Will Scott Flip-flop on "Papers Please"?
The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "With as much as they have on their plate, it makes no sense for lawmakers in Tallahassee to distract and divide themselves with an Arizona-style crackdown on illegal immigration."
We hope for better judgment from their colleagues. And we hope Gov.-elect Rick Scott, though he touted the Arizona law in his campaign, doesn't go there now."Arizona-like immigration bill a distraction for Florida".
State Sen. Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton, has introduced a bill that would allow police in Florida to ask people they detain and suspect might be illegal immigrants to prove otherwise.
Lay down with dogs ...
Too late, the Orlando Sentinel editorial board whinges about "the frenzy to rip apart growth management in Florida."
The editors can't seem to understand that when you bite onto some of the Chamber of Commerce/AIF/TaxWatch/James Madison Institute/Teabagger agenda - like hating unions, slamming public employee pensions, and running progressives like Alan Grayson out of office - you are stuck with the rest of their agenda, like pumping raw sewage into Florida's steams and lakes, gutting the public school system and paving over what is left of Florida's environment.
In that connection, the editors whine this morning that
It's appalling how Gov.-elect Rick Scott and legislative leaders have vilified the Department of Community Affairs — the state's invaluable growth management arm — as a prelude to dismantling it.The editors continue:
But more appalling than the campaign to assassinate the character of DCA and that of its principled secretary, Tom Pelham, who's exiting his post in January, is what the enemies of sensible growth management have in store as replacements. Last week, a task force formed by Mr. Scott recommended that a dramatically weakened DCA join — or get swallowed up — by the much larger departments of transportation and environmental protection."Stunting growth oversight".
The remnants of the DCA no longer would responsibly manage growth, but morph from watchdog to lapdog. They'd enter what the task force report called a "partnership" with developers interested in, what else, "good growth." Florida, effectively, would end up with the kind of regulatory integrity that federal overseers offered the offshore drilling industry — none.
The governor-elect's task force actually calls for eliminating state oversight of local growth plans, including the review of particularly large developments that cross county lines and transportation concurrency, which ensures that developments don't overwhelm existing roads and interchanges.
Other scenarios for DCA's future are similarly gloomy.
We agree with the editors on this point, but merely remind them that these are precisely the policies the editors ask for when they get into bed with their Chamber of Commerce/AIF/TaxWatch/James Madison Institute/Teabagger friends.
"Senate Confirms U.S. Marshals Director With Private Prison Ties".
Runnin' gub'ment like a bidness
"Ash Williams, executive director, State Board of Administration: 'I categorically did not 'intervene on Bayview's behalf.' This is the story of how he did." "It paid to know Florida's pension fund boss; firm got deal despite red flags". See also "A risky bet on the boss' friend".
Out here in the fields
"Cold facts: Farmworkers struggle to eat, pay bills after Florida freezes".
Sink not retiring
"Stung by a narrow defeat in a governor's race she says she never expected to lose, Alex Sink is retiring from public office, but not from public view."
To fill a void, and continue the policy work begun by her campaign, Sink told The Miami Herald/St. Petersburg Times that she wants to establish a nonprofit, nonpartisan, Brookings Institution-style think tank to advance the policies she focused on during her campaign and to keep herself in play for her next political move."Democrat Alex Sink not about to retire".
"I'm not closing any doors,'' said Sink, 62. ``I'm at the stage of my life when I've learned never to say never.''
Since she conceded defeat the morning after the election, Sink said she has been on a ``roller coaster'' about her loss. She alternates between being pleased with the narrow margin in a year when many Democrats were trounced by double digits and second-guessing whether her campaign could have done more to find votes.
"Losing sucks, no matter how much you lose by,'' Sink said recently, as she prepared to move from Tallahassee back to her Thonotosassa home outside Tampa. "Coming so close doesn't take the sting out of it because so many people were so invested in a future with me.''
Sink hopes to tap into her cross-party support to advance causes she is passionate about, such as small business, children's issues, education, lowering the state's insurance risk, the exploding costs of incarcerating prisoners and the battle over redistricting.
When you put the teacher hating aside ...
"[U]nlike its predecessor, which led to student sit-ins and teacher sick-outs, this bill is finding widespread support from educators and lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Even [OMG!!!] the teachers' unions are willing to consider it."
You see, unlike its predecessor,
This time, educators, parents and union leaders have contributed to a proposed bill that would reward the state's top teachers with merit pay."Teachers give higher grade to merit pay".
Time to buy that yacht
"Consumers catch a break as Palm Beach County sales tax falls a half cent".
"Ambition got the best of him"
Jane Healy, in her last column, writes that "Crist must really, really wish now that Mel Martinez hadn't given up his U.S. Senate seat last year. It brought out the worst in Crist — his penchant for lunging desperately after the next political opportunity."
So after one term as governor, Crist left the post with much undone. ..."These exiting pols left mark in different ways".
He governed as a moderate, and didn't stoop to denounce opponents just because they didn't agree. But in the end, ambition got the best of him. A cautionary tale.
"Broward prosecutors investigating the public corruption case against former County Commissioner Diana Wasserman-Rubin have spent a significant amount of time looking into her family's close ties to the former town manager of Southwest Ranches, John Canada, court records show." "Wasserman-Rubin's ties to ex-town manager investigated".
Fed's point man
"John Hankinson Jr., a veteran of many of Florida's biggest environmental battles, is now the federal government's point man for one of the nation's most pressing challenges: cleaning up the Gulf of Mexico in the aftermath of the largest offshore oil spill in U.S. history." "To fix Gulf's woes, think years and billions of dollars".
Crist's "future uncertain"
"He rode a wave of optimism into office four years ago, but Gov. Charlie Crist leaves behind a very different Florida when his term expires next week. Crist himself has changed, too. Long stripped of his once-sky high popularity and no longer a Republican, he departs as a failed United States Senate candidate with his political career finished for now, his future uncertain." "For changed Crist, 'it was a difficult time to govern'".