The Weekly Standard's Fred Barnes argues that "Jeb Bush, nearing the end of his eight years as governor of Florida, has to settle for being the best governor in America. Not proclaimed the best governor by the media and the political community. But recognized as the best by a smaller group: governors who served with him and experts and think-tank and conservative policy wonks who regard state government as something other than a machine for taxing and spending." "Governor in Chief".
It is a fairly long piece, full of right wing cheerleading, but does give you a good sense of how Bushco is spinning Jebbie's performance as Governor in setting him up for a presidential run in 2012 or 2016.
"Tampa may be the frontrunner, according to Florida GOP leaders and other Republicans familiar with the decision process." "Tampa Has Good Shot At GOP Convention". In the meantime, "Tribune sues for access to GOP convention bid". See also "Public deserves convention facts".
Update: "Unveiling Of GOP Convention Bid Slated": "The Tampa Bay Convention & Visitors Bureau said Friday it will allow reporters to review a copy of its bid for the 2008 Republican National Convention. The move comes a day after The Tampa Tribune sued the bureau."
"Former Democratic Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham long ago endorsed Jim Davis in his bid for governor, but Davis went ahead and made the arrangement formal today by naming Graham his campaign chairman." "Chairman Graham".
"After a stark disagreement between state officials and the Seminole Tribe over rules for Las Vegas-style slot machines, the contentious issue could be settled this summer in Washington." "State Presses Hand For Casino Control".
AFSCME Endorsement This Week End
"Democratic gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Jim Davis launched a weeklong campaign to win the endorsement of government workers by attacking opponent Rod Smith's Senate voting record." "Gubernatorial candidate campaigns for government workers' endorsement".
"The Campaign Begins" McBride's website is here.
"Republican Party Chairman Carole Jean Jordan will go to Smith's and Davis' hometowns with the message that Republicans have improved the economy, health care and schools and Democrats want to tear down the success." "Point/Counter Point".
Raw Political Courage
"Taxes aren't the way to create a stable economy, an affordable housing market and an educated work force, the Republican candidates for governor said Friday." And Charlie took his most courageous stance to date, boldly announcing:
"I'm against taxes," Attorney General Charlie Crist said several times during a forum at a meeting of Florida TaxWatch, a nonprofit tax and state budget watchdog group.""Candidates want taxes reined in".
Harris in Palm Beach County
"Katherine Harris is scheduled to tout her U.S. Senate campaign Monday at a Forum Club of Palm Beaches luncheon. The event is set for 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Cohen Pavilion at the Kravis Center." "Harris Coming to Forum Club".
Running Government "Like a Business"
"A mismanaged state medical program continues to eat funds, even as enrollment falls, a deposition says." "Years atop waiting list, but still stuck in line".
"Firefighters for Smith"
"Rod Smith picks up yet another union endorsement today -- this time it's the Florida Professional Firefighters, which represents 21,000 firefighters and EMS personnel across the state." "Firefighters for Smith". See also "Firefighters Back Nelson And Smith".
No surprise there, Rod represented firefighters unions for years before running for SA. Rumor has it that the local unions that comprise Florida Professional Firefighters umbrella organization were somewhat split on the endorsement, and many of them will go their own way in the primary.
Rove Stabs Harris
"The presidential adviser speaks at a Republican dinner in Broward, which also serves as a who'swho of GOP candidates for statewide offices." "Rove harsh on critics of Iraq war" ("In a brief interview before his speech, Rove made clear his lack of enthusiasm for Harris, who trails Democratic incumbent Bill Nelson.")
"As Rod Smith and Jim Davis duke it out over union endorsements in their quest to become the Democratic nominee for governor, Smith's campaign got a head start in the form of an introductory mailer sent out this week."
"Rod Smith led the fight to defeat the right-wing Republican attempts to drain taxpayers funding of the public schools through an unconstitutional private school voucher program," the flier reads. It goes on to praise Smith's efforts to defeat a watering-down of the voter-approved class-size amendment. Smith is a state senator who represents Gainesville. ..."Fliers aim to boost name recognition for governor hopeful Smith".
Depending on the size of the mailing, which Spellman would not identify citing campaign strategy, the mailers could have cost anywhere from $20,000 to $40,000, said Democratic campaign consultant Gayle Andrews, a Davis supporter.
"The state is unlikely to appeal a federal judge's decision that Florida cannot require students to stand and recite the Pledge of Allegiance, Gov. Jeb Bush said Friday." "Appeal of pledge ruling unlikely, Gov. Bush says".
"Students whose parents do not have four-year college degrees could get need-based financial aid under a $6.5 million scholarship program that became law Friday. Although students of any race can apply, legislators hope it will increase minority enrollment at Florida universities." "Scholarship aims to help minorities".
McInvale Shows Her Newfound Political Clout
Orlando Coty Council Member Patty "Sheehan enlisted the help of state Rep. Sheri McInvale, R-Orlando, who sponsored a bill allowing local governments to decide for themselves whether restaurants can permit dogs in outdoor eating areas." "Doggie dining gets governor's stamp of approva". See also "Bush signs bill allowing dogs to eat outside at restaurants" and "Dogs move up food chain at restaurants as governor signs law".
"Democratic congressional hopeful Tim Mahoney's campaign got a $2,100 contribution from a Virginia businessman whose home and offices were raided as part of a 2002 federal investigation looking for sources of terrorist financing. The contribution from M. Yaqub Mirza, who has not been charged with any crime, will be donated to a charity that helps victims of terrorism in Israel, Mahoney said Friday." "House hopeful's donor in 2002 probe".
Teaching To The Test
"The FCAT is the most recent example, with teachers leaving their own lesson plans or ideals about education behind so they could 'teach to the test.' So much depended on it: money for the schools that showed improvements; bonuses for the teachers within the schools that scored well on the test." "Bidding on teachers".
"As any policyholder knows, the private vehicle insurance market in Florida is working much better than the private property market. One persistent problem, though, is [PIP] fraud that undercuts the state's no-fault auto insurance system." "Gear up to stop fraud".
"The political turmoil that has surrounded the Johnnie B. Byrd Sr. Alzheimer's Center since it was founded may be eased with a bill that provides long-term funding and a new slate of directors." "Bill Aims To Quiet Uproar Over Alzheimer's Center".
Broward Mayor Eyes Senate
"Broward County Mayor Ben Graber's decision to resign in November has set off a chain reaction of political moves." "Mayor resigns, eyes Senate".
"Political exploitation at its worst"
"Bush is wrong on all the basic points about eminent domain in Riviera Beach. Here's the most basic: The city hasn't used it, not that anyone listening to the governor would know that. But Gov. Bush's eagerness to castigate the city is political exploitation at its worst." "Riviera left door open, and governor barged in".
"To revamp the class size amendment or let it be? Unless Tom Gallagher proposes a pro-murder bill, that amendment may be one of the starkest policy differences between Charlie Crist and Tom Gallagher." "Class Size And Republicans".
"The Republican senator says his party will pay a price if it doesn't push through immigration reform this year." "Martinez: GOP has work to do".