Is Bubba the Love Sponge swaying next week's election?
The syndicated radio host (Bubba the Love Sponge is his real name; he had it legally changed) has been encouraging his listeners, known as "The Bubba Army," to vote for his preferred candidates. Among them: Charlie Crist.
Bubba's influence is no joke: He consistently ranks high in ratings, and when he ran for Pinellas County sheriff in 2004, he won almost 30 percent of the vote.
Crist, Bubba pointed out, left the Republican Party shortly after siding with teachers and vetoing a controversial bill that would link their pay to student achievement. That, Bubba said, is because he has "'nads." He also cited Crist's efforts to force insurance companies to insure autistic kids, to protect women seeking abortions, and his support for police officers.
Both yesterday and today, Gov. Crist called in to the show,
which airs in South Florida on 93.1-FM. He said that whenever the economy gets tough, people get angry, and that "my former party, the far right wing" is capitalizing on that anger. He alluded to the fact that Marco Rubio has a hold on an estimated 40 percent of the vote, with the other 60 percent being split between himself and Kendrick Meek -- to the detriment of both.
"Sixty percent of Floridians don't want
Marco Rubio," Crist said. "We need to unite those of us who want common sense."
He also said, "The first and the last independent president in the United States -- a guy named George Washington... In his farewell address, he said, 'If we continue to allow political parties to gain more power, we'll be crippling the country we just created.'" Crist said that's what's happening -- "We can't pass any legislation" because of the sharp political divisions.
Bubba said he expects Crist to become the next senator of Florida and to thank him publicly afterward: "I hope those words come out of your mouth."
Said Crist: "I gotta tell you, your army is awesome...
Bubba's getting the truth
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out. The poll has shrunk in half in ten days -- you're making it happen. The people are making it happen... God bless you, Bubba, and God bless Bubba's Army."
Bubba ended by telling his listeners: "You probably go against the grain if you listen to the show. [Voting for Bubba's recommendations] is the ultimate F-U."
Bubba's other recommendations include:
- No on all judges.
- Democrat Alex Sink for governor ("This Rick Scott guy -- it's scary").
- Republican Pam Bondi for attorney general.