Florida Retail Federation Endorsements: More of the Same

The Florida Retail Federation released its legislative endorsements yesterday. While the Federation claims to be concerned about taxation of internet commerce and saving jobs in Florida, based on their endorsement list they are more concerned about keeping Republicans in power. Like other Tallahassee based lobbying groups, the Florida Retail Federation has been squeezed and cajoled by the GOP to back their candidates. It is very telling that in the State House the FRF has backed only one Democrat in a potentially competitive race (Michelle Rehwinkel-Vasilinda) and have skipped countless races. The organization in fact failed to endorse a single Democrat running for the House in between Jacksonville and West Palm Beach on either coast.

On the Senate side, where the threat of the Democrats ever controlling the chamber is nill (unlike the House which conceivably could flip to the Democrats by 2018 under the current apportionment plan), the organization has picked some races with token Republican opposition to endorse Democrats.

Not surprisingly, despite the qualms the Florida Retail Federation had about many House Democrats, they did endorse House Democratic Leader Ron Saunders in Senate District 39. Saunders after all has been invaluable to Governor Scott and his allies in promoting the right wing agenda through the state legislature. Saunders has not necessarily backed all parts of the Scott agenda but by not  leading House Democrats in a unified and tactical manner, the minority has played dead on any number of critical issues.

This is another clear example how Tallahassee based special interest groups have become extensions of the Republican Party of Florida. Last week, the Florida Chamber made similar endorsements almost universally backing Republicans in most races. Associated of Industries of Florida, long run by conservative Democrats has thrown in entirely with the GOP and become more and more radicalized as time has gone on.

These interest groups who tout strong economic growth and job creation are universally supporting a party who have mismanaged Florida’s economy, education, state budget, insurance crisis and housing problems over the past decade. For these groups, partisanship and access trumps any real commitment to the issues they claim to advocate for their members.

It is about time Florida’s Democrats stand up to these types interest groups and end their dependence on them for fundraising purposes. These groups are protecting their own self interest and legislative influence and that means backing Republicans. House and Senate Victory rely on the organizations based in Tallahassee who have a major legislative presence for funding. It is time to look more closely at the extensive DNC donor list and that of the DCCC and DSCC in Florida and begin aggressively hitting those people for fundraising purposes.

17 thoughts on “Florida Retail Federation Endorsements: More of the Same”

  1. The reasons most business associations support the GOP is because they vote correctly on issues important to the business community…there are a few Dem’s that vote the same way and you will indeed see support from the biz community acknowledging their help on issues that will keep our private enterprise system running…so it’s less about business being cajoled by the GOP and more about voting in a way that is supportive…when I was ED of the Fla. Democratic Party back in the early 90’s, Dem’s recognized and voted on biz issues and the business community supported them…but as Democratic members of the legislature have moved to the left ideologically, the business groups have reduced their support for them…I suppose it’s the old proverbial “chicken or the egg” argument…what comes first the votes or the support?…but in any event, Dem’s will garner more financial support once they show that they can consistently support the private sector…that doesn’t mean a sell-out to the working man and woman it just means a more balanced approach…and it doesn’t help when the President takes every opportunity to demonize business and the profit motive…without a business making a profit they cannot continue to exist which means no employees, no payment of taxes, etc…

  2. The Chamber is not that bad actually when compared with FRF and AIF both of whom have become extensions of the GOP.

  3. So, basically, you are saying that once the Democrats sell out on their principles, then we will start winning?

    That leads me to my next question…if Democrats sell out, why not just vote Republican?

  4. Concerned Democrat

    I agree with this post and have ti say with all due respect to Mr. Bishop, who was formerly a good Democrat he seized being worthy of listening to when he threw in with Jeb Bush and his gang. We need to protect our own self interest as do the lobbyists and they are mutually exclusive. We need to get our fundraising arm out of Tallahassee and down here to Palm Beach over to Tampa across to Orlando and down to Lauderdale and Miami to raise money from committed Democrats with no strings attached.

  5. Actually, I just read your article about why you are voting for Romney, which is here…..


    I just ask you to do one thing….go to the county Supervisor of Elections and switch parties. Please, leave our (not your) Democratic Party. This isn’t the Party of Charley Johns, Farris Bryant or Fuller Warren anymore. This is the Party of the 21st Century!

    You aren’t a Democrat and to say you are so is absolutely embarrassing to those of us who actually are Democrats, knock on doors for Democrats and, yes, VOTE for Democrats! Please, for the love of God, switch parties! Anyone who was not only an officer, but a past president of AIF is NOT a Democrat. Just leave!

    In addition, you were the FDP ED in 1992? So now I know who to blame for the collapse of the Democratic Legislature in the early 1990s. We basically lost the Senate in 1992 and we did lose the State House two years later. And by the look of your resume after you left that position, I am wondering if your job was to actually sabotage the Florida Democratic Party.

  6. I understand Barney Bishop’s position but that is precisely why our party MUST move on beyond Tallahassee lobbyists and those who were Democrats simply because it it was fashionable in the 1980s and 1990s and now is convenient for those wanting to claim “bipartisan” support.

  7. I understand Barney Bishop and believe he was once a good and effective Democratic leader.

    But today as he has since Bush became governor he is simply protecting his own self interest. He endorsed Jeb Bush and any support for Alex Sink was due to her own conservative positions.

    I do not believe he votes or supports many Democrats anymore.

    The Florida DLC /Mainstream Forum was led by Bishop in the 1990s and moved the party further and further away from
    Democratic values.

    Obama’s “socialism” as they call it simply is a restoration of our party to New Deal principles those which created almost 60 years of democratic dominance nationally.

  8. That’s not fair. Farris Bryant had the Turnpike built and Fuller Earren built roads, bridges and social programs.

    Johns was bad news as was Dempsey Barron and Mallory Horne.

  9. The reason we depend on Tallahassee interests to fund the party is because we have lazy staff who has done nothing to cultivate national donors who are interested in floridas symbolic and strategic value.

  10. The Ds are now Republicans and the “progressive” ones are just ones with no plan, like the attention and they have no brains. Go talk to Clemens and Rader……minus the bad votes and bad jokes that can go with both of them. The Ds will not succeed. Look at what they created with Rick Scott. If Crist was so great he should of ran for re-election.

    This is all the great work of “phony” good for Israel Wexler, Douche Deutch, old man Burtie and that short fat kid that worked for Wexler…Derick or something.

  11. I agree on this. I have a lot of respect for Barney Bishop and was once a great fan of his, but I don’t like the lifelong Democrat thing either in that article that is linked. He is a lobbyist and once he went to AIF in the late 90s, he had to play ball with the GOP, and thumb his noses at the Democrats. What the Tallahassee insiders fail to understand is how much the state has shifted demographically. The population of Florida is far more liberal in 2012 than it was in 1992 and much more so than 1972 when George Wallace won 66 counties in the Democratic primary. That’s a reality that the GOP and it’s allies will have to deal with for years to come.

    Quite frankly also Bill Clinton isn’t worth emulating. He was a mushy moderate who violated the law and managed to get himself impeached.

    I am a partisan Democrat but also maintain very strongly that if the House GOP leadership could have avoided impeaching Clinton they would have. But Newt, Henry Hyde, et al. were left with no choice thanks to his constant lies and prevarications.

    Barack Obama is a better President than Bill Clinton because he actually stands for something and he is a better man because he doesn’t lie daily, base his national security on who gave him campaign contributions and shift his positions based on polling.

    I will take Obama over Clinton any day, any time, anywhere.

  12. The FRF and others are rightly angry about the Democrats leftward drift as good moderate Democrats have been replaced by liberal ones. These Dems have taken us away from our ancestral heritage and towards an embrace of what if was in European countries we would definitively call socialism.

    Obama’s administration has lost us North Florida forever with his radical policies. It’s tough winning when you start with a third of the state against you.

  13. Clinton was a jerk but at least he was our jerk.

    Do not forget about the womanizing. He could have accomplished so much without his fatal flaw.

  14. Farris Bryant did not have the turnpike built. He had the road rerouted from Jacksonville towards Ocala.

    Fuller Warren began the building of the road, it concluded under Leroy Collins, a great man who was almost solely responsible for preventing Florida from going the way of Alabama or Mississippi in the 1960s.