Richard Corcoran

Left out of immigration debate, Levine takes out his checkbook

In a one-two advertising punch, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Philip Levine is taking on both President Donald Trump and House Speaker Richard Corcoran, lashing them for promoting hate and intolerance.

The former Miami Beach mayor’s campaign is launching a one-week $250,000 buy in Florida for a 30-second television ad that slams Corcoran for “broadcasting a message of hate,” referring to the Republican House speaker’s ad on “sanctuary cities” and a shooting involving an undocumented immigrant.

Levine’s camp announced the ad buy a day before Corcoran is scheduled to debate Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a Democrat facing off against Levine in a primary later this year.

“I have zero tolerance for intolerance. Speaker Richard Corcoran is attempting to divide our state and our country by attacking and bullying those who do not look like him, on a cynical belief that this will propel his campaign for governor,” Levine said in a statement. “Those are the qualities of a bully, not a leader.”

In a more unusual move, Levine’s campaign is also doing a $20,000 targeted cable buy for the ad in Washington, D.C., running on the Fox News and CNN channels, aiming at Trump.

“I want President Trump to know that his efforts to divide us through intolerance is intolerable, and the people of Florida and this country stand united against his divisive rhetoric and policies,” Levine said in a statement.

Political consultant Christian Ulvert, senior advisor to Levine’s campaign, told reporters Monday morning the campaign is going to keep up an “aggressive push” on digital media as well.

“We are going to continue to do that to make sure that this type of race-bating by the speaker is rebutted directly with Floridians and they hear a different message from our campaign, one of respect and inclusion,” Ulvert said.

Here’s the transcript of the ad, which is also running Spanish:

Levine: In Washington these days, they’re taking shots at immigrants who’ve devoted their lives to this country.

Levine: Now one Tallahassee politician is broadcasting a message of hate aimed at every man, woman and child that doesn’t look like him.

Levine: It’s bad enough we hear this from a President who bullies for a living. What’s worse are those who encourage it.

Levine: I want Florida to show America that we won’t be threatened by anyone, because we believe in everyone.

Announcer: Philip Levine for Governor.

— By Lloyd Dunkelberger

Pugilistic Corcoran lines up another one-on-one, this time with Negron

20180208_184947If Tuesday’s immigration debate between House Speaker Richard Corcoran and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum isn’t enough to whet the appetite of capital city  political junkies, there’s another guilty-pleasure contest on the horizon.

Gillum, a Democrat who’s announced he’s running for governor, and Corcoran, a Republican who’s widely expected to enter the contest, will go mano a mano after a dust-up about sanctuary cities.

After he finishes sparring with Gillum, Corcoran will take on his upper-chamber counterpart, Senate President Joe Negron, on the basketball court.

The legislative leaders will go face off in a three-point contest at halftime of a charity basketball game set for Feb. 20 at Leon High School. The annual event gives Republicans and Democrats the opportunity to take out their hostilities on the b-ball court.

The event benefits the Children’s Home Society of Florida.

Tickets for the game — $5 — and more info are available here.

By Jim Turner and Dara Kam.