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Today on Context Florida: Disastrous nominees, top Tallahassee stories, nasty conventions and Donald Trump

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Today on Context Florida:

The economist John Kenneth Galbraith memorably said that politics “consists of choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable.” But Martin Dyckman asks what if the only choice is between the disastrous and the disastrous? That’s the predicament of establishment Republican politicians who think John Kasich, the only decent human being who remains in their presidential primaries, is either too liberal (i.e., he accepted the Medicaid money) or too unlikely to limp to the finish line at the Cleveland convention.

Peter Schorsch gives his five biggest stories from Tallahassee last week. The Governor’s office announced last week that Kim McDougal will succeed Melissa Sellers in the top staff position, making McDougal Scott’s fifth Chief of Staff in six years. Which makes us wonder: Where are they now?

In the first of a three-part series, Darryl Paulson outlines the history of disputes common at national political conventions. The Anti-Masonic Party held the first national political convention in Baltimore in 1824. Eight years later the Democrats held their first convention, also in Baltimore. Two years after its formation, the Republicans held their first convention in Philadelphia. The sole purpose of the national convention is to rally the party faithful and select a candidate who can win the presidency. Unfortunately, many conventions have fallen short of this goal.

Donald Trump is wrong when he says nomination threshold is arbitrary, says Ed Moore. History tells us that the requirement for a Republican Party candidate to be nominated for president is a rule adopted in the 1860 convention that put forth Abraham Lincoln as the Republican standard bearer. The rule is that the nominee has one-half plus one of all the possible delegates. Somehow Trump believes that having to gain a majority of the delegates is an artificial number that means nothing. In his world, he should be anointed with a plurality, yet history has never been that way in his party, even when candidates were very, very close. A majority vote of the delegates is needed to be the nominee, period!

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Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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