"Rep. Allen West, R-Fort Lauderdale, called in to the right-wing talk radio show of the woman he originally hired as his chief of staff, Joyce Kaufman, responding to criticism of Kaufman’s controversial statement 'If ballots don’t work, bullets will' in light of the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz." "Rep. West on Wasserman Schultz’s criticism: A 'political cheap shot'". See also "Kaufman responds to criticism over violent statements: 'Duplicitous'".
The Palm Beach Post editorial board reminds us that
Last week, new Congressman Allen West made the talk-show rounds. For his chief of staff, Rep. West first picked talk-show demagogue Joyce Kaufman, who has proclaimed that "if ballots don't work, bullets will." They are soulmates. Rep. West told a rally, "We need to be well-prepared and well-armed because this government is a tyrannical government.""One civil war was enough: We ask that we not tear ourselves apart with vitriol.".
Florida's escalating right wing attack on pensions (and unions)
"The war of words over reforming state and local pension funds heated up Monday as the head of one of the state's largest unions said that the system is not broken and doesn't need fixing."
But Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Margate, the Senate committee chairman who is preparing legislation to impose new limits on cities and counties pension plans, said he disagrees with [Rich Templin, political director of the AFL-CIO] that no problem exists."Florida pension fund is not broke, AFL-CIO claims". See also "Debate Over Pension Reform Heats Up" and "State of pension system depends on whom you ask".
Read this to see what passes for "journalism" these days: "AFL-CIO disputes 'myths' about Florida pension funds".
RPOFer money machine
"Just before and after its big win at the polls in November, the Florida Republican Party collected big and spent event bigger: $9.4 million. New campaign-finance reports show the party spared little expense on consultants, travel, and the nearly $3 million inauguration of new Gov. Rick Scott."
The party spent more than the $7.7 million it raised from a who's who of special interests in the state Capitol: Blue Cross Blue Shield ($525,000); Florida Power & Light's Nextera Energy ($250,000); U.S. Sugar Corp. ($200,000.00); Florida Crystals ($175,000) and Amway founder and school voucher champion Richard Devos ($100,000)."Florida's Republican Party raised big bucks at end of 2010".
What did those donors want in return for all their contributions?
"They want good government,'' Thrasher said.
Will Florida go Arizona-style?
"Gov. Rick Scott's campaign pledge to bring an Arizona-style immigration law to Florida faces an uncertain future in the Legislature, with the bill's chief Senate sponsor expressing doubts about the controversial measure." "Florida lawmakers size up Arizona-style bill". See also "", "Lawmakers take up immigration reform", "Senators Hold First Immigration Meeting", "Debate Over Pension Reform Heats Up" and "How close to Arizona's will be a Florida immigration law?".
That silly Constitution thingy
"State Rep. William Snyder, R-Stuart, one of the state’s chief proponents of an Arizona-style immigration law, has ties to an organization that is pursuing the repeal of the 14th Amendment in order to restrict the ability of immigrant children to obtain U.S. citizenship." "State rep. pushing Ariz.-style immigration law has ties to organization working to repeal 14th Amendment".
Ros-Lehtinen to Haiti
"The new chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee is traveling to Haiti." "Ros-Lehtinen makes trip to Haiti".
Bits and Pieces
Kevin Derby: "Political Bits and Pieces".
Teachers at work
"As in years past, Florida looked worst in the school spending category, where it got an F this year. But it earned a B plus for spending equity, meaning its limited funding is shared fairly equally among its school districts. The Florida Education Association, the state teachers union, said it was happy with Florida's high ranking on the Quality Counts report and hoped it would improve the state's showing in "the areas where the state lags behind, like in properly funding and investing in our schools," said Mark Pudlow, the association's spokesman." "Florida ranks 5th in new national report on education quality". See also "Florida Climbs to No. 5 on U.S. School Report Card" and "Florida ranks fifth in new national report on education quality, gets B-minus grade".
The temerity of those minimum wage earners
"Two legal groups sued Florida's labor agency Monday, claiming the state failed to raise the state's minimum wage by six cents per hour this year to keep up with inflation." "Florida sued for failing to raise minimum wage".
"Conference co-chairs Mark Perry of the Florida Oceanographic Society and Julie Hill-Gabriel of Audubon of Florida downplayed Scott's absence, saying that the new governor had just taken office this week and had a lot on his plate. Other environmentalists said they're uncertain of the new governor's stance on the Everglades and other environmental issues. Scott told reporters on Friday that he wasn't aware of the conference." "Putnam praised by environmentalists gathered at Everglades meeting".
Don't expect a rate cut
"The proposed merger of Progress Energy Inc. and Duke Energy announced Monday would create the nation's biggest electric utility, but company officials aren't promising lower rates for Central Florida customers anytime soon." "Progress-Duke merger not likely to affect rates".
"Gruters’ involvement with the tarnished Buchanan campaign"
"Joe Gruters announced several endorsements for his candidacy to become the next chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, including from state Senate Majority Whip Anitere Flores, R-Miami, and Senate President Pro Tempore Mike Bennett, R-Bradenton. ... But Gruters’ involvement with the tarnished Buchanan campaign hasn’t appeared to hurt him in the slightest." "Gruters announces several high-profile endorsements, despite ties to Buchanan allegations".
The right wing gets its back up ...
... and Mike Thomas is listening. Thomas strains to carry right wing water this morning in "Shooting rampage won't stifle political rhetoric".
More from The Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Gun ban no solution"
"Declining Lake Okeechobee water levels once again threaten to generate water-supply ripple effects that spread throughout South Florida, leaving less water for thirsty crops and lawns as well as an ecosystem trying to rebound from years of abuse." "Lake Okeechobee's water level strains water supply".
To the extent anyone cares
"Rep. West: Security concerns shouldn't create police state".
Republicans eating their own
"The state agency in charge of building a new courthouse for the 1st District Court of Appeal is being asked to produce proof of expenditures in public meetings." "Public airing of "Taj Mahal" courthouse costs set".
"2010 brought out the worst in people"
"Political rhetoric has always been brash and rude, especially in election years, but 2010 brought out the worst in people, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor said when asked about the assassination attempt on a fellow congresswoman in Arizona." "Castor cites radio rhetoric, 'fringe' in Arizona shootings".