"Gov.-elect Charlie Crist may have scaled back his inaugural fundraising, but that hasn't stopped some companies from finding ways to shovel money in his direction." "Money for Crist Keeps Pouring In".
For Your Listening Pleasure
"Taxpayer-funded TV and Radio Martí are spending $377,500 to air select programs on South Florida broadcast stations over the next six months, using loopholes in a law that prohibits the propaganda channels from distribution within the United States." "Radio, TV Martí to be aired locally".
In a lengthy editorial today, the Daytona Beach News-Journal explains and eviscerates the Legislature's silly Special Teachers are Rewarded program: "STAR cannot accurately and fairly measure educators' performances. It will take power from local school districts in deciding bonuses and puts it in the hands of the state. Worse, it will add unnecessary stress to the classroom. The right move for the next governor and Legislature is to kill it." "No shining STAR".
The Miami Herald editorial board has a more sophisticated view of Nelson's trip to Syria than Bushco and its allies:
This was Sen. Nelson's third meeting with President Assad. Other U.S. lawmakers have met with him, too. All of which makes White House criticism of the Nelson visit bewildering. Diplomatic relations are the responsibility of the executive branch, but legislators -- particularly those like Sen. Nelson with oversight responsibility in the realm of international security -- have an obligation to visit other countries on fact-finding missions."Visiting Syria, seeking an opening".
The Tampa Trib editorial board agrees that the "Botched Execution Demands State Scrutiny Of Lethal Injection", noting that
Bush promised an inquiry Thursday and then suspended the death penalty in Florida on Friday.See also "Death Penalty" ("Bush did the prudent thing when he suspended the death penalty in Florida following a botched execution last week.")
Bush rightly set up a commission to examine the process of lethal injection. Most people think of it as a painless way to die - certainly less gruesome than the electric chair. But there is some scientific evidence - though none certain - that the three-drug cocktail administered by the state can cause extreme pain. The killer just can't say anything about it because he's paralyzed.
The Daytona Beach News-Journal points out that Jebbie deserves little credit for this:
Normally, Gov. Jeb Bush would deserve credit for his actions following Diaz's death. He halted executions in Florida until a panel can study the Diaz fiasco and determine what went wrong -- a course governor-elect Charlie Crist says he will follow. But Bush has had plenty of opportunities to turn away from a barbaric practice. Most notably, Bush should have known about a study published in the Lancet, an esteemed medical journal, that casts doubt on the supposed painlessness of lethal injection."Cruel cocktail"
The study, performed by University of Miami researchers, found that in many cases (as in Florida) untrained personnel administered lethal injections. In 43 of the 49 executions studied, the level of anesthetic in the executed men's bloodstreams was lower than the amount required to render a patient unconscious for surgery.
Bush should also have known of the plentiful evidence of botched executions. He might have paid attention to proceedings in California and opinions of medical experts who called the supposed sterility and humanity of lethal injection into question.
Charlie makes 3 more appointments:
- "Craig Fugate, who helped Gov. Jeb Bush navigate through several devastating hurricanes in 2004 and 2005, will stay in his role as director of the state's emergency management system, Gov.-elect Charlie Crist said Monday." "Crist appoints 3 agency leaders". See also "Disaster chief to stay on for new governor" and "Crist to keep state emergency chief".
- "Crist also announced two other key agency heads. Kevin Hyde, a Jacksonville attorney who specializes in labor and employment law, will be the new head of the Department of Management Services, the agency responsible for oversight on many of the state's contracts. Monesia Brown was his pick as director of the Agency for Workforce Innovation, the state's labor agency.
"Citizens Property Insurance"
customers who wish to sound off on skyrocketing premiums or offer suggestions on improving customer service can speak to top company executives at a public hearing in Largo this afternoon."Citizens Insurance Hearing Today". See also "Tribune: Pasco homeowners boo insurer's solution". For background see "The Insurance Dilemma".
The hearing is the last of three ordered by the state Cabinet in September when it rejected the 2007 operating plan for the state-run insurer of last resort.
Wading Ashore in Florida
"Tightening patrols on Florida's long shore will be a challenge, but as long as large groups of foreigners can wade ashore undetected, homeland security exists in name only." "Tighten Florida's Porous Border".
"In one of his last initiatives as governor, Jeb Bush on Monday announced the creation of the Interamerican Ethanol Commission to promote the use of the alternative fuel throughout the Americas and slowly wean the region off gasoline." "Florida, development bank, Brazil push for ethanol".
"The soaring cost of housing has forced people at all income levels to rethink what 'affordable' really means." "Tough choices". For more check out this excellent site: "Fla Workforce Housing".
"Lee County has another ally in the battle to control excessive releases from Lake Okeechobee, and this one should have some power to change things. Florida's Senate president is very interested in the issue of water quality, local legislators said Monday during a Lee County legislative delegation meeting in Fort Myers." "Legislators: Lake O will be a state priority".
"At the state level,"
the Florida Legislature this year also declined to put a $500 limit on contributions to 527 groups involved in local and state races - for the obvious reason that incumbents tend to benefit more than challengers from 527s. Many lawmakers also set up their own 527s, as incoming Senate President Ken Pruitt did to tout Bright Futures scholarships."Campaign finance retreat".
State lawmakers did require 527s to disclose donors more quickly, but the politicians still benefit from huge contributions. Does that matter? Politicians in Tallahassee will say it doesn't. The best ones even will do it with a straight face.
The Naples Daily News editorial board: "By making the ban — albeit one that allows drilling closer to Florida than the previous moratoria did — into law, Congress has recognized a reality of modern life: While protecting the environment is important, we need fossil fuels." "Gulf drilling".
"Last week, incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi appointed Castor to the House Rules Commmittee, a rare selection for a freshman." "Castor Names District Staff".
Voucher Nut Annoyed
The Miami Herald's story on Sunday, "Exam has changed how teachers teach", annoyed Voucher nut John Kirtley: "Voucher guru peeved by story".
Out in the blogosphere, there is this post at dKos on Rubio and the House GOPers: "Democrats Need To See This – FL Republicans are slick!".