Crist to run for governor. Or perhaps not…

It was also disclosed yesterday by the Tampa Bay Times that Crist stooge Peter Schorsch has filed for a permit to have a rally in a St. Petersburg park on November 4th. Schorsch’s wife is also a close Crist confidant. Schorsch has denied the permit is connected to Crist, but Schorsch is a proven liar who has a lengthy criminal record and is not someone whose word about politics is to be taken seriously. That Crist appears to continue to associate himself with the likes of people like Schorsch suggests Chuckles hasn’t learned from past associations with criminals including Jim Greer and Scott Rothstein.

Ever the chameleon, Crist could be changing colors again

By Chris Ingram

Now that former Rep. Bill Young has been interred, expect a flurry of political jockeying to replace him.  Young’s son, brother, and wife, former Mayor Rick Baker, Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, and former County Commissioner Neil Brickfield are among Republicans who have been mentioned as possible candidates to succeed him. Former CFO and gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink is the leading Democrat mentioned. She is joined by talk of county commissioner and former state Senator Charlie Justice, and state Representative Janet Long as potential candidates, among others (Justice said on Friday he would not run).

Lost in most of the chatter is attorney Jessica Ehrlich, who was the 2012 Democratic nominee and has continued to campaign for the job even before Young’s retirement announcement and subsequent death.

Yet despite posting the strongest challenge to Young in twenty years, she hasn’t won any bonus points with establishment Democrats who care more about winning than rewarding Ehrlich for not just being a political opportunist.  

aTooTan Charlie 2
Caption: That’s one box of Fruit Loops you might want to take a pass on. (Drawing by Jake Fuller)

Who the candidates will be, and when the election will be held remains unclear. Florida law is vague about the date of a special election to replace a member of the House of Representatives. Unlike replacing a member of the U.S. Senate, vacancies in the House of Representatives cannot be appointed. So there will be an election, we just don’t know when the governor will set it.   

While the rest of the political intelligentsia chatter about a Baker versus Sink race, or all the “what ifs?” concerning Young’s various family members, one person not so frequently mentioned whom I think may very well run, is former Governor Charlie “Too Tan” Crist. Sound crazy? Perhaps, but in politics, anything is possible.

When he’s not pitching his skills as a trial lawyer to take your slip and fall accident or parking lot fender-bender case to court, Crist is said to be forming a campaign team for another run for governor. I haven’t ever bought the notion that Crist would run for governor again — and have speculated it’s been an act all along that he would, in order for Crist to maintain a high profile and build up his fundraising base so he can run against Bill Young.  That’s what I expected to happen. Now that young has died, Crist can run in a much easier open seat and land himself a job as Congressman for the next twenty years if he wants it.

Yesterday he unveiled an odd campaign website that looked like a typical candidate’s website, but it was missing two things. Those two things were: Continue reading “Crist to run for governor. Or perhaps not…”

Finally! The media gets it right about the two biggest losers in politics!

Scorsch who routinely and unapologetically lies publicly to the press, who owes nearly $68,000 in outstanding fines to the Florida Elections Commission, who six years pleaded no contest to grand thef and scheming to defraud charges. Really?

Ready for the NFL, Charlie Crist?

Friday, October 25, 2013 3:40pm

“Welcome to the NFL,” Charlie Crist used to say of Marco Rubio, when the insurgent Republican complained about Crist’s attacks in 2010.

We’re just days away from Crist announcing his campaign for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, and it’s unclear whether Crist will be playing like he’s in the NFL or the Pop Warner League.

Looks like blogger/consultant/man about town Peter Schorsch pulled the permit for Crist’s first campaign rally/announcement. Now I’m a big fan of Schorsch’s web site and more than once  have enjoyed a martini or three with Schorsch.

But Crist already has a history of lousy judgement in leaning heavily dubious supporters (Scott Rothstein, Jim Greer, Alan Mendelsohn, Greg Eagle) who have a knack for winding up in prison. Count on that to be part of the campaign against him over the next 12 months.

Still, for his very campaign event Crist turned to Scorsch who routinely and unapologetically lies publicly to the press, who owes nearly $68,000 in outstanding fines to the Florida Elections Commission, who six years pleaded no contest to grand thef and scheming to defraud charges. Really?

Crist today launched a Web site, What struck us first about it  is that it included no disclosure text saying who funded, as is required for campaign sites. Crist is in gray area as an unannounced candidate, of course, but it seems the campaign felt a little uneasy about the disclosure rules too. The site has been amended to say: “Paid for Personally by Charlie Crist.” (Click here for the full story in the Tampa Bay Times)

Feel free to leave your comments about this story here.

The Republicans’ “strategic incompetence”

The Republicans clearly lost the PR battle over the shutdown and the debt ceiling limit extension. Unfortunately for the GOP, the spiraling federal debt as an issue of concern appears lost on most people. It’s significance is quite simple really: The money we’ve borrowed will have to be paid back, and it’s going to be painful.

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune, October 19, 2013

You might call the Republicans’ recent efforts related to the federal government shutdown and their battle with the Democrats over the debt ceiling as “strategic incompetence.” 

Strategic incompetence is the act of appearing to not know what you are doing, all the while, knowing exactly what you want to accomplish by pretending to be incompetent.

My friend Roy engages in strategic incompetence from time to time. For example, after his wife had their son, Roy decided he didn’t like changing diapers. So he would pretend to be incompetent by fumbling with the diapers, never getting the child clean enough, and otherwise incorrectly changing the diaper and upsetting the baby. In the end, his wife believed Roy was not competent to change the diapers, and she told him he didn’t have to do it anymore — which is exactly what Roy wanted.

By shutting the government down over the train wreck that is known as Obamacare and having threatened to not increase the debt ceiling, the Republicans appeared — just as Roy appeared in the eyes of his lovely wife — to be incompetent in the eyes of voters.

The strategic part of the GOP’s shutdown and debt ceiling plan was Continue reading “The Republicans’ “strategic incompetence””

Thank God for people like Dottie Berger MacKinnon

Unlike some children’s facilities or battered women’s shelters I have seen, A Kid’s Place doesn’t attempt to conceal what it is. The facility even has a welcoming sign on the side of the road. But the welcome ends there, as the buildings are surrounded by a fence and an electronic gate for the protection of the residents. As you walk up the main entrance, Berger MacKinnon’s name is on the building, and there is a bronze statue of her sitting on a park bench reading a book to a child

By Chris Ingram

The Tampa Tribune, October 15, 2013

To say that Dottie Berger MacKinnon had a big heart for kids is like saying Santa Claus is a jolly old fellow.

Berger MacKinnon, who died Sunday of cancer, served a single term on the Hillsborough County Commission from 1994-98. She was defeated for re-election in the Republican primary when conservative activists in the eastern part of Hillsborough County got upset with what they viewed as her liberal leanings. Her name occasionally came up in political circles, even six years later when I moved to Tampa.

But people who really knew her, knew her not for politics, but for her concern for kids.

My path didn’t formally cross with Berger MacKinnon’s until this year when I reached out to her to talk about child welfare issues. She graciously agreed to meet and invited me to her home, where we chatted for a few hours. A few weeks later, she took me on a tour of A Kid’s Place, the youth home in Brandon she was instrumental in founding.

aaMarch 2013 Dottie Target 248

“Martha [Cooke] is the reason for A Kid’s Place,” Berger said of her friend, who is a Hillsborough Circuit Court judge. The “Department of Children and Families wanted an emergency shelter. For a year and a half, Martha asked me to build it. She encouraged us to form A Kid’s Charity of Tampa Bay, and so we did. When we did, everyone was surprised. I didn’t know you had an option to not do something you said you would do,” she said during my visit to her home.  Continue reading “Thank God for people like Dottie Berger MacKinnon”