REPUBLICANS GIVE DEMS "REALITY CHECK" By Roxanne Escobales

06/07/06

In the second of a two day tour, the Republican Party of Florida stopped in Tampa today to give Democratic candidate for governor Congressman Jim Davis what it called a “reality check� in his own constituency. Yesterday’s stop in Gainesville saw a similar send up of Rod Smith, who will face off with Davis in the Democratic primaries in September. With six months of campaigning left until November elections, the Republicans would like to hold onto the leadership of the state.

Landscape maintenance trucks dotted the streets of Swann Circle as gardeners mowed lawns and the sound of leaf blowers filled the air around the park in this affluent neighborhood of South Tampa. In the middle of the park under a huge live oak dripping with Spanish moss, Carole Jean Jordan, the chair of the Republican Party of Florida, gave what she called a “reality check� on the opposing Democratic party’s recently released agenda.

ACT:

Jordan systematically went through the 5-page Democratic agenda, providing examples of what Republicans believe to be Jim Davis’s failures in office. Almost half of Jordan’s speech was dedicated to education:

ACT:

After lambasting Davis’s voting record on federal education issues, Jordan applauded the rise in Florida literacy levels as measured by the controversial FCAT standardized test.

ACT:

Jordan went on to praise a rise in Florida’s job growth under Republican leadership and the federal Medicare Part D plan recently introduced under the Bush administration.

And it wouldn’t be a political campaign speech without mention of taxes.

ACT:

Jordan went on to cite that the GOP-led legislature cut 14.5 billion dollars in tax. She also lauded the tax holidays, such as the recent hurricane preparedness tax holiday and the back-to-school break at the end of the summer, where consumers are not charged sales tax on certain seasonal items.

The overall message she left the two dozen party supporters who turned out for the speech, though, was that Congressman Jim Davis of Tampa is ineffective.

ACT:

But supporters for Jim Davis did not let the chair of the state’s Republican party get away with that swipe.

ACT:

Coming out in equal measure and holding Davis campaign signs, supporters of the Democratic Congressman speak of a man full of integrity. ANd they speak of a disillusionment with Republican-led policies.

ACT:

Jim Davis supporters feel strongly about their candidate. So much so that just last week Virginia Littrell, a former St. Petersburg city council member, switched parties from Republican to Democrat because of her strong belief in Jim Davis.

ACT:

A recent poll by Quinnipiac University found that Jim Davis held a thin, 3-point lead over his two Republican opponents. Davis also held a 21-point lead over his fellow Democrat Rod Smith in the race to be Florida’s next governor after what will be 8 years under Republican Governor Jeb Bush.

comments powered by Disqus