Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "Florida's governor and Cabinet withstood heavy statewide pressure by influential development and business interests to strike a blow Tuesday for responsible growth management."
Their resolve in the 4-0 vote rejecting an appeal of a Marion County development proposal was strengthened by the clear counsel of Tom Pelham, the state's top growth management expert, and the courageous grassroots challenge mounted by two Marion County women -- Susan Woods and Karen Reico -- to the proposal. The women, without lawyers, exposed a gaping flaw in previous local and state officials' initial approval of an amendment to the county's growth blueprint that would permit dense development. The outcome of the appeal has broad implications for all of Florida."Firm stand on 'need' for growth".
Thrasher's win "democracy in action"?
Mark Lane: "it's hard to think of a better example of the way closed primaries, winner-take-all contests, careful gerrymandering and an apathetic electorate combine to give us legislators very few people ever voted for. Still, only 4 percent of registered voters in his district voted for him, and that will make him senator. It's easy to wonder if that's really democracy in action. ... It's kind of like democracy. Just not as much as you may think." "District 8 Senate race not exactly democracy in action".
Wingnuttery's new mission
"The tidal wave of controversy over ACORN swept rapidly through Florida on Thursday with dozens of angry people contacting Gov. Charlie Crist's office and his political rival questioning his ties to the organization."
A top Florida House Republican, meanwhile, said the Legislature could take its own action against the national community organizing group, which has been severely damaged by hidden camera video showing workers giving tax advice to a couple posing as a prostitute and a pimp."Gov. Crist catching heat amid ACORN controversy".
"The gig is up for ACORN," said state Rep. Adam Hasner, R-Boca Raton, a longtime critic of the group, which helped register hundreds of thousands of voters nationwide in the 2008 election.
Though ACORN, which stands for Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now, has been controversial over the years, the presidential election revealed incidents in Florida and other states where ACORN workers made up bogus voter registration forms, including one for Mickey Mouse.
Crist's challenger for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in 2010 invoked the storm in a letter Thursday.
I am shocked!
"Are Orange officials working on campaigns at the office?".
Florida Medicaid deal
"AARP and the state have agreed on a plan that requires Florida to spend up to $27 million in the coming year to move thousands of poor elderly residents from nursing homes to community-based programs." "Deal to help Florida Medicaid patients leave nursing homes".
Panhandle prayer pass
"A lunch prayer given by a rural Panhandle athletic director and requested by the school's principal didn't violate a federal court order against praying at school events, a judge ruled Thursday."
The two men had faced up to six months in jail and $5,000 in fines for violating a 2008 settlement agreement of a lawsuit against the Santa Rosa County District."Judge excuses administrators in prayer case".
The agreement prohibited school officials from praying or promoting prayer at school events and district officials admitted a long-standing culture of promoting Christianity at the rural northern Panhandle high school.
Just another RPOFer
"At first glance, Florida’s newest U.S. Senator George LeMieux appears to offer Senate Democrats a tantalizing propsect for the 60th vote they need to pass health care reform legislation this fall."
The Broward County Republican has expressed liberal views in the past on issues like gay adoptions and was appointed three weeks ago by Gov. Charlie Crist, who has a history of crossing party lines."LeMieux unlikely to cross over on health plan".
But in an interview Thursday, LeMieux gave little indication he is a winnable vote for Democrats. Instead, LeMieux stressed that he had “serious concerns” about the latest health care reform proposal being pushed by Sen. Max Baucus, D-Montana. The Baucus plan would make more than $400 billion in cuts in Medicare funding, a deal breaker for LeMieux.
"Reservoir might be in the wrong place"
"Work crews spent nearly two years scraping away muck and blasting through limestone to lay the groundwork for a city-sized reservoir on farmland in southwest Palm Beach County. But now, after South Florida taxpayers invested almost $280 million in the unfinished project, water managers say the reservoir might be in the wrong place." "Halted reservoir construction leaves South Florida taxpayers with $280 million tab".
"Rate hike hearing fizzled out"
"Florida Power & Light Co.’s proposed $1.3 billion rate hike hearing fizzled out at 10:55 p.m. this evening after a 13-hour marathon of testimony from FPL CFO Armando Pimentel." "FPL rate hearing adjourns after 13 hours".
When will they show Bean the door?
The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "How many more examples of bad judgment do Hillsborough County commissioners need to see before they show County Administrator Pat Bean the door?" "Bean's conduct again appalls".
Rubio's her man
"U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite endorsed Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate, snubbing Gov. Charlie Crist, her fellow Tampa Bay Republican and former colleague in the state Senate." "U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite endorses Republican underdog Marco Rubio for U.S. Senate".
"Forget that talk about Kathleen Ford and Bill Foster running a respectful, amiable campaign for mayor of St. Petersburg. That prospect ended when Ford suggested out of the blue that Foster might have known more than he let on about late City Council member John Bryan allegedly being a pedophile." "Mayor's race turns ugly".
"Floridians searching for treasure"
"The economic downturn has Floridians searching for treasure. The state has millions of dollars worth of unclaimed silver, gold, jewels and other property locked away in Tallahassee, and people's interest in the forgotten treasure has increased as the economy has soured." "State seeks owners of millions in unclaimed treasures".
"Delray Beach examiners accused of taking bribes for licenses for immigrants".
Had he been a mere teacher ...?
"The Keys' former schools superintendent was sentenced to probation and community service for covering up his wife's alleged theft of nearly $200,000 in school-district funds." "Ex-schools boss spared jail time".
"The flights that Florida Power & Light officials took on their corporate jet have raised so many questions that Public Service Commissioner Nathan Skop on Thursday insisted the utility conduct an independent audit to ensure consumers aren't unfairly stuck with the tab." "Commissioner wants FPL to audit its flights". Related: "UPDATE: FPL exec flies to Tally on corporate jet seeking $1.3 billion rate hike".