"Florida taxpayers paid Sen. Haridopolos $152,000 to write a sub-standard book that - perhaps unsurprisingly - has sold only 70 copies, with only $487.90 earned for Brevard Community College (as of 6/21.)" "Sen. Haridopolos' Failed Book Deal".
The usual suspects rush to Haridopolos' defense, actually blaming BCC for being swindled by the President of the Florida Senate: "If there's a problem with any of this, fingers ought to be pointing at BCC, not Haridopolos. He was offered a contract to write a book. He delivered it ahead of schedule, and he took a pay cut to do it." "Whodunnit? Mike Haridopolos' Old College Book Saga".
Meanwhile, "Connie Mack Endorses Mike Haridopolos for His Dad's Old Senate Seat". See also "Haridopolos picks up endorsement for GOP Senate nomination".
The Week Ahead
"The Week Ahead for June 27-July 1".
Florida TeaBagger twosome: first Scott and now Bachmann
"Michele Bachmann's formal announcement of her candidacy for president was met with this response from Florida tea partiers: Amen."
After the debate, Bachmann's Florida poll numbers shot up from 7 percent to 17 percent, putting her just 10 percentage points behind Romney, according to Public Policy Polling, a firm that typically polls for Democrats and liberal groups."Florida tea partiers embrace news that Michele Bachmann's running for president". See also "Florida shows strong support for Bachmann" and "Bachmann has strong support in Florida, polls show".
Bachmann does even better against Romney in Florida if Sarah Palin decides not to run. More than two-thirds of Palin voters favor Bachmann, while Romney pulls only a fifth.
What's remarkable about her popularity is that she has yet to visit the Sunshine State.
"He'd be doing better not trying to kill Harry Potter"
"Rick Scott’s self-congratulatory little letter to Florida newspaper editors has grabbed some national network attention, but probably not the kind the governor would write home about."
On “The Colbert Report” last night, comic anchorman Steven Colbert did a spoof of Scott’s efforts to raise his low poll numbers by posting on his Web site a model letter for supporters to sign and send to their local editors, effusively praising the governor. The bit opened by citing a Quinnipiac University Poll that said only 29 percent of Floridians approved of Scott’s job performance."Gov. Scott makes headlines on 'The Colbert Report'".
“He’d probably be doing better if he wasn’t trying to kill Harry Potter,” Colbert theorized, flashing a picture of Voldemort from the Potter movies on screen next to Scott’s head shot. “It was a campaign promise, what can he do?”
Technical rescue team in action ... pension cuts next
"A worker on a high-rise building was rescued Friday after a scaffold mishap left him dangling 120 feet in the air on the side of a Biscayne Boulevard condominium. ... We train for this all the time," said [Ken] Attai, a member of [Miami] Fire Rescue's Technical Rescue Team. "This is one of our bread-and-butter operations."" "Worker dangling from Miami building rescued".
Scott slashes unemployment benefits
"Gov. Rick Scott signs bill reducing unemployment benefits". See also "Scott signs bill linking Florida unemployement benefits to jobless rate" and "Gov. Scott OKs cut in unemployment compensation".
"Scott's contempt for the public and the environment"
The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Displaying contempt for the public and the environment, Gov. Rick Scott's Department of Environmental Protection has provided only scant notice of its plan to turn over portions of up to 56 state parks to private corporations to build and run campgrounds."
Generations of Floridians and their tax dollars have built one of the best state park systems in the country. DEP's curiously quiet campaign to abruptly change that system is reckless. The parks division should slow down and make its case to the public that swaths of unspoiled public parks should be turned into commercial profit centers filled with RVs."Sneak attack on state parks".
SCOTUS clears way for Scott to spend millions on re-election campaign
"A divided U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision on Monday that guarantees the end of a key part of Florida’s public financing system for campaigns."
The decision, just as importantly, will likely end an ongoing federal lawsuit that Gov. Rick Scott first filed last year and clears the way for Scott to spend millions on his re-election campaign without having to worry that a potential opponent can match his spending with taxpayer help."U.S. Supreme Court ruling could help Scott's re-election bid".
Drug testing frenzy
"Starting next month, Florida's social service agency will refer every welfare applicant who fails a drug test to a child abuse hotline. State officials deny the drug test results may be used to remove children from their parents, but civil rights activists fear it will. Beginning Friday, anyone applying to the state for temporary cash assistance must pass a drug test to receive benefits." "DCF: Positive drug test will lead to child abuse hotline referral".
Florida reps silent on labor rights
"An influential House Democrat said on Monday he will oppose a long-awaited trade pact with Colombia unless Republicans agree to include an action plan on workers’ rights."
South Florida business promoters and the region’s large Colombian-American community eagerly await congressional approval of a pact negotiated by the former Bush administration and refined by Obama’s trade reps. ..."Colombia trade deal snagged over labor rights".
South Florida members – notably Mario Diaz-Balart, a Republican from Miami -- are pushing hard to complete the trade deal, knowing it means big business for the region.
The pact came close to final approval this spring when Colombian leaders moved to improve labor conditions and prevent violence against union organizers. These actions helped reassure President Obama and overcome resistance from unions who remain wary of trade deals that they fear will send jobs overseas.
But Sander Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the Ways and Means Committee, balked when an action plan spelling out worker protections was not incorporated into the implementing bill.
"The bills aim to expand charter schools, virtual schools, school vouchers and a program that allows students to transfer out of failing public schools." "Gov. Rick Scott signs education choice bills".
Big of him
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: Although Rick "Scott has played the prince of darkness more often than the angel of light", he was big enough to "legislation that would have hidden from the public any records associated with business proposals made to the agencies in charge of public airports. Had the bill become law, taxpayers would have lost the opportunity to review and evaluate such proposals until after deals committing public dollars to private businesses had been cut." "Gov. Rick Scott stood up for the public's right to know in vetoing a bill to hide airport authority records"
"Switch could have potentially raised local property taxes"
Did you know that the "Florida Highway Patrol [was] almost disbanded"? "It would have been the biggest outsourcing in recent history and it was backed by Governor Rick Scott. It was the sheriffs, not the patrol that pushed back and said no."
"Ballard Partners expanding"
"Ballard Partners on Monday says it is expanding into the Miami area. The move comes shortly after the departure of one of the founding partners of the lobbying firm that is a top money-earner in Tallahassee." "Top lobbying firm announces another expansion".
Miami-Dade election day
"It’s Election Day in Miami-Dade County". See also "Robaina, Gimenez campaign down to the wire" and "Special election Tuesday for Miami-Dade mayor's post".
Sorry Ricky, merely "being there" ain't enough
A "report [released by the U.S. Conference of Mayors] identifies years by which U.S. cities will return to pre-recession employment levels. No Florida metro market is expected to hit that target this year or next. Just one -- the relatively small Palm Coast region south of Jacksonville -- is expected to reach that target by 2013. Only the Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford market is projected to rebound by 2014." "Jobs, Ahoy: Florida Waits For Its Ship to Come In".
Florida Energy and Climate Commission disbanded
"The Florida Energy and Climate Commission met for the last time before being dismantled Monday, reviewing grants funded by federal stimulus money and state grant programs."
Some commissioners bemoaned the break-up of the panel. Under the reorganization, a new energy panel will be set up under Putnam’s office, with statewide energy policy set by Scott’s office. Climate considerations won’t be as prominent."State Energy Panel Reviews Stimulus Funds in Last Meeting".
“We’re taking the word ‘climate’ out of our deliberations, and that’s a mistake,” said Commissioner Kathy McLeod. “We can take the word climate out of our name, but it doesn’t change the fact that climate change is happening,” she added.
McLeod warned of the dire consequences of not assuming the validity of global warming and climate change.
Although most Republicans and conservatives vehemently deny the truth of human activity-induced climate change and most Democrats and progressives push for greater environmental protections to mitigate its effects, she said the issue “shouldn’t be partisan” and noted that Republican presidential candidates Mitt Romney and Jon Huntsman both recognize global warming as fact.
Passing the problem off ...
"Just weeks after ordering a crackdown on troubled assisted living facilities, Florida Gov. Rick Scott is launching a rare task force to search for ways to improve homes that have left frail residents to fend for themselves in squalor and dangerous conditions." "Florida task force to help boost troubled assisted living facilities".
Even a broken clock ...
... is right twice a day. The frequently wrong Daytona Beach News Journal editorial board writes this morning that "a number of Florida jobs -- even barbering -- require state licenses. But until recently, felons couldn't get those licenses. They carried a figurative ball and chain as they faced the challenge of re-entering society. But Gov. Rick Scott changed much of that on June 21 when he signed Senate Bill 146, which allows ex-convicts to get vocational licenses and government work permits, even as they have to wait for other rights and privileges, such as voting. Scott and the Legislature did the right thing in reforming the process." "Professional licenses law will help ex-felons find work, stay out of prison".