State Democrats bungle winnable race.
On Tuesday, Republican
Bobby Olszewski, a former Winter Garden Commissioner, won a special election to serve as the newest member of the Florida House. Congratulations to Bobby. He pulled off a significant victory in the primary where many of his own party’s power players were trying to keep him out of office.
Everyone from big business interests (the Florida Chamber of Commerce and the Central Florida Hotel & Lodging Association) to incumbent House Republicans (Jason Brodeur, Bob Cortes
and Mike Miller) were backing Bobby’s opponents.
Still, Bobby prevailed — and now he doesn’t owe any of those folks squat.
But just as significant as Bobby’s victory was the Democratic Party’s amazing display of incompetence.
The party didn’t recruit anyone to run. Even though House District 44 voted for Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump just last year.
And even though Democrats are flipping districts all over the place — in South Florida, Oklahoma and New Hampshire last month alone — thanks to anti-Trump sentiments.
The opportunity for a win in west Orange County was there.
But Florida Democrats didn’t even bother to field a candidate for the race.
Then, somehow, things got even worse.
Finally, after unknown Democrat Paul Chandler filed on his own, fights broke out.
Republicans accused him of being ineligible to run.
Democrats urged Chandler to drop out of the race — and then called him “malicious” when he did not.
Chandler did eventually drop out of the race ... but only after his name had been printed on all the ballots.
So when a brave replacement finally stepped up, he didn’t have money, time — or even his own name on the ballot.
Truly, if you were writing a book entitled “How to Screw Up a Campaign,” you wouldn’t need to do anything other than recap this race.
Yet despite all that — despite Democrats giving voters every reason in the world not to support them — 44 percent of voters still voted Democratic.
Democrats only needed 7 more points to win.
All Democrats had to do to win was attract a total of 7,000 votes — just a fourth of the 28,000 people who voted for Clinton last November — and they didn’t even try.
This is why Democrats keep losing.
Because, while rallies, protests and petitions are great for rallying the troops, if you don’t give them candidates to rally behind, you simply can’t win.
A small start. On Tuesday, Visit Orlando caved to House Speaker Richard Corcoran’s threat of a subpoena by releasing details about a $76,500 contract it inked with Fox 35, whose general manager sits on the Visit Orlando board of directors. That’s wonderful … and yet represents approximately 0.1 percent of $51 million tax dollars Visit Orlando spends each year. Now taxpayers deserve to know about the rest. Not just this one contract with Fox 35, the Sentinel’s TV partner. Fortunately, in its letter to the speaker, Visit Orlando pledged its commitment to transparency. Wonderful again. Hopefully that means Visit Orlando will disclose
all of its contracts and invoices — including any other payments made to companies with representatives on the board in recent years. Visit Orlando also spends money on marketing and sponsorships with the Sentinel. All spending and contracts should be disclosed. That’s how Visit Florida, the state’s tourism-promotion agency, does things — and how any organization that spends tax dollars should.
Mickey hates slots. Last month, Disney Worldwide Services dumped another Space Mountain-sized pile of cash — $575,000 — into a political committee that wants to make it harder for casinos to expand in Florida. That’s on top of the $600,000 Disney donated the month before … the $500,000 it gave the month before that … and the $400,000 it gave the month before that. Throw in another $250,000 that Disney donated in April, and you’re talking $2.3 million. The committee is called “Voters in Charge,” since it seeks to force future casinos to get voter approval. But it’s pretty clear that Disney is really the one in charge here.
“Police: Pinellas Park man Googled ‘how to rob a bank’ then robbed a bank” … “Police: Intoxicated Clearwater official crashed golf cart, battered diner during Oktoberfest” … “Police: Airbnb host rigged condo to record sex parties, guests had no idea they were recorded too.”
Man, when you can’t trust the guy hosting your sex parties, what is the world coming to?