By Jim Bleyer
The Florida Democratic Party is begging for “unity” after its meddling transformed a very flippable Florida Senate race into an utter longshot.
The meddlers, FDC chairman Terrie Rizzo and corporatist Alex Sink, who caused this potential election disaster are in full panic mode realizing they alienated progressives who comprise at least a third of their base and who are reliable voters.
An email, sent by booted candidate Bob Buesing, asks recipients to attend an “Evening of Democratic Unity” next week at a local Tampa eatery. The invitation says the event will “feature” Buesing’s replacement and corporatist puppet State Rep. Janet Cruz with Buesing as “special guest.”
The aggrieved progressives in the party are having none of the blatant rescue attempt.
As one high-profile member of the Hillsborough Progressive Caucus so cogently put it: Who appointed Alex Sink macher (big shot)? Another HPC member said he immediately deleted the email with expletives
That “unity” function will only draw Cruz acolytes and Buesing’s close friends. The progressives that Cruz/Buesing want to court are shunning the event as well as Cruz’ name on the November ballot.
The progressives who supported Buesing’s 2018 effort to unseat incumbent Republican Dana Young and provided a volunteer army are rightfully livid. Buessing withdrew his candidacy after pressure and a promise from Rizzo and Sink.
The pressure: no funding or support from the state party unless he stepped aside in favor of term limited Cruz.
The promise: utmost consideration of a gubernatorial appointment should a Democrat win the mansion on Duval Street this fall.
Buesing is well positioned for some type of executive appointment. A construction lawyer, he has been active as a volunteer in charities relating to child welfare and early childhood education.
Buesing s 2016 challenge to Young failed 48 percent to 41 percent as independeng Joe Redner garnered 10 percent of the vote. With Redner out of the equation this year, Buesing was given an excellent shot to win the rematch.
He has been laying the groundwork for a vigorous campaign for months. Progressive Democrats were the backbone of his support and their disdain for the corporatists that have unsuccessfully led the party for two decades is well chronicled.
Sink pushed Buesing out of the race in much the same way she forced Jessica Ehrlich out of a Pinellas County Congressional race. Sink filed for the seat herself and lost to David Jolly after uttering anti-immigrant remarks on the campaign trail.
Sink, whose missteps from her last two election campaigns could fill a “How Not to Win” textbook for aspiring political operatives, retains some power within the party because of her skills as a rainmaker.