Kendrick Meek Archives - Page 4 of 32 - SaintPetersBlog

Prominent elected Broward Democrats helping Charlie Crist raise money

Two elected Broward Democrats – Property Appraiser Lori Parrish and state Rep. Ari Porth – are the main hosts of a fundraiser next week for Republican-turned-no party Senate candidate Charlie Crist.

By helping the governor raise money, they’re spurning their own party’s leading candidates, U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek of Miami and Palm Beach billionaire Jeff Greene.

Both Democrats praised the governor Friday, and said their fundraising help comes with endorsements of Crist, who will face the winner of the Aug. 24 Democratic primary and Republican Marco Rubio in the November general election.

“I’m a good Democrat. However, I also do not want to see somebody as right wing as Mr. Rubio jeopardize my rights and other peoples’ rights by getting elected. I guess that means I’m a Democrat and a realist,” Parrish said. “I’m a life-long Democrat. The day I turned 21 years old I walked into the Supervisor of Elections Office in Hollywood and registered as a Democrat ….. There are more issues at stake here than party.”

She said she didn’t expect any political repercussions for her or for Porth. “Ari and I aren’t doing anything but saying publicly what everybody else is talking about,” Parrish said. Continue reading here.

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WSJ: The struggles of an Obama loyalist, Kendrick Meek, in the Florida Senate race.

From the Wall Street Journal: Until now the best roles in Florida’s Senate election drama were taken by Republicans. The tea party upstart, Marco Rubio, forced Gov. Charlie Crist to drop his lagging primary bid and take his chances as an independent. But now the Democratic script turns out to be as unpredictably wacky.

Enter Kendrick Meek, stage left. A young and popular African-American congressman from Miami, the former state trooper got into this campaign before anyone else and expected a smooth ride to the Democratic nomination. The subsequent GOP civil war seemed to give him a leg up.

The downside of running as the establishment candidate eventually became clear. He can’t run away from his association with the Obama agenda, and he can’t escape whispers that the White House might hedge its bets and tacitly back Mr. Crist. Two months before the Aug. 24 primary, Mr. Meek doesn’t have traction in the polls, which show a double-digit gap against Mr. Rubio and Mr. Crist. And seven weeks ago the proverbial man from nowhere—billionaire investor Jeff Greene—decided to challenge Mr. Meek for the Democratic nomination.

Continue reading here.

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Hell must have frozen over: Charlie Crist misses his own fundraiser

The Fort Myers News-Press is reporting that hell has frozen over.  It must have because Charlie Crist actually missed his own fundraiser and we know something like that is not going to happen unless the apocalypse is upon us.

Still in Pensacola focusing on the oil washing up on the shores of Florida’s Panhandle, Charlie Crist wasn’t able to make it to his own fundraiser in south Fort Myers on Sunday night.

Instead, he phoned in and spoke to about 40 supporters via speakerphone, said organizer Liz Kagan.

“He felt like he really needed to be up there (in Pensacola),” Kagan said. “He had a job to do. We all understood.”

The donors contributed at least $25,000 toward Crist’s independent U.S. Senate campaign, she said. The event was held at the home of Republican supporters Wayne and Rachelle Isaacson.

In the latest figures released, Crist has raised about $10.2 million, putting him ahead of Republican Marco Rubio, who reported just over $7 million; and Democrat Kendrick Meek, with $5.7 million.

Organizers had originally expected about 100 people to show up for Sunday’s event, but Crist’s absence affected the turnout.

Lee County Commissioner Frank Mann, for instance, said he planned to attend, but decided not to when he got word Crist would be in Pensacola.

“I’ll catch him next time,” Mann said.

Those in attendance included Fort Myers Mayor Randy Henderson and his wife.

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The latest twisted logic for Florida Democrats: Vote for Kendrick Meek, so Jeff Greene doesn’t win, so Crist can beat Marco Rubio

At some point, I am going to get really confused.

Having spoken with several prominent activists, fundraisers and elected officials (including one major statewide candidate who predicts Jeff Greene will beat Kendrick Meek), a circular logic is developing among the Democratic establishment.

It’s all based on the recent polling data showing a) Charlie Crist leading Marco Rubio by 11 points; b) Jeff Greene and Kendrick Meek being in a statistical dead-heat for the Democratic nomination; and c) Charlie Crist leading both Rubio and either Greene or Meek because he is running so strong among moderate Democrats.

As long as the polling data remains like that, the new thinking among some Democrats — a line of thinking which is gaining traction among many consultants and strategists) is that Democrats should vote for Kendrick Meek in the primary in order to keep Jeff Greene from winning.  With Meek in the general, instead of Greene, so the logic goes, Charlie Crist has a better shot of beating Marco Rubio.

Mind you, Marco Rubio’s candidacy would not be where it is if it weren’t for how weak a candidate Kendrick Meek is.  Blasphemy, you say?  You may agree that Rubio’s fortunes rose in direct inverse proportion to Charlie Crist’s, but what does Rubio’s rise have to do with Meek’s weaknesses.

Well, put it this way, if Dan Gelber had remained in the U.S. Senate race, could Charlie Crist really have run as an Independent?  Would Crist be polling at 42% of the vote with Gelber in the mix?  Would the GOP have embraced Rubio had they had to worry about running against Gelber, as opposed to Meek, in the fall?  More than one Rubio Republican has told me that Meek’s presence allowed conservatives to roll the dice on Rubio, thinking that if Rubio beat Crist in the GOP primary, he’d easily beat Meek in the general.

But back to the beginning of the Democrats’ vicious circle…

There is considerable concern among moderate Democrats and Independents that if Jeff Greene is to win the Democratic nomination, Greene, who would likely spend tens of millions of dollars, will actually do better against Crist and Rubio than Meek would.  Some argue that Greene would do better with I-4 and North Florida Democrats (read: white voters) than Meek, siphoning votes away from Crist, thereby giving the election to Rubio.

Game it out:

Right now, the current polling has Crist at 42%, Rubio at 31% and Meek at 14%.  That’s a pretty nice cushion for Crist.  Even if he gets none of the remaining undecided voters, so long as they split evenly among Rubio and Meek, Crist wins.

But if Greene gets the nomination and spends the $45 million-$50 million my sources say he has budgeted for a general election run, I think he’d actually outperform Meek by five or six points, all of which come at the expense of Crist.

My prediction is that the first post-primary poll would show the race Crist 37%, Rubio at 32% and Greene at 20%.  And every point from there that Greene gains, he takes away from Crist, who will not have the money to respond to Rubio’s barrage.  Nor will Crist have any vetoes left to build support around, and the oil spill — God willing — will be off the front pages.

That’s why during the hundreds of conversations that took place across the state yesterday when Democrats and liberals came out for Hands Across the Sand, there was considerable discussion about this scenario:

Vote for Kendrick Meek

so that

Jeff Greene doesn’t win

so that

Democrats can vote for Charlie Crist

so that

Crist can beat Rubio.

At least that’s what the plan is today…

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The latest twisted logic for Florida Democrats: Vote for Kendrick Meek, so Jeff Greene doesn’t win, so Charlie Crist can beat Marco Rubio

At some point, I am going to get really confused.

Having spoke with several prominent activists, fundraisers and elected officials (including one major statewide candidate who predicts Jeff Greene will beat Kendrick Meek), a circular logic is developing among the Democratic establishment.

It’s all based on the recent polling data showing a) Charlie Crist leading Marco Rubio by eleven points; b) Jeff Greene and Kendrick Meek being in a statistical dead-head for the Democratic nomination; and c) Charlie Crist leading both Rubio and either Greene or Meek because he is running so strong among moderate Democrats.

As long as the polling data remains like that, the new thinking among some Democrats — a line of thinking which is gaining traction among many consultants and strategists) is that Democrats should vote for Kendrick Meek in the primary in order to keep Jeff Greene from winning.  With Meek in the general, instead of Greene, so the logic goes, Charlie Crist has a better shot of beating Marco Rubio.

Mind you, Marco Rubio’s candidacy would not be where it is if it weren’t for how weak a candidate Kendrick Meek is.  Blasphemy, you say?  You may agree that Rubio’s fortunes rose in direct inverse proportion to Charlie Crist’s, but what does Rubio’s rise have to do with Meek’s weaknesses?

Well, put it this way, if Dan Gelber had remained in the U.S. Senate race, could Charlie Crist really have run as an Independent?  Would Crist be polling at 42% of the vote with Gelber in the mix?  Would the GOP have embraced Rubio had they had to worry about running against Gelber, as opposed to Meek, in the fall. More than one Rubio Republican has told me that Meek’s presence allowed conservatives to roll the dice on Rubio, thinking that if Rubio beat Crist in the GOP primary, he’d easily beat Meek in the general.

But back to the beginning of the Democrats’ vicious circle…

There is considerable concern among moderate Democrats and Independents that if Jeff Greene is to win the Democratic nomination, Greene, who would likely spend tens of millions of dollars, will actually do better against Crist and Rubio than Meek would.  Some argue that Greene would do better with I-4 and North Florida Democrats (read: white voters) than Meek, siphoning votes away from Crist, thereby giving the election to Rubio.

Game it out:

Right now, the current polling has Crist at 42%, Rubio at 31% and Meek at 14%.  That’s a pretty nice cushion for Crist.  Even if he gets none of the remaining undecided voters, so long as they split evenly among Rubio and Meek, Crist wins.

But if Greene gets the nomination and spends the $45 million-$50 million, my sources say he has budgeted for a general election run, I think he’d actually outperform Meek by five or six points, all of which come at the expense of Crist.

My prediction is that the first post-primary poll would show the race Crist 37%, Rubio at 32% and Greene at 20%.  And every point from there that Greene gains, he takes away from Crist, who will not have the money to respond to Rubio’s barrage.  Nor will Crist have any vetoes left to build support around, and the oil spill — God willing — will be off the front pages.

That’s why during the hundreds of conversations that took place across the state yesterday when Democrats and liberals came out for Hands Across the Sand, there was considerable discussion about this scenario:

Vote for Kendrick Meek

so that

Jeff Greene doesn’t win

so that

Democrats can vote for Charlie Crist

so that

Crist can beat Rubio.

At least that’s what the plan is today…

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Photos of Kendrick Meek, Dave Aronberg, Dan Gelber and lots of other politicians at Hands Across the Sand

I’ve been snagging as many photos as I can of Florida and Tampa Bay politicians participating in either Hands Across the Sand or St. Pete Pride:

State Senator Dan Gelber and State Representative Janet Long at Hands Across the Sand – St. Pete

Congressman Kendrick Meek at Hands Across the Sand – Tampa.

State Rep. Rick Kriseman at Hands Across the Sand – St. Pete.

State Rep. Janet Cruz at Hands Across the Sand – Tampa.

Pinellas County Commissioners Ken Welch and Calvin Harris at Hands Across the Sand – St. Pete

State Senator Dave Aronberg at the St. Pete Pride Parade.

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5 things I think about today’s St. Petersburg Times

As I have said many times before, it is not always what’s reported that’s important, it’s also what’s not reported that really matters.

Case in point is Jeff Greene.  He should be topic number one for the political reporters at the Times.  In fact, Adam Smith and Co. should be writing this extended profile about Greene, not the Washington Post. But it’s almost as if Greene is getting, if not a pass, a chance to truly compete against Kendrick Meek.

The Times could have strangled Greene’s candidacy in its infancy.  But the newspaper does not seem to want to clear the field for Meek in the same way it has for other candidates.  The editorials have been balanced, the reporting fair, if not slightly pro-Greene, if only because a horse race sells more newspapers.

Or maybe the writers at the Times, even the most liberal, are ticked off at Meek for forcing Dan Gelber out of the race.  Or they are not particularly impressed with Meek’s efforts in the Tampa Bay area.  Whatever the reasons are, Greene certainly is getting a better shake from the newspaper than, say, Rick Scott.

Speaking of Rick Scott, who gets the headline treatment in today’s Sunday edition, does anyone else starting to get the feeling that he’s a prick? That he’s just a bald guy with a lot of money who screwed over a lot of people and only in a brain-dead state like Florida can a guy like him buy his way into office.  I mean, Jon Corzine was a balding, rich, former executive, just like Scott, but he never came off like a prick.  At least that’s my take from this profile.

I’m sorry, Mr. Troxler, but a profile of libertarian gubernatorial candidate Alex Snitker is a waste of time. We know how much you sympathize with libertarian positions.  In fact, in the past, you’ve seemed oddly proud of holding some of their contradictory positions, as if being quirky should be a prerequisite for a newspaper columnist and not just a sitcom actor.

You know who else wasted my time this morning?  Well, it’s Sunday, so I must be talking about Sandra Gadsden, who continues to make a career of stating the obvious…and the obviously wrong.  Take this sequence, for example.  Gadsden writes:

“Many developers, business owners and artists in this town would scoff at the claim of some Rays supprters that the team is a shot in the arm for local business.  Ferg’s Sports Bar is an exception.”

Because artists naturally understand what is good for local business.  Isn’t being an artist about not understanding what business is all about? Show me an artist in St. Pete who is turning a profit, without living off the teet of someone else, and I’ll buy you a beer at Ferg’s.

Gadsden has such a prime platform, yet is so horribly uninformed about how this city really functions.  I just can’t wait for her to launch her program of hyper-local cub reporters…

There are so many tidbits in today’s paper worth commenting about, like why is there always some ol’ twat that finds it necessary to write a letter to the editor about noise issues?  I hate excessive noise, especially the cars that rattle from a trunk’s load of bassed out speakers, but the last thing I am going to do about them is write a letter to the Times complaining, as this geriatric George Mazzei does today, about “those noisy, obnoxious trail bikes that rule Fourth Street N and the 54th Avenue Area.”  Trail bikes???

How about the feature about the struggles about the Grayl’s Hotel?  That hotel sucked.  If it wasn’t on Beach Drive it wouldn’t do any business.  And how stupid was the idea of a $3,000 per person “Prohibition Club?” Who the hell is gonna pay 3K to eat bad food with weird people?  Sell the damn hotel to people who know what they are doing, not people who run a pool supply company who lucked into a nice location.

Also, be sure to check out the profiles of some of the School Board candidates, here, here and here.

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5 things I think about today’s St. Petersburg Times

As I have said many times before, it is not always what’s reported that’s important, it’s also what’s not reported that really matters.

Case in point is Jeff Greene.  He should be topic number one for the political reporters at the Times.  In fact, Adam Smith and Co. should be writing this extended profile about Greene, not the Washington Post. But it’s almost as if Greene is getting, if not a pass, a chance to truly compete against Kendrick Meek.

The Times could have strangled Greene’s candidacy in its infancy.  But the newspaper does not seem to want to clear the field for Meek in the same way it has for other candidates.  The editorials have been balanced, the reporting fair, if not slightly pro-Greene, if only because a horse race sells more newspapers.

Or maybe the writers at the Times, even the most liberal, are ticked off at Meek for forcing Dan Gelber out of the race.  Or they are not particularly impressed with Meek’s efforts in the Tampa Bay area.  Whatever the reasons are, Greene certainly is getting a better shake from the newspaper than, say, Rick Scott.

Speaking of Rick Scott, who gets the headline treatment in today’s Sunday edition, does anyone else starting to get the feeling that he’s a prick? That he’s just a bald guy with a lot of money who screwed over a lot of people and only in a brain-dead state like Florida can a guy like him buy his way into office.  I mean, Jon Corzine was a balding, rich, former executive, just like Scott, but he never came off like a prick.  At least that’s my take from this profile.

I’m sorry, Mr. Troxler, but a profile of libertarian gubernatorial candidate Alex Snitker is a waste of time.  We know how much you sympathize with libertarian positions.  In fact, in the past, you’ve seemed oddly proud of holding some of their contradictory positions, as if being quirky should be a pre-requisite for a newspaper columnist and not just a sitcom actor.

You know who else wasted my time this morning?  Well, it’s Sunday, so I must be talking about Sandra Gadsden, who continues to make a career of stating the obvious…and the obviously wrong.  Take this sequence for example.  Gadsden writes:

“Many developers, business owners and artists in this town would scff at the claim of some Rays supprters that the team is a shot in the arm for local business.  Ferg’s Sports Bar is an exception.”

Because artists naturally understand what is good for local business.  Isn’t being an artist about not understanding what business is all about. Show me an artist in St. Pete who is turning a profit, without living off the teet of someone else, and I’ll buy you a beer at Ferg’s.

Gadsden has such a prime platform, yet is so horribly uninformed about how this city really functions.  I just can’t wait for her to launch her program of hyper-local cub reporters…

There are so many tidbits in today’s paper worth commenting about, like why is there always some ol’ twat that finds it necessary to write a letter to the editor about noise issues?  I hate excessive noise, especially the cars that rattle from a trunk’s load of bassed out speakers, but the last thing I am going to do about them is write a letter to the Times complaining, as this geriatric George Mazzei does today, about “those noisy, obnoxious trail bikes that rule Fourth Street N and the 54th Avenue Area.”  Trail bikes???

How about the feature about the struggles about the Grayl’s Hotel?  That hotel sucked.  If it wasn’t on Beach Drive it wouldn’t do any business.  And how stupid was the idea of a $3,000 per person “Prohibition Club?” Who the hell is gonna pay 3K to eat bad food with weird people.  Sell the damn hotel to people who know what they are doing, not people who run a pool supply company who lucked into a nice location.

Also, be sure to check out the profiles of some of the School Board candidates, here, here and here.

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No, Alex Sink should not pick an LG right now

As far as test balloons go, the one Alex Sink’s campaign floated about her naming a lieutenant governor candidate earlier than when required went over like a wounded duck — despite the part about her asking former gubernatorial candidate Rod Smith to join her on the ticket.

Unfortunately, many of the people advising Sink to make an early choice “to cover twice the ground” are many of the same Democrats who have lost statewide election after statewide election.  In fact, if I were Sink I’d do the exact opposite of what is suggested by the Democratic establishment.

“You get two for the price of one – two people raising money, two people giving speeches and contacting voters,” said Democratic strategist Screven Watson.

I’m not so sure we have one Democrat giving speeches and contacting voters.

No disrespect to Rep. Ron Saunders or Screven Watson, who are two of the few smart Democrats in the state party, but recommending that Sink pick an LG early is not only bad advice, it’s also a damning criticism of the state of Sink’s campaign.

After all, what is it say about Sink that much of the Democratic establishment wants to see her name an LG candidate to inject some vitality into her campaign?  And what does it say when that injection of vitality is embodied by Rod Smith, the guy who lost to Jim Davis?

Unfortunately, Bill March’s article about Sink possibly naming an LG has jump-started the parlor game that is “Who should Sink select?”

My colleague Ben Kirby recommends Keith Fitzgerald for the job. I previously recommended Darryl Rouson. Other names mentioned by party activists and supporters as possible picks were former state Rep. Jack Seiler, currently mayor of Fort Lauderdale; Panama City Mayor Scott Clemons; and former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz.

But what I really believe is that Sink should take her time and see what happens on August 24.  Either Dan Gelber or Dave Aronberg will be available.  Then there’s also the consideration about what Sink should do if Kendrick Meek loses to Jeff Greene.  If that happens, Sink may have to select an African-American to shore up support in that community.

The point is that Sink, finally gaining her voice as a statewide leader in the face of the oil spill crisis and with her two Republican opponents going medieval on each other, actually has time on her side.

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President Clinton asking for money for Kendrick Meek

The Senate campaign of Rep. Kendrick Meek (D-Fla.) sent out a fundraising appeal via email Friday from one powerful Democratic surrogate: former President Bill Clinton.

In the email, Clinton appeals to donors to help Meek meet his $100,000 fundraising goal for the quarter, which ends June 30.

From the email:

“Kendrick has spent the last two decades faithfully serving the people of Florida, staying true to his core beliefs and giving everything he has to improving the lives of others. Now he’s running against multiple opponents for the U.S. Senate.

“I know a little something about three-candidate races. I believe that Kendrick Meek is the best candidate, and that he’s got a real shot at winning, but only if he gets our help now.”

Meek, who is in a competitive Democratic primary against self-funder Jeff Greene, is in need of a boost. In a hypothetical three-way race with Independent Charlie Crist and Republican Marco Rubio, Meek is polling  third. And some state and national Democrats have started warming to Crist’s independent bid.

Meek supported Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.

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