Is Florida Democratic Party preventing Rep. Rouson from doing his job?

Is Christian Ulvert trying to be "Kingmaker" for Florida Democrats?

Is Christian Ulvert trying to be “Kingmaker” for Florida Democrats?

Before I get into the meat and bones of this article, I am going to do something that people in politics never do. I will admit that I was wrong. A few months ago, I questioned whether Darryl Rouson was the right future leader for the House Democratic Caucus. When I made that argument, I had legitimate reasons to come to this conclusion. Being a former Republican, as well as having some questionable comments in the past, I worried that Rouson might try to convince House Democrats to lean more toward the AIF, Florida Chamber and other right-wing-friendly organizations. But after this legislative session, I must say that I was wrong. Rep. Rouson was a reliable Democrat, and had a better voting record than some who I assumed would have a flawless record.

With that being said, let’s move over to the job that Rep. Rouson has been given, which is leading House Democrats to victory in the 2014 election. So far, there hasn’t been any real movement on this front. No serious Democrats have been recruited for key seats, and the Republicans have already recruited formidable candidates against Carl Zimmerman, Mike Clelland and Mark Danish. Even with this being the case, is Rep. Rouson’s hands tied in the matter?

Not only has there been no movement in recruiting candidates for the Florida House, there has also been no movement by the Florida Democratic Party in general. Last quarter, the FDP had their worst 1st quarter odd-year fundraising in eight years. As far as candidates, the FDP hasn’t recruited anyone for any of the constitutional offices, with self-recruited former State Senator Nan Rich being the only serious candidate for any of the positions. As far as grassroots organization, nothing has happened, though that might not be an indicator of anything since we are not in an election season. Even so, the Florida Democratic Party hasn’t produced anything whatsoever since Allison Tant has assumed the Chair position of the party. Still, Rod Smith didn’t do much either.

So, let’s go back to the situation that Rep. Rouson finds himself in. As most of us know, mid-term elections are usually not that great for Democrats, as Democratic voter turnout is reduced, especially in Central Florida. Because of this, the Republicans are already given an Election Day advantage over Democrats.

With this being the case, Rep. Rouson has only a few options available to him. First, he can try to retain the pick ups that Democrats had in 2012. This means putting a lot of resources in two seats that the Democrats could likely lose (Zimmerman and Clelland). In the end, this would more than likely result in a net loss for Democrats and they would go into the 2015 legislative session with less seats.

Another option is that Rep. Rouson spends more time in seats Democrats can pick up, leaving seats like Zimmerman’s and Clelland’s  to fend for themselves. This could minimize the loss, but would more than likely result in no real change in seats for the Democrats.

The best, possibly third option is that Rep. Rouson could retain those seats while trying to pick up new ones. But that is more of a dream, not an option.

Unfortunately for Rep. Rouson, it is looking more like there is a fourth option which will have to be exercised. That option is to only concentrate on seats that Democrats can retain, while not being able to recruit candidates. Why is this the option that Rep. Rouson might be dealing with? Because the Florida Democratic Party isn’t pulling its weight, and House Victory might have to do all the work themselves, including massive fundraising. Therefore, Rep. Rouson looks as if he is having an uphill battle.

But is this situation happening because the FDP has been lazy since Allison Tant has become FDP Chair, or is this an intentional move by some of the staff in the Florida Democratic Party to undermine House Victory? Rumors have been swirling around that FDP Political Director Christian Ulvert has suggested that the FDP wishes to fold both House and Senate Victory into the Florida Democratic Party so that the Party has complete control over the process. Of course, these are speculations but from reliable sources.

What does this mean if the FDP takes over the entire process? Well, a number of things which I will list now:

1. Uncommitted staff takes over process: As I mentioned already, the Florida Democratic Party has done nothing in regards to recruiting candidates for offices so far, whether they are constitutional offices, federal offices or even state legislative offices. Therefore, this laziness will become even more noticeable if the Party were to take over House and Senate Victory.

2. Christian Ulvert track record: No matter how you look at it, Christian Ulvert hasn’t been a success as a consultant for House Victory in the past. For example, in the 2012 election cycle, Florida House Democrats didn’t make a huge impact. Yes, a lot of money was poured into the Mike Clelland race that Democrats eventually won, but the Orlando Sentinel had more to do with that race being close compared to House Victory. In addition, Ulvert pouring money into State House seats that Democrats could eventually lose, like Zimmerman and Clelland, took away from other House seats which could have been long term investments for Democrats, such as Mark Danish’s seat. Also, Mr. Ulvert style of “reactionary targeting” doesn’t help Democrats compared to a “making a plan and sticking to it” approach.

3. The “check and balance” is gone:  If the Florida Democratic Party falls flat on its face or makes questionable decisions regarding a campaign, House Victory and Senate Victory is always there interject. This “check and balance” system makes it that the best decisions can be made for every race. Unfortunately, cooperation between to two rarely happens, with one side trying to prove themselves more than the other side.

4. FDP takeover of House races puts one man in control: This is probably the scariest part of the path that the Florida Democratic Party is going down. If the Florida Democratic Party tried to take over House and Senate Victory, then all of the decision making for all of the Democratic campaigns in the State of Florida will solely lie on the shoulders of Christian Ulvert. Yes, he would be in charge of every single race in the state. Along with the “FDP taking over House and Senate Victory” rumors, it is also rumored that Ulvert is the top-dog in the Florida Democratic Party now, with FDP Executive Director Scott Arceneaux’s role within the Party being greatly reduced.

This is the current situation for Rep. Darryl Rouson. Currently, it seems as if his hands are tied because of an ineffective Florida Democratic Party. If this is because the FDP wants to take over House Victory or because Mr. Ulvert wants to have more say in the process is currently unclear at this time. Still, the current failure of the FDP is starting to bleed into the other arms of Florida Democratic apparatus. 2014 might be a long election year.


3 thoughts on “Is Florida Democratic Party preventing Rep. Rouson from doing his job?

  1. Dave,

    Every Democrat in the State owes you a debt of gratitude in exposing the continued scandal and stench coming from the worthless FDP loosing “team” of Scott Arceneaux and Christain Ulmert and their hand picked puppet Allison Tant. While it is a shame and loss for Democrats statewide that Alan Clendenin did not win so he could go in and do some badly needed house cleaning of these continued losers, there is nothing we can do now except continue to put pressure on the State FDP and not send them a dime that is going to go into the pockets of these idiots and their loosing consultants.

    Since everyone has a short memory, Scott and Christian and their gravy train team of loosing consultants were so fearful of loosing their jobs that they recruited Debbie Wasserman Shultz and Sen Nelson to browbeat the stupid sheep of Democratic Committee men and woman who voted in this disastrous combo and their puppett.

    The revolving door of staffers who have been laid off at FDP because of piss poor fundraising (wasn’t that Tant’s platform?) has unbelievably led to the hiring of newer, younger and more inexperienced “yes men and woman” who do Christian and Scott’s bidding when there is no money in the bank to pay them!

    The daily crap that goes on at the FDP by this conniving team is yet to be reported and hopefully will come out by by great writers like Dave and Mark here, but really needs to be reported by the state’s mainstream media as well.

    This is the tip of the iceberg of the FDP “House of Cards”.

    And all the “Progressive and GLBTA” idiots who lapped up at the chance to turn on one of their own in Alan Clendenin for Chair are now “shocked” “shocked” to learn that their goddess Allison Tant has now turned on them by screwing one of Florida Democrats most respected leading progressive woman Senators in Nan Rich ( who is actually running for Gov) so we can be bored to tears at $180 a plate by listening (and snoozing) to Sen Nelson, Debbie Wasserman Shultz and Allison Tant…all who we have heard a thousand times before.

    I guess the wife (Allison Tant) of the lawyer (Barry Richard) who defended “W” in court against Al Gore to steal the Presidency, has no problem cutting a back room deal to support Republican…oh I mean Independent..sorry I meant Democrat Charlie Crist while Charlie waits till the last minute to hold off the bad stuff the Republicans are going to throw at the Dems at $100 million dollars.

    Well Progressives, “You Reap What You Sow”! As someone who has sat through a lot of these boring rubber chicken JJ dinners, I can personally tell your there is no reason whatsoever (hear that Christian Ulvert) that Sen Nan Rich should be given her 5 minutes to speak! She has more than earned and paid her dues as a good Democrat and has the guts (ie..see Charlie Crist) to put her reputation on the line to run for Governor!

    So here is what all Democrats should do from now on…

    Follow the lead of many of Florida’s big Unions, who are also upset at what’s going on at the FDP, who have cut off their money from the FDP gravy train…

    Don’t give the Florida Democratic Party a penny..not a cent!

    Instead, please give individually and directly to the Democratic candidate (not committee!) of your choice.

    There are plenty of good deserving Democratic candidates who really need your help.

    If you want to help Democrats, give to you local Hispanic, Black or GLBT Caucuses, Clubs and DEC’s because they really need your help and and they will work to elect good Democrats on a local level.

    Oh and Dave is absolutely right about Leader Rouson, he HAS proven himself through many scars and battles against the Republicans and HE deserves our help too.

    This way, by not giving to the FDP, you can make damn sure that your money doesn’t go down the drain to some “friend” of Scott Arceneaux, Christain Ulmert or Allison Tant and you can give your money directly to fellow deserving Democrats to give them a fighting chance to win.

    If we are all lucky, with no money for support, then the stooges at the FDP will hopefully quit and give up so we can all admit that we were wrong and ask a true leader like Alan Clendenin or anyone else who pledges to CLEAN HOUSE at the FDP, to bail us out of this mess we created.

  2. Lady Ulvert and Dutchess Taint will be the downfall of the already hobbled FDP. Do NOT send them ANY money and ask for a refund if you have already purchased your BShit JJ Dinner tix. Not letting Nan speak is a travesty to all Dems and aspiring women candidates alike. Putting someone like Ulvert, who couldn’t even get Dan Gelber elected to state wide office in charge of future elections is laughable! You know that putrid Wasserman is pulling all of these strings with very poor council from Taint and Ulvert. Girl Power! Debbie is threatened by any other Female Floridian with a dream. It’s so freakin sad! Just let Nan Speak! Free Nan Rich!!!

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