"Leaders in Tallahassee promised tax relief for overburdened homeowners. What they delivered was the largest tax cut in state history. The biggest winners, however, aren't the cash-strapped residents whose protests fueled the reform effort but rather utility companies, theme parks, time-share operators and other property-rich corporations." "Tax breaks pad big pockets".
The Palm Beach Post editorial board asks "How green is the governor?".
"Palm Beach County Democratic Chairman Wahid Mahmood hasn’t filled out an application, but he wants to be considered for the appointment by Republican Gov. Charlie Crist to fill the county commission seat formerly held by Warren Newell." "Dem boss wants Crist appointment".
"Despite being forced from office next year due to term limits, Senate Democratic Leader Steve Geller has started raising money for a new committee of continuous existence (CCE) called Floridians for a Stronger Tomorrow." "Facing term limit, Geller opens committee".
Makes you proud to read that "is second to Texas in federal money for a wait-till-marriage message."
This past year, Florida ranked second only to Texas in the amount of federal money -- $10.7-million -- it received to spread the abstinence-until-marriage message. That's $11.25 spent for every Florida teen ages 14 to 17."No-sex lesson rules Florida". Jebby Junior must have gone to a private school, because he sure didn't get the abstinence message:
A revelation last week gave opponents of abstinence-only education even more ground to criticize. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention confirmed that the percentage of U.S. teens having sex has remained the same in the last few years. The same holds true for Florida teens, who are slightly above the national average when it comes to having sex.
At the Tallahassee Mall on Oct. 7 , John (Jebby) Bush, nephew of George W. Bush and son of Gov. Jeb Bush, was questioned by police, who caught him in a car with a female student, both naked from the waist down, says a report in the London Daily Mail. The officer who found the two filed a report of "sexual misconduct."
"They were both underage but they were both willing participants," said Tallahassee Police spokesman Scott Hunt to the New York Post. "We called the governor's office, spoke to the governor and spoke to her family, and neither one of their families wanted to press charges.
"Bush's Mr. Cellophane" Speaks
"In an interview with Gannett News Service, Martinez talks about primaries, the immigration aftermath, politics and polls" "Martinez candid about his priorities".
"The study, conducted by two respected researchers and scheduled to be released today in a peer-reviewed publication, found that four hurricanes and two tropical storms developed during an average year between 1900 and 1930. Between 1995 and 2005, however, the average shot up to eight hurricanes and seven tropical storms, the report said." "Global warming debate is stormy".
Hill's Hillsborough Campaign
Yesterday on the Tampa Trib: "Hillary Rodham Clinton lovers and haters, get ready - the Democratic senator and presidential candidate plans on spending a lot of time in Hillsborough County." "Fundraiser Nets News Of Clinton Campaign".
"The best health care system in the world"
"Bay Pines [with a VA emergency room only 200 feet away] declined to treat Surette, a longtime VA employee who collapsed on the center's campus on June 26. He was pronounced dead at a hospital three miles away." "VA hospital declined to treat worker".
"People who get caught cheating on federal income taxes pay for their crime with fines and even jail time. These cheaters' examples and the fear of being audited induce others to pay their taxes. This rationale should apply to the firms at Miami International Airport that provide security, handle luggage and perform other services. These firms pay the airport a portion of their revenues. But not every firm accurately reports its revenue or pays what it owes. In the last six months, the Inspector General's office has accused two of the largest firms of cheating. Are there others doing the same thing?" "More oversight will discourage cheaters".
"Searching for the soul of Florida".
"In October, for the first time in more than three decades, it will once again matter in Florida who's at fault in car crashes." "Expiring law may bring 'confusion'".
"Might the Democratic National Committee foist on Democrats in America's biggest battleground state some kind of unwanted delegate selection plan for picking the presidential nominee? Party rules allow that scenario, which sounds possible from national party chairman Howard Dean's comments the other day to a South Carolina TV reporter ..." "Democrats to Florida: Drama is not over yet".
State Sponsored Murder
The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Support for capital punishment nationwide has been slipping. In Florida, which leads the nation in exonerations from Death Row, more juries are handing down assured sentences of life without parole. There always will be cases that rekindle the spark for the death penalty. But then there's the difficulty of writing a law to cover all cases, and of devising a system to carry out the punishment. Florida is failing in both areas." "Stay of the death penalty".
"Should be fun"
Jihn Kennedy yesterday: "The third extra session of the year will occur in an increasingly tense political atmosphere -- with House Speaker Marco Rubio last week blistering fellow Republican Gov. Charlie Crist in print on two separate occasions." "This session should be fun".
We missed this Steve Bousquet piece in our absence last week:
Little by little, the walls are beginning to close in on Gov. Charlie Crist."Reality soon may confront governor".
Let us count the ways.
Florida is in the throes of its worst tax revenue shortfall in years.
Homeowners are still in a foul mood about insurance. Crist's e-mail in-box is full of messages from consumers upset that their rates aren't going down or angry that they have to pay more for sinkhole insurance.
What Crist called "the largest tax cut in Florida history" can be reduced by local officials willing to take the heat for a super-majority override vote.
Crist's headache du jour is House Speaker Marco Rubio, the man with the "100 ideas" book and the self-anointed heir to the conservative Jeb Bush legacy that, little by little, Crist is disassembling.