"Rules keep the speeches short as the 2 candidates for governor debate."
[T]he two leading Democratic candidates for governor tangled Friday over issues such as how to stabilize the state's wobbly insurance market and whether Florida should have an earlier presidential primary."Democrats spar on issues, trade barbs". See also "The Fray at Tiger Bay" and "Insurance Dominates Debate".
With the rules limiting the discussion to one-minute answers and 30-second rebuttals, the Tiger Bay Club of Orlando forum wasn't a place for Jim Davis and Rod Smith to debate in-depth public policy.
"I'm Rod Smith, and I'm going to summarize my life in the next 59 seconds," Smith joked as he began.
But the forum did offer a glimpse at some of the differences emerging between Davis, the U.S. representative from Tampa, and Smith, the state senator from Alachua.
"The two Republican candidates for governor trotted out their Hispanic endorsements Friday, aiming at South Florida's predominantly Republican Cuban-American community, a key voting bloc in GOP primaries."
Crist, the state attorney general, took his statewide bus tour to Orlando to stand with Cuban-American U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez in his hometown. They plan to campaign together in Miami today.Not to be outdone,
"I believe in this guy, and I want him to be the next governor of Florida," Martinez said.
Gallagher arranged for Al Cárdenas, the Cuban-American former chairman of the Florida Republican Party, to tout his campaign Friday in a conference call with reporters. No matter that Cárdenas had already declared himself for Gallagher weeks ago."Cuban Americans courted". See also "Gallagher touts Hispanic support" and "Martinez calls Crist 'perfect' for governor".
Gallagher, the state chief financial officer, also released a list of 200 members of the ''Hispanics for Gallagher'' team, led by U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Miami. Among the Cuban Americans on the list: state Reps. Anitere Flores and David Rivera, and Miami-Dade school board Chairman Agustin Barrera.
"A new Florida law will stop nearly all academic trips to Cuba from state universities and community colleges - a huge mistake with an island on the verge of historic change." "More Isolation Wrong Way To Make Cuba Better Neighbor".
"A proposed rule change that would prohibit counties from testing their voting equipment without state approval will be argued Monday, a measure that could create some discomfort among Florida's independently elected elections supervisors." "Showdown Monday on testing of vote machines". See also "Vote security: Who's in charge?" and "State slates hearing to limit checks on voting equipment".
"Advocating big property tax cuts and big pay raises for some teachers and touting an endorsement by Sen. Mel Martinez, Charlie Crist barnstormed through Florida this week in hope of cementing himself as the front-runner in the Republican governor's primary." "Crist Tours State, Rolling Out Economic, Education Plans". See also "Crist's Tour On A Roll".
The Convention Thing
"GOP's Choice: Cleveland Vs. Tampa".
"A Tallahassee investment counselor running for chief financial officer said Friday the state should set up a special property-insurance fund to cover damage from monster storms like Hurricanes Andrew and Katrina. Republican Milt Bauguess said the private insurance market should cover risks from Category 1 through Category 3 hurricanes. Those in Categories 4 and 5 would be covered by the state fund, Bauguess proposed." "CFO candidate offers insurance overhaul". See also "Unknown CFO candidate frustrated in getting out message".
"Parents of stillborn children will be able to get a certificate of the child's birth under a bill Gov. Jeb Bush signed Friday. Florida is now the 14th state to offer certificates of stillbirths to mothers who carry their children at least 20 weeks and deliver them." "Parents of stillborn can get document of birth".
"The state's best teachers could make more money quickly, every school would have a reading coach and principals would have more say in running their schools under an education plan Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist unveiled Friday." "Candidate for top state post touts school plan". See also "Crist Rolls Out Economic, Education Plans".
"Black legislators praised Gov. Jeb Bush on Friday for signing a bill creating the Council on the Social Status of Black Men and Boys." "Council to focus on black men".
"Local governments shouldn't count on slipping by Florida's growth laws - unless they want to find their development opportunities severely curtailed." "Agency Shows Some Muscle".
"Ex-Abramoff partner: shooter in Boulis murder died 3 years ago".
Charlie Gets Silly
Charlie sometimes says the stupidest things:
It's candidate Charlie Crist's most powerful promise, toward the end of each stump speech: He will make sure his bill to crack down on violent criminals becomes law because he "will sign no other bill" until that one reaches his desk."Crist touts 'anti-murder' stance, opponents scoff at it".
So does that mean no other bill will become law in a Crist administration until his "anti-murder" bill is passed?
Not necessarily. Under the Florida constitution, unlike the federal constitution, a bill that clears the legislature automatically becomes law without the governor's signature at most 15 days after it is delivered to him. A governor can kill a bill with a veto, but his inaction has the same practical effect as a signature.
But Crist said he would not veto bills solely to keep his pledge; merely refuse to sign them. "We'll let them become law without a signature," he said.
"State Sen. Rod Smith is returning campaign donations from a close friend whose prison-snacks business was raided by the FBI this week. ... Crist and Gallagher were also returning the money, their campaigns said Friday." "Senator vows to return donation".
"Politically connected Republican"
"R. Alexander Acosta, a politically connected Republican who grew up in Fort Lauderdale and Miami, was tapped Friday by the White House to serve as the top federal prosecutor in South Florida after holding the post for a year on an interim basis." "South Florida man keeps job as U.S. Attorney".
"The governor has walked a proverbial tightrope ever since he abolished state affirmative action programs and replaced them with his One Florida Initiative,"
which Bush believes will encourage greater minority participation in government contracting and higher education through race-neutral efforts."Education".
On that score, Bush may be a bit naïve. By itself, increasing the amount of scholarship and loan monies for any student whose parents do not have four-year degrees won't close the noticeable achievement gap between black, Hispanic and white students. Race neutrality, without more targeted efforts, alone won't noticeably improve black academic achievement.
"In a letter made public Friday night, Bush asks attorney general and gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist to give a legal opinion on [Charlotte] County Commissioner Devos' request that she continue to serve while living outside her district." "Bush is perplexed by Devos dilemma The governor seeks a legal opinion on her service and residency.".
"In her four years in Congress, dozens of aides, including four chiefs of staff, have resigned. Two campaign managers have quit her Senate race." "Harris loses chief of staff, says he'll still help in race".
"A rift is emerging in Florida's once-united congressional delegation over a contentious election-year offshore drilling debate, with Democrats grousing about being left out of 'backroom negotiations' that are occurring among Republicans." "Drilling talks split Florida's D.C. delegation".
She's Not A "Bribe-Taker"
"Amie Parnes: Sen. Nelson disavows 'bribe-taker' mudslinging".
"A state worker has run his rental properties for 11 years. A law school professor says it doesn't look good." "Gallagher employs subordinate".
"State knows what works but prefers what's cheap".
What A Deal
"The Scripps Research Institute on Friday formally asked for more time to spend the $369 million the state offered to help lure the biomedical company to Palm Beach County." "Scripps requests extension to 2014".
From The "Values" Crowd
"Jeb Bush today signed a bill into law that repeals the remaining tax on drinks bought at bars and restaurants. The Legislature had repealed parts of the tax in previous years. Restaurants and bars have long complained about the tax because owners say it costs them more to collect and remit than it brings in for the state." "Alcohol drink tax repealed".
"Randy Johnson may have been snubbed by the GOP's top dogs in Tallahassee, but his campaign said today it's picked up some pretty substantial support in another part of the state." "Is Jacksonville Johnson Country?" See also " Johnson builds support in Jacksonville".
Who Is Number Two?
"Attorney General Charlie Crist is shaping a formal, in-depth system to consider and screen applicants to be his lieutenant governor. The candidate and his aides won't talk much about it, however." " The Search for No. 2 Begins".