"One of this administration's biggest failures [and there have been many] has been inadequate oversight of outsourced private contracts." "Efficiency debate begins anew".
"Man gets 5 years for misusing school voucher money".
"With his education legacy threatened by a state Supreme Court ruling against vouchers, Gov. Jeb Bush is revving up his recently resurrected private foundation to defend and tout his education achievements." "Bush revives educational foundation".
Florida Lags Behind
"Florida was ahead of the curve in dumping punch cards and embracing electronic voting, but it hasn't been part of the latest national trend toward requiring a ballot "paper trail" to accompany electronic machines, a new report says." "Florida voting still lacking paper trail".
"According to a House staff analysis, the bill could cost between $725,000 and $2 million the first year because of the increased testing. Given what's at stake and the size of the state budget, the expense is minuscule. The same analysis warns of constitutional issues between the legislative and judicial branches over which sets rules for courts, but surely there are minds in Tallahassee that can work out how to reach a goal that everyone should agree on: If there are other Alan Crotzers [who 'was released after the state stole more than half his life'], they deserve every chance to get back what remains of their lives." "End the DNA deadline".
League of Conservation Voters Hammers Harris
From a League of Conservation Voters press release: "The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) today strongly criticized Rep. Harris' most recent comments as further evidence of her appalling lack of credibility on one of the most important concerns for Florida - offshore drilling." "Even Rep. Katherine Harris Admits She "Flip-Flops" on Offshore Drilling".
"More than $1 million was raised for the Charlie Crist campaign as about 400 supporters from throughout Florida gathered at the seaside Mar-a-Lago Club of Donald J. Trump, who hosted the event." "Crist For Governor Campaign Raises $1 Million At Mar-a-Lago Event".
Bush's plan to diversify the types of fuel used to make electricity in Florida doesn't do enough to promote renewable sources like solar power, a group of environmentalists said Tuesday."Bush's energy plan falls short, critics say".
They also criticized Bush's energy plan for relying too heavily on nuclear power and coal and for not doing enough to slow global warming, and said Florida doesn't spend as much as other states on clean energy initiatives.
Bush administration officials acknowledge the plan may not have goals as lofty as those in some states but argue that promoting renewable energy sources is one of the Bush plan's central themes.
"A committee calling for an independent redistricting commission in Florida passed a major hurdle last week -- winning state Election Division certification for 611,009 voter signatures required to get the proposed constitutional amendment on the fall ballot." "Closer to fairness".
GOoPer "Powerhouse" Wants Oil Drilling in Florida Waters
"Declaring it will ease soaring gas prices, the Republican chairman of the Senate Energy Committee filed legislation Tuesday that takes direct aim at Florida waters." "Bill would allow oil exploration closer to Fla. coast" ("A Senate powerhouse filed legislation to open Florida waters to oil and gas exploration, touching off a tug of war for Florida lawmakers opposed to drilling.") See also "Senators push for oil drilling in Gulf" ("Florida's long-standing and successful opposition to offshore drilling is in for a stiff new test") and "U.S. Senate bill seeks to open drilling off Florida".
This shouldn't give Floridians a lot of comfort: "the legislation would have to pass the Energy Committee, where Martinez currently holds a seat.". Id. See also "Drilling plan irks Florida's senators".
Now That The Election Is Over ...
Dubya disses Florida yet again. In the meantime, "Jeb!" is AWOL:
As Florida's congressional delegation and others go over President Bush's budget proposal, they are coming up with a mixed things to say about it, and even Republicans are voicing concerns that the budget will hurt the state."President's budget proposal offers mixed bag for Florida".
"It just seems like there's a compounding of issues that are facing Florida right now that a budget reduction has an inordinate burden on Floridians," said U.S. Rep. Mark Foley. ...
In general, Democrats representing Florida in Washington were highly critical of the overall proposal.
"The budget looks about what it would look like if my first grader had written it. It bares about that much resemblance to reality," said U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. "I have never seen a more callous, more insensitive proposed budget than this one."
Sen. Bill Nelson said it is fiscally irresponsible.
"Jeb!" Jeopardizing Integrity of Tourism Industry
Another result of "Jeb!"'s brilliant strategy of emptying state buildings: "Florida's hotels, motels and apartments are not being inspected as often as the law requires, jeopardizing the integrity of the state's tourism industry, according to a new audit." "Check under that hotel bed; audit says state isn't".
Even "State's Top Business Leaders" Can See It
The latest wisdom from Florida's self proclaimed "business leaders", the Council of 100: "Florida's long-term economic future hinges on needed improvements to an education system that ranks low nationally in several categories along with better-paying jobs, cheaper sources of energy and affordable housing, a group of business leaders said Tuesday." "Business group assesses outlook". See also "Thorny issues could mar state's future" ("the state's future will be marred by a host of thorny issues -- sub-par high schools, low-wage jobs, skyrocketing home prices and transportation gridlock -- unless state leaders take action, the state's top business leaders warned in a report released Tuesday.")
"Florida's largest state agency may end the outsourcing of pharmaceutical pill-splitting and repackaging as lawmakers fume after two scathing audits." "Audits prompt drug review State might stop paying outside firms to handle inmates' drugs".
Eating Their Own
"The best seat in the House -- or the Senate -- will be in the House Judiciary Committee Wednesday. The panel will take up a bill filed by Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, to make it a felony for a business owner to prohibit people from keeping guns in their cars in the parking lot of a workplace. The bill (HB 129) is a priority of the National Rifle Association, but the NRA faces business community resistance. The Florida Chamber of Commerce is lobbying lawmakers to sink the bill, and NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer issued an e-mail alert Tuesday accusing the Chamber of "picking a Second Amendment fight with firearms owners."" "The NRA vs. Florida Chamber". See also "NRA bill would OK guns in cars at work" and "Gun bill divides GOP base".
Crist in Pensacola
"Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist chose a Pensacola elementary school trying to make a turnaround to kick off a gubernatorial campaign swing through the Panhandle on Tuesday." "Crist stresses education".
Same As The Old Boss
"Since Rep. Foley and Rep. Shaw endorsed Rep. Blunt, they might not have much direct influence — and they themselves might not yet understand how serious the need for reform is. If anybody in the Republican leadership does, he or she might want to bring it to Rep. Boehner's urgent attention. In the meantime, Democrats can thank Rep. Boehner for keeping the Abramoff issue alive." "Meet the new GOP boss; same as the old boss".
"In the Florida elections this fall, gay and lesbian activists plan to wield their political clout - estimated by some at 1 million of the 10.5 million registered voters in the state. Toward that end, a dormant political group - the Hillsborough County Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender and Allies Democratic Caucus - has reorganized." "Democratic Gay Group Resurfaces In Hillsborough".
"A Republican, the former certified public accountant said she and her husband have no ties to any gubernatorial campaign." "Librarian files ethics complaint over Gallagher's stock trading".
A Little Late
"State utility regulators voted Tuesday to require power and phone companies to significantly step up their inspections of poles, a reaction to widespread outages in Hurricane Wilma, which broke thousands of them." "Regulators order utilities to inspect power poles every 8 years".
Mike Thomas: "If I wanted a Democrat for governor, the first thing I'd do is register as a Republican and vote for Tom Gallagher in the primary." "Democrats' prayer: GOP picks Gallagher". See also "Enough Experience To Know Better" and "Watching the 'watchdog'".