Karen Thurman is Screwing Up the Florida Democratic Party and Florida ‘Progressives’ Say ‘Who Cares?’

Co-editor Trish tried to get the Florida Progressive Coalition in their weekly radio blog to address the problem of Florida Democratic Party Chair Karen Thurman taking money from Republican lobbyist Al Cardenas. You know what they said? It’s a non-issue and anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot.

Well, you know who the idiots are? Florida Democrats, that’s who. (Full disclosure: I am registered Independent, but I still don’t want to see the FDP screw up — again).

Karen Thurman, whose intellect and capabilities I have questioned before, is paid $100,000 per year by the Florida Democratic Party to lobby for the Florida Democratic Party. That she takes $3,500 per month from Cardenas to lobby for Republican issues is an issue, and if these numbnuts don’t think it’s an issue, then they are as useless as the FDP.

Look, Florida stands the first chance in a long time in the coming presidential election of turning from red to blue, and the “brightest lights” of the “Florida progressive movement” don’t think it’s an issue that the chair of the Florida Democratic Party is in bed with a Republican operative?

Anyone who thinks that is really an idiot.


  • July 15, 2007 - 8:15 pm | Permalink

    Tell that to the folks in Miami
    who need Federal funds for the security of the port of Miami.
    When the Republicans we in Cahrge that would have been Al,Now the Dems are in charge and they need a Dem, with Al’s firm already having a contract, he needed a High profile ex congress person a DEM congress person.

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  • July 15, 2007 - 10:14 pm | Permalink

    First things first. Karen Thurman is the Chair of the florida Democratic party. She is paid to run the FDP, not lobby for it. But she does have a lobbying firm, which she had before she became chair. Part of her deal, in agreeing to become chair, was that she could continue her lobbying business.

    Secondly, Karen is not lobbying for Republican issues. She is lobbying for Miami-Dade County regarding port security issues. She is subcontracting with Cardenas, who has the main lobbying contract with Miami-Dade. That made a lot of sense for Miami-Dade when Republicans controlled Congress. When the Dems became the majority party, Miami-Dade needed a Dem lobbyist and Cardenas subcontracted with Karen Thurman.

    However, to say tha Karen is lobbying for Republican issues is not at all accurate. Port security is a Democratic issue. We are officially for better port security. Fulfilling the recommendations of the 9/11 Commission, including increaed port security was part of the 6 for 06 House Dem platform.

    So tell me what is wrong with Karen Thurman lobbying for something that was part of the official 2006 Dem platform?

    That’s why it’s a non issue.

  • July 16, 2007 - 6:15 am | Permalink

    Let me begin by apologizing to Trish for pulling her into this particular mess. I admit I didn’t listen to the entire blog radio show, though somehow I did make it through the Bob Allen “jokes.” Trish and I exchanged a few e-mails on the topic, and I just couldn’t let it pass unremarked.

    As chair of the Florida Democratic Party, Karen Thurman should have one and only one job — seeing to it that Democrats get elected statewide, to Congress and to the White House. What’s so hard to figure about that? She’s paid a hundred grand a year to do that, so why should she be allowed — yes, allowed — to lobby for anything but the Democratic Party? Thurman, as chair of the FDP, in my opinion, is, as we say in Crackerland, useless as tits on a boar hog, and “progressives” who say that “politics as usual” is OK deserve what they get.

    I think we can and should ask for more and better from those entrusted with representing one of the only two choices we have in a crappy two-party system. Where was Thurman when the Republican state legislature hijacked Florida’s primary date and jeopardized the Democratic Party’s relevance in Florida?

    Oh, and by the way, changing the subject to the security of the Port of Miami sounds to me like a typical Bush administration tactic. You’ve learned your lessons well, sheeple. Anybody familiar with the layout of the Port of Miami would know that a couple of guys with shoulder-mounted rockets could sink six cruise ships at the dock on any given Saturday or Sunday, no matter what Karen Thurman or Al Cardenas say or do or get paid or pay out. It’s a fact — the Port of Miami is probably one of the most vulnerable, least defensible seaports in the country.

    The Port of Miami has been a corrupt honey pot plundered by politicians for years. Securing it is impossible, so paying Karen Thurman to lobby for security issues for the Port of Miami is throwing good money after bad.

    Oh, and when did it become kosher to defend lobbyists anyway?

  • July 16, 2007 - 7:55 am | Permalink

    I gotta weigh in here, gatordem. Karen Thurman is employed by Al Cardenas, not the Port of Miami. Cardenas hired her to lobby for one of his clients, in this case the Port of Miami. Maybe he’ll want her for someone else next week, but right now he has her assigned to the Port of Miami account. The big picture is that Thurman is employed by the former chair of the Florida GOP, while serving as chair of the Florida Dems. First things first my plentiful ass.

  • Susan S
    July 16, 2007 - 9:21 am | Permalink

    I am very suspicious of how this story made news in the first place, and also of those within the party who commented on it to the press. Those people are saavy enough to know better unless they had some ulterior motive when they spoke to the reporter. As we learned at the recent DFA training, the press is never your friend and you should never comment to them unless you’re on message. Those DNC members should not have commented until they heard from the FDP so they were informed enough not to do damage. This is why the Republicans beat us every time.

    That being said, if we want to make a rule that our party chair can’t work in any other capacity while serving as chair, then let’s begin the process to put that rule into place. Until that’s done, it’s a little unfair, not to mention pointless, to criticize Karen Thurman for trying to bring Republicans and Democrats together to work on port security. Would you rather let the Republicans do it on their own so they can claim all of the credit?

    Could we please stop the circular firing squad and instead spend our time working to build infrastructure and get good candidates elected? Every minute we spend of stuff like this is a minute wasted.

  • July 16, 2007 - 10:34 am | Permalink

    Well, since the original post contained inaccurate information, first things first seemed appropriate. But, shoot, let’s not let facts get in the way. It seems to me that there is a prepositioned bias against Karen Thurman here anyway – “Thurman, as chair of the FDP, in my opinion, is, as we say in Crackerland, useless as tits on a boar hog” – so I’m not sure how much facts are going to matter here anyway.

    I will say what I said on another site. If ou don’t like the way the FDP is run, join up and try to make a difference.

  • alonewolf
    July 16, 2007 - 8:34 pm | Permalink

    You guys crack me up. First, it seems that some think that a “hundred grand” will hire someone of Karen Thurman’s experience and talent. She does her job for FDP and does it better than anyone in recent memory – not for the money but because she loves it.

    Second, oh, hell there doesn’t need to be a second – you think you can hire that much talent for a “hundred grand”? Good luck with that.

  • July 22, 2007 - 3:30 pm | Permalink

    Those who defend the indefensible are no better than their Republican opponents whom they seek to unseat. While Karen is the designated culprit here, she is not alone.

    The state FDP is full of old line conservative democrats, (small d for emphasis) who care mostly about maintaining their place in the social strata of the party, subordinating the advancement of people oriented Democratic policies and candidates.

    Go to the links provided, then read what influential democrat Debbie Wasserman-Schultz had to say in the St. Petersburg Times about my Republican opponent, Ginny Brown-Waite. Campaigning for the opposition.

    Debbie sure ain’t on my team! Watch the video, read the transcript…

    btw what about Mr. Gelber giving $5,000 to the Florida Republican Party? Reported on Florida Politics Blog written by reporters… Why Democrats lose… No CHARACTER and questionable integrity sometimes personally, as well as (integrity) to what is supposed to be a shared cause.

    BTW How many Republican elected officials give money to the FDP? Oh, I forgot about Al Cardenas.

    WATCH THE VIDEO FOR YOURSELF… The Empress has no clothes!

    Karen Thurman sets a less than sterling example for the leader of the FDP. To all of the “lockstep” followers, how can we expect to win when the character of “our leader” is every bit as deplorable as that of the Republicans.

    She is a sellout plain and simple and that selling out is why America is in the state it’s in today.


    The article by Michael Collins at…

    Click on this link to proceed directly to the YOUTUBE VIDEO



    Posted by: John R |

  • August 2, 2007 - 7:54 am | Permalink

    btw, Myself and Michael Collins are impressed w/ how Kenneth Quinnel is so
    democratic” about publishing comments on his Fla Progressive coalition blog… which is anything but… progressive.

    He SCRUBS all the comments that he does not like, then triangulates in true republican fashion about the rest. A skilled debater, sic.

    In response to my question to Kenneth in our exchange on his fl prog coalition… “What have you ever done besides send emails?”

    He suggested I google him and sure enough, all he has ever done politically is….. send emails/blog… Haaa .

    That don’t get ‘err done Kenneth e.g., win elections!

  • August 31, 2007 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    Many thanks to those who continue to attack this messenger on the Buzz, and who while doing so, continue to defend the indefensible. The fun has only just begun! So why abandon ship now…

    As for myself I stand shoulder to shoulder w/ Donna Brazille who told Karen after her crocodile tear routine in D.C. just why she voted against Florida.

    Ms. Brazille told Karen that two out of three of her less well known relatives in Florida were unable still to cast their vote in 2004. The one relative that was permitted to cast her vote, required three pieces of identification to do so.

    In my investigation relative to my election contest, I have spoken with minority voters who were similarly treated at the polls in 2004.

    Ms. Brazille furthermore told a “tearful” Karen Thurman that Florida was being punished because Florida did not do its job. This was all caught live on C-Span the day of the meeting.

    This IS NOT BTW Howard Dean’s doing… He inherited the rules under which he is operating from Previous DNC Chair Terry McAulliffe who is the Manager of who’s campaign for President?

    Susan Smith, Gene Smith et al are correct and I am in complete agreement with their statement.

    Obviously the anonymous individuals as well as Mr. Mills did not read my submission, instead immediately attacking me personally, because of my very public fight to expose FDP CORRUPTION.

    People like Mr. Mills quite clearly would rather continue to support the “status quo” that has placed Florida Democrats in this less than enviable position on the national scene.

    To all… Seven years of direct personal involvement in Florida Democratic politics is plenty instructive in how things “work” in the FDP, many of its DEC’s, including many who occupy positions of leadership at the county local level.

    There are others who have wasted even more of their precious time than this Democrat, who are similarly “experienced” with the inner workings of the Democratic Party in Florida.

    It is well past time to clean house, get the Republican operatives out of the FDP and bring back some competence, character and principle strategically and operationally to the FDP… If there ever was such. Thank you.

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