Kendrick Meek Archives - Page 2 of 32 - SaintPetersBlog

@Greene4Florida writes open letter to @KendrickMeek: ‘Bring it on’

Dear Kendrick:

When I first entered the Senate race, I wrote to you to express my desire to run a campaign based on the issues that Floridians care about including jobs, the environment and healthcare. I proposed that we have a healthy debate on the topics that would help voters understand the clear difference between our candidacies.

Now, with just over a month before the primary election and less than 24 hours after Democrats united at the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, you have resorted to vicious personal attacks against my character with your most recent mailer. This desperate and negative assault is a new low, even for you Kendrick, and I have no choice but to respond in-kind.

I can only conclude that you are attempting to distract voters from the fact that as a Congressman you failed to protect Floridians from two of the biggest crises in recent time. You failed to regulate the lenders that offered the subprime home loans that caused the housing crisis, and you failed to regulate Wall Street that caused the economic crisis which resulted in thousands of families across Florida to lose their homes and livelihoods.

The recent polls illustrate that Floridians are tired of the status quo and want a proven jobs creator that is independent of special interests to be their Senator. And regardless of the outcome of the primary, I am committed to supporting the Democratic Senate nominee and will do what I can to ensure Democrats win in November – something you have not pledged to do.

In the final weeks of this primary, I will continue to campaign across the state on the issues Floridians care about, but I will not let vicious personal attacks against my character go unanswered. I am responding quickly, forcefully and truthfully.

Sincerely,

Jeff Greene
Democratic U.S. Senate Candidate

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Herald: Kendrick Meek scrambles to solidify backing in Senate race

A must-read from Beth Reinhard on how Kendrick Meek’s shoe-leather campaign that collected 125,000 voter signatures hasn’t taken Meek farther than a distant third place in the polls, behind Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio, and with Jeff Greene closing in. An excerpt:

So five weeks before the primary, the Miami congressman finds himself shoring up support in his own back yard. His seven stops on Sunday included a gospel music-infused church in Lauderdale Lakes, a Miami union hall, and heavily Democratic condominiums in Aventura, Sunrise and Deerfield Beach.

“All of a sudden, Kendrick had to pivot and ask for the support of people he thought he could have counted on,” said Democratic fundraiser and developer Stephen Bittel, who came to Meek’s appearance in Aventura to show his support.

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Must read from Newsweek: The Resurrection of Charlie Crist

Newsweek goes all biblical on Charlie Crist:

Not long ago, Florida Gov. Charlie Crist seemed like a dead pol walking. Tea Party favorite Marco Rubio was thrashing him in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate. Crist’s 30-point lead had swung to a 30-point deficit; funding was drying up, as were endorsements. “He’s deader than the day before yesterday,” former state GOP chair Tom Slade told the St. Petersburg Times in late April. “I don’t think there’s any way in the world he can rehabilitate himself.” Crist’s collegial centrism, the conventional wisdom held, had become anachronistic at a time when angry right-wing populism had overtaken his party.

Crist’s resurgence also stems in part from his shift back to where he’s always seemed most comfortable: the political center. That’s where he’s largely governed as the state’s chief executive—pursuing a Republican agenda of low taxes and limited government, but also collaborating with Democrats on environmental issues and judicial appointments. The approach made him one of the most popular governors in the country. “He’s got almost extraterrestrial instincts about the political pulse,” says Mac Stipanovich, a Republican lobbyist and Crist supporter. “All he has to figure out is what you want to hear, and as long as it doesn’t contradict something he said yesterday, you will probably hear it.”

Continue reading here.

It’s still a long way to November, of course. Rubio remains a formidable challenger—and, given his announcement last week that he had raised a record-setting $4.5 million in the second quarter, a well-financed one. But through a mixture of deft maneuvering and plain good luck, Crist has somehow seized the momentum. During the spring legislative session, he vetoed two controversial bills pushed by overzealous Republican leaders—one dealing with teacher tenure, the other with abortion—thereby positioning himself as a bulwark against extremism. He has benefited from disarray in the Democratic primary, as the lackluster establishment candidate, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, fends off a challenge from a billionaire, Jeff Greene, who earned the nickname “meltdown mogul” by profiting from bets against the housing market. And Crist has gotten a lot of positive press—as well as an uptick in approval ratings—for his energetic response to the BP oil disaster that has gunked up Florida beaches with tar balls. In contrast to Rubio, who still supports offshore drilling, Crist has called the legislature to a special session this week to promote a constitutional ban against the practice.

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Notes from the Florida Democrats Jefferson-Jackson Dinner

Joy Reid, last night’s recipient of the award for Best National blog, covered all of the angles at the Florida Democratic Party’s Jefferson-Jackson Dinner.  It’s coverage like this that helped her win her award.  Her notes:

Kendrick Meek brought a cheering section … Gelber and Aronberg played nice … and Alex Sink’s mike went rogue. And a good time was had by all at this year’s Jefferson-Jackson dinner.

The Democratic faithful gathered at the Westin Diplomat hotel in Hallandale Beach Saturday for the annual event, which brought out all of the candidates for basically everything up for election in Florida. I was in the press box with some of the fine folks from the Florida political press corps. (Here are the first takes from Beth Reinhard (she’s also got all the good one-liners from the event), The Sun-Sentinel’s Tony Mann, who hits the toned down Meek-Greene face-off,  and AP reporter Brendan Farrington, who also focuses on Meek-Greene.)

Again, this is from the must-read Reid Report:

Attendees: 1,300

Cash raised: $700,000

Best speech: surprisingly enough, agriculture commissioner Scott Maddox. He spoke early and fired up the crowd, and party chairwoman Karen Thurman milked his “bring it on” line for the rest of the night.

Best dressed: tie between two of the state’s real fashionistas, rival District 17 Congressional candidates state Sen. Frederica Wilson and Haitian activist Marleine Bastien. Both also happen to be solid candidates for that job. I’d show you a pic, but my camera battery died.

Biggest entourage: Kendrick Meek. His team set up a rock-star entrance, with a press availability flanked by a throng of sign-holding supporters chanting “what do we want? Kendrick! When do we want him? Now!” The cheering section followed him up to the ballroom, too, creating a dramatic entrance no other candidate tried.

Dog that didn’t bark: Dan Gelber and Dave Aronberg‘s primary is getting nastier by the day, but both A.G. candidates played nice. Gelber got more applause from the 1,000-plus politicos in the audience, but Aronberg got laughs when he slipped and said “if I’m not the candidate for governor…” He quickly corrected himself and drew applause for pledging to support the winner of the primary, even if it’s not him. Gelber did the same, though his speech had a few sharp elbows clearly addressed at his opponent.

Best case for GOTV: Ron Klein. He painted his extremist opponent Allen West as just that, calling him the “Palin/tea party candidate” and injected his race with more urgency than any other candidate.

Again, this post is exactly the kind of coverage you can read at The Reid Report:

Highest star wattage: You have to ask? DWS.

Most classy: Alex Sink. She was poised and composed as she pushed through her speech despite some serious mic problems. Sink also has a sharp but ladylike, “movie about the South” quality that doesn’t make for great stump speech theater, but which really might work for her when she’s debating her GOP opponents, especially if it’s creepy, menacing Rick Scott.

Other dog that didn’t bark: Jeff Greene and Kendrick Meek skillfully avoided each other, though at one point I found myself in a bilateral conversation with both their press guys, only one of whom recognized the other… and they didn’t really attack each other that much in their pretty standard speeches. Before the speeches, however, Meek during his press avail accused Greene of trying to buy the election, and said that to Greene, a Senate seat is “just another thing” to purchase. Meek has yet to say he’ll support the winner of the primary if it’s Greene.

News made: not much, but Meek did confirm he’s preparing to go on TV soon. The ads are being produced by the same firm that made Barack Obama’s half hour infomercial. And mailboxes should start seeing Meek paper soon.

Applause meter: Meek won that one, and the crowd definitely seemed to be more in his corner. A big-up to his mother, Congresswoman Carrie Meek, elicited a partial standing ovation. Greene got polite applause from the Democratic diehard audience, but he was placed earlier in the program, somewhere between the Congressional candidates (earlier even than Maurice Ferre.) Lots of people milling around and not listening, though Greene did get applause when he pledged to support the primary winner if it’s not him. The other big applause-getters on the night (in descending order) were DWS, Gelber, and Aronberg.

One-liner of the night: Miami congressional candidate Joe Garcia, who is Cuban-American, had that one, when he said “”I can assure you that I am an American citizen. I’ve got [Republican gubernatorial candidate] Rick Scott’s hate mail to prove it.”

Blind item (heard at the JJ): at an event that was all about Democrats, there were definite Charlie Crist supporters in the House, and they were not civilians…

Blind item #2: a person very much connected to a recent “citizen” complaint about Kendrick Meek was at the event, wearing a staff badge for the Jeff Greene campaign. The person told me they had just become a staffer.

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Jeff Greene questions whether Kendrick Meek is a ‘real’ Democrat

This weekend, Democrats from across Florida will unite for the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner to discuss the core issues and priorities as a Party. At the Dinner, Jeff Greene will address attendees and will convey his vision and plans to make the Sunshine State bright again for all residents.

However, the Kendrick Meek campaign continues to question whether Jeff Greene is a real Democrat. But the question is, what makes Kendrick Meek think he’s a real Democrat?

Does a “Real Democrat” oppose reducing Medicare costs while receiving more than $40,000 from Medicare suppliers?

Does a “Real Democrat” encourage people to take on risky subprime home loans while taking over $50,000 in contributions from companies and organizations connected to the subprime lending crisis, including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Does a “Real Democrat” support offshore oil drilling while taking more than $20,000 from big oil, including BP?

Does a “Real Democrat” vote to give himself several pay raises while 650,000 Floridians are unemployed?

Does a “Real Democrat” help a cigar maker lobby to block higher cigar taxes to finance children’s health care while receiving thousands from the tobacco industry?

This election cycle, the choice between failed career politicians Kendrick Meek, Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio couldn’t be any clearer. Jeff Greene is an outsider and proven jobs creator that will put Florida first. His opponents are each connected to corruption scandals, have taken money from special interests including big oil, did nothing to regulate lenders that caused the housing crisis and have failed at creating the jobs that Floridians need.

Democrat Jeff Greene will give people a voice in Washington. He will not take a penny from special interests and will only be beholden to the voters of Florida. He will fight for Main Street and take on Wall Street.

With those choices, this election – the real Democrats will go Greene.

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Jeff Greene questions whether Kendrick Meek is a ‘real’ Democrat

This weekend, Democrats from across Florida will unite for the Jefferson-Jackson Dinner to discuss the core issues and priorities as a party. At the Dinner, Jeff Greene will address attendees and will convey his vision and plans to make the Sunshine State bright again for all residents.

However, the Kendrick Meek campaign continues to question whether Jeff Greene is a real Democrat. But the question is what makes Kendrick Meek think he’s a real Democrat?

Does a “Real Democrat” oppose reducing Medicare costs while receiving more than $40,000 from Medicare suppliers?

Does a “Real Democrat” encourage people to take-on risky subprime home loans while taking over $50,000 in contributions from companies and organizations connected to the subprime lending crisis including Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

Does a “Real Democrat” support offshore oil drilling while taking more than $20,000 from big oil, including BP?

Does a “Real Democrat” vote to give himself several pay raises while 650,000 Floridians are unemployed?

Does a “Real Democrat” help a cigar maker lobby to block higher cigar taxes to finance children’s health care while receiving thousands from the tobacco industry?

This election cycle, the choice between failed career politicians Kendrick Meek, Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio couldn’t be any clearer. Jeff Greene is an outsider and proven jobs creator that will put Florida first. His opponents are each connected to corruption scandals, have taken money from special interests including big oil, did nothing to regulate lenders that caused the housing crisis and have failed at creating the jobs that Floridians need.

Democrat Jeff Greene will give people a voice in Washington. He will not take a penny from special interests and will only be beholden to the voters of Florida. He will fight for Main Street and take-on Wall Street.

With those choices, this election – the real Democrats will go Greene.

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Jeff Greene’s statement on new unemployment numbers

Jeff Greene, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, issued the following statement regarding the state unemployment numbers released today.

Said Greene:

“While today’s report brings some welcome news and I applaud President Obama for his leadership in our economic recovery, with one million Floridians out of work we still have a jobs crisis in Florida and America.

“Unfortunately this news comes too late for many Florida families who lost their homes and jobs because of failed career politicians like Kendrick Meek who did nothing to regulate lenders that caused the housing crisis and failed to regulate Wall Street that caused millions of Americans to lose their homes and livelihoods. Meek is a double failure and Floridians need a leader that will not be asleep at the wheel.

“Unlike the career politicians who supported the policies that got us into this mess, I am the only jobs creator in this campaign and “The Jobs for Florida Plan” that I proposed will help create jobs across the Sunshine State.

“I’m running for U.S. Senate to create jobs and give the people of Florida a voice in Washington. I will not take a penny from special interests and will always put Florida first.”

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Jeff Greene’s statement on new unemployment numbers

Jeff Greene, Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, issued the following statement regarding the state unemployment numbers released today.

Said Greene:

“While today’s report brings some welcome news and I applaud President Obama for his leadership in our economic recovery, with one million Floridians out of work we still have a jobs crisis in Florida and America.

“Unfortunately this news comes too late for many Florida families who lost their homes and jobs because of failed career politicians like Kendrick Meek who did nothing to regulate lenders that caused the housing crisis and failed to regulate Wall Street that caused millions of Americans to lose their homes and livelihoods. Meek is a double failure and Floridians need a leader that will not be asleep at the wheel.

“Unlike the career politicians who supported the policies that got us into this mess, I am the only jobs creator in this campaign and “The Jobs for Florida Plan” that I proposed will help create jobs across the Sunshine State.

“I’m running for U.S. Senate to create jobs and give the people of Florida a voice in Washington. I will not take a penny from special interests and will always put Florida first.”

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Sorry Marco Rubio, but I’d take Charlie Crist’s cash-on-hand and last three months over your $4.5 mil

Right now, there are two parlor games dominating the political discussions in the salons of DC, Adams Street in Tallahassee and Datz Deli in Tampa:

1. Depending on whether you support Charlie Crist or Marco Rubio, which Democrat, Jeff Greene or Kendrick Meek do you want to join the general election triumvirate?

2. Who had a better Spring: Marco Rubio and his record-setting $4.5 million or Charlie Crist and his workmanlike fundraising, impressive cash-on-hand and his unending earned media?

Answering the first question is almost as difficult to explain as the plot to Inception because the answer really depends on the perspective of who is asking.  Does Crist want Meek, who has never polled above 25% in a three-way survey, in the general, thereby leaving open much of the Democratic vote?  Or does Crist want to face Greene, because without Meek, Crist can win much of the African-American vote, even if Greene’s checkbook is the biggest wildcard of the race.

And so on.

So let’s focus on the second question: who had the kind of Spring that will matter in the Fall? Crist or Rubio?

Rubio’s supporters will tell you that they are thrilled, hell downright ecstatic, with the Republican’s fundraising efforts, that Marco will, with his own campaign’s money and the support of the national party, be able to pick off enough of Crist’s remaining GOP supporters that Rubio will get to 37%-39% in the polls. Rubio’s proponents will also tell you that they are able to bide their time until September and October, while Crist will have to work overtime to build a statewide organization to mobilize elusive independent voters.

As impressive as raising $4.5 million may be, I still think I’d rather be in Crist’s shoes at this point.  His fundraising effort during the last quarter was exactly what it was suppose to be: less than Rubio”s but more than Meek’s.  And if Michelle Todd and Co. can spin fast enough that the story should be about how much money each candidate has left on hand, than all the better for Crist.

But the real value for Crist has been the earned media he has received during the last three months.  Crist has been omnipresent, whether it be with his vetoes of SB6 or HB 1143 or the governor’s leadership over the oil spill crisis.

Simply put, how much would this omnipresence cost if Crist had had to pay for this kind of coverage he has received during the Spring and early Summer: $10 million? $20 million?  More?  How many times has Crist appeared on some local TV station’s newcast?  Dozens of times?  Hundreds? More?

Crist has been on television so much, you’ll forgive me if I mistook him for an NBA free agent.

Believe it or not, time, or the lack thereof, is becoming Marco Rubio’s greatest enemy.  If Crist can keep the earned media coming through Labor Day, then the $8 or $9 million he will still have left on hand may be enough to cover him through November. Rubio’s best shot would be to launch an elaborate offensive against Crist now, forcing him to spend down some of his cash reserves.  Rubio needs to engage in some asymmetrical, counter-intuitive attacks on Crist.  More to the point, Rubio needs to portray that hunger and enthusiasm we saw late last year.

Otherwise, Crist’s strong efforts during the Spring and Summer will be seen as how he won in the Fall.

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Sorry Marco Rubio, but I’d take Charlie Crist’s cash-on-hand and last three months over your $4.5 mil

Right now, there are two parlor games dominating the political discussions in the salons of DC, Adams Street in Tallahassee and Datz Deli in Tampa:

1. Depending on whether you support Charlie Crist or Marco Rubio, which Democrat, Jeff Greene or Kendrick Meek do you want to join the general election triumvirate?

2. Who had a better Spring: Marco Rubio and his record setting $4.5 million or Charlie Crist and his workmanlike fundraising, impressive cash-on-hand and his unending earned media?

Answering the first question is almost as difficult to explain as the plot to Inception because the answer really depends on the perspective of who is asking?  Does Crist want Meek, who has never polled above 25% in a three-way survey, in the general, thereby leaving open much of the Democratic vote?  Or does Crist want to face Greene, because without Meek, Crist can win much of the African-American vote, even if Greene’s checkbook is the biggest wildcard of the race.

And so on.

So let’s focus on the second question: who had the kind of Spring that will matter in the Fall? Crist or Rubio?

Rubio’s supporters will tell you that they are thrilled, hell downright ecstatic, with the Republican’s fundraising efforts, that Marco will, with his own campaign’s money and the support of the national party, be able to pick off enough of Crist’s remaining GOP supporters that Rubio will get to 37%-39% in the polls.  Rubio’s proponents will also tell you that they are able to bide their time until September and October, while Crist will have to work overtime to build a statewide organization to mobilize elusive independent voters.

As impressive as raising $4.5 million may be, I still think I’d rather be in Crist’s shoes at this point?  His fundraising effort during the last quarter was exactly what it was suppose to be: less than Rubio”s but more than Meek’s.  And if Michelle Todd and Co. can spin fast enough that the story should be about how much money each candidate has left on hand, than all the better for Crist.

But the real value for Crist has been the earned media he has received during the last three months.  Crist has been omnipresent, whether it be with his vetoes of SB6 or HB 1143 or the Governor’s leadership over the oil spill crisis.

Simply put, how much would this omnipresence cost if Crist had had to pay for this kind of coverage he has received during the Spring and early Summer: $10 million? $20 million?  More?  How many times has Crist appeared on some local TV station’s newcast?  Dozens of times?  Hundreds? More?

Crist has been on television so much, you’ll forgive me if I mistook him for an NBA free agent.

Believe it or not, time, or the lack thereof, is becoming Marco Rubio’s greatest enemy.  If Crist can keep the earned media coming through Labor Day, then the $8 or $9 million he will still have left on hand may be enough to cover him through November. Rubio’s best shot would be to launch an elaborate offensive against Crist now, forcing him to spend down some of his cash reserves.  Rubio needs to engage in some asymmetrical, counter-intuitive attacks on Crist.  More to the point, Rubio needs to portray that hunger and enthusiasm we saw late last year.

Otherwise, Crist’s strong efforts during the Spring and Summer will be seen as how he won in the Fall.

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