FLORIDA POLITICS
Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary

 

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Welcome To Florida Politics

Thanks for visiting. On a 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 Saturday, April 25, 2015

Straw candidates: a Miami thing

    "Federal prosecutors on Friday accused former Miami Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia’s ex-chief of staff of secretly financing a ringer tea-party candidate in 2010 to draw votes away from a Republican rival — an illegal scheme that appeared to inspire a more serious copycat case two years later."
    Jeffrey Garcia was charged with conspiracy to give a campaign contribution of less than $25,000, a misdemeanor offense. Prosecutors say Garcia, no relation to the former congressman, put up the $10,440 qualifying fee for the shadow candidate, Jose Rolando “Roly” Arrojo, to pose as a GOP primary challenger to David Rivera.

    Arrojo was also charged Friday with the same misdemeanor.

    Rivera is suspected of following a similar playbook in 2012 to prop up a Democratic candidate against Joe Garcia. Rivera has not been charged, although two others in that case — the straw candidate and Rivera’s ex-girlfriend — were convicted.

    "Jeffrey Garcia himself confessed his actions to prosecutors three years after the fact, his attorney said. The charge, filed in U.S. District Court, paves the way for Garcia, 42, to surrender to authorities next week and then plead guilty in the hope of receiving a light sentence. The same outcome is likely for Arrojo, 41."
    The former congressman, identified in the charging document as “Candidate A,” has long denied any involvement and has not been charged. . . .

    The scale of the case pales in comparison to the one surrounding Rivera, the Republican who preceded Joe Garcia in Congress. Rivera’s ex-girlfriend, Ana Alliegro, told a grand jury that he masterminded a scheme that secretly funneled more than $81,000 to the straw candidacy of Democrat Justin Lamar Sternad in 2012. Rivera covered their tracks and helped Alliegro twice escape to Nicaragua, according to Alliegro.

    Both Alliegro and Sternad served prison time. Rivera has, for now, avoided a similar fate and maintained his innocence.

    "Feds charge ex-congressional chief of staff with secretly funding 2010 ringer candidate." See also "Former girlfriend testifies against ex-Rep. David Rivera, questions lack of indictment in campaign scandal" and "Federal judge calls out David Rivera, sentences Ana Alliegro to six months of house arrest."


    Blue-green algae bloom

    "No water will be discharged from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie Canal until state agencies run tests on a possible blue-green algae bloom just outside the lake at the western end of the St. Lucie Canal, officials have confirmed." "Algae Bloom Tests Halt Lake Okeechobee Discharges into St. Lucie Canal."


    Old men at work

    "Abortion bill headed to Gov. Rick Scott." See also "Abortion waiting period bill goes to Gov. Scott."


    "Free-market" fools

    "With only a week left in the regular session, Florida lawmakers remain locked in a dispute Friday over health-care spending, putting billions of dollars on the line for hospitals and health-care access at stake for 800,000 low-income Floridians." "Talks, but no progress in health-care budget impasse." See also "Despite $600 million offer from House, Florida Senate refuses to back off Medicaid expansion."


    Prison deform

    "The Florida House approves a prison reform plan as lawmakers commit to creating a joint committee to finish the job." "Legislators take ownership of prison reform with new plan."


    Weekly Roundup

    "Weekly Roundup: Should I Stay or Should I Go?." See also "Education Week in Review: FSA Testing Glitches, Charter School Legislation."


    "Lawmakers dismiss what Floridians need"

    The Miami Herald editors: "State lawmakers continue to dismiss what Floridians need, want." "Misplaced priorities."


    Charter madness

    "A bill to allow students to cross county lines and attend the charter school of their choice passed through the Florida House Friday, expanding the options for student school choice in the state of Florida." "House Passes Bill Allowing Students to Cross County Lines for School."


    Rubio on fire

    "After launching his bid for the Republican presidential nomination earlier this month, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is moving up in the national polls though his campaign team is cautioning supporters about his momentum."

    The Rubio campaign tampered down expectations after Quinnipiac University released a poll on Thursday showing the Florida Republican atop the GOP field and running closest against former U.S .Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the heavy favorite for the Democratic nomination.

    Rubio takes 15 percent of Republicans, with former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., in second with 13 percent followed by Gov. Scott Walker, R-Wis., with 11 percent. No other Republican breaks into double digits.

    The poll also has Clinton ahead of Rubio but the Republican running within the margin of error. Clinton leads 45 percent to 43 percent. The next closest Republican is U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., at 4 percent behind Clinton. Bush and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, do the worst against Clinton, losing by 7 percent each.

    "Marco Rubio's Team Throws Cold Water on 2016 Poll Surge."


    Clinton Staffs Up

    "After launching her second bid for the White House earlier this month, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, heavy favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016, is starting to staff up in the Sunshine State -- bringing on board a native Floridian and seasoned political operative to lead the charge here." "Hillary Clinton Staffs Up for Grassroots Assault in Florida."


    Lincoln rolls over

    "Hillsborough Republicans will welcome former Gov. Jeb Bush back to Florida as keynote speaker for their June 19 Lincoln Day Dinner." "Jeb Bush to appear at Hillsborough’s Lincoln Day Dinner on June 19."


The Blog for Thursday, April 23, 2015

Scott threatens vetoes

    "Faced with a budget impasse and the prospect of losing his tax cut plan, Gov. Rick Scott cornered key senators on Wednesday to remind them of his priorities and, some said, suggest he could veto their bills if they don’t pass them." "Scott threatens vetoes as session impasse continues."

    See also Gov. Rick Scott calls for special session, says tax cuts may be sacrificed to end stalemate."


    Grubbing for wingnuts

    Jeb Bush says "he would support repeal of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) -- executive actions from Obama allowing around 5 million illegals to stay in the U.S. without facing being deported. As he nears a presidential bid, Bush has drawn fire from conservatives on immigration. Bush has been a vocal critic of the Arizona immigration law and has backed immigration reform." "Jeb Bush Vows to Repeal Obama's Immigration Executive Actions."

    There's plenty of room in the clown car:

    "U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., a possible U.S. Senate candidate in 2016, took a larger role in the fight against President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law on Wednesday, leading the charge to end congressional exemptions from the law." "Ron DeSantis Leads the Charge Against Congressional Obamacare Exemptions."


    Florida farmers worry

    "Congress will be talking up the possibility of expanding agricultural markets to Cuba – a shift encouraged by U.S. farmers and some members of Congress." "As some U.S. farmers see markets in Cuba, those in Florida see worries."


    Privatization follies

    "The company, American Institutes for Research, acknowledges it failed to follow its own protocols but says it has learned its lesson this time." "Florida lawmakers rip testing vendor after second round of glitches."


    Chamber hops into the clown car

    "As Gov. Rick Scott threatens lawmakers with a special session and vetoes of their bills, the Florida Chamber of Commerce, one of the governor’s biggest political allies, dropped its support of expanding Medicaid under Obamacare."

    The chamber’s health care proposal had included drawing down $50 billion in federal money to expand Medicaid if the plan included spending protections proposed by the group. Scott and House Republicans oppose Medicaid expansion.
    "Florida chamber withdraws support of Medicaid expansion."


    "Waldo Bill"

    "Legislature passes 'Waldo Bill' to outlaw ticket quotas."


    "It is naked hypocrisy"

    "It is naked hypocrisy -- and proof that they don't really want accountability. They just want to drive families away from public schools." "Florida private schools rely more on public vouchers - without public 'accountability'."


    Old men

    "Women who want an abortion in Florida will have to wait 24 hours under a bill that passed the House on Wednesday. The Senate will likely vote on its version of the bill, which mirrors the House's, on Friday. It is expected to pass." "Women likely to face 24-hour waiting period for abortion." See also "House passes 1-day wait before abortion" and "Florida House approves 24-hour waiting period for abortions."


    Medicaid lawsuit gets Texas backing

    "Gov. Rick Scott received the backing of Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Monday over his intention to sue the federal government for allegedly “coercing” Florida to accept Medicaid expansion." "Gov. Scott lawsuit over Medicaid expansion gets Texas backing."


    Big of him

    "Florida state Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, said Tuesday the he does not support a proposal allowing private agencies to deny adoptions by gay and lesbian couples on religious or moral grounds." "Florida Sen. Gaetz: I don’t support bill allowing private agencies to deny gay adoptions." Related: "Senate committee doesn’t vote on whether private agencies can deny gay adoptions."


    Senate rejects League of Cities' pension flip-flop

    "The Senate unanimously approved legislation Wednesday revamping how local pensions for police officers and firefighters are funded, bringing closer to resolution a long-running debate over the retirement plans."

    The bill (SB 172), which now heads to the House, cleared the upper chamber 36-0 after less than 10 minutes of debate. It relies on a deal struck between cities and unions last year --- one that cities have backed away from after the re-election of Gov. Rick Scott in November. . . .

    The proposal has run into resistance this year from the Florida League of Cities, which supported the bill in 2014.

    "Florida Senate Passes Plan to Shore up Local Pensions."


    That privacy thing

    "Amid an ongoing national debate about police tactics, Florida may soon place limits on who is allowed to access video taken by body cameras worn by law enforcement officers. The Florida Senate on Wednesday voted 36-2 for a bill that would keep confidential police videos that are shot in a house, a health care facility or any place that a 'reasonable person would expect to be private.'" "Florida Senate votes to limit access to police camera videos."


The Blog for Monday, April 20, 2015

Health-care battle

    "Health-care battle puts nearly everything in legislative limbo." See also "Gov. Scott to sue feds over Medicaid expansion" and "".


    "Pied Piper of Humbug"

    Nancy Smith: "Everglades Foundation, Pied Piper of Humbug and Hype."


    Rubio "folded like a cheap shotgun"

    Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO) pointed out that "the minute Rush Limbaugh criticized him, he folded like a cheap shotgun." "McCaskill: Rubio 'Folded Like A Cheap Shotgun' On Immigration Bill."


    "Absurd election"

    The Tampa Trib editors: "In absurd election, the Tribune recommends Jamie Grant for House District 64."


    Online voter registration

    The Miami Herald editors: "State lawmakers should approve online voter registration." "A vote of confidence."


    "A new layer of skepticism"

    "The Bush family name adds a new layer of skepticism to the lengthy, detailed decision process voters endure in the nation’s first primary state." "Bush follows Bush on campaign trail in New Hampshire." See also "In New Hampshire, signs of strain emerge between Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio" and "Jeb Bush: Is he 2016's Mitt Romney?"


    "It was a bro-mance"

    Carl Hiaasen: "New Jersey Democrat and his doctor friend were just looking out for each other." "It wasn’t corruption — it was a bro-mance."


The Blog for Saturday, April 11, 2015

Rick Scott's triple twisting back flop-flip

    Ed Dean: "From 2011 to 2012, Rick Scott was against Medicaid expansion in Florida. Then he reversed his position and, until last year, he supported it. It’s now 2015 and he has reversed his position again." "Pam Bondi, Dan Webster on; Rick Scott, Bob Buckhorn off."


    Florida’s political parties rake in corporate cash

    "Florida’s political parties are taking in millions of dollars from many corporations that have a stake in what happens during this year’s legislative session."

    New reports filed late Friday show that . . . The Republican Party of Florida, along with a separate fundraising account run by the GOP senate president, took in nearly $7.4 million. . . .

    The Florida Democratic Party received roughly $2.75 million in cash donations.

    "Florida’s political parties rake in money during session."


    Weekly Roundup

    "On a week when Jimmy Buffett came to the Capitol, one major piece of legislation ended up happily ever after. But others were getting to where they might need to do the desperation samba. As for the fate of other legislation? Only time will tell." "Weekly Roundup: Bills Living, Dying and Somewhere In Between."


    "Florida: comedy gold"

    "Why does Dave Barry live in Florida? It's comedy gold, the humorist told Bill Maher on Friday's 'Real Time With Bill Maher.'"

    We've turned strangeness into an industry. Perhaps the state should establish a bureau of weirdness and set up museums about Florida lore, crimes and elections. Gather all those late-night put-downs about Florida in one place and invite tourists in. Sure, we've been the butt of the joke often, but we're not boring. Come visit. You'll see. Imagine the commercials with Gov. Rick Scott: "Anything can happen in Florida. I was elected governor. Twice." . . . On the Maher show, Dave Barry joked that he had moved to Florida from the United States. Florida is different, and we have the comedy gold to prove it.
    "Florida: We are comedy gold."


    Gay adoption ban

    "House, Senate take different approaches on gay adoption ban." "House passes religious exemption to block gay adoptions."


    "Detzner's trivial opposition to online registration characteristic of his inept handling of his election responsibilities"

    The Tampa Tribune editors: "A microphone picked up a frustrated Pinellas Sen. Jack Latvala calling Florida Secretary of State Ken Detzner’s testimony about online voter registration as “so much ...” — with Latvala using a salty term to finish his comment."

    If he was a bit profane, Latvala was on target. He, his fellow lawmakers and all Florida voters have good reason to be upset with Detzner, whose trivial opposition to online registration is characteristic of his inept handling of his election responsibilities.

    Even as Detzner made an uninvited appearance before the Senate this week in an effort to sabotage online registration legislation, his department was trying to explain the inadvertent release of voter information from high-risk individuals, including law enforcement officials, judges and crime victims. The department’s media release tried to minimize the blunder, but there was no hiding that these individuals’ personal information had been compromised.

    "Worry about voters, not bureaucrats."



The Blog for Friday, April 10, 2015

Batista-dead-enders run wild

    "Florida lawmakers have lambasted efforts by President Barack Obama to normalize relations with Cuba,"
    an initiative that continues today with Obama’s appearance at the Summit of the Americas in Panama.
    And what about that Cuban Consulate?
    Local leaders in Miami, with the nations biggest population of Cuban-Americans, have also said they have no interest in seeing a Cuban consulate there. But many leaders in Tampa — a city with historic ties older than Miami’s and also just a short plane flight away — have embraced the idea.

    Both the Tampa chamber and the Tampa City Council have spoken out in favor of a consulate here, as has U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Tampa Democrat.

    "Lawmakers' Cuba condemnation may hurt Tampa's outreach." More: "Warming Cuba relations may bring consulate back."

    Meanwhile, "Miami mayor would fight putting Cuban consulate in the city ." See also "Miami Rejects Hosting Cuban Consulate, But Tampa Wants It."

    Related: "Cuban dissidents heckled at Americas Summit," "Cuba, Venezuela tensions rise in run-up to hemispheric meeting," "Poll in Cuba: Obama more popular than Fidel, Raúl Castro," "How secret poll in Cuba was done," "Abel Prieto: Cuba does not dialogue with puppets of the United States" and "Orlando airport will offer flights to Cuba on July 8."


    "Gay adoption bill facing showdown"

    "A proposal allowing private agencies to deny gay adoptions by claiming religious or moral objections passed the state House on Thursday but faces uncertainty after the Senate signaled opposition to similar language." "Gay adoption bill facing showdown in state Senate."


    "There’ll Be Less Testing. But Not Much Less"

    "Rejoice, Students: There’ll Be Less Testing. But Not Much Less. House Approves Roll-Back.." See also "Legislature approves scaling back of school testing" and "House votes to reduce number of state-required school tests."

    And then there's this: "Bill to Cut High-Stakes Testing Heads to Rick Scott for Signing."


    Good luck with that

    "The South Miami city commission unanimously passed a resolution sponsored by Mayor Philip Stoddard in support of removing barriers to customer-sited solar power and support for the Floridians for Solar Choice ballot petition." "South Miami mayor, commission: Floridians should have greater choices to buy solar energy."


    Its called Employment-at-will

    "Workers say Methodist church day-care center fired them for being gay."


    Nary a spine in sight

    "The Florida House overwhelmingly passed a $690 million tax cut package, but the Senate shows no signs of agreeing to the plan." "Florida House passes $690 million tax cut package."


    Second amendment stoopid

    "House gambling bill clears first hurdle." See also "Bill for concealed carry in evacuations headed to Gov. Rick Scott."


    "Rubio gets a Super PAC"

    "Sen. Marco Rubio has already used his Reclaim America PAC, which is limited to $5,000 donations, to build a political team that will run his campaign as well as grow a national fundraising network." "Marco Rubio gets a Super PAC, fueling 2016 money race."


    Batista-dead-enders in a dither over terror designation

    "Decision on Cuba terror designation will come soon, Obama says."


    Senate committee proposes to expand gaming

    "While the House scales back its broad bill, a Senate committee took its narrow bill and broadened it to expand gaming" "Turmoil continues over fate of gambling bills."



The Blog for Thursday, April 09, 2015

Medicaid expansion games

    The Miami Herald editors, "This is so sick" ("The debate over Medicaid expansion is not a game of chicken"). The Tampa Trib editors: "An about-face for Gov. Scott."

    Meanwhile, "In war over Medicaid expansion, Senate panel declines to confirm Scott’s pick for surgeon general."


    House bill permits adoption agency discrimination

    "House Democrats were unable to gut a bill that would allow adoption agencies to discriminate against LGBT parents based on their religious beliefs. Just an hour later, senators upheld language that strikes down an existing ban on gays adopting children." "House, Senate take different approaches on gay adoption ban."


    Eisnaugle "coup"

    "Republican members of the most recent class of lawmakers elected to the House are pushing back hard on reports in blogs that members are attempting to overthrow Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, R-Orlando, as House Speaker for 2020-2022." "Freshman House members push back against Eisnaugle 'coup' reports."

    More: "Is Eric Eisnaugle’s Speakership in Trouble Over His Handling of Gay Adoption?"


    Death Sentence?

    "The fate of a bill to allow guns on college campuses faces an uncertain future after it was removed from the Senate Judiciary Committee’s meeting agenda this week. Gun rights groups have speculated the bill’s removal came at the hands of Senate President Andy Gardiner, who can ultimately decide whether a bill dies or lives to see another day in the Florida Legislature." "Is Campus Carry Bill Under a Death Sentence?."


    Murphy Kerfuffle

    Nancy Smith: "Democrats close to Florida party leadership are buzzing over the bold call Monday from Democratic progressives to replace senatorial candidate Patrick Murphy with Alan Grayson -- and an equally bold, retaliatory call the very next day from a party executive chair to disband the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida."

    Fuming over the attempt to sabotage FDP's choice to run for Marco Rubio's seat, Celeste Bush, DEC chair of St. Lucie County, said in an email distributed Tuesday, "Yesterday an unprecedented action was taken by Susan Smith, (president) of the 'Democratic' Progressive Caucus and Nancy Jacobson, an elected DNC member. "They called a press conference to discredit Congressman Patrick Murphy’s run for U.S. Senate. You may have seen some of the news stories."
    "Decertify Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida, Urges Party Leader."

    Background: "Decertify Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida, Urges Party Leader."


    "Along comes Annette"

    Nancy Smith: "For four years Charlie Crist gave me a reason to get up in the morning. I've been so down since he left my computer screen. Then, just when I thought that 6 a.m. bounce to the bathroom sink was over -- eureka! -- along comes Annette Taddeo." "Bless You, Annette Taddeo, Gift That Keeps on Giving."


    Detzner under fire

    "Secretary of State Ken Detzner appeared before House and Senate committees to oppose online voter registration, calling the idea a “flashing yellow light” fraught with security risks." "Florida’s top elections official under fire on two fronts." See also "Detzner opposes online voter registration before frustrated senators."


    "An interesting accounting maneuver”

    "Customers of Duke Energy Florida could get $2 or $3 reductions in their monthly bills through a financing plan that received support from lawmakers Tuesday." "Senators back Duke Energy plan that could cut bills $2 or $3."


    Jeb papers over drop in black college enrollment

    "As he courts Republicans across the country, Jeb Bush boasts that an executive order he signed that ended race-based college admissions in Florida upheld conservative principles while helping minorities."

    "We ended up having a system where there were more African American and Hispanic kids attending our university system than prior to the system that was discriminatory," the former governor and likely presidential contender said recently at a conference of conservative activists.

    But at Florida's two premier universities, black enrollment is shrinking. At the University of Florida in Gainesville and at Florida State University in Tallahassee, administrators say they worry that the trend risks diminishing their standing as world-class universities and hurts the college experience.

    Jeb is playing word (numbers) games:
    The growth in minority enrollment that Bush now points to is primarily a result of the state's booming Hispanic population, which has led to a large increase in the share of Hispanic students attending Florida colleges. Between 2000 and 2013, the numbers of Hispanics, African Americans and other ethnic groups have risen as the statewide university system has gotten much bigger, with freshman enrollment growing 35 percent.

    As a proportion of the overall student population, black enrollment has declined — most notably at UF and FSU. At the time Bush enacted the policy, black students made up 18 percent of all freshmen at Florida colleges. That dropped to 15 percent by 2009.

    "After Bush order, black enrollment shrinks at Florida universities."


    Florida drones

    "A bill identifying specific legal uses for unmanned drones stalled in a Senate committee Tuesday as members said they were concerned about 'unintended consequences.'" "Bill to restrict use of drones postponed in committee."


    Gambling bills

    "While the House scales back its broad bill, a Senate committee took its narrow bill and broadened it to expand gaming." "Turmoil continues over fate of gambling bills." See also "Not Quite Gambling's Year in the Florida Legislature ... Again."


    Batista-dead-enders in a dither

    "There are conflicting reports this week about when the U.S. will move to withdraw Cuba from its list of state sponsors of terrorism. No matter when, people in Florida who have a stake in the change are preparing for it, including professors at USF." "Florida researchers eager to see Cuba off U.S. terror list."


    "Modest prison reforms"

    "Prison reform advocates and families said a House bill approved Tuesday in committee doesn’t go far enough to fix the troubled prison system." "Despite appeals, House advances modest prison reforms."


    Another Jeb flop

    "In October 2003, Jeb Bush unveiled one of the largest economic projects in Florida history: a $500 million plan to bring Scripps Research Institute to the state and build a biomedical hub he said would generate nearly 50,000 jobs in 15 years."

    As governor, he described it as a "seminal moment,” comparable to Walt Disney World's arrival in Florida in 1971, which brought billions of dollars in tourism, spawned tens of thousands of jobs, transformed the economy and created the world’s most-visited vacation resort.

    Today, as Bush leads possible Republican candidates in the 2016 race for the U.S. presidency, the missed projections and mixed results of his signature economic policy as governor — a biotechnology gamble that has yet to pay off — illustrate problems he could face in explaining his own record while promoting a vision of “real conservative success."

    By nearly all measures, the plan to transform bedroom communities into biotech corridors by attracting Scripps and other research institutes has fallen short of expectations, despite $1.3 billion in state, city and county funding.

    Making an early case for his presidential ambitions, Bush has stressed that government shouldn’t be in the business of picking winning industries and that market forces should do that job.

    "I’m not here to take sides and I don’t think the government should either," he said in a speech on Feb. 4.

    But his Florida record tells another story.

    "How Jeb Bush's big bet on Florida economy may come back to haunt him." "Former Gov. Jeb Bush’s bet on creating a biotech cluster on the Treasure Coast hasn’t paid off as intended, and could help lead to the downgrade of Port St. Lucie’s debt."
    The news comes as Bush is gearing up for a possible run for President. A recent story from Reuters noted that other parts of Bush’s bio tech bet, like the Scripps Research Institute in Jupiter, are falling far short of expectations.

    A recent state report also showed the Innovation Incentive Fund, set up by Bush to aid the biotech sector, provides a negative return on investment for the state, although the fund is envisioned for more long-range returns.

    "Jeb Bush biotech bet could lead to downgrade for Treasure Coast city." See also "Moody's places Port St. Lucie (FL) under review for possible downgrade."



The Blog for Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Jeb takes "Hispandering" a bit too far

    "Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he made a mistake when he self-identified as a Hispanic on his 2009 voter registration form."
    The mistake was first reported by the New York Times, which said a copy of his Miami-Dade voter registration form had the Hispanic box checked in the “Race/Ethnicity” section. Bush is trying to bush [sic] off the gaffe, writing on Twitter “My mistake! I don’t think I’ve fooled anyone!” It was a response to a Tweet from his son, Jeb Bush Jr., which joked “Come on dad, think you checked the wrong box.”
    "Jeb Bush identified himself as Hispanic on voter form, calls it a 'mistake'."

    Jeb ain't Hispanic, or Floridian for that matter, although he does have "strong ties to British and other European royalty."

    More on the GOP's habit of taking Hispandering a bit too far. "How Hispanic Is Jeb Bush?" See also "How Hispanic is the G.O.P.?"


    Another Scott flip-flop

    "In Reversal, Scott Opposes Expanding Poor’s Health Insurance and Opens $2.2 Billion Budget Hole." The Tampa Trib editors write that "Gov. Rick Scott’s frustration with federal officials who are playing hardball with the state over federal funds for hospitals that serve low-income patients is understandable. But his abrupt reversal on his support for Medicaid expansion is unlikely to help the state’s bargaining position or poor patients in need." "An about-face for Gov. Scott."

    "The fight over expanding Medicaid to cover 800,000 more people in Florida took another twist Monday, as a statement released by Gov. Rick Scott hinting at his opposition to expansion set off a ripple through the state government and health care circles. . . . Should Scott ultimately oppose Medicaid expansion, it would be a reversal of his previous position." "Gov. Scott hints at opposition to Medicaid expansion."

    See also "Gov. Rick Scott backs off support of Medicaid expansion," "Rick Scott's Opposition to Health Expansion Adds Fuel to the Fire" and "Gov. Scott weighs in on Medicaid divide, opposes expansion."


    Citizen lobbyists

    "Florida’s citizen lobbyists patrol the halls of the Capitol in Tallahassee and advocate for change, one issue and one lawmaker at a time." "Citizen lobbyists endure bureaucracy at Florida’s Capitol as they promote their causes."


    "Taddeo Takes on Curbelo"

    "Former Miami-Dade Democratic Party Chairwoman Annette Taddeo, best known for being former Gov. Charlie Crist’s running mate on the 2014 Democratic gubernatorial ticket, is running against U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla." "Playing Up Charlie Crist Ties, Annette Taddeo Takes on Carlos Curbelo."


    Atwater Leads Over Less Known Democrats

    "Jeff Atwater Leads Over Less Known Democrats in Early 2016 Senate Poll."


    "Class-size foes may finally prevail"

    "Backed by school districts that struggle annually to meet the strict caps, the Florida Legislature is poised to end penalties for school districts when classes get too big." "After a dozen years, Florida class-size foes may finally prevail."


    Because maybe he's not smart?

    Helen Aguirre Ferré: "It’s surprising that a smart conservative like Indiana Gov. Mike Pence did not foresee the backlash." "Changing U.S. culture challenges the GOP."


    Arrest me

    "University Police Chiefs Violated Law Testifying Against Campus Carry, Says Ethics Complaint."


    "Jeb the most conservative governor of a large state since Reagan"

    "When Jeb Bush, the most conservative governor of a large state since Ronald Reagan (by some metrics — taxes, school choice — Bush was a more conservative governor than Reagan), is called a threat to conservatism, Republicans are with Alice in Wonderland." "Sen. Cruz is aiming at the wrong Republicans."


    Marijuana Still Polls Well

    "Medical Marijuana Still Polls Well in Florida After Amendment 2 Loss."


    Rot has infected the Florida prison system

    "Further evidence of the rot that has infected the system surfaced last week when three Ku Klux Klan members who worked at a Florida prison were charged with plotting to kill a black inmate after his release in retaliation for a fight." "House falls far short of prison reform."