"Sagging in the polls and running on empty, GOP gubernatorial candidate takes state subsidy" "The Taxpayer Bailout of Bill McCollum".
Castor breaks ranks
"U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Tampa, is signing onto a bill that would lift decades-old travel restrictions to Cuba, becoming the first member from Florida to do so."
"Now is the time to remove the obstacles and hassles that have prevented Cuban Americans without direct family ties and other Floridians from traveling to Cuba, and for our region to reap the benefits that freedom of travel can bring,'' Castor said of the Freedom to Travel to Cuba Act, which was authored by Rep. Bill Delahunt, D-Mass."Tampa lawmaker: End Cuba travel curbs".
But her position puts her at odds with what has been the standard line among Florida's congressional delegation.
"Jeb Bush Quietly Raises His Profile"
The best news for Dems in quite a while is that the man who makes "people cringe" "has been slowly, quietly, but certainly raising his profile. He gave a feisty interview to a New York Times political writer in June in which he said his older brother probably would not respond to President Obama's continued attempts to draw contrasts between his own administration and the previous one. Jeb defended his brother and predicted only one term for President Obama, who he compared to 'Hubert Humphrey on steroids.'" "Will Jeb Bush Set Sights on the White House?"
The brother of former President George Bush, Jeb Bush, is running for president. Yep, and the campaign slogan is, 'I'm going to finish what my brother started.' So Jeb Bush is running for president. I don't know about the rest of the country, but thank God, ladies and gentlemen, the comedy recession is over!"The Week's Best Late-Night Jokes".
"Bizarre attack ad"
"A Florida State University student heads a group that sent out a mailer faulting a congressional candidate for the Gulf oil spill because he once worked for the Department of Energy." "Student's bizarre attack ad targets Democrat Joe Garcia".
Fed tax credit helping
"Tax credit spurs boom in home sales".
Tea Party = Chamber = Rubio
"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is backing Marco Rubio's bid for the Senate, pledging to help the tea party-favored candidate emerge from a tight three-way race in Florida."
The organization plans a Saturday rally in Orlando to announce Rubio, a former state House speaker, as its latest candidate to benefit from some $75 million the business group plans to spend on political campaigns this fall. The organization declined to detail how it would help Rubio but it is already airing ads aggressive against Democratic Senate candidates in Ohio and Pennsylvania."Rubio gets U.S. Chamber of Commerce's backing".
"The nation's biggest travel trade group said the BP oil spill will cost the tourism industry between $7.6 billion and $22.7 billion, with most of the economic damage falling on Florida's shoulders." "Florida may lose billions in tourism".
"Work to permanently choke off the oil well that had been spewing into the Gulf of Mexico was at a standstill Friday after ships around the site were ordered to evacuate ahead of the approaching Tropical Storm Bonnie." "Oil spill work on hold as Bonnie approaches".
See also "Some areas of the Gulf reopened", "Brewing storm races toward BP's leaky well; Spill chief says capped well holding up, will remain in place during storm", "Feds Open 26,000+ Miles of the Gulf to Fishing", "No oil tax relief expected in Palm Beach County" and "Warnings and watches posted from Palm Beach County down through Keys for Tropical Storm Bonnie".
"The Legislature's neglect"
The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "With Congress finally passing the federal extension to unemployment compensation benefits and the president expected to sign it, about 250,000 Floridians whose benefits had run out over the past couple of months will soon be tossed a financial lifeline. But some Floridians will be needlessly left behind because of the Legislature's neglect."
During Tuesday's special session debacle, Democrats pleaded with Republican leaders to consider the issue and were disregarded. Getting something accomplished would have ruined House Speaker Larry Cretul's Crist-bashing party. The Ocala Republican blamed Crist for wasting taxpayers' money on a worthless special session. Now lawmakers may have to return to Tallahassee — and cost taxpayers — again."New neglect for Florida jobless".
"Two political newcomers are vying to win the Republican primary next month and seize a chance to oust Democratic state Rep. Joseph Abruzzo from his District 85 seat."
The candidates, both steeped in religious schooling, have different views about several issues, with the clearest difference on the controversial issue of illegal immigration."Arizona-style immigration law point of contention in Fla. House 85 GOP primary". Related: "Florida Independent: News. Politics. Media".
Tami Donnally, a religious school administrator in Greenacres, said she would support state legislation similar to Arizona's new immigration law, which will require police, while enforcing other laws, to check a person's immigration status if there's a reasonable suspicion that they are here illegally.
"If you're stopped for something, you have to produce paperwork," she said. "That makes sense to me."
Her opponent, D.J. DeRenzo, said he wouldn't support such a law in Florida.
Herald AG endorsements
The Miami Herald editorial board makes its attorney general recommendations. See also "Republican AG Candidates Set to Debate July 31" and "Dave Aronberg, Dan Gelber Talk About Everybody's Business".
Bought and paid for
"Senate President Jeff Atwater of North Palm Beach, Republican candidate for chief financial officer, announced Thursday that he has more than $2.1 million in the bank for his campaign. He now enjoys a healthy financial advantage over his Democratic rival in the CFO race, former Rep. Loranne Ausley of Tallahassee." "Atwater Holds Strong Financial Advantage vs. Democrat Ausley in CFO Race".
"Beyond the fish kill: St. Johns River now also plagued by bizarre foam". In the meantime, the Teabaggers struggle to find the word "foam" in the U.S. Constitution.
"One of the most flawed candidates in history"
"With a new poll showing Bill McCollum's hopes fading in the Republican primary for governor and Rick Scott inundating him with a tidal wave of television ads, McCollum is fighting back with his best weapon – attacking the Medicare fraud history of Scott's former hospital company."
McCollum strategist Shannon Gravitte said ..."McCollum fighting back as poll shows his chances are fading".
"It's inconceivable that Florida Republicans would elect a man whose claim to fame is having orchestrated the largest taxpayer ripoff in history," ...
"The only people celebrating if Rick Scott emerges from this primary are the Democrats, who will face one of the most flawed candidates in the history of Florida politics."
Live and in person
"Republican Rick Scott seemed to push the right buttons Thursday, appearing before about 300 Sarasota County GOP activists, calling for tougher immigration laws, a smaller state government and turning Florida into a hub of job creation." "Scott No Longer Just on TV, But on Campaign Trail".
Wingnuts run wild
"Opponents to the 'Health Care Freedom Act' says court has no authority to change wording." "State offers compromise move to keep Amendment 9 on ballot".
Entrepreneur in action
"Sarasota man found guilty of $37 million Ponzi scheme".
Will Rubio disavow Teabaggers?
TPM: "Remember back in the day, one of the reasons Trent Lott got into trouble after his Strom Thurmond comments was that it turned out he had long-standing ties to a neo-segregationist group called the "Council of Conservative Citizens", the successor group to the White Citizens Councils from the Civil Rights Era. "
Well it turns out that the good folks from the CofCC have been setting up shop at Tea Party events down in Florida. And now a prominent leader of the Florida CofCC is lambasting the Tea Party for not embracing the NAACP's claim the Tea Party is a racist group."Not That There's Anything Wrong With That".
More from the Miami New Times: "Is the Tea Party racist? The NAACP thinks so. And the Council of Conservative Citizens, a white pride group, agrees."
Of course the Tea Party is racist, crowed a blog post on the Council's website yesterday -- and it would be proud of its racism if it weren't wussy."White Pride Group Urges Tea Party to Flaunt Its Bigotry".
The post was written by James Edwards, a radio show host and author of Racism Schmacism. ...
Edwards is right. The Tea Party is hiding the truth about itself: Racist groups are quietly welcomed at its starchy street fairs, even right here in Florida.
Last January, a state chapter of the Council of Conservative Citizens (CCC) set up shop at a Tea Party rally in Invernness, Citrus County. Senate candidate and Tea-Party darling Marco Rubio headlined the event, while the CCC handed out pamphlets and swag.
The rich are different
"Belize said Jeff Greene's [145-foot luxury] yacht damaged a coral reef, racking up $1.87 million in unpaid fines." "Jeff Greene denies his anchor damaged reef".
Perhaps she has a point
This is off topic: "A legislative candidate from Wisconsin can't use a profane, racially charged phrase to describe herself on the ballot, an election oversight board decided Wednesday."
Ieshuh Griffin, an independent running for a downtown Milwaukee seat in the state Assembly, wants to use the phrase, "NOT the 'whiteman's b----.'""Wisconsin candidate can't use controversial description".
But the state's Government Accountability Board voted to bar that wording, agreeing with a staff recommendation that it is pejorative and therefore not allowed.
State law allows independent candidates to have five words describing themselves placed after their names on the ballot as long as it's not pejorative, profane, discriminatory or includes an obscene word or phrase.
Griffin, who is black, argued her case to the five white, retired judges on the board that regulates elections. She said the phrase was protected free speech.
If "Republicans" are going to misappropriate the word "republican", sounds to me like Griffin may have a point.
"Say it ain't so"
Bill Cotterell: "What's this? Political people playing political games in an election year? Say it ain't so."
Tuesday, the serious thinkers of the Florida Legislature convened a special session at the behest of Gov. Charlie Crist. So did about 140 other House and Senate members."Politics is the game they play".
Crist wanted a constitutional amendment on the Nov. 2 ballot to ban offshore oil drilling. The Republican leaders of the Legislature wanted a new governor but, since that can't happen until January, they settled for kicking Crist around for a couple of hours before wandering off.
Each side got what it wanted.
"Conservative Christian activist Jack Thompson -- who once had to prove his sanity to the Florida Supreme Court -- isn't crazy about Robert Kuntz's candidacy for Miami-Dade Circuit Court judge. Thompson is fuming that Kuntz, 50, an attorney who is an elder at Old Cutler Presbyterian Church in Palmetto Bay, sought and accepted an endorsement from Unity Coalition, a local Hispanic gay-rights group." "Activist rips judge candidate over endorsement".