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Shameful

Tue, 30 Mar 2010 18:17:00 +0000

From Heather Beaven:MICA's SHAMEFUL APPROACH TO HEALTHCARENo more pre-existing conditions, controlled health care costs, expanded access to affordable health care: I believe that Democrats, Republicans and Independents can agree that these are just a few of the vital health care reforms that needed to be addressed in Congress.John Mica is not one of those people. He proved it when he voted against healthcare reform, but voted in favor of the Republican healthcare “alternative” bill. To be blunt, the bill he voted for was a, “get richer much quicker” scheme for big insurance companies, HMO’s and pharmaceutical companies.The plan would only lower health care premiums by 0 to 3 percent by 2016 for 80 percent of Americans. These aren’t my numbers; these are from the bi-partisan Congressional Budget Office.Mica’s shameful support for this bill, which was obviously written by drug and insurance companies, is a stab in the back to those of us paying more for less coverage in private health care plans (to say nothing of the Floridians who live in fear because they lack any health care coverage).We all know that John Mica is an uncompromising career politician who puts his party over us. But to vote to spend billions to reduce insurance premiums by 3 percent, and call it reform is insulting. Mica’s small bore thinking is exactly what helped the American health care system to fall into the terrible mess we see today. Simply put, John Mica is applying 20th Century logic to a 21st Century challenge. I’m running for Congress because we deserve a new approach to the new challenges we face. We cannot continue to allow Mica to apply 20th Century logic to the problems we face in the 21st Century.If you agree, I hope you’ll stand with me in this campaign to hold Mica accountable for abandoning us on health care reform. Let’s send Mica the message today that we’ve had enough of his work for the insurance companies by contributing $25, $50, $100, $250 or more to my campaign today.THE MOTHER OF ALL JOB CREATION OPPORTUNITIESCurrently there are an estimated 800,000 + jobs directly related to the clean energy sector, and hundreds of thousands more in related industries. Clean energy has the potential to add an additional 1.7 million jobs in the near term and 5 million jobs by 2020. The clean energy market is booming around the world, yet we are behind the curve here in Florida. In fact, the number of American clean energy jobs increased by 9.1% during the last decade as compared to a 3.7% in overall American employment.But Germany and China are on the hunt too.The German environmental technology sector is projected to account for some 16% of German industrial production by 2030. China has allotted more than $230 billion in economic stimulus funding to clean energy initiatives and—as a percentage of GDP—is investing 10 times more than the United States on clean power.We don't need to just imagine these possibilities in Florida; we need to get to work creating these jobs in order to reduce the unemployment rate and get our local economies back on track. In Congress, that's just what I'll do.MOMMY BOMB UPDATEOperation Mommy Bomb has been declared a victory. Together with you, we were able to shatter all previous weekly donor records; and received an overwhelming outpouring of positive feedback from supporters like you. Thank you to everyone who helped make Operation Mommy Bomb a huge success!HELP US KEEP THE MOMENTUM GOINGCampaigns take money to be successful and, like it or not, Beaven for Seven is not immune to that fact. That's why I hope you'll dig deep to help me keep March strong with a contribution of $5, $25, $50, $100 or more by clicking here.Your continued help will allow us to talk about creating the jobs of the future right here in Florida while we work to get rid of John Mica's 20th century mindset! So do what you can and contribute online today by clicking here!Yours truly,Heather BeavenLink[...]



From the Blogs

Sun, 28 Mar 2010 21:31:00 +0000

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The latest stories from the Florida blogs (and beyond) about Congressional Republicans.

Saint Petersblog: Crist launches atrocious, unfunny anti-Rubio website

The Reid Report: Mason-Dixon poll shows a more reality based GOP contest

Pushing Rope: Crist Continues to Tout Cover Florida

Change in Tallahassee: Crist and Rubio Duke It Out

The Reid Report: Florida follies: Rubio hit with ethics complaint, Charlie is really, really conservative (really) and … Buckwheat?

Pushing Rope: Marco Rubio Protests Too Much

Eye on Miami (gimleteye): Charlie Crist: make your campaign about the sugar billionaires

The Reid Report: Charlie climbs on board the Waterloo express: says he wants repeal too

Saint Petersblog: US Rep. Brown-Waite cites display of support from constituents for opposition to health care reform -- only problem is they're from Pennsylvania

South Florida Daily Blog: Transitioning Out Of Rubio v1.0 [UPDATED]

South Florida Daily Blog: You Don't Speak For Me, Marco

The Campaign Manager: Effects of Healthcare Reform on the Tampa Bay Area

The Reid Report: Marco Rubio’s bad mojo

The Reid Report: For Marco Rubio, expensive chickens roosting

The Reid Report: Rubio’s brand dented with conservatives, Hispanics?

Saint Petersblog: Marco Rubio launches petition against ObamaCare AND Crist

The Reid Report: Uh-oh Rubio …

Smooth Like Remy: Tea Party Darling Marco Rubio's Lavish Lifestyle

South Florida Daily Blog: Fox News, Marco Rubio And Charlie Crist



"Rubio Sets the Record Straight"

Sun, 28 Mar 2010 19:55:00 +0000

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Marco Rubio Attack Ads

Sat, 27 Mar 2010 20:56:00 +0000

"Better"

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"Yes"

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Governor Crist Statement On The House Health Care Vote

Mon, 22 Mar 2010 03:19:00 +0000


The Charlie Crist for U.S. Senate campaign today released the below statement from Gov. Crist following the House passage of the Senate government run health care bill:

“It is disappointing to see that President Obama and Democrat leadership convinced enough members of their Party, including Rep. Meek, to completely ignore the will of the American people, and pass their government run health care bill.

“This bill is comprised of secret backroom, sweetheart deals, includes a last minute Executive Order, and the passage of such a bill is a direct affront to the American people.

“Americans deserve better than this liberal, partisan legislation that amounts to a government take over of health care while raising rates, raising taxes, and significantly cutting Medicare."



Who Will Tim Pawlenty endorse in Florida Republican Senate Primary?

Wed, 17 Mar 2010 02:19:00 +0000

From FDP:


As Minn. Gov. and Presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty travels to Orlando today to raise money for the Republican Governor's Association, Florida Democratic Party Chair Karen Thurman called on Pawlenty to let Floridians know who he will support in the state's primary. Pawlenty has refused to make an endorsement, even though his Political Action Committee's mission is "helping candidates and translating our ideas into policies that everyone can relate to and support."

"It's a simple question -- will Tim Pawlenty let Floridians know where he stands on the Crist/Rubio primary? Will he join Jim DeMint and the rest of the Tea Party wing of the Republican Party in endorsing Speaker Rubio? Or will he risk angering his base by endorsing Gov. Crist? The real question here is this: if Tim Pawlenty really considers himself a national Republican leader, shouldn't he have enough spine to say publically where he stands on the Florida Republican Senate primary?"



Republican Party Agrees With Charlie Justice

Mon, 15 Mar 2010 02:23:00 +0000


Today in Washington the Republican Congressional Committee joined Charlie Justice as well as Democratic leaders in Congress in the movement to end the corruptive practice of earmarks that continue to drive the U.S. economy and budget out of control.

“It is refreshing to see that even the Republican Party can no longer tolerate the corruptive practice of earmark/pork-barrel spending that has gone on for far too long in our government. Democrats and Republicans agree that earmarks are corrupting our government and wasting taxpayers’ money,” stated Charlie Justice candidate for Congress FL-10. “Cong. Bill Young still clings to the idea that there is nothing wrong with pork-barrel spending and goes so far as to brag about it. About the only person left who thinks pork-barrel spending is a good idea seems to be Bill Young. The fact that he’s bragging about wasteful spending even as his Republican colleagues in Congress are pledging not to request any earmarks acknowledges how out-of-touch Bill Young is with reality and the struggles the people here back home are dealing with.”

According to Alex Leary of the St. Petersburg Time, Rep. Mike Pence, R-Indiana, chairman of the Republican conference acknowledged, “federal spending is out of control and the American people know it. Earmarks have become emblematic of everything that is wrong with spending here in Washington D.C."



Charlie Justice Says Bill Young Milked the STAR Center for $145,000 in Campaign Cash

Mon, 15 Mar 2010 02:06:00 +0000


Congressman Bill Young has put amendments in the federal budget totaling $33 million for tenants of the STAR Center and has received $145,000 in campaign contributions from tenants there, according to Charlie Justice.

“If you made a movie about Bill Young’s abuse of the STAR Center it wouldn’t win an Oscar because it’s just unbelievable,” Justice said. “Bill Young is using the STAR Center as a cash cow for his campaign.”

Justice’s release of the information today is the fifth installment in his “ten point indictment” of Young’s abuse of power. Before today’s release, Justice criticized Young for sending $13.5 million to New York Harbor for a floating museum and pointed out that Young-backed earmarks have been investigated by law enforcement officials on four separate occasions. Three of those investigations are still open. Justice also revealed that Young has placed amendments on the budget to the tune of $118 million that directly benefited his sons, daughter-in-law and former members of his staff. Young also spent $30,000 of his campaign cash for a luxury car for himself.

One of the tenants of the STAR Center, Raytheon, accounted for approximately $100,000 in contributions, Justice said.

Raytheon is at the center of a battle that pits Justice and his constituents against Young and the defense contractor. Last week, Justice, a state senator, sent a letter to Governor Charlie Crist and other state officials calling for immediate action to clean up a dangerous industrial plume affecting his constituents. The latest remedial action proposal that came from Raytheon suggested that the cleanup of the site won’t be complete for 78 years.

In 1991, the Department of Environmental Protection found the toxic plume to be affecting neighborhoods in Justice’s St. Petersburg district. However, residents were not made aware of the contamination until 2008, seventeen years later. Over the past seventeen years, the dangerous chemicals have migrated 200 acres, affecting two apartment complexes, three neighborhoods, community parks, schools and the waters of Tampa Bay.

“While the people of St. Petersburg wait for action from Raytheon, Congressman Bill Young took $100,000 in campaign contributions from the company and their lobbyists. No wonder the cleanup is being slow walked,” Justice said.

In 1995 the Department of Energy sold its Largo, FL facility to Pinellas County for redevelopment. The county was so pleased with the facility’s success that in 2001 they renamed it in part after Rep. Young. He touts the success of the STAR Center as an example of his ability to bring jobs to Pinellas County. (STAR Center website, Congressman Bill Young brochure)

$145,000 to Young from STAR Center Tenants and their Lobbyists

“Just when it starts to look as though Bill Young is doing something solely to benefit his community – like using his influence over the already-stretched defense budget to direct tens of millions to his district – the other shoe drops,” Justice said. “Each of the seven tenants that received earmarks through Rep. Young’s efforts returned the favor by kicking in for his re-election campaign.”

Since 2006, Young has received $145,000 in contributions from the tenants of the STAR Center and their lobbyists. Young, leaving no stone unturned in his thirst for campaign cash, even received a donation from the facility’s director.



Florida Democratic Party to Speaker Rubio: Where do You Stand on the RNC "Fear-gate" Presentation

Mon, 15 Mar 2010 02:02:00 +0000


As the fallout from the fear-mongering RNC fundraising presentation continues, Miami lobbyist Marco Rubio has been silent on the issue of the leaked presentation which uses crude images and caricatures of the President and other Democrats to scare the American people.

Today, the Florida Democratic Party called on Speaker Rubio to take a stand on the despicable fundraising tactics by the Republican National Committee which breathlessly uses cries socialism, calls Democrats "The Evil Empire" and depicts President Obama as The Joker.

"It's a very simple question, Speaker Rubio," said Florida Democratic Party Spokesman Eric Jotkoff. "Do you agree with the RNC's tactics to exploit donors and Americans through fear, use images of the President of the United States as The Joker and warn voters of the coming of 'socialism'? If not, will you condemn the use of such political tactics, or is fear really the only thing the Republican Party has left?

"Those who Miami lobbyist Marco Rubio wants to represent deserve to know where he stands on this issue. Leading Republicans have already condemned the RNC's strategy of fundraising on lies and stoking fears, but will Rubio? Speaker Rubio, the people of Florida are eagerly awaiting your answer."

The Republican Party's PowerPoint presentation described high-level Republican donors as "ego-driven" and claimed they could be enticed with "tchochkes." The document also included a slide - titled "The Evil Empire" - with images depicting Obama as the Joker, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as Cruella DeVille and Harry Reid as Scooby Doo. Democratic Party Chairman Tim Kaine called for a "house cleaning" over the incident on Friday.

Please click the link below to see the Democratic National Committee ad titled "Is Fear All They Have Left?"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CbESRQqg9mg



Kendrick Meek Previews the Governor's 2010 State of the State Address

Sat, 06 Mar 2010 06:08:00 +0000


Hours before the Governor delivered his 2010 State of the State address, Kendrick Meek issued the following statement regarding Florida's troubled economic state:

"Floridians do not need to wait for this address to know the dire state of our state. We are hurting today because of bankrupt policies of the past that put special interests first and our communities last. That's been the status quo in Florida for over a decade and I have always stood up against the powerful and for the people. High unemployment rates in our counties, cities and towns are more than just numbers--they represent real people with families whose lives are being turned upside down. I see this pain in every living room I visit and every small business I enter. Bringing new, long term jobs to our state was what we were promised by the leadership of this state, but we are being let down. My fight is for all of us. I will continue to work hard to take Florida from recession to recovery. Only then can the state of our state be fully prosperous."



CNN Breaks Down Rubio's Nonsensical Explanation of Credit Card Misuse

Tue, 02 Mar 2010 05:23:00 +0000

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Indictment #4 Young Used Campaign Funds To Buy A Luxury Car

Tue, 02 Mar 2010 05:18:00 +0000

From Charlie Justice:Rep. Bill Young Used Campaign Funds To Buy A Luxury Car Fourth Count of Indictment: Luxury Car with Campaign Funds Young bought $30,000 car using campaign funds to “keep in touch” with constituentsSt. Petersburg, FL - February 18, 2010 - Charlie Justice says Congressman Bill Young is so out of touch with reality that he once used his campaign fund to buy himself a luxury car.“When a Congressman starts using his campaign funds to buy himself a luxury car then you can bet he thinks he’s untouchable,” Justice said. “The purchase of the car seems to be a point in time when Young became more reckless and arrogant than ever. He began putting more and more amendments in the federal budget for lobbyists and accepting huge campaign contributions in return.”During the 1990 campaign cycle, Rep. Young purchased a brand new Lincoln Continental using $30,000 in campaign funds. Although questions were raised over a possible ethics violation, Young maintained that there was nothing untoward about the purchase. He claimed the car was necessary for campaigning in his district, but he ran unopposed in the 1990 election.“Congressman Bill Young doesn’t think he has to answer to anybody. Not the voters, the taxpayers or the Ethics Committee,” Justice said.Justice’s release of the information today is the fourth installment in his “ten point indictment” of Young’s abuse of power. Before today’s release, Justice criticized Young for sending $13.5 million to New York Harbor for a floating museum and pointed out that Young-backed earmarks have been investigated by law enforcement officials on four separate occasions. Three of those investigations are still open. Justice also revealed that Young has placed amendments on the budget to the tune of $118 million that directly benefited his sons, daughter-in-law and former members of his staff.“At a time when families and small businesses in Pinellas County are struggling to make ends meet, Bill Young and his friends and family are living the high life at the taxpayers’ expense,” Justice said. “When I see this kind of abuse of trust I completely understand the anger and frustration that is shaking the foundations of our democracy.”“In his relentless quest for campaign contributions, Congressman Young has taken $737,000 in campaign cash in return for inserting so-called budget ‘earmarks’ into the federal budget. Along the way, investigations have shown that Young’s benefactors have been investigated for a variety of charges including bribery and fraud,” Justice said.“Here’s what I will do differently. I won’t be buying a luxury car with my campaign funds as your Congressman. To do so would be, in my view, an insult to the people of Pinellas County who are struggling to make ends meet,” Justice said. Indictment #4 – Luxury Car with Campaign Funds $30,000 in campaign funds unethically spent by Young. $30,000 for a Luxury Car Thanks to defense contractors and others who gave money to his campaign, Rep. C. W. Bill Young of St. Petersburg liked to ride in style in a light blue Lincoln. The 10th-term Republican bought the car in August of 1990 with $29,124 in campaign money, replacing another Lincoln that Young's campaign leased for the last four years. He also billed the campaign for the new car's taxes and title, a portable telephone and frequent fill-ups at the gas station. Exercised His Own Discretion Over Ethical Rules Young didn't reach into his own pocket for the new Lincoln because, he said, the car will be used to drive to political events in his district in and around St. Petersburg."There is a very legitimate need for transportation," Young said.He said he chose a Lincoln because "it's big" and[...]



Rivera, Sansom Re-Run, Enters Congressional Race

Tue, 02 Mar 2010 04:57:00 +0000

From FDP:


Given that State Representative David Rivera was handpicked by scandal-magnet Ray Sansom to head the House Budget Committee, Rivera's announcement today that he'll seek the Republican nomination to run for Congress in Florida's 25th district means Rivera starts his campaign under an ethical cloud.

"It hasn't even been a week since disgraced Speaker Ray Sansom resigned under criminal indictment and now his handpicked Budget Chair says he's running for Congress. Is this an indication of how hard it is to find a Republican candidate in Florida not marked by scandal?" asked Eric Jotkoff, spokesman for the Florida Democratic Party. "Rivera better tell Floridians the truth about his role in the scandal that's gripping the Republican Party of Florida and whether he had an RPOF AmEx card. Until he comes clean with the voters of Florida, he will continue to face serious questions about his shady associations and backroom deals."



Charlie Justice Statement on Bill Young's Announcement to Run Again

Wed, 24 Feb 2010 04:47:00 +0000


"A huge sigh of relief is being heard from the special-interest lobbyists who fuel Congressman Bill Young's campaigns with contributions in return for questionable earmarks that have become symbolic of everything that is wrong with Washington.

Young has presided over decades of irresponsible spending and misguided policies that have hurt Florida families. While most Floridians struggle to stay afloat, Congressman Young has voted in lock-step with Republican naysayers who seem bent on ignoring the very real problems faced by Florida families and small businesses.

Proving how out-of-touch he is with the community, Congressman Young will actually brag about the 40 years of out-of-control pork-spending he is responsible for.

Over the course of the next ten months I will present my bold vision to improve the lives of all the residents of Pinellas County for the future and fight to bring new jobs and industries to our community, creating new opportunities for our families and small business right here at home.

Since our community first elected me to public office I have worked with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to fight for the hard working families of Pinellas County. Because we need to make sure the values of our community are defended, I plan on taking my experience and continuing that fight as the next Representative of the 10th Congressional District."



Rubio Refuses to Stand By His Words As Republican Ethics Implosion Continues

Wed, 24 Feb 2010 04:41:00 +0000


As the ethics implosion of the Florida Republican Party continues, GOP Senate candidate Marco Rubio refuses to meet the same standards of accountability he effused from the campaign stump, illustrated by a Web video released by the Florida Democratic Party today.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHAwL1M67w8
On the campaign trail, the former lobbyist strongly advocated accountability in government and Florida taxpayers holding their elected official accountable. But as revelations continue about Florida Republican leaders' ethics scandals - specifically questions about former House Speaker Ray Sansom's budget dealings - Rubio called questions on the issue a "distraction." [Rotary Luncheon, 12/7/09, Tampa; Marco Rubio, Miami Herald 1/28/10]

Now it appears as if Rubio is trying to avoid ever testifying on the record about his knowledge of Sansom's dealings and Attorney General Bill McCollum's refusal to investigate the State GOP's practice of giving legislators credit cards means Rubio may yet dodge the accountability for which he previously advocated.

"What does a politician-turned-lobbyist-turned-politician like Speaker Rubio do when he advocates accountability and then gets questions about his own potential involvement in or knowledge of allegedly shady dealings? He gets his political cronies to make sure he doesn't face the same accountability he preaches for other politicians," Eric Jotkoff, Florida Democratic Party spokesman said.



Young Inc a $118 Million Business

Tue, 23 Feb 2010 18:46:00 +0000

From Charlie Justice:YOUNG, INC. Former Staff And Family of Rep. Young Benefit from $118 Million In Taxpayers’ Money From Young Earmarks Young Steers $45 Million Of Taxpayers’ Money to Young, Inc. Clients In Just 4 Years; $73 Million Earmarked for Employers of Young’s Sons St. Petersburg, FL - February 19, 2010 – Congressman Bill Young has steered more than $118 million in taxpayers’ money to the direct and indirect benefit of his children, daughter-in-law and former staff members.Along the way, Young has taken $386,000 in campaign cash from the clients of his former staffers.“This is just wrong,” said Charlie Justice. “Congressman Bill Young treats the federal budget like his personal piggy bank. Since 2005, Bill Young has steered $45 million in taxpayers’ money to his daughter-in-law and former members of his staff. In addition, the employers of his sons have received $73 million in earmarks placed in the budget by their father. At the same time, Young has taken $386,000 in campaign cash from the clients of his former staff.”Justice, a Florida state senator who is running against Young, said the congressman’s campaign account should be called, “Young, Incorporated.”“At a time when families and small businesses in Pinellas County are struggling to make ends meet, Bill Young and his friends and family are living the high life at the taxpayers’ expense,” Justice said. “When I see this kind of abuse of trust I completely understand the anger and frustration that is shaking the foundations of our democracy.”Justice’s release of the information today is the third installment in his “ten point indictment” of Young’s abuse of power. Before today’s release, Justice criticized Young for sending $13.5 million to New York Harbor for a floating museum and pointed out that Young-backed earmarks have been investigated by law enforcement officials on four separate occasions. Three of those investigations are still open.Justice said, “Every person in Pinellas County should be offended by Bill Young using his support of the military and veterans as a smoke screen to hide this corrupting enterprise that benefits him personally and directly. I will not take a backseat to anyone in my support of the military and our veterans. During a time when veterans are victimized by cuts to health care and the debacle at Walter Reed, Bill Young was happily wearing out a path between his office and the bank with huge contributions from the defense contractors he serves.”“It is time for Bill Young to go,” Justice said. “Bill Young has embraced the corrupt ethics of a bygone era and made it a part of the federal budget process. Until Bill Young is removed from Congress, the federal budget process cannot be healed and deficits cannot be controlled.” Indictment #3 – Young, Inc. a $118 Million Business Sons, daughter-in-law, former staff feed at federal budget trough while Young collects $386,000 in campaign cash. Earmarks for Daughter-in-law’s ClientsIn 2005, clients of Cindy Young, Rep. Young’s daughter-in-law, received $2 million in funding in the defense appropriations bill. Rep. Young was chairman of the House Appropriations Committee at the time. One earmark procured $1 million for a single client of Cindy’s. Last year, clients of Cindy Young’s firm won $2 million in funding in the defense spending bill that her father-in-law oversaw. In one case, $1 million was directed to one of Cindy Young’s clients, Dynamic Defense Materials, to develop body armor for the military. The money came in the form an “earmark,” a provision that lawmakers add to spending bills for an i[...]



What Speaker Rubio Didn't Say At CPAC: How He Will Help Bring Jobs To Florida

Tue, 23 Feb 2010 18:18:00 +0000

From FDP:


Today, Florida Democratic Party spokesman Eric Jotkoff released the following statement reacting to former Miami Lobbyist and Speaker Marco Rubio's empty rhetoric at CPAC, where Rubio regurgitated extreme right-wing platitudes, yet said nothing about how he will bring jobs to Florida or get our state back on track.

"While Marco Rubio may be succeeding in winning the heart and soul of the Republican Party, Speaker Rubio clearly has no new ideas to bring jobs to Florida or get our state back on track.

"While Speaker Rubio continues to offer only Tea Party talking points, Floridians are looking for real solutions to jump start our economy.

"As Florida House Speaker, Marco Rubio crafted the economic policies that took our state's economy down the wrong path. During Speaker Rubio's watch, Florida's economy collapsed. Now as other parts of our country begin to see signs of recovery, Florida is lagging behind thanks to the failed Republican policies from Tallahassee.

"Like the typical politician that he is, Rubio's recent rhetoric doesn't fit his record. Speaker Rubio refuses to tell Floridians if he continues to support the largest sales tax increase in Florida's history, which he sponsored while in the Legislature. He won't say what he will do to diversify Florida's economy. And, Rubio won't say how he will help Floridians suffering during these hard economic times.

"This fall, Floridians are going to send Kendrick Meek to the U.S. Senate because we need leaders that will fight against the status quo to help middle class families. Kendrick knows it takes more than political doublespeak or ideological rhetoric to ensure Florida's economy works for everyone. Throughout his career, Kendrick has been fighting to create jobs and expand opportunity, a fight he will continue in the U.S. Senate."



Briefing Memo To President George W. Bush on Miami Lobbyist Marco Rubio

Thu, 18 Feb 2010 03:02:00 +0000

From FDP:To: President George W. BushFrom: Concerned Citizens of FloridaSubject: Briefing Memo on Miami Lobbyist Marco Rubio-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------Yesterday, while in Naples, Florida, you appeared to be caught off guard when asked about former Speaker and Miami Lobbyist Marco Rubio. According to media accounts you asked, "Who the hell is Marco Rubio?"It is surprising that you don't know who Rubio is, given the fact much of your family, the family of your former Vice President Dick Cheney, and your former staff members including your so-called "brain" Karl Rove, are leading supporters of Rubio's campaign. We are concerned that any further snubs to Marco Rubio could be an embarrassment to you and him. Therefore, we hope you find the following briefing on Marco Rubio and his exploits helpful for your purposes and for preventing future slights. BRIEF BACKGROUND:Politician-Turned-Lobbyist-Turned-PoliticianMarco RubioMarco Rubio was a Miami lobbyist, who later became Speaker of the Florida State House of Representatives. While his campaign tries to portray him as an outsider, the facts don't back that up. As the Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times Tallahassee Bureau recently reported:His entire bio underscores that Rubio, despite his supporters describing him as an outsider in his race against fellow Republican Gov. Charlie Crist, is a consummate insider. Consider: City commissioner, lawyer, lobbyist*, one-time Republican Party of Florida American Express card holder, top echelon House leader and, ultimately, House Speaker, Jeb Bush sword-of-Chang bearer.Mr. President, despite the fact that on most issues Speaker Rubio's recent rhetoric doesn't match his record, there are two areas of which you should find Rubio's stance particularly interesting. Marco Rubio is still fighting two of your failed policy battles: to enact Social Security privatization and to stop life-saving stem cell research.SOCIAL SECURITY PRIVATIZATION: Rubio Regurgitates Failed Washington AgendaDespite the economic crash, and the vast majority of Floridians being against privatizing Social Security, Speaker Rubio is keeping up the fight for your plan to dismantle the program on which so many of Florida's senior citizens depend.Rubio Supports Privatizing Social SecurityOn Feb. 2, 2010 the Reid Report reported that, "A spokesman for the Rubio campaign says the candidate 'supports giving people the option of investing a portion of their Social Security in personal retirement accounts,' which essentially is the Bush proposal." [Reid Report, 2/3/2010, Link]Rubio: Social Security Should Include Private AccountsOn Jan. 31 2010 Tim Nicken the Editor of Editorials for the St. Petersburg Times reported during the previous week Rubio, "resurrected the failed Republican pitch to let people invest part of their Social Security money, a bad idea even before the recession wiped out many Americans' savings." [St. Petersburg Times, 1/31/2010]Rubio Signed Laura Ingram's Ten for '10 Petition Pledging Support for PrivatizationOn Sept. 15, 2009 conservative radio host Laura Ingram announced that Rubio was among those who signed her "Ten for '10" pledge that included support for privatization of social security. The relevant part of Ingram's petition reads:8) End Generational Theft. As few believe America's entitlement programs will be able to pay benefits to future generations, provide younger workers the choice of diverting payroll/Social Security taxes into personal retirement accounts. [Laura Ingram, "Ten for '10," 9/15/2009, Link]Rubio's [...]



Justice Indictment of Young #2- Bill Young Has Become The Al Capone Of Earmarks

Thu, 18 Feb 2010 02:55:00 +0000

Charlie Justice Continues Indictment Of Bill Young For Corrupting Federal Budget, Exploding Deficits ‘Bill Young has become the Al Capone of earmarks’ Three investigations into Young-related earmarking are on going St. Petersburg, FL - February 19, 2010 – Charlie Justice says Congressman Bill Young has engaged in a systematic “Earmarks for Cash” conspiracy that has corrupted the federal budget process and helped explode the deficit.“On four different occasions, Congressman Bill Young has provided earmarks to entities that have been investigated by law enforcement for bribery and fraud. In some cases, Young’s benefactors have been indicted,” Justice said today. “In his relentless quest for campaign contributions, Congressman Young has taken $737,000 in campaign cash in return for inserting so-called budget ‘earmarks’ into the federal budget. Along the way, investigations have shown that Young’s benefactors have been investigated for a variety of charges including bribery and fraud.”Justice said Young’s behavior has helped corrupt the federal budget process even as Congressman Young has fought against reforming the process.“Bill Young has become the Al Capone of the budget earmark process,” said Justice. “Just a few months ago, federal investigators raided yet another firm that had been the beneficiary of millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money shepherded through the budget process by Congressman Bill Young.”In his second in a series of indictments leveled at Congressman Bill Young, Justice revealed four different occasions where Young earmarks have drawn the attention of American and international law enforcement officials. Three of the investigations are ongoing.Justice said his examination of Young’s earmarks show a clear link between earmarks and contributions to his campaign.“There appears to be a formula for Young’s corrupting behavior. The larger the budget earmark, the higher the contributions to Young’s campaign. For every million dollars in tax money Young has doled out, he receives an average of $7,836 to his campaign,” Justice said. “Bill Young has embraced the corrupt ethics of a bygone era and made it a part of the federal budget process. Until Bill Young is removed from Congress, the federal budget process cannot be healed and deficits cannot be controlled.”“Bill Young has a record that would make Al Capone proud,” Justice said. “Why would a Florida congressman be so interested in helping companies in Maine and England get money from the federal budget? Perhaps it is because some of that money that then flowed to Young’s campaign account.”“Here’s what I will do differently as the next Congressman from Florida’s 10th District. I will vote to eliminate the practice of earmarking pet projects in the federal budget. I can bring home federal tax dollars to Pinellas County without engaging in the corrupting earmarking process,” Justice said. “I will also fight for jobs and tourism dollars right here in Pinellas County and let New York, England and Maine take care of themselves. I will do it in the open through the budget process instead of through these corrupting earmarks.” Indictment #2 – The Al Capone of Congress Indictments, bribery, fraud taint Young budget shenanigans.Young took $517,300 from four tainted recipients of earmarks. Case #1: Maine Defense Contractor Indicted After Receiving Millions in Young Earmarks. Young accepted $11,000 for his campaign from those connected to the scandal. Recipients indicted. Over the course of seven years, Maurice [...]



Charlie Justice Begins Indictment of Bill Young

Thu, 18 Feb 2010 02:03:00 +0000

Charlie Justice Begins Indictment Of Bill Young For Corrupting Federal Budget, Exploding Deficits ‘Bill Young has embraced the corrupt ethics of a bygone era’ First Count of Indictment: The Floating Museum in New York Young’s New York Museum Engages in Direct Attack on Florida’s Tourism Industry St. Petersburg, FL - February 16, 2010 - Charlie Justice says Congressman Bill Young has engaged in a systematic “Earmarks for Cash” conspiracy that has corrupted the federal budget process and helped explode the deficit.“Congressman Bill Young has betrayed the trust of the people of Pinellas County by trading taxpayers’ money for contributions to his campaign,“ Justice said today. “Congressman Young has taken $737,000 in campaign cash in return for inserting so-called budget ‘earmarks’ into the federal budget.”Justice said Young’s behavior has helped corrupt the federal budget process even as Congressman Young has fought against reforming the process.“Beginning today, my campaign will present a ten count indictment of Congressman Bill Young’s corrupting abuse of the federal budget process for his own political gain. I believe that Congressman Young’s behavior is disgraceful, disqualifying and completely out of the step with the people of Pinellas County,” Justice said.Justice said his examination of Young’s earmarks show a clear link between earmarks and contributions to his campaign.“There appears to be a formula for Young’s corrupting behavior. The larger the budget earmark, the higher the contributions to Young’s campaign. For every million dollars in tax money Young has doled out, he receives an average of $7,836 to his campaign,” Justice said. “Bill Young has embraced the corrupt ethics of a bygone era and made it a part of the federal budget process. Until Bill Young is removed from Congress, the federal budget process cannot be healed and deficits cannot be controlled.”“Here’s what I will do differently as the next Congressman from Florida’s 10th District. I will vote to eliminate the practice of earmarking pet projects in the federal budget. I can bring home federal tax dollars to Pinellas County without engaging in the corrupting earmarking process,” Justice said. “I will also fight for jobs and tourism dollars right here in Pinellas County and let New York take care of itself.” Indictment #1 – The Floating New York Museum $13 million hidden in the federal budget by Young.$120,000 to Young’s Campaign. “It’s curious that a congressman who represents a tourist destination state like Florida would hide $13 million in taxpayers’ money for a tourist destination in New York Harbor. It’s curious, at least, until you learn that Congressman Bill Young got $120,000 in contributions to his campaign in return for boosting tourism in New York,” said Charlie Justice.New York real estate tycoon Zachary Fisher led efforts to restore the USS Intrepid as a museum in the Hudson River. The project received a shot in the arm to the tune of $13 million thanks to an earmark supported by Rep. Young, who served as Appropriations Committee Chairman at the time. In return he received $120,000 in campaign contributions from members of the Fisher family and employees of Wall Street investment firm Cantor Fitzgerald, whose CEO was on the museum’s board of directors.“Congressman Bill Young often crows about bringing money home to Pinellas County. Why then did Bill Young use his influence to hide $13 million in the budget for a floating museum in New York Harbor?[...]



Marco Rubio Affirms He's Part of the Flat Earth Society, What About Charlie Crist?

Thu, 18 Feb 2010 02:03:00 +0000

From FDP:Rubio To Tampa Tribune: I Don't Believe In Global WarmingWith Both Rubio And Crist Running Hard To Right, Will Crist Also Disavow Global Warming?Today, the Florida Democratic Party is on the offensive against former Miami lobbyist Marco Rubio after he suggested he doesn't believe in global warming. In an interview with the Tampa Tribune, Speaker Rubio said he doesn't accept the scientific evidence for global warming, which puts him at odds with the vast majority of actually scientists and climatologists. With Rubio declaring himself part of the flat earth society, will embattled Governor Charlie Crist, down big in the polls, join Rubio and try to curry some favor with right-wing, Tea Party activists? "With his comments late last week suggesting he doesn't believe in global warming, Marco Rubio has positioned himself far outside the Florida mainstream," said Eric Jotkoff, Florida Democratic Party spokesman. "Now the spotlight falls on Charlie Crist. Falling further and further behind in the polls and facing a right-wing primary electorate, will Charlie Crist join Rubio in denying the existence of global warming?""And, with both Rubio and Crist running hard to the right and right out of the Florida mainstream, what extreme positions will they take next? Will they declare a belief that humans and dinosaurs roamed the earth together? Will they demand that the United States return to the gold standard?" asked Jotkoff.Tampa Tribune: Rubio questions climate changeWILLIAM MARCHFebruary 13, 2010http://www2.tbo.com/content/2010/feb/13/na-rubio-questions-climate-change/Senate candidate Marco Rubio said Friday that he doesn't accept the scientific evidence for global warming - a stance Rubio has hinted at before, but which the campaign of Gov. Charlie Crist said is a switch for Rubio.Rubio denied it's a change in his position on the issue.Climate change in general, and specifically of a "cap-and-trade" plan to limit carbon emissions, has been an issue in the campaign between Crist and Rubio for the Republican nomination for the U.S. Senate.In an interview with the Tribune on that subject Friday, Rubio called Crist "a believer in man-made global warming.""I don't think there's the scientific evidence to justify it," Rubio said.Asked whether he accepts the scientific evidence that the global climate is undergoing change, he responded, "The climate is always changing. The climate is never static. The question is whether it's caused by man-made activity and whether it justifies economically destructive government regulation."Rubio hasn't previously denied global warming outright in published statements on the issue.In December, he told The Miami Herald, "I'm not a scientist. I'm not qualified to make that decision. There's a significant scientific dispute about that."In an interview with the American Spectator, which used only paraphrase and not direct quotes, Rubio said he was not prepared to challenge the scientific evidence of global warming, but that the evidence didn't justify a cap-and-trade plan.The Crist camp accuses Rubio of flip-flopping on the issue because while Rubio criticizes Crist for backing a cap-and-trade plan, Rubio also led the state House in 2008 to pass legislation mandating a state cap-and-trade plan."If the climate's changing, so are his positions on issues," said Eric Eikenberg, Crist campaign manager. "This is the flavor of the month," an attempt by Rubio to appeal to the right wing, he said.In a 2007 speech on the issue to the House, Rubio said, "Flor[...]



Congresswoman Brown-Waite Took Thousands from Scandal Plagued WellPoint Insurance

Thu, 18 Feb 2010 01:39:00 +0000

From Jim Piccillo:


Piccillo Challenges Ginny Brown-Waite to Return Thousands in WellPoint “Blood Money”

Congresswoman Brown-Waite Took Thousands from Scandal Plagued WellPoint Insurance
Piccillo: “WellPoint's greedy price-hike scheme is right out of the Wall Street handbook; designed to make them rich while families lose their health care coverage.”

Land O Lakes, FL- Jim Piccillo, the leading opponent to Congresswoman Ginny Brown- Waite, called on her today to return the $2,000 in campaign contributions she took from the controversial insurance company WellPoint. Piccillo issued this challenge after weekend reports revealed that WellPoint insurance increased their premiums by 39% only days after posting a $2.7 Billion profit last fiscal quarter.

“I support bringing down monthly insurance premiums for Florida's families through common-sense reforms to our health care system. Ginny Brown-Waite voted for a health care bill that would take six years to achieve 3% savings in health care premiums for 8 out of 10 Americans. She voted for that bill to protect the same insurance companies, like WellPoint, that pumped over $150,000 into her campaign during last year's health care debate. It should make people wonder who Ginny Brown-Waite is really working for; big insurance companies or us, her constituents,” said Piccillo.
Piccillo is running for Congress to restore common-sense by holding greedy insurance companies and other special interests accountable while Florida families struggle to make ends meet during this crippling recession that has the district facing record unemployment levels.

“What WellPoint did disgusts me. They are the perfect example of what's wrong with the American health care system today. WellPoint's greedy price-hike scheme is right out of the Wall Street handbook; designed to make them rich while families lose their health care coverage. That's why Ginny Brown-Waite should return the $2,000.00 she took from them for her campaign. WellPoint's blood money has no place in this campaign,” concluded Piccillo.



Will Crist, Rubio Meet Answer On Equal Pay?

Mon, 01 Feb 2010 00:27:00 +0000

From FDP:


Or Will They Continue Dodge and Weave on Pocketbook Issues?

Tallahassee, FL - On the one-year anniversary of Congress passing the Lilly Ledbetter Act to require equal pay for equal work regardless of gender, age, race, religion, or national origin, Republican U.S. Senate hopefuls Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist are oddly silent. Would they have supported or opposed the landmark equal-pay legislation had they been in Congress?

"Floridians deserve equal pay for equal work. And the people of our state deserve to know if those who wish to represent us support or oppose equal pay for equal work," Florida Democratic Party spokesman Eric Jotkoff said. "How would Charlie Crist and Marco Rubio have voted?"

In January 2009, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act passed Congress with the support of Senator Bill Nelson and despite the opposition of former Republican Senator Mel Martinez.

"Facing a roomful of reporters Wednesday, Florida's Republican candidates for U.S. Senate offered a glimpse of what's ahead in their campaigns when the heat is on: dodge and weave," Reported one newspaper earlier this week in a story headlined, "Rubio, Crist practice dodge, weave with reporters." [Times/Herald, Tampabay.com, 1/28/10]



Will Bill Young Run To Put Washington Republicans First?

Sun, 31 Jan 2010 16:42:00 +0000


The Florida Democratic Party today urged Congressman Bill Young to seriously consider if he wants to run for re-election to represent the interests of his district or to please national Republican leaders in Congress. In recent days, media reports have made clear that Young might run for re-election because of pressure from national Republican leaders.

"After 39 years in Washington, Congressman Bill Young has lost touch with the people of Pinellas County. Rather than listening to the Floridians demanding change, Congressman Young instead has made it clear that his decision to retire depends on lobbying from the Republican Party bosses in Washington," said Eric Jotkoff, Florida Democratic Party Spokesman. "The people of Florida's 10th district need someone to represent them, unfortunately Congressman Young is only listening to Washington Republicans and their special interest friends. So rather than doing what Washington Republicans demand, maybe Young will finally put his district first and retire. If not, the voters will tarnish what legacy Young has left by throwing him out of office this fall."

Background

According to Darryl Paulson, a political science professor with a "long relationship with Young", Rep. Young has changed his mind and decided to run "in response to intense lobbying from national Republicans." [Tampa Tribune, 1/25/2010]
Young has acknowledged that if he decides to run it's because: "I'm getting lobbied big time to run for re-election." [St. Petersburg Times, 1/13/2010]



Speaker Rubio's Just Saying No Won't Bring Jobs To Florida

Tue, 26 Jan 2010 03:59:00 +0000


Today, Florida Democratic Party spokesman Eric Jotkoff released the following statement demanding to know how Speaker Marco Rubio's "just saying no" to efforts to jumpstart Florida's economy will bring new jobs to Florida, after the Crist Administration announced Florida's unemployment rate is up to 11.8 percent:

"As Florida House Speaker, Marco Rubio crafted the economic policies that took our state's economy down the wrong path. During Speaker Rubio's watch, Florida's economy collapsed while Rubio did nothing to bring new jobs to Florida or jumpstart our economy.

"Like the typical politician that he is, Rubio's recent rhetoric doesn't fit his record. Speaker Rubio refuses to tell Floridians if he continues to support the largest sales tax increase in Florida's history, which he sponsored while in the Legislature. And Rubio won't say how he will help Floridians suffering during these hard economic times.

"Floridians deserve answers, but all Speaker Rubio has to say is 'No.'"