Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Armitage Supporter Goes Off Deep End

Originally posted on:


Armitage Supporter Ed Slavin, in his blog “Clean Up St. Augustine” went a bit too far in his search for contrast between his favored candidate for FL-7 and apparent front-runner Heather Beaven. In his post supporting Republican incumbent John Mica’s bid to ban smartphones and laptops from US airlines, Slavin got a bit carried away:

"It is a matter of air safety. When we fly, we don’t want to die."

While lithium batteries have caught on fire, the number of times this has happened is dwarfed by the billions of units in service around the world. Clearly, the facts do not justify the kind of hyperbolic language on display in this post.

Likewise, Slavin’s spin of this issue as an attack on Beaven was a bit out of left field:

"Heather Beaven, the Stealth corporativist candidate from the 'monumental, $20 million dollar, growth campaign' that teaches workers nothing about OSHA."

"Heather Beaven: unsafe at any speed?"

Wait, what?

Reading this kind of bizarre vitriol, I was compelled to respond:

"Banning lithium batteries from aircraft would mean eliminating all laptops and smartphones from air travel. This is unrealistic in the extreme, because such devices have become indispensable tools for the business traveler. Airlines have recently added WiFi to their flights in recognition of this fact. Every airport in the US has facilities for wireless networking. These devices allow business travelers to receive, send, and edit data and voice communications with their home offices, out-of-town clients, and suppliers. Banning or confiscating such devices would do much to render business travel impractical.
There have been incidents of batteries catching fire, but of the billions of units in service, the number of documented fires have numbered in the hundreds. Considering the percentage of a device’s life represented by a trans-continental flight, such a ban would represent a gross over-reaction to a very small threat. Even the arch-paranoiac Dick Cheney only applied a one-percent doctrine to his worst-case models. This would be more like a .00001 percent model, and Cheney was talking about nukes!
Look, these things have been in widespread use for a decade, and there are billions of air-miles logged a year. If this were a danger worth imposing this kind of cost, it really would have happened by now.
Furthermore, this issue is hardly the focus of Ms. Beaven’s campaign, and does not justify the inflammatory ad hominem tactics represented in this post. There are plenty of points of disagreement between Armitage and Beaven which could have been explored here, but the Bush-style scaremongering displayed here is unworthy of you or this fine blog."

It’s hard to understand why such an erratic campaigner as Armitage inspires such fervent loyalty. Whatever the political qualities of Beaven, at least she has been running a campaign. She’s been building a team, making appearances, raising money, hiring consultants, and using the media. Armitage has filed no campaign finance reports, has hired no staff, made few public appearances, and refuses to return repeated calls about her status as a candidate.

When she ran last year, she showed little aptitude for retail politics. She was able to win the primary based on the personal loyalties of fellow health care activists in her home county, but got beaten by more than twenty points in the most favorable environment for Democrats in this district since 2002. I’m personally prepared to blame myself for her primary win in 2008, but her idiosyncratic interpersonal style is a strange choice for someone who aspires to elected office. Apparently, her combative and quixotic approach is contagious.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

'Call On Crist to End His Culture of Corrupt Cronyism' Urges New Facebook Group

From FDP:

Florida voters were urged to "Ask Gov. Crist to end the 'culture-of-corruption'-cronyism" by joining a new social networking group, "Stop Crist Now" in an online video launched by the Florida Democratic Party, today.

The video can be viewed online at http://www.FlaDems.com/CristVideo.

"Last week, when George LeMieux (R-Crist) derided Florida's 'culture of corruption,' he conveniently left out his and Charlie Crist's starring role in so many of the recent corruption scandals. That's why today we have formed the Stop Crist group to end Crist and LeMieux's corrupt cronyism," Florida Democratic Party Executive Director Scott Arceneaux said. "Floridians are fed up with Gov. Crist's lack of leadership and his repeatedly putting his own political ambitions ahead of our state's people."

"'[P]olitical scandals have uncovered 'a culture of corruption' that must be stamped
out,' freshman Florida Sen. George LeMieux said." LeMieux's statement is particularly hypocritical given the fact he was appointed by his former boss Charlie Crist to hold the same vacant U.S. Senate seat Crist is now seeking. Since then, LeMeiux has come under scrutiny for exploiting his new found position to aid Crist and his political ambition. [Miami Herald, 12/1/09; Miami Herald, 11/27/09]

The Facebook group, "Stop Crist Now" is open to the public and can be found online at www.Facebook.com or through the FDP Web site, www.FlaDems.com/StopCrist. The social networking group features news updates on Crist's failure to provide leadership as Governor and ways to join online events.

"People are fed up with Charlie Crist and online organizing is another way Floridians are calling for a change for the better in the Sunshine State," Arceneaux added.

Sunshine: Watch the video

Since over 4,500 of you stood up and asked Governor Crist to put his job as Governor over his personal ambition he's shown no sign of heading our call. In fact he joined his handpicked political crony Senator George LeMieux for a fundraiser in Washington D.C.

Earlier this week, we asked you to help us combat their collusion with the only thing Governor Crist does these days - raising money. But to win next November we need to go one step further: We need to get organized and spread the message.

We need your help to bring what Crist is doing into the light of day and bring it to the attention of every Floridian. Take a minute and watch this video, that every Floridian needs to see, about the relationship between Governor Crist and Senator LeMeiux:


The best way to combat the culture of cronyism and corruption displayed by Crist and LeMeiux to make sure that people know it and aren't fooled by their recent lip service about "stopping" corruption. Together we can Stop Crist by making sure that he can't get away with using his office to further his own political fortunes anymore.

As the old saying goes, "Sunshine is the most powerful of disinfectants," so with your help we can bring their tactics into the light of day. Please help us by watching this video about Crist and LeMeiux, and then forward it on to all you friends:


After you watch the video, please join our Stop Crist group on Facebook. With this group we hope to reach out to thousands of voters that may not know about the Republican culture of cronyism and corruption in Tallahassee - and show them what their Governor is doing.

If we work together we can bring Crist and LeMeiux's dealings in to the light of day and put a stop to them once and for all next November.


Scott Arceneaux
Executive Director
Florida Democratic Party

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