The Scott Era is over 100 days old. What if Alex Sink would have won?

It’s hard to believe, it’s already been over 100 days since, Florida Governor Rick Scott has been in office. There are plenty of articles out there right now that are grading his performance, and you’ll see that on this blog at about the 6 month mark. It’s fun to reflect on the “what if’s” in politics and how things would be different today.

What if Alex Sink had won in November?

What if the former Nations Bank CEO had capture those two elusive points in the polls, that would have sat her in the Governor’s mansion and saved her the title of “Worst Candidate of 2010″?

Now, Republicans still have a veto proof majority in the legislature so, the headaches that the Democrats are going through now, wouldn’t completely go away, but there would be a few big differences.

Bring on the trains!: Oh yeah, cha-ching. 2.4 billion dollars of cash-money homie! The stimulus money that Rick Scott turned away would have been happily accepted by, a would be Governor Sink. The bullet train from OIA to Tampa would have been green lit and about half a dozen lawmakers would not have had to flip-flop on the issue.

There wouldn’t be any suspense on Sunrail either. It would proceed as planned, on schedule.

No “tough cuts” on the state budget:This one has probably earned the governor the most enemies on any issue that doesn’t involve a union.

Scott’s budget makes the tough cuts that will negatively effect the disabled, and community programs that assist those down on their luck. Don’t get me wrong, there would still be cuts and she might catch some flak from her own party, but the save/awake the state rallies would never have materialized.

More news from Tallahassee: The Governor can’t stand the media and he’s got the press behind the velvet rope…literally! Sink gave a pretty bad TV interview, but we would still be “more in the know” then we are right now.

Senator Bill Nelson would have a tougher road to re-election:Alright, I know what you’re asking. How does a Florida Governor who’s a Democrat, make the re-election tougher for a U.S Senator in the same party?

This one actually has more to do with Rick Scott, not being in office.

The left, absolutely hates Scott. Partner this with the fact that you’ve got Barack Obama on the ballot and you’ve got a massive, liberal turnout forecasted. None of the existing candidates are strong enough (at this point) to beat Nelson and Rick Scott’s policies will make sure the Democrats don’t take 2012 off.

There you go. Democrats can dream, Conservatives can shiver. It’s fun to think about those political “what if’s”. That’s why politicians spend millions to get out the vote. We were only a few votes away, from a drastically different political reality in Florida.

The Year's End: Top Quotes from Florida Politics in 2010

Yeah, we’re gonna do another list post, but this one is going to be one of my favorites. I’m going to run down some of the most popular, funny, and controversial quotes from Florida’s politicians over the last year. These are in no particular order, so I’m just gonna line up them up.

Here we go!

“The Taliban has been there for years and years, I mean, hundreds of thousands of years.” – Kendrick Meek during the Senate Debates- One of my favorites, after I heard it I was laughing for the next 20 minutes

“I will not accept, nor will I seek the head coaching position at Florida” – Orange County Mayor Richard Crotty, 10 minutes after Gator coach Urban Meyer resigned.- Great timing by the Mayor

During a forum from two candidates for OC Commissioner:
“I pray to god everyday, to help lead me into a better future with my wife and children”- Mayor Doug Kinson

“I prayed to god and he told me to run for Orange County Commission”- Ted Edwards

——-
“Personally, she has no children and lives with her 60-year-old eye-doctor boyfriend.”- John Stemberger on the now Attorney General-elect Pam Bondi- Not very Christian or smart, Stemberger..

“Sandy Adams has some strange ideas”- Suzanne Kosmas attack ads- I’ll make sure to bring that up after she’s sworn in….the most ineffective attack ad of the year

“College kids don’t care about Bill Clinton, they’re worried about Twilight Vampires and Katy Perry”- myself during a FOX 35 segment

“He’s a good boy”- Ester Scott -Absolute Money…probably won her son the election…

“The reason Pine Hills isn’t getting any money is because my opponents have spent all of it, in the Emerald city (Orlando) on (performing) art centers” Matt Falconer during the Pine Hills OC Mayor Debate-

““I think you will find that I am the most even tempered, mom type, that you could put in to office and will do exactly that what you want me to do, you won’t see me veered away by special interests”- Former Commissioner and OC Mayor Candidate Linda Stewart- A first class commissioner all of the way.

“Son, who are you working with this year?” “I’m working with the Republicans, Dad” …”Hell no, son! I knew I should have been around more, when you were growing up!”- My dad

The Charlie Crist Section (Yes, he gets his own section): I could have done a whole post on just his quotes.

“I’m a Jeb Bush Republican”

“I don’t caucus with Republicans or Democrats, I caucus with the people of Florida”

“I’m not on either team. I’m a free agent, a free agent for the people of Florida”

“That’s hurtful, you don’t know me. You don’t know whats in my heart”- after Rubio’s “You didn’t go Independent because of your beliefs you went independent because you took a poll”

“I married a nice Jewish girl”- referring to his lovely wife Carole Crist

The Guv and his wife, Carole

“Today I am calling this legislature, The do nothing legislature”

“I’m an old Quarterback, when you walk up the line, you got to call an audible” ”

“You can find me on line 9 of your ballots”- oh boy

I really could go on and on…

“(Don’t) Submit to me”- Dan Webster in maliciously edited Taliban Dan ad by the Alan Grayson campaign- When Alan Grayson finally went too far..

“Die Quickly” and “Republicans want you to die”- Alan Grayson during the health care debates

“Alan Grayson isn’t going to decide how this race goes, I’m going to decide how this race goes”- Dan Webster at the West Orlando Tea Party Forum

“The Rent is too damn high”- NY Governor Candidate Jimmy McMillan- Ok, not in Florida, but I felt the need to include it

“I think they were tone-deaf,”- Alex Sink on the White House’s political approach during the election year.

“It’s a good thing you didn’t start shouting Polo or we’d all be in trouble”- Marco Rubio during his victory speech

“Bi-partisanship is a fallacy” – Congressman Alan Grayson- You can’t think that way…

“So, we can have notes, we can have people that work for us give us messages?”- Rick Scott during Textgate aka Debate Gate vs. Alex Sink

Textgate would probably be my choice for biggest political moment of the year..

“I will not drop out of this race for any reason,” Meek said. “I am nominated by the Democrats of the state of Florida. I am in this race to run to be the next United States senator. And no, I am not running for second.”- Kendrick Meek

“I can’t promise you I am going to run for office (get elected) and then go and break the law, I have to follow the law, and the state sets the laws.”- Teresa Jacobs- Orange County Mayor-Elect

“It doesn’t matter if your dad was a bartender or if your mom was a maid. You can accomplish anything if you work hard and play by the rules” – Marco Rubio

Your an entertainer right?” – Commissioner Bill Segal to myself during an OCYR meeting- and it looks like that is going to stick…Hey at least it’s a great conversation starter at parties!

and I could go on and on…..it has been a great year for political quotes and I could have easily doubled the quotes in this post easily….I’ve enjoyed writing about it.

This is going to be my last post for 2010. This has been such a great year for me and this blog. Thanks to all of my family, friends, the media here in Orlando, and to the readers. Keep an eye out for me on television as we move closer our new lawmakers taking office at the beginning of the year. God Bless…

“Let’s Get To Work”- Governor Elect Rick Scott

The Year’s End: Top Quotes from Florida Politics in 2010

Yeah, we’re gonna do another list post, but this one is going to be one of my favorites. I’m going to run down some of the most popular, funny, and controversial quotes from Florida’s politicians over the last year. These are in no particular order, so I’m just gonna line up them up.

Here we go!

“The Taliban has been there for years and years, I mean, hundreds of thousands of years.” – Kendrick Meek during the Senate Debates- One of my favorites, after I heard it I was laughing for the next 20 minutes

“I will not accept, nor will I seek the head coaching position at Florida” – Orange County Mayor Richard Crotty, 10 minutes after Gator coach Urban Meyer resigned.- Great timing by the Mayor

During a forum from two candidates for OC Commissioner:
“I pray to god everyday, to help lead me into a better future with my wife and children”- Mayor Doug Kinson

“I prayed to god and he told me to run for Orange County Commission”- Ted Edwards

——-
“Personally, she has no children and lives with her 60-year-old eye-doctor boyfriend.”- John Stemberger on the now Attorney General-elect Pam Bondi- Not very Christian or smart, Stemberger..

“Sandy Adams has some strange ideas”- Suzanne Kosmas attack ads- I’ll make sure to bring that up after she’s sworn in….the most ineffective attack ad of the year

“College kids don’t care about Bill Clinton, they’re worried about Twilight Vampires and Katy Perry”- myself during a FOX 35 segment

“He’s a good boy”- Ester Scott -Absolute Money…probably won her son the election…

“The reason Pine Hills isn’t getting any money is because my opponents have spent all of it, in the Emerald city (Orlando) on (performing) art centers” Matt Falconer during the Pine Hills OC Mayor Debate-

““I think you will find that I am the most even tempered, mom type, that you could put in to office and will do exactly that what you want me to do, you won’t see me veered away by special interests”- Former Commissioner and OC Mayor Candidate Linda Stewart- A first class commissioner all of the way.

“Son, who are you working with this year?” “I’m working with the Republicans, Dad” …”Hell no, son! I knew I should have been around more, when you were growing up!”- My dad

The Charlie Crist Section (Yes, he gets his own section): I could have done a whole post on just his quotes.

“I’m a Jeb Bush Republican”

“I don’t caucus with Republicans or Democrats, I caucus with the people of Florida”

“I’m not on either team. I’m a free agent, a free agent for the people of Florida”

“That’s hurtful, you don’t know me. You don’t know whats in my heart”- after Rubio’s “You didn’t go Independent because of your beliefs you went independent because you took a poll”

“I married a nice Jewish girl”- referring to his lovely wife Carole Crist

The Guv and his wife, Carole

“Today I am calling this legislature, The do nothing legislature”

“I’m an old Quarterback, when you walk up the line, you got to call an audible” ”

“You can find me on line 9 of your ballots”- oh boy

I really could go on and on…

“(Don’t) Submit to me”- Dan Webster in maliciously edited Taliban Dan ad by the Alan Grayson campaign- When Alan Grayson finally went too far..

“Die Quickly” and “Republicans want you to die”- Alan Grayson during the health care debates

“Alan Grayson isn’t going to decide how this race goes, I’m going to decide how this race goes”- Dan Webster at the West Orlando Tea Party Forum

“The Rent is too damn high”- NY Governor Candidate Jimmy McMillan- Ok, not in Florida, but I felt the need to include it

“I think they were tone-deaf,”- Alex Sink on the White House’s political approach during the election year.

“It’s a good thing you didn’t start shouting Polo or we’d all be in trouble”- Marco Rubio during his victory speech

“Bi-partisanship is a fallacy” – Congressman Alan Grayson- You can’t think that way…

“So, we can have notes, we can have people that work for us give us messages?”- Rick Scott during Textgate aka Debate Gate vs. Alex Sink

Textgate would probably be my choice for biggest political moment of the year..

“I will not drop out of this race for any reason,” Meek said. “I am nominated by the Democrats of the state of Florida. I am in this race to run to be the next United States senator. And no, I am not running for second.”- Kendrick Meek

“I can’t promise you I am going to run for office (get elected) and then go and break the law, I have to follow the law, and the state sets the laws.”- Teresa Jacobs- Orange County Mayor-Elect

“It doesn’t matter if your dad was a bartender or if your mom was a maid. You can accomplish anything if you work hard and play by the rules” – Marco Rubio

Your an entertainer right?” – Commissioner Bill Segal to myself during an OCYR meeting- and it looks like that is going to stick…Hey at least it’s a great conversation starter at parties!

and I could go on and on…..it has been a great year for political quotes and I could have easily doubled the quotes in this post easily….I’ve enjoyed writing about it.

This is going to be my last post for 2010. This has been such a great year for me and this blog. Thanks to all of my family, friends, the media here in Orlando, and to the readers. Keep an eye out for me on television as we move closer our new lawmakers taking office at the beginning of the year. God Bless…

“Let’s Get To Work”- Governor Elect Rick Scott

Five Funny Things for a Monday (Not a Politician was stirring edition)

It’s tough being a political blog during the week leading up to the New Year. All of the lawmakers have put away their weapons for the holidays and are resting for the craziness that awaits them in 2011. This will be a politically light edition of Five Funny Things for a Monday and here we go…

5. The Christmas Tree at Lake Eola gets blow over!:Oh, where to start? Let’s see, I guess the Big Bad Wolf was a Boston Celtics fan and when he stumbled out of the Amway Center after the Orlando Magic victory to take a walk. He got ticked off and went to work on the tree here, and the rest is history. Were the winds really that bad? We couldn’t throw some 45 pound weights at the base of that thing or something? What the heck has been going on with Lake Eola park, Buddy Dyer?! The fountain’s lights were all busted, we’ve got swans being stolen and now Christmas trees are flopping around like plastic grocery bags. Let’s get it together!

Orlando's new postcard...Wish you were here..

4. Jesus loves us all, but he really loves Tim Tebow: One of my favorite football tweets yesterday came from ESPN’s Trey Wingo “Tebow parts defense, walks into endzone, Broncos take lead, choirs sing”. The former Gator’s QB led the lowly Denver Broncos’ comeback victory over the Houston Texans. I’m telling you guys, I know football and Tebow has no business having this much success in the NFL. It’s so unusual that it just has to be supernatural. God is looking out for Tim Tebow.

3. Squirrel vs. Power Lines at Disney.. Power Lines Wins: A squirrel rubbed up against some power lines the wrong way and caused a power outage for about a half hour yesterday in the Disney area. Just some quick thoughts. “I’m sure Progress Energy will find some way to bill us for this”. “The Squirrel was some kind of terrorist.”. “Maybe he should have been wearing little leather gloves?” Okay, that last one was a little mean. My condolences to the Squirrel’s brother…Rocky…

and now for something completely different..

2. My adventures in shopping for a hair straightening iron on Christmas eve: It’s bad enough shopping at the very last minute for the holidays, it’s even worse when your shopping for a ladies hair product when 1. You’re a dude and 2. You have no hair. Ultimately, I went with the “Go” model over the “Helen of Troy” straightener.

1. Alex Sink’s farewell interview with The Miami Herald: In what is a pretty well written interview, you want to wince at some of the things Sink says and ask “You didn’t know that during the campaign?” Here are some bullet points.

“So losing sucks. No matter how much you lose by, it sucks.”

“Rod (Smith) and I both came across people – particiulary form the most conservative areas of North Florida where he and I both had done well before, who just said I’m not voting for no Democrat this year, I don’t care who you are. If you have Democrat behind your name, I’m not voting for you.”

“In the past, the only way I could make news and get my word spread was to go to the press…Now, as we have seen, you can totally bypass all that. Why should you go to an editorial board when you can bypass all that?”

MSNBC political analyst Chuck Todd labeled Sink the worst candidate of the year, saying on his show, “The Daily Rundown”: “Think about it. You lost to a guy who defrauded Medicare. In Florida! Okay? More people are on Medicare in Florida than maybe any other state.”

But Sink said she didn’t care what Todd said: “What I think about one person who doesn’t live in Florida and wasn’t here is that I’m ignoring him.”
————–

You know I kinda wish she would have shot back at Chuck Todd, but she didn’t and maybe it was that kind of hesitation that lost her those 62,000 votes.

Have a great Monday…

Naples Daily News Article- Pay whatever it takes to get next to the Governor

I’ve had the chance to speak with reporters from all over, since the elections have ended (its part of my work). Last week, I had the chance to speak with Rick Scott’s hometown newspaper.

From the Naples Daily News,

UPDATE: It was picked up by the Treasure/Palm Coast paper as well.

I threw some heat at the donors for this inauguration, because some of them were holding Alex Sink signs 45 days ago. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m happy that the leftovers will be going towards Operation Wounded Warrior and I want Governor-elect Scott to succeed and succeed quickly. We need to get people back to work.

I’m also hoping his communications team can return volley better than a one word E-mail.

————————————————————–
NAPLES — The money is rolling in and some political experts say Florida should be prepared for an inauguration like one they may not have seen before.

Gov.-elect Rick Scott, a Naples businessman, had raised more than $1.15 million as of Dec. 6 for his Jan. 4 inauguration, according to recent contribution reports. That money will be used to pay for a variety of festivities – a youth concert on Jan. 3 and an inaugural ball on Jan. 4 – surrounding his inauguration.

“It’s a higher price than past inaugurations you saw,” said Frank Torres, an Orlando-based public affairs consultant.

Gov. Charlie Crist in 2004 shifted plans from a $2.4 million inauguration to more low-key events, after he was criticized for approving a plan to solicit donations of up to $500,000 for the celebration. Crist said in 2004 he instead planned to keep the costs below $1 million.

Crist also canceled his ball because “with the state of the economy he said it wouldn’t have been appropriate,” Torres said.

While the ball is back on for 2011, officials with the inauguration said it won’t be an entirely glitzy affair. Instead, Francis Rooney, former United States ambassador to the Vatican, told the Daily News in November the inauguration will be an inclusive and broad-based event.
The Honorable Francis Rooney and his wife Kathleen Rooney at their home in Port Royal in Naples on Nov. 17, 2010. The couple has been chosen to put on the inauguration for Rick Scott in Tallahassee.

The Honorable Francis Rooney and his wife Kathleen Rooney at their home in Port Royal in Naples on Nov. 17, 2010. The couple has been chosen to put on the inauguration for Rick Scott in Tallahassee. Greg Kahn/Staff

But an event of that scale comes at a cost, and Scott’s inauguration is on track to exceed the amount that Crist had intended to spend in 2004. While the Scott camp set a $25,000 contribution cap, the inauguration still has a bevy of big-name donors contributing to the festivities.

Thirty-seven contributors – including Rooney, who serves as chairman of the inaugural committee – each have contributed $25,000 to the event.

But Peter Bergerson, a political science professor at Florida Gulf Coast University in Estero, said Floridians shouldn’t expect to see too many individuals on the inaugural contribution list.

“Lots of companies and corporations (contribute), some that have direct association surrounding the inauguration themselves,” Bergerson said. “You’re going to have lots of different categories.”

Another popular category of donor, Bergerson said, is the one that is “contributing to have some degree of access to the governor.”

Bergerson said a business like U.S. Sugar Corp., which donated $25,000 to the inauguration, could fall into that category. A “contribution to Scott inaugural festivities gives them an entry to have their voice heard,” Bergerson said.

U.S. Sugar isn’t the only big contributor. Several health-care related companies — like Blue Cross Blue Shield of Florida and Naples-based Health Management Associates — have donated $25,000.

But the health-care industry isn’t the only one contributing to the Scott inauguration. Several Florida corporations, such as Tampa-based energy company TECO; Florida Crystals Corp., a West Palm Beach-based sugar producer and the Florida Optometrists Association have contributed to the inauguration.

Those corporate contributions often are construed as a way to get close to the governor or other members of the executive branch.

“Scott campaigned that he wouldn’t be beholden to special interests,” Bergerson said. “So supporting inaugural festivities is a way … in which corporations that have business with the state have a way to present their side of the issue.”

More simply, Torres said, these corporate contributions are “political greasing of the wheels at its finest.”


“It is to buy support, and to look at it any other way is naive,” Torres said.

Officials with the Scott camp say that assertion is incorrect. When asked if contributors were donating because they were looking for an “in” with the governor or other members of the executive branch, Scott spokeswoman Bettina Inclan answered with an unequivocal “no.”

“My comment to your question on the contributions is ‘no,’” Inclan said in an e-mail.

The inaugural committee hasn’t set a fundraising goal, but Inclan said no public funds will be used for the dozen or so events surrounding the Jan. 4 inauguration. Any money left over once all the inaugural bills are paid, Inclan said, will be donated to the Wounded Warrior Project, which provides programs for wounded service members from recent global conflicts.

The powers that be will pay whatever it takes to get close to him...