"Long a key constituency in Democratic primaries, environmentalists across Florida say the party's two leading candidates for governor are distinctly different shades of green."
U.S. Rep. Jim Davis, D-Tampa, has widespread support among environmental groups as he completes his fifth term in Congress. A lobbyist for Audubon of Florida used to work for him. The executive director of 1000 Friends of Florida has contributed $150 to his campaign."Ecology could decide Democrats' primary".
Activists are more ambivalent, however, about Rod Smith, a state senator from Alachua County.
The distinction could be an important one, since Davis and Smith share similar views on issues such as education and taxes.
Tampa GOoPers are "miffed that people keep bringing up that 500,000 people showed up at the GOP convention in New York in 2004 to march in the streets protesting against President Bush's war in Iraq. Even though the New York cops agreed with the half-million figure, Austin demurred, insisting the actual numbers were just a few thousand and those people were merely in a bad mood. The number is important because by 2008, should the civil war in Iraq devolve into an even bigger debacle than it is now, with more U.S. troops coming home in body bags, the numbers of protesters showing up in Tampa for the Republican Convention might make New York look like a spin around the maypole." "Martial Law A Marketing Gambit".
GOoPers, Running Government Like A Business
"Given the series of scandals that have rocked the Florida Department of Corrections, it's hard to understand why new prisons chief James McDonough would justify the outrageous practice of giving prison bureaucrats lavish housing at bargain-basement rents." "Fair Rents For The Big Houses".
That's Our Mel, The Bridge Builder
"Florida's senators split on the measure, with Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Orlando, voting in favor of bringing the measure up for a vote and Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Tallahassee, voting against it." "Gay Marriage Amendment Fails In Senate".
Telephone rate bill
"Bush signs telephone rate bill".
"You're a liar! You're a liar!"
"'You're a liar! You're a liar!' Aaronson told Slosberg a few minutes after Slosberg had finished a Democratic state Senate candidate debate with Ted Deutch before a small nonpartisan group at the South County Civic Center west of Delray Beach. That was only the preview for a raucous Slosberg-Deutch debate in the same auditorium Wednesday night before a partisan audience of more than 500, with three sheriff's deputies on hand for crowd control." "Slosberg trades barbs with Aaronson, Deutch".
So Obvious ...
even Jebbie gets it:
Bush, who misses no chance to take cheap shots at the courts when they rule against him, actually made the most sense. As Sen. Fasano yelped for the state to appeal, the governor said, "Individuals do have the right ... not to say the Pledge of Allegiance. I think that's constitutionally clear. I don't know why you wouldn't want to do it, but I don't think we need to spend a lot of time and energy on this.""Allegiance to the law".
"Ticket scalpers won't be outlaws".
"Manatees lose their status"
"State fish and wildlife commissioners on Wednesday approved a controversial measure to remove manatees from the state's endangered species list, voting to downgrade the animal to threatened." "State votes to downgrade manatee, eagle endangerment levels". See also "Manatees lose some protection", "State shuffles animals on protection lists" and "Manatees lose their status as 'endangered' in state".
Here's A Dumb Question
Why don't we simply use the pre-existing evacuation plan instead of scrambling to throw a plan together now that the hurricane season has already started?
Instead we read this today: "Federal, state and local officials are working to devise an evacuation plan in case the dike around Lake Okeechobee ruptures during a major hurricane." "Leaky dike a concern for storm season".
Is it possible that the patron saint of hurricane disaster response didn't have a plan for the dikes around Lake Okeechobee rupturing?
In the meantime, this isn't promising: "With hurricane season here, work to shore up Lake Okeechobee dike is halted" and "Sand problems halt Lake O dike repairs".
The Buzz: "It seems Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rod Smith is on the defensive because in May he sent his son-in-law, a Lutheran minister, to represent him at a Miami-Dade Christian Family Coalition’s Pastors Appreciation Prayer Breakfast. Suffice it to say, the group is not a bastion for Democratic primary voters. Smith has sent out a letter to explain". Read the letter here.
"Ten Reasons Katherine Harris Thinks She Will Win".
See also "Senate Contender in Florida Presses On" ("Undaunted by a run of horrific poll numbers, staff turmoil and public doubts from leaders of her party, Representative Katherine Harris is thinking confidently beyond November.")
"Davis and Graham"
"Jim Davis sure is wringing everything he can out of Bob Graham. Davis' campaign first announced it had snagged Graham's endorsement more than a year ago, marking one of the first significant developments in the Democratic primary race for governor. The campaign then had the former Florida governor and U.S. Senator introduce Davis to thousands of Democratic activists in a speech at the state party's convention last December. And just last week the campaign put together a press release naming Graham Davis' campaign chairman. They're not done. In a new letter being distributed by the campaign, Graham is urging potential donors to contribute to Davis' campaign 'as much as you can up to the $500 limit today.'" "Davis and Graham".
"Everything it wanted"
"It may have been the rockiest session in memory for the National Rifle Association, but the powerful pro-gun group still got almost everything it wanted. Gov. Jeb Bush on Wednesday signed a package of six NRA-backed bills passed this spring by the Republican-controlled Legislature, including a measure (HB 687) that makes personal information about people who carry concealed weapons exempt from the state's public-records laws." "Bush signs 6 pro-gun bills".
Nelson Backs Off Aide's Remark
This was expected: "Nelson raps aide for "bribe-taker" comment". But check out the audacity of this from central Florida's pipsqueak oil drilling fanatic: "Rep. Dan Mica sent Nelson a letter Wednesday calling for him to reprimand McLaughlin ... ."
"Bush touts successes in fighting drug abuse".
"Florida voters wanted to give 4-year-olds a 'high quality' prekindergarten, but lawmakers are still playing low-ball. After being created last year on a shoestring budget, the universal pre-K program won't even keep pace with inflation in its second year. In budgetary terms, this new child is suffering from neglect." "Doing pre-K right will cost more".
Silly or Desperate? ...
Carole Jean Jordan, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, today sharply criticized local Congressman Jim Davis of Tampa for missing a key vote on national security at a time "when our men and women are fighting overseas.""Jordan Criticizes Davis Over Missed Patriot Act Vote". See also " Carole Jean's Reality Tour".
Pick Your Poison
"We elected the wrong Bush brother".
"Republicans For Davis"
"From the Davis campaign today: "Tampa Bay area Jim Davis supporters spoke out today against Republican attacks on the Democratic frontrunner for governor. As further proof of Davis’s solid support in the state’s largest media market, his champions included Republicans, Independents, and other non-traditional Democratic voters." "Republicans For Davis".
"Studies show that about 7,000 Florida teachers quit the profession last year. About 40 percentof all teachers leave in less than five years." "Why teach here?". See also "Recruiters try to woo teachers at state job fair in Tampa".
"Democrat Alex Sink, a candidate for the Cabinet post, is drumming up traffic for her new campaign web site by asking e-mail recipients to try to win a dinner with her." "Spam Plan".
"Gov. Jeb Bush expected to meet with President regarding line-item veto".
No Shortage of Demagoguery
Political consultants warned Wednesday that the nation faces a critical shortage of demagoguery later this year, given the rapid pace at which America's elected leaders have been squandering the supply."Maybe we can get that Chirac guy to insult us again".
"It's only June, and we've already been through immigration, flag burning, the estate tax and gay marriage," warned Roger Ailment, president of the National Association of Yahoos and Know-Nothings, in the keynote speech of the group's annual convention.
From The "Values" Crowd
"A reef conservation group that has repeatedly asked state officials to take action on a sewer pipe discharging partially treated waste near an ailing stretch of coral reef is invoking the Endangered Species Act and asking the federal government to help." "Group points to new shield for coral in reef-revival attempt". See also "On World Oceans Day" ("Of the 48 continental states, only Florida boasts tropical coral reefs. And as we observe World Oceans Day today, it should not go unmentioned that they are in danger, deserving much greater protection than governments at all levels afford them.")
"Attorney General Charlie Crist takes his run for governor on the road today, starting a three-day bus tour with 14 campaign events scattered across the peninsula. The tour is set to start this morning in downtown Fort Lauderdale with a rally at Esplanade Park and continue with events in Naples, Punta Gorda, Sarasota and St. Petersburg." "Crist to embark on 3-day statewide bus tour".
GGoPers Late To The Game
"Florida agriculture officials were caught off guard by the quarantine, which also puts stricter guidelines on shipping of the fruit that can be sold. It’s not clear how long the rule will last." "Gov. Bush to push USDA to alter citrus ban". See also "Gov. Bush calls citrus shipping ban 'overkill'".
"Thinking about environmentalism is one thing. The University of Florida is thinking bigger and putting its ideas into practice. As The [Palm Beach] Post reported, UF is integrating zero-waste initiatives in everything from cooking to cars to facilities, part of a master plan aimed at the emerging concept of sustainability. Other state universities are pursuing "green" initiatives that go beyond hybrid vehicles and reclaimed water. But the state's flagship university intends to be the leader. President Bernie Machen's declaration that UF will become the nation's most sustainable university is consistent with the nationwide Top-10 aspirations UF set in hiring him three years ago." "Orange, blue and green".
We Had Resisted ...
but since Scott Maxwell (in his new blog) didn't, here it is: "Harris's tight clothes and, um, lollipop".
Insurer of Last Resort
"Two struggling Florida insurance companies don't have enough available cash to cover claims if a large hurricane hits and may have to have their policies placed with the state's insurer of last resort, the Tallahassee Democrat has learned. Robin Westcott, assistant general counsel for the state Office of Insurance Regulation, said officials 'have concerns' about 'a couple of companies' but declined to name them or provide the number of policyholders who might be involved." "Two insurers may give up policies".