"The overwhelming majority enjoyed by the Florida GOP in the state House grew a little bit Tuesday when Rep. Sheri McInvale, a second-term Orlando Democrat, switched parties to become a Republican."
"McInvale said the changing demographics in her district — more Republican-leaning Hispanic populations and more affluent people moving into downtown Orlando — prompted her to make the switch." "Orlando lawmaker switches to Republican"
A lot of discussion about this over it FLA Politics: "McInvale Jumps Ship - Joins GOP" and "Is the McInvale defection bad news for Democrats?".
Throw The Bums Out
If the judges keep insisting on following the Florida Constitution, throw the bums out:
A key architect of Florida's education policy on Tuesday said he wants to oust the Supreme Court justices who declared the state's private school voucher law unconstitutional."Voucher decision angers legislator".
The high court last week threw out the voucher program, a cornerstone of Republican Gov. Jeb Bush's education reforms, in a 5-2 vote.
Three who voted in the majority -- Chief Justice Barbara Pariente and Justices R. Fred Lewis and Peggy Quince -- are up for merit retention this fall. Pariente and Lewis were appointed to the court by former Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles. Quince was appointed jointly by Chiles and Bush.
"I'm against all three of them. Get me their names so I can start a political action committee against them," said Rep. Ralph Arza, R-Hialeah, chairman of the House Pre-K-12 Committee.
"A deluge of constituent e-mail favoring a late August start for the school year prompted members of a House committee to throw aside their usual support for local control and approve the legislation Tuesday." "House panel OKs bill to delay school starting dates". See also "Do school years start too soon?"
"Closed to the Public"
"President Bush will travel to West Palm Beach on Thursday to speak at a Republican National Committee fund-raising reception. The event, to be held at a private home in Palm Beach, is closed to the public." "President Raising FL Money".
"Florida graded F"
"Florida graded F for anti-smoking programs".
"A spokeswoman for state CFO Tom Gallagher might have broken Florida law when she failed to tell her boss and a Miami Herald reporter that she was recording an interview." "Secret recording upsets Gallagher".
"Bush on Tuesday said the idea of splitting up large school districts is worth considering, and a House committee approved a bill that would give voters the right to do that after a Tampa Bay area mayor spoke in favor of the concept." "School Districts May Split".
A Bit Much ...
don't you think: "Florida An Ethical Example For GOP".
"Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, drew criticism from a Senate committee Tuesday after being a no-show for the second month in a row on legislation he filed to prohibit police from using stun guns on children." "Bill's sponsor a no-show -- again".
"If Florida hopes to wean itself off of pricey natural gas, the legislature will have to create an energy policy that both encourages conservation and provides incentives for alternatives such as solar roof panels, utilities industry and regulatory officials told a Senate panel Tuesday." "Florida focuses on reducing natural gas dependance".
Finding His Religion
"While most Florida voters spent last year ignoring the looming 2006 race, Gallagher - a longtime moderate Republican who used to call himself 'pro-choice' on abortion - has quietly been winning over leader after leader among Florida's increasingly important Christian conservative activists." "Gallagher fast making inroads with the religious right".
State House District 70
"He's lived in Sarasota County for less than a year, yet real estate broker Doug Holder says that's long enough to know he wants to represent the county in the state Legislature. A month after he moved to Sarasota in August, the Republican filed to run for the District 70 seat. Holder, who has already put $50,000 of his own money into the race, said he knows the other three GOP candidates in the race will try to make an issue of his short tenure in Sarasota, but he says it shouldn't be an issue for the voters." "Newcomer pursues seat for District 70".
"South Florida's Democratic legislators have plans for how the state can spend almost half a billion dollars in extra sales taxes from consumer spending after last year's hurricanes." "S. Florida legislators have plans for sales tax revenue".
"The biggest Florida political check was written in 2003 after SunCruz had entered bankruptcy. It went to the Florida Leadership Association, a political action committee created by Rep. Bob Allen, R-Merritt Island, to promote his aborted run for House speaker." "Abramoff's SunCruz money becomes political liability".
"A national physicians' group issued a scathing report Tuesday on the state of U.S. emergency care, giving Florida a C-minus grade for not ensuring that residents have adequate access to hospital emergency rooms." "Report raps Florida hospitals for lapses in emergency care".
Our Education Governor
"Gov. Jeb Bush appointed Kathleen Shanahan, his former chief of staff, to the Florida Board of Education and reappointed two other members Tuesday." That makes a lot of sense, inasmuch as she is an expert in educational issues: "Shanahan, 46, of Tampa, now is chief executive officer of WRS Infrastructure & Environment Inc., an environmental consulting, engineering and remediation company." "Bush names Shanahan to state Board of Education".
"When Tom Feeney got to Washington in 2003, he knew right where to get his ticket punched. Feeney made a beeline for then-House Majority Leader Tom DeLay and jumped on his leg like a year-old Labrador in need of neutering. The liberal Public Campaign Action Fund once ranked Feeney as the nation's lawmaker most in the 'pocket' of DeLay. It was a proud day for the Oviedo Republican." "Tangled webs may catch up with Feeney".