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Fifty years ago, they were screwed-up kids sent to the Florida School for Boys to be straightened out. But now they are screwed-up men, scarred by the whippings they endured. Read the story and see a video and portrait gallery.
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Crist's VP prospects are creeping upward
By Adam C. Smith, Times Political Editor
Published February 24, 2008
Thr Crist Veep-O-Meter nudge a tad closer to vice president this week.
[Ron Brackett | Times]
The Crist Veep-O-Meter nudges a tad closer to vice president this week, though it has less to do with Charlie Crist than some other prospects for John McCain's running mate.
Texas Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison pretty much took herself out of the running last week. Meanwhile, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, an early McCain supporter who has at least as much vice presidential buzz as Crist, took a bashing in an op-ed by a Minnesota antitax activist last week.
Minnesota Citizens for Tax Justice director Wayne Cox wrote that the 47-year-old Pawlenty can't deliver the state for McCain, that Minnesota has become more Democratic-leaning under Pawlenty and he has done little to help the economy.
"He should follow the lead of successful Republican governors like Crist and build a record of results," Cox wrote in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.
The Washington Post's influential political blog, the Fix, on Friday listed Crist as one of the five likeliest picks for McCain, along with Pawlenty, Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, and South Dakota Sen. Jon Thune.
Florida turns on the money for McCain
McCain's Florida momentum in January paid off - literally. Not only did the Sunshine State and its governor help deliver him the nomination, but it pumped more than $1.28-million into his campaign, more than twice what McCain raised from Florida in the prior three months, and nearly a third of the $3.5-million he's raised from Florida to date. The Center of Responsive Politics reports that Rudy Giuliani all told raised $5.4-million from Florida, and Mitt Romney $4.4-million.
On the Democratic side, Florida still looks like Hillary Clinton country. A St. Petersburg Times analysis of new campaign finance data shows she raised nearly $922,000 here in January, compared to $703,000 for Barack Obama. Florida has pumped more than $7-million into the Clinton campaign, compared to $4.2-million for Obama. Mind you, the Federal Election Commission reports miss a lot of Florida donations because contributions under $200 are not included. In the Tampa Bay area, McCain raised about $213,000 in January, compared with $204,000 for Romney, $219,000 for Clinton, and $121,000 for Obama.
Crist to star in $5,000-a-ticket GOP bash
Crist was scheduled to headline a $5,000-per-person state GOP fundraising reception at the Willard Inter-Continental hotel in Washington Saturday evening. Jim Greer was to be there. Host committee: Brian Ballard, Dan Berger, Jason Roe, Harry Sargeant, Brent Sembler and Michael Wilson.
Nelson opines on delegate flap
Sen. Bill Nelson was in St. Petersburg Friday addressing the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club, then stopped by Political Connections on Bay News 9. Asked about the Democrats' nomination woes, he touted his solution, and proposed legislation - staggered primaries, with the states chosen by lot. As far as this year goes, he thinks Florida's forlorn delegates will be seated. Political Connections airs at 11 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Bay News 9.
Politicians, here's your green report card
The League of Conservation Voters has released its 2007 scorecard, and Bill Nelson was one of three senators to get a 100 percent rating on votes deemed key to the Democratic-leaning environmental group. Sen. Mel Martinez got 13 percent. Scores for Florida's other members of Congress: Jeff Miller, (R) 10; Allen Boyd (D) 65; Corrine Brown (D) 85; Ander Crenshaw (R) 5; Ginny Brown-Waite (R) 20; Cliff Stearns (R) 15; John Mica (R) 5; Ric Keller (R) 15; Gus Bilirakis (R) 15; C.W. Bill Young (R) 35; Kathy Castor (D) 95; Adam Putnam (R) 5; Vern Buchanan (R) 25; Connie Mack (R) 5; Dave Weldon (R) 5; Tim Mahoney (D) 75; Kendrick Meek (D) 85; Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) 30; Robert Wexler (D) 85; Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D) 90; Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R) 20; Ron Klein (D) 75; Alcee Hastings (D) 90; Tom Feeney (R) 5; Mario Diaz-Balart(R) 15.
Democrats playing the immigration card
Democrats are exploiting illegal immigration for political gain in a special state House race. Voters in Brevard and east Orange on Tuesday elect a replacement for former Rep. Bob Allen, who stepped down after he was convicted of soliciting a male police officer for sex. In the race between Democrat Tony Sasso and Republican Sean Campbell, an independent group mailing makes a dubious charge.
The "Citizens for Political Responsibility" mailing says Campbell was a registered lobbyist for a day labor company (true) and that "companies like Campbell's exploit loopholes in federal law to hire illegal immigrants and bring them to our community. ... Sean Campbell. Great for illegal immigrants. Bad for us."
The mailing was funded by the Orange County Fund for Children, an education group; the Florida Justice Association (trial lawyers) and Orlando Democratic activist Doug Head.
Women voters honors Bob Martinez
The League of Women Voters of Hillsborough County has given former Gov. Bob Martinez its 2008 Lifetime Achievement Award. He is the second male and first Republican to receive the award initiated in 2006. Former State Sen. Helen Gordon Davis was the first recipient, followed by former U.S. Rep. Sam Gibbons.
Adam Smith, Constance Humburg, Howard Troxler and Steve Bousquet contributed to this week's Buzz.