If Rick Scott's and the Republicans in the Florida Legislature's record wasn't so bad when it comes to ignoring the people they're supposed to be working for, you could almost feel sorry for the Republican Party of Florida whose job these days is trying to defend Rick Scott and highlight his selling points.
Because just as the old saying "You can't squeeze blood from a turnip" goes, so goes the RPOF and their little "messaging" problem:
It's Not Working.
They're literally attacking the messenger: Themselves.
For weeks their greatest fear seems to be Charlie Crist, who has yet to say whether or not he'll run against Scott in 2014. That fear is so great that they constructed a Tumblr meme around it called "This Day In CRIST-ory" to mock the guy they couldn't get enough of when he was still on their team. Sadly, much like the History Channel they're mimicking, their "CRIST-ory" is just a bit slanted. Anyone with the ability to use Google can easily navigate their twists and turns in the road to the truth.
Standing up to real scrutiny in their message is problematic any day for the RPOF, but this past week they've really stepped in it. In fact, if you didn't know any better, you might think they were working for the opposition. They've managed to focus the spotlight on the disaster that is Rick Scott.
Consider where we are this week. The George Zimmerman trial in the killing of Trayvon Martin ended with a "Not Guilty" verdict, and thanks to Rick Scott, the Florida Legislature, and their ALEC Stand Your Ground Law, a teenager is dead, and his killer walked away. Naturally this isn't sitting well with a majority of the public who are crying out for a change in the law that allows you to get away with murder as long as you kill your only witness.
Some of those demanding change are currently waiting outside of Rick Scott's office demanding that he address the issue. But they've had to also sleep outside of his office because ever since they arrived, Scott has been missing in action, choosing to conduct whatever business he's doing anywhere but in Tallahassee, where he should be.
Though Scott loves to go on his so-called "Listening Tours" which are really just photo-ops, if I were messaging, I would refer to this as Scott's "Cowardly Silence Road Trip" because he's unable to Stand His Ground against the truth.
While this is unfolding in Tallahassee, the RPOF have turned to several messages trying to force that turnip to bleed, but it's their message that's bleeding.
First, last night this Tweet appeared:
Interesting choice of words: Inaction.
Considering Scott's own inaction on the SYG law, while he ignores calls for change.
Today’s Republican Party of Florida attack on Charlie Crist recycles a 2010 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee web video that lumped then-Gov. Crist with Republicans Sarah Palin and Kelly Ayotte as politicians who betrayed voters by abandoning their jobs.
Another common theme from the RPOF (not to mention the national GOP) is that in order to dig up dirt and examples of governing "malpractice" if you will, the only ones they can find are those that their own party have committed. They're so desperate here that they're attacking not only their former governor Crist, but using the examples of Sarah Palin, their own VP nominee in 2008, and Kelly Ayotte, a member of the GOP in Congress who loyally stood with the NRA and against Sandy Hook victims and their families to block gun legislation. They both quit their jobs for greener pastures in the national spotlight.
No, Rick Scott hasn't "quit", although the majority of Floridans certainly favor that option and wish he would do so, he has abandoned Tallahassee and his office temporarily because a real issue is waiting there to stare him in the face if, and when, he ever shows up.
Interesting choice of words: Quitter.
That leads us to today's attack, and the RPOF fail on this one is downright comical.
They've now dug up a rerun from 2008, the old Democratic "Empty Chair Charlie" theme, and again they've resorted to attacking their own, not only Crist, but their Presidential nominee from 2008, John McCain.
From their press release:
"The site's sole purpose will be to archive and post previous Florida Democratic Party press releases and other materials attacking Crist's tenure as governor and his open campaign to be John McCain's vice president."
Yes. Republicans are so very, very horrible that they're forced to attack themselves in an attempt to bring down one of the few former members of their party who initially dared to embrace a stimulus package that would bring money, jobs, and much needed infrastructure to Florida and it's constituents, and hugged President Obama while doing so. Instead, Rick Scott said no to that money, jobs, and infrastructure, and instead Floridians ended up with the candidate who said he was running for Senate in order to shut government down, Marco Rubio, who is currently sinking in the polls like the Titanic.
So here we are. George Zimmerman is a free man. Trayvon Martin is dead because he was existing while black, deemed "suspicious" by Zimmerman, and the law that Scott and the legislature embrace allowed this to happen because Martin's voice is silent and can't dispute Zimmerman's story. Floridians and the majority of the people around the nation want this law changed.
And a group of those very people are sleeping on the floor outside of Rick Scott's empty office wating to make their voices heard, while he does whatever it takes to avoid them.
Surprise! After voters in Florida approved the "Fair Districts" constitutional Amendments to prevent coordination between the Republican Party and Florida legislators in 2010 over redistricting, they did it anyway, through the use of private email accounts.
This information came to light yesterday after the Associated Press requested the documents after they were presented in a court hearing last week.
Florida’s legislative leaders appear to have authorized their staff to use private email accounts, secret “dropboxes” and to engage in “brainstorming meetings” with Republican Party of Florida consultants in attempting to draw favorable political districts, despite a constitutional ban on such coordination.
The allegations arise from a lawsuit challenging the Senate and congressional redistricting that include emails showing how top deputies of Senate President Don Gaetz, House Speaker Will Weatherford and several of Gaetz’s consultants were in frequent contact with consultants who drafted and analyzed maps. Redistricting is done every 10 years to redraw boundaries of legislative and congresssional districts to ensure equal representation.
The emails show that just a month after voters approved the amendment banning all coordination between the party and lawmakers in 2010, Rich Heffley, the RPOF political consultant who served as a close advisor to Gaetz, called a redistricting “brainstorming” meeting to be held in the chairman’s conference room at RPOF headquarters in Tallahassee.
Heffley listed the expected participants, which included Weatherford’s redistricting chief of staff, Alex Kelly; Gaetz’s redistricting general counsel Andy Bardos; Gaetz’s district aide Chris Clark, and the political consultants running the House and Senate 2012 Republican election campaigns: Frank Terraferma, Joel Springer, Andy Palmer, Marc Reichelderfer, and Pat Bainter. Also attending: the lawyers advising the House and Senate on their redistricting efforts, George Meros and Ben Ginsberg.
In one example (below), in an email from January of 2012, a Republican official writes to a consultant about changes that could "entice Mica to run against Adams," meaning GOP Rep. John Mica and GOP Rep. Sandy Adams. Mica did run against Adams, defeating her. The email also mentions that "[GOP Rep. Gus] Bilirakis will cry."
Democrats needed 540,208 signatures on petitions to force a recall of Governor Scott Walker in Wisconsin, but today they got that and more.
Over one million signatures!
It's the next step in the effort to recall the Koch friendly governor, who stripped collective bargaining rights for unions, slashed education from his budget, brought about huge job losses and pushed through a strict voter suppression, voter ID law among other things. (Sound a bit familiar Florida?)
Wisconsin Democrats announced Tuesday that they have collected over a million signatures to recall Republican Gov. Scott Walker — nearly twice the 540,208 signatures, or 25 percent of the total votes in the previous election for governor, needed to trigger a new election.
The petitions are being submitted today to the state Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections. This will in turn set off a lengthy review process by state officials, before an election can go forward later in the year. But given the very large number of signatures that are well beyond the already high threshold, and the state’s recent history of recalls in the state Senate, it seems a safe bet that an election will occur.
The Dems are also submitting separate petitions for: Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch (845,000 signatures, showing some amount of drop-off from the Walker papers, but still well above the same 540,208 threshold); State Sen. Pam Galloway; State Sen. Terry Moulton; State Sen. Van Wanggaard; and state Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald (who was not originally a top target of the state party, but against whom the local Walker-recall organizers took the extra initiative).
In their announcement, the party boasted of numerous measurements of the total collection of petitions: That they number 300,000 pages, weighing a total of 3,000 pounds — or two Holstein milk cows, in this dairy-producing state.
Marco Rubio came to Tampa today to speak about job creation during a lunch at the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce. Sticking to the Republican script, he blamed regulations and political rhetoric for preventing businesses from hiring, according to The Tampa Tribune.
Rubio continues to deny those claims in the face of videos and news reports that quote him giving a different story until he changed his Senate bio last week after the Washington Post found that Rubio's parents left Cuba earlier and for different reasons than Rubio's longstanding political narrative had asserted.
"The bottom line is the story's the same one, and I think it's been blown way out of proportion by some people in the media."
"There's no disparity, it just more detail," he said.
Details, details. So he got the dates wrong. No big deal, right?
Rubio said he feels "outrage at the way the story's been exaggerated – I mean the bottom line is, I got the dates wrong because they happened 15 years before I was even born."
Oh, well....he got the dates wrong, but only because they happened 15 years before he was even born. How dare the media and voters be so demanding of facts! How can they expect Rubio to know when his parents left their homeland? Hello, he wasn't even born yet, so....duh?
Since his family history is such a big part of his life, which shaped him into the person he is today, or so he tells us time and time again, speech after speech, perhaps he might have taken the time to look into such "minor" details, like what year they actually left, and the reasons why. It's not like the evidence wasn't there for Rubio to discover for himself. If it's as meaningful as he claims, surely those aren't minor details one would forget.
Unless of course "forgetting them" makes for a better story?
For someone who aspires to higher office, and perhaps the White House, I'm not sure which quality in a person is worse: Someone who knows the facts, but chooses to embellish them, or someone who doesn't and isn't even the least bit curious enough to look into the facts for himself. Haven't we had enough Republicans running the country this way already? From Iraq, to jobs, to historical rates of income inequality, ignoring facts has brought us to where we are today.
If The Washington Post wants to criticize me for getting a few dates wrong, I accept that. But to call into question the central and defining event of my parents’ young lives – the fact that a brutal communist dictator took control of their homeland and they were never able to return – is something I will not tolerate.
Actually, he won't tolerate getting caught.
Who, exactly is missing the point here? Note to Rubio: they were criticizing you for "getting a few dates wrong" as you put it, not your parents, but please, do go on and continue using them yourself for political gain.
For someone who aspires to be (gulp) VP or President someday, an excuse tantamount to "the dog ate my homework" isn't going to cut it.
Go ahead, change that bio. Write about your outrage to your heart's content in Politico. When you're not blocking a vote for ANYTHING that makes this country great as you so fondly claim, by all means, spend the remainder of your day acting outraged on FOX-GOP-TV. Go for it.
It doesn't change the facts. It's more than just "getting a few dates wrong." It's not just Marco Rubio's bio. It's the Marco Rubio brand:
Once upon a time, even to some in the Republican Party I believe, facts mattered.
Just when you think that the Republican party can't sink any lower into the muddy waters of hypocrisy, they don their diving gear and double down for a race to the bottom.
The party that claims they and their ball and chain President Bush had absolutely nothing to do with the deficit, yet claim he deserves all the credit for the death of Osama Bin Laden has a new line they'd like you to buy.
Remember those angry town halls last year where they hired shills to play angry voters and yell "Hands off my Medicare!" so they could scare the elderly into thinking Obama's health care plan would have them lined up at "death panels" all across the nation, which in turn helped them win the U.S. House back in last year's election? You do? Well, you're going to need a neck brace for this new whiplash inducing revelation.
Now that those same Republicans actually are trying to kill future Grandmas (that would be you if you're 55 or younger) by killing Medicare altogether have suddenly noticed that people really DO want them to keep their hands off their Medicare! (Imagine that!) Due to the unpopularity of the Paul Ryan "plan" they have come up with a new solution. They have called the "Waambulance."
House Republican freshmen admit that their so-called "MediScare" attacks on Democrats helped them win a big majority in 2010. Democrats had voted for the health care law, which included $500 billion in "cuts" to Medicare -- primarily slashing over-payments to private insurers -- and Republican challengers never let them forget it.
Now, they say, it's time to let bygones be bygones.
Nearly a dozen House Republican freshmen held a press conference outside the Capitol Tuesday morning to "wipe the slate clean," and "hit the reset button."
That "reset button" is the key. You see, they think that while it's perfectly fine to lie about the health care bill, they don't think it's a good idea to now have the Democrats point out those lies when they can no longer fool the public with them. Got that?
Wait, there's more:
On Tuesday, Kinzinger and 41 of his colleagues sent a letter to President Obama, asking him to rein in Democratic attacks on GOP members who voted for the House budget, which includes a plan to privatize Medicare and cap spending on the program.
"We ask that you stand above partisanship, condemn the disingenuous attacks and work with this Congress to reform spending on entitlement programs," the letter reads.
"Let's get past the past. Let's move forward to the future, and say, 'ok, today is today, and we have a real problem,'" Kinzinger said.
In other words, "waaah, Mr. President, the Democrats are being mean to us. Make them stop, pretty please Mr. President?" Yes, I'm sure after over two years of bashing him and blocking virtually everything he and the Democrats have tried to do, I'm sure President Obama will get right on that!
But wait, there's still more. The letter (which you can read here) does indeed have signatures from those 41 freshmen House members, and among them is one from Florida's own Allen West.
"I gotta tell you something: if you support Medicare the way it is now, you can kiss the United States of America goodbye."
Yes, well Allen West now wants to ask President Obama to interrupt important business to take the time to tell Democrats "C'mon guys, sure the Republicans are lying, but it's what they do! Don't call them on it! C'mon!"
Note to Allen West, "notorious military tough guy" (according to Allen West, that is): to quote a famous movie line "You can't handle the truth!"
It's almost as if he's been somehow "neutered" or something.