‘Tis the silly season for some Florida campaigns

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It’s the campaign silly season and we have eight more weeks of nonsense. And I’m not referring to top-of-the-ticket challenge of “this guy is much worse than me” that’s going on between former Gov. Charlie Crist and current Gov. Rick Scott.

First a disclaimer, there are grammatical errors in the script below because the sentences are verbatim statements from the respective campaigns. You would think people who have millions of dollars to spend would be able to use spellcheck, but hey, it’s how we roll in America.

First up is an e-mail sent on behalf of Drug Free America in opposition of Amendment 2.

“Dear Members of the Media,

I just wanted to give you a heads up that yesterday evening, Drug Free America Foundation had a billboard placed in downtown Orlando.

The billboard reads:

Amendment 2 is riddled with loopholes: It is one thing to be compassionate; it’s another to be reckless.

Does John Morgan know the difference?”

The message included directions to the billboard and urged me to call if I had any questions.  I declined the nice offer because it is my policy to ignore billboards.  And although I’m perturbed that I’m actually writing about a billboard, here’s the pro response.

“If they think they can win this election by making it a referendum on John Morgan, bring it on,” said Ben Pollara, Campaign manager at United for Care. “This campaign is about providing medicine to sick and suffering Floridians and that’s what we’ll talk about.”

Fundamentally, a campaign – people engaged in debate, the competition of ideas in the marketplace to set public policy is the act of self government and a principle for which people have died. Government by the people is America’s contribution to civilization.

And this is how we do it in Florida?

Has the question of what ought to be the State of Florida’s marijuana policy been reduced to one side using millions of dollars of a casino billionaire’s money to harass a billionaire trial lawyer with a billboard in his hometown?

Holy ESPN!

Well, before I could step off my soapbox I was assaulted a second time by campaign silliness in a blast from the Gwen Graham for Congress folks.

Second disclaimer: I covered Southerland in 2010 when he was first elected and I’ve covered the Graham campaign from the beginning. I like both candidates and their staffs. I live in the 2nd Congressional district and I have issues with both candidates but will say they both hire good people.

And I fear this campaign is becoming issueless.

Did you know that Congressman Steve Southerland had a boy’s night out?   The Graham campaign alerted reporters to the key point of a Huffington Post article:

“The small group of concerned men invited to a Republican congressman’s fundraiser were instructed to ‘tell the Misses not to wait up’ so they could enjoy after dinner whiskey and cigars without any women present.”

The Graham campaign found the invitation “offensive.”

The Southerland campaign found the article “laughable.”

The candidates had promised a debate but I don’t think this is what people had in mind.

I’m looking into whether both the Amendment 2 campaigns and those of the 2nd Congressional District are discarded scripts from the Colbert Report.