Monday Musings: 9/11 Memories, Crist Field and Turnout operation, Who is Leslie Wimes, Orange County, Joe Negron and Home Rule Hypocrisy

On 9/11/01 I was a student at New College of Florida. As you may remember, President George Bush was in Sarasota (where New College is located) and of course the whole campus has organized protests for that morning. I had gone to class and when I came back, one student was sitting out in the middle of the common area with an extension chord and a television and there was a picture of the towers smoking. The campus bordered the local airport where Air Force One was parked and soon

the campus flooded with uniforms and we were ushered into our dorms. The assumption was that the terrorists would be coming after the President next, so our campus was crawling with officers for the rest of the afternoon. In the evening, all the students were brought to a common area where we had various community leaders and faith representatives from the community and many spoke about how important this day will be in history. The one that I remember though was a local Muslim man – I cannot remember his title, but I’m sure he had one – he got up and said “I mourn for Americans today because those are the ones that died, yet I also mourn for my people because they are the ones that are going to die tomorrow.” Those words have stuck with me and I thought about them a lot this 9/11 in connection with all that is happening in the Middle East at the moment. –   KB@BurnettKaty 

On 9/11/14 I found myself in the exact same Tallahassee office I was in on 9/11/01. On that morning as tragedy struck I was at the Douglas Law Firm for Ambassador Pete Peterson’s short-lived campaign for Governor. This year, George Sheldon’s Campaign for Attorney General is based out of the very same office and ironically I was in the very same place thirteen years later. In 2001, the Capitol was evacuated and several friends ended up at the office with me which is at the corner of Call and Monroe. – KK @kkfla737

Turnout. Turnout. Turnout. Governor Crist finally has the right field strategy in place, and is hoping to push up turnout in 7 counties including the Core 4: Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Orange. Kartik and I have been pushing for this type of strategy at TFS from the time this website launched and we are pleased to see it coming to fruition. Governor Crist’s camp has been very smart in conserving their resources in holding back big ad sweeps and focusing on building their grassroots army, which is already significantly bigger infrastructure-wise than Alex Sink had in 2010. Unfortunately, there are high hurdles the Crist camp will endure but don’t have control over- a weak White House (approvals in the 30s), (seemingly) improving economic conditions in Florida plus Rick Scott’s massive ad campaign and massive $100 million war chest, and polling that shows Obama’s most ardent supporters are the least likely to vote in November. That all being said, If Charlie stays the course and focuses on getting his base to turnout, at the very least he’ll match Sink’s total in 2010. We hold out hope that the veto power over the extremist legislature will play a major part of the messaging campaign that could play with moderates (in addition) to the base and put Charlie over the top. – JS @JustinSnyderFL

Leslie Wimes of  Women on the Move was on here last week, commenting about my ‘white privilege’ in regards to an article I wrote on Progressive Choice. She is a frequent critic of the Florida Democratic Party on the issue of race. With a quick internet search, you will discover she is also Leslie Harris and is associated with a fair number of scandals. And Leslie Harris gave $100 to Charlie Crist last year, although none to Nan Rich, according to the Florida Division of Elections website. So while she is attacking anything and any one who is getting behind Crist, she was giving him money, which makes the whole thing seem suspicious. Public records are such pesky things. Furthermore, you should never trust anyone who edits Wikipedia pages to include themselves.   –  KB@BurnettKaty 

Last Thursday, Orange County activists and voters rallied to bring attention to the second anniversary of the County Commission conspiring to kill Earned Sick Time and denying it a rightful place on the 2012 ballot. The conspiracy was revealed during the Textgate scandal and the local GOPs fingerprints were all over the effort to kill Earned Sick Time. Last month, Orange County voters overwhelmingly voted in  favor of Earned Sick Time. Sick time now has passed in Orange County but think about the lives of working people that were ruined by the Commission’s actions in 2012 and the passage/signing of HB 655 which prohibits local control over matters related to employee benefits. HB 655 was pushed by corporate lobbyists particularly those from the hospitality industry AFTER Orange County citizens had presented 50,000 verified signatures to put Earned Sick Time on the ballot. Florida’s Segregationist Democrats in the 1950’s used Preemption to try and block the implementation of Federal Civil Rights laws in the state, in a fashion not dissimilar to what Florida Republicans are trying today.  This dovetails nicely with the GOP’s big state government mantra as potential future Senate President Joe Negron told the League of Woman Voters (as published this weekend in the Palm Beach Post) that he was pleased to be one of the driving forces behind preventing local government from passing gun safety laws, so that statewide gun laws could be “uniform.” Home rule hypocrisy is a mantra of Florida Republicans who want all the laws written by a legislative body they control and where ideologically driven lobbyists have the greatest control. The doctrine of “preemption” has made a 21st Century comeback thanks to Florida’s GOP and Orange County.  – KK @kkfla737


  1. Yes, Katy, I was talking about your white privilege. You see, whether you like me, or progressive choice, the facts are still the facts. The Black Community faces issues that you will never know about, given your white privilege. No matter how you try to disparage me or anyone else that tries to bring those issues to light, they don’t go away. Nor am I going away. I realize that it is difficult for those in the Democratic Party to acknowledge that there is a fair amount of racism in our own party, but sweetie, it is there. It’s funny that you are acting like the things I say are brand new. They aren’t. It is happening all over the country. African-Americans are being taken for granted, and we are tired of it. I see that you never write about that. I guess you feel that we are supposed to just fall in line. Sorry, that isn’t going to happen. Not now. Not ever.


    1. Richard Block · · Reply

      Wumes, Wimes, Harris, 1000 Girlfriends, or what ever you want to call yourself next, stop being nasty and stop calling people racist. When are you going to realize that the Democrats are the party that is NOT racist. The Republicans and especially the Tea party are the racist ones.


    2. So you are saying that you need an out-of-state astro-turf PR firm like Progressive Choice to come talk about race because you don’t have a group yet?

      That makes no sense.


    3. Do you deny the $100 Crist campaign contribution?


  2. Blue Dog Dem · · Reply

    The Crist campaign is pathetic. They’ve ignored north Florida completely opening 40 field offices in south and central Florida and nothing in our area. We have persuadable democrats up here and as much as y’all want to trash Sink she ran close in the most republican election in over 80 years. Her strategy of working north Florida helped. Southern Florida is full of democrats who don’t vote in state elections. They don’t care. Crist’s theory that Obama voters in Broward and Miami will vote for him due to overspending on field (and not spending on media the way he should) and going hard left on economic issues will be proven faulty.


    1. If you acutally look at the data, Alex Sink lost in 2010 because the base didn’t turn out. She took them for granted and her field program was absolutely abyssmal. In a midterm cycle, especially in this state where there are more reigstered Democrats than Republicans, we show up, we win. If Crist were to duplicate Sink’s strategy, he would lose just the way she did. There’s a term for repeating the same action and expecting a different result- insanity. She may have gotten close but guess what… SHE LOST, when she should have won.

      Democrats in Florida are notorious for not turning out. If Charlie can tap into the anger felt by the base towards Rick Scott and Will Weatherford’s extemist legislature that have put tax cuts for corporations and wealthy donors ahead of public services, he can do what Alex couldn’t- get the SoFla base to show up in November. Charlie is grossly unpopular in North Florida (as are most Democrats these days) so why waste time and limited resources there? He needs to focus on turning out his base, and playing well in the medium sized counties, which is exactly what he is doing and exactly why Alex Sink didn’t do.

      The Steve Schale model of targeting moderates and independents does not apply in this new era of hyper partisanship where the old adage “all politics is local” has become false ever since Obama was elected. Charlie has the right strategy in place given his limited resources. People power is more effective than campaign ads and the political science data shows that. Field ops win elections.

      Thanks for reading and for commenting.


    2. Broward Bob · · Reply

      @blue dog – jacksonville isn’t north florida? who knew?


      1. Richard Block · ·

        Thanks Bob for pointing that out. I am in contact with someone from the Crist campaign that is opening a field office in Gainsville. Also, the Crist campaign is working directly with the Gwen Graham congressional campaign in Tallahassee. So the claim that North Florida is being ignored is unfounded.


  3. Leslie Wimes aka Harris gave $100 to the Crist campaign? How is she going to explain that?


  4. Broward Dem · · Reply

    Crist has thrown everything and the kitchen sink into field here in Broward. His operation locally is bigger than Obama’s.

    We like all the attention. Although I would be lying if I didn’t say I think it is a bit risky. He is seemingly ignoring other parts of the state to double down here.


  5. Richard Block · · Reply

    Leslie Wimes calls anyone who doesn’t agree with her a racist. She is not a nice person.


    1. Broward Bob · · Reply

      easy. she will play the race card.


      1. Broward Bob · ·

        that was in response to ‘hyprocrisy’, not richard.

        leslie is puerile and silly.


      2. Richard Block · ·

        That she does on a regular basis. Everyone who reads this blog should Google Leslie Wimes and click on the top link. You will find out what a “nice and decent” person she is. “Palm Beach County Socialite Caught in DC Area Sex Scandal!”


  6. Kartik’s bit is a paid political advertisement approved by Scott and Susannah Randolph.

    So obvious!


  7. I’m a Field Organizer in Palm Beach for the Crist Campaign. We opened our Delray Office on Friday 9/12/14 and it was a fantastic event with over 200 people attending.


  8. […] both SSN and Wimes. I’d also like to re-expose readers to my colleague Katy Burnett’s musings about Wimes from 2014.  It’s worth noting Sunshine State News unlike the indispensable Florida Politics hasn’t […]


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