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After helping climate hawk Ed Markey (D. MA) win his Senate race and helping defeat anti-science zealots like Ken Cuccinelli (R. VA), Tom Steyer is back and is thirsty for more:

In early February, Mr. Steyer gathered two dozen of the country’s leading liberal donors and environmental philanthropists to his 1,800-acre ranch in Pescadero, Calif. — which raises prime grass-fed beef — to ask them to join his efforts. People involved in the discussions say Mr. Steyer is seeking to raise $50 million from other donors to match $50 million of his own.

The money would move through Mr. Steyer’s fast-growing, San Francisco-based political apparatus into select 2014 races. Targets include the governor’s race in Florida, where the incumbent, Rick Scott, a first-term Republican, has said he does not believe that science has established that climate change is man-made. Mr. Steyer’s group is also looking at the Senate race in Iowa, in the hope that a win for the Democratic candidate, Representative Bruce Braley, an outspoken proponent of measures to limit climate change, could help shape the 2016 presidential nominating contests.

Mr. Steyer also prospected for potential donors on a recent trip to New York City, where he met with aides to former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who has made championing climate change a focus of his post-mayoral political life, but whose own “super PAC” has focused chiefly on gun control.

“Our feeling on 2014 is, we want to do things that are both substantively important and will have legs after that,” Mr. Steyer said in an interview. “We don’t want to go someplace, win and move on.” - The New York Times, 2/17/14

That's right, Steyer is going after wealthy Tea Party Governor Rick Scott (R. FL) this year.  Scott of course will have the backing of the Koch Brothers but Steyer wants to use his wealth to fight them off:

When The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza reported on the debate over the Keystone pipeline last year, Steyer and his brother Jim, activists on that issue, played a role. In that interview, Steyer also articulated how he differentiates between his work and the Kochs.

"Jim Steyer told me that a friend had asked him if he and Tom were aspiring to be the Koch brothers of the left. “Yeah, I like that!” Jim replied. Tom dismissed the analogy. “I completely disagree, because what they’re doing is standing up for ideas that they profit from,” he said of the Kochs. “We think we’re representing the vast bulk of citizens of the United States. We’re not representing our pockets.”

There's truth to that argument; the Kochs have emphasized policies and candidates aimed at reducing government involvement in the private sector, which serves their business interests. But in another sense, the Kochs and the Steyers are doing the same thing: using heavy bank accounts to create a new outlet for a particular political position. The Kochs do so through an intricate system of heavily-masked organizations — dark pipelines, if you will — and Steyer may want to let the sun shine on his organization's efforts, but they're broadly of a piece. - The Wire, 2/18/14

Of course Scott will also use a lot of his own money to fund his campaign but he shouldn't be relying on seeing a dollar from Disney:

Walt Disney World, one of the largest political donors in Florida, has spent more than $1.7 million so far during this campaign cycle, cutting checks to more than 100 candidates and committees throughout the state.

But one notable candidate hasn't made Disney's donation list: Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Though Disney says it is supporting Scott, state records show that Disney hasn't given any money directly to Scott or his Let's Get to Work political committee, even though the Republican governor is furiously raising money for what some predict will be a $100 million re-election campaign.

The omission is striking because Disney has contributed to so many other Florida politicians — including all three Cabinet members, all but two of the 20 state senators on the ballot this year and more than 60 of the roughly 100 state House members running for re-election.

A spokeswoman for Disney would not say why the company hasn't contributed to Scott's campaign, though she said the company is backing the incumbent governor.

"Governor Scott has a strong record on tourism and economic growth, and we are supporting him in 2014," Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger said. - Orlando Sentinel, 2/16/14

So Walt Disney World likes Scott and are rooting for him in this race but they're not going to put their money on Scott winning.  Says a lot.  By the way, Scott now has set a new record for himself in Florida:

During Gov. Rick Scott’s administration, there have been more state executions in his first term than in any other modern day Florida governor’s first term.

Marc Caputo with The Miami Herald did the numbers and found that “when Juan Carlos Chavez was put to death at 8:17 p.m. Wednesday, his execution marked the 13th on Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s watch — a record among first-term Florida governors since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.”

In comparison, here is the number of executions during the first terms of other governors, via the Herald:

- Florida Center For Investigative Reporting, 2/17/14
By the way, here's something we'll all need to see what Scott will do about this:

SAN FRANCISCO - JULY 13:  Containers of medicinal marijuana are seen on display at the Alternative Herbal Health Services cannabis dispensary July 13, 2006 in San Francisco. San Francisco city planners are deciding July 13 if they will issue a permit to allow Kevin Reed to open the Green Cross medical marijuana dispensary right in the middle of San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf area, a popular tourist destination.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Florida’s sudden rush to legalize marijuana for the sick or dying is heading toward a potentially important speed bump: Gov. Rick Scott.

While Republican and Democratic lawmakers are rushing to advance bills legalizing some forms of marijuana for medicinal use, the governor has refused to say whether he would sign a bill – even one favored by GOP lawmakers which would only legalize a non-euphoric version nicknamed “Charlotte’s Web.”

The effort has drawn parents like Holley and Peyton Moseley, a Gulf Breeze couple who adopted a child RayAnn with severe epilepsy. They have become well-known advocates for legalizing Charlotte’s Web after visiting Colorado where the new medicine was developed.

They’ll be walking the halls this week in Tallahassee, have hired two lobbyists and a public-relations firm, and created an online community to make the case for giving Florida’s 125,000 epileptic children the legal option of using the drug to treat their excruciating condition.

In the last month, they’ve seen a marked change among lawmakers: from distrust and concern, to endorsements from staunch, otherwise anti-drug conservatives.

“I’ve been very pleasantly surprised at the response,” Peyton Moseley said last week.

But they have no assurances what Scott will do.

“We’re not there yet,” he said. “We’ll cross that bridge when it’s time.” - Orlando Sentinel, 2/17/14

Charlie Crist (D. FL) has come out in support of medical marijuana and would sign it into law if he were Governor.  Crist's support of medical marijuana is part of populist campaign:

He has embraced President Barack Obama’s health care law even as many Democrats distance themselves from it. He supports efforts to legalize medical marijuana and to overturn the gay marriage ban he initially backed. He has called for an increase in the minimum wage, something he once voted against.

“Tallahassee is out of control,” he told hundreds of supporters in declaring his candidacy. “The voice of the people has been silenced by the financial bullies and the special interests.”

In seizing on the issues and rhetoric animating activists, Crist has made his populist campaign in the nation’s largest swing state a critical test case of whether his new party’s ascendant liberal wing is gaining momentum or overreaching. His appeals to economic populism could be particularly potent, with Florida voters identifying the economy as their chief concern this year.

Still, Crist’s approach concerns some Democrats.

Matt Bennett, a co-founder of the centrist Democratic group Third Way, warned that “us-versus-them, people-versus-powerful rhetoric” could hurt Democrats in the most contested states. - Washington Post, 2/8/14

Is Crist is making the dolts at Third Way groan, you know he's running a great campaign.  And of course, this is a big aspect of his campaign:

Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, currently campaigning to retake the governor’s mansion, believes the Cuba embargo didn’t work and should be “taken away.”

“I mean the embargo has been there — what — 50 years now? I don’t think it worked. It is obvious to me that we need to move forward and I think get the embargo taken away. Really. I believe that,” Crist said Friday during HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”

The Republican-turned-Democrat, who is challenging incumbent GOP Gov. Rick Scott, made the case for lifting the embargo as a jobs creator for his state.

“From a selfish point of view as a Floridian, I’d like to see that happen because a lot of construction would be required on the island, and South Florida could be the launching pad for all of that and really create some jobs for the people of my state,” the former governor said. - Politico, 2/9/14

And another Democrat is also helping fuel Crist's campaign:

Remember back in the dog days of Summer 2013, when Alex Sink was still flirting with the idea of running for governor and described a potential Charlie Crist candidacy as a "disaster" for Florida Democrats? Well, she seems to have gotten over it - or at least decided it does her no good to bash the likely Democratic nominee.

Campaign finance reports show that on Jan. 31, Sink wrote a $1,000 check to Crist. Not sure if that amounts to a formal announcement, but Sink has not given a dime to Crist's longshot primary opponent, former state Sen. Nan Rich. - Miami Herald, 2/17/14

I'm excited about Crist's campaign and you should be as well.  If you want to get involved or donate to Crist's campaign, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 06:26 PM PST.

Also republished by Climate Hawks, LatinoKos, The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party, DKos Florida, North & Central Florida Kossacks, and DKos Cannabis Law and Drug War Reform.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I Hope He Throws Some Against Yertle the Turtle (11+ / 0-)

    up there in Kentucky too. There's a race that's polling even more or less, looks to my eye there's a real chance we could flip it. And we all know an even race is actually D -5%.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 06:31:43 PM PST

  •  Excellent post. Very detailed. (7+ / 0-)

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 06:50:10 PM PST

  •  Charlie Crist mandated fair voting in Florida. (8+ / 0-)

    Now all Florida votes have a clear verifiable paper trail. No more stealing elections via FL.  For this alone--done while he was "Repub" gov--he should be honored.

    If Crist had been gov in 2001 (when Jeb Bush was gov) we would have been spared the idiotic war against Iraq (and likely the equally idiotic war against Afghanistan, which required the assumption that tribes = a nation) because clueless W. would never have been president.

    The right of the women of this State to be secure in their persons against unreasonable searches shall not be violated by the State legislature.

    by Mayfly on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 06:52:16 PM PST

  •  It's the good 1% vs. the bad 1%! (0+ / 0-)

    This is going to be good.

  •  Yes, there are some in the 1% that are less (5+ / 0-)

    selfish than others.  They look at their own children and want a cleaner planet for them and their kids.  

     Some helpful 1% ers can be helpful in pushing a desired  narrative.  For instance, super rich investor Warren Buffet saying "My secretary pays more in taxes than I do.  That needs to change" gives a strong and credible voice towards our attempts at taxing capital gains at the same rate as everybody else's income.  

  •  Crist is going to win Florida, and in the (6+ / 0-)

    end it won't be even that close.   He is pushing all the right buttons at the moment in his populist campaign, and Scott is his unpopular self.  

    Hey, he is a politician, so that means he looks where the wind blows.  But he seems to be on the right side of many, many issues ever since he switched party allegiances, and that is a-ok by me.  

    •  let's hope so, because Scott is a DISASTER (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      peacestpete, Woody

      not only for FL but also for America.

      He needs to be gone gone gone, along with all the OTHER GOP Governors that got shoved down America's craw in the past few years.

      America's LAST HOPE: vote the GOP OUT in 2014 elections. MAKE them LOSE the House Majority and reduce their numbers in the Senate. Democrats move America forward - Republicans take us backward and are KILLING OUR NATION!

      by dagnome on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 08:13:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  He has been more than a disaster (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        A nightmare.   Today I saw the headline that he is allocating massive money for major road construction, no doubt to curry favor with voters.  Cynical.  

        •  Yes, I read the article in Tampa Bay Times... (0+ / 0-)

          He only had Republican politicians at the press conference. The Dems were totally unaware & asked why is this transportation plan being resurrected now after being forgotten for decades.
          Previously Scott just wanted to cut the budget. Why $ now?

          I share a birthday with John Lennon and Bo Obama.

          by peacestpete on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 09:23:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  You know why. He can read polls (0+ / 0-)

            The last 2 polls have shown Crist ahead of Scott by 8 and 7 percent, respectively.  Crist has charisma, he has popular and populist issues in his back as wind, and Scott hasn't been very popular at any time during his tenure.  A typical "wave" politician from when the tea party was still somewhat liked.    He is on his way out.  Good riddance.  

    •  I sure hope Crist wins, but who knows?... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I never imagined Scott would win. He had no support from the traditional Republican Party. Now he does.
      But Crist is a more attractive candidate than Alex Sink was in the last race against Scott. She had good ideas but doesn't like to campaign like Crist does. Crist is like Bill Clinton in that respect. He'll shake anyone's hand.

      I share a birthday with John Lennon and Bo Obama.

      by peacestpete on Tue Feb 18, 2014 at 09:19:03 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah, I shook Bill Clinton's hand once (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Woody, peacestpete

        In 92 he came to Tampa for a campaign appearance, Downtown Plaza.  It was around lunch time.  I had to go.  The place was packed, and even though he showed up 20 minutes late, his presence was magnetic.   He shook everybody's hand for almost an hour, he looks right at you as if you are the most important person in the world at that moment.  I knew right then that he had the election in the bag.  

        Crist seems like a similarly charismatic guy, although he seems to lack the apparent sincerity that Clinton was able to convey.  

        •  Lucky you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The only future President I actually shook hands with was, GAWK, Nixon. A friend and I got permission to leave HS and walked downtown for a 1959 Nixon visit to Grand Rapids. We figured which way the open Lincoln would go and both were able to get close enough.

          In my family of Democrats, one uncles favorite congressman was Jerry Voorhis, who Nixon beat using pink mailers, and another's favorite Senator was Hellen Gahagan Douglas who Nixon beat later for the Senate  seat he had when Ike went slumming to pick him. So I knew he was a creep but not evil yet. My main reaction was to how scared and gaunt Pat looked.

          Never promote men who seek after a state-established religion; it is spiritual tyranny--the worst of despotism. It is turnpiking the way to heaven by human law, in order to establish ministerial gates to collect toll. John Leland

          by J Edward on Wed Feb 19, 2014 at 05:22:33 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  Whoot!!! Thank you, pdc! (0+ / 0-)

    This is the best news I've heard this year.  

    Last night I attended my local Democrat Club meeting where our guest speaker was Justin Spiller our Florida Democratic Party Vice President.  He was slated to speak to us about the 2014 candidates and issues so we would know where to focus our efforts.  Here is a summation of what he advised:

    The Governor's Race

    Whoot!!! Thanks again, pdc!  

    As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

    by JaxDem on Wed Feb 19, 2014 at 01:58:27 AM PST

    •  fix the link pls! (0+ / 0-)

      so we can read your summation

      •  There was no link (0+ / 0-)

        the summation was:  The Governor's Race.

        As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. John F. Kennedy

        by JaxDem on Wed Feb 19, 2014 at 09:41:12 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

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