"Traditional public schools in Florida will get no money from the state this year for additions or needed repairs to thousands of aging buildings, but charter schools will score big."
All of the state cash budgeted for school construction and maintenance is going to the independent, tax-financed charters favored by the Republican-dominated Legislature and Gov.Rick Scott."The charter school operated for children of employees of The Villages, the Republican stronghold in north Lake County frequented by Scott and former President George W. Bush, is expected to receive about $1 million."
School district officials across Florida are bemoaning the Legislature's decision to cut traditional public schools out of PECO — the Public Education Capital Outlay program. The state's 350 charter schools will share $55 million, while the approximately 3,000 traditional schools will go without."Charters get $55 million for upkeep, other schools get zero".
Hasner's claims Bagger turf, LeMieux says he's the true wingnut
"Mike Haridopolos' exit from the Florida Republican U.S. Senate primary is putting the focus on two men who aren't even in the race – Marco Rubio and Charlie Crist."
Haridopolos dropped out last week, leaving Adam Hasner and George LeMieux as the two most prominent candidates."Hasner, LeMieux battle over roles in Senate race".
Hasner quickly jumped to portray the race as a moderate vs. conservative battle -- himself a conservative, former colleague and political ally of Rubio, and LeMieux, a long-time ally of Crist and allegedly a moderate.
Rubio defeated Crist in the 2010 U.S. Senate race and has since taken on hero status to conservative Florida Republicans.
But Hasner's claim on the conservative turf won't go unchallenged.
LeMieux vehemently denies Hasner's portrayal, saying that as an appointed U.S. senator, he had a more conservative record than Hasner did as a Florida House member.
Bondi doesn't want court to read ACLU brief
"Attorney General Pam Bondi has asked a federal court not to consider an amicus brief filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida in the so-called docs v. glocks case." "Bondi asks court to not consider ACLU amicus brief in guns and doctors case".
Wingers like Mack’s plan
"Florida Congressman Connie Mack’s plan to reduce the size and scope of the federal government and balance the budget by 2019 continued to build momentum Friday, as both a U.S. senator and prominent conservative groups backed his One Percent Spending Re-education Act of 2011." "Conservatives Begin to Cozy-Up to Connie Mack's 'Penny Plan'".
Dream on, Mr. Smith
"The state Democratic Party chairman says new, fairer districts should make it harder for Republicans to dominate elections." "State Democratic Party Chair Rod Smith".
Frankel takes shot at West
"Four months into her high-profile Democratic congressional bid, former West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel's campaign is still working on a website to outline her positions on issues. But Frankel moved with warp speed last week to create a site accusing U.S. Rep. and email flamethrower Allen West, R-Plantation, of being a misogynist."
A day after West sent his "shut the heck up you are not a Lady" email to U.S. Rep. and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, the Frankel campaign registered the domain name WestHatesWomen.com."Rep. Allen West's rant prompts Lois Frankel to register pithily named website".
Does Frankel really believe West "hates" women?
"Let's put it this way: I think his attitude towards women is very disrespectful. I do think his votes mainly and his attitudes towards women are hurtful and disparaging," Frankel said.
Stimulus flop in PBC
"The largest stimulus-fueled road projects in Palm Beach County have created less than 20 percent of the jobs once promised, a Palm Beach Post analysis based on federal job-creation standards shows." "Post investigation: Did stimulus money create jobs in Palm Beach County?".
"Should Tallahassee Lead On Federal Issues?"
Smith goes after executive director of the Florida Audubon Society
Nancy Smith is after the executive director of Florida Audubon Society. "Lying About Lake O to Win Hearts and Minds". Related: "Army Corps' Repair of Unstable Dike Critical Factor in Level of Lake Okeechobee".
"State seldom cracks down on insurance companies"
"When Floridians complain that an insurance company's claims adjuster is mishandling, lowballing or delaying claims, there's a less than 16 percent chance the adjuster will be disciplined. When there's a complaint about a public adjuster -- one who advocates for consumers -- there's a 75 percent chance the state will crack down." "State seldom cracks down on insurance companies and their adjusters".
"Round-up of media coverage of redistricting for 7/25".
"Principles can be damned inconvenient"
The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Principles can be damned inconvenient. This is an awful time for the state to face more than $30 million in judgments to 110,000 plaintiffs in Palm Beach and Broward counties who successfully sued the state over its failed citrus canker eradication program of more than a decade ago. " "State balking on payments".
Bits and Pieces
Kevin Derby's "Political Bits and Pieces".
Lakeland Republican strides world stage, makes fool of himself
"In the confusion that followed Friday’s attacks in Oslo, Norway, some observers in America — including one Florida congressman [Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland] — were quick to point to preliminary reports, which turned out to be inaccurate, that the perpetrator was an Islamic terrorist." "Confusion about perpetrator of Norway attack ensnares Florida congressman".
"The wrong direction"
The Saint Petersburg Times editors: "The conservation plan for Progress Energy Florida that the Public Service Commission takes up Tuesday moves the state, the company and the industry in the wrong direction." "No retreat on energy efficiency".
"Brown's District Holds Key"
"The pitched battle over congressional map-making in Florida could begin and end in U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown's district." "Corrine Brown's District Holds Key to New Congressional Maps".
But Ricky promised ...
"Some of the deepest cuts to Florida schools in history will likely mean only moderate or no savings in school property tax bills for [Sarasota] area homeowners." "School cuts will not mean big tax bill savings".
"Conservationists work to save endangered red-cockaded woodpecker" ("Population growth, however, is occurring mostly on public lands, owned and managed by state and federal agencies.") Meanwhile, the wingnuts are freaking: "The UN Wildlands Project ... Taking Over America Starting With Florida".
Scott's top attorney
Rick Scott's top attorney Charles Trippe is
a graduate of Columbia Law School, [and] came to Scott's administration from Jacksonville, where he was in private practice, and before that, a senior litigator for railroad company CSX Transportation Inc."Think you have a tough job? Try being Rick Scott's lawyer".
This job marks his first foray into government work and the world of politics.
And already, Trippe has faced the harsh criticism often hurled in political circles.
When arguing the high-speed rail case, he told justices the state had spent $110 million of the $131 million that had been appropriated by the federal government. In fact, the state had spent only $31 million.
Some rail supporters believe that fact was a linchpin in the case.
And e-mails show the governor's communications staff had the correct figure. That prompted die-hard bullet train backers to accuse Trippe of deliberately misleading the justices.
Trippe, though, said it was simply a mistake and a small point that wouldn't have changed the outcome. Still, he wrote a letter to the court to correct the record.
Three months later, Trippe appeared before the Supreme Court again on behalf of Scott, this time in a challenge of the constitutionality of an executive order requiring the governor's approval for new rules implementing state laws. A final decision is pending.
Court appearances, though, comprise a small part of his job.