Our review of today's Florida political news and punditry
"Wary of a secret deal to force a new mandatory auto insuance, House Democrats are urging state leaders to bring the talks out into the open." "Dems call for open PIP discussion".
Mike Thomas yesterday: "PIP is sick -- just let it die a natural death". See also "PIP plan retains the basic system" and "PIP throw down: ball in Senate’s court" and "Florida Democrats want no-fault auto insurance law renewed".
Ready to be "Run Over"
"Florida’s lone member on a panel of Democrats that will decide what to do about the Sunshine State’s earlier-than-allowed presidential primary says he’s braced for the worse."
He doesn’t expect the national party’s Rules & Bylaws Committee to have much sympathy for Florida when they meet Saturday in Washington, partly because Michigan is now talking about moving up its date—like Florida, against party rules – which further infuriates South Carolina, New Hampshire and Iowa."Katz Expects To 'Get Run Over'". See also "Fowler: Rules Committee Action On Florida Primary Won’t Matter" and "DNC may sanction Fla. Dems for early primary".
“With the Michigan announcement they (committee members) really don’t have much of a choice,” said Katz. “They can’t just slap us on the wrist.”
He expects that the committee will quickly declare Florida’s Democrats as not complying with primary-calendar rules with their plans fora Jan. 29th primary, and impose a tough penalty.
"We're cheap and we're proud of it"
"Charles B. Reed is former chancellor of the State University System of Florida and is currently Chancellor of the California State University System. This is a speech he gave Monday to the LeRoy Collins Institute, a nonpartisan organization that promotes creative solutions to major issues facing Florida and the nation. The institute, located at Florida State University, is affiliated with the SUS and collaborates with the state's public universities." Read it here: "Florida's ex-chancellor speaks: the full text". See also "College try" ("Rankings, Reed spare no criticism of Florida").
"Roger Stone, the Florida-based Republican operative who helped shut down the 2000 presidential recount in MIami-Dade, is accused of leaving an anonymous, nasty phone message for the father of New York Gov. Eliot Spitzer, according to today's New York Times." "Stone accused of threatening pop of NY gov". More from the NYT (via Naked Politics): "Politics Seen in Nasty Call to Spitzer’s Father" (the phone message: "There is not a goddamn thing your phony, psycho, piece-of-shit son can do about it. Bernie, your phony loans are about to catch up with you. You will be forced to tell the truth and the fact that your son’s a pathological liar will be known to all.").
Cuba Travel a Flashpoint for Dems
"One day after Democrat Barack Obama called for lifting limits on family travel to Cuba, rival Hillary Clinton expressed support for current restrictions." "Candidates bring Cuba into race". Hill as well as "Republicans criticized Obama's proposal."
"We're in a very critical moment where many of us are hoping that we will see a transition as opposed to a transfer of power. Frankly I think his comments are ill-timed," said Florida Sen. Mel Martinez, chairman of the Republican National Committee. "It shows that he either didn't think it through very well or simply hasn't had enough experience on these tough foreign policy problems.""Obama's Cuba Stand Breaks Rank".
Jeez, maybe one day Obama will be as sophisticated in foreign affairs as Florida's "reactionary ogre".
"With Florida facing its worst state-budget crisis since the 2001 terrorist attacks, Gov. Charlie Crist said Tuesday that Las Vegas-style slot machines may be the answer." "Governor may bet on tribe's casinos". See also "Best bet for the state" (editorial), "Crist makes a bet on education", "Crist may bet budget on gambling", "Crist pulls for Indian slots to lift education" and "Crist Rolls Dice on Budget Fix".
"An outside auditor has told state-run Citizens Property Insurance it needs to add almost $300 million to reserves, thanks to hundreds of hurricane claims reopening two years after the fact." "Citizens told to increase reserves".
Obama's Southern Strategy
"Obama predicted that black voter turnout would swell by at least 30 percent if he wins the nomination, giving Democrats victory in Southern states that have voted Republican for decades." "Obama Says He Can 'Redraw The Political Map'".
"Students who have never seen a cucumber or strawberry. Principals searching for loopholes in the state's new physical education requirement. School vending machines filled with candy and other calorie-packed treats." "State educators update Crist on school nutrition". See also "Educators seek support in pushing nutrition, fitness".
"It looks like Michigan will move its 2008 presidential primaries to Jan. 15 or earlier, becoming the first big state to leapfrog ahead of Florida’s Jan. 29 date. The Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries are also likely to come before Floridians go to the polls." "Rust Belt calendar revolt".
What's Next? Batista Boulevard?
"Part of Le Jeune renamed for Díaz-Balart".
"Cheney/Satan '08. Democrats: Hard on Fetuses, Soft on Terrorists Jan. 20, 2009 - The End of an Error" "Bumper Stickers Crop Up".
"Don't look for the federal government to fix the insurance crisis in Florida, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson warned in a blitz of the region Tuesday." "Nelson says look to state for relief on insurance".
"Ten years on from Florida's landmark tobacco settlement, key players in that $13 billion deal Tuesday reflected on the achievement, lauded current efforts and insisted that much work remains." "Advocates remember tobacco wars".
"It shouldn't have come to court action, but if it takes a lawsuit to determine who sets tuition in Florida's public universities, then so be it. Florida residents ought to pray that the plaintiffs, led by former Gov. Bob Graham and ex-U.S. Rep. Lou Frey Jr., win the legal action. There's no sense in having the Legislature set tuition for the state's public universities and colleges." "Board of Governors should set tuition at public universities".
"Apologetic Allen disputes allegations of racism".
"The unions representing Jacksonville's police officers and firefighters Tuesday condemned Florida House candidate Lad Daniels for an advertisement that they say wrongly implied their support of him." "Daniel campaign ad draws fire from unions".