Where’s Rubio? Unknown group wants to know

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio

It’s Wednesday afternoon. Do you know where one of your U.S. senators is?

Speaking Up for America – a group that doesn’t appear to be registered as a corporation or a political committee in Florida or with the Federal Elections Commission – has paid for an advertisement in The Palm Beach Post describing U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio as “lost.”

The ad has a picture of Rubio and a tongue-in-cheek description.

“He may respond to the title ‘Senator Marco Rubio,’ though his constituents have been unable to verify whether this is still the case as they have been unable to contact him in recent weeks,” the ad reads. “Senator Rubio was recently re-elected to the United State Senate and may be found in Washington, D.C. Many of his concerned constituents have been trying to reach him by phone, email, fax, the Senate website, and the Postal Service about a variety of issues, but they have been unable to reach the Senator and have received no response to their communications.”

The ad finishes with: “If found, please return Senator Rubio to his constituents by way of a Town Hall meeting or other suitable gathering in which the Senator demonstrates his accountability to his constituents by listening to and honestly addressing their concerns.”

Rubio’s office didn’t take the swipe laying down.

“We have been fully accessible and responsive to constituents, including the two individuals likely hiding behind this anonymous ad,” the senator’s press secretary, Matt Wolking, wrote in an email to The Post. “Our Palm Beach office only has one employee and serves multiple counties, but he greets any protesters who show up and has already met with hundreds of these activists.”

Wolking was just getting warmed up.

“This dishonest ad is part of a coordinated strategy of disruption revealed in an online activist manual, which instructs liberal protesters to carry out ‘mass office calling’ in which the group ‘all agree[s] to call in on one specific issue that day,’ he wrote. “They are further instructed that ‘the next day or week, pick another issue, and call again on that.’ Their goal is to flood offices with calls and emails, disrupt our ability to respond, then complain to the press that they aren’t getting a response.”

Patrick Murphy at Forum Club of Palm Beaches

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Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post

In a matter of days, Patrick Murphy will be getting a promotion or spending more time with his family. On Wednesday, he got a last-hour opportunity to sway some minds at a luncheon of the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches.

The northern Palm Beach County Democratic U.S. Congressman announced months ago for the U.S. Senate seat Marco Rubio was vacating to make a presidential run.

Murphy had to scramble after the Florida GOP presidential primary when Rubio, trounced in his own state by ultimate nominee — and part-time Palm Beacher — Donald Trump, pivoted and said he’d fight to retain his Senate seat.

As some polls that had put Rubio well ahead began to tighten, Murphy recently put some of his own money into his campaign in an effort to top Rubio.

Rubio addressed the Forum Club in May and was invited to Wednesday’s event as part of a joint forum, but declined, the Forum Club said.

Wednesday’s luncheon started with the Rev. Pam Cahoon drawing laughs and applause in her invocation when she said, “We are very grateful there’s only six days left” to Election Day.

“You know it’s a bad election cycle when we are praying for this to end,” Murphy quipped.

To read more, go later to mypalmbeachpost.com.

Patrick Murphy to make case Wednesday at Forum Club

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Murphy does early voting Oct. 31

With his moment of truth six days away, U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, will get a last-hour opportunity Wednesday to sway some minds when he speaks at a luncheon of the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches.

Murphy’s opponent, GOP incumbent U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, addressed the Forum Club in May and was invited to Wednesday’s event as part of a joint forum, but declined, the Forum Club said.

Murphy recently put some of his own money into his campaign in an effort to top Rubio.

Wednesday’s event is at the Cohen Pavilion at the Kravis Center, 701 Okeechobee Blvd., West Palm Beach. Call (561) 881-9977.

Election 2016: Patrick Murphy uses Early Voting at elections HQ in suburban West Palm Beach, gets heckled

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Murphy campaign staffers and supporters use a large campaign sign to block signs displayed by anti-Murphy people (Eliot Kleinberg/The Palm Beach Post)

Ignoring chants of “Privileged Patrick,” “No way CPA” and “You’re a bum,” U.S. Senate candidate and current U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, came Monday morning to the offices of the Palm Beach County supervisor of elections to do early voting.

Murphy, who’s fighting to unseat GOP incumbent U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, told reporters he’s not concerned about reports that the FBI is looking into more Hillary Clinton emails.

“More and more information is continuing to come out about that,” Murphy said. “But at the end of the day, I trust Secretary Clinton with our nuclear codes. That’s more than Marco Rubio can say about Donald Trump.”

Asked about putting a big chunk of his own money into his campaign, Murphy said, “We’re feeling really good about the next couple of weeks and making sure our message gets out there.”

Three protesters stayed close and kept up loud chants as Murphy talked to reporters and stood in line to vote. At one point, Murphy staffers and supporters tried to block the protesters hand-drawn signs with large Murphy signs.

 In August, as Murphy talked to reporters in a study room at the Palm Beach County Library Palm Beach Gardens branch, Murphy staffers kept out a “tracker” for the conservative political action committee “America Rising” and even held a sign in front of his video camera to block him from shooting through the glass into the Murphy news conference.

“Patrick Murphy’s ‘stock sale’ and subsequent $1 million loan to his campaign raises serious questions about whether he’s purposely skirting FEC donation limits,” AMerica Rising spokesman Jeff Bechdel said later in an email. “The most likely buyer of Murphy’s stock is his father, Thomas, who has already plunged nearly $3 million into super PACs for his son’s campaign. This ‘stock sale’ appears to be another avenue for father to donate, this time directly, to his son’s foundering effort.”

Mast, Perkins to debate on live TV Oct. 5 in Palm Beach Gardens

Republican Brian Mast (left) and Democrat Randy Perkins.
Mast (l), Perkins
Carla Spalding
Spalding

Two candidates for U.S. Congress District 18 have agreed to a debate.

Republican Brian Mast and Democrat Randy Perkins will face off from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 5 at Palm Beach State College Eissey Campus Theatre in Palm Beach Gardens.

The debate, hosted by the  Palm Beach North Chamber of Commerce and Palm Beach State College’s Student Government Association, will air live on WPEC-TV Channel 12.

The moderator and media panel haven’t yet been announced.

Mast and Perkins, who are virtually tied in recent polls at about 40 percent each, defeated five and two opponents, respectively, in the Aug. 30 primary for the seat U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, vacated to challenge incumbent U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Florida.

“No party” candidate Carla Spalding, who is polling 6 percent, is not listed as participating. A spokesperson for the chamber couldn’t immediately say if she was invited.

 

Murphy holds press briefing; “tracker” not invited

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At a press conference with U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, a person uses a campaign sign to block the video camera of Chris Malloy, a “tracker” for the conservative PAC “America Rising.” (Staff photo/Eliot Kleinberg)
Patrick Murphy speaks to members of the media at the Palm Beach County Gardens Branch Library Wednesday morning, August 24, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)
Patrick Murphy speaks to members of the media at the Palm Beach County Gardens Branch Library Wednesday morning, August 24, 2016. (Bruce R. Bennett / The Palm Beach Post)

U.S. Congressman, and U.S. Senate candidate, Patrick Murphy held court with reporters Wednesday in a study room at the Palm Beach County Library System’s Palm Beach Gardens branch.

Not invited: Chris Malloy.

Malloy’s a “tracker” for the conservative political action committee “America Rising.” He follows and videotapes Murphy, D-Jupiter, who’s in a Democratic primary Tuesday in a bid to unseat GOP incumbent Marco Rubio.

On Wednesday, Murphy scheduled a “photo op” of the himself doing early voting, followed by a “gaggle” with the media. For the latter, he had reporters and photographers follow him inside the library and into a windowed study room.

When Malloy followed, a Murphy campaign official fended him off, saying, “press only.” And when Malloy tried videotaping through the glass into the study room, a person used a campaign sign to block Malloy’s camera.

“So terrified of saying something embarrassing, Patrick Murphy often deploys his staff to kick video trackers out of so-called public events,” America Rising spokesman Jeff Bechdel said Wednesday in an email.

On Wednesday afternoon, Murphy campaign staff were asked via email about blocking Malloy. They did not respond.

Library system administrators referred inquiries to Assistant Palm Beach County Administrator Todd Bonlarron. He said he was told library staff did not know what was going on in the study room as a press conference and that they were told it was Malloy who was bothering Murphy, not the other way around.

U.S. Senate hopeful Grayson works West Palm Beach

(Staff photos/Damon Higgins)
(Staff photos/Damon Higgins)

081916-PBC-GRAYSON-1Florida U.S. Senate hopeful Alan Grayson came to West Palm Beach Thursday wearing gold and black boots, bought in Boynton Beach. Perhaps he was hoping he can be the shiny object that draws people’s attention away from the U.S. Senate race’s frontrunners, Democratic Patrick Murphy and GOP incumbent Marco Rubio.

The 2-term Orlando-area Congressman has his work cut out. A poll issued last week puts Rubio in a dead heat with Murphy, D-Jupiter, and gives Rubio a 6-point lead over Grayson — presuming Grayson is able to get past Murphy, the establishment favorite who’s even been endorsed by President Obama. Grayson’s been lined up often with Bernie Sanders.

But Grayson still got a standing ovation from about 75 people at the Marriott hotel on Okeechobee Boulevard. Touting his event as a town hall meeting on the algae bloom that’s tormented the Treasure Coast.

To read more go later to mypalmbeachpost.com.

U.S. Senate candidate Beruff: vote for me, not “career politician” Rubio

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Beruff (r)

Send me to the U.S. Senate instead of “career politician” Marco Rubio, candidate Carlos Beruff told a gathering west of Lake Worth on Thursday.

“You have to decide not to continue to send people to Washington who have been career politicians,” the Sarasota-area homebuilder told about 30 people at the Bellagio Republican Club, “or you’re not going to change the dynamics of the future of this country.”

Beruff, 58, is one of three Republicans challenging incumbent Rubio Aug. 30 in Florida’s GOP primary.

Beruff conceded he’s 12 points behind Rubio in polls but said his standing has moved up 13 points in the last few weeks. He said three other polls show him 1 or 2 points behind Democrat Patrick Murphy in a general election.

To read more, go later to mypalmbeachpost.com.

Rubio, far from GOP convention, focuses on toxic algae

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, far from the Republican Party’s national convention in Cleveland, criticized the Obama Administration’s refusal of Florida’s request for a state of emergency to deal with toxic algae that has polluted the St. Lucie Estuary.

In remarks before a Lake Okeechobee roundtable meeting at Indian River State College’s Chastain campus, Rubio touted the Central Everglades Planning Project as a critical part of the solution.

CEPP is a collection of storage, cleaning and conveyance projects south of the lake. The projects are part of federal legislation that have passed the Senate’s Environment and Public Works Committee.

“We are as close as we have ever been to getting the CEPP authorized,” Rubio said. “Our hope is to get it passed and authorized in September. It would be malpractice for us to not get that done.”

Rubio, whose presidential run never gained traction, said he is not at his party’s national convention in Cleveland because he made a late decision to run for re-election and he wants to focus on his race.

On Tuesday, Rubio is scheduled to visit businesses impacted by the Orlando nightclub massacre.

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio speaks during an algae bloom discussion in Stuart Monday. (Wayne Washington/Palm Beach Post)
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio speaks during an algae bloom discussion in Stuart Monday. (Wayne Washington/Palm Beach Post)

Marco Rubio rips unnamed sources, rumors in Twitter rant

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who suspended his race for Republican presidential nominee in March, went on a rant via Twitter last night following a Washington Post article that cited “people close to him” as saying Rubio is unsure of his next step politically.

Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R- Fla., addresses the Sunshine Summit in Orlando, Fla., Friday Nov. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R- Fla., addresses the Sunshine Summit in Orlando, Fla., Friday Nov. 13, 2015. (AP Photo/John Raoux)

“Funny to read about unnamed ‘people close’ to me who claim to know my thinking on future plans,” Rubio tweeted. “They just make it up.”

He went on to say that anonymous sources are “often just people who want to sound like they are in the know,” and journalists “desperate for content just accept it.”

Rubio pointed to an October Washington Post article where a source close to him reportedly said that Rubio hates the Senate.

“Word of advice,” he tweeted, “people often claim to know more than they really do because they enjoy status of being perceived as ‘in the know’.”

When it comes to his next steps, Rubio ripped one “genius line” from the article that suggests he’s “a bit at sea in terms of his next step politically.”

“I have only said like 10000 times I will be a private citizen in January,” Rubio said in a tweet that’s been shared like 1,000 times.

Rubio wrapped up his “return to Twitter” by turning lines from the Washington Post’s article around into comments about his day.

Here’s the full string: