Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Next Republican Party of Florida Chair - & What It Says About Scott

I have no idea who's going to be the next chair of the Republican Party of Florida. To be quite honest, all the options appear fairly mundane and pedestrian and none of them inspire fear in me (as a Democrat) or particular respect (as a strategist). It's not that I actively disrespect any of them - they just all seem pretty "blah" to me. There's only one fresh face among them and no one who really stood out in the last election as having done something significant.

But what has struck me is how this battle is showing up the political weakness of Gov.-Elect Rick Scott.

In all the back and forth, we have yet to see any sign of Scott, the highest ranking Republican elected official in the state of Florida, having any real influence on the process at all. Now maybe he's got a lot of behind the scenes clout that we're just not seeing, but I doubt it - mainly because his transition has been so ham-handed that I don't think his team could organize a discreet, behind the scenes operation.

My question for you is - would Crist or Jeb have let themselves be so excluded from the process? Hell no! Crist forced the wildly incompetent and possibly criminal Jim Greer down the throats of the RPOF - twice, in fact.

Scott is probably staying out of this because he knows he wouldn't be listened and would risk a very public defeat/rebuke. His recommendation would be considered a nominal favorite, at best, and even then, a simple whisper in the right couple of ears by Tallahassee puppet master Haridopolos would kill it entirely, if Haridopolos thought it would help his quixotic quest for the U.S. Senate. On the other hand, if either Rubio or Jeb came out strongly for a candidate right now, that candidate would be an overwhelming favorite.


At 12/29/2010 11:33:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Governor-elect Rick Scott has a big say in the race for the RPOF Chairmanship. He has one vote himself as does Lt. Governor-elect Jennifer Carroll. Mr. Scott also has even greater power as he selects ten additional appointees that have a vote on the RPOF Executive Committee.

Joe Gruters stands out in this race. He is a talented young politico. Currently he has amassed over 6,000 miles in Florida in the last several weeks of visiting all 67 counties. He is meeting with his entire electorate

This is quite an accomplishment and his energy will drive the RPOF to a series of important victories in 2012.

His vow of transparency will be put in place with his accounting background & his high moral ethics.

People will once again be comfortable in giving a donation to the RPOF & knowing it will go directly to getting Republicans elected.

At 12/30/2010 10:30:00 AM, Anonymous Campaign Manager said...

Crist and Jeb also had that one vote (plus, presumably, their LT's votes) and the appointees.

My point is that it wouldn't have mattered if either of them had technically had no votes - they still flat out picked the chair the committee fell in line.

At 1/03/2011 09:48:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joe Gruters not only stands out, he stands alone.

As a relative new-comer to political activism in general and the REC in particular, I didn’t realize what I was witnessing at the Republican Party of Sarasota County until I accepted the task of tracking, compiling and documenting the results of our efforts as compared to the other county REC’s, that were also RPOF phone bank centers… The difference was striking.

The volunteer, grass-roots effort, envisioned, organized and lead by Joe, produced the best results in the state as far as number of calls made; number of absentee votes returned; candidate visits and attendance at those visits and rallies; the number of email, Facebook and Twitter followers and put some $230K into local candidate campaigns.

This effort produced a clean sweep for Republican candidates for the first time in many, many years if not ever.

All this was accomplished in spite of his having taken the reins of a bickering, broken and disillusioned Sarasota REC and in spite of the divisive Gubernatorial primary and the loss of some major donors that stayed with Charlie Crist.

At 1/05/2011 02:59:00 PM, Blogger Campaign Manager said...

You may be right about Joe. Frankly, I'm not too invested in who gets the job - mainly about how it reflects the larger dynamics (in this case, a certain weakness on Scott's part).

Because of Scott's relative weakness, re: the internal party infrastructure, whoever gets the job is likely to simply find themselves taking orders from Haridopolos for the next two years.


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