Renters make good Democrats, and other demographic observations suggests that FL-27, the congressional district I live in (it used to be numbered FL-25), is one of the ripest districts demographically for an R-to-D switch.
I agree about the demographics: this is a district whose economic needs and other interests are very badly served by the Republican party. Sooner or later demographics will tell. There are, however, three reasons why despite voting regularly against her district’s economic interests incumbent Ilena Ros-Lehtinen has one of the safest seats in the country: (1) Castro; (2) Personal popularity; (3) Huge campaign warchest.
Take away any two of those, and there’s a good chance the district will flip. In particular, if and when IRL retires, it will be a very winnable Democratic seat — especially if the current Cuban government has collapsed by then. (Sooner or later the current Cuban government will run out of foreign benefactors.) On the other hand, Ros-Lehtinen is only in her early sixties, so she is still in only in the middle age band of our surprisingly elderly Congress. Meanwhile, however, IRL will continue to vote against her constituents’ interests on just about every issue except gay rights, an issue on which she has a progressive record.
Federal investigators have opened a second criminal probe of U.S. Rep. David Rivera
See More FBI trouble for Rep. David Rivera | Florida politics blog: The Buzz | tampabay.com & St. Petersburg Times.
State Rep. Luis Garcia has already announced he’s running (feel the excitement), and Annette Taddeo is said to be thinking about it.
I’m happy to see that the DCC has someone who gets how to win an election: start work early.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee said it began robo calls today in several districts where lawmakers have encountered questions over campaign finances or other ethics problems. In Florida, Reps. David Rivera of Miami and Vern Buchanan of Sarasota get the treatment.
“Hi, this is Clare calling on behalf of the DCCC. Did you know Congressman David Rivera received over one hundred thousand dollars in secret payments from his mother’s company? The Miami-Dade Police Department’s Public Corruption Bureau and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement are investigating Congressman Rivera for it,” reads the script, which also recounts an episode involving Rivera chasing down a truck that carried campaign material from his opponent.
from The Buzz
Politico says Annette Taddeo is planning to run in FL-25 — the seat now held by Republican David Rivera, a strong contender for most ethically creepy member of Congress.
I was, as longtime readers may recall, a big supporter of Taddeo when she ran for Congress in my district, FL-18. I even went out and canvassed for her here in my neighborhood. I do think she’d make a great Congressperson.
But. Can she pull it off?
I though Taddeo ran a good campaign for Congress in 2008. I was impressed by her work ethic, organization, and by the staff she put together. The fact is that Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is just very hard to beat due her giant war chest (she spent $3m beating Taddeo) and, to be fair, also her personal rapport with so many of the voters here, a rapport sufficient to overcome a number of policies that work against the district’s actual interests.
Taddeo then ran for County Commissioner in District 8. As I live (just) outside District 8, I didn’t pay that much attention to the race, but Taddeo narrowly failed to make the run-off in a crowded field.
All of which is preamble to the question whether FL-25 is a good fit? Not that I have someone better in mind, or that I doubt they’d be lucky to have her, I’m just wondering how she’ll play in the district.
Words cannot express my joy at being represented in Congress by this paragon of consistency and statecraft that is Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. Why, just consider the warm fuzzy feeling one gets from reading stories like this:
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., endorsed a no-fly zone in a Feb. 26th press release when she said “stronger penalties must be imposed in order to hold the regime accountable for its heinous crimes, and to prevent further violence against the Libyan people. Additional U.S. and international measures should include the establishment and enforcement of a no-fly zone…”
But after the President imposed the no-fly zone, on March 20th, Ros-Lehtinen had concerns which she expressed in a new press release.
“I am concerned that the President has yet to clearly define for the American people what vital United States security interests he believes are currently at stake in Libya,” she said.
I happen to think that the second position is more sensible than the first, but wouldn’t it be nice if there were some principles (other than the destructive one of a will to power) driving the modern GOP?
(Meanwhile, three wars now. And counting.)
Rep. David Rivera’s (R-FL-25) shtick isn’t playing well in Washington DC. Even the Republicans up there don’t like him:
In addition, there is anger and frustration at Rivera in GOP leadership circles. Rivera is described by Republicans as being “less than candid” or “not forthcoming” about his ethics problems in conversations with leadership aides and campaign operatives, and they have been surprised on several occasions as new allegations surface.“It’s only a matter of time before the eighth shoe drops,” said one senior House Republican staffer, speaking on condition of anonymity.
Source: Rep. Rivera facing ethics issues – POLITICO.com.
Given the sleaze allegations swirling, you would think the indictment, and then the resignation under the GOP’s “zero-tolerance” policy would be coming soon. Except I’m not even sure he’ll go if indicted.
Meanwhile, back home, very odd doings. Our local prosecutor, Miami Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle, doesn’t have the best record on public integrity prosecutions but she’s said to be ambitious. Surely when an easy one drops in her lap, you would think she’d embrace it. But no such thing, she’s running from it as fast as she can. Dropped it without a credible explanation of any sort. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is going to pick up the ball, so hopefully this will only be a small hiccup.
Gina Cooper, Lies, Disappearing Documentation, Surround Republican David Rivera (FL-25)
The article includes this amazing widget that gives a summary of all the media coverage of the scandals.
You really do need fancy tools to keep up, there's so much!