"Jim Davis and Rod Smith are running even in their bids to become the Democratic nominee for governor, according to a new Florida Chamber of Commerce poll. The survey of 600 likely Democratic primary voters showed Davis with a 1-point lead over Smith. That's well within the margin of error of plus or minus 4 percent. It's one of the first public polls that doesn't show Davis with a sizable lead. An earlier Chamber poll, conducted in February, had Davis up 16 points." "Davis and Smith Even?". See also "Smith catches up with Davis in a new poll", " Smith catches Davis in new poll" and "Smith says he can woo votes for Democrats".
"Two candidates for governor are returning donations from a prison contractor whose Gainesville offices were raided by the FBI. Democratic state Sen. Rod Smith said Thursday that he will send $2,500 back to American Institutional Services. Republican state Attorney General Charlie Crist said he will return $500. His GOP rival, state Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, is considering what to do with a $500 donation from AIS President Edward Dugger." "Campaign donations returned after FBI raid". See also "State, federal agents raid prison commissary company", "Donor Raid Troubles Candidate", "Prisons inquiry affects Smith" ("The gubernatorial candidate says he will return contributions from a friend whose business was raided by the FBI.")
More Harris Woes
"The chief of staff for U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris announced his resignation Thursday, becoming the latest in a long list of staffers to leave the Sarasota Republican." "Harris' chief of staff quits". See also "Harris Is Losing Another Key Aide".
Fred Barnes Hearts "Jeb!"
Bill Cotterell on the puff piece in the right wing Weekly Standard: "Bush named best governor in U.S.".
"Gov. Bush backs president's work, power".
"Months after a maverick elections supervisor irritated a leading voting-machine company and state officials by conducting unorthodox tests on voting equipment -- and finding security problems -- the state wants to make it harder for counties to check voting machines. The state is proposing rules that require all 67 election supervisors in Florida to get approval from the state Division of Elections before testing their voting equipment for any problems, including whether or not it has security flaws or if the vote-counting software is working correctly." "Machine testing targeted".
"Missed Votes In U.S. House Haunt Davis Campaign".
What will Charlie promise next?
Few Republicans have ever lost votes by promising more tax cuts, and GOP gubernatorial hopeful Charlie Crist followed that well-worn path Thursday by proposing billions of dollars in tax cuts that would dramatically alter the money flow for education."Crist promises massive tax cuts". See also "Crist rolls out economic proposals on bus tour" and "Crist lauds governor's tax cuts, vows more".
His announcement led to the harshest intra-party sniping yet, with a supporter of Crist's Republican primary opponent, state Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, calling Crist's plan "shallow" and "the mark of someone not ready to be governor."
"In a rally at his alma mater, the gubernatorial candidate ignores his GOP rival to focus on the November election." "Crist calls for limited government".
Mel Hearts Charlie
"At high noon today, Charlie Crist is expected to roll out a big gun in his fight with Tom Gallagher for the crucial Hispanic vote in the Republican primary contest for governor. Mel Martinez, the first Cuban-American elected to the U.S. Senate, will endorse Crist at the Orange County Administration Building, where Martinez served as county chairman from 1998 to 2001." "Martinez to endorse Crist in GOP race for governor".
"Windstorm insurance companies would have to cover water damage caused by hurricanes under a proposal Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jim Davis plans to release today, part of a multipronged proposal to solve the problems facing hurricane insurance customers in Florida." "Davis: Repeal law on hurricane water damage".
"The state's warehousing of about 2,000 kids a day in its 26 detention centers has been noted in report after report, courtroom after courtroom."
Those centers, according to the state Department of Juvenile Justice official in charge of them, need at least $19 million worth of repairs. But two years ago, the state spent just $200,000. "Palm Beach," DJJ Assistant Secretary for Detention Ken Pifer said, "is a big problem." ..."State keeps the public locked out".
Predictably, the state's response has been to deny the problems, downplay their severity and squash any public scrutiny of them.
Concealed Weapons Concealed
"Gov. Jeb Bush signed a bill Wednesday that exempts concealed weapons permits from the public records laws." "Concealed Guns Get New Wrap".
"He says a measure that would have let 80 percent of the owners dissolve an association had insufficient safeguards." "Bush vetoes condo dissolution bill".
"One Bradshaw, not two"
"he wife of the Palm Beach County sheriff should not be on the Palm Beach County Commission. Dorothy Bradshaw, who is married to Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, revealed this week that she might run for the District 6 seat of Tony Masilotti. He decided not to seek reelection after The Post reported that he helped his wife make $1.3 million from a land deal in Martin County, and then lied about it." "One Bradshaw, not two".
"Consumer advocates on Thursday urged Gov. Jeb Bush to veto a bill that would weaken oversight of the sale of discount medical cards, a rapidly growing market that some say too many people confuse for an insurance plan." "Consumer advocates urge veto of discount medical card bill".
Negron: McCollum Too Old
"Speaking after a meeting with The Palm Beach Post editorial board, Negron said his 61-year-old opponent represents the politics of the past. He suggested that McCollum's losses in previous statewide elections are evidence that Republicans are looking for new leaders. 'He's from another era, another generation of Florida,' said Negron, who is chairman of the House appropriations committee." "Negron says he's 'new generation' GOP".
"Scalpers see benefits in new bill".
"Palm Beach County's Health Care District board is healthier now that self-destructing state Rep. Irv Slosberg has been thrown off the dais. Say this about Slosberg: He did what many can't -- unite the County Commission. Commissioners, on a 6-0 vote, took a rare step in tossing Slosberg as their appointment, four months shy of the end of his term." "County Politics".