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Bump drafting the campaign gimmicks

in Statewide by
I rarely share an entire post from a fellow blogger, but Ben Kirby’s take on Kendrick Meek’s NASCAR sponsorship is must-read material (and keep in mind, this is Kirby’s first political post since his wife delivered their beautiful baby). Please click on his site to read the post in its entirety. Here are some excerpts.

First of all, no one in Daytona supports Congressman Meek, despite his work on their behalf. They support Charlie Crist.

According to, an online website that tracks political contributions, the eight white guys who sit on the board of directors for International Speedway Corp., the company that owns the two racetracks, contributed a combined $28,300 to Charlie Crist.

Is doing a $5 donation drive to get a chance to watch a race with the Meek Family really going to change their minds? I don’t think so.


Another problem with gimmicks is you and your team are immediately on the defensive with respect to why you did it, and it sounds it: In justifying the expensive campaign ad strategy (NASCAR sponsorships range from $25,000 to $150,000 per race), Meek campaign spokesman Adam Sharon fed Banana Republican the same lines he gave Sun-Sentinel reporter Anthony Mann. “Kendrick Meek is a part of the NASCAR nation,” Sharon insisted. “He has sponsored legislation to give the speedways in Daytona and Homestead tax breaks. He’s a hunter. He owns a gun. He’s a family man just like any other regular NASCAR fan.”

Okay, slow down there, pee-pants. What the hell do Homestead tax breaks, hunting, guns, and NASCAR have to do with being a family man? This is such a blatant, clumsy ploy for what James Carville clone Dave “Mudcat” Saunders offensively calls “the Bubba vote,” it’s not even funny.

Unfortunately, the candidate himself doesn’t sound much better:

“NASCAR has deep roots in Florida, and the NASCAR family is hurting right now, as are Florida families. I’m running for the Senate to get Florida’s economy working again for the NASCAR Nation and all families throughout this state.”

How is “the NASCAR family” hurting, Kendrick? Those eight fat-cats who you sponsored a tax break for (and who aren’t supporting you) are “hurting”? Or is it Junior who earned $35 million in 2008? Is he hurting? Mark Martin, a good ol’ Batesville, Arkansas, boy and a driver I like a lot, had more than $3 million in winnings alone last year. Is he hurting?

Lose the gimmicks, Kendrick. Get to know those Florida families you want to work for, propose real solutions to their real problems, and I promise you, you won’t even need to trade paint with Rubio or Crist — you’ll take it with a long lead.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.

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