Jan 15, 2014

FL-13 MEMO: Expect National Republicans and Koch Brothers to Prop Up Washington Lobbyist David Jolly

With Washington Lobbyist David Jolly emerging from a divisive Republican primary, there’s no doubt that national Republicans and third-party groups will dump millions into the race to shore up Jolly’s flawed candidacy, and spread the same debunked smears that Rick Scott used against successful businesswoman Alex Sink in 2010.

As a Washington lobbyist, David Jolly went through the “Washington Revolving Door” and sold his influence to special interest groups all over the country, helping them line up pork barrel spending projects. It's because of lobbyists like Jolly that so little gets done in Congress, and why special interests have more power in Washington than Pinellas families. 

While Jolly’s career as a Washington insider epitomizes exactly the kind of broken politics that Pinellas residents hate about Congress, his positions are just as bad. Jolly won his Republican primary by supporting the unpopular Ryan budget that would end the Medicare guarantee as we know it and raise seniors’ costs and aligning himself with the fringe of his party – and the very Koch brothers groups that will prop up his candidacy.

By opposing bipartisan solutions at every turn, Jolly is alienating independent-minded Pinellas voters of all political stripes, including Republicans.

Following the Republican primary, here’s the state of David Jolly’s candidacy in Florida’s 13th congressional district:

A Washington Lobbyist Who Doesn’t Tell the Truth

David Jolly is the “Quintessential Washington Revolving Door Story,” raking in more than a million dollars by selling his influence to special interest groups all over the country and helping them line up pork barrel spending at the expense of Pinellas families.

And just like a typical lobbyist, David Jolly has shown he can’t be trusted to tell the truth by misleading Pinellas residents about his record of lobbying for offshore drilling. Now Jolly is saying he doesn’t support offshore drilling – which only shows that Jolly will do anything for the right price, regardless of what he claims to believe.

A Creature of Washington

When David Jolly announced his campaign, he proclaimed that he wouldn’t change Washington, saying: “If a candidate in this race suggests that they can step in and change Washington, they’re either being disingenuous or they don’t understand the job they’re stepping into.”

That admission of his complacency didn’t come out of nowhere.

David Jolly has built his life, his career and his candidacy on his connections to Washington. Jolly himself says that his strongest qualification for running is his insider understanding of how D.C. works, and Jolly even said he’s “proud” of being a lobbyist.

As a true creature of Washington, Jolly’s cell phone has a 202 area code, he’s “spent most of his professional life in Washington,” and still owns a home in the D.C. area.

That’s why Republican Mayor of Clearwater George Cretekos called Jolly a "Washington insider,” and Republican State Senator Jack Latvala said "I really don't think the timing is right for a Washington lobbyist to move to our district and run for Congress.”

Jolly Promotes “Rigid Ideological Positions.”

Unlike Congressman Bill Young’s record of working across the aisle, Jolly won the Republican primary by aligning himself with the most dysfunctional and reckless fringe of his party and by opposing bipartisan solutions at every turn.

Jolly opposes the bipartisan budget deal to avert another shutdown, opposes bipartisan immigration reform, and wants a radical, full repeal of the Affordable Care Act that would take the country back to a broken system that drove too many hardworking Americans into bankruptcy – but that the fringe of the Republican Party and Koch Brothers-funded groups are pushing.

It’s exactly Jolly’s dysfunctional extremism that prompted the Tampa Bay Times to write that Jolly “offers no pragmatic solutions and promotes more rigid ideological positions. He is out of step with the district.”

Jolly Alienating Independents, Republicans

Even after securing the primary nomination, Jolly is struggling to unite his Republican base and appeal to moderates.

His former opponent Kathleen Peters refused to immediately endorse him, after stating that Jolly is guilty of a “special kind of dishonesty.”

Other Republicans, such as State Sen. Latvala and Mayor of Clearwater George Cretekos have echoed Peters’ criticism – while Republican Mayor of Safety Harbor Joe Ayoub said "I don't think it makes sense to send a lobbyist to Washington to fix things...I think we can do better than David Jolly."

With such a flawed candidate, there is no doubt that national Republicans and their third-party allied groups – funded by the Koch Brothers – will have to shore up a weak candidate with the same debunked lies that Rick Scott used against successful businesswoman Alex Sink in 2010.


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