Time to Focus on Taking Down Pam Bondi

Much of the attention of Florida Democrats has been rightfully focused on ousting Governor Rick Scott next year. However, little if any time has been spent in discussing the statewide cabinet races, a place where Democrats must take advantage of shifting attitudes and demographics in the state.  Democrats have lots 10 of the last 11 cabinet races with the lone victory coming in 2006 when Alex Sink defeated Senate President Tom Lee who had become unpopular among Tallahassee lobbyists and Republican donors/activists throughout the state.  This record is worse than any other Democratic Party east of the Mississippi over the same time period (since 2000). While defeating Jeff Atwater (who boasts support of many nominal Democrats in southeast Florida) and Adam Putnam, the former number three Republican in the House leadership appears a clean fit for Agriculture Commissioner. While Democrats should by no means concede these two races, the focus should be on Attorney General Pam Bondi.

Consider that many members of the Florida Bar consider Pam Bondi to be one of the worst Attorney Generals in the country. Bondi has been the hyper-partisan ideological law enforcement office Florida Republicans have long craved. This is no surprise considering Bondi’s  prior claim to fame was a conservative hack on FOX News’ Hannity show, which is one hour of pure right wing drivel. Bondi won a competitive three way Republican Primary in 2010 and then benefited from a conservative tide and political attacks bordering on slander towards Dan Gelber, the single state legislator who was most qualified to be Attorney General in the State of Florida in order to win her office. Bondi and her surrogates waged a campaign of fear and demagoguery about “Obamacare,”  feminism and “radical environmentalism.”

In office, Bondi has proven to be the partisan Florida Republicans long craved. Her agenda as Attorney General has not been to protect Florida’s consumers or working class but to protect corporations, insurance companies, polluters, high profile law firms, mortgage companies and other entities pushing a conservative viewpoint. Unlike Bob Butterworth, who approached law enforcement in a non-partisan way and even appointed a Republican Solicitor General,  most of Bondi’s appointments have been strictly ideological and partisan. Charlie Crist’s tenure as Attorney General was a disappointment to partisan Republicans as Crist continued many of Butterworth’s policies and maintained much of his staff. Bill McCollum moved the office in a partisan direction but still did not satisfy the crowd that congregates around right-wing, Koch brothers and DeVos family funded think tanks and Christian right advocates.

Unfortunately to this point the only Democrat to step forward in the Attorney General’s race is House Democratic Leader Perry Thurston a competent lawyer and liberal advocate but someone who has proven in his history to have a hard time fundraising and has lost the most competitive elections he has run in locally. Thurston would be a good Attorney General but will have a hard time beating Bondi. From what I have learned, many people including former Attorney General Butterworth have given thought to the type of Democrat that needs to be recruited to have a strong chance of winning. Any Democrats that ran for this position either with the support General Butterworth or prominent people associated with him would have instant credibility among many donors and primary voters.

The problem is some prominent consultants and staff both at the state level and local Broward County level have pushed Thurston into this race and with his strong progressive record he very well may be favored to win a primary depending on the strength of his opposition. These consultants/staff have created enemies locally and statewide that could lead to increased negativity within the party at a time we need to be united.  While Thurston’s nomination very well could undermine the chances of defeating Bondi in November, it is possible the weakness that he has had in fundraising may be offset by prominent lawyers in the state rallying to his cause were he the nominee. That having been said, many of those lawyers do not view Thurston as anywhere near the ideal candidate and chances are someone prominent or experienced in the legal profession or consumer advocacy will end up in the race.

Whether Perry Thurston or some other Democrat receives the nomination taking down Pam Bondi needs to be a statewide priority for all progressives and those who care about protecting consumers and non-partisan law enforcement.

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27 thoughts on “Time to Focus on Taking Down Pam Bondi

  1. Pam Bondi!

    Lost 10 of 11 races for Cabinet!!

    Really?

    And we keep rewarding the same loosing Tallahassee consultants and Scott Arceneaux with their new puppet by electing Allison Tant!

    Way to go stupid Democrats!

    This Blog is the best thing that the Democrats need to wake up their stupor!

    But unfortunately they don’t read, listen or make any sense.

    Poor sheep! Just led to the slaughter by the Repiblicans!

    You had your chance for real change in Lake Mary!

  2. Another loser candidate of Ulvert’s is Thurston. I disagree with your praise of Gelber. He was too liberal to win statewide and he gave us this punk, this cancer as someone put it spreading on our party.

    We need to defeat him badly. Honestly, any party that loses 10 of 11 cabinet races should have the entire slate of consultants wiped out, yet we still have the same crew. Allison Tant is nothing but another rubber stamp for this pathetic bunch.

  3. Perry loses because of two words “Michael Brewer”…

    Sorry to be too honest for some, but the (white) Michael Brewer getting set on fire by a group of boys over a gaming system and one of them (african american) being represented by Perry Thurston will be played masterfully through an ECO.

    Is it fair? No. Is everyone entitled to the best defense possible in criminal court? Of course. But a campaign is not ruled by the court rules but by the court of public opinion. This Brewer story gets out everywhere north of Palm Beach and it is bye bye Perry.

  4. Another question presents itself; How will Dave Aronberg weigh in on this race ??? Will the current Palm Beach County mob do their usual backdoor deal with the Republican Party ( in case you didn’t know that’s Peoples Choice Pac) and once more Burt’s buddies will screw the Democratic Party.

  5. Ulvert sucks and so do the current candidates that he picks. (when they actually have candidates) I wonder how many Democrats wil be called in for the Greer trial? Is that what you are talking about The Observer…ask Alison Tant, Wexler and DWS, they may have some idea.

  6. Dave Aronberg is running again and this time he is going to kick her ass! Even though he helped her get elected!

  7. I’m sorry, but I am going to speak truthfully on this one (not like that has been a problem in the past). As I have always said, you have to put yourselves in the mind of the average voter and not of the average Democratic Party activist. And, let’s face it, Florida voters are the cream of the crop when it comes to “low information voters”.

    So, what is the average voter going to think of this race between Thurston and Bondi? Sherman Klump vs. Bimbo Bleach Blonde. The average voters don’t look at the issues. Hell, they don’t even know any “issues” in the AG race. Instead, they are going to look at Klump vs. Barbie.

    In this case, all those horny white men are going to vote for the wannabe Baywatch babe that has to airbrush her photo in order to look good over Professor Klump, while chanting “Hercules” while watching his commercials. To look at this election “in depth” is a complete waste of time. And the “horny white men” aspect is real…ask Sarah Palin.

    The way that Democrats win this thing is by forcing horny white men to vote against Bondi, or turning out Democratic voters. Thurston doesn’t do that and nobody outside of south Florida even knows who he is. We need to seek better options.

  8. You are not kidding…

    When his trial on charges of stealing from the Republican Party of Florida begins on Feb. 11, ex-party chair Jim Greer has served notice he may call as many as 43 witnesses to testify on his behalf, or at least answer his questions. Though 30 of them, including ex-Gov. Charlie Crist, ex-Speaker Dean Cannon, ex-U.S. Sen. George LeMieux and major GOP fundraiser Harry Sergeant, are also on the prosecution’s witness list, Greer is adding new names.

    Among them: Tallahassee uber-lobbyist Brian Ballard, former U.S. Rep. (and now Associated Industries president) Tom Feeney and former Attorney General Bill McCollum, are the most prominent, along with west coast developer and GOP moneyman Al Hoffman as well as Greer himself and his life, Lisa.

  9. I wonder why DWS, Nelson, Deutch, Wexler, Murphy, Frankel are not all talking about this. HMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM

    Crist and Sargeant. How is that going for you Burt and Bobby?

  10. Bondi is going to be there for awhile. She is experienced, proven herself and will clean house for Scott. So while both sides may attack her because she is a blonde and a woman….watch yourself. She has made a strong name for herself with both parties.

  11. McCollum is good and clean. He has been cleaning up some of the corruption down here with Bondi..or will be soon.

  12. Bondi is an easy target and I don’t see why we aren’t magnifying her every outrage the way we do with Rick Scott.

  13. Yeah because Kim Berfield REALLY beat Charlie Justice didn’t she with all those signs and literature with her glossy picture and her blonde hair on it. Voters are suckers sometimes but not all the time. Bondi despite her “barbie” look as you call it ran behind Adam Putnam and Jeff Atwater in 2010. I don’t buy what you are saying.

  14. You are also talking about a smarter electorate in Pinellas County, who will actually examine a candidate, not Jim Bob living in rural Bradford County.

  15. Actually Pinellas and Hillsborough. I don’t buy it. Maybe 2% of the electorate votes on this. Do we need a stronger statewide candidate than Thurston. Yes. Is Bondi tough to beat because of her “good looks?” No. She’s tough to beat because Republicans have an inherent advantage in statewide elections thanks to the incompetence of Democrats in Florida, and the inability of our consultants and operatives to understand changes in the electorate.

  16. Even with the consultant aspect playing a factor (which I feel is certainly does), other factors play as well. I know it is a different state, but look at Sarah Palin. She beat Tony Knowles, who should have wiped the floor with her because he is smart and she was an idiot. Yet, she won.

  17. That is fine, we can agree to disagree, but you started the disagreeing 😛 And, as far as Alex Sink, I think she was a weak statewide candidate (which explains why she lost to Rick Scott). Honestly, ALL Democratic candidates statewide in 2010 were weak. All of them!

  18. Palin won the Alaska Governorship because Republicans were angry Frank Murkowski appointed his daughter to the US Senate and Tony Knowles was always swimming uphill in that state. Palin was seen as an outsider, a small town Mayor in a state concerned about corruption. Remember allegations at the time were strong about both Ted Stevens and Don Young and corruption. Palin’s “looks” may have helped with a small segment of the electorate but she won as an outsider in an anti-incumbent year in a Republican state. And if she is so popular because of her looks why has she completely fizzled out as a national figure? Explain that.

  19. She has fizzled out now because she is on the national stage and everyone can see that she is an idiot. Pam Bondi isn’t on that big of a stage, so she lays low.

  20. Oh, I agree on that. But still, Florida is a state where more people know who Honey Boo Boo is than who Pam Bondi is.

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