Alan Greenblatt is a GOVERNING correspondent.E-mail: email@example.com
Last year, I wrote a long feature about how Republican Gov. Charlie Crist was willing to work with Democrats -- not just to be a nice guy, but when he could find agreement with them on an issue.
He's now taking some heat for doing it again. He's extended early voting from eight to 12 hours a day.
Steve Bousquet of the St. Pete Times reports:
At a hastily arranged news conference, Crist said the right to vote is sacred and that "many have fought and died for this right." He said he consulted a leading Democratic legislator, Rep. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach, before issuing his order, and that Gelber knew of a similar order issued by Gov. Jeb Bush in 2002 that dealt with helping voters deal with new equipment.
As to the perception that more early voting helps Democrats, Crist said: "This is not a political decision. This is a people decision."
Not surprisingly, some find it political. Ben Smith:
"He just blew Florida for John McCain," one plugged in Florida Republican just told me.
I guess things may be a bit different than during the days when the governor of Florida was the presidential candidate's brother. But complaints were already rife, as I noted the other day, that the passed-over Crist hasn't been doing enough to help McCain.
If McCain loses Florida, it won't be Crist's fault. But this little set-to is just one of the opening salvos in the Republican War of the Roses I predict we'll be seeing after this election is finally done.
GOVERNING Politics is the place for news and analysis on campaigns and elections. If there's a ballot measure in California, a legislative election in Alabama, a mayoral election in Anchorage or a governor's race in Rhode Island, GOVERNING Politics probably is writing about it. We love everything about state and local politics, from polls and campaign ads to policy debates and demographic trends.