Monday, January 22, 2007

The Week That Was - Week 2

Man, Central Florida was the place to be last week for presidential politics.

John Edwards stopped by on Thursday for a private fundraiser in my neck of the woods. He shared some hard words for those Democrats who just won't get tough with the president over the surge:

Edwards criticized congressional Democrats for promoting nonbinding resolutions against the troop surge without taking action to back it up. "Why don't we go stand in the corner and stomp our feet like an 8-year-old?" he asked.

Sam Brownback stopped by GrayRobinson, a big Republican supporting law firm here in Orlando. And, in a coup for our local 24 hour news station, Brownback made an appearance on its weekly issues show. Yes, while Ted Kennedy was schmoozing it up with Tim Russert, Sam Brownback was sitting down with Jane Healey, from the Orlando Sentinel, and Scott Harris, political newsperson from Channel 13. It was an hysterical thirty minutes of fun and frivolity as Brownback actually tried to paint himself as a moderate!

Mit Romney was here in week 1, also stopping by GrayRobinson and McCain stopped in Winter Park to meet with Republican Phil Handy, whose Education Board nomination was cancelled by incoming Republican governor, Charlie Christ.

Now comes word that our own Abramoff-tainted congressman, Tom Feeney (FL-23), has come out for Romney. That kind of support might put Romney out of the race a lot sooner than even he thought.

Oh, and Florida's sick of being an ATM machine for Presidential Candidates but not getting any respect. It looks like we'll be trying to move our primary up a bit on the calendar to be more impactful.

On the voting front, once again our Democratic delegation voted in lockstep with the leadership - 9 of 9 supported HR5 and HR6. Eleven of our 15 Republican representatives broke ranks to vote for HR5 and 3 voted with the Dems on oil royalties.

The surprise continues to be Republican Vern Buchanan, out of Sarasota. Provisionally elected (pending the Democrat Jennings appeal), he has voted with the Democratic Leadership on 5 of 6 votes. Only the Republican position against Stem Cell funding got his vote. He's taking a bit of heat over this, not surprising as the Repubs continue to consume their own.

Last, our state Senate will be taking testimony tomorrow on how to clean up our elections process because we can't do anything right. From hanging chads in 2000 to an 18,000 undervote in a 2006 Congressional race (see Buchanan), we really need this.

It's a shame that the state Senator leading the effort is so useless, he had to tout achievements from 10 years ago in his 2006 campaign ads.

Five words for the committee: paper trail, vote by mail.