In the GOoPer tradition, Diebold has flip-flopped and now has "has agreed to do business with Leon County."
The company had refused to sell after Sancho conducted tests that showed Diebold memory cards had security flaws. When two other vendors certified in Florida declined to sell to Sancho, the county missed the deadline for the Help America Vote Act, which requires voting machines for the disabled in all voting locations. That resulted in the county losing more than $500,000 in grant money."Diebold says it will sell to Leon County".
You know chain gang Charlie is going to be taking credit for this, and who can blame him. To his credit (as a politician), Crist jumped on Diebold's initial refusal and "issued subpoenas to Diebold and the other two companies that refused to sell voting equipment to the county".
Crist wants to know if the trio, which has sold voting machines to every Florida county for the past three years, privately reached an agreement to withhold their gear from Leon County [a potential antitrust violation]. That’s what prompted Crist to seek copies of documents related to the sales of e-voting machines in Florida since 2003."Florida attorney general questions e-voting vendors' decision to shun county".
Fortunately, any attempt by Charlie to spin his role in Diebold coming around ought to fall flat in the face of the Convergys mess he has made ("Judge rebukes Crist's office in whistleblower investigation"). Indeed, The Buzz suggests "Convergys Is To Crist As Citizens Is to Gallagher".
Moreover, the fact that Diebold flip-flopped does not mean the antitrust investigation against GOP stalwart Diebold and the others should end. Indeed, if Crist backs down on the investigation, he should be called to task for, as in the Convergys imbroligio, shielding GOoPer contributors.
Jim the Populist
"U.S. Rep. Jim Davis is seeking to replace Gov. Jeb Bush with the same message Bush used when he won the office in 1998: Government is not addressing the state's problems and should listen to Floridians to find solutions." "Davis Vows Populist Approach".
"As of Wednesday, Florida lawmakers have about $1 billion more to spend next year than they did when they started work on the annual budget. Meanwhile, Florida residents have more than $1 billion in unmet needs. State leaders have consistently ratcheted down spending for education, health care, environmental protection and other priorities. Even worse, they've ignored direct voter mandates." "Florida's windfall".
"Waving Mexican flags, dozens of students at two Palm Beach County schools walked out of classes on Thursday to be part of the national debate about legalizing undocumented immigrants." "Dozens from two PBC schools walk out of classrooms to protest immigration reform".
"A South Florida contest matching Democratic state Sen. Ron Klein of Boca Raton against U.S. Rep. E. Clay Shaw, R-Fort Lauderdale, has the two contenders with $2.5 million -- sixth in the nation. And the race to fill Harris' seat, where four Republicans and three Democrats are vying, has yielded $2.2 million, eighth among money-raisers nationwide." "A 10 Spot".
Name-Dropping and Drop-Kicking
"Rep. Joe Negron, the Stuart Republican running for attorney general, has fired off a campaign update in which he rivals a Page Six columnist in his name-dropping ability."
Finally, Negron abandons the name-dropping for drop-kicking -- with Republican rival Bill McCollum of Longwood on the receiving end. Negron gigs McCollum for touting that he led all attorney general candidates in fundraising the past three months."Hey Joe".
"We are well on our way in the fundraising department," Negron said. "To date, I have raised a total of $1.4 million; Bill McCollum has raised $600,000. Cash on hand is the most important measure of financial strength in a campaign. I have more than $1.2 million; Bill McCollum has less than $400,000."
Even Fox News is ganging up a bit on Representative B:
Fox reporter Steve Brown said Harris has encountered “political friendly fire,” including: recent calls by the The National Journal for her to drop out; Gov. Jeb Bush’s concerns about her focus; telephone surveys for state House Speaker Allan G. Bense; and polls showing her trailing Sen. Bill Nelson."Fox's Fix on Harris".
“Right now the Nelson campaign has no interest in interrupting Republicans and conservatives roughing up one of their own,” Brown said.
Harris dismissed the concerns. "Clearly, nationally, we’re having a … few hiccups and bumps in the roads, but we’ll get there.”
"Florida doesn't have a property rights crisis, but that's not keeping some lawmakers from trying to put excessive limits on eminent domain law." "Eminent overreaction".
Here's An Idea
"There has never been a better time to address more than $27-million in outstanding claims bills pending before the Legislature. The state is awash in unexpected revenue, and these are one-time expenditures."
It is a matter of fairness that the state compensate victims of public sector negligence and wrongdoing in accordance with agreed upon settlements and court awarded judgments. But the Legislature has been dragging its feet for years."Clean up pending claims".
The state's Byzantine system for paying the claims of people injured on public property or by public employees is in desperate need of reform. The state's sovereign immunity law caps the amount that a public entity - even a public hospital - has to pay at $100,000 per person at fault and $200,000 per incident. But that cap hasn't been raised since 1973. Any award or settlement above those limits has to be approved by the Legislature through a claims bill.
"Some people just can't keep their noses out of other people's business. And there's no bigger nose among the nosy than that of Grover Norquist, the anti-tax zealot who heads Washington-based Americans for Tax Reform. Norquist's latest target, as if it were any of his business, is a proposed $2 surcharge on rental cars being considered by the Florida Legislature." "Transportation".
The Tampa Tribune editorial board shows its stripes with "Time To Revive Vouchers And Hold Private Schools Accountable".
More From The "Values" Crowd
"When lawmakers rolled into town for the Legislature's spring session, affordable housing for Florida's workforce was hot talk in the capital. When they rolled out of town for a spring holiday break this week, affordable housing didn't look quite so affordable after all. Separate budgets adopted by the House and Senate last week came in roughly $395 million shy of what a coalition of lobbying groups say is available -- and needed -- to offset mushrooming housing costs pricing some Floridians out of the market." "Housing grants lose steam in session".
Leaving Florida Empty-handed
"Bush and the Seminole Tribe of Florida had been discussing a compact to allow the tribe's casinos to operate the same types of slot machines as the pari-mutuels. An agreement with the state could give Tallahassee a share of the casinos' take. The two sides couldn't come to terms, so the tribe will now deal with the federal government. A pact with Washington, however, could leave Florida empty-handed." "State, tribe end gambling talks".
"House can put crowning touch on state political cleanup".
Cotterell Excuses Nevins
Cotterell writes today: "Having sometimes apologized for things I've said or written, I feel bad for Buddy Nevins. He's one of the best political writers in Florida. But the South Florida Sun-Sentinel recently took Nevins off his beat because of what I'm sure was meant as a casual ice-breaker at the start of a speech to a Broward County Republican gathering." "Writing news and opinion is tricky".
Background on Nevins' removal: "GOoPer Nevins Gets The Boot". Here's the Sun-Sentinel's explanation: "Journalistic independence key to credibility" (The Sun-Sentinel has "decided to move Buddy [Nevins] off the political beat permanently because ... his independence has been compromised.")
There's a bit more to the story than Cotterell allows, quite a bit more. Check out The Daily Pulp, which has been on to Nevins for months, particularly with "The Party's Over" and "Onward Cristian Soldier". See also "A Kane or a Crutch?" and " What Was He Thinking?"