Independent Bud Chiles has not ruled out dropping out to help Sink

08/13/10 Seán Kinane
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Lawton “Bud” Chiles III is a longtime Democrat. But the son of former Florida Gov. Lawton Chiles is running for governor without party affiliation.

Some Democrats think he could pull votes away from their presumptive nominee Alex Sink. Yesterday, WMNF asked Bud Chiles if he would consider dropping out of the race and he didn’t say no. "We'll cross that bridge when we come to it," he said.

We also hear Chiles' opposition to Attorney General Bill McCollum’s suggestion that gay couples in Florida should not be foster parents.

”Well, I think that’s wrong. I’ve seen some horrible situations with foster kids in the system. Number one: the state has no business trying to oversee or run this, from the top down. We need to be doing this in local communities [with] local people, and local non-profits, and churches. They’re a much better group to be able to take care of foster kids than the state of Florida. We’ve had all kinds of abuses and problems. I believe that the kids are better off in a gay household, than being in the system. So, I don’t share General McCollum’s view.”

We’re speaking with Bud Chiles. He’s a independent candidate for Florida Governor. On your website, Bud Chiles for Governor, you wrote a blog post that said, “The rumors are true. I am a spoiler.” What do you mean by that?

”I’ve been accused, by Democratic insiders, of being a spoiler in this race. The people that don’t want competition for Alex Sink, and I like Alex, I think Alex is a good public servant. I’m not against Alex; I’m against the political system she’s a part of, spending $40 million. Again, she has received a check from the Democratic Party, for going back a year now, and the primary hasn’t even been held, for $100,000 or so a month. That money puts chains on you. So, I’m here to spoil that party, not to spoil her party or to ruin her election. But to spoil the interests that are running the state government now, which is the few that are really controlling the many. Because of that agenda, the banks are not loaning money to small businesses; the utilities are not allowing us to have conservation standards, they’d rather build nuclear power plants; the profit HMO’s are standing in our way of doing community health care, and getting more of our health care into the hands of nurses and doctors that actually provide care. We’ve got great solutions around the state, for health care, but we’ve got to reform this system. And we can’t do it unless we get the money out of the politics. So, I’m here to spoil that party.”

And as you mentioned, there are Democrats asking you to pull out of the race, to give Alex Sink a better chance at winning in November. A lot of the polls are very close. They say that whichever candidate wins the Republican nomination, Rick Scott or Bill McCollum, that race between the GOP candidate and Alex Sink is going to be very close. What happens if, in the last week of October or the first week of November, that race is still very close and you pulling out of the race could tip the balance for Alex Sink? Would you pull out of the race?

”Well, we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Believe me, I’m not a Rick Scott fan, but what I’m finding is that there now is a huge opportunity for me, because of the split in the Republican Party. A lot of people believe that Rick Scott is going to win. And there’s a lot of Republicans that are not going to support him. They’re not going to put that Humpty Dumpty back together. The medical community, moderate Republicans, is very concerned about him and his background. I believe that I’m going to be a very attractive candidate, as a physical conservative independent, to attract hose votes. I think, again, there are as many people on the Republican side as the Democratic side. They want to see the system change. They want to see the environment protected. They want to see better health care, they want to see better schools. They don’t want auctions, they want elections. They want to see the political system reformed, so that the government is more transparent, more accountable, and more truthful. Not robbing trust funds and kicking people off of the public service commission because they vote against a rate increase. There’s a lot that we’ve lost ground on in the last 10 years. For me, I’ve hardly got two quarters to rub together as a candidate, and yet I’m at 20% in the polls, within 10 points of a guy who is spending $2.5 million a week. That tells you something about where Floridians are. I think, as we get to the general election, we’re going to see even more of people who are coming to be because they’re looking for an alternative.”

Check out the first half of this interview

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good move

Whether or not Mr. Chiles goes through with dropping out of the race, he deserves credit for considering it. I'd love to see more independents run for office, but with McCollum and Scott tearing each other apart and running to the Tea Party right, Ms Sink has a better than average chance to make governor.

Are you kidding?

You think Ms Sink has a better than average chance of becoming governor? Wake up and face reality, comrade! The state is in an ugly, anti-liberal mood right now, so much so that our very own Charlie Crist fled the Republican party because of his affiliation with Obama. He knew he'd have no chance of being elected by Republicans. Similarly, anyone who does want to be elected better not be on a first name basis with democrats, liberals, or, most importantly, Obama. That leaves Sink on the outside looking in. That's just the way it is.

100 grand?

Is it true that Ms. Sink is getting a hundred thousand a month from the Democratic Party? I finally saw a TV ad from her last night, where is the money going if that was a true statement by Mr. Chiles?