Florida Democrats are rallying behind liberal Republican Adam Putnam, encouraging the likely 2018 gubernatorial candidate to keep following in Charlie Crist’s footsteps.
Putnam, the Florida Department of Agriculture commissioner, has repeatedly praised the Obama stimulus, strong-armed legislation giving Solyndra-style taxpayer subsidies to the renewable energy industry, and publicly criticized Republicans for standing up to the Obama administration’s profligate spending.
Daniel M. Johnson, an activist Democrat whose far-left opinions frequently appear in the Lakeland Ledger, praised Putnam this week for his unmistakably liberal ideology.
“Adam, I am now a cheerleader for your work. Please continue along these lines,” wrote Johnson in the Ledger.
“Of course, there may be a price to pay for your accomplishments. You are increasing the size of government and the cost of it but, with the needed programs you have developed, I believe they are well worth these costs,” Johnson continued.
“It is also rumored that you have the governor’s office in your sights,” Johnson wrote. “With your progressive programs you may not remain too popular with many of the right-wing politicos in your party.”
“I would recommend you work at getting more experience and then consider moving more to the political left, much as Charlie Crist admirably did,” Johnson advised.
Johnson and other Democrats have reason to be optimistic about Putnam following in Crist’s political shoes. Like Putnam, Crist was viewed warily by grassroots conservatives when he announced his candidacy for the 2006 Florida gubernatorial election. Also like Putnam, Crist was an enthusiastic cheerleader for leftist environmental agendas and renewable fuel mandates. And even more so than Crist, the liberal Florida establishment media are enthusiastic supporters of Putnam.
Florida’s most liberal major newspaper, the Tampa Bay Times, published a fawning article in 2012 titled, “Putnam, the pol who proves refreshingly sane.” Receiving such a glowing endorsement from the Times is little different than receiving such a glowing endorsement from the far-left political advocates at MSNBC.
The Times article, for example, praised Putnam for publicly criticizing Republicans for standing up against the Obama administration’s profligate fiscal policy.
Championing big-spending government is indeed a central part of Putnam’s ideology. He has repeatedly praised the Obama stimulus, championed crony industries having a constitutional right to taxpayer subsidies, and supported liberal social agendas like restoring voting rights for drug dealers and other convicted felons.
All of these reasons explain why far-left Democrats are rallying around Adam Putnam and hoping that in 2018 he will be the same sort of Trojan horse that Charlie Crist has proved himself to be.