I for one am happy that Crist switched parties and that he's evolved on a few issues:Charlie Crist said once again Tuesday that racism motivates many of President Obama's most hostile GOP adversaries.
It was partly for that reason that Crist, the former Republican governor of Florida who's now trying to reclaim his old job as a Democrat, broke with his former party.
“I couldn’t be consistent with myself and my core beliefs, and stay with a party that was so unfriendly toward the African-American president, I’ll just go there,” Crist told Fusion's Jorge Ramos. “I was a Republican and I saw the activists and what they were doing, it was intolerable to me.” - TPM, 5/6/14
And Crist also scored a big endorsement:Asked how he would respond to criticisms of his evolution on a variety of issues, the Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat said, “I really haven’t, that’s how I answer it. On gay marriage, I have evolved. And I think the president led very well on that issue as well.”
But aside from gay marriage, Crist’s reversals also included his current support for Obamacare and giving in-state college tuition rates to illegal-immigrant kids who have attended Florida high schools.
“OK, there’s three,” Crist responded. “God bless you.”
Scott also reversed himself on in-state tuition for illegal immigrants. But unlike Crist, he’ll get to sign a tuition-relief bill for the so-called “Dreamers” that just passed the Legislature.
Crist emphasized that Scott vetoed a bill last year to give temporary driver’s licenses to Dreamers.
As for Scott’s $500 million in tax cuts this year, Crist said they’re largely eaten up by the $400 million in property-tax increases for schools. Instead of letting property taxes rise, Crist said he would have paid for more school spending out of general-revenue dollars from the state.
Crist had raised property taxes as well, but he said it was different because the state had to increase revenues due to the “global economic meltdown” that occurred while he was in office. Even in those circumstances, “we were able to fund education better than they’re doing now.”
Also, all the taxes and fees Crist signed into law were initially passed — and in some cases proposed — by a GOP Legislature that included Scott’s running mate.
Judging by Crist’s visit to Versailles, voters in this common Republican stomping ground didn’t seem to mind the reversals and backtracking. Crist hugged and kissed abuelas, back-slapped businessmen and handed out signs and bumper stickers to dozens of people all the while posing for pictures. - Miami Herald, 5/5/14
Here's a little more info:Florida Gov. Charlie Crist flaunted actress Eva Longoria's endorsement Tuesday, as he runs for his former office against Gov. Rick Scott.
Longoria was at restaurant Salt and Pepper in Miami Thursday with her millionaire boyfriend Jose Antonio Baston. On Monday, the Desperate Housewives star and Devious Maids producer was in Washington, D.C., to talk about the Latino Victory project, a political action committee close to raising about $5 million this cycle.
"Blessed to receive the endorsement of Eva Longoria and the Latino Victory Project," Crist tweeted Tuesday morning. "Welcome to Team Charlie, Eva."
Longoria's PAC also endorsed Cuban-American U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., who Vice president Joe Biden visited in Miami Saturday. Garcia defeated former U.S. Rep. David Rivera, R-Fla., in 2012. Rivera, who is under federal investigation, wants to run against him again. - Local 10, 5/6/14
And to quote Joe Biden, "This is a big fucking deal":Actress and activist Eva Longoria and the Democratic National Committee's finance chief announced on Monday an effort to raise millions for Latino candidates, lamenting that this group's growth hasn't been matched by heavier political sway.
Longoria and DNC finance chairman Henry Munoz worked together to raise millions from Latino and Hispanic donors for President Barack Obama's re-election bid in 2012 and have been laying the groundwork for the Latino Victory Project since then. If the effort and its sister political action committee prove successful, they could again raise tens of millions of dollars, this time dedicated to helping Latino candidates.
"People keep talking about the power of the Latino vote. But the truth is that (2012) was just the tip of the iceberg," Longoria told The Associated Press on Monday. "We are not tapping into the full potential yet of the Latino community."
The group is close to raising its goal of $5 million this cycle, project president Cristobal Alex said in an interview. The group also would focus on introducing chosen candidates to donors in a way Democratic groups have done for years with female and gay candidates.
"Let's consider it an investment in the nation. Let's not refer to us as 'the sleeping giant' after the midterms," Munoz said. "We are the change we have been waiting for."
Munoz and Longoria led the Obama campaign's Futuro Fund, which raised $32 million — much of which was from first-time donors. Neither has forgotten their allies and both have worked to keep those donors engaged.
"A lot of the Latino donors that we spoke to had never been asked before," Longoria said. - AP, 5/6/14
Latino turnout will be key for Crist's victory. One thing that has not been incredibly helpful for Scott's re-election bid is the GOP state legislature:The stepped-up emphasis on candidates and turnout come as both parties are clamoring for female voters and as the American electorate is on the cusp of a massive demographic shift, with non-whites set to become the majority by 2050, and Latinos, who could be 30 percent of the population if current trends continue, accounting for much of the growth.
More immediately, Democrats face an uphill climb in rallying the young, black and brown voters who made up the winning coalition for President Obama, with key Senate races being fought in red states, and few issues resonating viscerally with voters in the way that the Affordable Care Act has for Republicans.
But Republicans face their own challenges in broadening their appeal beyond the older, whiter more Southern demographic that powered a GOP wave election in 2010 and remains crucial to the party’s chances in November.
In addition to backing its own candidates, the Latino Victory Project will spend $20 million to target Republican candidates who face a sizable Latino electorate, yet oppose comprehensive immigration reform.
The group grew out of the Futuro Fund, which raised $30 million for Obama’s reelection and created a new cadre of high- and low-dollar donors, with 150,000 Latinos contributing.
Among the specific initiatives is a program called “The Firsts,” which will focus on Latinos who are the first in their families and communities to reach educational and professional milestones, a designation that often falls to the eldest daughter, who Alex said is often the “CEO in the family.”
“By 2016, we want 100,000 of the firsts,” Alex said. “And they will elevate the first Lucy Flores, the first Leticia Van De Putte.” - Washington Post, 5/5/14
Scott knows he's a one termer so he's resorting to attacking Crist's past as a Republican:Confronting a tough re-election fight Gov. Rick Scott came into his fourth legislative session as governor with a focused, but yet limited agenda that dealt primarily on tax cuts and spending priorities.
By the time the Florida Legislature ended its 60-day session, Scott also had waded into a Republican fight over immigration and even tried to gauge support from legislators over a possible gambling deal with The Seminole Tribe of Florida.
During his first three years in office Scott's relationship with GOP legislative leaders was often tentative and even a bit combative. But Republican legislative leaders intent on helping the first-term governor gave Scott much of what he wanted as he prepares for an expensive and lengthy re-election fight against likely Democratic nominee and former Gov. Charlie Crist.
"We are cognizant it's an election year," said House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel. "We are the same party. We want him to win. We wanted to help jump start him coming in to the campaign season and I think we have done that."
Polls have consistently shown Scott's job approval rating under 50 percent and some have even shown that a majority of Florida voters don't want him to be re-elected. - AP, 5/4/14
Scott's attacks I don't think will really matter. Clinton has obviously forgiven Crist hence why he's coming to Florida to campaign and raise money for him. In the mean time, if you want to donate and get involved with Crist's campaign, you can do so here:Charlie Crist once called President Bill Clinton a liar and said he should resign. But tomorrow night Crist and Clinton will be united for a common cause, raising money.
The pairing of the former Florida governor and former president is the focus of a Republican Party ad targeting Crist.
Channel 9 investigative reporter Christopher Heath is putting the ad to the test
Heath said there is a definite theme emerging in the race between Crist and Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
It's no secret that Crist used to be a Republican the latest ad, like others from Scott's PAC, are using Crist's own words against him.
Clinton will be in Miami on Tuesday where he'll resign himself to the roll of fundraiser for Democrats, including Crist, a former Republican turned Democrat.
"It's an effort to attack the trustworthiness of Charlie Crist," said WFTV political analyst Rick Foglesong. - WFTV Channel 9, 5/5/14