Blogs from around the state

Naked Politics Marco Rubio name-dropped in ad for Miami-Dade property appraiser candidate


It's not every day that a U.S. senator makes an appearance in a relatively lowly property appraiser's race.

But there's Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, being name-dropped in an advertisement for state Rep. Eddy Gonzalez's bid for Miami-Dade County appraiser.

Naked Politics Comedy writers of America pledge allegiance to Florida

Florida, you did it again.

Just when we thought you had maxed out on becoming a national punchline, you do something like Wednesday’s gubernatorial debate at Broward College in Davie.

Now known as FanGate, the legendary moment in Florida political history did the full Ginsburg on Thursday night’s late night comedy shows.

Naked Politics After fangate, blowback for Rick Scott

Gov. Rick Scott’s sudden absence at the start of a statewide TV debate reshaped the governor’s race Thursday as event sponsors accused Charlie Crist of breaking the rules and Scott’s side fretted over whether he damaged his re-election prospects.

At the center of the storm was a $20 fan that viewers couldn’t see, quietly whirring at Crist’s feet as he stood alone on stage Wednesday night at Broward College in Davie.

Naked Politics Scott tells Wolf Blitzer he never saw the fan during debate, or the amended rules before

Gov. Rick Scott appeared on Wolf Blitzer's The Situation Room Thursday and was asked about the single most important thing in politics in Florida today -- the fan.
The news organization led its politics page with a story and headline that read: Florida Gov. Rick Scott stalls debate over opponent's fan.

Naked Politics Did Crist break the debate rules? Well, the language changed. And it's not so clear


Amy Sherman at PolitiFact Florida had the unenviable task today of pouring through debate rules to determine if Democrat Charlie Crist broke the rules of Wednesday night's debate when someone from his campaign put a fan at his lectern.

Was it a clear violation of the rules? Depends. 

Naked Politics Charlie Crist downplays the fan incident

Gov. Charlie Crist downplayed the incident during a campaign stop in New Port Richey where he spoke to roughly 200 supporters in the Gulf Harbors Civic Association.

"I think it's much ado about nothing,'' he told reporters. "What it seems to me is what we need to talk about is issues like education, the environment, ethical leadership.''

Did he violate the rules that said there was to be no fan? "That's just not true.''

Naked Politics Carlos Curbelo touts more GOP absentee ballot returns so far in Miami congressional race


From a press release (read a broader analysis of absentee ballot returns here):

Memo: Republicans Lead Big in Absentee Ballot Returns

Naked Politics Fact-checking Scott's attack on Crist about minimum wage

Gov. Rick Scott was sure to bring allegations that Charlie Crist has changed positions to Wednesday night’s debate in Davie, including the new Democrat’s stance on raising the minimum wage.

After former Gov. Crist said he supported raising the minimum wage to $10.10, echoing a plan by President Barack Obama, Scott attacked the newly minted Democrat.

OS Political Pulse Platt poll shows her close in Grayson race

The campaign of Republican congressional candidate Carol Platt has released internal poll results that show her 5 points down in her effort to unseat Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando.

Naked Politics Scott reports no wages and $8 million in investment income

Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday released his 2013 tax returns "in the interest of full transparency’’ with just weeks to go before the election.

Naked Politics The gloves are off in key Florida House race

When races are tight, the mailers and ads get nasty.

That's what's happening in House District 112, a swing district that includes Key Biscayne, Brickell, Little Havana, the Roads, parts of Coral Gables and Coconut Grove.

Naked Politics First, there was FanGate. Now, there is FanCam.

The left-leaning American Bridge is following Gov. Rick Scott with a fan.

Naked Politics Crisafulli announces new leadership posts

Incoming House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, has made his picks for the top leadership positions.

Rep. Matt Hudson, R-Naples, will serve as speaker pro tempore.

Rep. Dana Young, R-Tampa, will be House Majority Leader.

Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, will be the Rules and Calendar chairman.

Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity, will oversee the budget committee.

Naked Politics Scott to appear on the Situation Room

One sign Rick Scott might be reeling from FanGate: the Republican governor will be doing a live interview Thursday afternoon with CNN's Wolf Blitzer.

Naked Politics New report documents potential Latino voting power in midterms -- but low turnout issues as well


A record 25 million Latinos are eligible to vote in the upcoming midterm elections, and if history is a guide they will also cast a record number of votes, according to a new report.

But if history holds true as well, Latinos will leave far more votes on the table than they cast, due to participation rates that significantly lag those of whites or African-Americans.

Naked Politics With nearly 700k ballots cast, memo says 'Rick Scott is winning' early-vote war. True


More than 683,000 absentee ballots were cast as of Thursday morning, and Republicans continue to hold a solid lead over Democrats in returns, 48-35 percent.

That's not huge news, in that Republicans typically overperform in absentee-ballot casting while Democrats do the same when it comes to early in-person voting. But Democrats have been expected to close the gap with Republicans in ballots cast. Instead, the margin has increased, to 13.7 percent.

Naked Politics Gov. Rick Scott has released his 2013 tax return; see it here

Gov. Rick Scott waited until the deadline Wednesday to file his 2013 income tax return, the final day allowed under law for anyone who received the six-month extention. The campaign has released it today. It his here. 

Naked Politics Debate organizers now claim Crist broke the rules

The organizers of Wednesday's statewide TV debate between Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist released a statement Thursday saying that Crist's insistence on having a portable electric fan was a violation of debate rules.

Naked Politics Charlie Crist broke rules by insisting on fans, debate organizers say

via @stevebousquet

The organizers of Wednesday's statewide TV debate between Gov. RIck Scott and Charlie Crist released a statement Thursday saying that Crist's insistence on having a portable electric fan was a violation of debate rules.

The statement from Leadership Florida and the Florida Press Association reads in part:

Naked Politics Pro-voucher group flexes political muscle

School voucher supporters said they would get involved in Florida statehouse races this year -- and they are deliving on that promise.

Naked Politics For Charlie Crist, the fan is a mainstay


The fan. It’s Charlie Crist’s security blanket.

The fan that created a nationwide uproar in Wednesday’s TV debate is never far from Crist.

The man with the tan doesn’t want people to see him sweating under the glare of hot TV lights. So Crist keeps a portable fan handy whenever he knows he’s going to be on camera.

Naked Politics SkyRise Miami gets an assist in a pivot by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez


OS Political Pulse Nelson calls for Ebola chief, 'war room'

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Thursday in Orlando that he wants the White House to appoint someone to head up Ebola response strategies and "direct traffic" from the White House. U.S. Reps.

Naked Politics Twitter world hurls unkind commentary on Florida for 'fangate'

It took only eight brief minutes before all the serious questions and answers poised by reporters at the second governor's debate in Florida were forgotten.

That's time it took to begin the debate after Charlie Crist arrived on stage with a fan at his feet and Gov. Rick Scott remained off stage, in alleged protest. 

The Twitterverse went crazy and for the next three hours, as politics watchers across the country streamed commentary. Here are some excerpts:

Naked Politics Fact-checking the second Crist vs. Scott debate

Rick Scott and Charlie Crist fought over who was the biggest fan of the truth Wednesday night, at the second debate of the governor’s race.

Naked Politics Crist's claim about Jeb Bush and Duke Energy

While Fangate was the talk of Wednesday’s gubernatorial debate, there were other moments, too -- like when Charlie Crist slammed the door on Gov. Rick Scott’s accusations that Crist was the one who let utility companies charge customers for unbuilt power plants.

"Charlie signed legislation that allowed companies like Duke (Energy) to pass on costs for power plants that were never built," Scott said during a discussion of energy policy.

Naked Politics Scott's Mostly False claim about teacher layoffs under Crist

Republican Gov. Rick Scott is a fan of attacking former Gov. Charlie Crist’s record on jobs.

At an Oct. 15 debate between the candidates -- the second debate of the campaign -- Scott repeatedly said 832,000 Florida jobs were lost during Crist’s term. (We’ve previously rated that claim Half True.)

Naked Politics Crist's Half True claim about Medicaid and jobs

Democrat Charlie Crist has criticized Republican Gov. Rick Scott for the state’s failure to expand Medicaid.

During the second governor’s debate, which was held on Oct. 15, 2014, at Broward College, Crist said of Medicaid expansion, "In addition to the $51 billion it would bring to the state over the next 10 years, some studies indicate it would create about 120,000 jobs. That's the right thing to do."

Naked Politics Fangate! The transcript of the weirdest start to a Florida gubernatorial debate

In what had to be the strangest start of a gubernatorial debate, Gov. Rick Scott initially refused to participate because Democrat Charlie Crist insisted on a fan to keep him cool.

The Republican governor finally emerged six minutes late as flummoxed moderators struggled to figure out what to do with only a bemused Crist standing on stage at BrowardCollege.

Here’s the transcript:

OS Political Pulse Scott, Crist debate gets off to bizarre start over rogue fan

The live televised debate between Gov.