The place to be yesterday for those following Florida politics was at the Ritz-Carlton in Sarasota, where many of the major candidates for governor and senator spoke at the Florida Press Association/Florida Society of Newspaper Editors annual convention.
Bill McCollum made the most news regarding policy, boldly declaring that if elected, he will seek to impose a two-year freeze on property tax rates for local governments across Florida.
That might sound great on one level to your average voter - until he or she learns that such a freeze would very likely lead to billions of dollars in cuts to local governments, probably affecting parks, libraries, and potentially police and firefighters.
No doubt such a freeze would not endear him to the mayors and city council representatives of communities around the state. And combined with the fact that property values have been plunging the past few years, some could argue that it's irresponsible to make such a claim.
Then again, when you're in a heated GOP primary where some polls show you losing, as in "General" McCollum's case, breaking out the "I'll cut your taxes' argument has been a proven winner for several decades.
However, the most drama was presented by Libertarian U.S. Senate candidate Alex Snitker. Shunned from participating in the forum because he's not polling high enough, Snitker commandeered the podium after Marco Rubio had concluded his stint and declared," I'd like to make a statement. I think denying a person who served eight years in the United States Marine Corps defending your right to have this today...is an atrocity.
Playing the role of Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction", Snitker declared he wouldn't be ignored, and then tried to put a guilt trip on the assembled members of the press, saying (according to his own press release issued last night)
You keep saying that career politicians are the problem, and you're only going to allow career politicians and a billionaire on stage. You want to talk about the tea party candidate? It's not Marco Rubio it's Alexander Snitker.
He was not allowed to speak.
Later his campaign manager, Kelly Lobean said in a statement,
The mainstream media has intentionally ignored Alex, despite the groundswell of grassroots support, and despite all our efforts to reach out to them. We've made the decision that we can no longer play by the status quo rules of politics.