Campaign News You Might Have Missed
U.S. SENATE RACE: Only Florida voters can vote for the state’s next U.S. senator, but Republican candidate Marco Rubio will be speaking this week in Maine. Rubio, getting increasing national attention as the new darling of the GOP, is the headliner Friday at a luncheon at the Maine Heritage Policy Center. “When it comes to the issues important to Americans, Mr. Rubio’s conservative credentials speak for themselves,” the center’s Web site says. “He is a champion of limited government, tax cuts, and school choice. His opposition to Obama’s health care takeover and his criticism of the federal response to the Gulf Coast oil spill guarantee he will shake things up in Washington, DC.” Rubio will discuss the administration’s “agenda of government control over our lives and our economy,” the center says.
WELL DONE, CRAIG MILLER, (OR AT LEAST MEDIUM WELL): Former Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse CEO Craig Miller, a Republican candidate to take on Democratic Rep. Suzanne Kosmas in House District 24, is claiming to be ahead in the GOP primary, based on internal polling that he sent around to media outlets this week. Miller has put more than $300,000 of his own money into his campaign, and CQ reported he recently was feted by his restaurant industry pals at a couple swanky fundraisers in Washington. One was hosted by the National Restaurant Association at Sonoma on Capitol Hill. The second event was at The Palm, CQ reported. Since joining the race in February, Miller has shown he’s willing to use a fair amount of his steak fortune – and a couple weeks ago cut a $100,000 check to his campaign to finance his first television ad.
MEEK FUNDRAISING: A few fundraising totals for federal candidates through second quarter are starting to trickle out and on Wednesday Politico reported that tallies it obtained showed U.S. Senate candidate Kendrick Meek, a Democrat, will show about $4 million in the bank at the end of June after raising more than $1 million in the quarter. While that’s a good take for the three month period, he’s up against Jeff Greene, who has shown willingness to spend quite a bit in the primary, having put at least $5 million of his own money into the race in the last two months, according to the Washington-based paper. Polls have the two about even. Republican Marco Rubio and no-party candidate Charlie Crist haven’t released their totals yet.
ENDORSEMENT WATCH -- GINGRICH, FORBES BACK MCCOLLUM: Bill McCollum picked up a couple endorsements from high profile national figures in the last couple weeks in his bid to be the GOP nominee for governor. Former U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich endorsed McCollum and also announced he would be campaigning with McCollum in the coming weeks. “Bill is a longtime friend, a tireless public servant, a lifelong conservative, and he will make a great governor,” Gingrich said. “His plan to create 500,000 jobs and revive Florida’s economy is exactly what Florida needs.” Gingrich and McCollum served together in Congress from 1981 to 1989. Then on Wednesday, former presidential candidate Steve Forbes wrote an editorial for McCollum, giving his stamp of approval to McCollum’s economic platform. “When he says he will cut business taxes and remove regulatory roadblocks to job creation - he's going to do it,” Forbes wrote.
SD 2 - DAY FROM EVERS TO HILL: In Senate District 2 in the Panhandle, two candidates are fighting over which has the endorsement of Medal of Honor winner Col. Bud Day. In January, Rep. Greg Evers, R-Baker, said he’d been endorsed by Day, but this week Evers’ opponent in the GOP primary, Mike Hill, said he’d been endorsed by Day. The Destin Log reported this week that Hill said Day never endorsed Evers, but Evers put out a statement with an attacked signed endorsement from Day. When the Destin newspaper tried to get Day to clear it up, he refused to talk about it. Day, a Vietnam War Medal of Honor winner and lawyer, is often sought out by candidates who want his endorsement. Evers told The Log that Day simply changed his mind. Evers and Hill are running to replace Sen. Durell Peaden, R-Crestview, who has held the seat 10 years. Rep. Dave Murzin, R-Pensacola, earlier dropped out of the primary. There are no Democrats running, but there is a Tea Party candidate, Christopher Crawford, awaiting the winner of the GOP primary in November.
GRAHAM, CRACKER BACKER? U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd says he’s taking the defense of his seat seriously as he tries to fend off a challenge from within his own party by state Sen. Al Lawson, and this weekend Boyd brings in a big gun to prove it. Former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham will campaign this weekend with the 14-year congressman in Tallahassee. A statement from the Boyd campaign says the two will be highlighting their continued work on protecting our coastline, bringing jobs to North Florida and keeping our economy moving forward,” during a campaign event Saturday morning at the Tallahassee Antique Car Museum. As with all good campaign events, hamburgers and hot dogs will be available. Meanwhile, Lawson, of Tallahassee, on Wednesday announced he’d picked up a pretty big endorsement, that of the Florida Police Benevolent Association.
MOMMY BOMB: No that’s not a new drink for pregnant women. While several campaigns have taken up the use of the “money bomb” as a fundraising tool, Democratic congressional candidate Heather Beaven is sending out Mommy Bombs. In a note sent out to supporters that started “Commence Operation Mommy Bomb,” Beaven, who is running against Republican U.S. Rep. John Mica, is asking supporters to participate in the “world’s first Mommy Bomb,” noting that while her well-funded opponent has plenty of people to raise money for him, she is basically trying to do it between her duties raising her kids while her husband is away on Army Reserve duty in California. The Democratic Party – perhaps noting the makeup of the district, Mica’s entrenched position and Beaven’s lack of name recognition – doesn’t appear to be helping out much either. “Mommies are the bomb,” Beaven says in her Mommy Bomb request. “We work. We volunteer. We take care of our families, and in some cases we run for office.” She’s asking supporters to help out a “mommy in distress” in fundraising terms.
WANTED, FIRST LADY: When Gov. Charlie Crist was running for governor a few years ago, he wasn’t just still a Republican, he was still a bachelor. When asked what he planned to do about the issue of a First Lady back in 2006, he replied, “go out and find one.” And he did, of course, marrying Carole Rome after taking office. This year there’s another candidate for governor out there looking for a running “mate.” Independent candidate Joe Lancelot Allen says on his Web site that he needs a First Lady. “Who wants to marry the next governor?” Allen’s Web site says, perhaps a little optimistcally. “I’m Florida’s most eligible bachelor.” Speaking of Allen’s Web site - http://joeallen4gov.vpweb.com/ - it might be the best one of all the gubernatorial campaigns. It includes this gem that spells out how he’s not beholden to any party: “A debate might be like this: Moderator: ‘Should we let violent criminals out of prison early?’ Ms. Democrat: ‘My party thinks blah, blah, blah.’ Mr. Republican: ‘My party’s platform is blah, blah, blah.’ Joe Allen: ‘NO!” Allen, a retired school teacher from Key West, also has an invite for you to the inaugural celebration on his Web site – but it’s only good if he’s elected.