Patrick Murphy Archives - Page 4 of 52 - SaintPetersBlog

Randy Perkins sinks another $1M into CD 18 race, 2nd since Oct. 20

Democratic CD 18 candidate Randy Perkins put another $1 million of his own money into his campaign last week, according to a new notice filed with the Federal Election Commission.

Perkins’ Oct. 27 contribution follows a separate $1 million cash infusion he made Oct. 20, and he has now put nearly $8 million of his own money into his campaign since filing for the seat.

Through Oct. 19, Perkins had only raised about $685,000 through individual contributions.

Brian Mast, Perkins’ Republican opponent in the race to take over for exiting U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, also filed a trio of new notices with the FEC ahead of the weekend, showing about $95,000 in new contributions.

Most of Mast’s contributions came in from individuals, though he did get a little help from former Florida U.S. Sen. George LeMieux as well as U.S. Reps. David McKinley of West Virginia and Andy Harris of Maryland.

Due to self-funding, Perkins holds a strong lead in total fundraising and had about $233,000 on hand Oct. 19. Mast, through the same date, had raised about $2.3 million and had about $400,000 of that money on hand.

CD 18 covers the whole of St. Lucie and Martin counties as well as part of northern Palm Beach County and has a near-even voter registration split between Republicans and Democrats.

The district voted narrowly for Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney four years ago.

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New Senate Leadership Fund ad blasts Patrick Murphy for lying about, well, everything

A new ad from the Senate Leadership Fund blasts U.S. Senate hopeful Patrick Murphy with a litany of what they say are his sins – lying, embellishing and not doing much in Congress.

The criticisms have been leveled before by Murphy’s detractors and his opponent Marco Rubio – the ad says Murphy lied about everything from his business record to his education.

“He lied about his education,” the ad states. “Murphy’s claims of business experience, outright false. Why did he pad his resume? He doesn’t have a record. He was ranked one of America’s least effective congressmen. In a do nothing congress, Murphy’s at the bottom of the barrel.”

The ad says it’s “no wonder” Murphy “misleads, exaggerates and outright lies” about all of those things.

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Barack Obama: ‘This is the moment where America has to take a stand’

At the University of Central Florida Friday night, a triumphant-sounding Barack Obama made a bold declaration to voters — in this election, no less than the direction of America was at stake.

The president, no doubt buoyed by resurgent popularity and comforted by the realization that the end is near, proclaimed fellow Democrat Hillary Clinton a worthy bearer of his progressive legacy.

“This is the moment where America has to take a stand and decide what it is what we believe in and who we are,” Obama told 9,000 people inside the CFE Arena, and a reported 7,000 more outside.

“And we’re not going to believe in fear. Instead, we’re going to lift up hope. If you want hope instead of fear, then you will elect Hillary Clinton as president of the United States!”

That stand, in Obama’s words, is for a more progressive America.

In his 42-minute speech, Obama acknowledged he didn’t accomplish everything he wanted, and that he made some mistakes.

But he did boast a list of accomplishments: 20 million more people on health insurance, reducing dependence on foreign oil, recognizing global warming and fighting to reduce carbon emissions. He also promoted his expansion of Civil Rights, preservation of abortion rights, the fight for women’s rights, reduced unemployment, increased wages, and the creation of a country where “You can marry the person you love.”

“Across the board, by almost every measure,” he said, “we are significantly better off now than we were eight years ago.”

“All the progress we’ve made over the last eight years goes out the window if we don’t win this election,” he added.

Obama seldom mentioned Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump‘s name — calling him “that other guy” — but repeatedly compared him with Clinton, characterizing the Democratic candidate as prepared and optimistic, while Trump was unprepared and fear mongering.

At one point, Obama praised Clinton as a meticulous hard-worker, who knows issues in depth, accusing Trump of “just making stuff up.”

“You don’t want at the slacker as your president,” he said. “You want somebody that knows what they’re talking about.”

Using his speech in front of a college student-dominated crowd, Obama pushed for the election of Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy over Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio.

Obama criticized Rubio for taking many of the conservative stands that he said would end many of his progressive initiatives, including a vote to defund Planned Parenthood, opposing abortion, walking away from comprehensive immigration reform and “the Latino community;” and not believing in climate change.

That led the crowd, which often cheered Obama with defining, high screams — as if at a 1964 Beatles concert — to chant, “Patrick, Patrick, Patrick.”

But the chant never gained momentum and died off pretty quickly.

When Obama took a brief swipe at Trump’s comments about and alleged behavior toward women, a man in the back of the arena climbed over the railing of the upper deck, positioned himself on folded-back risers, and began shouting: “Bill Clinton is a rapist!”

It went on for several minutes before an Orange County deputy sheriff managed to talk him back over the railing and escorted him out.

Obama described an optimistic and diverse America, saying, “That’s the America I love.

“That’s why through all the ups and downs I haven’t been worried about this country,” he continued.

“Because, I’ve seen the heart and soul of the American people, and it is good, and it is decent, and it is strong, and it is resilient, and there is only one candidate in this race who I believe can continue the progress that we’ve made, and I know that because she’s been working all her life to make America better. And that’s the next president of the United States, Hillary Clinton.”

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American Federation of Teachers relaunches ad targeting Marco Rubio

The American Federation of Teachers is relaunching an ad campaign opposing Marco Rubio.

The organization announced Friday it was relaunching a campaign that claims Rubio “flip-flopped from writing legislation to provide relief to Puerto Rico to siding with hedge funds.”

“Time and time again, Marco Rubio has revealed where his allegiance lies. Rubio flip-flopped from writing legislation to provide relief for Puerto Rico, to siding with hedge funds demanding that Puerto Rico make deeper cuts in education and impose regressive taxes in order to pay of distressed debt,” said Michelle Ringuette, head of the organization’s political program. “As a result, 200 schools closed and millions of dollars were cut from education. During a time when Puerto Rico and Rubio’s constituents needed him in the face of a humanitarian crisis, Rubio came out on the side of pernicious hedge funds.”

The five-figure ad campaign will consist of one English-language statewide campaign ad. The organization ran the ad for two weeks earlier in the election cycle, according to the American Federation of Teachers.

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Miami GOP rainmaker Mike Fernandez endorses Patrick Murphy, gives $100K

Mike Fernandez is backing Democrat Patrick Murphy in his race against Republican Marco Rubio for the U.S. Senate.

Fernandez, the Miami billionaire who is one of the nation’s largest GOP funders, announced his support of Murphy to the Miami Herald Friday morning. He told reporters the main reason he’s voting for Murphy is the Jupiter Democrat’s support for lifting the Cuba embargo.

As well as voting for Murphy, the Herald also reports Fernandez has given $100,000 to a pro-Murphy super PAC.

Fernandez has been a longtime Republican fundraiser — giving more than $3 million this cycle to a super PAC supporting Jeb Bush’s presidential run — and briefly served as finance chair for Gov. Rick Scott‘s 2014 re-election bid.

However, in September Fernandez announced he was formally endorsing Hillary Clinton for president.

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Marco Rubio rallies the faithful during Naples stop

Sen. Marco Rubio used a stop in deep-red Collier County to gin up supporters and encourage Floridians to get out and vote.

The Miami Republican held a get-out-the vote rally in Naples on Thursday. The campaign stop came just one day after the second and final U.S. Senate debate, and Rubio used the stop to hammer Rep. Patrick Murphy over his limited congressional accomplishments.

“I’m running against someone who has been in Congress for four years; he’s not a theory, he’s not a businessman that’s coming in from the outside,” he told a crowd of about 200 people at 7th Avenue Social in downtown Naples, one block from a popular early voting location. “He’s been in Congress for four years, and yet he’s never had a bill that he wrote that has been passed into law.”

Rubio resorted to familiar attacks, pointing to claims Murphy padded his resume. The claims have been a frequent point of contention during the election, and have been at the center of several attack ads.

He criticized Murphy, honing in on comments the Treasure Coast Democrat made during the debate Wednesday.

“(He said) ‘when I got to Congress I started a bipartisan group. So I just passed all these laws, I’m banned from going to Nicaragua, I’m banned from going to Venezuela … and he’s bragging about starting a club,” said Rubio. “We cannot afford a U.S. senator from one of the most important states in the country that can’t get things done on behalf of you.”

The rally was meant to energize supporters in a deep red county. There are 199,889 registered voters in Collier County, 51 percent of whom are registered Republicans.

He hoped to tap back into that support network Thursday, encouraging the crowd to “vote early.”

“Vote once, and vote right,” he said, after joking he wanted to tell supporters to vote early and often. “We’ll win; we’ll turn this country around. We’re going to leave our children as the freest and most prosperous Americans that ever lived, and Florida as most prosperous state in America.”

According to the Division of Elections, as of Thursday more than 2.4 million had already cast their ballots.

“We’re not just choosing between political parties and ideologies, we’re choosing between two very different destinies: An America greater and ever more prosperous than before, or a once-great nation in decline,” said Rubio. “That is the crossroads with which we are at, and we must make a choice right now and it begins in this election.”

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Marco Rubio: ‘I don’t have any plan, any intention, any desire to run for office in 2020’

Marco Rubio sidestepped questions about Donald Trump, saying voters “will have to make their own decisions” about the Republican nominee.

“I think every race has to stand on its own; I’ve said that from the beginning,” said Rubio, following a campaign stop in Naples on Thursday. “If he wins, that doesn’t mean I win. If he loses, that doesn’t mean I lose. I think every candidate is going to have to stand on their own merits and their own ideas.”

The Miami Republican has been criticized in recent weeks for his continued support of Trump. Rep. Patrick Murphy continually brought up the New York businessman during a televised debate Wednesday, and has been hammering Rubio over his decision to back him.

But Rubio said he has “strong disagreements” with both candidates, and backs Trump because he doesn’t “want Hillary Clinton to be president.”

“People look at this (race) and say these are not ideal choices,” said Rubio. “But that’s one of the reasons I ran for Senate, because I know no matter who wins, we’re going to have to have a strong Senate.”

Rubio announced he was running for re-election just days before the qualifying deadline. His decision came after he repeatedly said he would not run for re-election after mounting a failed presidential bid.

Whether Rubio would run for president again in 2020 has been a question from opponents and on the campaign trail. During the first U.S. Senate debate, he said he planned to serve a full six-year term. He reiterated that Thursday, telling reporters he doesn’t plan to run in 2020.

“If I wanted to run for president, I wouldn’t have run for Senate. This is the toughest swing state in the country, and I got in at the very last minute after running a presidential race, so I’m focused on serving in the Senate,” said Rubio. “I don’t have any plan, any intention, any desire to run for any other office in 2020. I look forward to being in the Senate for six years and achieving a lot on behalf of our state.”

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Everglades Trust endorses Bob Buesing in the SD 18 race

Attorney and Senate District 18 Democratic candidate Bob Buesing boasts on the campaign trail he is a proud signer of the Now Or Neverglades Declaration, so it’s not exactly a surprise he is receiving the endorsement of the Everglades Trust.

Buesing was one of 18 candidates running in local, state, and federal races in Florida next month who received the backing of the Trust Thursday, the first time in their 22-year history the group is making endorsements.

“After years of inaction from political leaders, we decided it’s Now Or Neverglades,” said Everglades Trust Executive Director Kimberly Mitchell. “For the first time, the Trust is publicly endorsing candidates who are willing to put the future of America’s Everglades and the source of drinking water for eight million people ahead of Big Sugar’s political influence and interests.”

To earn the Trust’s endorsement, candidates needed to publicly support the Now Or Neverglades Declaration, including its core premise that “increased storage, treatment and conveyance of water south of Lake Okeechobee is essential to stop the damaging discharges to the coastal estuaries and to restore the flow of clean, fresh water to Everglades National Park, Florida Bay, and the Florida Keys.”

The declaration also includes supporting using Amendment 1 and other funds to identify and secure land south the lake without delay.

“With leadership from Senate President-designate Joe Negron and others, the upcoming legislative session will bring about meaningful change to save Florida’s Everglades and water supply,” said Mitchell. “We believe it is critical that elected officials with political will are recognized and supported in the electoral process, as well as the upcoming legislative session.”

Negron was one of five Republicans who earned backing from the Everglades Trust. In addition, the foundation is backing nine Democrats (including Patrick Murphy for Senate) and four non-party-affiliated candidates (including three who are running for the Palm Beach County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Negron announced in August he was putting forth a plan to buy 60,000 acres of sugar land south of Lake Okeechobee to build a reservoir to hold 120 billion gallons of lake water — providing a relief valve for what’s discharged east to the St. Lucie River and west to the Caloosahatchee River. It would cost $2.4 billion in all for purchase of the land and construction. Proceeds would come from Amendment 1, the 2014 constitutional amendment approved by voters in 2014.

The initiative required that 33 percent of the proceeds from an existing real-estate tax, known as documentary stamps, go for land and water maintenance and acquisition across Florida. A coalition of environmentalists went to court last year against the Legislature, contending more than $200 million had been diverted from conservation purposes to agency staffing and operational expenses.

A judge in Leon County removed part of a lawsuit last December.

Buesing is running against Republican Dana Young in the SD 18 race next month. Independents Joe Redner and Sheldon Upthegrove are also on the ballot.

Here’s the entire list of the endorsed candidates.

For United States Senate

  • Patrick Murphy (D) — on the ballot in all Florida counties

For United States Congress

  • Brian Mast (R) District 18 — on the ballot in St. Lucie, Martin, and parts of Palm Beach County

For Florida State Senate

  • Joe Negron (R) District 25 — on the ballot in parts of St. Lucie, Martin and Palm Beach counties

  • Bob Buesing (D) District 18 — on the ballot in parts of Hillsborough County

  • Anitere Flores (R) District 39 —on the ballot in Monroe and parts of Miami-Dade counties

  • Linda Stewart (D) District 13 — on the ballot in parts of Orange County

  • Dean Asher (R) District 13 — on the ballot in parts of Orange County

For Florida House of Representatives

  • Thad Altman (R) District 52 — on the ballot in parts of Brevard County

  • Ivette Gonzalez Petkovich (D) District 103 — on the ballot in parts of Miami-Dade and Broward

  • Ken Keechl (D) District 93 — on the ballot in parts of Broward County

  • Robert Simeone (D) District 85 — on the ballot in parts of Palm Beach County

  • Carlos Guillermo Smith (D) District 49 — on the ballot in parts of Orange County

  • John Scott (D) District 79 — on the ballot in parts of Lee County

  • Charles Messina (NPA) District 76 — on the ballot in parts of Lee County

For Palm Beach County Commission

  • Dave Kerner (D) — Palm Beach County Commission Dist. 3

For Palm Beach County Soil and Water Conservation District

  • Daniel Sohn (Group 2) — on the ballot throughout Palm Beach County

  • Patricia Edmonson (Group 3) — on the ballot throughout Palm Beach County

  • Rob Long (Group 4) — on the ballot throughout Palm Beach County

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Marco Rubio campaign reports raising $2.85M

Sen. Marco Rubio raised nearly $3 million ahead of the election, his campaign announced this week.

The campaign announced Thursday that Rubio raised $2.85 million in 19 days. According to the campaign, $1.74 million of that went directly to the campaign, while 1.1 million went to the “Rubio Victory Committee.”

According to the most recent campaign finance report filed with the Federal Election Commission, Rubio raised more than $11.1 million through Sept. 30. Reports show he had $5.5 million cash-on-hand at the end of September.

The campaign announced its fundraising totals shortly after the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald reported Rep. Patrick Murphy loaned his campaign $1 million in October to pay for TV time in the final weeks of the election.

Federal campaign finance records show Murphy raised $13 million through Sept. 30. He reported having nearly $2.8 million cash-on-hand at the end of the month.

Campaigns are required to file pre-general election campaign reports by Thursday. Neither campaign’s report was immediately available Thursday afternoon.

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Broward ballot battle over Amendment 2 makes Norm Kent a Democratic hero

norm-kent-2Norm Kent — criminal defense attorney in Broward County, publisher of the South Florida Gay News, and past chairman of NORML — may be the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton, Patrick Murphy and Democrats throughout Broward.

At noon Thursday, Judge Lisa Phillips will hear Kent’s suit against Broward Supervisor of Elections, and bastion of governmental incompetence, Brenda Snipes, brought on behalf of two registered voters in the county.

At issue is the widely reported absence of Amendment 2, “Use of Marijuana for Debilitating Medical Conditions,” from the vote-by-mail ballots of certain voters, and its absence from at least one early vote ballot.

Now you might be thinking, “what possible good for Democrats could come from election problems in the largest Democratic county in Florida?”

If Kent can successfully convince the court of his case’s merits, the answer is “lots.”

First, regardless of what happens today, my guess is that the most recent instances of nincompoopism emanating from Snipes’ office have ALREADY been a boon to Democrats’ prospects.

Consider this scenario: you’re an absentee voter, and like many such voters, your ballot has been sitting in your mail pile by the front door since it came last week. But then the evening news runs a story on ballots potentially missing Amendment 2.

What do you do? You go grab that ballot out of the stack of bills, negative campaign direct mail pieces, and car warranty offers, and you make sure Amendment 2 is there.

And now that you’ve opened your ballot and have it in front of you, you find a pen and a stamp, and you fill the damn thing out and stick it in the mail.

Ever see or hear about those campaign communications that don’t advocate for or against a candidate but shame or embarrass the voter into casting a ballot? “Your neighbors have voted, why haven’t you?” That sort of thing.

What’s going on in Broward County, and the attention it’s received thus far, should already be percolating a similar effect among Broward absentee voters.

The problems thus far seem relatively minimal in scope, but likewise appear to be greater than what Snipes’ offices has presented them to be. And it also seems clear that Snipes can’t say for certain what the actual scope is because she doesn’t know.

So what is Kent proposing as a remedy?

Despite his vast and storied history as an activist bomb-thrower, his solutions seem reasonable and prudent on their face. He requests a clear remedial solution for absentee voters who have or had one of the misprinted ballots in question. Kent is asking the court the compel the SOE to educate and put on alert both SOE staff and Broward County voters as to the potential absence of Amendment 2, imploring their vigilance in making sure the issue is present on ballots.

At its most basic, what Kent seeks for Broward County voters — and by extension, Democrats writ large, since their numbers in the County are so dominant — is to have the SOE step up in a public way to reassure and educate the electorate on the essential integrity of the elections.

Putting aside that the SOE should already be doing so with both their conduct and public communications, think about what that means in a blue stronghold like Broward.

To atone for its screw ups, the SOE may wind up having to engage in what could have the effect of being a GOTV campaign countywide. Obviously, such a campaign would get out the votes of ALL Broward voters, but MOST Broward voters are voting D down the line.

And in a year where the presidential campaign is expected to turn voters out in record numbers, the conversation about medical marijuana as a turnout mechanism for Democrats (an existential fear for Republicans two years ago) has mostly fallen by the wayside.

But young, cynical, Bernie SandersRon PaulGary JohnsonJill Stein-type voters, who might, seeing polls for Amendment 2 in the 70s, otherwise stay home, will now have additional motivation to ensure they get to vote for medical marijuana.

And just as turning out a random Broward County voter means you’re likely turning out a Democratic voter, so too does turning out a random, unlikely medical marijuana voter.

Forty percent of Rick Scott voters voted for medical marijuana in 2014, so it’s not an entirely partisan proposition, but virtually every poll shows Democrats and Independents are overwhelmingly for this amendment.

So, if you’re a watcher of turnout in Florida, pay close attention today.

An old pothead with a fedora and a propensity toward righteous indignation could strike a major blow for the cause. Kent will be encouraging a massively blue county to open those absentee ballots languishing by the front door, lighting a fire (no pun intended) under Democrats — and naturally paranoid pot smokers — to get off their butts and vote.

And Hillary Clinton will get the benefits of perhaps 70-80 percent of those votes.

As a visibly intoxicated (but coherent nonetheless) John Morgan once said, “if you pieces of s*** don’t get out and vote … then f*** it all. We’re gonna lose.”

If Norm Kent’s day in court goes as planned, you may see similar messages coming out of the SOE’s office.

Minus the signature and John Morgan’s profane color, of course.

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