"Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, who says she's considering running for the U.S. Senate, is contemplating a tough political transition: Building from a local political base to a statewide campaign in one of the nation's largest states. Iorio can count on some advantages in that task, including a reputation for nonpartisan executive experience. But some of her advantages will also be disadvantages." "Iorio's Challenge Is To Go To The Next Level". Adam Smith: "Iorio says she might run for U.S. Senate".
The Tampa Trib editors are in love: "Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio will face some obstacles if she decides to run for the U.S. Senate. She's never run a statewide campaign, doesn't have a money-raising network at the ready and is little known outside Hillsborough. Her centrist views could hurt her in a Democratic primary that attracts left-leaning voters."
But Iorio, who surprised her staff by announcing her interest in the seat Tuesday, still could make a formidable candidate."Iorio Eyes D.C.".
She's never lost an election and has been highly successful as a Hillsborough County commissioner, supervisor of elections and mayor. She listens to citizens, pays close attention to details and works for pragmatic solutions.
Iorio is not afraid of the tough task. ...
Iorio balances vision with fiscal restraint. ...
Of course, all the qualifications and appeal in the world don't mean anything if a candidate can't raise truck loads of money. So Iorio doesn't have much time to dawdle. If she does run, there is still much to learn about her positions on national and international issues.
But we know this: She is the kind of smart, articulate and battle-tested candidate both parties should be seeking.
"Even as she considers a run for the U.S. Senate, Mayor Pam Iorio is swept up in Super Bowl mania this week with a calendar packed with appearances, news conferences and parties." "Iorio in a Super Bowl whirl".
"Florida lawmakers split mainly along party lines Wednesday on a massive economic recovery package intended to help soften the economic downturn for workers and businesses nationally, while plugging gaping budget holes in the Sunshine State."
The U.S. House approved the $819 billion American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, 244-188, without a single Republican voting for it. ..."Florida would get $1.98 billion in infrastructure money, delivered in a lump sum to the state transportation department. Here's where the money would go:"
Rep. Allen Boyd of Monticello was one of only 11 Democrats who voted against the bill, and the only one from Florida. ...
# $1.46 billion for highways and bridges."Florida could gain billions from stimulus plan".
# $285 million for transit capital.
# $196 million for the Clean Water State Revolving Fund.
# $36.9 million for the Fixed Guideway Modernization program. ...
# $600 million for NASA science and aeronautics programs.
# $1.4billion for Pell Grant recipients.
# $29.9 million for Head Start.
# $105 million in child care and development block grants.
"Florida stands to gain more than $12 billion from the U.S. House's stimulus plan including money that could help balance the state's budget, build highways and bridges, expand mass transit and modernize schools. The House passed the legislation Wednesday. The vote was 244-188 with overwhelmingly Democratic support and most Republicans in opposition." "Florida stands to gain billions from stimulus plan".
More; "Billions in healthcare dollars may be flowing to Florida in the stimulus package, but the Legislature has made it tough to use them to expand programs." "Stimulus may include $4 billion in medical aid for Florida's poor". See also "What economic stimulus could mean for you" and "Stimulus Package Would Benefit Hillsborough Schools".
Keeping her options open, "Brown-Waite Misses Vote".
Wake me when we get the check
"FPL could face $1 billion in fines".
"Crist's vetoes signal call to reason on state budget"
The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board:
The Legislature took a hatchet to the budget earlier this month, chopping out about $1.2 billion from public schools, health care and other sources, and borrowing heavily from trust funds to balance the rest. Gov. Charlie Crist wielded his veto pen like a scalpel this week, restoring $365 million in programs for the most vulnerable Floridians, and throwing a protective fence around the state's landmark environmental preservation fund."Common-sense pushback".
The vetoes carried a strong message of compassion in difficult economic times.
Obama Admin to have the final say
"Offshore fish farming would be allowed in the Gulf of Mexico under a plan approved Wednesday by the agency that sets the body of water's fishing rules."
Fishermen complained that making the Gulf the first federal waters off the U.S. to allow the farming would cause pollution and drive them out of business. Supporters, though, say the farming would give the country a bigger piece of a multibillion-dollar industry."Fishing rules body OK's Gulf offshore fish farming".
The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council voted 11-to-5 in favor of allowing the farming. One member involved in aquaculture research abstained. The U.S. Commerce Department has final say on the rules.
Good luck with that
"Two state lawmakers -- [State Sen. Alex Villalobos, a Miami Republican, and state Rep. Luis Garcia, a Miami Beach Democrat] -- came together on Wednesday to unveil a bill that would protect teacher raises."
The proposed ''Pay Teachers First'' legislation would also:"2 Miami-Dade legislators push bill to protect teacher raises".
• Ensure that teachers receive larger percentage pay raises than administrators,
• Cap salaries for administrators -- except superintendents -- at twice the average salary of a classroom teacher, and
• Allow Florida voters to oust local school board members by petitioning for a recall election.
The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "State Farm’s decision to stop selling property insurance in Florida does not create a new crisis. It brings more urgency to a festering problem and forces Gov. Charlie Crist and the Legislature to refocus their efforts." "Property insurance overhaul overdue".
High tech layoff
"Citrix Systems Inc. of Fort Lauderdale Is your Fort Lauderdale restaurant clean? - Click Here. and Jabil Circuit Inc. plan to reduce their work forces by a combined 3,500 to cut costs as the recession hurts demand for technology products. Software maker Citrix said it will cut 500 jobs, or 10 percent of the total global work force. The company employs 1,800 people in South Florida." "Citrix to lay off 500 workers".
"The system is nearing a meltdown"
"State courts won a temporary reprieve during the latest round of budget cuts, but the system is nearing a meltdown as it struggles with more than 4 million new cases a year, Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Peggy Quince said Wednesday. " "Florida courts dodge budget-cut bullet".
Another fine Jebacy
"A Medicaid privatization program former Gov. Jeb Bush touted as a national model for improving patient care while decreasing government costs is floundering as nearly a quarter of the participating doctors have quit over payments and the inability to treat patients as they see fit." "25 percent of doctors leave Fla. Medicaid pilot".
"In 2005, an estimated 22,000 needy students left $24 million in Pell grant money untapped, according to the board's staff analysis. Students from families with incomes below $40,000 a year are eligible." "Needy Florida students passing up Pell grants". See also "Students shun application forms, pass up $24 million in aid".
"Manatees' record numbers not likely to renew 'endangered' debate". See also "".
Just sayin' no
"Boyd won't seek Senate seat". See also "Attorney General Bill McCollum won't run for Senate", "2 Big Names Won't Enter Senate Race", "Boyd, McCollum bow out of 2010 Senate race" and "Updated: Bill McCollum, Allen Boyd won't run for U.S. Senate seat".
"Many Iraqi refugees are about to make Florida their new home"
"Iraqis displaced by the U.S.-led war are among new groups of refugees who will increasingly be resettled in communities throughout Florida and the country, a United Nations official said Wednesday." "Florida prepares for Iraqi refugee influx".
"Charter school backers say more students needed".
Blast from the past
"The Rev. Al Sharpton will join the families of two teens who were killed in a Miami shooting last week to launch a national drive against the 'stop snitching' culture." "Al Sharpton visits Miami over shooting".
Funny how that works
"Mental-Health Care Demand Up as Funding Drops".
Not so sweet
"Analysis of U.S. Sugar land buy criticized". But see "Study: Sugar land lease in line with market rates".
A Palm Beach thing
"Unqualified is the new qualified".
"Tax-break 'portability' didn't spark housing, state says".
"Condo foreclosure costs Buddy Johnson $415K". The The St. Petersburg Times editorial board: "Johnson's abuses still mounting".
"Some Florida residents aren't waiting for State Farm Florida Insurance to tell them their policies won't be renewed." "Hunting for insurance after State Farm bombshell". See also "State Farm plan has broad impact".
The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "State Farm wants it all; Florida should say no".
This, from the Maitland housewife: "Sorry, Charlie, State Farm needs to stay". The Zell corporation offer this: "State Farm's withdrawal from Florida isn't the end of the world". The South Florida Sun Sentinel editorial board: "Florida shouldn't let State Farm walk out so easily, and state must recognize it still has insurance woes to fix".
Dirty little fingers
"The council decided to bid out the contract after the firm that had held it for 10 years was bought by another group, and key lobbyists who had worked with the county moved to new firms." "Volusia plans to hire new federal lobbyist".