That's right, Steyer is going after wealthy Tea Party Governor Rick Scott (R. FL) this year. Scott of course will have the backing of the Koch Brothers but Steyer wants to use his wealth to fight them off:In early February, Mr. Steyer gathered two dozen of the country’s leading liberal donors and environmental philanthropists to his 1,800-acre ranch in Pescadero, Calif. — which raises prime grass-fed beef — to ask them to join his efforts. People involved in the discussions say Mr. Steyer is seeking to raise $50 million from other donors to match $50 million of his own.
The money would move through Mr. Steyer’s fast-growing, San Francisco-based political apparatus into select 2014 races. Targets include the governor’s race in Florida, where the incumbent, Rick Scott, a first-term Republican, has said he does not believe that science has established that climate change is man-made. Mr. Steyer’s group is also looking at the Senate race in Iowa, in the hope that a win for the Democratic candidate, Representative Bruce Braley, an outspoken proponent of measures to limit climate change, could help shape the 2016 presidential nominating contests.
Mr. Steyer also prospected for potential donors on a recent trip to New York City, where he met with aides to former Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, who has made championing climate change a focus of his post-mayoral political life, but whose own “super PAC” has focused chiefly on gun control.
“Our feeling on 2014 is, we want to do things that are both substantively important and will have legs after that,” Mr. Steyer said in an interview. “We don’t want to go someplace, win and move on.” - The New York Times, 2/17/14
Of course Scott will also use a lot of his own money to fund his campaign but he shouldn't be relying on seeing a dollar from Disney:When The New Yorker's Ryan Lizza reported on the debate over the Keystone pipeline last year, Steyer and his brother Jim, activists on that issue, played a role. In that interview, Steyer also articulated how he differentiates between his work and the Kochs.
"Jim Steyer told me that a friend had asked him if he and Tom were aspiring to be the Koch brothers of the left. “Yeah, I like that!” Jim replied. Tom dismissed the analogy. “I completely disagree, because what they’re doing is standing up for ideas that they profit from,” he said of the Kochs. “We think we’re representing the vast bulk of citizens of the United States. We’re not representing our pockets.”
There's truth to that argument; the Kochs have emphasized policies and candidates aimed at reducing government involvement in the private sector, which serves their business interests. But in another sense, the Kochs and the Steyers are doing the same thing: using heavy bank accounts to create a new outlet for a particular political position. The Kochs do so through an intricate system of heavily-masked organizations — dark pipelines, if you will — and Steyer may want to let the sun shine on his organization's efforts, but they're broadly of a piece. - The Wire, 2/18/14
So Walt Disney World likes Scott and are rooting for him in this race but they're not going to put their money on Scott winning. Says a lot. By the way, Scott now has set a new record for himself in Florida:Walt Disney World, one of the largest political donors in Florida, has spent more than $1.7 million so far during this campaign cycle, cutting checks to more than 100 candidates and committees throughout the state.
But one notable candidate hasn't made Disney's donation list: Florida Gov. Rick Scott.
Though Disney says it is supporting Scott, state records show that Disney hasn't given any money directly to Scott or his Let's Get to Work political committee, even though the Republican governor is furiously raising money for what some predict will be a $100 million re-election campaign.
The omission is striking because Disney has contributed to so many other Florida politicians — including all three Cabinet members, all but two of the 20 state senators on the ballot this year and more than 60 of the roughly 100 state House members running for re-election.
A spokeswoman for Disney would not say why the company hasn't contributed to Scott's campaign, though she said the company is backing the incumbent governor.
"Governor Scott has a strong record on tourism and economic growth, and we are supporting him in 2014," Disney spokeswoman Andrea Finger said. - Orlando Sentinel, 2/16/14
By the way, here's something we'll all need to see what Scott will do about this:During Gov. Rick Scott’s administration, there have been more state executions in his first term than in any other modern day Florida governor’s first term.
Marc Caputo with The Miami Herald did the numbers and found that “when Juan Carlos Chavez was put to death at 8:17 p.m. Wednesday, his execution marked the 13th on Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s watch — a record among first-term Florida governors since the death penalty was reinstated in 1976.”
In comparison, here is the number of executions during the first terms of other governors, via the Herald:- Florida Center For Investigative Reporting, 2/17/14
Charlie Crist (D. FL) has come out in support of medical marijuana and would sign it into law if he were Governor. Crist's support of medical marijuana is part of populist campaign:Florida’s sudden rush to legalize marijuana for the sick or dying is heading toward a potentially important speed bump: Gov. Rick Scott.
While Republican and Democratic lawmakers are rushing to advance bills legalizing some forms of marijuana for medicinal use, the governor has refused to say whether he would sign a bill – even one favored by GOP lawmakers which would only legalize a non-euphoric version nicknamed “Charlotte’s Web.”
The effort has drawn parents like Holley and Peyton Moseley, a Gulf Breeze couple who adopted a child RayAnn with severe epilepsy. They have become well-known advocates for legalizing Charlotte’s Web after visiting Colorado where the new medicine was developed.
They’ll be walking the halls this week in Tallahassee, have hired two lobbyists and a public-relations firm, and created an online community to make the case for giving Florida’s 125,000 epileptic children the legal option of using the drug to treat their excruciating condition.
In the last month, they’ve seen a marked change among lawmakers: from distrust and concern, to endorsements from staunch, otherwise anti-drug conservatives.
“I’ve been very pleasantly surprised at the response,” Peyton Moseley said last week.
But they have no assurances what Scott will do.
“We’re not there yet,” he said. “We’ll cross that bridge when it’s time.” - Orlando Sentinel, 2/17/14
Is Crist is making the dolts at Third Way groan, you know he's running a great campaign. And of course, this is a big aspect of his campaign:He has embraced President Barack Obama’s health care law even as many Democrats distance themselves from it. He supports efforts to legalize medical marijuana and to overturn the gay marriage ban he initially backed. He has called for an increase in the minimum wage, something he once voted against.
“Tallahassee is out of control,” he told hundreds of supporters in declaring his candidacy. “The voice of the people has been silenced by the financial bullies and the special interests.”
In seizing on the issues and rhetoric animating activists, Crist has made his populist campaign in the nation’s largest swing state a critical test case of whether his new party’s ascendant liberal wing is gaining momentum or overreaching. His appeals to economic populism could be particularly potent, with Florida voters identifying the economy as their chief concern this year.
Still, Crist’s approach concerns some Democrats.
Matt Bennett, a co-founder of the centrist Democratic group Third Way, warned that “us-versus-them, people-versus-powerful rhetoric” could hurt Democrats in the most contested states. - Washington Post, 2/8/14
And another Democrat is also helping fuel Crist's campaign:Former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, currently campaigning to retake the governor’s mansion, believes the Cuba embargo didn’t work and should be “taken away.”
“I mean the embargo has been there — what — 50 years now? I don’t think it worked. It is obvious to me that we need to move forward and I think get the embargo taken away. Really. I believe that,” Crist said Friday during HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.”
The Republican-turned-Democrat, who is challenging incumbent GOP Gov. Rick Scott, made the case for lifting the embargo as a jobs creator for his state.
“From a selfish point of view as a Floridian, I’d like to see that happen because a lot of construction would be required on the island, and South Florida could be the launching pad for all of that and really create some jobs for the people of my state,” the former governor said. - Politico, 2/9/14
I'm excited about Crist's campaign and you should be as well. If you want to get involved or donate to Crist's campaign, you can do so here:Remember back in the dog days of Summer 2013, when Alex Sink was still flirting with the idea of running for governor and described a potential Charlie Crist candidacy as a "disaster" for Florida Democrats? Well, she seems to have gotten over it - or at least decided it does her no good to bash the likely Democratic nominee.
Campaign finance reports show that on Jan. 31, Sink wrote a $1,000 check to Crist. Not sure if that amounts to a formal announcement, but Sink has not given a dime to Crist's longshot primary opponent, former state Sen. Nan Rich. - Miami Herald, 2/17/14