Okay, it's been a few months since we last turned our gaze towards Florida. So, here we go:
Katherine Harris's senate campaign trainwreck (now with more trainwreckery...)
Back in March, we talked about Harris's wacky decision to refocus her senate campaign as a Christian Crusade (while she was simultaneously reeling from the mass resignation of her entire staff, and fighting off indictment in the Cunningham bribery scandal). At the time, she was trailing her opponent (incumbent Democratic senator Bill Nelson) by 22 points in the polls.
Now, despite spending $2.1 million in the past quarter (a million more than she raised), Harris is running 30
points behind Nelson. Oops.
And -- surprise! Last week, most of the people she hired to replace her original campaign staff (the ones who jumped ship back in March) ALSO resigned:
Campaign manager Glenn Hodas -- the third to work for Harris -- confirmed Thursday he and four other key staffers are leaving this week, including communications director Chris Ingram, who Wednesday said he was leaving.
In addition, field director Pat Thomas and two of her assistants are leaving. Two others are also walking out the door, including a fundraiser, another campaign staffer said speaking on condition of anonymity so as to not look disloyal.
Yep, that's right. Harris has had not just one, but two
sequential mass resignations of her entire campaign team (and is now looking for her fourth
Harris's earlier (second?) campaign manager called her campaign "a nuclear wasteland". He went on to say "I just saw her heading for political destruction. And I didn't want to be the one to lead her to Little Big Horn."
Meanwhile, on the legal front, there's good news: technically speaking, Harris has not yet actually been indicted
for bribery. Unfortunately, however, it's probably just a matter of time, as the Justice Department is demanding that her campaign turn over documents as part of its investigation into the Mitchell Wade defense contracts bribery scandal (yep, the scandal which led to the resignation and indictment of Rep. Cunningham last year). Harris allegedly took $32,000 in laundered campaign donations from Wade....
Then there's the fact that Harris apparently tried to spread rumors that a fellow GOP Floridian, who was considering running against her in the primary, had some kind of mysterious "dead intern problem". (''That was the first clue that something wasn't right with Katherine Harris,'' said Republican talk show host Joe Scarborough ....)
Here is what the St Petersburg Times
had to say about Harris's speechwriter, who just abandoned ship:
Speechwriter Jennifer Hickey is leaving U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris' congressional office. We at the Buzz are not at all surprised but we were amused by an email she sent around to friends and colleagues Tuesday announcing her departure.
Value of "George Harris Legacy Loan" to Senate campaign: $10 million
Value of "refurbishments" to Capitol Hill residence: $100,000
Value of Handing in my Resignation Letter: Priceless
"No, I do not have a job lined up,'' she wrote. "But I have my dignity and a smidgen of the sanity I had when I came to work here."