Monday, August 15, 2016

Florida Primary 2016 Suggestions

Shame on me, I ignored something about this year's Florida statewide primaries for this month that I need to address here.

That while there IS a state amendment to vote for - and I mean that in the positive sense, because it IS a pro-solar-power referendum - there's also key seats up for grabs.


And this time, people have a reason to show up. Both major parties have candidates to choose: This isn't a rubber-stamp, here's-your-incumbent-choke-on-it situation. Republicans and Democrats gotta show up for this one. Even Libertarians have a choice.

So on the Republicans side, you get these candidates (I am defaulting to the Polk County ballot):

Marco Rubio - Incumbent
Ernie Rivera - Businessman
Carlos Beruff - Businessman
Dwight Mark Anthony Young - Sheriff's Deputy

Rubio put himself back on the ballot when it turned out he couldn't even beat Ben Carson in a fair fight for the White House. He originally had to drop because state law said he couldn't be on the same ballot for different seats. But he's back... and oh boy does he deserve to get kicked right back out again.

Granted, I'm not a huge fan of his to begin with. But let me make this one huge mark against Rubio: He has the worst attendance record of any sitting Senator we currently have. His failure to show up for votes is one of the many reasons he failed his Presidency bid. Voting him back into that Senate seat is essentially sending him back to a no-show job. He has not earned the right to keep that seat, period.

So that leaves Rivera, Beruff, and Young. If you were Republican, which of those three should you vote for?

Beruff has been an aggressive campaigner against Rubio, but he's got shady business practices as a land developer and a Trump-ish attitude about him. He's also getting hit with accusations he remained a Crist ally in 2010 when Crist and the party separated. Rivera, listed as a businessman and pastor, has been marketing his campaign but getting little actual press coverage. Young is a county sheriff's deputy, and there's almost nothing - except this - about him out there. Beruff's been making himself the big opponent against Rubio, so if you had to make a choice Florida Republicans I'd suggest him (with a head shake of serious doubt. Honestly, you've got bad choices this year, folks).

On the Democratic ticket, it's just as messy (link again to Polk County ballot):

Patrick Murphy - Congressman
Alan Grayson - Congressman
Pam Keith - Lawyer
Roque De La Fuente - Businessman
Reginald Luster - Lawyer

The race here has pretty much been Murphy vs. Grayson, both of them well-known and both of them carrying serious baggage. Grayson has been a loose cannon figure as a Congressman, grabbing the spotlight but also getting caught in a lot of unethical behavior. And he's coming off a nasty divorce with serious abuse allegations. Murphy has been the more consistent Democratic official but has troubling business ties, a spotty resume, and a problem of being more Center-Right than Center-Left.

Of the other candidates, Luster is an African-American South Florida lawyer, Keith is the sole female (as well as African-American) who's also a lawyer with a military background. De La Fuente is a businessman who put in for a Presidential run (didn't go very far), and he's the type of businessman who will not impress the Progressive base one whit (they barely tolerated Sink and Crist: De La Fuente will not get many votes).

If I were a registered Dem, I'd be leaning between either Keith or Murphy. Grayson is too much of a wild card, and there's a legitimate concern that he's going to get hit hard with ethics charges. Keith would stand out as a Woman and Black Senator from a southern state, but while I concur with some of her positions I've looked at her unemployment and income equality stances and I can't comprehend how she's backing privatizing unemployment training and pushing for more corporate tax cuts (trying to incentivize companies to share the wealth seems like more trickle-down trickery). This leaves Murphy, who does have experience and even as a moderate Democrat would be a vast improvement over No-Show Rubio. But I worry that Florida Democrats, notoriously finicky, won't show up for a candidate they perceive as a Blue Dog Dem even if he'll be liberal enough to defend their views.

And if you're Libertarian, you've got a choice for once, which is a state first: Paul Stanton or Augustus Sol Invictus. Invictus has the cool name but has a habit of drinking goat's blood: we've already got enough blood-drinkers up in DC. /rimshot. Stanton has a military background and bad haircuts. Ah, I shouldn't rag on him for that: I show up at salons with my double-crown and the barbers all kill themselves. Stanton's more Senatorial of the two, so go with him.

So for the Senate primaries, for Republicans, that's Beruff; for Democrats that's Murphy; for Libertarians that's Stanton. If we get any goats' blood drinkers on the general ballot, I swear I will cut this state off the map like Bugs Bunny and move to Detroit.

For the Congressional primaries, just vote Democrat and be done with it. I know we've made progress getting rid of most of the gerrymandering, but I still wanna see the Republicans thrown out for their constant obstruction and government shutdowns. At the State Lege level, yeah throw the GOP out too. We're choking on toxic algae waters and our schools are underfunded and our state wages are weak, and it's all on them for the last 20 years or so.

And for the Pasco Mosquito Control Board, we'll have to wait for the General Election in November.

For the rest of us, we still need to show up and vote for the judicial seats, local boards, and the state amendment. LET'S GET THE VOTE OUT, FLORIDA!


dinthebeast said...

I agree about Grayson. He always seemed to me like he was trying to be Keith Olbermann, and not quite nailing it.

-Doug in Oakland

Thane Eichenauer said...

I'll give a thumbs up to any post that provides information, even this one. As far as the Libertarian primary goes I would recommend that it is worth a minute of time times two to search and read about each alternative, Paul Stanton and Augustus Invictus.

Paul Stanton would, if selected, run a very fine but undangerous campaign for US Senate.

Augustus Invictus is already the most dangerous Libertarian in America.

Paul Wartenberg said...

Invictus is dangerous to goats, Thane, that would be obvious. /rimshot

This year - with Trump self-immolating and taking much of the GOP with him - is a golden opportunity for the Libertarians to prove themselves a viable third party, if only to get people seriously challenging for Congressional seats. One of the problems with third parties is that they do it backwards: they jump right at the big chair of the Presidency but never build the ground game of local and congressional elections needed to maintain and grow their movement. If the Libertarians can at least challenge for Second Place in general election chances for Senate and House seats, and even win a few state level offices, that would go a long way.

Still, I disagree with the Libertarians on a ton of issues - Gold Standard? GIVE IT UP that is soooooooo 1896 - but hey good luck and God willing that sanity prevails in some form eh?

Moriah Conquering Wind said...

I'll restrain myself from sharing my opinion of the mental status of people who use "/rimshot" as punctuation, or how seriously anyone with an IQ over 120 should take them. I simply want to point out that doing something one time does not a habit make. Augustus Invictus has no more of a habit of drinking goat's blood than any of us have of getting into fender benders -- which I'm sure all of us have at least once, whether legally deemed our fault or not. Anyone who eats meat consumes the blood of animals on a regular basis.

Invictus is not running to be your priest so let's leave his spiritual path and his one-time offering to the "god of the wilderness" out of it. Stanton is most decidedly NOT the "more Senatorial of the two." Stanton has zero experience in the courts of law, zero experience handling the pursuit of justice, zero experience running his own business. His oratory is nervous and schoolboyish, he has repeatedly confused both material facts AND points of focus relevant to the position of a Senator, and the bottom line on his entire milquetoasty campaign amounts to little more than "vote for me because I'm not Augustus Invictus" -- which the divisives and haters in the party (all of whom have lost ground with party stalwarts and leaders over the past several months) lap up with a spoon, of course, but -- which demonstrates nothing substantial in the way of competence to hold that office at all let alone potential to make significant changes therein.

Invictus is clearly the more Senatorial, and anyone who has listened to him speak, and/or read his campaign platform and spoken to him directly about it, knows this without being told how to fill out a ballot. Invictus may seem a dark horse but he's one who knows the track and can stay the course. I will not be at all surprised if he overtakes Stanton on this primary -- but if he does not, I guarantee you, he will be back.

Paul Wartenberg said...

"I'll restrain myself from sharing my opinion of the mental status of people who use "/rimshot" as punctuation, or how seriously anyone with an IQ over 120 should take them."

Well I tested out to 132 IQ for my Mensa membership, so yeah I take rimshot sounds as serious as possible. I'm surprised you didn't notice the over-reliance on Monty Python references. ;-)

One thing I would note is that the head of the Florida Libertarians threatened to quit the party if Invictus won, noted here and that Invictus' past habits does not suggest someone amenable to the general electorate.

With regards to Stanton, he's consistent on most Libertarian issues, and while I won't vote for Libertarians I at least recognize he's the more effective candidate to have before the state during the big race for the Senate. You gotta think about winning outside of your own party when it comes to November.

Paul Wartenberg said...

Thane, I dunno if you follow-up within the comments field, but I gotta ask you have like 20 different blogs, which one is the one you blog most?