"Republican Charlie Crist has launched the first television ad in this year's race for governor, a 30-second spot saying he has made Florida neighborhoods better by fighting crime and improving access to prescription drugs." "Crist Ad Campaign For Governor Kicks Off With Crime". If you must, you can "Watch The Ad".
"Dark day for Florida citrus"
"The federal government will ban the shipment of fresh citrus from Florida to states such as California and Texas this fall in a bid to contain the spread of citrus canker. Florida's citrus growers and agriculture regulators, who had lobbied against such a ban since it was first proposed several weeks ago, said Tuesday that they were stunned by the decision. With millions of dollars' worth of fruit shipments at stake, 'This is a dark day for Florida citrus,' said Mike Stuart, president of the Florida Fruit & Vegetable Association in Maitland. 'We're extremely disappointed.'" "Feds ban Florida citrus sent to 6 states".
"A Florida Chamber of Commerce poll shows Charlie Crist leading Tom Gallagher 42 percent to 23 percent in the Republican gubernatorial primary. The recent poll, conducted by McLaughlin & Associates, included 800 likely Republican primary voters in Florida. Polling was conducted from May 23 to 25, and the margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points." According to this poll,
President Bush has a favorable rating of 79 percent and an unfavorable rating of 17 percent."Crist maintains lead in primary, poll says". See also "Chamber Music".
"Dorothy Bradshaw, the wife of Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, said Tuesday she's considering a run for the western District 6 seat on the county commission after being encouraged by some Democrats to enter the race." "Sheriff's wife may run for Masilotti's seat".
"A++ Plan getting mixed reviews".
The Education Governor
"Florida received an overall grade of 'F' in the first-ever study to evaluate states' academic standards for teaching kindergarten to 12th-grade world history. These standards are what a student is expected to know in the subject." "Study: State flunks test of teaching world history".
Too Little, Too Late
"The state will better be able to monitor the finances of voucher-taking schools and will now have the authority to end payments if officials suspect fraud or abuse. Schools participating in the Corporate Tax Credit vouchers also will have to administer standardized tests to voucher students, although those scores will be given only to a third-party group for program-wide evaluation and will not reflect how any particular school is performing. The new law also requires criminal background checks for teachers and other workers at voucher schools, although it does not require academic standards for teachers. Public schools, in contrast, are all graded annually, with each school's average scores available on the Internet. And public school teachers must all be certified." "Gov. Bush signs bill strengthening oversight of school voucher programs". See also "Bush signs bill giving new vouchers to kids in stricken program".
The Sun-Sentinel editorial board:
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is named that way for a reason. Its mission is to protect the state's most vulnerable residents."Wildlife". But see "Not panic time" ("state's move to reclassify the manatee can help rather than hurt it").
It must remember that mission today, when it considers two measures that could decide the fate of two gentle species: the manatee and the gopher tortoise.
Florida's history in handling man's invasion of the gopher tortoise habitat is especially cruel. The commission permits builders to either crush the creatures to death, or bury them alive, subjecting them to slow, torturous deaths.
Not only is the practice unspeakably barbaric, the commission's own biologists recognize that the tortoise's numbers are declining. Since 1991, state officials have allowed builders to entomb or kill 71,000 tortoises, and more than two-thirds of their habitat has disappeared since Florida's colonization.
Jennings Hearts Lee
"Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings endorsed Senate President Tom Lee for chief financial officer on Tuesday, a move that could help the Brandon lawmaker, especially in Jennings' hometown of Orlando. Lee is battling state Rep. Randy Johnson of Celebration in the Republican primary for the Cabinet post. Jennings' support, which includes her agreeing to serve as honorary chair of his campaign, comes three weeks after Gov. Jeb Bush endorsed Lee." "Jennings backs Lee for state finance post". See also "Toni for Tom" and "Lieutenant governor backs Lee in Republican primary for CFO".
For more on the race see "Candidates For CFO Offer GOP Voters Marked Contrast".
"Davis, running to replace Gov. Jeb Bush, has missed more congressional votes than all but one of his colleagues. But being there would not have changed the results." "Davis has skipped a lot of votes, says it doesn't matter".
"A political committee using what critics call a loophole in campaign finance laws is targeting likely Democratic voters by mail and telephone to promote gubernatorial hopeful Rod Smith."
The group, funded largely by developers and a prison contractor who donated $30,000, is trying to acquaint voters with the state senator, little known outside his North Florida district, before the Sept. 5 primary."Critics raise questions about group backing Smith".
Floridians for Responsible Government Inc., headed by an Orlando developer and close family friend of Smith's, raised $90,000 in March and paid for the mailings and automated phone calls, called "electioneering communications" under state elections laws.
Florida GOoPers Say Raid OK
"Ginny Brown-Waite, Ric Keller, Cliff Stearns and several other House Republicans from Florida are taking the rare step of opposing their leaders over an FBI raid on a Democratic congressman's Capitol Hill office in a corruption investigation. Their criticism reflects a concern that House Speaker Dennis Hastert and others are setting a double standard as well as a new independence as political trends threaten the GOP's hold on Congress this fall." "House Republicans defend FBI's Capitol Hill raid".
More on Pennington
Yesterday, we noted this story about Roger "Rocky" Pennington, a well-known campaign consultant for the Republican Party of Florida, and his inaptly named "Committee to Restore Integrity in Politics"; here's more from the Buzz:
As the Buzz reported earlier this year, the 527 committee was accused by Lakes Wales Sen. J.D. Alexander of funding recorded phone messages attacking his vote on a controversial phone rate bill. Alexander said it was retribution for his decision to join other GOP senators who defected in February from backing Sen. Alex Villalobos for Senate president in 2008. Viallobos said at the time he knew nothing about the calls and that he had never worked with Pennington." Rocky Pennington could face elections fines".
In a follow up to yesterday's piece on Wexler's travels, the Palm Beach Post has this today: "Wexler addresses costs, defends Kazakhstan trip as important".
"Sale of condo not reported on Broward County sheriff's tax filing".
"About 700 students who received unconstitutional vouchers can transfer to an another taxpayer funded program that pays for private schooling under a bill Gov. Jeb Bush signed into law Tuesday." "Bush signs voucher bill".
Senate Dem Office Controversy
This is getting Messy:
Republican Party of Florida lawyers visited the Senate Democratic office this month to review receipts of the office's checking account, a possible prelude to more investigations into Democratic political committees."GOP says Senate Democrats violated limits on contributions".
The Republicans' attorneys reviewed the use of $50,000 given in 2004 to the Senate Democratic Office by Florida Senate Victory, a Democratic political committee.
"Slosberg ousted from health district board".
"GOP convention could cost Tampa $124 million". See also " GOP Convention Sticker Shock" and "A worthy prize" ("Tampa needs to watch costs as it pursues the 2008 GOP convention.")