Howard Troxler laments that "it took this Rentboy matter to call attention to the real issue, namely, that the elected attorney general of Florida, now seeking to become governor, hired such a fellow and had him paid $120,000 in the first place."
When it comes to Rentboy.com vs. a Cadillac Escalade, I'm goin' with Rentboy as the lead story — and yet, who cannot admire the stink surrounding U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek, the leading Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate?"Rentboys, Cadillacs and scandals, oh my!".
As [Troxler's] colleagues at the Miami Herald report, Meek went to bat in Congress for the benefit of a Liberty City developer who (1) helped Meek's then-chief of staff buy a house, and (2) hired Meek's mother as a consultant, paying her $90,000 and paying for the aforementioned Escalade.
This developer, Dennis Stackhouse, has since been arrested on charges that he stole nearly $1 million from the failed project. He is awaiting trial. Meek has said he didn't know at the time that his mother was working for Stackhouse, and says that his now-former chief of staff's deal with the developer was "inappropriate."
"People can be fooled"
"A judge has allowed grand theft charges against former House Speaker Ray Sansom to stand, moving the case of a $6 million airport building closer to trial."
While the appropriation had to go through official channels, "that doesn't mean that the plan of the defendants was not possible," Circuit Judge Terry Lewis wrote. "People can be fooled.""Judge: Theft charge stands".
Spill baby, spill!
"The Coast Guard reported that 20 tar balls along the shore on Monday night at Fort Zachary Taylor State Park in Key West. Samples are being sent to a laboratory for analysis." "Potential oil threat to South Florida is anybody's guess". See also "Tar balls found off Key West, Coast Guard says".
More: "BP promises $25 million to Florida for advertising", "BP gives state $25M to promote tourism" and "Lawsuit seeks closing of BP platform in the Gulf".
The Miami Herald editorial board: "Clamp down on Big Oil". The Saint Petersburg Times editors: "Failure of oversight on drilling".
And while we're on the subject of oil: "Jindal gets in on the action".
"The court ruled 5 to 4[*] that denying juveniles who have not committed homicide a chance to ever rejoin society is counter to national and 'global' consensus and violates the Constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment."
The case involved Terrance Jamar Graham, who was convicted of robbery in Jacksonville, Fla., when he was 16. He received a short jail term and probation but was arrested again at 17 for taking part in a home invasion. The judge in the case sent him away for life."Supreme Court restricts life without parole for juveniles". See also "Cruel punishment redefined for juveniles" and "Florida at center of ban on juvenile life sentences".
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*The slim majority was comprised of Justices Anthony M. Kennedy, John Paul Stevens, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor
Let's hope not
"City and state arson investigators suspect the weekend fire that virtually destroyed the home of Gov. Charlie Crist's former spokeswoman was deliberately set." "Former Crist aide's home burned".
"Lawmakers on Monday sent Gov. Charlie Crist 45 bills, including ones dealing with sexual predators, space, spring training and hurricane insurance. He now has until June 1 to sign or veto the bills." "Florida House sends Gov. Crist 45 bills".
Another fine Jebacy
"Orlando now leads Florida and most of the nation for underwater mortgages, according to a report released last week by CoreLogic Inc. Only Las Vegas and Phoenix surpass it. The California-based researchers determined that 55 percent, or 285,004, of the area's mortgaged homes are worth less than their outstanding mortgage." "With Orlando No. 3 in nation in underwater mortgages, homeowners ponder leaving".
"Almost a compulsion"
"The son of former Gov. Lawton Chiles said Monday he feels "almost a compulsion" to run for governor and will probably enter the Democratic race by the middle of next week."
Lawton "Bud" Chiles III said he is talking with family members and political allies about challenging Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink for the party's nomination to succeed Gov. Charlie Crist. ..."Gov. Chiles’ son feels ‘compulsion’ to enter primary".
"This is almost a compulsion," said Chiles. "I feel like I've got to either leave the state or do this."
Rubio lead widens
Brandon Larrabee: "Former House Speaker Marco Rubio now holds an eight-point lead over Gov. Charlie Crist in the campaign for an open U.S. Senate seat, according to a survey released by Rasmussen Reports [yesterday]." "Poll: Rubio reclaims lead in U.S. Senate race".
Caveat: Rasumussen tends to poll more older, whiter, and "higher social status" voters, which happens to be consistent with the teabagger demographic. More here.
No surprise, then, that a Rasumussen poll would show Rubio doing well.
"New, mystery conservative group gunning for Charlie Crist".
Greene hits the air
"Billionaire and Democratic Senate candidate Jeff Greene is hitting the airwaves with two ads depicting him as a political outsider and successful businessman." "Billionaire Greene airs first 2 Senate ads".
The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Crist got it right in vetoing the tax break for phony farmers that the Legislature passed this year."
The bill would have enabled huge landowners and developers to avoid paying their fair share of property taxes by hiding behind an exemption meant to protect working farms. The measure was an abuse that could have robbed state and local governments of tens of millions of dollars. "Crist's wise veto of phony farmer bill".
Just do it
"Sixty-nine percent of Florida voters support allowing gay men and lesbians to serve in the U.S. military, according to a new survey released Monday by Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest gay-rights group." "69 percent of polled Florida voters say let gays serve in the military". See also "Poll: Most Florida voters say let gays serve in the military".
The best they can do
The right wing "media" does its best to equate FlaDems expenditures with RPOFer excesses: "Party On! Democrats Do It, Too".
That's a lotta lap dances
"Organizers say the 50,000 convention delegates, protesters and media that will descend on Tampa for the 2012 convention could pump as much as $170 million into the local economy." "Tampa expects GOP windfall".
Don't underestimate Crist
Kingsley Guy has "learned in the course of covering Florida politics to never underestimate the skills and resiliency of Gov. Charlie Crist. He faces a tough challenge in his independent bid for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by George LeMieux, but if anybody can pull off a victory, it's Charlie." "Crist's candidacy: It's a mistake to underestimate the governor". In the meantime, "National Conservative Leaders: Crist Is Not to Be Trusted".
Swamphens infiltrating ecosystem
"Lost in the recent furor over the fearsome exotic Burmese python is another invasive species that has spread quietly over the past 14 years from the man-made marshes of Broward County to Lake Okeechobee and beyond. Neither ugly nor dangerous to humans, it nevertheless poses a significant threat to South Florida's fragile wetlands ecosystem." "Non-native swamphens infiltrating Florida's ecosystem".
Barely Florida Forever
"After neglecting to fund Florida Forever for the first time in its 20-year history last year, the Legislature wised up this past session and provided $15 million for the state's land preservation program. Although that's a drop in the bucket compared to the $300 million that previously had been appropriated every year, it still will give the state and willing local partners the ability to preserve some significant lands during a time of declining property values." "Partnering to preserve Florida".
"The process required some fancy footwork for state Sen. Lee Constantine, an Altamonte Springs Republican who is chairman of the nominating council that recommends applicants to the commission. Constantine resigned from the council Monday and instead said he'll apply for the PSC himself." "Three lawmakers among applicants for PSC".
"Crist is reviewing a bill passed by the Legislature last month that would help establish a 'green corridor' PACE program among several South Florida cities. The measure would allow the communities to purchase clean energy systems for residents' homes." "Crist weighs bill to help cities go green".