As news organizations release their analysis of the "top ten" news stories of 2009, one commonality is emerging: the dismal Florida economy Gov. Charlie Crist presided over.
"The thought of sending Gov. Crist and his record of job losses, dismal economic outlook and high home foreclosures to Washington to set national policy is frightening," Florida Democratic Party Spokesman Eric Jotkoff said. "If former Congressman Bill McCollum is allowed to continue business as usual in Tallahassee, it will be easy to predict what the headlines will look like in 2010 and 2011. Florida can't afford more of the same-we can't afford to have one of the architects of the policies that led to the mortgage crisis and the recession facing Floridians today as our state's next Governor."
Today's Associated Press analysis of the top ten Florida news stories of 2009 put the failing economy Crist presided over at the top of the list.
"Florida's weak economy, with its high unemployment and foreclosure rates, was the state's top story in 2009, according to a vote of newspaper editors conducted by The Associated Press. Florida's unemployment rate hit 11.5 percent in November, the highest since 1975, with more than a million people out of work. That's up from 8.6 percent in January and from 3.3 percent in 2006. Over the past year, Florida has lost 284,800 jobs, with construction job losses leading all other industries with 73,300 fewer jobs. The state also has the second-highest foreclosure rate - one out of every 165 homes was in some stage of foreclosure last month, according to RealtyTrac Inc. Only Nevada's rate was worse. Housing prices had dropped almost 7 percent in October over the same month last year, according to the Florida Association of Realtors." [AP, 12/28/09]
Another news analysis of the top ten Florida political news stories of 2009 ranked the top story as "the economy and dismal budget it wrought." [News Service of Florida in Palm Beach Post, Post on Politics, 12/28/09]
McCollum has already laid out an agenda strikingly similar to that of Gov. Crist.
"McCollum's goals if elected Fla. Gov. look familiar," the AP reported. "Republican Attorney General Bill McCollum has a to-do list if elected governor that looks a lot like the one Gov. Charlie Crist had in 2006." [AP, 12/16/09]