Blogs from around the state

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.

Naked Politics Appeals court upholds Miami-Dade law that limits absentee-ballot possession


Miami-Dade County’s law aimed at curbing absentee-ballot fraud has withstood a first big legal challenge.

An appeals court on Wednesday shot down the case of Hialeah’s Sergio “El Tio” Robaina, who claimed the county law was unconstitutional and unfair to elderly Hispanic voters who rely on friends to deliver their absentee ballots.

Naked Politics Southerland and Graham debate the issues, politely

You call this a debate? The candidates hugged each other at the beginning -- and at the end.

Naked Politics We raised $600K in 3rd quarter, Joe Garcia campaign says


From a press release:

Naked Politics Press Association pushes back on Adrian Wyllie's claims

The Florida Press Association on Wednesday refuted claims by the Libertarian party candidate for governor Adrian Wyllie after he lost a legal bid to be included in the governor's debate in Broward County.

Naked Politics Tampa Bay Times/Graham Center poll: Crist, Scott tied at 40%

Via @adamsmithtimes

Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist are locked in a dead heat race for governor in the final weeks of the campaign, and a new Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/UF Bob Graham Center poll shows Florida voters think very little of either candidate.

The exclusive poll finds 40 percent of likely voters supporting Crist, 40 percent backing Scott, and 6 percent for Libertarian nominee Adrian Wyllie.

Naked Politics Rick Scott asks feds for advice on Ebola preparedness, prevention

From a press release: 

FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. – Today, Governor Rick Scott announced that the Florida Department of Health (DOH) asked the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to instruct Florida hospitals on best practices and what lessons have been learned from their experience in Dallas to best protect Florida healthcare workers in the event that Florida has an Ebola patient.

Naked Politics 535,000 absentees already cast, Dems lagging but gaining


More than 535,000 absentee ballots have already been cast as of Tuesday night and, as in prior mid-term elections, Republicans have a solid lead in returns.

OS Political Pulse Scott asks CDC to brief Florida hospitals on Ebola

Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Department of Health have asked the U.S.

Naked Politics Crist's attack on Scott's job promise faces Truth-O-Meter

What’s 700,000 jobs give or take … 1 million? That’s the question a new ad from the Charlie Crist campaign hopes to answer for Florida voters.

"He made a promise," the ad says, showing video of Gov. Rick Scott from the 2010 campaign for governor. "Hold me accountable for delivering on the campaign promises I make," Scott says.