Silly Season for FL D’s & R’s

  New nominees for the silliest war-by-press-release in this campaign year– Florida’s Republican and Democratic parties.

  The subject?  Housing- a worthwhile topic in Florida, to be sure.  But the political parties weren’t sniping over the very real problems of housing affordability in the state.  They were trading jabs over housing for delegates to the national conventions.

   The Republicans led off with a press release crowing over their newly-acquired reservations at the Minneapolis Airport Marriott.  A press release over getting rooms at a Marriott? 

   But not just any  Marriott, I guess.  Republicans point out it’s “a short drive” from the Xcel Energy Center, where the convention will be held Labor Day week, and exult in the fact that it’s “conveniently located adjacent to the Mall of  America”, the nation’s largest.  Whew– Shangri-la!  No wonder FL GOP chair Jim Greer describes himself as “incredibly excited.”

   Best of all, they write, the hotel’s big enough “to accommodate Florida’s significant delegation of 114 delegates and 111 alternates”.   They don’t get into the fact that those 225 Republicans will be going to the Twin Cities to cast all of 57 votes, since the GOP cut Florida’s delegates in half, as punishment for moving our primary up to January 29th.

   Of course, Democrats levied an even more drastic punishment–striking all of Florida’s delegates– and of course that’s the real reason Republicans thought it was worth putting out a press release about their hotel reservations.

   Democrats, apparently, just had to respond– they had hotel rooms, too.  Of course, they can’t tell us if it’s near the convention hall or any mega-malls.  They don’t know where they’ll be staying in Denver during the 8/25-28 convention.  They have only recent, vague assurances from Howard Dean that hotel rooms have been set aside for Floridians– whoever winds up getting seated from the Sunshine State, and whoever they wind up supporting.

   And the Democrats were OUTRAGED by a snarky Republican aside that they might have to stay at a campground, rather than a hotel, accusing the GOP of insinuating “camping is second-class or shameful.”  They counter that many Florida families choose to take camping vacations to save money “during this Republican recession.”

    Maybe Florida party spinmeisters are getting paid by the press release.  Maybe, somewhere, there’s a political writer or reporter or even a reader who can take this stuff seriously.  I doubt it, and sincerely hope the level of the discourse rises from this drivel over travel plans.    

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