Republican Party of Florida

Gruters, horses brag on session; Eskamani gets angry

Subtlety apparently wasn’t the goal in videos featuring lawmakers from opposite sides of the aisle, pushed out after the 2019 legislative session wrapped.

Sen. Joe Gruters, a Sarasota Republican who’s also the chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, got a majestic, campaign-style video featuring a lot of horses and a basso voiceover.

Meanwhile, Orlando Democrat Rep. Anna Eskamani, Florida’s answer to U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, went her own route.

Eskamani recruited her twin sister, Ida, to act as her “Anger Interpreter” in a video inspired by comedy duo Key and Peele’s ‘Luther the anger translator.’

In a follow-up tweet, Eskamani, who’s known throughout the Capitol for what seems to be a perpetual smile, made it clear that the video was all in good fun.

“Want to make sure y’all know that we made this video with nothing but love & gratitude for our colleagues and to the legislative process. I do my best to always present as my authentic self, and w/out laughter we have nothing.  ❤️”

For those not in the know, Luther made a political splash in 2015, when he gave some assistance to then-President Barack Obama during the annual White House Correspondents’ Dinner.

So, you don’t have to look it up, here’s the Obama version.

 

By Jim Turner and The Dara.

Another UPDATE: Fant wants “true liberal” Moody blackballed from RPOF meeting

SECOND UPDATE: This response from Ashley Moody campaign spokeswoman, Christina Johnson:

“It is laughable that a candidate running to be Florida’s Chief Legal Officer would offer up such erroneous and egregious attacks on the proven record of a former and well respected federal prosecutor and circuit court judge. Ashley Moody is pro-Second Amendment and the only candidate who has supported Second Amendment priorities like Stand Your Ground in the courtroom. These are real world distinctions that matter to voters, and issues which Ashley Moody has shared with Republican activists across the state these last months and throughout her career. Not only is Ashley Moody a staunch supporter of our President, but she has secured the endorsements of those who worked tirelessly on behalf of the President’s campaign, including law enforcement officials and elected leaders across the state. We look forward to highlighting these conservative values at the January RPOF meeting.”

UPDATED: RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia gave us this smackdown about Jay Fant’s request to have Ashley Moody banned from the party’s annual meeting next month:

“All Republicans running for statewide office are welcome to attend RPOF meetings. We will not, and should not, interject ourselves in the middle of primaries. Nor, should the RPOF become the arbiter of a candidates conservative credentials. If Rep. Fant thinks this will resonate with the electorate, then take it directly to the primary voters,” said RPOF Chairman Blaise Ingoglia.

Here’s the original post:

Ouch. Our eyeballs are on fire after reading GOP attorney general candidate Jay Fant’s blistering attack against opponent Ashley Moody.

Fant, a Republican state House member from Jacksonville, sent a letter to Republican Party of Florida Chairman Blaise Ingoglia — who, oh by the way, serves in the House with Fant — asking the party boss to ban Moody from the RPOF’s January meeting because she’s “a true liberal and proud of it.”

Moody, a former judge, has garnered a mile-high pile of endorsements from law enforcement leaders and others throughout the state and amassed a finance team that’s  a veritable GOP who’s who, including influential lobbyist Brian Ballard.

Fant, who’s’ trailing Moody in fundraising even after dumping $750,000 of his own money into his campaign, accuses Moody of having close ties to the Clinton family — her father was appointed by Bill Clinton to the federal bench. Moody once worked as a speechwriter for “left wing” former American Bar Association President Martha Barnett who is a “close ally” of Hillary Clinton,  Fant wrote to Ingoglia. And Moody even sued President Donald Trump (long before he moved into the White House) over a failed development project, Fant pointed out.

Fant says it’s “in the party’s best interest” to blackball Moody from the RPOF’s annual meeting in January.

“The 2018 election ballot is absolutely critical from top to bottom and we simply cannot waste time with candidates who have to hide their past involvement with the Clintons in order to win,” he wrote.

Fant’s asking that the party leadership “refuse Ashley Moody access to the annual meeting and immediately discontinue RPOF’s indirect support of her campaign” through in-kind resources like staff, “that already total more than $23,000,” according to campaign finance reports.

Moody and Fant will face off in the GOP primary against two other state reps — Frank White of Pensacola and Ross Spano of Dover.

We’ve reached out to Moody’s camp for a response, and we’ll update if we get one.

 

 

Westward ho! Frank Terraferma heads to Idaho

Frank Terraferma, a GOP insider who’s been a major force in Florida politics for decades, is taking his strategery to Idaho, where he’ll be executive director of the state’s Republican party.

“Frank Terraferma helped lead the Republican revolution in Florida and will forever leave his mark on the successes of a string of House Speakers,” Brett Doster, president of Front Line Strategies where Terraferma’s a senior strategist, said in a press release Friday morning.

Terraferma, will be have an open governor’s race in Idaho this year, was a key player in a controversy over Florida lawmakers’ redistricting efforts a few years back.

Terraferma has run multiple campaigns for the Republican Party of Florida, beginning with House campaigns in 1994.
B1pZ0-sCIAEqrUf
State Sen. Dana Young may have summed it up in this throw-back tweet, posted when she was a state rep, from Election Day in 2014: “Frank Terraferma — Republicans love him, Democrats wish they had him on their team. #FLGOP”