"The Florida Energy and Climate Commission sided with the state's major power companies and against a pair of environmental groups today in a dispute over setting conservation and efficiency goals for the utilities."
The panel, created by Gov. Charlie Crist and state lawmakers last year, voted 6-2 to recommend that the Public Service Commission adopt a goal-setting procedure based largely on a long-used method favored by the utilities."State energy panel rejects environmentalists' plan".
"Facing a Monday deadline, state leaders and the Seminoles appear closer than ever to getting a gambling deal authorizing the tribe to operate blackjack and slots in exchange for money dedicated to state schools." "Seminole Tribe, state close in on gambling deal". Related: "Lawmaker: It's up to Crist to cut Seminole gambling deal".
Charlie "mending fences"?
The Hill writes that "in an effort to win friends among conservatives he has alienated, Crist has interviewed more than half a dozen potential successors eager to fill out the remainder of Martinez's term."
They range from close allies like former chief of staff George LeMieux to political veterans like ex-Rep. Clay Shaw (R) and hard-line conservatives, including state Sen. Daniel Webster."Crist uses Martinez appointment to boost Senate bid".
Ten candidates remain in contention, with political observers seeing three as true entries on the shortlist. Former U.S. Attorney Bob Martinez, LeMieux and former Attorney General Jim Smith are the inside favorites, sources said.
LeMieux, who is rumored to be aiding the selection process behind the scenes, could cause some controversy, given his close ties to Crist.
Picking him, said Orange County Republican Party Chairman Lew Oliver, "would only be, from a perception perspective, only slightly less damaging than appointing himself."
Smith has run into trouble lately because of his past as a lobbyist after he left office. And few know Bob Martinez (no relation to the senator), making some conservatives nervous.
So far, at least four candidates — Reps. Bill Young and Lincoln Diaz-Balart, former Lt. Gov. Toni Jennings and businesswoman Susan Story — have taken their names out of contention even after Crist asked them to submit questionnaires.
Scott Maxwell claims there's "growing buzz that Charlie Crist — who's taking increasing heat from his party's conservative core for his supposedly moderate ways — may try to appease the base by selecting a strong conservative as U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez's temporary successor." "Are your lobbyists falling short? Get rid of 'em".
A Zell thing
After slamming labor law reform a few weeks ago, Zell Corporation employee Beth Kassab tiptoes around corporate excess this morning in "Darden board pay reflects new reality".
Hey, it works for Walmart-China
"Inmate labor -- a cheaper solution?".
Florida's "'radical left-wing fringe'"?
"The head of Florida's most powerful business group [the august Barney Bishop] said Thursday a 'radical left-wing fringe' of voters is stopping the state from cashing in on offshore oil drilling." "Drilling debate gets heated".
Crist claims he "govern[s] most of the day"
"So far, Crist has largely ignored new media, at least in comparison to his opponents."
Yes, Crist's Senate campaign has set up Twitter and Facebook accounts, but Crist, 53, who admits to not being a fan of e-mail, lacks the personal touch Meek, 42, and Rubio, 38, give theirs. And Crist's YouTube channel isn't nearly as extensive as his younger opponents' channels."Can Meek, Rubio tweet out a Fla. Senate win?". Related "Paul Flemming: Welcome to the Internet, fellas".
But there's still a year to go before the primary and a little more than 14 months to the general election, so he has time.
"I'm a traditionalist, but I think that we'll continue to move forward and as new opportunities to communicate develop, we will develop with them," Crist said. "When you're governor of a state the size of Florida, I don't have time to be tweeting all day. I need to govern most of the day."
Thank you, Mr. Obama
"The University of Florida plans to use federal stimulus money to hire up to 100 new professors, helping replenish the faculty after a year of cuts." "Stimulus cash to bring in up to 100 professors".
"PSC's lobbyist wrong to party with FPL exec"
The Miami Herald editors: "PSC staff lobbyist Ryder Rudd says he visited the Palm Beach Gardens home of Florida Power & Light Vice President and General Counsel Ed Tancer in May during a Kentucky Derby party. He said he and his wife were there 'briefly,' only as part of his job to collect information about industry issues." "Public Service Commission inquiry is right on".
The Palm Beach Post editors: "To shut up the critics, Mr. Reily filed a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation. It's the sort of frivolous lawsuit the Legislature won't tolerate against doctors or hospitals but allows developers to use against average Floridians. Once the defendants have to hire attorneys and spend money, the theory goes, the public protests will end." "End these frivolous lawsuits".
Have another beer ...
"Boyd: Business can help solve problems".
The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Both sides declared victory after Wednesday's ruling that the South Florida Water Management District can issue bonds to buy a large portion of U.S. Sugar's land." "Victory for the Everglades".
Entrepreneurs in action
"Ky. military contractor accused of threatening witnesses amid investigation of faulty repairs".
Stop the madness
The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "The federal government's case against Youssef Megahed always hinged on the suspect math that one plus one equaled three. This week, having overcome two attempts by federal authorities to jail or deport him, Megahed was back where he belonged — at the University of South Florida completing his degree in engineering." "Object lesson in the rule of law".
"The Florida Chamber of Commerce's Partnership for Florida's Future elections group has begun running this ad warning about 'the greedy personal injury trial lawyers and illegal aliens (who) sue our hospitals... schools and law-enforcement officers.' Add to that a fourth victim, the ad says: candidate John Thrasher, 'the conservative champion.'" "'Illegal aliens' now part of tough Senate race". Related: "New TV ad blasting Thrasher".
Thanks, Mr. Obama
The Tampa Tribune "The need to curtail nutrient pollution can be seen almost every rainy season, when runoff causes algae blooms in water bodies throughout the state, including Tampa Bay."
The blooms often deplete dissolved oxygen levels to the point that aquatic life cannot survive, creating dead zones. The pollution kills fish and renders water bodies unsafe for swimming or drinking."Nutrient cleanup".
So it is encouraging to see the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finally is taking steps to limit the nutrient pollution that flows off farmlands and neighborhood lawns or leaches from septic tanks.
"Investors should cover more of top FPL salaries and bonuses"
The Miami Herald editorial board: "As air conditioners churn across the state and bills spike during the summer, no one wants to hear that Florida Power & Light wants to increase its rate by 30 percent -- especially not in a recession with statewide unemployment at historic levels. Add to that angst the fight FPL waged to keep confidential the names of executives receiving top pay and benefits, which has resulted in an unnecessarily nefarious tone to the rate-increase discussion." "FPL customers need relief".
Big of us
"Immigration officials have released the two Haitian parents who lost their baby girl when a boat carrying migrants trying to get to the United States capsized in May off the coast of Palm Beach County, according to an advocacy group for Haitians." "Migrant couple who lost child released".