When RPOFers say they believe in "more freedom", they of course mean less government "regulation", like this: "The first firm evidence of what likely caused the disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil blowout - a devastating sequence of equipment failures - drives home a central unsettling point about America's oil industry: key safety features at tens of thousands of U.S. offshore rigs are barely regulated." "Emerging oil rig evidence shows lack of regulation".
Tampa strip clubs hiring
Tampa's notorious adult entertainment industry is about to get some serious stimulus spending, courtesy of the Republican Party*.
"A Republican National Committee panel recommended Tampa during a closed-door meeting, rejecting Salt Lake City and Phoenix. The decision came amid calls from Hispanic groups and others to boycott Arizona after it adopted a law to crack down on illegal immigrants — although Steele insisted that the Arizona immigration uproar played no part in the convention choice. He said it was 'purely a business decision.'" "Tampa to host GOP presidential convention in 2012". See also "Tampa wins bid to host '12 convention". The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "A grand victory". The Saint Petersburg Times editors: "GOP convention a big plus".
See also "Sarasota Republicans upbeat over 2012 convention", "The heart behind Tampa's successful RNC bid: Al Austin", "2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa: Your questions answered", "What they're saying about Tampa and the 2012 Republican National Convention" and Republicans pick Tampa
Limo alert: "GOP convention will present traffic challenge to Tampa".
- - - - - - - - - -
*Just last month: "The Republican National Committee (RNC) is investigating how and why it spent nearly $2,000 for "meals" at a bondage-themed strip club in West Hollywood featuring topless dancers simulating lesbian sex. The GOP confirmed Monday that it reimbursed a California consultant for $1,946 spent at Voyeur, a bar/lounge that's described on one Web site as 'classic slutty' where 'you might not be completely shocked at the almost naked women writhing on each other, but you will undoubtedly be in awe.'" "$2,000 strip-club bill leaves GOP blushing".
"Crist personally renounced the Republican Party Wednesday, making over his voter registration to 'no party affiliation' to match his remodeled U.S. Senate bid and spurning any requests from donors who want their money back." "Charlie Crist changes voter registration and his mind about giving donor refunds". See also "" and "".
Tea-Baggers frantically look ...
... for the words "offshore oil-drilling" in the Constitution: "Offshore-oil-drilling ban might be on ballot".
"Reasonable and necessary"
The Tallahassee Democrat editorial board: "Calling the Florida Legislature back into session to discuss public policy, current and future, about the oil spill in the Gulf is a reasonable and necessary act of governance. Yes, it's bound to be assessed for its political implications from all points. So what else is new?"
"This session will be a way for lawmakers of every stripe to go on the record formally regarding life beyond the oil spill, lifting the ban on drilling, alternative energy incentives or continuing the status quo. It may not be convenient, it may not ensure a way for lawmakers to have smooth sailing in their own re-election campaigns this summer, but few issues arise with as much immediate impact and demand for steady, thoughtful problem-solving." "Session on drilling issues is Job One".
The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Crist right to give voters chance to save the coast and economy". The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Fix federal regulations; nix state session to ban offshore drilling"; The Sun Sentinel editors: "Special session to ban oil drilling will waste taxpayer money without accomplishing much".
Related from the The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Raise the cap on oil spill liability".
"Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda's 2009 vote in favor of drilling in Florida waters was already the key reason Rick Minor challenged her in the Democratic primary. The April 20 Deepwater Horizon explosion and subsequent ongoing spill insures the vote will be even more central in the Aug. 24 primary election for state House District 9." "Oil drilling vote sparks Florida House primary challenge".
"The trouble with constitutional amendments"
Bill Cotterell: "The trouble with constitutional amendments is, they assume that now is forever — that an opportunity or threat perceived today will not change over time."
About 80 years ago, when Florida wanted people to move down here, we stamped into the constitution a ban on a state income tax. We don't exactly need people to move to Florida anymore, and we do need a less regressive revenue source than the sales tax, but any legislator who proposes a state income tax won't need term limits to get forced out of politics."Special session is constitutional overkill".
"Ex-governor says leaders must focus beyond the present".
Spill baby, spill!
"Just the threat of oil smearing Florida's beaches and coastal wetlands has already prompted anti-drilling demonstrations and moved Gov. Charlie Crist to propose a special legislative session to consider a constitutional ban on drilling in state waters, which extend 10 miles into the Gulf."
Key state lawmakers, meanwhile, have at least temporarily dropped a proposal to allow drilling in those state waters.
On the federal level, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., has introduced legislation in Congress to raise the liability cap for offshore-drilling damages from $75 million to $10 billion.
Whether more significant backlash occurs — such as the possibility of President Barack Obama dropping his proposal to allow drilling in more of the Gulf and in a big of part of the Atlantic Ocean — remains to be seen, as various investigations and congressional hearings have only just begun.
"It's too early to tell, but we haven't heard much from Sarah Palin lately," said Richard Charter, senior policy adviser for marine programs at Defenders of Wildlife, referring to the "drill, baby, drill" sentiment expressed by the former vice-presidential candidate. "Obviously in Florida, the effort to sell the beach to the oil industry appears to be deader than a doornail."
"Will oil-spill disaster spark widespread change?". See also "Crist wants $34 million from BP to counter negative publicity". See also "South Florida's plan to battle oil spill will be different from measures used in Gulf", "Florida Gov. Charlie Crist asks BP for $34.75 million for tourism ads".
"Crist portrait sells for $7,700 in eBay auction".
Charlie needs cash
Mike Thomas believes "There is no rush to stop something that isn't going to happen anyway. Unless, of course, you just told the Republican Party to pound sand and are in desperate need of some public campaign financing. And that's what this is all about." "To Charlie, session means gusher of dollars".
Where's the love?
"Some key Dems uncommitted as Meek heads to Palm Beach County".
"On the spot"
The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "Abortion bill puts governor on the spot".
"A poll released [yesterday] shows that state Sen. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, and Lt. Gov. Jeff Kottkamp, a Republican, are leading their respective primary races for attorney general. The survey, conducted by Mason-Dixon Poll & Research Inc., has an error margin of plus or minus 4 percent." "Poll: Most voters undecided on Florida attorney general races".
"Back when government coffers were flush, the spring legislative session could seem like Christmas, with lawmakers delivering packages of goodies to their home districts. But these are different times, and the $70.4 billion budget approved by lawmakers this year left little room for anything more than staples -- like finding socks and underwear under the tree. " "New budget bill reflects hard times".
The Miami Herald editors: "Insurance bill needs improvement".