Mike Thomas reports that "The top Republican candidates for political office have an economic development plan for Florida."
We all know tourism is in the dumps."Immigration law is bad move for Florida".
Great Recession. Freezing winter.
Oil spill. Media coverage of oil spill.
So what do Bill McCollum, Rick Scott and Marco Rubio want to do?
They want to start a tourism boycott against Florida!
Their plan is to adopt an Arizona law aimed at keeping illegal immigrants out. Unfortunately, the law is doing a much better job of keeping tourists and convention-goers out.
Raw political courage
"Marco Rubio: We need good neighbors, not big government".
"As U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek championed a proposed biopharmaceutical complex in 2003, his Miami chief of staff received $13,000 from the project's developer to help the aide buy a house, police records show. The developer is now awaiting trial, accused of stealing nearly $1 million from the failed project." "Meek tied to S. Florida fraud case". See also ""Kendrick Meek attacked by rival over ties to developer"". Related: "Dems Greene, Meek trade salvos over Meek’s ties to accused developer".
Pill mills threaten legal pain
The Palm Beach Post editors: "Pain clinic owners are threatening to sue the state if Gov. Crist signs into law legislation designed to shut down "pill mills" that do nothing more than supply drugs to dealers and addicts." "Sign 'pill mill' crackdown: Disregard threat of suit by cash-only clinics.".
Spill baby! Spill!
"Despite media reports Sunday morning that oil giant BP has succeeded in connecting a mile-long pipe to capture the oil flowing into the Gulf of Mexico, a BP spokesman said the 'operation is still under way' and did not confirm the reports." "Despite media reports, BP says efforts to connect mile-long pipe to cap oil is not a success".
"Researchers from the National Institute for Undersea Science and Technology, meanwhile, say they have detected large oil plumes from just beneath the surface of the sea to more than 4,000 feet deep."
Three or four large plumes have been found, at least one that is 10 miles long and a mile wide, said Samantha Joye, a marine science professor at the University of Georgia. "Huge underwater oil plumes found in Gulf of Mexico". Carl Hiaasen: "BP oil spill: And a child shall lead them". See also "BP hits snag in latest try to stop Gulf oil spill" and "Gulf spill akin to Ixtoc I disasterof 1979".
Michael Mayo wonders whether, "For South Florida, will oil spill bring harm — or just hype?".
Researchers Vernon Asper and Arne Dierks said in Web posts that the plumes were "perhaps due to the deep injection of dispersants which BP has stated that they are conducting."
From NewsGeography: "Over in Florida, the dismay over this event is palpable, and since nothing can be done about it, there is only speculation about what direction to head in the future."
Despite the “sunshine state” moniker, the oil industry’s grip on the state is so strong that solar energy is losing market share rather than gaining as an energy resource. The legislature, starved for money to balance the budget, had to kill a rebate program that subsidized building owners when they add solar energy systems to their property. Florida, despite its abundance of renewable energy potential, has yet to see policy that diversifies the energy needs of the state, and sources like solar energy require extraordinarily heavy subsidies to be palpable to most owners."Florida and Oil".
While the recession is pushing most prices downward, energy costs are rising across the country, whether fossil fuels or notFlorida is heavily dependent upon fossil fuels, making renewable energy resources someone else’s profit center, judging from California, Oregon, Washington, and Minnesota’s contribution to the top ten cities using renewable energy. Florida, with vast agricultural lands beset by freezes that destroyed much of the cold-sensitive citrus crop this year, has yet to consider energy crops like sugar cane, sorghum, switchgrass, or other biofuels.
So while Florida sits and watches the oil slick move closer to its shores, some big questions deserve to be asked, and answered. Individuals without the means are generally conserving energy by driving less, biking more, and slowing their lives down to match the pace of their income. All of this is natural conservation of energy is occurring without nannies and big brother shaking a code book at people and may, in the long run, do more to reduce energy consumption than anything else.
It will take a fundamental shift in thinking to really abandon oil, foreign or otherwise, in Florida or elsewhere.
"The GOP's new political exiles"
Myriam Marquez: "Immigrants are the GOP's new political exiles".
"You can add 'shameful' to 'embarrassing'"
The Sun Sentinel editors: "The fact that Florida has the strictest law in the country banning gay adoption is embarrassing enough."
Now, when you add the George Rekers fiasco — a combination of hypocrisy and tens of thousands of wasted tax dollars — you can add "shameful" to "embarrassing." The only hope is some good will come out of all this, and Florida lawmakers will get rid of an archaic ban on gay adoption that has no place in 21st century society. ..."Rekers case again shows shame of gay adoption ban".
Earth to Rekers: If you want somebody to help you with your bags, pay a bellman five or 10 bucks. They'll be happy to oblige.
Earth to McCollum: Drop the state's appeal of the gay adoption ban.
Crackin' down on slavery ...
... will have consequences*: "Florida has been knocked out of the top five rankings of the best states in which to do business by Chief Executive Magazine, but it still holds a spot in the list of the top 10 business-friendly states."
"Florida is in good company [sic] in the rankings." Neo third-world states like, "Texas and North Carolina continue to hold onto their respective first and second place rankings from last year. They are followed by Tennessee, Virginia, Nevada, Florida, Georgia, Colorado, Utah and South Carolina." "Florida Falls in Ranking of Business-Friendly States".
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*We are only being half facetious. After all, "Slavery is not just the shameful stuff of history books - not in Florida". "Modern Day Slavery".
Entrepreneurs in action
"Medicaid payments from the state to hospitals, nursing homes, hospices and rural health clinics frequently relied on inaccurate rates and unsubstantiated claims, resulting in potentially millions of dollars in overpayments during the 2007-09 period reviewed by state auditors." "Medicaid Struggles to Follow the Money, Auditors Find".
"Business groups say the Legislature's latest raid on the state Transportation Trust Fund will put a screeching halt to new road projects and throw 11,000 workers off the job." "Road Raid Would Kill 11,000 Jobs".
The vetoes begin ...
"Gov. Charlie Crist on Saturday shot down two bills sent to him by state lawmakers, a move that could strain an already tense relationship with the GOP-controlled Legislature."
Crist vetoed measures being pushed by the state's agriculture industry, including a bill that would have made it harder to take away tax breaks enjoyed by farmers and other large land owners across the state. ..."Crist Vetoes 2 Bills; Move Could Strain Relations With GOP-Controlled Legislature".
The other bill, HB 7103, vetoed by Crist on Saturday would have blocked local governments from regulating land used for farming if there was already a state law in place.
"Three challengers have emerged to take on Congressman Jeff Miller, a Republican who was first elected in 2001. Miller represents the Panhandle's 1st Congressional District, which reaches from the Alabama border to Washington County. The district includes Pensacola and Fort Walton Beach." "With No Democrat in the Race, Independent Candidates Challenge Jeff Miller".
"Marco Rubio and four other Republican hopefuls stumped at Central Florida's largest gun show Saturday, courting a powerful force in Florida politics: gun owners. Rubio, a Miami native, made his rounds at the Central Florida Fairgrounds to meet gun enthusiasts and suppliers while displaying his support for the Second Amendment — the one protecting the right to keep and bear arms. Rubio received his concealed-weapons license last summer after announcing his Senate candidacy." "5 key Republican candidates get backing at Orlando gun show".
Marco Hookin' them tea-baggers
"Rubio continues to court conservatives in Senate race".
Back at the ranch ...
"Poll: Voters tilt back toward Democrats".
"What kind of message"?
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board asks "What kind of message would that send the very kids that schools struggle to teach character and ethics? That it's okay to ignore the law when the chips are down, or when it saves money? Schools should honor the count, and count on voters to loosen the cap." "Honor class-size caps".
"Election-year need for campaign cash"
"Ousted utility regulators blame the Senate's election-year need for campaign cash for their defeat." "Amid political fray, PSC regulators fired".