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News from the Campaign Trail


Gov. Charlie Crist is taking his U.S. Senate campaign to the Hamptons next week to raise cash at a fund-raiser in the Sag Harbor home of Bobby and Jill Zarin. The couple own Zarin Fabrics and Home Furnishings. But she's better known as one of the stars of Bravo Network's "Real Housewives of New York City." The Zarins, who are close to Crist's wife, Carole Rome, made an earlier foray into Florida politics by attending a Donald Trump fund-raiser supporting the 2008 Amendment 1 property tax measure backed by the governor. For $1,000, contributors will get to meet Crist at the July 18 event. For $4,800, dinner is thrown in. The host committee's got one of those 'only in New York,' kind of lineups and includes Trump, Florida insurance lawyer Fred Karlinsky, Republican political consultant Charlie Black and New York Yankees outfielder Johnny Damon.


A plan by Tea Party organizer Matthew Falconer to host a big “Woodstock” like tea party near Orlando was short lived. Falconer decided, this week apparently, that not only does he not like the idea he hatched, he doesn’t like the tea parties at all.

“While the tea party movement has a noble origin, I have come to the conclusion the movement will not result in the reforms we seek,” Falconer wrote in an email to supporters this week. “There are two problems with the movement. First, there is no way to take the energy and channel it into real reforms. For the most part people are complaining about government and there are few if any solutions proposed.”

Falconer, who confirmed his sentiments to the News Service, said the other problem was that tea party organizers all had different agendas.

“Some seek fame and fortune, others want national reform with local protests. Without a plan and organizational structure the tea party movement will not achieve the ultimate goal of lower taxes.”

Falconer said he now plans to focus his attention on local government, specifically a run for Orange County mayor.


State Rep. Sandy Adams is getting into the race to try to unseat U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas, the St. Petersburg Times reported Thursday. The Orlando Republican joins Rep. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange in the race to take on Kosmas, a freshman Democrat. The Times reported that Adams was in Washington, D.C. on Thursday, with a meeting with the National Rifle Association, some GOP leaders, and a homeland security conference on her agenda.


Politicos are getting a much better idea of how viable candidates for state races are with second quarter numbers due by the end of the day on Friday. Those who are proud of those numbers have already put them out. As Friday drew to a close much of the political establishment was still waiting to learn some of the big takes.

In the governor’s race, Alex Sink made her fundraising known, saying she brought in $1.28 million during the second quarter, bringing her total to $2.1 million.

Republican Bill McCollum's staffers were telling reporters Friday that he would likely report that he’s raised a little more than $1 million, but apparently planned to be among the last to report his quarterly figures, having until the end of Friday.

Senate President Jeff Atwater announced Thursday his campaign has raised $528,655 for the quarter ending June 30 in his bid to become Florida’s next chief financial officer. Atwater, R-North Palm Beach, opened his campaign account May 18. Atwater faces fellow Republican Pat Patterson of Deland.

In the Democratic primary for attorney general, Sen. Dave Aronberg, D-Greenacres, said Friday he has raised $173,000 in total so far and did that in three weeks. His rival for the nomination, Sen. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, has raised $150,000.

In the agriculture commissioner race, Congressman Adam Putman again was the dazzler – reporting he raised $258,000 in the quarter. While that’s far ahead of his rivals in both parties for the seat, it’s down from the nearly half million he raised in the first three months of the year. Still, it gives him about $672,000 on hand, roughly three times what state Sen. Carey Baker, the other Republican race, has in the bank, and 20 times what the Democratic fundraising leader in the race, Eric Draper, has in the bank, about $32,000.

Legislative race figures were also trickling in this week.

Republican Nick Loeb of Delray Beach says he has raised $225,955 in his quest to replace Atwater. Loeb faces Reps. Carl Domino of Jupiter and Ellyn Bogdanoff of Fort Lauderdale for the Republican nod. Bogdanoff said she wold report about $123,000, but noted that she only got into the race in mid-May, near the end of the quarter, and said she has several commitments for future contributions. Bogdanoff told The Orlando Sentinel that she’s not displeased with what she’s raised.

Democrat Loranne Ausley of Tallahassee says she raised $60,000 in the second quarter in her bid to step into retiring Sen. Al Lawson’s Senate seat. Ausley, a former representative, has raised $170,000 in all so far. She’s joined in the all-Democratic affair (so far) by former state Rep. Curtis Richardson, and school superintendent lobbyist Bill Montford.


VANCORE JONES is moving into a new building on Thomasville Rd. in Tallahassee. The firm, which does marketing, advertising, campaigns and polling, is Steve Vancore and Drew Jones.

9 Responses »

  1. It is obvious that Falconer, failing to become the LEADER ot Tea Party organizations, decided to get out while he still has some name recognition in order to seek his own poltical ambitions. The Tea Party organization indeed has a very clear message: fiscal responsibility, respect for the constitution and the rule of law, back to the principles of our Founding Fathers. This message covers well what must be done about every piece of legislation and about the STATIST Obama presidency. Only a fool, or someone with self-interests, would say Tea Party organizations do not have a message.

    Please connect to today's American Thinker's article about the success Tea Party organizations are already having: http://www.AmericanThinker.com and Michele Malkin's Blog.

    • He was never welcome to speak at the TEa Party, it is WORSE, he did it so he could speak (coordinated), so his motives from the very beginning were corrupt and self serving.

  2. I don't care how much money Draper has, he has never farmed an acre in his life.
    I'd rather vote for a diaprepes root weevil.

  3. Florida Farmer, look to the future. The Dept of Agriculture is about a lot more than farming. Draper would be a great Commissioner of Ag. and Consumer Services.

    • you are right. it is about a lot more than farming. here's their website:

      now, tell me, what in mr draper's professional career qualifies him for any of these responsibilities? the guy has been working for enviro groups his whole life, and never risen to higher than second in command at any of them, and never managed a staff larger than a couple of dozen. he has no business or agriculture experience, simply green intentions. which i am all for mind you, i just don't think it's fair to florida to have mr. draper's first 'real job' in his life be the head of this department.

      • let's look at the broader picture as well. again - i ask you - what qualifies Mr. Draper for any of the 4 responsibilities of the mission of the Department? Not piling on here, but I'd feel a lot better voting for someone with at least SOME experience. And don't give that "it's time for a change nonsense." would you vote for a secretary of the Treasury just because he "likes money", even though he doesn't know a thing about economics, or worked a day in the financial sector?

  4. Matt Falconer was a politician coordinating a "Tea Party", he is a politician who tried to USE the momentum of Tea Party Movement to garner attention and fame for his Orange County Mayoral campaign, whats more, he invited other politicians who he thought would further his legitimacy as a candidate.

    People even gave those politicians MONEY for those politicians campaigns at the Tea Party!

    • Matt Falconer is a POLITICIAN who coordinated a "Tea Party", that is what happened, because he was kicked off of a Tea Party stage. That is the fact of the matter.

      Now I learn the 9/12 coordinators here in Orlando who claimed that his Tea Party was a "fake" Tea Party reminisced over their radio show, about "oh you got an autograph" and how cool it was at the "Orlando Tea Party" at "Amway Arena" which was Matt Falconer's tea party they denounced him for .

      We have a problem with the "ruling elite" here in Orlando.