I wouldn’t let Charlie Crist Debate Nan Rich Either

Articles from all over the state from the South Side (Miami Herald article HERE) to right here at home (Sentinel post HERE) are asking a very important question, that’s been asked plenty of times before but with the calendar racing towards election season, have become a very relevant issue.

Why won’t Republican Governor turned Democratic Candidate for the same office, Charlie Crist, debate former State Senator Nan Rich?

The Blogger in me would love to see this. It would be fascinating political theater. Crist essentially answering, not only Rich’s objections, but critics from the remainder of Florida Dems, that haven’t jumped on his bandwagon yet. His message would be simple enough. “I can beat Rick Scott. You can’t”.

Of course, the opposite could happen. Rich could take him to task for his “evolving” beliefs on the issues. The whole thing could blow up in his face and the Pundits will be asking “Why did he even get on stage in the first place?”.

It’s that second reason, that unwarranted risk, that I wouldn’t let Crist debate Rich.

Why? I’ll use one of the football terms, that Crist is so fond of.

You don’t play your Starters much in the pre-season, and you certainly don’t get them injured against your own second stringers in practice, when they’re playing for a Championship this year.

Don’t think Rich is a 2nd stringer?

The Florida Democratic Party wouldn’t even give her a speaking slot at their Gala, FDP Chairwoman Allison Tant has been listed on host committees at Charlie Crist Fundraisers. Here in Orlando, he’s already won over the local party leaders He’s the guy.

So, while I would love to see it. My friends in the media would love to see it. Governor Rick Scott and his team would definitely love to see it. It shouldn’t happen. It doesn’t make sense.

Don’t blame Crist. Don’t even blame Nan Rich. Blame the Florida Democratic Party, who’s already made their decision back in January over who would be their nominee.

Charlie Crist mic

Lynum “New Direction” of Campaign Signals Confusion, in Orlando D5 Commission Race

Attorney and Candidate for for Orlando Commission District 5 Juan Lynum is a smart guy but the movement from his campaign during his run has been a confusing one that portrays conflict.

The Orlando Sentinel published a story about the “New Direction” the Lynum campaign is promoting, in front of his run-off with Nurse Regina Hill on May 6th (that story HERE).

We’ll finish with that but let’s start from the beginning.

When Juan first entered the race, his Mother, current long-time D5 Commissioner Daisy Lynum was still in the contest, setting up a Mother vs. Son showdown, which everyone knew wouldn’t happen, but forced his campaign to get a late start against challengers that had already been campaigning for months.

There was also his curious behavior with Candidate forums. At first, he avoided debating his two other opponents and insisted holding his own events, where he alone would field questions. This gave his Hill and the other opponent in the Race Cynthia Harris, ammunition for claims that he was ducking voters. He ended up debating his opponents anyways.

There was also the WFTV story about Lynum using stickers to change his mother’s campaign signs to his own (a move I actually thought was kind of clever) and even though it was perfectly legal, Lynum didn’t talk to reporters. If he wasn’t going to defend his tactics, he just should have bought new signs (that story HERE).

Finally, we come to the “New Direction” his campaign is taking. He stood in front of a church full of voters about two weeks ago and reinforced his Mother’s policies, many of the cities existing policies, and promoting many of the venue projects in the City. One of his supporters include the Orlando Magic who will construct a Multi-Million Dollar Entertainment Complex across the street from the Amway Center.

This gave the voters a clear choice. Stay the course with a member of the Lynum family as Commissioner, or go a different route with one of the other two challengers.

Then came election day and Lynum got the most votes, but not enough votes to avoid a run-off with Hill. And with an endorsement from Cynthia Harris possibly coming he could be in trouble. Harris was called a “thugh” by Daisy Lynum when she dropped out.

Then came this New Direction from Gentrification to Preservation and Revitalization”.

This is the desired effect of the strategy. Flip on your donors, change positions, and try to attract as many of Harris’ voters as possible to win the run-off. When you win, revert back to your old positions and go pat your donors on the back.

But, this latest story just demonstrates more confusion. Should you have to re-define your campaign in the run-off?

But closing as I finished. Juan Lynum is a smart guy. He knows a lot. He could talk about hard policy and outperform the competition. Specifics about economic development. Specifics about solving the homelessness problem. Numbers. Solutions. but for some reason he hasn’t.

Instead it’s the latest unforced error of his campaign (and we haven’t even spoke of the FDLE Residency Investigation). If he loses then there will be plenty of things he could have done differently to have delivered victory.

juan lynum

Some Last Minute Info Sources for the Longwood City Commission Race

With all of the hype surrounding the Apopka Mayor Race and the rowdy Orlando Commission District 5 contest, the race to replace suspended Commissioner Butch Bundy on the Longwood City Commisson has been flying underneath the radar.

City will head to the Longwood Community Center to cast their ballots for one of the 3 candidates running. Attorney Dean Reed, Real Estate Broker Frank Scheraldi, and Businessman Mark Weller are all hoping to be chosen by the people tomorrow night, to represent them on the commission.

These kind of races are typically won on the ground and information can be difficult to find. While doing some research to prepare for the results for tomorrow, I’ve found two stories,2 government resources and the some candidate websites.

Frank Scheraldi Website
Mark Weller

Longwood candidates: City needs more commercial growth

Longwood Special Election 2014- City of Longwood Site

Seminole County Supervisor of Elections

If you’re eligible to vote in the race, don’t stay home! Every vote makes a difference! And one vote from a Commissioner in the right scenario can alter the future of an entire community!

Longwood Florida

Naming Rights Over Orlando Venues Still Cause for Friction Between Fans and Management

Yesterday, the Orlando Sentinel reported that the Citrus Bowl might not be the Citrus Bowl for too much longer, possibly ending a local brand that is recognized by fans all over the state (that story HERE).

It’s no secret that naming rights over stadiums are big money and the names these venues have to adopt at times trigger the same emotion as a poorly named baby that has no voice in the matter. You feel embarrassed for them. Keep in mind that Orlando already has one of the most mocked venue names in the country.

This latest story is bound to reopen what is an already sore subject over naming rights. An argument that goes everywhere from where the direction the money from the venues built/renovated with taxpayer dollars goes, to the unwanted brand association a neighborhood inherits with it.

One of the toughest questions during the venues fight last year was why revenue generated by naming rights couldn’t be used to build the Orlando City’s new MLS stadium. It was a question the club couldn’t answer and not only did they still get the funds to build the stadium, they’ll sell those rights to whoever they like.

The same thing is happening here with the Citrus Bowl.

The Citrus Bowl was part of that huge 94.5 million dollar venues project that also greenlit the Soccer Stadium. That leaves only the Dr. Phillips Performing Arts Center as the lone non-commercialized component of that deal.

rp_citrus_bowl3.jpg

How it played: Grayson not charged in Domestic scuffle with Wife

Good new for Congressman Alan Grayson.

The Orange County Sheriff’s office announced last night that it would not be seeking charges against the House Rep for the 9th District, because there was no probable cause that he visited his home last weekend to harm his estranged Wife, Lolita Grayson in a nasty domestic incident. Lolita Grayson was granted a protective injunction by a Judge Monday, after she said her Husband (whom she is in the middle of a divorce with) caused bruises by pushing her against the door. Grayson’s staff vehemently denied those allegations and published cellphone video, presented by his attorney earlier this week. You can watch that video HERE.

Here is how the announcement played in the Orlando media last night.

WESH 2: Rep. Alan Grayson will not face charges in domestic incident

WKMG Local 6: video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: Investigators say no charges will be filed in U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson domestic dispute

CF News 13: No arrest for Rep. Alan Grayson in case involving his wife

WOFL FOX 35: No probable cause to charge Rep. Alan Grayson

Orlando Sentinel: Sheriff will not pursue case against Grayson

How did it play?: Well, it’s obviously good news for Congressman Grayson but it could have been prevented.

You don’t really win in a situation like this as much as you stop the bleeding. Listen, Grayson’s team may be declaring victory after law enforcement agreed with their side of the story but there never really is a winner in a situation like this. He’ll go back to being the way Alan Grayson is. Bold. Aggressive. And yes, occasionally reckless. We’ve learned and hopefully his administration has learned that a quiet Grayson is usually best for everyone involved.

Alan Grayson pro