Florida's Biggest Political Feuds 2011 Pt. 3

What was the biggest, Florida political feud in 2011?

Here we are at the big 3. The three biggest political feuds involving Florida Politics in 2011. What you’ll notice about these three feuds are that they involve large groups of Floridians, attached to the Politicians. These are feuds that affected individuals as much as the actual politicians involved in the conflict.

First a few honorable mentions that didn’t make the list.

Scott Powers of the Orlando Sentinel vs. Joe Biden’s Event Staff- When Powers was confined to a closet during a VP visit, he took it in stride and moved on (more misunderstanding than conflict)

The Florida League of Women Voters vs. The State Legislature- The new voter registration laws have pushed the league, dangerously close to wandering away from their non-partisan philosophy.

Orange County Redistricting Board vs. Hispanic and Democratic Activists- The board no one wanted, the maps few liked, and a cultural divide that was painful to observe and hurt everyone involved. Democratic operatives are using this harmful aggression to flip seats for next years elections.

Here are your top 3 political feuds in Florida for 2011.

3.Florida Republicans vs. New Hampshire, South Carolina, and Nevada:

“Florida will hold it’s primary when it dog-gone feels like it!”

That’s what I thought in September that’s the way I feel now.

There was a lot of huffing and puffing leading up to the change and their were also threats from the powers that be, that Florida would be penalized by being stripped of half of it’s delegates (we’ve still got more than most states) and be passed over for preferential treatment during the Republican Convention next year.

In Tampa…(!?)

No matter, we did it anyways and were awarded another nationally televised debate and for the 4th time in 16 months, Florida will be the center of the political universe.

Who Won? Florida: That’s how we roll here in the Sunshine State.

Florida House Speaker Dean Cannon made the early primary in Florida happen.

2. Herman Cain vs. His Past: Herman Cain wins Presidency V straw poll! Herman Cain leading the polls in Iowa! Herman Cain on “The View”, “Tonight Show”, “Jimmy Fallon”.

The Herman Cain train was in full throttle after his victory at Presidency V in Orlando. Florida was responsible for his meteoric rise to the top of the polls and celebrity status in the mainstream. Even though he couldn’t explain 999 and his foreign policy knowledge was suspect, Cain who basically lived in Florida for months was on top. Conservative VIPs from all over the state were supporting him.

Then came the accusations. First one, then two, and then Gloria Allred holding nationally televised press conferences. All from women hurling dangerous allegations against Herman Cain for misconduct during his time with the National Restaurant association.

The Cain train came to a screeching halt and all of his supporters requested transfers. And just like that one of the most improbable political runs in recent history came to an end. The former CEO of “Godfather’s Pizza” suspended his campaign a few weeks after.

Who Won?: Newt Gingrich, who picked up the orphaned supporters from the Cain campaign and holds a narrow lead in key polls.

Herman Cain will be a sore spot for some as 2011 closes

And the #1 Political Feud of 2011:

1. Florida Governor Rick Scott vs. 71%:
When Rick Scott took office in January, all of the protesters were already in place. After his narrow victory over former CFO Alex Sink, they knew what was coming.

-Teacher Merit Pay
- Drug Testing for Welfare Recipients
- The hard cuts across the board

There was anger over his team’s salaries and appointments. He kept the media behind a velvet rope and killed high speed rail. He watched over the legislature as they held their most conservative session ever. It was everything he campaigned on.

And his approval rating dropped to 29%

He went on the charmed offensive. He lightened up his media policy. Even taking the chance to speak to this blog. He greenlit Sunrail and spoke to the Newspaper boards he’d avoided during his campaign and it worked, for a month or so. His rating flirted with the 40′s for a while.

It’s back down to the lower 30′s/high 20′s and rumors of Nan Rich, Dan Gelber, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and even Ol’ Charlie Crist have been rumored to run against Rick Scott in 14′.

The Rick Scott era is still young and who knows what the next year holds? But, the protests, Anti-Scott publicity stunts, and media coverage have made Governor Scott’s conflict with Florida Protesters and his approval rating, the #1 feud of 2011′

Governor Scott faces an uphill battle to win over Florida Voters in 2012

What Conflicts might make it on the list next year?

Alan Grayson vs. Whoever you put in front of him: Everyone’s favorite/detestable, anti-hero/villain is back and he’s got money(as usual). Will he draw a primary opponent? What if it’s Val Demings? Who will he face in the General election, in one Florida’s new congressional districts?

Wildcards vs. Incumbents: Redistricting will affect races all over the states. Will Allen Westin his new left leaning district get the opportunity to be next years countdown? What about State House and Senate Races?

Bill Nelson vs. The GOP Nominee: Who will the nominee be? Nelson will be 70 when the election rolls around. Does he still got the fire to serve?

President Barack Obama vs. The nominee from the Republican Party: Let’s go ahead and put this one on the list now and here in Central Florida’s I4 corridor, it’s going to be a political war that, everyone is going to be in on.

In 2012, Presidential Politics will get everyone involved.

Conclusion: Occupiers, Event Protesters, and the continued influence of the Tea Party movement all played a large role not only in national politics but, right here at home. It’s this blog’s hope that everyone will get involved next year, and make their voices heard.