Over Labor Day weekend news broke that in areas of Florida residents received automated phone calls of a disturbing nature. The recording came from a pretend Andrew Gillum, Democratic candidate for governor. The voice and the words were degradingly racist. The New York Times described jungle drums and monkey noises playing in the background.
By now most have become familiar with -- if not fatigued by -- the Ron DeSantis monkey-line-heard-’round-the-world.
In the Republican primary for attorney general -- a surprisingly bitter TV campaign -- Circuit Court Judge Ashley Moody defeated state Rep. Frank White, 57 percent to 43 percent, while on the Democratic side, consumer advocate Sean Shaw scored a runaway victory, 73 percent to 27 percent, over attorney Ryan Torrens.
As Florida gubernatorial candidates in both parties burn money and gobble up ad space, we can see some trends shaping up.
Before the first 2017 preseason game Aug. 9, during the National Anthem, Miami Dolphins players Kenny Stills and Albert Wilson both took a knee, and their teammate Robert Quinn even raised a fist. After no players took such action during the Hall of Fame Game Aug. 2, this becomes a sign of things to come this season.
Last week gubernatorial candidate Philip Levine, the former Miami Beach mayor, began running TV ads. The move expands his run statewide. And the two-week ad buy is significant, beyond the fact that polls have Levine trailing Gwen Graham: It marks one of the first times we see parents from the Parkland shooting tragedy directly endorsing a specific candidate.
You know how the national media love to make fun of Florida. They're going to have a field day with the state senator who called the cops on a reporter for questioning her during a public forum. And it's not even the first time she tried to get a reporter arrested.
There are certain signs that indicate a politician’s campaign is mired. Sometimes they change messaging, other times a media blitz occurs -- or maybe they become particularly vocal and ever-present with a breaking news item. These are signs a candidate has recognized a need to become more visible to the voters.
In the months following the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the citizens of Broward County have been subjected to ever-growing evidence community leaders have been culpable -- or at a minimum, neglectful in their duties. Now we learn of more problems, even as the focus of activists continues to be elsewhere.
In the wake of the February mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, we have been treated to a near-constant barrage of media coverage about the anti-gun movement. But has all that airtime been effective? Has it dissuaded Americans from gun ownership, resulted in changed laws and changed hearts and minds?