Monday Musings: Labor Day Hurricane, Gainesville Labor Daze, Broward Turnout, Unity Rallies, Campaign Season Begins.

Every Labor Day I think about the 1935 Keys Hurricane, to the the point where I even have nightmares about killer. storms (as I did last night). This one of three Category 5 storm to make landfall in the US during the 20th Century (The more famous Camile and Andrew being the others). One of the great tragedies of the Labor Day storm was the death of hundreds of World War I veterans who were building the Overseas Railroad as part of the New Deal’s WPA program. This was just a few years after General Douglas MaCarthur had authorized an attack on the bonus army in Washington DC. Many of those veterans who protested ended up in WPA programs and some were tragically killed in this storm. The loss of life from this storm was entirely preventable but unfortunately the Weather Bureau in Jacksonville was late issuing warnings for the storm because of the holiday weekend and the train that was to rescue workers on the WPA project left Miami several hours late. While today is not Memorial Day or Veterans Day, I always think of them on Labor Day for the obvious reason.  – KK @kkfla737

Yesterday, I participated in Labor Daze, which is a Gainesville Festival that was founded five years ago to celebrate working people, and once again it was a roaring success. It is the second-largest Labor Day celebration in the state, according to the AFL-CIO ,and it is a heavily pro-union event with many coming out and helping put on the show. Community groups, union endorsed candidates, local food trucks, and a slew of the best local bands made a wonderful evening to celebrate the working class. Being a non-religious holiday, the message of Labor Day usually gets lost in a slew of long-weekend planning, but it is important to remember the history of this holiday. Labor in the US is constantly getting purged from the history books and rewritten, yet it is important to remember the history of this holiday. Events like Labor Daze help to keep this history alive.   –   KB@BurnettKaty 

Much of this past week’s discussion on this site has had to do with the poor voter turnout in southeast Florida during the primary and a fear that it could repeat itself in November. While several factors contribute to this include a lack of interest in state politics and government as well as not enough media coverage of local races (this is a Broward problem more than a Miami-Dade or Palm Beach issue, a bi-product of a county of almost two million people being part of someone else’s media market) one key factor that is always forgotten is that the week before Labor Day is a particularly bad time to hold an election in that part of the state.  – KK @kkfla737

Thursday’s “Unity Rallies” across the state were well-planned events by the Florida Democratic Party. I am generally not a big fan of large political rallies, preferring to have volunteers and campaign workers actually in the field getting votes, and especially do not like rallies the last week of a campaign when volunteers need to be focused on GOTV efforts.. But the timing was perfect for this concept coming right off the primary and using it as a springboard to generate earned media, volunteer enthusiasm and candidate/elected official support for the brutal campaign we are about to enter. Give the FDP an A+ for planning and execution of these events.  – KK @kkfla737

Labor Day traditionally is the kickoff for the November campaign season. All of the talk of candidate positioning and popularity to this point could simply prove to be conjecture. Sure Rick Scott and the Republicans have been on the airwaves for months, but the citizens of the state were hardly paying attention. Many still are not. Today marks the real start of the campaign season and within weeks we will see exactly where things stand.   – KK @kkfla737


  1. Pls clarify, in specific, this remark: the week before Labor Day is a particularly bad time to hold an election in that part of the state


    1. August is a month where many locals travel, particularly the week before Labor Day. If you’ll note the turnout was higher in Broward and Palm Beach back in the days of the September Primary (2002 and earlier). March Presidential Primaries get significantly higher turnout in Broward/Palm Beach relative to the rest of the state then August ones do.


  2. Good point about Broward’s media market.


  3. Remembering the late Congressman Dante Fascell on this Labor Day. His annual Labor Day Picnics were a South FL tradition for more than 35 years!


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