Two top tier central Florida Dems announce Congressional bids: "Recently retired Orlando police Chief Val Demings and former U.S. Rep Alan Grayson on Monday both announced plans to run for Congress in next year’s elections."
The comeback of Grayson, which comes just months after a crushing loss in the 2010 election, might be overshadowed by Demings, another high-profile Democrat from Central Florida."As of Monday night, however, it was uncertain whether the two candidates would face each other."
In an email, Demings told supporters that she wants Capitol Hill to be the next stop in a career that saw her become the first black female chief in the city.
State lawmakers are in the midst of the once-a-decade process of redistricting, and no one knows what the congressional boundaries will look like in the 2012 election. Further complicating the matter is Florida’s population boom, which adds two U.S. House seats to the 25 districts now in the state.
It is widely thought that one of the new seats will be put in Central Florida and early talk from Tallahassee suggests that the Republican-controlled Legislature is aiming to create one Democratic-leaning seat so that the GOP can have the advantage in several other districts in the region.
The candidates did not indicate Monday which seat they intend to seek — the new one or one in an existing district.
"Val Demings, Alan Grayson plan to run for Congress". See also "Ex-US Rep Grayson to run for Congress again".
Floridians like Romney
"A slipping economy has Floridians moving away from President Barack Obama and warming up to Republican Mitt Romney, a Sunshine State News Poll shows. The survey of 1,000 likely voters shows that 54 percent disapprove of the job Obama is doing while just 38 percent approve." "U.S. Jobless Numbers Dragging Obama Down in Florida".
Contributions to GEO Group's PAC exceed state limits
"The GEO Group Inc., a Boca Raton-based private prison firm, has scrapped its state-level political action committee after an audit by the Florida Department of State found it was taking in contributions that exceeded state limits." "GEO Group scraps state-level PAC".
Florida GOP's ideological battle against health care reform
The Sun Sentinel editorial board argues that "Florida's GOP legislators need to call a truce in their ideological battle against anything that's even indirectly related to health care reform." "GOP hurting most needy with war on health care".
Meanwhile, "Federal regulators charged with implementing the Affordable Care Act stated Monday they are trying to work with states to start up the law’s health care 'exchanges' -- exchanges are one-stop consumer markets for buying insurance."
But they said they will install a federal health care exchange if a state refuses to set one up on its own."Feds Moving on Health Care Law, Gov. Scott Not Budging". See also "Feds nudge states to implement health `exchanges'".
The news carries weight for Florida, because Gov. Rick Scott, who first came onto the political scene as a staunch opponent of the federal overhaul of health care signed into law by President Barack Obama last year, is not moving from his stance that state agencies should not begin implementing the law.
Steak salesman jumps into RPOFer race
"Former Ruth's Chris CEO joins an already crowded Republican field". "Craig Miller Set to Enter GOP Primary to Take on Bill Nelson".
Lostsa luv for incumbents
"Republican incumbents David Simmons and Lizbeth Benacquisto outpaced other Senate candidates in raising campaign cash during the second quarter of 2011, new reports show. Simmons, R-Maitland, raised $91,640 between April 1 and June 30, while Benacquisto, R-Wellington, pulled in $62,165. Candidates faced a Monday deadline for filing campaign-finance reports, though not all had been posted on the Division of Elections' website as of 7 p.m. The reports show that fundraising for the 2012 elections was dominated by incumbent senators and by House members running for Senate seats." "David Simmons, Lizbeth Benacquisto Have Strong 2Q".
Susan Wright's lawsuit against RPOF to be mediated
"Susan Wright filed a lawsuit against the Republican Party of Florida who she says fired her because she questioned expenses made by top party officials and on behalf of Gov. Charlie Crist. Both sides have agreed to hold a mediation session in the case next month." "Republican Party will try to settle whistleblower lawsuit".
Rubio, Ros-Lehtinen rally anti-choice crowd
"The anti-[choice] National Right to Life Committee last week spoke out in support of a new abortion bill filed by Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Miami." "Group says ‘abortionists’ use a lack of a parental notification law as ‘selling point’".
Another privatization strategy
"What’s next for privatized camping in state parks?".
"Clean water is not a jobs killer"
The Miami Herald editors: "When you go swimming at the beach, do you mind if there’s a little sewage in the water? ... Clean water is not a jobs killer — certainly not in Florida, which counts on its beaches and natural assets to lure millions of tourists and billions of dollars here. Yet U.S. Reps. John Mica, an Orlando-area Republican, and Nick Rahall, a West Virginia Democrat, have sponsored a bill that seeks to gut the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to regulate water quality, wetlands protection and the removal of mountain tops in coal mining." "Keep it clean".
Teabaggers dig deep
"South Florida Congressman Allen West reported on Monday that he raised more than $1.5 million during the second quarter of this year, another sign of his ability to draw support from around the country. ... Democrat Patrick Murphy, a Fort Lauderdale businessman, reported raising $450,000 in the second quarter." "Allen West raised $1.5 million in three months". See also "U.S. Rep Allen West answers his critics with $1.5 million in campaign fund-raising". But see "Dem. opponent in race for West’s seat raises $450,000 in second quarter".
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "SunRail's long-term success will largely hinge on intangibles: affordable pricing, great service and staying power." "Run SunRail right".
On the back of Miami-Dade's working stiffs ...
"Seeking to close a looming budget deficit, new Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez is seeking to reduce expenses by having county employees double their contributions for their healthcare." "Gimenez: County workers will pay more for benefits".
Florida's unbanked population
"According to a new study, Florida, the country's fourth-most-populous state, also ranks fourth in the amount of unbanked money circulating through its economy — nearly $9 billion in household wealth, including $2 billion held by the state's fast-growing Hispanic population." "Higher fees could boost state's 'unbanked' population".
LeMieux rakes it in
"It takes loads of money to win a statewide campaign in Florida, and George LeMieux is proving himself a formidable money-raiser in the crowded Republican U.S. Senate primary. LeMieux, who served 16 months in the U.S. Senate, reported raising more than $950,000 over the past three months."
That's not nearly as much as the $2.6 million raised by Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos in his debut fundraising quarter earlier this year — and Haridopolos added another $900,000 since April — but considerably more than the $560,000 raised last quarter by former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner, who had been known as one of the most prolific money-raisers in the Legislature."George LeMieux boasts big fundraising in Florida Senate race". See also "LeMieux raises almost $1 million for Senate bid".