There have been all manner of inside-baseball machinations going on in the Florida political and blog world. Kendrick Meek has let his campaign's new media director go. Kenneth Quinnell is the guy behind the Florida Progressive Coalition, and is as savvy a political person as you can find. Click here to read Kenneth's post about his leaving the campaign.
September 15 will be my last day with the Kendrick Meek campaign. I was effectively laid off based on two reasons: 1. I couldn’t move to Miami to work out of the campaign headquarters. I am the divorced father of three young children, at least one of whom is special needs, and I can’t live eight hours away at this point. 2. It really is a luxury for a campaign to have a full-time paid new media director when you are facing the combined fund-raising prowess of the sitting governor of one of the largest and most powerful states in the union and the darling of the Tea Party movement.
Well, let's see -- on point two, that seems to make sense. Kendrick has got to spend every penny wisely, and Florida is an expensive state. It's a tough call, but those are the hard choices you have to make in any campaign.
On point one, that is as detailed a personal reason as you could want. I have a lot of respect for anyone who recognizes their qausi-public senior role in a campaign (which itself is really always public), and shares enough personal detail to give you context and perspective. And yeah, as a fellow father, I am as biased as can be.
Despite Kenneth's good reasoning, and his good will towards the campaign, he drew some fire. Michael Hussey runs a blog I read regularly and enjoy, Pushing Rope. He's not been a fan of the Meek campaign, and apparently is not a fan of Kenneth, either. Click here to read what he had to say about Kenneth's departure.
Kenneth had a response to Michael's post here. Excerpt:
See if you can spot the first big factual error in what Michael posted after you read this quote that I posted earlier: “So my position is being eliminated and the duties handed off to other positions.”
If you can’t spot it, I’ll highlight it for you: “The Meek campaign is taking on a new media director. No word yet on who that will be.”
My position is being eliminated. They are not taking on a new person for the position. Existing campaign staff who have other jobs will be taking on the duties that I performed.
This is Michael's follow-up. Excerpt:
Kenneth Quinnell lamented that I didn't know what he did. Kenneth, most people in Florida politics didn't know you existed. For the record: I couldn't figure out what you did. At least give me credit for acknowledging your existence.
And this is the latest from Kenneth. Excerpt:
Michael admits to judging my performance without knowing what I did. Can’t imagine how one could defend that. Generally you find out the details about something before determining if it is good or bad. I offered Michael an opportunity to learn about what I did, he refused.
Peter Schorsch suggests that perhaps there's not really any such thing as a "liberal blogosphere in Florida":
First of all, the liberal blogosphere in Florida which Quinnell held dominion over prior to his involvement with the Meek Campaign is not even a paper tiger, it’s a digital tiger. The left-wing blogosphere in Florida is a myth. It doesn’t exist. Or if it does, it is simply an echo chamber for the worst side of the Democratic Party.
Given that the last email I got on the Florida Progressive listserve was from a Green Party write-in candidate for Congress talking about what a terrible gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink is, Peter may be on to something.
That said, my take is that Michael is being too tough on Kenneth. The guy has a family to take care of. And hey, Gelber's campaign was the first to host bloggers on a conference call, and Kendrick followed suit once Kenneth joined. That matters, at least to me.
As for the advertising, well, I don't have ads on my blog so I don't really care. If this is really just about advertising bucks (and I can't believe that it is), then boy, do we have a long way to go.
I know that Kenneth has a lot of big plans for the FPC site and the organization in general. I'm looking forward to the changes. Who knows -- maybe Michael will like it, too.
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The government is asking the appeals court in Washington to strike down a preliminary order by U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth blocking federal funding for some stem cell research.
The three-member appeals panel says it is suspending Lamberth's ruling for now. The appeals judges say they want more time to deal with issues in the government's appeal.
Lamberth rejected the administration's request to let funding continue while it pursues an appeal of his order.
The appeals court said the purpose of its administrative stay was to give the judges sufficient opportunity to consider the merits of the Justice Department's emergency motion which seeks to suspend Lamberth's ruling.
On the legal side, I feel certain this is going to get to the Supreme Court. On the political side, this is one of those issues that carried Obama to the White House, and Democrats to wide margins in Congress in 2008. Count on it being a political issue again.
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I hope you can take a minute and help out Keith Fitzgerald. Speaking from up close and personal experience, his last two races have been razor-close. And this one looks to be the same, though the opponent is different.
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It certainly is interesting and good news that Obama is re-emerging onto the campaign trail swinging for the fences. But I am linking to this story from the usually restrained and often lyrical Mustang Bobby because of the title: Getting a Boehner. It's a reference to House Minority Leader John Boehner (pronounced "BAY-ner" for whatever it's worth), and, um... well, you know. I don't think the FPC does a Netroots Award for Best Title of a Post, but if they did, I'd nominate this one in a heartbeat.
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This is really just an awful story and hard to read.
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I weep for my fellow communications majors everywhere.
And I ask Duncan: how's that Master's in Public Administration working out for you?
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