Lenny Curry picked a good time to call a trick play.
As chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, he has a problem: His boss, Gov. Rick Scott, is attempting to save his political skin by embracing the very policy he entered national politics attempting to defeat: Obamacare.
So this week, Curry used a strategy memo by an obscure North Carolina group to launch a call for “civility” in politics — and to try and turn attention away from the upheaval in his own house.
The memo from a group called Blueprint NC references Florida liberal activists’ tactics over the last two years, including the Southern Project run by former Tallahassee Rep. Loranne Ausley and the media campaign to “Pink Slip Rick” run by Orlando Democratic activist Susannah Randolph. The memo’s authors suggested North Carolina Democrats should “eviscerate, mitigate, litigate, cogitate and agitate” in order to make it harder for the GOP to govern.
Poor choice of words, maybe but hardly anything new to politics.
In a letter to Florida GOP leaders that surfaced on blogs this week, Curry called the memo “as disgusting as it is alarming.”
“This Democrat scheme outlines extremely distasteful, hyper-aggressive tactics,” Curry writes, “such as hiring private investigators … pressuring elected leaders at every single public event, exploiting tensions between the governor and legislature, [and] exacerbating differences between the House and the Senate, and within Republican ranks between moderates and business-minded Republicans and their ideological base. …”
Normally, Curry’s hyperbole might go unnoticed. But Florida Republicans are entering some choppy waters.
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam has challenged Scott’s support of a three-year expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare. Putnam has since gone radio silent on whether he plans to challenge Scott.