Political Bits and Pieces
Around the State
While the recent Public Policy polling numbers are getting a lot of attention for showing Marco Rubio crushing Charlie Crist by 32 points, the poll also offers bad news for U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, the likely Democratic Senate nominee, and U.S. Sen. George LeMieux. Meek has only a 17 percent approval rating compared to a 20 percent disapproval rating. LeMieux’s numbers are even worse, with 13 percent approval and 33 percent disapproval ... Jeb Bush is keeping his name in the national headlines. On Wednesday, the former Florida governor endorsed Arizona Sen. John McCain in his bid for 2010 reelection. Bush endorsed McCain for president in 2008, two weeks after the Florida Republican primary ... Less than two weeks after making an appearance in Ponte Vedra Beach for a Lincoln-Reagan Day dinner, Marco Rubio spent Wednesday campaigning in Jacksonville Beach. The Rubio team is working Jacksonville hard and Crist is responding in kind with a town hall appearance at Florida State College at Jacksonville’s South Campus on Friday.
Having already bashed Meek for not promptly returning funds raised by U.S. Rep. Charlie Rangel, former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre, who is running against Meek in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate, is now calling on his opponent to return money donations from accused Ponzi mastermind Allen Stanford. Ferre is asking for Meek to return $1,500 from Stanford….Former Jacksonville State Attorney Harry Shorstein is no longer being considered by the Obama administration to be U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Florida. Shorstein was not helped by his successor, Angela Corey, whom Shorstein fired back in 2007, sending letters saying Shorstein was not up to the assignment. Word is, the administration is now looking at Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert O’Neill.
Yet another Republican is kicking off a campaign against U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor in the 11th House District. Tommy Castellano, a Vietnam vet who owns an air conditioning company, launched his campaign with a fundraiser Wednesday night. Castellano adds to a crowded Republican primary field which now includes five candidate ... With tallies and whip lists showing a close fight in Congress on health care, two Florida Democrats who voted against the Affordable Health Care for America Act will be under pressure to change their votes. Look for the White House and Democratic leadership to focus on winning over Allen Boyd and Suzanne Kosmas … Mayor Buddy Dyer is trying to make Orlando the test site for Google’s new high speed internet service as interactive as possible. He’s encouraging central Floridians to take part at www.getgoogling.com to lure Google to Orlando.
State CFO Alex Sink is not running away from the federal stimulus in her bid to be Florida’s next governor. On Tuesday night, she called for $200 million in stimulus funds to create short-term jobs in Florida … Lee County Commissioner Bob Janes passed away Wednesday morning at the age of 78. Janes has served as county commissioner since 2000 and before that on the Sanibel city council as mayor. Sanibel also served in the Nixon and Ford administrations at Health, Education and Welfare and on the staff of Vice President Spiro Agnew. RIP.