Even Republicans in Florida are demonstrating their discontent with their standard bearer Governor Charlie Crist. Consider what former state Republican Chairman Tom Slade told the St. Petersburg Times: "It's rare that I talk to anyone that's got a good thing to say about the governor right now. It's hard to find a real Charlie Crist ally."
Former state House Speaker Marco Rubio has struck a chord with some Floridians by articulating an ultra conservative vision for our state. Though I disagree with my potential opponent's positions, I appreciate his conviction.
The governor, in contrast, belongs to the Charlie Crist Party where public policy decisions are poll driven and focus group tested. To call Governor Crist a moderate is unfair to true moderates who are guided by political philosophy rooted in principle, not political calculation.
I stand for Florida values and this campaign needs your financial support.
Whereas I am working to pass health insurance reform that strengthens the health care system in Florida, the governor's contribution to this pressing issue is to call the debate "nuts" - hardly a worthwhile addition to this discussion from a sitting governor. Such a sentiment provides little relief to the 3.6 million uninsured Floridians, to Florida's families who have seen health care premiums rise 4 times faster than wages from 2000 to 2008, or to the 8.9% of children under 18 without health insurance.
While I was meeting with Florida sheet metal workers who were bypassed for employment and instead unskilled foreign laborers were hired for the job, the governor was releasing an endangered sea turtle off the Florida Keys.
While I am working to have Florida utilize every stimulus dollar to rebuild our state's economy, the governor is dismantling growth-management restrictions that allow builders to overdevelop in our communities which negatively impacts our environment.
For Democrats, Independents, likeminded Republicans and the politically unaffiliated, we do not share the governor's priorities.
As I travelled the state this August in a rental car talking to Floridians who are undergoing real life challenges, the governor was jetting across the state in a plane paid for by our tax dollars interviewing would be replacements for the Senate who didn't stand a chance of receiving the appointment - making a mockery of the high responsibility he was afforded. The Tampa Tribune editorialized, "Gov. Charlie Crist did what he usually does: what's best for Charlie."
Republicans engaged in a heated primary are getting to know the true Charlie Crist. Similarly, the rest of us are learning the smiling Charlie Crist we see on our television sets a little too often continues to put his agenda before the state's needs.
Florida doesn't need a perpetual candidate representing us who is more concerned with climbing the next rung of the political ladder than leading during trying times. They need someone who fights for all of us.
Keep supporting this campaign so that your next U.S. Senator will work to solve issues, not ignore them. Contribute $5, $25, $50 or make a recurring donation of $20.10 from today through Election Day.
Leadership is needed in the U.S. Senate, and I am asking for your support.