed.


  4. Blue Dog Dem · · Reply

    Nan Rich will get 40% in the primary.


    1. Broward Bob · · Reply

      more like 20


  5. Agree on the Times hit piece.

    Those actively promoting Nan Rich are nothing but bitter and angry or worse stools for the Scott Republicans.


  6. Democratic Guy · · Reply

    Adam Smith has been out to “get” Crist for a while now. Mark Caputo also. Both these guys are bad news.


    1. That is absolutely ridiculous. I am not in love as stated above with Smith’s work this time around but he’s a top flight reporter. Caputo is one of the best political writers in the country.


  7. Concerned Democrat · · Reply

    Nan Rich is benefiting from the Tom Lee robocalls and Progressive Choice.


    1. The only poll that matters is the one on election day eve. Nan Can.


  8. Given the high level of “anyone but Scott” sentiment, either candidate will get plenty of consideration in November. But how effective would a Gov. Crist be when the Legislature is predominately Republican, the party he is held in contempt by? Look no further than President Obama to see the problems that can pose.

    Furthermore, how can we ever expect to reduce the influence of big money in politics if we continue supporting candidates backed by big money in lieu of those who aren’t?

    Despite conventional wisdom, Nan Rich may well have as good — or better — chance than Crist of beating Rick Scott. Moreover, she would likely be a more effective governor.
    Chip Thomas-The Sun Sentinel………My sentiments exactly..


  9. Tom Bryson · · Reply

    The Miami Herald and The Sun Sentinel gave Charlie Crist a very tepid endorsement in the Democratic primary. The reasons cited centered around Charlie’s perceived electability along with Senator Rich’s poor fundraising and lack of name recognition. The minute it was rumored that Charlie Crist would try to get his old job back running as a Democrat, the contest between Governor Scott and former Governor Crist dominated the political media. They repeatedly referred to Crist as the likely nominee, the certain nominee, the presumed nominee and the inevitable nominee encourage donors to pony up on Charlie’s behalf. The Rich campaign was rarely mentioned until after the June qualifying. After this orgy of irresponsible and unprofessional journalism, after ignoring Senator Rich and the Democratic primary, they now condemn Senator Rich for lack of fund raising and name recognition, the very circumstances they helped create. Not content to report the news and inform the public the omniscient, arrogant fourth estate has put itself in the game, and diminished our political process.

    Vince Lombardi said “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing”. The context is of course football and over the years it has been a banner for American competiveness. Everyone likes to win, and be on the winning team. But are we wise to invite this sentiment into our politics? Should we sacrifice principals and values for the sake of victory? The Sentinel endorsement states ” Democrats who would pick Rich are like Republican tea party voters: Principle matters more than winning”. This is absurd. To compare Senator Nan Rich and her widely held values to the radical views of Sharron (Second Amendment remedies) Angle, Christine (I am not a witch) O’Donnell or Todd (legitimate rape) Akin is intellectually dishonest. It is an insult to Senator Rich and all Democrats, not just those that would vote for her. When Democrats sacrifice principals for the sake of victory, they end up with neither especially when the victory is a mirage. Football games have consequences. Losing might cost you a bowl bid, a player a shot at the pros or a fan might need to carry a sac full of twenties to his bookie. Elections have consequences too, consequences that make a real difference in people’s lives.

    If Charlie is our nominee, it will be Rick and Charlie wrestling in the mud. Rick has the money and Charlie cannot credibly promote progressive values. Mix in support problems among Democrats and Charlie is unlikely to prevail. If Senator Rich is the nominee, the contest will be about values, principals and policies. Rick Scott would be unable to use the bludgeon of prior bad deeds and political betrayal. Senator Rich could even garner some support from Republican women. Without the support problems from Democrats and given some funds Senator Rich could very likely win.


    1. Some people just get it.


    2. Susan McGrath · · Reply

      Irrelevant how good or not she’d be as no one, short of the few “Nan fans”, think she has the remotest of shots.


  10. 99% of the people who actually know Nan Rich are voting for Charlie Crist.

    She is a nasty piece of work. Good on the issues but the wrong temperament to be Governor.


    1. That is totally unfair and borderline sexist!


    2. You sir are an ignorant baboon.


    3. Tom Bryson · · Reply

      Are you left handed? Are you politically on the left, or were you just left somewhere?


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