"Census numbers released in late December show Florida has gained enough population to put it in line to gain at least two new seats in Congress after the 2010 Census is completed. Florida now has 25 seats in Congress."
"If they get three, they will be larger than New York," said Clark Bensen, of Polidata, a political data consulting firm based near Washington, D.C."Florida's growing clout".
New York currently has 29 seats, but is expected to lose at least two more seats at the next census because of its slow growth compared with other states. If Florida gets three new seats, its 30 seats would make it the third-biggest delegation after California and Texas.
Campbell Jumps Into HD 3 Special Election
Elizabeth Campbell, the retired Navy Chief who ran unsuccesfully against HD 3 Rep. Holly Benson last November, announced that she will run in the special election to replace Benson, was recently appointed by Gov.-elect Charlie Crist to be his new secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation.
Campbell is a retired Navy Chief with over twenty-two years of distinguished service. She retired from active duty on March 31st 2006, and proudly hails from a family dedicated to service.More from her bio:
Masters Degree from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Aeronautical Science, and has been working toward another Masters Degree from The University of West Florida in Political Science. Her many years experience in management and teaching, have earned her a position as adjunct faculty at Embry Riddle, where she will continue to help educate and shape the minds of students.Her website.
More "Jeb!" Editorials
The Daytona Beach News-Journal editorial board, perhaps Jebbie's most incisive critics over the last eight years, is far too kind to him today: "Adieu to the audacious innovator".
The Sun-Sentinel is going to miss their beloved Jebbie: "Jeb Bush began his amazing run in Florida politics as the brash outsider, blessed with high energy, a conservative ideology and a blue-chip name. He ends it today as a popular two-term governor with rock-star status and a string of accomplishments." "Jeb's Legacy".
Out in the blogosphere, a lengthy diary at dKos begins with this: "'My way or the highway' King Jeb Bush leaves a legacy of damage that will shadow Florida long after his departure." "Jeb Bush, Carpetbagger".
Higher Education, Florida Style
"Nearly $9 million in Bright Futures Scholarship and Florida Student Assistance Grants went to private, for-profit colleges and universities last school year, and few of them are accredited by the group accepted as the "gold standard" in mainstream education. Among the beneficiaries:"
• A luxury spa operator boasting $397 million in revenue in 2005 to train its future employees in medicinal massage and holistic skin care. The owner just opened a facility in downtown Dubai in the United Arab Emirates."For-profit schools get share of state grant money".
• A school where, for double the tuition of a public university, students learn formulas for mixing herbs and how to refine their "Qi," or spiritual energy, to thwart disease.
• The Sunstate Academy of Hair Design in Clearwater, which received more than $10,000 since 2001 from students whose good grades earned them state-funded college scholarships.
"The People's Governor"
"Charlie Crist has spent most of his 14-year career in state politics making people happy. Now he has to start making people mad." "For Crist, power comes with problems". See also "Crist a 'people's governor' facing tough challenges" and "New Issues Confront Crist".
And isn't this a bit premature? "Crist evolves into steady leader".
Bill Cotterell today: "All things considered, it wasn't a bad year for state employees. They got some new bosses. They got a 3-percent pay raise, but Gov. Bush leaves 9,787 fewer authorized positions than there were in 1999." "For state workers, 2006 was very memorable". See also his earlier column: "Is Convergys getting its man at DMS?".
Luv for Sale
"The money machine is still printing for Gov.-elect Charlie Crist, even without an inaugural dress ball to fund. Crist, after raising a record $19.6 million to win the Florida governor's race, hopes to drum up another $1.2 million for the party afterward - with enough to spare for charity." "Donors line up to give to Crist".
"Appointments put his stamp on judiciary".
"Repeal of the intangibles tax is among 11 laws passed by the 2006 Legislature that takes effect today." "New laws take effect". See also "Laws take effect in first week of 2007".
He Can't Help Himself
Mike Thomas shared this wisdom with us the other day: "Any other chief executive with his record of budget management, education reform, job creation, crisis management and towering poll ratings would be an obvious choice for the White House." "Mike Thomas: Next act for Jeb is prematurely bushwhacked".
"The results three months ago were eye-opening: Almost half of the Floridians polled said things were heading in the wrong direction in the state. Respondents to the Florida Chamber poll cited several reasons: the homeowners insurance crisis, education and the property tax pinch. Most telling was where the blame did not fall. In the same poll, Gov. Jeb Bush was showered with a favorable rating by 63 percent of respondents." "Jeb's Legacy".
the incoming House Speaker picked state Rep. Ron Reagan, R-Bradenton, to lead the House Committee on Insurance. The committee is charged with getting a handle on perhaps the biggest political issue of the year."Reagan will lead House insurance committee".
Reagan, an insurance agent for 26 years, said it's a weighty responsibility for sure, but he is excited to have a prominent role on such a critical issue.
What's The Plan, Charlie?
"Charlie Crist, who takes the oath of office tomorrow, will have to explain to hurting Floridians how he plans to bring about the lower windstorm rates that he set as his goal." "The challenges of 2007 are left over from 2006".
"Ecologist Charles Lee, director of advocacy for Audubon of Florida in Maitland, offers a theory for the seeming lack of enthusiasm for solar power: 'We are very much a crack (cocaine) addict, except our crack is fossil fuels.' But power industry and state officials said the biggest obstacles facing solar are dependability and cost." "Fla. Utilities In Dark With Solar Energy".
Movin' On Up
"Friday afternoon, Rep. Dennis Ross received a late Christmas present, or early April Fool's joke, depending on how you look at it."
Ross, a Lakeland Republican, was bumped upstairs - way upstairs - right into the Florida House leadership circle by House Speaker Marco Rubio, R-Coral Gables. Ross withdrew from the speaker's race two years ago to support Rubio."Lakeland Representative Moving On Up".
Rep. Holly Benson, R-Pensacola, was recently appointed by Gov.-elect Charlie Crist to be his new secretary of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Benson, who had been a part of the inner House leadership with Rubio, had to give up her House seat to take the job.