Monday Musings – West Palm Beach Mayoral Race, Pat Bainter and the Gainesville Commission, Kristin Jacobs emerging as a statewide star, Need for Primaries, Battle of Natural Bridge Anniversary

Kristin_JacobsBoth Florida and Palm Beach County Democrats are crowing about West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio’s big victory. Certainly the Palm Beach County party deserves loads of credit for activating its electoral infrastructure and defeating Kimberly Mitchell who would have emerged quickly as a state GOP star by such a large margin. Mitchell’s extensive family and professional connections to Republican leaders throughout the state would have made her a potential statewide candidate. However, it is worth noting Democrats continue as a party to play it safe in Municipal Elections, spending time, money and effort in cities that have a major Democratic advantage (with the exception of Jacksonville) while ignoring the places where the GOP really builds its bench – the bedroom communities throughout the state with populations between 50,000 and 100,000. These places represent the hard, heavy lifting Democrats at the state level are unwilling to engage in. Until a real commitment is made in these cities, Democrats will continue to lag behind in the state even in counties that appear Democratic at the top of the ticket.  While the West Palm Beach hold is something every Democrat in Florida should rejoice in, the party at the state level needs to help local parties focus more on the second tier of cities, many of which are in Democratic counties. Places like Port St Lucie, Palm Bay, Pembroke Pines, Boca Raton, Clearwater and many many more need more attention and love from Democrats at the state level. – KK @kkfla737 

Pat Bainter, famous for being the subject of the lawsuit involving the Congressional districts, is popping up in the oddest places.  His company, Data Targeting, was at the center of the gerrymandering case and his fight to keep his documents out of court was one of the most-watched court cases last year.  However, it seems that Bainter is doing a little pro-bono work for a local Democrat in a city commission race in Gainesville.   In a three-way Democratic race where the candidate, Jay Curtis, has constantly had to fight off his Republican ties, so it is most curious that Pat Bainter should step in. What does one have to do to get a little $250 polling?    With election day tomorrow and a probable run-off, this is a most curious development. –   KB@BurnettKaty 

Rep. Kristin Jacobs (D- Coconut Creek) is not your average freshman. Elected to the Broward County Commission as an upstart in 1998, Jacobs who upset the political establishment and pushed anti-growth and pro-environment measures in her early days on the Commission quickly turned heads. After her 2002 reelection she quickly settled into becoming an effective pol in Florida’s second most populated county. Her failed Congressional bid in 2012 and term limits on the Commission led her to take the rare move for a Commissioner from a large urban county and do the reverse of so many –  run for the State House AFTER serving as a County Commissioner. Jacobs has quickly emerged as a serious legislator and one whose local experience, including serving as Mayor of the state’s second largest jurisdiction makes her a potentially appealing statewide figure. With the Democratic bench so thin across Florida, Jacobs decision to run for what on paper appears a lesser office might actually do more long-term benefit than anyone imagined. Keep an eye on this space and Rep. Jacobs as the the next year unfolds.  – KK @kkfla737 

I am a firm believer in contentious primaries and am pretty convinced that the 2008 battle between Clinton and Obama was part of the reason that Obama was victorious. While it is costly, it allows a field game to get into place early and build up plenty of support over time and can be much more effective than a cheap late field game (as Charlie Crist found out).  With both the Senate race and the Presidency coming up, I’m actually hoping for a contentious primary for both.  I am a firm believer that a good fiery fight is good for the party and Florida will be one of the main battlegrounds.  Rumors keep popping up for Senate hopefuls on both sides of the aisle, an epic battle is looming in Florida for Senate.  With Patrick Murphy throwing in his lot, there are also rumors that our Lt. Governor Lopez-Cantera will jump in the mix. Will there be a vacancy in the Lt. Governor position?  While politicians like Atwater are much more prepared to jump in the race, it seems there will be a healthy battle on both sides. –   KB@BurnettKaty 

The 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Natural Bridge passed last Friday, March 6th with little fanfare. But the battle was mildly significant in the sense that it saved Tallahassee from falling into union hands making it the lone southern capital to not fall. However, Florida’s most important cities Key West and Pensacola had long before fallen into the hands of the northerners and thus Tallahassee was more symbolic than meaningful. Less than a month after the battle, with a union victory assured, Florida Governor John Milton committed suicide stating “(Yankees) have developed a character so odious that death would be preferable to reunion with them. Death would be preferable to reunion.” Despite the defeat in the War Between States, Florida’s Democrats did not stay out of power long and eventually the Reconstruction governments made up largely of northern carpetbagger Republicans and former slaves were replaced by Democrats of the same ilk who had led Florida toward secession in the first place. – KK @kkfla737 


  1. Pinellas Democrat · · Reply

    The Florida Democratic Party’s involvement in the West Palm Beach mayor’s race was either gross mismanagement or a propaganda lie. Desperate for a win they target a seat that we cannot loose? Unbelievable!

    For some reason it looks as though they are trying to artificially build a narrative around the Palm Beach model.

    So there are 67 folks sitting in an retirement seminar. They come from all walks of life, one is a works at a fast food restaurant, 17 are schoolteachers, and there is one son of a billionaire. The seminar speaker crafted the program around the billionaires’ heir leaving 66 people scratching their heads.

    Attempting to build a party around Palm Beach is akin to building wealth management around the life of the heir of a billionaire. The kid is going to get rich but that plan doesn’t work for the rest of us.

    Houston we have a problem.


    1. dianecbrown · · Reply

      Would you explain your meaning of “Florida Democratic Party’s involvement in the West Palm Beach mayor’s race was either gross mismanagement or a propaganda lie”? Are you saying it would have been a waste of resources to assist int the mayor’s race, or that it is a lie that FDP did assist?

      Also, why do you believe it was “a seat that we cannot loose”? You did not think the incumbent would prevail?


    2. W Merchant · · Reply

      West Palm Beach is not the same as Palm Beach. Different cities altogether. The mayoral race is non-partisan, so party involvement is either minimal or done discreetly. Also, the challenger Kimberly Mitchell had a lot of canvassing support in suburban West Palm Beach.


  2. Palm Beach Democrat · · Reply

    Can you please refer to candidates as their name and not what you chose to refer to them as? Kimberly Mitchell never goes by “Kim” and for you to make that editorial decision by yourself further shows how disrespectful and slanted your publication is.


    1. ^This. It’s possible to refer to candidates whom you do not like without mocking them with a nickname they have never gone by.


      1. dianecbrown · ·

        Just curious why you are taking up for this Republican? Would she have been better than the new Dem?


      2. My opinions on how the executive branch of WPB is run, especially the lack of infrastructure investment aside, I think it is a matter of common decency to refer to people by their chosen names.


      3. Apologies, I meant to say lack of infrastructure investment in our poorer neighborhoods.


  3. Fla Dem · · Reply

    Kristin Jacobs is arrogant and has a sense of entitlement. I’m disappointed you would further this nonsense talk of Tallahassee reporters and those who cause problems within the party.

    It is just like Katie Edwards. I am tired of hearing from this blog and in other places what a great statewide candidate she will make. She might as well be a Republican.

    Some of the Statehouse members become a law to themselves not doing the things they need to do to help build the party. Putting themselves above the welfare of the party. You have consistently said we need to be more collective in our efforts yet you encourage this sort of behavior?


    1. Fl. Democrat, You are an idiot or a Republican troll. How dare you assassinate the character of two excellent Democratic Representatives, Jacobs and Edwards. You are a coward to snipe at these loyal and hard working public servants. I know both of these ladies and you don’t know shit.


  4. Agree on the FDP … Building a bench requires going beyond your comfort zone!


  5. dianecbrown · · Reply

    “….it is worth noting Democrats continue as a party to play it safe in Municipal Elections, spending time, money and effort in cities that have a major Democratic advantage…while ignoring the places where the GOP really builds its bench – the bedroom communities throughout the state with populations between 50,000 and 100,000. These places represent the hard, heavy lifting Democrats at the state level are unwilling to engage in…”

    Kartik, what is the basis of this statement? Do you have information on locations of recent municipal elections in the state and whether FDP put resources in them? Do you know how FDP chooses where to place its resources? Do they use a formula, e.g., the ratio of Dem voters compared to Repubs?


  6. It's 2015 not 2006 · · Reply

    Kristin Jacobs is the real deaL. Love her!


  7. Blue Dog Dem · · Reply

    The best Democrat from Broward to run statewide is Katie Edwards hands down.


    1. dianecbrown · · Reply

      Please provide more info on Katie. I like supporting women officials/candidates. Do you know her positions? Would you say she is center, right of center, left of center? I’ve researched her but you don’t get as good info as you do from people who actually know her. Thanks!


      1. Hi Diane, Katie Edwards is a very bright and articulate representative. She is progressive yet knows how to work with people who don’t agree with her. She is respected by both sides of the aisle. I hope someday you get to spend some time with her. That is the only way you can really read someone. I’ll give you an example. She supported Nan Rich for Governor based on knowing she was the best person for the job. Despite pressure from the other side she stayed loyal and stuck with her principles until after the primary. That’s the type of person you can believe in.


      2. For some reason I can’t reply to Joe directly, but Katie Edwards is certainly progressive on some issues, but she’s hardly a progressive in the truest sense of the word. I don’t think she’d even self identify as a progressive. Katie unfortunately upset many (all?) labor leaders throughout the state with some of her votes (or failure to vote) on critical bills in past sessions. Specifically, she received a 92% approval rating from Associated Industries of Florida. That’s a higher score than Tom Lee scored. ( Then again, she gets a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood. ( She’s a mixed bag and therefore, not a progressive.

        Here’s the twist: despite this, she is probably the most likely Broward legislator to find success at a statewide level. She’s not running for the two open State Senate seats or County Commission seats in her area, so she’s foregoing those opportunities. Many think she would be a good Agricultural Commissioner Candidate and I agree despite my policy differences with her.


  8. The future · · Reply

    The first comment here nails it. The FDP has held up Palm Beach as a model because they don’t know any better and it’s the only large county besides the joke that is orange county whose DEC leadership isn’t calling out the state.

    Palm Beach’s electoral performance hasn’t improved at all in years for democrats. The republicans are electing municipal officials all I et the county and while Crist did better than Obama that owes itself more to Jewish anger at the president for Israel than anything else.

    I find it funny Kartik mentions Boca while praising palm beach. Boca has 4 of 5 commissioners registered as republicans even though Crist carried the city.

    Local democrats have been unable to flip either state house seat that leans democrat either. Holding the WPB Mayors office is meaningless in the bigger scheme of things.


  9. Fla Dem · · Reply

    I find it ironic the same person who is constantly advocating people like Alan Grayson supports Katie Edwards. Do you have any idea how bad her voting record is compared to every other Democrat from South Florida? She voted for an alimony Bill the governor vetoed. She voted for preempting sick days. She voted for every pro gun bill under the sun. She spoke on the floor in favor of the water bill that sugar back because sugar backed up. I’m not quite sure how you reconcile your progressiveness with advocating for her but if it sounds good for you I guess do it Joe.


    1. Once again the coward who thinks he knows everything rears his head. I already told you, you don’t know shit. Stop being a troll and write to me on FB. What are you afraid of. Show some guts.


      1. I think a big part of the problem Joe is that some people connected with the Democratic Party spend more energy tearing down other Democrats they don’t like (Rep. Edwards is an example) than focusing on the Republicans. The stakes are small in some cases and with a permanent minority mentality, some would rather maintain “power” within a small circle than grow the circle. This is not an ideological comment it’s about personalities and pettiness.


    2. dianecbrown · · Reply

      Kartik, your comment is really ironic, considering you constantly tear down the FDP without providing facts to support your allegations. i am still waiting for your response to my questions earlier today.


      1. Diane put those questions again here. Was traveling the last few days and may not have seen them. Also I don’t know how you can say I tear down the FDP? If anything I’ve been accused of being too soft on them after yet another lackluster electoral performance.


      2. dianecbrown · ·

        OMG!! Your response made me laugh – out loud! You defended yourself from tearing down FDP, then in the next sentence you hit FDP with a double whammy by inferring FDP is responsible for “yet ANOTHER lackluster electoral performance.”


      3. Diane, how is pointing out the obvious, that Democrats were defeated “tearing down the FDP?” I was also saying most here think I am TOO SOFT on the FDP. If I offend both sides, dug in their trenches I am probably doing something right. 🙂


    3. dianecbrown · · Reply

      Katie voted for these bills?? They are all really bad.


  10. Diane, when a vote doesn’t make a difference sometimes it is a way to look more moderate. It is done by smart people to better negotiate with the other side.


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