"Former Gov. Jeb Bush announces endorsement of U.S. Senate candidate Marco Rubio". See also "Jeb Bush endorses Marco Rubio".
RPOFers attack Crist
"Since the lifelong Republican announced last week he was running for the U.S. Senate as a nonpartisan candidate, the Florida GOP has been singularly focused on attacking Gov. Crist, casting him as a phony, a traitor who all but destroyed the state party."
The era of Crist and his handpicked former chairman Jim Greer, the party suggests, was a dark and dismal period for the GOP."Crist now GOP enemy No. 1". See also "Crist Ridiculed but Ready to Retaliate".
"Charlie Crist deserted the Republican Party he ruined by giving his corrupt friend Jim Greer free reign (sic) [sic] over Party spending,'' says a new website, www.CantTrustCharlie.com, unveiled by the party Tuesday. "Charlie Crist created this mess, and now he's running from it. Charlie Crist can't be trusted. You can help us defeat Charlie Crist. You can help us rebuild the Party he tried to destroy!"
"The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida is asking Gov. Charlie Crist to veto a bill containing anti-abortion amendments they say affects the health of women." "ACLU Florida asks Crist to veto abortion bill".
"A Democratic lawmaker wants Gov. Charlie Crist to call a special session to deal with some unfinished legislative business and the threat to Florida's economy from an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico." "Gelber asks governor to call special session".
Crist surges as wingnuts whine
"A Rasmussen poll shows Gov. Charlie Crist, now running as an independent, leading Republican Marco Rubio by four points, which was within the margin of error, and Democrat Kendrick Meek by 21 points. A poll from the same company two weeks ago showed Rubio with a 7-point lead." "New poll gives Crist an upward bump in Senate race".
"Some say the state got hosed"
"The Seminole casino compact approved by the 2010 Legislature could deliver up to $1.2 billion to the state's coffers over the next five years, but the back story on the deal makes that jackpot look like an ill-gotten gain. And some say the state got hosed." "A Cancer of Cronyism? Bet on it, Florida".
Spill baby, spill!
"Lawmakers unhappy after oil spill briefings from executives", "With oil slick still offshore, a frenzy of preparations", "Oil Spill Spurring Lawsuits Across Panhandle", "Sink urges residents to begin documenting", "Scientists: Florida's West Coast Should be 'OK' in Oil Spill", "Crist urges aggressive action", "Update: Wind likely to keep oil slick from Florida’s shores until Thursday", "Impact forecast for Thursday is just the first wave in 'ginormous' disaster", "Crist makes second flight over growing gulf oil slick", "Oil slick almost certain to ride current and reach Palm Beach's shores within weeks", "Volunteers mass as Gulf oil slick nears shore".
"An influential state senator who is running for governor called for an explanation Tuesday of how the Blackwater River prison privatization project was handled in the state budget." "Sen.Dockery questions DOC, DMS about budget appropriations".
Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire
"Along comes Sen. Mike Bennett, another political egomaniac who believes he's above scrutiny or honesty or answering for bad behavior in office -- and you know what? He almost is." "Gotta Shout It, Sen. Bennett: Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire".
"Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp said the Republican Party paid for him to take donors and their families on special tours of Disney World amusement parks." "Lieutenant governor tied to Florida GOP-paid expenses for Disney tours".
"While Gov. Charlie Crist left the Republican Party to continue his run for the U.S. Senate as an independent running to the GOP’s left, Stanley left the Republicans to continue running for Congress against Ander Crenshaw from the right. With no Democrat in the race, Stanley is Crenshaw's chief opponent in the race." "The Anti-Crist: Troy Stanley Enters Stage Right".
Meek and Greene trade shots"
"While billionaire Jeff Greene has been in the Democratic primary for the U.S. Senate for less than a week, he has already shaped the race tremendously --forcing Congressman Kendrick Meek to focus on his new rival instead of on newly independent Gov. Charlie Crist or former House Speaker Marco Rubio, the likely Republican nominee." "Democratic Senate Primary Battle Starts Off With Attacks".
The Miami Herald editors: "Keep state's rail funding on track".
Tony Plakas: "Party loyalists from both sides label Crist a flip-flopper. However, in reality, he has been what he's always been, a Crist-crosser, hopping from liberal to conservative stances like a master at a game of political hopscotch — always landing his foot in the all-important 50 percent-plus-one square." "Charlie Crist is still a master at political hopscotch".
"Some Republicans angry at Brown-Waite".
The best they can do?
"Tampa is vying against Phoenix and Salt Lake City to host the GOP convention, when the party's delegates will nominate a presidential candidate for the 2012 election. The event is expected to attract more than 50,000 politicians, delegates and reporters." "GOP committee to select host for 2012 convention next week".
Rumor has it that Phoenix has convinced the Governor to suspend Arizona's "your papers pleez" law in the event the GOPers select Arizona, which makes the next post particularly funny.
Wingnut laff riot
Jonah Goldberg: "On inclusiveness, GOP just can't win". Related: "Darryl E. Owens: Tea party and racism: Readers react to commentary".
"In just over a day on the auction block, Charlie Crist's portrait is getting the attention and inching its way to the dollar amount the sellers – the Republican Party of Florida – dreamed of."Bids for Crist's portrait passes $6,000 mark on eBay".
News flash: union haters attack union
This garbage from the union haters* on the Orlando Sentinel editorial board:
As lingering cash woes have derailed school budgets and left districts weighing cuts, the head of Orange County teachers union hopes to hop on the gravy train."Union man".
Union President Mike Cahill has proposed a pay hike for the post during his final term on the job. If the union board gives its OK, the $74,800 he earns could be bumped as high as $93,600.
He also wants to add generous car and clothing allowances to perks that already include a $10,000 expense account.
What? No servant to peel his grapes?
Save for mileage, such perks appear unheard of for other local union presidents. And with teachers sweating jobs and hoping for razor-thin raises, Mr. Cahill's pitch is a galling slap in the face to the teachers he serves.
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*Because the Sentinel refuses to disclose its anti-union bias, we're happy to. Let's start with this: During a strike involving a Tribune Company newspaper (the Baltimore Sun) a few years back, "guess where Tribune's finding its [reporter and editor] scabs? 'Florida is supplying them with a lot,' says one Sentinel source". Indeed, "potential scabs are offered Sun pay on top of their normal salary -- more than double their pay, for scabs coming from regional papers like the Sentinel -- plus per-diem expenses and even security to deal with the hecklers." "Send in the scabs".
The Sentinel's anti-union glee is no secret: see e.g., "Ignorance", "Sentinel At It Again" and "Oh ... The Horror".
More: "The Orlando Sentinel editors are at it again".
To top it off, when an enterprising newspaperman threatened to expose the Sentinel's grossly anti-union conduct, the Sentinel, which had been editorializing against newspapers being subject to lawsuits for so-called "false light" torts, threatened the other newspaper with, you guessed it, a "false light" lawsuit. "Oh ... The Hypocrisy ".
The Orlando Sentinel editors remid us of another fine Jebacy: "Florida's appointment process is not without its flaws, largely because of changes lawmakers made under former Gov. Jeb Bush."
The rules for naming members to nominating commissions were established in 1971 to balance power between the governor and the Florida Bar. In 2001, however, lawmakers tilted power to the governor, making it easier for him to choose judges on politics rather than merit."Election 2010: Pick judges on merit".
But those changes could be reversed, and the original system restored, through an executive order. Gov. Charlie Crist has abused the appointment process at times under the current rules, but now he's eager in his new identity as an independent to show he is above politics as usual. He could make a strong statement by restoring the original rules (and requiring the commissions to deliberate in public meetings).
The Florida Constitution empowers judicial circuits and counties to switch to appointed judges if enough supporters in the jurisdiction sign petitions and voters approve the change. Voters have rejected the idea in the past, but patience with entrenched incumbents seems to be much shorter these days.
Advocates of merit selection should mount a new round of campaigns across Florida. Voters get few choices under the elected system. They might as well get more qualified judges under an appointed one.
"The good, the bad and the ugly"
The St. Pete Times editors: "While Congress turns its attention toward banking regulation, climate change and immigration, Florida and the rest of the nation are digesting the landmark health care reforms. We sift through some of the good, the bad and the ugly." "Good, bad, ugly in health reform".
Winners and losers
Scott Maxwell: "So who won and lost in Tallahassee? Well, if you're a super-wealthy blood-bank exec who wants to keep secrets — and buy a yacht — then you hit the jackpot!" "Your quick guide to Legislature's highs and lows".
... from the Tampa Trib editors, who think the latest anti-choice bill out of Tallahassee is just dandy, even though they "recognize this bill is not about better health care, although better care is attendant to an ultrasound. The bill may have been driven by ideology, but it is about providing women with the straight facts about their condition and offers them the opportunity to make an informed choice." "Abortion bill allows choice".
Labels: "A short but sordid history under Republican governors", "Fresh investigation" uncovers "explosive allegations" against Vern