Katherine Harris gives her campaign a boost by Mitch E. Perry03/16/06
(roll tape#1 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m going to winÃ¢â‚¬?)
And with those words, Sarasota Congresswoman Katherine Harris quelled for the moment, white hot rumors that she was to quit her race for US Senate.
Speaking last night on Fox News ChannelÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Ã¢â‚¬Å“Hannity & ColmesÃ¢â‚¬? program in New York City, Harris continued on for a bit before making the 2nd part of her promised Ã¢â‚¬Ëœmajor announcementÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ (roll tape#2 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?to winÃ¢â‚¬?)
Attitudes among analysts and other political players as to what the infusion of cash will do to her moribund campaign are mixed at best. This is Governor Jeb Bush (roll tape#3 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?dynamics will changeÃ¢â‚¬?)
Bush has been the fantasy candidate for depressed Republicans and some newspaper editors, who see the Senate race between Harris and Democrat Bill Nelson as not changing much for the next 8 months Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Nelson has maintained a strong lead over Harris For months now Ã¢â‚¬â€œ and that was before the revelation that unwittingly, Harris had obtained illegal campaign funds from lobbyist Mitchell Wade who has admitted to giving bribes to another Congressman Ã¢â‚¬â€œDuke Cunningham Ã¢â‚¬â€œ who is going to jail.
University of South Florida Political Science Professor Daryl Paulson says it looks like the 10 million dollar infusion IS beneficial to the troubled campaign in a couple of respects (roll tape#4 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?clarifying the fieldÃ¢â‚¬?)
A spokesman for Senator Nelson, Dan McLaughlin, was uncharitable in reacting to HarrisÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ announcement, saying, Ã¢â‚¬Å“ This is just a desperate attempt to deflect attention from a career of blunders and failures; from ties to one of the countryÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s largest-ever bribery scandals; and, from the fact that there is no real support for Katherine Harris's campaign,Ã¢â‚¬?
Mark Bubriski is from the Florida Democratic Party. (roll tape#5 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?funding it herselfÃ¢â‚¬?)
The $10 million infusion will put Harris into financial parity with Nelson, who has raised $8 million dollars. The NY Times reported on Thursday that , according to HarrisÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ own financial disclosure reports, her husband, Anders Ebbers, owns a company worth $25 million dollars.
Historically, candidates who have contributed millions of dollars to their own campaign have mixed results. Michael Bloomberg has spent tens of millions of dollars in New York City to win the MayorÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s races there in 2001 and 2005, and New JerseyÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Jon Corzine has done the same to become Senator and then Governor.
But conversely, California Republican Congressman Michael Huffington Ã¢â‚¬â€œ best known now as the former husband to Arianna Huffington Ã¢â‚¬â€œ spent nearly $30 million dollars to defeat Diane Feinstein in 1994, and lost. USFÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Daryl Paulson believes it wonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t help Harris much here (roll tape#6 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬? in this campaignÃ¢â‚¬?)
Undoubtadley some of that money will go to television ads attacking Senator Nelson.
Critics are also observing the fact that Harris made her big announcement on national television in New York City Ã¢â‚¬â€œ Not in Florida. Mark Bubriski is a spokesman for the Florida Democratic Party (roll tape#6 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬?firstÃ¢â‚¬?)
Recently it was rumored that Fox News Sean Hannity would be accompanying Harris on a campaign bus throughout the state. Whether that happens or not, Wednesday nightÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s announcement was made in relatively friendly confines, as noted by USF Ã¢â‚¬â€œ St. Pete Political science professor Daryl Paulson (roll tape#7 o.q. Ã¢â‚¬Å“not going to take offÃ¢â‚¬?)
But despite it all, Katherine Harris says it will all work out (roll tape#8 o.q.Ã¢â‚¬? the people of FloridaÃ¢â‚¬?)
Harris is scheduled to give a news conference tomorrow in Tampa.