The Last Thing We Need Are More Trial Lawyers

New Florida Chamber Statewide Poll Shows Governor Rick Scott Leading Charlie Crist by Five Percentage Points

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231 or 850-251-6261
eousley@flchamber.com

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (October 30, 2014) – The latest Florida Chamber of Commerce Political Institute poll shows likely voters supporting Governor Rick Scott over Charlie Crist and Adrian Wyllie. In head-to-head matchups, the poll of likely Florida voters shows Governor Scott with 44 percent, Crist with 39 percent and Wyllie with 4 percent.

“While the only poll that really matters is the one that takes place on Election Day, the Florida Chamber’s most recent poll shows Floridians are listening to the candidates and appear poised to keep Florida moving in the right direction,” said Marian Johnson, Senior Vice President of Political Strategy.

The poll, conducted October 27-29, surveyed 508 likely voters through telephone interviews by Cherry Communications. Of those surveyed, 42 percent were Republican, 41 percent were Democrats and 17 percent were other parties. The margin of error is +/- 4 percent.

Key polling results also show, voter confidence is strengthening. More Floridians, 43 percent, believe Florida is headed in the right direction as compared to 40 percent in September’s poll. Voters who believe Florida is headed in the wrong direction has dropped to 38 percent from 44 percent one month ago.

Additional poll results show:

  • Governor Scott leading Crist by 47 percent to 42 percent among Floridians that have already voted.
  • Governor Scott leads in all age categories 40 and above.
  • Governor Scott is leading among males, while Crist leads among females.

In the race for Attorney General, Agriculture Commissioner and Chief Financial Officer, incumbents Pam Bondi, Adam Putnam and Jeff Atwater appear headed for victory.

  • Attorney General Pam Bondi leads challenger George Sheldon by 48 to 32 percent,
  • Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam is leading Thaddeus Hamilton by 46 to 30 percent, and
  • CFO Jeff Atwater leads challenger William Ranking 50 to 32 percent.

In terms of amendments on the ballot, the poll shows Amendment 2 failing to reach the 60 percent threshold for passage with 55 percent supporting and 40 percent opposing.

Please Note: The samples for the polls conducted by the Florida Chamber of Commerce Political Institute are consistently drawn from likely voters, meaning those voters who have the propensity and past performance of voting in elections, rather than simply including registered voters. Voters are again screened for likelihood of voting.

 

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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations, aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

Florida Chamber Launches TV Campaign In ‘Charlie’s Own Words’

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231 or 850-251-6261
eousley@flchamber.com

New TV Ad Includes Charlie Crist Admitting He’s a Trial Lawyer

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (October 17, 2014) – The Florida Chamber of Commerce, through its Florida Chamber of Commerce Alliance, Inc., today launched a television campaign highlighting the fact that Charlie Crist is a trial lawyer. Because of Florida’s lawsuit abuse problem and agendas of personal injury trial lawyers like Charlie, the average family in Florida pays an annual lawsuit abuse tax of $3,400.

“Governor Rick Scott has Florida’s economy moving in the right direction again, and the last thing Florida needs is another trial lawyer in Tallahassee,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “The trial lawyer agenda and lawsuit abuse hurts families and small businesses the most. Voters deserve to know that Charlie is a trial lawyer whose firm makes millions of dollars suing small businesses and families.”

“What we’re doing is helping educate voters so they will know the difference between job creators like Governor Rick Scott and trial lawyers like Charlie Crist,” said Wilson. “Knowingly violating the debate rules is consistent with a candidate who changes parties and positions based on political expediency.”

As poll after poll shows, more than 70 percent of Florida voters believe trial lawyers are more interested in making money than taking care of their clients.

“As the Florida Chamber focuses on job creation and making Florida more competitive, it’s time to say no to trial lawyers like Charlie,” said Wilson.

Transcript of the Florida Chamber’s Latest Ad:

Rick Scott added over 600,000 jobs.

Trial lawyer Charlie lost over 800,000 jobs.

Rick Scott has Florida’s economy headed in the right direction.

“I’m a trial lawyer,” says Charlie Crist.

Trial lawyers like Crist hurt our economy

But Florida’s on the right track with Rick Scott

The last thing we need are more trial lawyers

So give Charlie a call and let him know

Oh, and if he’s out suing someone, leave him a message

 

 

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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations, aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

Court-Happy Unions Strike Again: Did They Think We Wouldn’t Notice?

In the ongoing battle against parental choice, Florida’s teachers union has once again showed their true colors when they took to the courts to sue against tax credit scholarships.

Tax credit scholarships, an effort passed during the 2014 legislative session, allow companies to provide the means for students to attend high-quality private schools, which more often than not provide exponentially greater opportunities for success.

“For many of Florida’s poorest families, zoned for some of the lowest-performing schools in the state, the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program offers hope for parents and a life-changing education for children,” said former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, chairman of ExcelinEd. “This lawsuit is just the latest attack on parental choice by an entrenched education establishment more concerned about protecting the status quo than providing families the opportunities afforded by a great education.”

This status quo former Gov. Bush refers to is protected by non-other than Charlie Crist, another former Florida Governor. In an article issued earlier this month, an influential Panhandle civil rights leader, Rev. H.K. Matthews, spoke about the response he received when he asked Crist to publically denounce the lawsuit:

“You cannot stay silent on this lawsuit,” Matthews wrote. “These families deserve to know if you support or oppose the lawsuit to evict 70,000 poor — and mostly minority — children from their schools.”

Asked about Matthews’ request to call on the unions to drop the suit, Crist said “I’m not going to do that. They have the right to sue for that if they want to.”

Matthews said Crist’s response left him “disappointed” because he recalled standing with Crist at the state Capitol in 2010 when the then-Republican governor expanded and pledged to support the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship Program, which gives corporations dollar-for-dollar tax credits to underwrite private education.

Now Crist is standing by a lawsuit that could undo that very program…

Florida’s education systems are on the right track. Minority graduation and achievement rates are number one in the nation and recent reforms in education have allowed our fourth grader readers to rank second in the world behind Hong Kong. The benefits of this program, and of allowing our students access to quality education, cannot be denied. According to a Northwestern University study, “program participants are keeping pace with students nationally.”

“This study once again proves that all children can and will learn when given the opportunity to attend the school that best fits their needs,” said Foundation for Excellence in Education CEO Patricia Levesque. “This program gives parents a choice in their child’s education they would be unable to afford otherwise. Yet, unions want to keep students from accessing these opportunities that are clearly working for kids. This program is providing some of our state’s most vulnerable children with a quality, customized education, and sadly we have a power-hungry organization trying to keep it from reaching more families.”

At the Florida Chamber, we believe a quality education is key for our state’s success. But the fact of the matter is, not every child has the opportunity to receive a quality education. And it would seem that instead of putting the needs of Florida’s students first, Florida’s teachers union once again places the needs of members first.

“It’s outrageous that the teachers union and school boards are suing to take opportunities away from children and their parents,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce. “Perhaps they were hoping Florida’s parents won’t notice.”

The Florida Tax Credit Scholarship program is expected to serve 67,000 Florida students next year- and we hope for the sake of our state’s future their chances aren’t taken away.

Read the full story here.

Get Involved:

The Florida Chamber will continue to support parents in choosing the best educational options for their children. Learn more about our fight by contacting us at 850-521-1200. We hope to see you at our annual Future of Florida Forum, where we will continue discussions on how we can help secure Florida’s future.

 

Today’s Vehicle Fee Rollback Saves Floridians Millions

Starting today, Floridians will save millions on vehicle fees with lower rates.

The move, part of Governor Scott’s $500 Million “It’s Your Money” Tax Tour from earlier this year, eliminates a 2009 increase in motorist fees that were approved when Charlie Crist was Governor.

“Without a tax or fee increase since Charlie Crist left office, Florida has added more than 620,300 private-sector jobs, returned to our AAA bond rating, reduced the state’s debt and increased the reserves to over $3.1 billion,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber. “Thanks to Governor Scott and the Florida Legislature, Florida’s job creators can teach America an important lesson in economics and free enterprise.”

Florida’s 18 million registered vehicles, which include vehicles operated by businesses, will see a savings. This includes:

  • 13 million cars and trucks – many of which are used by small businesses, and
  • 2.6 million fleet vehicles.

Most motorists will receive a $25 fee reduction.

The Florida Chamber believes in a simple, fair and globally competitive tax structure. Further, we believe that Florida can and should do better by establishing a smarter tax structure that will help put money back into the hands of taxpayers.

 

Continue the Conversation:

Join our discussions on how we can help make Florida’s economy more competitive and diverse by joining us in Orlando September 29-October 1 at the Florida Chamber Foundation’s Future of Florida Forum and Annual Meeting. Click here to learn more.

New Florida Chamber Political Poll Shows Strengthening Voter Confidence & Governor Scott Outpaces Opponents in Head-to-Head Matches

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Edie Ousley, 850-521-1231 or 850-251-6261
eousley@flchamber.com

 

TALLAHASSEE, FL. (August 18, 2014) – While jobs and the economy continue to rank as top issues among Florida’s likely voters, the latest Florida Chamber Political Institute (FCPI) poll shows likely voters have a more positive view of the future and favor Governor Rick Scott in the state’s top leadership race.

“While top concerns for voters remain jobs and the economy, their support of Governor Scott is a signal they approve of his strong ability to create private-sector jobs,” said Marian Johnson, Senior Vice President of the Florida Chamber Political Institute. “This is evidenced by the fact that 43 percent of the voters believe Florida’s unemployment rate is lower since Rick Scott took office.”

Additional Polling Data Shows:

  • Of the 627 Florida likely voters polled, 29 percent rank job creation and the economy as their top issues, and
  • For six straight months, a plurality of voters believe the Sunshine State is headed in the right direction – 43 percent. (Based on Florida Chamber polling conducted in February 2014, June 2014 and August 2014.)

Governor Rick Scott’s job approval rating continues to remain positive, with 50 percent of likely voters approving of the job he’s doing. At the same time, Democrat gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist’s favorability continues to drop – down to 36 percent from 41 percent in June.

In Head-to-Head Matchups:

  • Rick Scott vs. Charlie Crist: Scott earns 44 percent to Crist’s 41 percent.
  • Rick Scott vs. Charlie Crist vs. Adrian Wyllie: Scott earns 41 percent, Crist gets 35 percent and Libertarian Adrain Wyllie earns 4 percent.

 

Crosstabs

Candidate Dem Rep Other Male Female
Scott 11 73 31 47 35
Crist 70 8 25 30 41
Wyllie 2 3 14 6 2
Other 6 3 10 4 7
Undecided 11 13 17 13 15

 

“I believe a major reason Charlie Crist is visibly losing support is because voters are beginning to realize that Rick Scott’s private-sector pro-jobs plan is working and that Florida continues to move in the right direction,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

On the national level, President Obama’s job approval rating remains upside down as 41 percent approved and 54 percent disapprove.

The poll, conducted on August 10-13, 2014 by Cherry Communications during live telephone interviews of likely voters, has a margin of error of +/- 4 percent.

Additional Results Show:

  • Education, healthcare, and immigration round out the top three issues voters are most concerned about – 19 percent, 6 percent and 6 percent respectively.
  • By a margin of 36 percent to 25 percent, voters believe they are financially better off than they were a year ago.

 

Please Note: The samples for the polls conducted by the Florida Chamber Political Institute are consistently drawn from likely voters, meaning those voters who have the propensity and past performance of voting in elections, rather than simply including registered voters. Voters are again screened for likelihood of voting.

 

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Established in 1916 as Florida’s first statewide business advocacy organization, the Florida Chamber of Commerce is the voice of business and the state’s largest federation of employers, chambers of commerce and associations, aggressively representing small and large businesses from every industry and every region. The Florida Chamber works within all branches of government to affect those changes set forth in the annual Florida Business Agenda, and which are seen as critical to secure Florida’s future. The Florida Chamber works closely with its Political Operations and the Florida Chamber Foundation. Visit www.FloridaChamber.com for more information.

Florida Businesses Create 2,100 Private-Sector Jobs in July

Florida businesses created 2,100 private-sector jobs, according to new state economic data released today. Additionally, the statewide unemployment rate for July 2014 remains at 6.2 percent, down 1.1 percentage points from the July 2013 rate of 7.3 percent.

In fact, Florida has officially reached four straight years of positive job growth.

“I believe a major reason Charlie Crist is visibly losing support is because voters are beginning to realize that Rick Scott’s private-sector pro-jobs plan is working and that Florida continues to move in the right direction,” said Mark Wilson, President and CEO of the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

According to the data:

  • Florida has created 620,300 new private-sector jobs since December 2010,
  • Miami-Dade County had the biggest job growth last month by creating 14,806 jobs in July,
  • Walton County had the biggest job growth percentage last month with 1.7 percent growth in July, and
  • 208,500 total jobs have been created over the past year in Florida.

 

Want More Key Data Points?

The Florida Scorecard, located at www.TheFloridaScorecard.com, presents metrics across Florida’s economy. Sign up to receive the weekly Scorecard Did You Know, which takes an in-depth look at key statistics and learn how your county ranks in Florida and nationwide.