"Gov.-elect Rick Scott (R-FL) is already facing his first mini-scandal just a week after he beat Democrat Alex Sink in one of the nation's closest and nastiest gubernatorial races."
A part-time campaign worker who found the job through an ad on Craigslist is upset that the campaign paid him with an American Express gift card."Rick Scott Campaign Worker: I Was Paid In Gift Cards".
Mark Don Givens told Florida's WTSP News that he was expecting a paycheck after he made phone calls and knocked on doors for the Scott campaign, which made jobs a top issue in the election. Givens said he and other workers were upset after they were told by the campaign that they could not offer them a paycheck and given American Express gift cards instead.
"This would violate both tax laws and labor laws," Melanie Sloan, the Executive Director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) told TPMmuckraker in an email. "It looks like the newly elected AG will be investigating the newly elected governor.
Perhaps McCollum will get right on this. No matter, Scott ain't shy about pleading the fifth.
RPOFers already backsliding on promises repeal HRC
"Fresh from their election victories, Florida Republicans say they plan to remake the nation's new health-care law to reduce the role of government, limit malpractice claims and give doctors more incentive to serve Medicare patients."
Party leaders promise to fulfill their campaign pledge to try to repeal the new law, possibly as their first act in January when they seize control of the U.S. House. A repeal bill almost certainly would die in the Senate or get vetoed by President Barack Obama, but it would set up a national debate leading into the 2012 presidential election."Florida GOP looks to stymie health-care overhaul".
Some congressional Republicans — and Florida legislators — also hope to block spending needed to implement the law, such as enforcement by the Internal Revenue Service and funds to help states phase in some provisions.
Waitin' on Ricky's jobs
"The Agency for Workforce Innovation has notified the more than 106,000 Floridians currently receiving unemployment benefits of the impending deadlines that will impact claims for those currently enrolled in Emergency Unemployment Compensation, Extended Benefits and Federal Additional Compensation programs, which will be concluding over the next several weeks." "Unemployment benefits set to expire for 106,000 Floridians".
West already a laughingstock
The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Allen West's first action as a congressman-elect gives no fresh hope that he will be a serious congressman." "The people have this mike". See also "Allen West's Incoming Chief Of Staff Calls Pelosi 'Garbage'".
"On her Tuesday afternoon show," West's new Chief of Staff,
Kaufman expressed excitement about the selection, repeatedly saying how "blessed" she was. For guidance on the decision, she said that she had met with former Congressman Clay Shaw (who held the district until 2007) and Mark Foley, who resigned from Congress in 2006 after it was revealed that he sent sexually explicit instant messages to male pages."West’s chief of staff selection Joyce Kaufman will continue radio show from Washington".
Kaufman said that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi — who may well become minority leader in the next Congress — was "horrific, wrongheaded and a liar."
Rubio and DeMint, an ugly visual
"Not yet in office, Florida Sen.-elect Marco Rubio will play a significant role next week in what promises to be the first post-election test of tea party-backed lawmakers' ability to deliver on campaign pledges. Rubio is backing conservative firebrand Sen. Jim DeMint, a South Carolina Republican who says he'll force an internal vote among incoming GOP senators on Tuesday to freeze all requests for earmarks -- the federal dollars lawmakers put aside for special projects." "Marco Rubio leads showdown on budget `pork'".
"Ending months of speculation, former U.S. Rep. Jim Davis said today he is 'seriously considering' a bid for Tampa's mayor in the March elections." "Jim Davis 'seriously considering' bid for Tampa's mayor".
Gaetz to draw other lawmakers' districts
"State Sen. Don Gaetz, already in line for the 2012 Senate presidency, got a second scoop of political clout Wednesday with the chairmanship of a committee that will draw the boundaries of other lawmakers' districts." "Sen. Don Gaetz to head redistricting committee". See also "Father of state rep. who fought ‘Fair Districts’ amendments placed in charge of Senate reapportionment committee".
"Supervisor of Elections finds box of 500 uncounted absentee ballots".
Wexler's "peculiar $150,000 investment"
"Federal agents took an interest two years ago in a peculiar $150,000 real estate investment by former Democratic U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler's campaign, Wexler's former top aide and a businessman confirmed today." "Feds looked into Wexler investment in '08".
"How well did the stimulus go?".
Scott spews "nonsense"
"Tom Pelham, the secretary of the state's land planning agency, lashed back at critics on Tuesday, saying that it was unfair to fault state planners when they have no role in writing laws or rules that guide Florida's growth. Rick Scott, the newly elected governor, has called for cutting regulation in an effort to spur jobs."
Pelham told reporters afterward that his agency was "under siege" and has become accused of holding back Florida's economy even though he says it was the financial collapse and recession that has held back development. He said that there were plenty of projects -- and jobs that would come with them -- that had already been approved by DCA."Pelham lashes out at critics of state planning agency".
"I think it's under siege, I think it's been bullied, threatened and criticized unfairly," Pelham said.
Pelham also called Scott's comment that DCA was killing jobs "nonsense."
Tally Teabaggers will presumably reject this federal handout
"Florida receives $1 million workforce grant".
"His father's second-born"
Tom Jackson: "Like U.S. Sen.-elect Marco Rubio, the titular star of Election Night, [Gus] Bilirakis concedes rejection of the ruling class was the solid fuel in the GOP's booster rockets. Maintaining high political orbit will require keen responsiveness to an energized and restless electorate." "Bilirakis: GOP won't blow new majority".
Scott in a bind
"Incoming House Speaker Dean Cannon on Tuesday defended a decision by lawmakers to override the veto of HB 5603, a measure that was hotly opposed by many in the medical community and may have sparked campaign contributions for Republicans."
The measure was included in a list of 10 vetoes that both Cannon and incoming Senate President Mike Haridopolos said that they plan to ask members to override during next week's one-day special session."Cannon defends veto override of bill opposed by doctors".
Reports from this past summer said that two South Florida doctors opposed to the bill gave money to a political committee that helped pay for television ads that helped Attorney General Bill McCollum in his losing primary to Rick Scott. That same company run by the two doctors, Automated HealthCare Solutions, also gave the Republican Party of Florida nearly $800,000 after the GOP primary. The company also donated $195,000 to Let's Get to Work, the political committee set up by Scott.
Cannon said it did not matter that opponents to the bill were campaign contributors. He noted the measure -- which was backed by some business groups -- was supported by most legislators.
What's a wingnut to do?
"Throughout his campaign, Gov.-elect Rick Scott talked about the importance of reducing the 'regulatory burden' on Florida businesses."
That was part of the goal behind the regulatory reforms in House Bill 1565, which was vetoed by Gov. Charlie Crist. Incoming state House and Senate leaders recently announced plans to consider overriding that veto, a decision that could advance Scott’s pro-business agenda but also increase the legislature’s power over the executive branch he’s preparing to lead."Regulatory reforms could present 'first test' for incoming Gov. Scott".
Wingnuts all over this bandwagon
"The Senate’s top Republican is recruiting colleagues to join him in supporting Florida’s challenge to the federal health care reform law. ... The argument closely follows a lawsuit Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum filed in U.S. District Court in Pensacola on behalf of 19 other states. McCollum lost his campaign for governor this year, but his successor, Attorney General-elect Pam Bondi has said she will pursue the case." "Senate Republicans joining Florida lawsuit against health-care overhaul".
Ritter PC finding
"The Florida Elections Commission found probable cause Wednesday that Broward County Commissioner Stacy Ritter broke state elections laws in her 2008 reelection campaign. Ritter was found likely to have broken state law on 28 of 29 complaints lodged by a local political foe. Details of the 28 counts were not available from the FEC on Wednesday." "Stacy Ritter likely broke election laws, panel says".
"In the aftermath of the Republican House sweep, and an increase in the number of Republicans in the Senate, immigrant workers and immigration activists believe a path to residence and citizenship for the estimated 10.8 million undocumented immigrants is remote." "Angst growing over immigration policies".
Mail Ballot blues
"Volusia County Supervisor of Elections Ann"
McFall reported irregularities in requests made for absentee ballots on Aug. 6 and 7. She got suspicious after her staff reported that someone using one e-mail address made an overnight request for absentee ballots for 40 voters."Group rallies behind suspended official".
The next day, McFall's office got requests for 15 more absentee ballots from a second e-mail address. There were a total of 92 ballots requested, officials said.
State law says an individual may only request absentee ballots on his or her own behalf and for immediate family members, McFall said.
This, from a serial fifth amendment pleader
"Governor-elect Rick Scott issues ethics code".
Speculators dancing in the fields
"Override of Crist's veto is assured; land speculators could be prime beneficiaries". "Ag Tax Exemption: Popular, Potentially Costly".
Father knows best
The Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board: "Charlie Crist should have listened to his father. Crist disregarded his dad's advice to pass on a run for the U.S. Senate and seek re-election as governor". "Crist's blind ambition turned off voters".
Teabaggers can't find "renewable" in the constiyution
"Floridians would pay slightly more for utilities if more of that power came from renewable sources, a TaxWatch-sponsored poll says." "Poll: Floridians Would Pay More For Renewable Power".
RPOFers gone wild
"Freshman Legislators Get Crash Course on Veto Override Bills".
"Time has been compressed"
Time has been compressed not only in national politics but at the state level. Four years ago, Charlie Crist was elected governor in a landslide. Two years ago, he was the state's most popular politician; he had a lock on the Republican nomination and election to the U.S. Senate. Now he's done."Whiplash politics: What goes zig must go zag".
In contrast, Rick Scott was virtually unknown to most Floridians, except for those who had followed his ascent and descent as leader of America's largest hospital chain. Scott didn't win a majority of votes during the general election but now he is governor-elect.
First rule: no drooling in public
"House freshmen class wraps orientation".
Lakes, rivers and streams
The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "How much will it cost Floridians to clean up the state's lakes, rivers and streams? Too much, argue farmers and public utilities." "State wrong to backtrack".
Thrasher moving on up
"Thrasher, who also serves as chairman of the state Republican Party, was named Wednesday as the rules chairman in the Senate. The rules chair controls which bills get heard by the full chamber and which don't." "Thrasher named to influential rules post in Senate".