Jeff Greene

Personal Fortunes And Election Success: Only In Wisconsin And Florida! :(

This election year saw many businessmen and businesswomen who decided that they were going to utilize their personal fortunes to seek office as Governor or Senator, and happily, it can now be reported that they failed to accomplish their goal, except in two tragic cases: Wisconsin and Florida!

All of the personal fortune candidates were Republicans except for Jeff Greene in Florida, who ran for the Senate in the Democratic primary against Congressman Kendrick Meek, and was soundly defeated, by a margin of about 25 points!

Meanwhile, Meg Whitman set an all time record of using a personal fortune to seek the California Governorship, spending approximately $150 million, but losing to Jerry Brown!

Carly Fiorina sought the Senate seat in California, but lost to Senator Barbara Boxer.

Linda McMahon spent a good part of her fortune for the Senate seat in Connecticut, but lost to Richard Blumenthal.

John Raese sought the Senate seat in West Virginia, using a good part of his personal fortune, but lost to Governor Joe Manchin.

Carl Paladino ran for Governor in New York, but despite the use of a good part of his personal fortune, lost to Andrew Cuomo.

However, sadly, Ron Johnson, without any background in running for office, spent a lot of his personal fortune, and defeated Senator Russ Feingold, a major loss to progressive reform, probably the greatest single setback of the 2010 midterm election! ๐Ÿ™

And even more tragically, Rick Scott, who had been involved in massive Medicare fraud in the 1990s, and forced to pay a major fine but able to avoid prison, had the gall to run for Governor of Florida, defeat state Attorney General Bill McCollum for the nomination, and defeat Chief Financial Office Alex Sink by the small margin statewide of 50,000 votes, and therefore will succeed Governor Charlie Crist, who lost his Independent run for the US Senate to Republican Marco Rubio! ๐Ÿ™

The idea that a wealthy man, with a background of business fraud, and with not one newspaper in the state of Florida endorsing him, and with police chiefs and many Republican politicos refusing to back him, could end up winning the Governorship of the fourth largest state, is a sad commentary on politics in the state of Florida! The voters of the state should feel ashamed at what they have wrought! ๐Ÿ™

The Lunacy Of Campaign Spending: The California Gubernatorial Race

Personal campaign spending has become a true scandal more than ever this year, and there seems to be no limit on it, with the California Governorship race particularly insane! ๐Ÿ™

Meg Whitman, the GOP candidate and former EBAY Chief Executive, a billionaire, has spent nearly $100 million in her campaign against Democrat Jerry Brown, the former Governor from 1975-1983, with $91 million of the funds her own money!

Brown, meanwhile, has spent only $450,000, although with donated services, it reaches about three quarters of a million dollars! He has raised $2.6 million for the future campaign!

When one realizes that Brown has been outspent and out fund raised by about 33 times, it is amazing that Brown leads the race in polls by a few points, but it is also a great step to see that wealthy billionaires and multimillionaires do not automatically come out ahead after reckless spending!

The same situation relates to Hewlett Packard multimillionaire Carly Fiorina, running against California Senator Barbara Boxer; Florida gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott, a health executive multimillionaire running against Attorney General Bill McCollum; and Florida Senate candidate Jeff Greene, a stock market billionaire, running against Congressman Kendrick Meek–all of whom are spending obscene amounts of personal fortune, but without any certainty of success!

The best scenario would be for Whitman, Fiorina, and Scott (all Republicans); and Greene (a Democrat) to spend a good part of their fortunes and lose! But even if that does happen, they will still be obscenely wealthy, arrogant and cocky, as they consider themselves a privileged class who are only interested in their own aggrandizement! ๐Ÿ™

Charlie Crist: Possibly The Most Important US Senator Next January?

Governor Charlie Crist of Florida continues to lead public opinion polls over Marco Rubio, since he left the Republican Party and started an Independent race for Senator!

Crist is gaining a large portion of Independents, as well as Democrats, who are not thrilled by either Congressman Kendrick Meek , or his primary opponent, billionaire real estate investor Jeff Greene!

Crist could become the third Independent Senator next January as a result, joining Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, both of whom ally with the Democratic caucus and often vote with the party!

The question that arises is what Crist would do if he won the Senate seat, but it seems likely that he would ally with the Democrats as an Independent, similar to Lieberman and Sanders!

This issue could be more than just interesting; it could be decisive in organizing the Senate if the Republicans, somehow, manage to gain eight seats, and Crist joins the Democratic caucus, creating a 51-49 Democratic Senate!

Of course, if the Senate was evenly divided, Joe Biden could organize the Senate by his tie breaking vote! But a nine seat gain could also be resolved without Biden, if Crist declared he was in the Democratic caucus!

So Charlie Crist could be the man of the hour and the year, and in some ways, become the most important US Senator next January!

I am sure the thought must please him greatly, particularly after the collapse of his GOP support, which led to his Independent candidacy in the first place! ๐Ÿ™‚

The Growing Impact Of Florida As A Microcosm Of The American Political Scene For 2010!

Chuck Todd on MSNBC this morning referred to the state of Florida as a microcosm of the American political scene for 2010!

The Florida political scene includes the role of independent candidacies (Governor Charlie Crist); the impact of “outsiders” becoming factors (Rick Scott and Jeff Greene); the battle within the major party structures (Bill McCollum vs. Rick Scott in the Republican party and Kendrick Meek vs. Jeff Greene in the Democratic Party); the impact of the Tea Party Movement (Marco Rubio); the effects of the Great Recession (mortgage foreclosures and effects of the BP Oil Spill on the economy); and the constant change in the Florida electorate due to immigration and population growth and migration!

As the late Tim Russert once said, Florida has become the center of American politics in so many ways, as it has become the fourth largest state, on its way to number three, although delayed a bit by the Great Recession in its population boom!

So the primaries on August 24 and the elections on November 2 will be closely watched as barometers of the American political future in so many ways!

Democrats Shifting Toward Charlie Crist Due To Kendrick Meek-Jeff Greene Primary Battle!

It is amazing how Charlie Crist seems to be a “cat with nine lives!” ๐Ÿ™‚

Two years ago, Crist was seen as being on the short list for Vice Presidential running mate for Senator John McCain!

His ratings as Florida Governor were very high, and he was hailed as one of the best governors in the nation!

Then, Crist decided not to run for a second term as Governor, and instead to cast his future in running to replace retiring Senator Mel Martinez. But meanwhile, he appointed a close friend and supporter, George LeMieux, to finish up the 16 months of the unexpired term.

But then, former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio challenged Crist for the GOP nomination, and gained the backing of the Tea Party Movement, and suddenly surged ahead of Crist in public opinion polls in an unprecedented way!

So Crist was faced with the humiliation that he was likely to lose the Senate Republican nomination, and many Republicans endorsed Rubio, including John McCain and Crist’s appointee, LeMieux!

As a result, Crist bolted the Republican party at the end of April, declaring an Independent race. Since then, he has vetoed two bills that have gained him major kudos from Independents and Democrats, one on teacher tenure and the other on abortion restrictions!

Meanwhile, the supposed Democratic nominee for the Senate, Congressman Kendrick Meek, suddenly had a major challenge from a billionaire named Jeff Greene, who came out of “nowhere” and has become a real threat to Meek and the party, which has no interest in backing a man who benefited big time from the housing collapse, and has been associated with controversial people, including Heidi Fleiss and Mike Tyson! ๐Ÿ™

The thought that an extremely wealthy person with no political experience, but with an image of being a manipulator on Wall Street, being the Democratic nominee, has turned off many Democrats who are ready to jump to support of Crist, some openly, some behind the scenes!

In recent polls, Crist leads Rubio, with Meek way behind, and with Jeff Greene the “menace” in the background. Crist is looking more and more appealing, and it seems clear that IF Crist were to win the Senate seat, he would fit a role similar to Joe Lieberman, as an Independent who would ally with the Democrats.

Crist’s moderate views are becoming more liberal, and he is a very appealing candidate to many Democrats, so to read him out as having a chance to be the next Senator from Florida is NOT a wise gamble!

It seems more and more likely that Charlie Crist may be the only way to prevent Marco Rubio and his Tea Party Movement, and right wing conservative views from representing Florida in the US Senate!

Proof Of The Power Of Money And Television: The Case Of Florida! :(

Whatever one thinks of Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum, who is competing for the Republican nomination for Governor, and Florida Congressman Kendrick Meek, who is running for the Democratic nomination for Senator, it has to be said that both have dedicated years of service to their state in public offices!

It was assumed that both would easily be on the ballot for the Fall 2010 elections, but now that assumption has been totally upended by the wealth and television ads of two extremely rich, non politicians, both of whom have had “shady” backgrounds in the business world! ๐Ÿ™

Rick Scott is now ahead of McCollum by 44-31 percent in a Quinnipiac poll, despite the fact that he was involved in a massive Medicare scam in the 1990s, which helped to enrich him to the point of being an extremely wealthy multimillionaire! He seems to be cocky enough to believe that he is qualified by his business corruption experience to run the state government of Florida! What gall this man has, to say the least! ๐Ÿ™

Jeff Greene, who was involved in real estate dealings during the Wall Street crash in 2007-2008, and is a BILLIONAIRE, but has no government experience, trails Congressman Meek by just two points, 29-27 percent, which is considered a statistical tie!

So the power of “deep pockets of money”, massive television advertising, and being seen as an attack on the “establishment”, have catapulted both Scott and Greene to what can now be seen as likely nominations for Governor and Senator, respectively! ๐Ÿ™

Is this good for Florida, and since similar situations are occurring in other states, for America? Can we expect these businessmen with shady backgrounds to bring about “miracles” and effective change?

Anyone getting away from emotional reactions, and thinking rationally, must have serious reservations that this is a positive trend! But it certainly follows along with the direction of the conservative Supreme Court, which is doing everything possible to promote the power of rich people and corporations over the American political system! ๐Ÿ™

If these candidates, and others like them elsewhere, triumph, one should expect quick disillusionment, when it is recognized that there are no “magic” answers or quick, easy solutions! The author would prefer to have people who have been committed to public service to manage our government at the high level of Governor and Senator, rather than “rookies” who are arrogant enough to think that because they are wealthy, automatically, that qualifies them to lead the American people, who are overwhelmingly middle class, but with a growing percentage of poor people, who also need some consideration, which is highly unlikely from those who wield such wealth and live in their own “parallel universe!”

The Outrageous Campaigns Of Rick Scott And Jeff Greene In Florida! :(

As if the state of Florida did not have enough trouble with corruption and bad government, we now see the recent entrance of a multimillionaire and a billionaire into the races for Governor and Senator!

Rick Scott is challenging Attorney General Bill McCollum for the Republican nomination for Governor. With his ability to flood the state with commercials in an intense manner over a short period of time, Scott has suddenly become a real threat to McCollum becoming the gubernatorial nominee of the GOP, something a few weeks ago thought of as automatic!

Without trying to make McCollum appear to be the “good guy”, which he is not, Scott has absolutely no political experience, and was the head of a corporation involved in the most massive Medicare fraud case in American history during the 1990s! This man has the gall to think he should be the Governor of the fourth largest state, and is seen as extremely right wing, so much so that McCollum, who had expressed opposition to the Arizona illegal immigration law, changed gears after Scott came out endorsing such legislation for Florida! ๐Ÿ™

As if that was not enough, we also see Congressman Kendrick Meek, assumed to be easily on the way to the Democratic nomination for Senator, suddenly on the last day possible to enter the race, faced with the candidacy of billionaire Jeff Greene, who has never held political office either! And this man benefited from manipulation of the real estate market in 2008, and has had friendships with Heidi Fleiss, the famous madam, and Mike Tyson, the boxer–all of which makes him highly controversial and objectionable to many observers! ๐Ÿ™

Both Scott and Greene are using their ill-earned, extreme amounts of wealth to attempt to defeat candidates who have been office holders, taking advantage of the anti government and anti incumbent resentment that exists across the country, and therefore grab power!

But with their shady, unethical, and immoral backgrounds, is this what Florida will want? Will the average citizen be won over by a barrage of slick political commercials to vote for these crooks who have no shame, and show a high level of arrogance? ๐Ÿ™ The thought is terrifying to the extreme! ๐Ÿ™