Sunshine State News Blogs
In what could be good news for Gov. Charlie Crist, a new Rasmussen survey of likely Florida voters reports that 54 percent say neither Republican nor Democratic leaders have a good understanding of what is needed today.
The pox on both partisan houses, which mirrors the national mood, is downright angry. Sixty-nine percent of Florida voters say they are angry at the current policies of the federal government, including 47 percent who are "very angry."
Tapping into that angst, Crist has taken to the airwaves in the last few days to "spell out" his bipartisan vision. Arraying giant red and blue letters, Crist's message is clear -- he'll draw from the best Republican and Democratic ideas.
But Crist's gambit is a gamble because his overall tilt toward Democratic positions moves him closer to the Obama administration. That's liable to make D.C.-phobic Floridians even more "angry" ... at him.
Angelina Jolie, who sees the world of Islam close-up in her capacity as a goodwill ambassador for the U.N.'s refugee agency, spoke out Wednesday in Islamabad, Pakistan to condemn Gainesville Pastor Terry Jones' plan to hold a Quran burning on Sept. 11.
"I have hardly the words that somebody would do that to somebody's religious book," Jolie told reporters after visiting refugee camps in northwestern Pakistan, one of the areas hardest hit by floods.
Waters from the flood have killed more than 1,700 people and affected more than 18 million others. Jolie said that seeing as much suffering and desperation among good Muslim people, "families who struggle to take care of each other," makes the act of burning these people's holy book "all the more hateful and all the more difficult to comprehend."
With state CFO Alex Sink, the Democratic gubernatorial nominee, saying earlier on Tuesday that she backed extending tax cuts implemented by President George W. Bush in 2001 and 2003, her Republican rival Rick Scott’s campaign team fired away at her for playing politics.
“Alex Sink campaigned with Obama at the same time he was calling for repeal of the Bush tax cuts,” said Chad Colby, a spokesman for Scott. “Now, she can't run away fast enough from his tax policy. Only in an election year do liberals realize that more taxes kill jobs. Floridians won't be fooled by election-year conversions -- especially two months before Election Day.
“Furthermore, Sink is on the record in support of Obamacare while at the same time saying she doesn’t support Medicare cuts,” added Colby. “It is clear she thinks the political debate is an a la carte menu where she can pick and choose the issues that work to her advantage. Unfortunately, she and her Obama liberal allies can’t run from the policies they support -- policies that have harmed the Florida economy and cost the state jobs.”
Alex Sink is trying to downplay her ties to President Barack Obama in this new ad attacking Rick Scott. "Unfortunately, Rick Scott seems to think running for governor is all about President Obama," she says in her ad.
Ads launched by Rick Scott and the Republican Party of Florida have drawn connections from Sink to the Obama policies she has supported.
Republican congressional candidate Steve Southerland is getting some help from the Republican Party of Florida in his bid to challenge vulnerable Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Allen Boyd.
On Tuesday, Ronnie Whitaker, the executive director of the RPOF, took aim at Boyd -- who won a Democratic primary over Senate Minority Leader Al Lawson of Tallahassee by the skin of his teeth -- over Social Security.
“In 2005, Allen Boyd stood with President Bush and Republicans who advocated reforming our Social Security system, while protecting the benefits of current retirees,” said Whitaker. “But now, after barely surviving his Democrat primary, Allen Boyd is running to the left, using the Social Security reforms he once sponsored to attack his opponent, while further alienating the voters of Florida’s Second Congressional District who don’t support his flip-flops that led to him supporting the failed federal stimulus package and a government-run health-care experiment.
“The record is clear. Steve Southerland believes we must keep our commitment to our seniors and those planning to retire soon with Social Security and Medicare benefits,” he added. “Allen Boyd has once again flip-flopped, turning his back on his district to instead support the left-wing agenda of Barack Obama and Nancy Pelosi.”
Republicans have targeted Boyd, seeing him as one of the most vulnerable Democrats in Congress.
While the great state of Florida celebrated its 165th birthday back in March, the nation’s oldest city marked its 445th anniversary on Tuesday. In an attempt to remove a French colonial settlement in present-day Jacksonville that threatened the treasure fleet routes, on Sept. 7, 1565, Spanish military leader Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed his forces and started erecting defenses to the south -- in present-day St. Augustine. The American colonial experience did not start with the Pilgrims or with Jamestown in 1607 -- it started here in Florida.
America in the 21st century is changing and how we see our past should as well. Certain censuses offer clear snapshots on where America is at a particular moment. The census of 1890 showed that the frontier was closed -- prompting the famous frontier thesis on American history by Frederick Jackson Turner. The census of 1920 revealed that more people lived in urban areas than rural ones.
The census of 2000 showed that, for the first time, there were more Hispanics in America than African-Americans -- a trend expected to continue in the 2010 census.
This demographic trend may change a great deal of how Americans understand history -- and Florida, which generally takes a back seat in most history books, could play a large role. Instead of talking about Massachusetts and Virginia, historians may focus on Florida, Texas and California.
As America grows increasingly Hispanic and Catholic, and more people head down I-95 and I-75 to move permanently to the Sunshine State, neglected areas like colonial Florida will demand more historic attention. Something to keep in mind as St. Augustine celebrates its 445th birthday.
And since Queen Elizabeth II graced Virginia when Jamestown celebrated its 400th birthday in 2007, let me suggest that King Juan Carlos of Spain should pay the First Coast a visit when St. Augustine turns 450 in 2015. And as the first thing Menendez did upon landing was set up an altar to hold mass, perhaps a papal visit could be arranged -- or at least suggested -- to honor 450 years of Catholicism in what is now the United States.
Libertarian gubernatorial candidate John Wayne Smith's explanation of his dismissal from the November ballot got a different twist from the Division of Elections today.
While Smith blamed the state agency for "losing" his paperwork, Division of Elections spokeswoman Jennifer K. Davis said the office had contacted Smith three times since his June 16 filing in an effort to retrieve the requisite form designating a lieutenant governor running mate.
"We called his lieutenant governor candidate (J.J. McCurry) June 17 to say (the paperwork) was missing. We sent letters to all gubernatorial candidates on Aug. 16" to remind them of the Sept. 2 deadline to name a running mate, Davis recounted.
"We called (Smith) again at 3:45 p.m. Sept. 2," she said.
"He had three months to turn in the required document. He never called back," Davis said.
According to Davis, McCurry had sent in his qualifying papers, "but Smith needed to send in the LG designation.
Smith said he hand-delivered his handwritten LG designation to the Division of Elections office in Tallahassee on June 16, but left without a receipt. He told Sunshine State News over the weekend that he intends to challenge his removal from the ballot and is exploring his legal options.
With Republican U.S. Senate nominee former House Speaker Marco Rubio off the campaign trail after the passing of his father, Rep. Jennifer Carroll, R-Jacksonville, the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, will be hosting a rally for the Rubio campaign on Wednesday. Carroll, who was tapped by GOP gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott last week, will be in Lakeland to meet with Republicans from Polk County.
Bernie DeCastro, the Constitution Party candidate in the U.S. Senate race, is questioning former House Speaker Marco Rubio’s conservative credentials. Rubio is currently running as the Republican nominee for the U.S. Senate.
“Marco Rubio is not a conservative,” wrote DeCastro in response to suggestions that he pull out of the race and not split the conservative vote. “Nor is he a person willing to ‘take on the liberal Obama agenda,‘ as he so often says. But this is not my opinion. This ‘accusation’ is based on facts and Mr. Rubio’s own record.
“I believe in the God-given right to life,” continued DeCastro. “I believe that life begins at conception. For this reason I support the personhood amendment, (which ascribes life at the point of conception). Mr. Rubio refuses to support the personhood amendment.
“I will fight and oppose Obama’s and Pelosi’s cap-and-trade at any cost,” he wrote. “While speaker of the Florida House, Mr. Rubio co-sponsored a cap-and-trade bill for Florida.
“I believe, like Glenn Beck, that a return to God and the Constitution are the remedies for the serious problems this country faces,” wrote DeCastro “That is why I signed Glenn Beck’s 912 pledge. Mr. Rubio has not signed the 912 pledge and many conservatives are wondering why.”
State CFO Alex Sink, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, spoke in Delray Beach on Tuesday about the ties between energy and Florida’s struggling economy -- and trumpeted some new endorsements.
Taking a page from Bud Chiles, who had run for governor without party affiliation until pulling out of the race last week to endorse Sink, the CFO pushed alternative energies as a future cornerstone for the Sunshine State’s economy.
"Florida has the opportunity to be a national and global leader in the development and production of new and renewable energy -- but we have to start focusing on this innovative industry right now," said Sink. "As governor, I will champion the exciting innovations already going on around our state -- in solar, biofuel, biomass, and other innovative sectors -- and bring the kind of policies and leadership needed to make new and renewable energy a true force here in Florida. With our state's unique combination of natural resources, cutting-edge R&D capabilities, and skilled work force, it is clear that new and renewable energy should be a key part of remaking Florida's economy for the long-term."
Sink’s position on alternative energies was a key factor in a number of endorsements her campaign unveiled at the event in Delray Beach. The Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy, Floridians for Energy Independence and the Florida Feedstock Growers Association, which backed Republican U.S. Rep Adam Putnam to be the state’s next commissioner of agriculture and consumer services in August, all endorsed Sink.
"Alex Sink is the only candidate to submit a detailed plan which outlines the path toward the state's first renewable energy marketplace that will result in long-term job growth and the attraction of new manufacturing into Florida," said Vice President Ed Strobel of the Florida Alliance for Renewable Energy. "I am a fiscally conservative Republican and a small-business man that has to meet a payroll every week. The solutions are simple -- we just need a leader who won't be afraid to stand up to the large special interests to make it happen. Alex Sink will be that leader."
U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, the Democratic candidate in the U.S. Senate race, launched a new television commercial on Tuesday morning, trying to offer a stark contrast between his record and that of Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running without party affiliation. For Meek to get back in the race, he needs to keep Democrats in his column--and away from Crist.
"On issue after issue, Kendrick is the only candidate who has fought for middle-class Florida families," said Abe Dyk, Meek‘s campaign manager. "He's the only one will repeal the Bush tax cuts for the super wealthy, stop big developers from draining Florida wetlands, and stand up to the deep pockets of special interests. While Charlie Crist was getting cozy with big developers and special interest lobbyists in Tallahassee, Kendrick was fighting to cut taxes for middle-class families, increase the minimum wage, and rein in high credit card fees. Kendrick is the only candidate who will fight to get our economy moving for everyday Floridians -- not the big developers or special interests."
This is the first television ad for the general election though Meek ran a number of commercials during his bitter primary fight with Jeff Greene.
A Gainesville minister plans to burn copies of the Quran on Sept. 11, and he's taking heat for it from the U.S. military.
Pastor Terry Jones, head of the 50-member Dove World Outreach Center, said, "We must send a clear message to the radical element of Islam. We will no longer be controlled and dominated by their fears and threats."
Jones' demonstration did indeed draw retaliatory threats from the Taliban in Afghanistan and a fearful response from Gen. David Petraeus, who said such incendiary behavior "could endanger (U.S.) troops and could endanger the overall effort."
Read all about it here.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., says a floating museum in the Big Apple has the "inside track" to land a retired space shuttle.
Schumer may be full of hot air -- he often is -- but insofar as NASA's selection process gets politicized, it's impossible to count his home state out.
New York, Florida and some 20 other U.S. locales are vying to be the final resting place for three decommissioned shuttles -- Discovery, Atlantis and Endeavor. Discovery is all but promised to Washington's Smithsonian Museum, which would release its cannibalized Enterprise to one of the also-ran cities.
Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., is leading the charge for a bid by the Kennedy Space Center -- which would seem to be a no-brainer. All 132 shuttle launches have lifted off from there, with the final launch scheduled early next year.
Democratic U.S. Senate nominee Kendrick Meek described himself to an MSNBC "Morning Joe" audience Tuesday morning as a true David against two Goliaths. Apart from highlighting the differences between himself and his opponents, Republican opponent Marco Rubio and independent Gov. Charlie Crist, he re-established his I'm-a-nice-guy credentials by repeating sympathy for Rubio, whose father died during the weekend. There were no hardball questions. After the show aired his latest upbeat ad, Meek called attention to Crist's flip-flops and to Rubio's right-of-center positions, then said he could pick up 40 percent of the vote and win in Florida because his grass-roots campaign is "kicking in" now. At the moment Meek trails his opponents by double-digit percentage points.
Meek said if the president came to town he wouldn't disown him as Democrats in other states have done. "The next senator from the state of Florida needs to establish a good relationship with the president," he said.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott took aim at President Barack Obama on Monday for calling for $50 billion in new federal spending on infrastructure to put more Americans back to work -- and linked his Democratic rival, state CFO Alex Sink, to the increasingly unpopular administration.
“The Obama liberals have written another bad prescription for our failing economy, more stimulus money and more debt,” said Scott. “Floridians know that billions in government handouts don’t create jobs – a concept that Alex Sink and President Obama do not seem to grasp. On the other hand, I have a specific and detailed plan that reduces regulations and taxes to create 700,000 private-sector jobs in Florida.”
Another holiday, another chance for politicians to highlight their position on the issues.
With Labor Day upon us, politicians from both parties are talking about their plans to get Floridians back to work.
“As our state struggles through the highest unemployment rate on record, we must redouble our efforts to build an economy and business-friendly environment where employees are needed; and, as governor that will be my highest priority,” said Rick Scott, the Republican gubernatorial candidate on Monday. “That is why I have a developed a seven-step plan that will create 700,000 private-sector jobs in seven years.
“Florida has the potential to lead the way on job growth and turn our economy around,” added Scott. “Our workers are ready. I am ready.”
But it’s not just Republicans who are using the holiday to promote their plans for jobs.
"Sadly, over 1 million Floridians are still unable to find work,” said U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, the Democratic nominee in the U.S. Senate race. “Too many middle-class families are struggling to make ends meet. My fight is to rebuild the middle class, to bring jobs home to our state and put working people ahead of the special interests. For Floridians who have work and to those still looking for work, I always have fought and will fight for your interests above all else.
"My mission today is the same as it's been from day one: to create jobs and get Floridians back on the job,” added Meek. “On this Labor Day, we stand with the men and women who make this state great and will ensure our prosperity once again."
An internal poll conducted for Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, shows him leading the 8th Congressional District field with 40 percent of the vote.
Republican nominee Daniel Webster had 27 percent while "others" pulled 23 percent in the survey. Eleven percent were undecided.
The "others" included Florida TEA Party's Peg Dunmire, No Party Affiliation candidate George Metcalfe, and Florida Whig Party hopeful Steve Gerritzen, who is running as a write-in.
If accurate (you might be wondering about that 101 percent total), the survey suggests Webster, a former state Senate president who easily won a seven-way primary and has the backing of his six former GOP rivals, is underperforming in a district that is roughly split in thirds -- Democrat, Republican and independent.
The splintered results prompted the Independent Political Report to declare, "Dunmire still appears to have the potential to capitalize on Republican discontent."
Libertarian gubernatorial candidate John Wayne Smith told Sunshine State News he's off the November ballot because the state Division of Elections "lost my paperwork.
"I submitted three pieces of paper -- a lieutenant governor statement (naming Libertarian Party Chairman J.J. McCurry), a notarized financial disclosure plus my party loyalty oath -- and now (state officials) say they only have the latter two," Smith said.
Smith said he hand-delivered the documents to Tallahassee, as he did when he ran as a No Party Affiliation gubernatorial candidate in 2006.
"There's some hanky-panky going on here," he said, vowing to pursue legal remedies beginning Tuesday.
Smith said his "fatal mistake" was leaving the Division of Elections office without a receipt on June 17, when he filed.
"Them people are not honest in the least," the Ocala resident said. "It's my own stupidity for trusting government. I've been preaching (against) that for 40 years."
Division of Elections spokeswoman Jennifer Davis was not immediately available for comment over the Labor Day weekend.
Smith received 15,987 votes in his NPA bid in 2006.
This year, he and the Libertarians appear to be out their $8,600 filing fee, with nothing to show for it.
Richard Winger, one of the nation’s leading experts on third-party and independent candidates, is reporting at Ballot Access News that John Wayne Smith, the Libertarian candidate for governor, will not be on the ballot come November. The secretary of state removed Smith due to incomplete paperwork. Smith was to have been the first gubernatorial candidate running on the Libertarian line in Florida’s history.
U.S Rep. Kendrick Meek, the Democratic candidate in the U..S Senate race, was supposed to debate former House Speaker Marco Rubio, the Republican candidate, on Sunday morning’s Meet the Press on NBC. Rubio pulled out last week due to his ailing father, who has since passed away.
"Since learning of the news on Friday morning, I along with my family have kept Marco and his family in our prayers,” said Meek in a statement Sunday morning. The passing of a father occurs only once in a lifetime and ever the dutiful son, Marco was where all children would hope to be during this time of family need -- at his dad's bedside surrounded by family. That Marco's father could come to this country with next to nothing, raise a loving and growing family to include a son who is a candidate for the U.S. Senate in Florida, is a testament to the strength of the Rubio character and proof positive of the greatness of this nation. Political differences take a back seat to the priority at hand -- caring for a mother and spending time with family. Let mourning be combined with celebration for a life that is exceptionally American, a life that only a handful of people have ever lived. My wife Leslie, our children, and my mother Carrie extend our condolences to you Marco and your family."
Rep. Sandy Adams, R-Oviedo, who is challenging incumbent U.S. Rep. Suzanne Kosmas in November, offered her take on the news released on Friday that unemployment grew across the nation in August.
"Now is the time that we return America back to the people," said Adams late on Friday. "Our country cannot afford new taxes and continued out-of-control spending. The government should get out of the way of business by reducing taxes and regulations on small businesses, the main economic driver of job growth in America."
Adams ripped into Kosmas for backing the Obama stimulus package and called for the extension of tax cuts passed in 2001 and 2003 which were backed by President George W. Bush.
Well, lo and behold, here's that well-traveled video again, gracing a page in the Sept. 1 edition of VanityFair.com. It's the main illustration for a story headlined, "A Brief History of Elected Officials and Pundits Browsing the Internet During Important Meetings."
My, my, how this particular video, shot by Sunshine State News multimedia journalist Lane Wright, keeps turning up day after day after day. Another day, another hit (usually several) on Sen. Bennett watching what some might call "porn," others, well, fleshy ladies in a state of proud undress at the beach. There. How's that, Sen. Bennett? Fair? Oh, wait, there was a discussion going on in the Senate during the viewing ... what was it? ... abortion? The ultrasound bill?
This video won't die. Nor should it.
A fresh ad from the Republican Party of Florida reminds voters of Alex Sink's connections with President Barack Obama and his policies.
Alex Sink "supported Obamacare, she supported the stimulus, the one that gave us big debts and no jobs," the ad says.
The Washington Post Friday reports the Republican Governors' Association is putting down $2 million for ads attacking Sink:
The RGA's doubling down -- literally -- on its investment in Florida, designed to send a message that the party will spend what it takes to win the state despite the fact that Scott, who dropped $50 million of his own money on the primary, has considerable personal wealth. A source close to the RGA also noted that the committee's investment in the race should be a signal to Republican donors -- particularly those loyal to McCollum -- that it's time to make peace and start helping Scott.
Both of the major candidates for governor threw jabs at each other on Friday. Responding to a statement from Republican candidate Rick Scott blaming the Obama administration for rising unemployment across the nation, state CFO Alex Sink, the Democratic nominee in the race, said that if Scott is so concerned with national issues, he should run for federal office.
This prompted a sharp response from Scott’s team.
“Alex Sink likes to tell reporters that by focusing on the policies she supports that Rick Scott should be running for 'Senate or president.' News flash Alex Sink – 1,086,000 Floridians are out of work, unemployment is 11.7 percent in Florida, 46 percent of homeowners are underwater on mortgages, jobs are the No. 1 issue in this race,” said Jennifer Baker, a spokeswoman for Scott. “This campaign is and will be all about your support for the Obamacrat agenda that has given us higher taxes, more debt, and continual job losses underlined by the additional 54,000 jobs that were lost today. Rick Scott is the only candidate with a proven track record of creating jobs and has a specific plan to create 700,000 jobs in Florida.”
The campaign team of former House Speaker Marco Rubio, the Republican candidate in the U.S. Senate race, announced that its candidate will not be attending a debate scheduled for Sunday on Meet the Press with U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, the Democratic nominee in the race, due to his father‘s poor health. Gov. Charlie Crist, who is running without party affiliation, chose to skip the event.
“Unfortunately, the health of Marco’s father, Mario Rubio, has significantly deteriorated in the last 48 hours,” said Alex Burgos on Friday morning, a spokesman for the Rubio campaign. “As a result, Marco plans to stay with his father and family during this time, and will be unable to participate in this Sunday’s debate on Meet the Press.
“Mario Rubio is 83 years old and suffers from emphysema and lung cancer,” added Burgos. “We have informed both NBC and Kendrick Meek’s campaign about our need to reschedule this debate, and appreciate their understanding and kind words for the Rubio family during this difficult period.”
Rick Scott is not the only Florida Republican taking aim at the White House for the nation’s continuing unemployment problems. U.S. Rep. Connie Mack blasted the policies of the Obama administration on Friday morning, not long after new reports indicated that unemployment continued to grow across the nation, rising to 9.6 percent in August, the highest it has been since May.
“Despite some encouraging news earlier this week about the growing strength of our manufacturing sector, today’s unemployment numbers remind us that we have a long way to go before our economy fully recovers from this recession,” said Mack. “And today’s numbers also remind us that the liberal tax-and-spend policies of the last 18 months have done little to get our economy moving again.
“The Obama administration and the Democratic leadership in Congress continue to wrongly believe that spending billions of dollars and implementing one of the largest tax hikes on the American people at the end of the year will grow our economy,” added Mack. “They continue to create uncertainty and worry among business owners, who are reluctant to invest in or grow their companies.
Mack closed with a plea to extend tax cuts backed by President George W. Bush earlier in the decade.
“We all know the key to job creation is to keep taxes low and burdensome regulations in check,” said Mack. “Congress can start by extending the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, which will allow American families to keep more of their hard-earned money.”
Even as the nation's unemployment rate rose to 9.6 percent, the Obama administration said today the situation was "better than expected."
Citing a 67,000 increase in private-sector payrolls in August, Christina Romer, chair of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers, touted eight straight months of private-sector job growth.
But that modest growth is lower than was reported in early spring, and Romer acknowledged that the rate of job growth is not enough to bring the unemployment rate down.
Overall payroll employment fell by 54,000, as 114,000 temporary Census jobs were eliminated.
Florida's unemployment rate in July was 11.5 percent, up a 10th of a point from June. More than 1,055,000 Floridians are jobless, according to the latest data from the state Agency for Workforce Innovation.
"Against the backdrop of some unsettling economic data in the past few weeks, today’s numbers are reassuring that growth and recovery are continuing," Romer said.
"At the same time, the fact that the growth of private-sector payrolls is below the level needed to keep up with normal growth of the labor force is obviously unacceptable. There are a number of steps we could take to help increase private-sector job growth and put the economy on a path of steadily declining unemployment. We will be working with Congress on these measures in the coming weeks," Romer concluded.
As Florida's unemployment rate remains stuck in double digits, attention is turning toward the hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants in the work force.
The latest Census data show 525,000 undocumented workers in Florida last year -- or 5.8 percent of the working labor pool. The national average is 5.1 percent.
Immigration groups have long maintained that migrant workers do jobs that American citizens won't. But the Center for Immigration Studies, a Washington, D.C.-based organization that supports tougher border controls, finds that shibboleth is increasingly outdated as jobs get scarcer.
CIS recently linked high unemployment rates among U.S.-born minorities aged 18-24 to lower jobless rates among immigrants of comparable age and educational backgrounds.
In any event, the Census found that the number of illegals in Florida nearly doubled from 2000 to 2008 -- from 575,000 to 1.05 million today.
See a state-by-state breakdown here.
High unemployment, stagnant financial markets, and general economic insecurity are taking their toll on Democratic loyalty, particularly among the nation's youth.
A New York Times article Thursday says Democrats are losing ground where they once claimed a strong foothold -- with young adults.
From the Times:
The college vote is up for grabs this year -- to an extent that would have seemed unlikely two years ago, when a generation of young people seemed to swoon over Barack Obama.
Though many students are liberals on social issues, the economic reality of a weak job market has taken a toll on their loyalties: far fewer 18- to 29-year-olds now identify themselves as Democrats compared with 2008.
“Is the recession, which is hitting young people very hard, doing lasting or permanent damage to what looked like a good Democratic advantage with this age group?” asked Scott Keeter, the director of survey research at the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan group. “The jury is still out.”
Unemployment rose to 9.6 percent in August -- the highest it has been since May. Rick Scott, the Republican candidate for governor, weighed in on these numbers on Friday morning, taking aim at President Barack Obama and Democrats who have supported his economic policies, including state CFO Alex Sink, the Democratic nominee for governor.
“Today’s report that 54,000 people have lost their jobs serves as a stark reminder to Floridians that the policies trumpeted by Alex Sink and President Obama are driving our economy down the drain,” said Scott. “From the stimulus to health-care reform, the policies of the Obamacrats are only keeping more Americans out of work as opposed to my plan of reducing regulation and taxes to create 700,000 jobs in Florida.”