Florida's media is in a frenzy, as "Ex-Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush won't run for Senate in 2010". See also "Bush won't run for Senate" and "Jeb Bush Stops Senate Talk".
"In Florida, the decision immediately threw the race for the seat being vacated by Orlando Republican Mel Martinez up for grabs." "Without Bush, field wide open for Senate".
"Former Gov. Jeb Bush is taking a pass on Florida's up-for-grabs U.S. Senate seat in 2010, dashing the hopes of Republicans thirsting for a heavyweight champion and setting the stage for fiercely competitive primaries in both parties."
Potential Republican candidates include Attorney General Bill McCollum, former House Speaker Marco Rubio, former House Speaker Allan Bense and U.S. Rep. Connie Mack. McCollum is the only one on the Republican short list who has run statewide.And then there's this:
Another statewide officeholder, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink, is considered the most formidable Democrat. Other possible contenders are state Sen. Dan Gelber and U.S. Reps. Kendrick Meek, Ron Klein and Allen Boyd.
Martinez has said he will serve the rest of his term, but rumors persist that he may resign before 2010, allowing Republican Gov. Charlie Crist to appoint a successor who would have a leg up in the election."Without Jeb Bush, U.S. Senate seat is up for grabs".
Mike Thomas: "Without Jeb in race, plenty of folks win" ("Charlie Crist escapes being second fiddle in his re-election coronation.")
"Palm Beach County judge-elect William Abramson said Tuesday that he is weighing whether he should sue Gov. Charlie Crist to force him to release paperwork that allows him to assume the circuit court bench." "Palm Beach County judge-elect weighs suit against Crist". The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Resolve Abramson's status to settle key judicial issue".
"Republican leaders in the House and Senate were moving quickly to close a deal, largely agreed upon, to impose steep cuts, raid trust funds and rely on borrowing to meet a constitutional requirement to balance the $66.3 billion budget."
"For the 79,000 Floridians confined to nursing homes, life is going to get worse, according to advocates who warned Tuesday that the Legislature is going too far" "Florida's social services could face steep cuts".
"As budget cuts move forward in the Legislature, the pinch is being felt in classrooms, nursing homes and even identity-theft investigations. " "Cuts strain schools, services". See also "Legislators embrace cuts, avoid tax hikes", "Schools bear brunt of fiscal pain", "Florida Budget Cuts May Hit The Elderly Hard" and "Myriam Marquez: Legislature takes aim at children".
The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board writes that
the plan's no-new-taxes, cut-to-the-bone approach is well-worn rhetoric. It is party-line ideology cast in stone, and it is bewildering even to the governor — he, too, a Republican, as is legislative leadership."Cuts in services are crippling".
The plan is too rigid. Even Gov. Charlie Crist on Tuesday said leadership is proposing deeper spending cuts than are wise when it could, instead, dip more deeply into emergency reserves or borrow from trust funds.
Currently, though, the plan means cutting child-protection teams, cutting from a law-enforcement fraud unit that saves millions, holding back money that reimburses nursing homes, cutting state troopers' jobs and slicing money out of public schools.
"Officials deny the meeting was damage control"
"A year and half after slipping $6 million into the state budget for an emergency facility at his hometown airport, House Speaker Ray Sansom led a hastily arranged meeting with local officials to explain how they might use it. The meeting, held on Dec. 10, came four days after the Herald/Times Tallahassee Bureau pointed out that the airport building was originally proposed by Sansom's friend, Jay Odom, a developer who wanted to park his jets in a taxpayer-funded hangar." "Florida House speaker aided pal's proposal". See also "Sansom tried to explain facility".
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Ray Sansom had little choice but to resign his college job"
Education week gives Florida schools a "C", yet the headline says "National report card gives Florida a B-minus".
After all, they are black
The Miami Herald editorial board: "The Bush administration continued its policy of cruelty and bias to Haitians with the recent rejection of President René Préval's request that undocumented Haitians be allowed to remain in the United States until their country recovers from last summer's devastating storms." "Haitians snubbed again in bid for TPS".
"Judge Michael E. Allen stood at attention, arms at his side, and took the public reprimand meted out Tuesday by the Florida Supreme Court for judicial misconduct." "Judge Allen reprimanded by Supreme Court".
Raw political courage
"Crist enlisted business backing Tuesday for a $10 million plan to make low-interest state loans to small and medium-sized Florida companies that show good financial potential but have trouble prying growth capital out of market-wary banks." "Crist proposes loans to businesses". See also "Florida proposes $10-million loan program to help small businesses".
The free market in action
"All have pleaded guilty to a charge of defrauding Kendall Regional Medical Center out of more than $5 million." "Prison looms in $5M fraud".
"Task force passes Citizens rate hike".
Let the knuckle-dragging begin
"State Sen. Nan Rich, D-Weston, has filed two bills that would permit gay couples to adopt children. Rich said state law already permits them to be foster parents and a Miami circuit judge's decision striking down the adoption ban is on appeal." "Florida senator pushes to allow gay couples to adopt".
Another fine Jebacy
"South Florida foreclosures top 100,000 in 2008".
The South Florida Sun Sentinel editorial board: "Reform, not suspend, Florida's Bright Futures scholarships".
The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "" "Collect Internet sales tax".
"When it comes down to it, big money still talks a lot louder than the stubborn, soft-spoken laws of probability." "Powerball fever grips Florida".
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Florida should return to a less political way of selecting judges".
"Phyllis Busansky is facing a $2 million deficit and voting machines that misfired on Election Day." "New Elections Supervisor Has Work Cut Out For Her". The Tampa Trib editors: "Johnson's Secretive Ways Leave Financial Mess Behind".