Poll: FDP political direction

For the last several days many people around the Democratic Party in Florida have focused specifically on the role of Christian Ulvert the party’s Political Director in the 2014 debacle. Ulvert also serves as a consultant of some influence on other efforts particularly in Miami-Dade County. Our writers and readers have varying opinions on this matter but we figured we would throw open a poll and let our readers have a say. We will have similar polls about other FDP related matters in the coming days.



  1. This is moot, Ulvert is already gone. Next up Tant, Arceneaux and some select Sr. staff.


    1. Nope, not gone.


  2. Karen Welzel · ·

    You can’t force someone out of the FDP, but you can remove them from a paid position, and not allow them to hold high level volunteer positions.


  3. Tampa Bay Demo · ·

    Ulvert has not been fired yet by the way.

    He needs to go as does Tant!


    1. DINO Slayer · ·

      It is a done deal. The donors are screaming for heads, his was the first, let’s hope it is not he last.


  4. Few over the Many · ·

    Ulvert is more responsible than any single person for our failures. He recruits candidates that will hire his cronies as staff and vendors. He presses buttons all the time on what to do within the party. He cost your candidate Kartik the election possibly by running a needless primary against him. Perry Thurston’s primary challenge cost George Sheldon any shot of victory. House campaigns were a mess because of him. Pafford is a good guy and should stay leader for policy reasons but as a campaign guy he trusted Ulvert and should be blamed for that. Tant needs to go for empowering Ulvert.

    Bring back Steve Schale!


    1. Why Schale? This is the problems with Florida Democratic politics…nobody looks for a solution outside of Florida. I am sure there are some kick ass consultants throughout the United States that would LOVE to get their hands on House Victory. Quit being closed minded.


      1. Tampa Bay Demo · ·

        Kartik has no doubt already recommended Ashley Walker for the job because she won some nothing Broward race!


  5. democrats on the ground · ·

    He needs to have been fired yesterday


  6. InsiderMyself · ·

    Don’t make Ulvert the scapegoat. This is Tant’s doing. All of it. Remove her and whoever comes in, will clean house where it needs a scrubbing.


  7. Pinellas Democrat · ·

    Seriously, will it ever end? Christian Ulvert is an employee of our Party. As an employee he was brought on to do our Chair’s bidding. How do you hold Christian accountable and give Allison Tant a pass?

    Where is the accountability of Allison Tant? The buck has to stop at her desk. No excuses…NEXT!


  8. Jeff Ryan, Barry Edwards and Chris Mitchell were changing Hoyse campaigns. Then Ulvert created acoup and took over again. Now House canpaigns go south and sniveling Ulvert passes the back onto the independent finance operation of HV.

    He has to go!


  9. Bring Back Steve · ·

    Why Christian Ulvert Needs To Go — And As of Friday He Was The One Doing The Firing, Not The One Getting Fired:

    1. Christian Ulvert uses his staff position to make money for himself & his company Edge Communications, not to help Democrats win. How Christian makes money: his undisclosed FDP salary; FDP contracts w/ EDGE Communications in excess of $10,000.00 per month; 15% commissions on any and all media and radio buys made through EDGE as a sub-consultant of an FDP consultant; other consulting, retainer & media buying agreements EDGE communications has with EDGE communications clients other than FDP; EDGE public affairs/communications contracts with clients that heavily lobby and give to the legislature (primarily to Republicans) such as gaming, tobacco, etc.; and ad infinitum.

    2. Christian Ulvert is more dedicated to making money than he is to being a Democrat. As recently as 2011, he ran a Republican for countywide mayor of Miami-Dade County. And in 2008 while also handling races for House Victory Christian acted as a consultant to our current Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez-Cantera in defeating his Democratic nominee for the House so that Lopez-Cantera could become one of the most partisan Republican Majority Leader’s in Florida’s history. He ran a primary against George Sheldon which very well could have cost George Sheldon and Charlie Crist the election and he did it to make money and stroke Perry Thurston’s ego.

    3. Christian Ulvert has done real damage to Democrats by placing his own financial interests over House Democrats’ & Florida Democrats’ collective interests. Christian knew that he would be the political consultant of choice under Mia Jones or Mark Pafford if either was the House Minority Leader just as he was the political consultant of choice under Perry Thurston. When Mia Jones lost, Christian went to work to create constant conflict in the caucus and to create an ouster of a leader that he could not control. He leaks, orchestrates and manipulates vicious information in the media about his elected detractors to influence the outcome of leadership elections. He gave Pafford these ridiculous talking points about the “record $3.5 Million raised for House Victory.” Here is what he failed to warn Pafford. That includes $600,000 that David Silvers’ mother gave the party for TV for David Silvers. So now we are down to a not-record $2.9 Million. That also includes the about $500,000.00 (approximating based upon media buys & mail volume) spent going against Erik Fresen in the very expensive Miami TV market in endless attack ads where (a) Erik beat the Democrat by 10%; (b) without going negative even when Pafford went very negative in 2 separate 6-pack TV ads and tons of mail and (c) Christian was getting paid tons of money by outside groups (UTD & Laborers) to be involved so he redirected FDP money there. So now we are down to maybe about $2.4 Million or $240,000 per incumbent among the 10 targeted incumbents. That’s nowhere near enough. Senate Victory, in contrast raised a real record $4 Million and spent virtually all of it on defending Maria Sachs by taking no risks on. They won by 4 points by working very closely with Trial Bar and AFL-CIO on the ground game and canvassing program. So all of a sudden the “record $3.5 Million” looks absolutely PATHETIC. Spending even one dime on the offensive was malpractice. And as TFS predicted on 2-14-2014 it was Ulvert’s DC-based, cookie-cutter, rigid approach & outrageously expensive consultants that made it impossible to react in time, particularly in Orlando.

    4. Christian Ulvert would represent anyone for money & do anything for money. According to his own website in 2011 just before joining the FDP as its political director, Christian teamed up with Bascom Communications, one of the state’s premiere Republican political communications shops to represent clients that included HMOs. At the time, Bascom also represented RPOF Chairman John Thrasher, Senate President Mike Haridopolos & House Speaker Dean Cannon.

    5. Christian Ulvert uses Allison Tant & Mark Pafford for his own personal gain, and they do not even know it. Christian put Mark Pafford into leadership because he thought he control him. Christian helped Allison Tant beat Clendenen because he knew he couldn’t control Clendenen and because Clendenen came from Labor. Christian is no friend of the real leaders of Labor. So he minimizes Labor to Allison and Mark and isolates Allison, in particular, from Labor to her own detriment. Christian thinks he controls Loranne Ausley and he thinks he can parlay that into controlling Allison. If Allison wants an instantly stronger DEC ground games she has a built-in natural infrastructure. All she needs to do is work within the natural Labor infrastructure. Instead she is allowing Christian to work in a divide and conquer mentality. It is doubtful that Allison is even aware that Christianis paid by a construction union that prides itself in NOT being a member of the Building Trades or the Florida AFL-CIO. Ulvert got paid almost $50,000.00 by that union in the last reporting cycle alone. Of course, he is not going to work with other unions and risk losing control of that much money. It is all about control. And control requires isolation and division. Unity & solidarity does not thrive in isolation and division. That is much of what happened to Labor in the 2014 Election Cycle: Christian successfully marginalized Labor and caused it to become divided so as to function as independent silos instead of as a unified force. It cannot function effectively that way. The monumental gains Labor has made in the Legislature has been through a Unity Table that works very carefully on a consensus-driven common agenda. Since Allison has taken the rains and made Christian the political director, Christian has been very successful in undoing six years of substantial progress.

    [Thank FEA for trying to go it alone, and Allison & Christian encouraging that for Vouchers, TFS, not any members of the House Caucus. Remember, it happened in the SENATE with 3 Democrats voting Yes. And it certainly did not have to happen. The Unity Table has worked very well and can work again if Allison would (a) get rid of Christian; (b) get out of the way; and (c) allow Labor to work within its own structure.]

    6. Christian Ulvert will destroy or get rid of anyone that disagrees with him or he perceives as a threat. Just two short days ago, Christian showed he was still very much boss at the FDP and systematically fired every underling who dared to disagree with how he handled the 2014 election cycle. So for those of you holding out for changes at the FDP, don’t hold your breath. Allison just cannot see what she has got on her hands. And anyone who tells her is the enemy. Allison is very loyal. And Christian is exploiting that loyalty. Allison is also smart. So maybe if the facts are out there then she will look into them.

    7. Not only does Christian Ulvert leak harmful information about Democrats to the media to manipulate the outcome of internal caucus matters, he leaks information to the media to influence the public, the caucus and the Republicans on his client’s position on policy issues. In fact, that is precisely what his political affairs clients pay him to do. When he speaks to the media or to the members, they do not know whether Christian is speaking on behalf of Allison Tant and the FDP or on behalf of his gaming or tobacco clients. Christian is not registered as a lobbyist before the legislature, so presumptively he is always speaking on behalf of Allison Tant and the FDP. That is wrong. If you are working for the FDP, Florida Democrats need to be your only client.

    8. Christian Ulvert is involved in expenditures that are not ethically sound. A simple payee search of Edge Communications as the payee at the Division of Elections and an expenditure search of Perry Thurston’s, Luis Garcia’s & Mia Jones’ lifetime expenditures is revealing. Perry spent money in the 2014 primary that Christian likely directed even while acting as Political Director of the party. While no money seems to have gone to Christian on paper, the same vendors were used that were used by the FDP generally and House Victory in particular (e.g., The Pivot Group). In addition, the contributions and expenditures of Christian’s old CCE Common Sense for Florida should be reviewed. The only expenditures that were not to ECOs affiliated with Christian’s candidates or the FDP, were made to Christian at EDGE Communications. That CCE has been disbanded and reincarnated as Common Sense ECO that itself now makes expenditures to EDGE. Why would the ECO or CCE have had any expenses whatsoever that were valid to EDGE??? Answer: They wouldn’t. That was money that should have gotten where the donors intended it to go: to help in an election. Instead it went to substantially compensate Christian for “consulting.”


    1. Forget Steve. Hire that person. Ditto.


    2. Bring back Steve, Who are you?


  10. shredoftruth · ·

    We need REAL Progressive leadership both in Florida and nationally. This horrible moving of our party to the right has done serious damage to the Democratic brand. Get back to our Progressive roots before it’s too late. If anybody would bother to look at polls and/or conduct new ones, they would see that Progressive values and ideas poll wonderfully, unlike the current Republican lite agenda we have that keeps losing us elections. For crying out loud, work more on turning out Progressives and real Democrats than bending over backwards trying to garner Republican votes you may or may not get. WTF?


    1. I’ll second that emotion. The FDP should have invited Obama to rally all Democrats. We should have been extolling the great job Obama and Obamacare has done for the country and Florida. Rick Scott did shit. We need to talk the talk and walk the walk. Progressive values win.


  11. Trip Trey · ·

    Both Christian and Steve are political whores.


  12. Pinellas Democrat · ·

    Web site managers,

    Why isn’t there a poll asking if Allison Tant should resign?


  13. All I know is the wisdom is the County Chair has to go if Dems did not prevail. It should only follow that those in Tally should too. Somewhere, this forlorn state has GOT to find some political talent, chop-chop. Two years and counting . . .


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