FLORIDA POLITICS
Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary

 

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Welcome To Florida Politics

Thanks for visiting. On a semi-daily basis we scan Florida's major daily newspapers for significant Florida political news and punditry. We also review the editorial pages and political columnists/pundits for Florida political commentary. The papers we review include: the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Naples News, Sarasota Herald Tribune, St Pete Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Tallahassee Democrat, and, occasionally, the Florida Times Union; we also review the political news blogs associated with these newspapers.

For each story, column, article or editorial we deem significant, we post at least the headline and link to the piece; the linked headline always appears in quotes. We quote the headline for two reasons: first, to allow researchers looking for the cited piece to find it (if the link has expired) by searching for the original title/headline via a commercial research service. Second, quotation of the original headline permits readers to appreciate the spin from the original piece, as opposed to our spin.

Not that we don't provide spin; we do, and plenty of it. Our perspective appears in post headlines, the subtitles within the post (in bold), and the excerpts from the linked stories we select to quote; we also occasionally provide other links and commentary about certain stories. While our bias should be immediately apparent to any reader, we nevertheless attempt to link to every article, column or editorial about Florida politics in every major online Florida newspaper.

 

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The Blog for Sunday, June 26, 2016

"Florida candidates stampede to ballot"

    Steve Bousquet writes that
    Florida is poised for a volatile political season as a large crop of candidates met Friday's deadline to get on the ballot for the 2016 elections.
    "The unpredictable force of Donald Trump, a court-ordered redesign of districts and rampant turnover in the state's congressional delegation have combined to unleash a flood of ambition and give voters a wide range of choices:"
    • Eight of Florida's 27 members of Congress are leaving and all 27 seats are being contested for the first time.

    • As more voters reject both major parties and have no party affiliation, no-party candidates will offer a third alternative in two dozen races for U.S. Senate, Congress and the Legislature in a state where nearly three in 10 voters are not members of either major party.

    • Eight legislative seats will have primaries open to all voters because only one party fielded candidates. In those rare cases, candidates will be forced to appeal to a wider pool of voters than just the hard-right and hard-left who often dominate primaries.

    • Fifteen of 40 state Senate seats are open, and the redrawn districts give outnumbered Democrats hope of making gains.

    "In year of political turmoil, Florida candidates stampede to ballot." See also "State Senate races a South Florida free-for-all."


    Marco wants a mulligan

    "Weekly Roundup: Can I Get a Mulligan?."


    "His day job remains unclear"

    "Now running for the Florida House, the ex-congressman from Miami reported a net worth of $1.5 million, even as his day job remains unclear." "David Rivera, millionaire? His financial form says so."


    "What's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State"

    Marc Caputo: "Murphy’s tough week – Scott’s Zika leadership – GMO-mosquito vote delayed in Keys – Editorial: stop ‘reefer madness’ -- candidate sought for questions in hit-and-run death." "Florida Playbook."


    Senate candidate accused of bribe

    "Miami Democratic state Senate candidate Andrew Korge is accused of trying to bribe state Sen. Dwight Bullard into moving districts and trying to persuade another Democratic primary opponent, Ana Rivas Logan, to swap races with him." "Miami-Dade senator: My opponent offered me $25,000 to get out of his way."


    Beats working

    "Rubio's book royalties up $70K in 2015."


    Brown and Lawson will face off

    "Rep. Corrine Brown and former state Sen. Al Lawson will face off in the Democratic primary for the 5th Congressional District, a seat that has been the subject of huge doses of speculation and intrigue after a redistricting legal challenge."

    Lawson, a Tallahassee Democrat, filed to run for the seat in February, so his challenge to Brown is no surprise. But there have been persistent rumors that other candidates would pile into the race for a seat that was redrawn to stretch from Jacksonville to the Tallahassee region.

    That speculation ramped up when news broke that Brown is the subject of an ongoing Department of Justice investigation into whether she conspired to commit “fraudulent activities,” improperly solicited charitable donations or misused campaign funds. Since the investigation was made public in March, no other information has been made available.

    But as the noon Friday deadline for candidates to qualify passed, none of the rumors of additional candidates came to fruition, and a regional battle now pits a longtime Tallahassee politico against a 12-term incumbent Jacksonville congresswoman.

    "Despite intrigue, Brown, Lawson are only prominent Democrats in CD5 race."


    Bangin' Murphy

    "on Wednesday evening, CBS4 Miami aired the first of its two part “The Making of Patrick Murphy” reports that questioned the congressman’s portrayal of his business record. The first report is here: http://cbsloc.al/28OCy61. The Murphy campaign responded with a 'setting the record straight' post: http://bit.ly/28QTaJ0. That afternoon, a new Rubio super PAC then featured the CBS4 report in a web ad. CBS4 followed up Thursday evening with another piece about questionable marketing claims made years ago by Murphy’s environmental clean-up business: http://cbsloc.al/28UfByP." "Florida Playbook."


    "All of a sudden, Charlie has a real opponent"

    Nancy Smith: "What a week for Charlie Crist. Try to imagine ..."

    There was Charlie laying low in St. Petersburg, stretched out on his tanning bed, fingers crossed, staying out of trouble, fan at the ready. So positioned to end the win drought.

    OK, so the prize wasn't the Senate. It wasn't even the Governor's Mansion. But CD 13, sanitized by the courts for a Democratic victory, was his ticket to get back to the limelight and into the Washington party circuit. He even had President Obama's endorsement.

    (Now we come to the part like in the old war movies, when John Wayne hitches up his rifle and says, "I don't like it, Charlie, it's too quiet out there.")

    "And sure enough. BAM. It happens again."
    Sooo close to the true love of his life: Washington, D.C., cameras, power, public service, celebrity hobnobs, more cameras -- happy days are here again.

    But, oh, no. No, no, no, no -- who surfaces to deja-vu him off his little cloud of happiness? Yes, his worse nightmare, "Little Marco!"

    Wouldn't you know it, the Republicans want Marco back in the Senate. So this week Marco announces he's running for reelection after all.

    And all of a sudden, Charlie has a real opponent in November. He has incumbent David Jolly.

    "Poor Charlie: What's a Guy Gotta Do?."


    Winners and losers

    Adam C. Smith's "Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics."


    "Overrated and overhyped"

    Adam C. Smith: "For at least a year the conventional wisdom has echoed from Democrats and Republicans alike in Washington, Tallahassee and across Florida: U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy is the future of the Democratic Party, a powerhouse statewide candidate and most likely Florida's next U.S. senator."

    Today, two months before the preferred candidate of Barack Obama and Joe Biden faces Alan Grayson in a primary and four and a half before the general election, we're struggling to think of when Florida last saw a candidate who proved as overrated and overhyped as Murphy.

    The Times/Herald and others in recent weeks have shown a pattern with the 33-year-old congressman from Palm Beach County: He appears to be a serial exaggerator of his accomplishments, from inflating the scope of his work on gulf cleanup after the BP oil spill, to falsely claiming to have earned dual college degrees, to overstating his work as a CPA. Last week, a Miami TV station aired a two-part investigative series that portrayed Murphy as an unaccomplished, chronic embellisher.

    "Murphy looking less like a winner in race for Senate."


    Scott disses Rubio

    "Scott doesn't endorse Rubio, praises Beruff."


    FlaGOPer pulls AR-15 giveaway

    "Greg Evers, who's running in the Republican primary for the open seat in Florida's 1st District, announced Monday he's giving away a "Homeland Defender" AR-15 rifle on July 4. But on Monday night, Facebook pulled a post about the contest showing the rifle after receiving numerous complaints for 'promoting graphic violence' and 'describing the purchase or sales of drugs, guns or regulated progress.'" "Florida GOP candidate's AR-15 giveaway post taken down by Facebook."


    Spanish-language ad blasts Rubio

    Alex Leary: "American Bridge 21st Century will launch a Facebook ad against Marco Rubio in key Hispanic areas, casting the senator as untrustworthy and not just because he broke a promise not to seek re-election." "Spanish-language ad blasts Marco Rubio as untrustworthy."



The Blog for Sunday, June 19, 2016

"Somber cloud over Florida Democratic Party’s annual dinner"

    "A somber cloud hung over the Florida Democratic Party’s annual fundraising dinner Saturday, as much of the event focused on a mass shooting that left 50 dead at a gay Orlando nightclub last Sunday."
    Speeches geared toward building party unity heading into the general election were laced with calls for gun control and legal changes to help the LGBT community, which was targeted as part of the attack.
    "Orlando shooting dominates Florida Democrats' annual dinner."


    Subsidizing Walmart

    "When it comes to calling the cops, Walmart is such an outlier compared with its competitors that experts criticized the corporate giant for shifting too much of its security burden onto taxpayers." "Police are called to Walmart more than anywhere else — and you foot the bill."


    ASA suspended for wild social media posts

    "An Orlando-area assistant state attorney has been suspended for social media posts he made in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting saying that"

    "the entire city should be leveled. . . ."

    “All Orlando nightclubs should be permanently closed. With or without random gunmen they are zoos; utter cesspools of debauchery.”

    He also posted Sunday morning that “the entire city [of Orlando] should be leveled. It is a melting pot of 3rd world miscreants and ghetto thugs… Disney may be the happiest place on earth but Orlando is a national embarrassment. If this is an act of a domestic terrorist it is so very important that we don’t publish the religion, name, or motive of the terrorist as not to offend anyone.”

    "State prosecutor suspended over Facebook posts about Orlando."


    "What's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State

    Marc Caputo: "Beruff ready to wreck Rubio – Clinton launches $3.5m Florida air war – Trial of Chilean dictator’s lieutenant plays out in… Orlando – Cashman Canova -- Commemorating ‘Cheeto Jesus’." "Florida Playbook."


    Killing Florida black bears

    "A bear hunt this fall would be broken into three four-day periods, with hunters applying on a first-come, first-served basis for permits that would be specific to dates and areas, under a staff recommendation that will go before the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Wednesday." "Bear-hunt proposal ready for commission."

    Back at the ranch, Nancy Smith explains why she "Favors the Bear Hunt."


    Another fine Jebacy

    "Insane, invisible and in danger: Florida cut $100M from its mental hospitals; chaos quickly followed."


    Rubio called "homophobic," FlaGOP wants him anyway

    "Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy lashed out at Marco Rubio on Saturday, saying he agrees with calls he has been getting from people who have labeled Rubio 'one of the most homophobic senators in this country.'" "Murphy assails Rubio as 'homophobic'."

    Meanwhile, "Florida Republicans Want Rubio to Run Again."

    A pathway for Rubio is opening up: "Rep. Jolly drops Senate bid, to run for reelection."


    DWS fails to get the required 2/3 votes to secure Fla AFL-CIO endorsement

    "For the first time in 24 years, Debbie Wasserman Schultz will not get the endorsement of the AFL-CIO. . . . Wasserman Schultz failed to get the required 2/3 votes to secure the endorsement." "AFL-CIO Says 'No' To Debbie Wasserman Schultz."

    This, over the efforts of SoFla labor: "South Florida unions come to defense of Wasserman Schultz."

    More: "AFL-CIO Snub Aside, DWS Collects a Cartload of S. Florida Union Endorsements" and "Wasserman Schultz and Canova spar over labor endorsements."


    And then there's that privatization thing

    "‘Clerical error’ on Orlando killer’s psychological eval named wrong doctor."


    "Key facts got lost along the way"

    "In the waning hours of their 2016 session, Florida lawmakers approved a bill expanding families' school options across county lines."

    Education choice advocates trumpeted the move as a bold step to let students attend any public school in the state. They equated it with Florida's broad charter school and tax credit scholarship programs.

    But officials closest to the ground were quick to point out that key facts got lost along the way.

    "Legislators allowed students to go to school across county lines; now come the details."


    Meanwhile, the MSM assails Grayson

    "A St. Petersburg lighting company in which Sen. Jeff Brandes is invested received $65,000 worth of work as the result of a grant he helped secure in the 2013 state budget." "Company senator invested in got state money, but he says he was unaware."



The Blog for Sunday, June 05, 2016

"Clinton’s big Florida presence"

    "Hillary Clinton hasn't clinched her party’s presidential nominee, but her campaign is acting like it in Florida, where it has a dozen senior staffers and about 100 paid organizers who are canvassing neighborhoods and starting to register voters for the general election."
    Clinton’s Florida team includes a mix of national Democratic operatives and veterans of President Barack Obama’s campaigns, which won the state twice … Florida Democrats have nervously watched as the number of active registered Republican voters started growing faster than that of Democrats since the last general election — a sign Trump’s campaign might be better organized than it gets credit for.
    "Headquartered in Tampa, Clinton’s big Florida presence underscores the importance of the nation’s biggest swing state, the part-time home of Donald Trump. He probably can’t afford to lose here and expect to win the White House. Recent Florida polls show the two are essentially tied." "Eyes on general election, Clinton showcases big Florida team."


    "Here comes the slime"

    "Ribbons of goop arrive early this year as discharges from Lake Okeechobee foul Florida’s east and west coasts. It’s an environmental disaster." "It’s summer, and here comes the slime."


    "It could cost him a circuit judgeship"

    "Gun rights groups are unleashing their wrath at a Jacksonville Republican who didn’t support a measure to shift the Burden of Proof in Stand Your Ground in the Florida Legislature this year, and it could cost him a circuit judgeship." "Florida Pro-Gun Groups Add on to Derail McBurney's Judgeship Ambitions."


    "Sanders vs. Wasserman Schultz tiff"

    The Sun Sentinel editors: "Bernie Sanders' supporters say Debbie Wasserman Schultz is abrasive and divisive. And Sanders is a collegial unifier? To be fair, Wasserman Schultz also faces criticism from outside the Sanders camp." "Little upside in Sanders vs. Wasserman Schultz tiff."


    "Sharp increase in murders, rapes"

    "Florida's crime rate drops despite sharp increase in murders, rapes."


    "What's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State"

    Marc Caputo: "Hillary’s big Florida team – FL poll: Gary Johnson might hurt Trump -- Planned Parenthood sues Florida -- Ros-Lehtinen challenger: Vote for me; here’s my arrest record." "Florida Playbook."


    Sorry, Rick

    "Election, not Gov. Scott, to fill judicial seat in Palm Beach County, Supreme Court rules."


    "Wildly unethical for [Bondi] to accept this money"

    Scott Maxwell: "New York's attorney general says the evidence is compelling that Trump's get-rich seminars — promoted in both Florida and New York — were merely a "bait and switch scheme" where people paid thousands of dollars for promised training and insight they never received."

    Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, however, decided not to act on similar complaints filed by Floridians.

    She, however, did take money from Trump — while her office said it was "reviewing" the complaints against him. Three days after the Orlando Sentinel wrote a story in 2013 about Floridians who felt scammed by a Trump affiliate, Trump's charitable foundation gave $25,000 to one of Bondi's campaign committees.

    It was wildly unethical for her to accept this money. No self-respecting prosecutor would take money from a potential target.

    Bondi's office always claimed there wasn't enough evidence to make a case. But I wondered how hard her staff worked to actually find any.

    So I asked to see her office's investigative reports for myself.

    Her office took about four weeks to respond and then finally did so with a massive document dump — thousands of pages, many of which were exchanges with the press about why they weren't investigating now and stressing they never had. A copy of an email I sent back in 2013 was included 39 different times.

    All told, they provided 8,491 pages of records.

    Perhaps they thought no one would really look at them.

    If so, they were wrong.

    "8,491 pages raise more flags about Bondi's Trump money."


    "The most exasperating politician"

    The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "Sen. Marco Rubio is becoming the most exasperating politician in Florida. For starters, Rubio's refusal — so far — to run for re-election is exasperating Republican leaders. He is being encouraged to enter a race in which the GOP field lacks name recognition." "Rubio exasperates multiple factions."


    Run Rick, Run!

    "Scott continues to shoot down speculation he'll be Trump's running mate."



The Blog for Tuesday, May 31, 2016

To Replace Grayson in the House . . .

    "The race to succeed Rep. Alan Grayson in the U.S. House has drawn five Democrats looking to capture what some analysts consider a safe seat for their party."
    But not everyone thinks that the district is as securely Democratic as it once was. New boundaries were drawn after redistricting, adding 25,000 new Republican voters at the expense of independents and Democrats.
    "Democrats running to succeed Grayson, who is running for U.S. Senate, include a state senator, Darren Soto; Grayson's former district manager, Susannah Randolph; a former Osceola Democratic chair, Valleri Crabtree; technology consultant Jason Borders; and a biochemist, Dena Minning, who is Grayson's fiancée."
    Two candidates have entered the race on the Republican side, including businessman Wayne Liebnitzky and Kissimmee Vice Mayor Wanda Rentas.

    They're all battling to represent a district that changed less dramatically than others after the state Supreme Court ordered new boundaries late last year. But there were a few significant changes nonetheless.

    "Crowded field looks to succeed Grayson in House."


    FlaGOP afraid of Jebbie

    "State Sen. Don Gaetz sees his legislation allowing school districts to replace state exams with national alternatives like the SAT or ACT as the salvation of the education accountability policies crafted by former Gov. Jeb Bush." "Citing Bush, Gaetz offers alternative-testing post-mortem."


    "What's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State"

    Marc Caputo: "Run, Marco! (for Senate) – Canova: close to $2m raised against Wasserman Schultz – State police raid DeBary City Hall – Libertarian conference." "Florida Playbook."


    The Other Grayson

    "One of Dena Minning’s biggest assets in her congressional bid was her boyfriend: incumbent Alan Grayson, who’s leaving the U.S. House to run for U.S. Senate."

    Now, after Grayson has helped raise her profile and run for his U.S. House seat, he married her over the Memorial Day Weekend and gave her his last name, according to her Monday social-media posts and The Orlando Political Observer.

    Dena Minning promptly became Dena Grayson on Twitter and Facebook. The largely unknown outsider in the Orlando-area district now has a potent tool in running under the name of the incumbent in a crowded Democratic primary. . . .

    The Grayson wedding adds more drama to the 9th Congressional District race, in which Grayson’s former aide and political hand, Susannah Randolph, had been laying the groundwork for the seat. But then she learned last year that her boss’s girlfriend wanted to run and that he would back her.

    "Alan Grayson marries candidate who wants to replace him."



The Blog for Saturday, May 28, 2016

Rubio's next flip-flop

    "The Florida senator leaves the door a crack to reversing his planned retirement from the Senate after one term." "Rubio: 'Unlikely' I'll run for reelection."

    Adam C Smith: "A second Senate term for Marco Rubio?" "Marco Rubio: I'd 'maybe' run for re-election if my friend wasn't." See also "GOP Leadership Urges Rubio Run Again for Senate" and "".

    Meanwhile, "Trump Wants Rubio to Stay in the Senate."


    No Fun

    "The contentious campaigning in the 2016 election has laid waste to durable traditions as Florida and the nation show that allegiance to political parties may be over." "There’s no fun these days in Florida’s political parties."


    "What's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State"

    "Canova: close to $2m raised against Wasserman Schultz – State police raid DeBary City Hall – Libertarian conference kicks off in Orlando."

    However, "Crossroads' President and CEO Steven Law had this to say about the organization's rare decision to endorse in a contested primary: 'Congresswoman and DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz has played a critical role over the past several years in the massive Republican gains we have achieved at the state level, in the U.S. House of Representatives and in the U.S. Senate.'" "American Crossroads Endorses Debbie Wasserman Schultz."


    "A little more real"

    "Raquel Regalado on Friday submitted her resignation from the Miami-Dade school board, paving the way for her run for county mayor." "Race for Miami-Dade mayor gets a little more real: Regalado resigns school board seat."


    "Democrats eyeing big gains in the Florida House"

    "Democrats have been an afterthought in the Florida House in the recent past as Republicans' numbers have grown to supermajority status in the 120-member chamber."

    But along with presidential election cycles comes hope for Democrats looking to boost their numbers at all levels of government.

    The party’s voters historically have not turned out in large numbers in non-presidential years.

    In 2014, for instance, Democratic strongholds of Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade counties had voter turnout of just 44.8 percent, which helped sink Democrat Charlie Crist's gubernatorial campaign. In 2012, those counties had a collective average turnout of 68 percent.

    Those higher numbers, and the fact that Republicans are raising money at a slower clip than past years, have Democrats eyeing big gains in the Florida House, while the GOP will play defense in many hotly contested races

    "Democrats eye House pickups across the state."


    Judge orders partisan races for constitutional officers

    "Orange County candidates for sheriff, tax collector and the four other constitutional offices would be identified on this year's ballot as Democrat, Republican or another party affiliation if a judge's ruling holds." "Judge's ruling nixes nonpartisan elections."


    Lopez-Cantera on the dole

    "The lieutenant governor, who has a nearly $125,000 annual salary, is given no formal responsibilities in the state constitution — which has always left the post as one of the more obscure in state government once campaign season is over." "Lopez-Cantera's official state calendar shrinks as campaign's grows."



The Blog for Thursday, May 26, 2016

"State politicians have been ignoring the will of the people to help workers"

    "Local control is a bedrock principle of conservative thought. But it’s become apparent that when local decision-making is inconvenient for them, Republican state officials do not hesitate to squash it."
    It’s ironic at best, hypocritical at worst.
    "Take Florida, where state politicians have been ignoring the will of the people to help workers for more than a decade."
    After cities across Florida raised wages for city contractors, the Legislature in 2003 passed a law that prevented local jurisdictions from passing their own minimum wage laws for private-sector workers.

    The next year, an overwhelming majority of voters approved a constitutional amendment that reserved cities’ rights to raise private-sector minimum wages.

    Politicians in Tallahassee responded by amending the 2003 law to make it even harder for cities to take care of their own.

    Undeterred, local elected officials all over the state have attempted to help their residents.

    Several counties have issued wage-theft ordinances, and St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman has expanded access to paid leave and raised the minimum wage for city employees.

    In Miami Beach, Mayor Philip Levine has proposed to extend the living wage ordinance that already applies to city contractors to all private-sector employees. It’s a simple measure that would help low-wage workers share in the prosperity of the tourism industry that thrives because of their work.

    It remains to be seen whether state lawmakers will continue to stymie cities’ efforts to make life easier for working families by defending a law that on its face conflicts with the state Constitution.

    "Labor Secretary: Florida is bigfooting local efforts to raise minimum wage."


    Will Jeb get "burst of energy"?

    "Trump: Jeb will get 'burst of energy' and endorse me." See also "Trump: Jeb Bush Will Come Around."


    "A full day of Florida Weird"

    "Why Trump fired aide after Florida clash – Democrats’ Debbie drama -- Protestor uses ‘fart machine’ at scandal-plagued Broward Health – A full day of Florida Weird." "Florida Playbook."


    "Florida Supreme Court will be the best show in town"

    "For legal junkies, the Florida Supreme Court will be the best show in town during a three-day period in June. Justices are poised to hear arguments on a series of high-profile issues, including gambling, the death penalty, guns and medical malpractice, according to a schedule released Wednesday." "Supreme Court Ready to Wade into Major Cases."


    Planned Parenthood alleges harassment

    "Attorneys for Planned Parenthood this week switched gears in their push to have the state pick up the costs of legal fees that accrued while defending abortion clinics against allegations that they provided illegal second trimester abortions."

    Instead of arguing that Planned Parenthood is entitled to attorney's fees because it was the prevailing party in the legal dispute and that the complaints weren't legally sufficient, attorneys now are arguing that the state participated in the proceedings for an improper purpose, including harassment.
    "Planned Parenthood switches legal gears as it seeks attorney’s fees."


    "Florida elections may be a bloodbath"

    "Florida elections may be a bloodbath. Hallelujah!"


    Money for nuthin' . . .

    "Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush left his education foundation behind when he decided to run for president, but now that his 2016 presidential ambitions are behind him, he’s stepped back into his role as chairman for the Foundation for Excellence in Education (ExelinEd)." "Jeb Bush Returns to Education Foundation."



The Blog for Tuesday, May 17, 2016

"Florida 0-for-171 years"

    John Romano: "When it comes to national elections, America is obsessed with Florida's demographics, intrigued with Florida's potential fundraising and desperate for Florida's voters."
    As for our actual politicians, America will pass.
    "Again."
    The former governor who was supposed to be the front-runner and had an abundance of cash, if not charm, dropped out of the presidential race months ago. The handsome, young senator who was supposed to be the future face of the Republican Party couldn't even outlast the smarmy Texan the rest of the Senate hates.

    And now it's looking like our senior senator is probably not on the short list of VP candidates because the Democrats can't risk losing a Senate seat. Or so they say. And our current governor has no chance no matter how much he stalks Donald Trump.

    So, if you're scoring at home, that would make Florida 0-for-171 years.

    Since becoming a bona fide state, Florida has yet to put one of its elected politicians in the White House as either a president or vice president.

    Despite our best efforts to keep our crazy close to the vest, it appears America is on to us.

    "Romano: Vice President Scott? Vice President Crist? Thanks for nothing, America."


    Lie down with dogs

    "Jolly on backing Trump: ‘I don’t know if I will get there by November’."."


    Green cards for sale

    "Foreigners who invest in soccer stadium could get green cards."


    Lie down with dogs (Part 2)

    Marc Caputo: "U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff referred to President Obama as an 'animal' during a recent Florida Republican meeting, prompting opponents from both parties to call on him to apologize." "Rivals condemn Senate candidate for calling Obama an ‘animal’."


    "Congressional Races Look Competitive"

    "The Florida congressional district is set to radically change after the November elections. Between redistricting, some unexpected retirements and four representatives running for the U.S. Senate, almost half of the Sunshine State’s 27 congressional seats are in play in the primaries or the general election. With that many seats up for grabs, Florida can expect some differences in how it's represented starting in 2017." "Florida Congressional Races Look Competitive After Redistricting, Retirements."


    Corporate giant shifts its security burden onto taxpayers

    "When it comes to calling the cops, Walmart is such an outlier compared with its competitors that experts criticized the corporate giant for shifting too much of its security burden onto taxpayers. Several local law enforcement officers also emphasized that all the hours spent at Walmart cut into how often they can patrol other neighborhoods and prevent other crimes." "Police are called to Walmart more than anywhere else; you foot the bill."


    "What's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State"

    Marc Caputo: "Rubio’s media-mocking tweetstorm – Trump’s new pollster – Cuban immigrant wave increases – Florida reports tourism record -- Will Racist McShootface return?" "Florida Playbook."

    More Caputo: "Grayson says NYT ‘full of [expletive] but errs himself – Beruff calls Obama an ‘animal’ – Venezuela in crisis – State passes up $250m for foreclosure help – Florida wildlife gone wild." "Florida Playbook."

    "Grayson’s own campaign corrects him on claim that Times is ‘full of shit’."


    Establishment goes after Grayson

    "For the second time in a week, Alan Grayson got into a heated public argument about the ethics investigation into his hedge fund and other activities." "Grayson gets into heated TV interview about ethics investigation."


    Cream rises . . .

    "Don Gaetz floated for University of West Florida presidency."