By DONLYN TURNBULL
It might not be long before “Free Nan Rich” bumper stickers appear across Florida after the gubernatorial candidate was excluded from the annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner effectively dividing Florida Democrats right down the middle…again.
Nan Rich requested a speaking slot for the June 15th dinner that is typically ripe with donor dollars. However, the far left leaning South Floridian was denied her request causing a holy war of words among the Florida Democrats and beyond.
“I think it’s inappropriate, given the amount of attention the governor’s race will draw,” Rich commented. “I’ve been a candidate for a year. I’ve traveled the state and built a significant infrastructure and grass roots support. And I’m just asking for five minutes.”
The decision created harsh discord within the state from bloggers and liberal activists as well as outside state lines with the liberal cache of crazy, Mother Jones, stepping into the ring to throw a few punches of criticism.
By Denying Rich Speaking Spot, Florida Dems “Shooting Themselves In The Foot.” “But now that at least one Democratic challenger has emerged, it appears that the Democrats may already be shooting themselves in the foot. Case in point: The Florida Democratic Party denied Nan Rich, the only Democrat who’s jumped into the race, a speaking slot at its annual Jefferson-Jackson fundraising dinner later this month.” (Stephanie Mencimer, “Florida Dems Snub Their Own Challenger To Rick Scott,” Mother Jones, 6/4/13)
The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) Chairman, Lenny Curry, smartly fanned the flames of discourse via Twitter slamming Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Democratic Party of Florida (DPOF) Chairman, Allison Tant, for remaining silent and removed from the predicament. Curry also comically coined the phrase “Free Nan Rich”, and used it as a hash tag as he questioned Schultz and Tant over their absence.
“Hearing nothing from @AllisonTant. @DWSTweets, will you #FreeNanRich? #sayfie”, Curry tweeted.
Mother Jones added salt to the open wound pointing out Rich’s lack of fundraising capabilities and sarcastically commented on the fact the dinner will be bringing in San Antonio’s mayor, Julian Castro, as a speaker instead. They likely assume he has a great deal to do with Florida politics. Good luck with that.
Why Are Democrats Snubbing One Of Their “Stalwart Liberals”? “But Rich, a stalwart liberal Democrat known for her work on child welfare issues and sharp criticism of Scott, has had trouble raising money and her profile. She could have used the platform at the dinner to help boost her visibility. Instead, the state Democratic party decided it’s more important to hear from the mayor of San Antonio, Texas.” (Stephanie Mencimer, “Florida Dems Snub Their Own Challenger To Rick Scott,” Mother Jones, 6/4/13)
However, Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, the Vice-Chairman for the DPOF, insisted the decision to limit speakers wasn’t aimed at Rich but rather to keep the amount of time for speakers to a bare minimum. As Floridians, we know when someone is attempting to sell us swamp land. I can’t imagine anyone is buying it, especially Nan Rich.