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Florida Political News & Commentary

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Its been quite a week here in the Sunshine State with events ranging from flip flops on drilling positions to presidential contenders doing local fundraisers here in northeast Florida.

McCain was in Santa Barbara, CA recently defending his flip flop on offshore drilling. I'm sure having Gov. Charlie Crist in your pocket when it comes to defending your current position change is a huge asset. What I found curious is how McCain defended his position. When confronted by a participant at a fund raiser in his honor who said all Californians are leery of a policy that seems to invite environmental disaster McCain used a curious example that was interesting not for what he said but for what he left out:

"McCain told Secord he believes in a state's right to make such decisions and pointed out that Texas and Louisiana had weathered hurricanes in 2005 that did not lead to oil spills at nearby offshore facilities."

That's some selective memory there. I guess Katrina still isn't on his radar.

I see where Sen. Obama's fundraiser here in Jacksonville, FL netted over $1,000,000. Notable local and regional attendees included Wayne Hogan, Terrie Brady, Congresswoman Corrine Brown, and former Sheriff Nat Glover. Last month when I got an e-mail from the local DEC announcing that the Obama campaign has openned a local office here I knew he was serious about northeast Florida and the potential it held of him. I think it bodes well for down ticket races for the First Coast Congressional delegation candidates.

I was stunned this morning to see the Florida Times Union op-ed on Amtrak and playing it up as an important subsized program for public transportation. For years the paper has railed against the funding for it with op-ed after op-ed trying to undermine its existence. The funny thing is they piece talks like it never happened. Not only that they actually used ink that wasn't an attack on Corrine Brown. Wonders never cease in the political world of 2008.

The St. Petersburg Times' The Buzz is reporting that Mel Martinez is being considered as a potential running mate for McCain. I find that hilarious since his curent approval ratings are in the tank at 35% overall and just 48% for Republicans. Of course the lousy job he's done as the head of the RNC probably hasn't helped. I can't see Martinez being a serious candidate wtih those numbers. Not only that it looks like in 2010 when his term is up he'll get serious contention for his seat. There's a buzz going around it might be Congressman Robert Wexler (D-FL, D19).

In the business sector I see where the Associated Press is reporting that the IRS has raised the write off for gas mileage 8 cents to 58.5 cents per mile. I think before its over it will have to go much higher than that.