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Is the Florida Democratic Party Hoping Low African-American Voter Turnout Saves Kriseman?

August 4, 2017 - 9:45am

The Florida Democratic Party sent out an Aug. 3 legislative memo detailing issues in the nonpartisan St. Petersburg mayoral race.

The party admitted that incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman is struggling with the African American community.

Because of this fact, one of the goals of the party and the campaign is to inform voters that Rick Baker is a Republican.

Here is the excerpt from the memo:


"The over all race seems to be headed in the right direction. 

"However, many problems in the African-American community remain. 

"Some feel that Mayor Kriseman ignored this community during his term and the sewage issue was the last straw. 

"In addition, Kriseman’s administration has not done the best job to amplify ways that he’s helped the African-American community. 

"To date, FDP has hired and deployed two staffers to help with campaign needs in North and South St. Pete. 

"Current FDP staff on the ground have built events, engaged elected officials, and recruited volunteers. 

"This week, FDP will be sending two additional staffers to continue those efforts. 

"Moving forward, the campaign will continue discussing Kriseman’s accomplishments during his term as mayor, increase volunteer recruitment, and inform voters that Rick Baker is a Republican. 

"Our current staff on the ground believes that expected turnout in the African-American community will be less than 10 percent. 

"To date, four out of five of the black elected officials are supporting, have endorsed, and will be volunteering for Kriseman. 

"Moreover, five of seven City Council members, have already endorsed. 

"The latest poll has Baker at 44 percent and Kriseman at 33 percent."

Here is one of the things that immediately bothers me about this memo.

The FDP is predicting that turnout in the African-American community will be less than 10 percent.

There is no comment about increasing turnout at all. 

They aren't working to get out the vote in the African-American community.

The reason this stands out to me is because of what is said about the SD 40 race. 

In that race, the FDP says this:

"Senate District 40

"The Special Election in State Senate District 40 is a top priority for Democrats and we are in a strong position to win. Annette Taddeo is a progressive champion who is well known, well respected and well liked in her district and across the state. Several key stakeholder organizations including For Our Future, Senate Victory, the Miami-Dade DEC and the Florida Democratic Party are committed to working with the Taddeo campaign to flip this district back to blue! We are competing in every space generating vote by mail sign ups, persuading every NPA voter and turning out all of our Democrats. We've spoken to over a thousand people to schedule over a hundred volunteer shifts, but we're going to need every party activist to help us put another Democrat in Tallahassee. We have the numbers in this district but we need to drive up turnout in this special election in order to translate those numbers into a win. So sign up for a shift today and help us turn Florida blue!"

They want to DRIVE UP turnout in that race!

It almost comes across as though they don't want black voters to turn out in St. Petersburg because they are afraid the black voters aren't voting for Rick Kriseman! (which they don't seem to be)

Could it be that the Florida Democratic Party is advocating for voter suppression in the black community to get a win?

If Rick Kriseman is so progressive and has improved the black community in the same way he has the other communities, shouldn't that message be conveyed to the black community while trying to get them to vote?

Isn't part of the Democratic mission getting MORE people to vote?

I guess not when it seems they aren't voting for Rick Kriseman!

Kriseman's best chance is to try to get to November. 

Is suppressing the black vote the way to do that?

Remember, someone from Kriseman's last race said they didn't need the black vote to win.

While Kriseman tried to walk that back, this memo looks like they may be trying to configure a scenario where the black vote doesn't play as big a role. Why? Because Kriseman isn't winning it.

Shame, FDP. Shame!

Leslie Wimes, a Sunshine State News columnist, is founder and president of Women on the Move and the Democratic African American Women Caucus, Follow Leslie on Twitter: @womenonthemove1


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Here we will win again.

This is nothing new. The Democratic Party has always thought nothing of black voters, except how to use us. I already voted for Rick Baker, and I'm glad I did. Kriseman don't give a damn about us. He just want our vote, and if he can't get it, he don't want us to vote. Sucker!

I'm voting Rick Baker. This seals the deal!!

Ma'am I sincerely suggest that you vet your sources before you publish misleading information for public consumption. Mayor Kriseman has many of us "Black" voters who are supporting him and are working diligently to #GOTV across the the entire City. Check your sources! #ImWithRickK

Her sources must have been good because political picked up the story.

Theresa you are one of the biggest coons in St. Pete. Girl stop. You might as well tie a scarf around your head and jump on a bottle of syrup!

Well DAMN !... All my young life I was a little (I guess now I'm supposed to say..) white boy who loved "Aunt Jemimah" and "Brer Fox" and "Brer Bear" and "Song of the South", "Uncle Rhemus" tales, "Tom Sawyer & Huck Finn" and "Gone With the Wind",... We've lost something in America,..respect?..tolerance?..?..?..? I believed in Martin Luther King who thought (God rest his soul) that he brought us a long way... "Black Lives Matter" agitators and financiers have taken us ALL 'backwards' into a corrupt and destructive era that we will ALL come to regret in our own history. {"Anonymous", you are definitely a fool who hopefully will eventually pay for your stupidity}


Time to flush Kriseman down the toilet!!

I personally know that many Kriseman volunteers carry mail ballot forms and encourage everyone to vote. This is crazy. Of course the Florida Democratic Party wants a big turnout. Dems always do better when turnout is high regardless of poll numbers.

It's simple. Folks, Black, White, Brown or various in betweens understand it's about a voice - not a top down propaganda effort to manipulate their participation. And it's about access to a variety of information, from a variety of sources, on a variety of issues. America's only worry is GOP voter suppression - and Fox/Sinclair News.

None of Kriseman's supporters want to address the fact that the Florida Democratic Party appears to want to suppress the black vote because it isn't going Kriseman's way. What hypocrites. You call republicans out for supposedly suppressing the vote constantly, but when it benefits you, you are more than willing to keep minority voters home.

No wonder your anonymous, because you're spewing some real BS!

Aunt Jemima sit down! Or better yet, find some pancakes to pour yourself over!!

Kriseman is going to lose. He should lose. He has ignored Midtown to his detriment. Pay the price.

Amen, brotha

Right on cue, the stalker William Pena Wells follows Leslie Wimes around. Dude, you are pathetic. You can't even address the issue. The FDP has now admitted that Kriseman has a problem with African Americans, and clearly he needs to fix the problem. You are so obsessed with Leslie Wimes that you can't see it. I actually think it IS a problem that they aren't trying to get the vote out. Additionally, if you are now talking partisan versus nonpartisan, what is your beef about the St. Pete race? It's nonpartisan. Admit it. You are just obsessed with Leslie Wimes. Get a life.

Sorry "Miami Man" I have the guts to put my real name on what I write and stand by it with my reputation. You don't.

But your reputation is trash.

That's why his name is pronounce with a loooong 'E'

sounds like you might need to get the life dude, You are from Miami and stuck up this chick's azz about the St. Pete race. Get a job man...

Here she goes again. Leslie Wimes never met a Republican she didn't like. As a statewide Democratic Party officer, what is she doing? Not much I hear except trashing every Democrat and telling people to vote for a reactionary Republican. And SD 40 is a partisan race so of course both parties spend money. Municipal elections are nonpartisan as she well knows. Name a mayor's race the FDP did get involved in???????

Ummmm, " never met a Republican she (LIKED) would make more sense

William, Wimes is NOT any kind of Democratic Party leader. She has nothing at all to do with the state Democratic Party (FDP). She illegally uses the name in an unsanctioned organization she created because loyal (intelligent) African-Americans voted down her request for certification of her group that would create a racial divide in the Dem Party. She uses this platform to hurt African Americans.

Diane your comment is not true. Leslie's organization has actually brought more African Americans into the political process under their own tent when their voices were not adequately heard through their local DEC, Dem Club, or any other organization. The DAAWC gave these women a new platform to discuss the issues that are impacting their communities without censorship.

ok Nikki Barnes.. show us. What phone bank did Leslie Wimes do in this election to raise African American voter turnout? What rallies? What door to door? Maybe I missed them ...All she does is trash people

William Pena Wells, no one wanted you for judge when you ran, and The Florida Bar punished you for bad behavior as an attorney. Stalking women is probably not high on their list either.

I attended an event that Leslie had where Rev. Jesse Jackson was present, as well as the DNC Black Caucus Chair. Seems like Leslie has more pull and contacts than most in Florida. Sounds like someone is jealous!!

The only pull is on the leash she has on anyone who likes/supports her.

They are only speaking the truth... Only 10% of the black community usually ever turns out (unless a black candidate is running with even a remote chance of winning). That is why they don't do anything to court them. It will be even less in SD 40, where the largest section of the populace is Hispanic. You see the FDP (or FRP for that matter) is not going to court the black vote until they start taking responsibility for the conditions in their own neighborhoods, have more than 4 people representing them in the Midtown schools for PTA, and actually show up to vote more than 10% of the time. Otherwise, although they should have a voice no matter what, regrettably they just don't matter to them or anyone else running for office....sad really.

Comments are now closed.


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