"More than a year before the next presidential election, Florida Gov. Rick Scott is making a prediction."
"Whoever has the plan for jobs is going to win," he said. "President (Barack) Obama, just because of what's happened with jobs, he's going to have a tougher time. But if the Republican candidate doesn't have a plan for jobs, he's not going to win."
"Gov. Rick Scott: 2012 presidential race is all about jobs". For the insomniacs out there: "Miami Herald Twitter followers query Gov. Rick Scott on jobs, jobs and jobs".
Scott, the Republican governor of the country's largest swing state, said that he has been courted by several GOP primary candidates. He talks often with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who is expected to announce his intention to run this weekend. And he's met former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, calling him an interesting candidate.
For now, however, Scott isn't endorsing any candidate.
Scott likin' the gub'ment health care
"Gov. Rick Scott, a critic of the federal health care overhaul, is paying less than $400 a year for health insurance for himself and his wife."
Scott is among nearly 32,000 people in state government who pay relatively low health insurance premiums. It's a perk that is available to high-ranking state officials, including those in top management at all state agencies.
"Rick Scott pays less than $400 annually for state health insurance". See also "Scott getting low-cost health insurance from state".
Nearly all 160 state legislators are also enrolled in the program that costs just $8.34 a month for individual coverage and $30 a month for family coverage.
Brian Burgess, a spokesman for Scott, confirmed the governor and his wife are enrolled in the state health insurance plan, but refused to discuss why Scott signed up. He called the governor's health care coverage "private matters."
Sentinel's Grayson fixation "over the top"
"Once again, Alan Grayson goes over the top".
Cannon whines about so-called "politically motivated ruse"
"Several groups who backed the Fair Districts constitutional amendment renew their complaints about how the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature is handling redistricting. House Speaker Dean Cannon called the complaints a "politically motivated ruse" to mislead the public." "Groups call on lawmakers to finish redistricting work by January".
Nan Rich "calls out Legislature for 'hypocrisy'"
"State Sen. Nan Rich, D-Weston, criticized the Florida Legislature today for its 'hypocrisy' in accepting funds from the Affordable Care Act for Title V abstinence-only education grants, while at the same time rejecting millions that were allocated to child abuse and neglect prevention programs." "State senator calls out Legislature for 'hypocrisy' over Affordable Care Act dollars".
Librul editors don't like hometown help
"Given the dismal jobs climate, it is understandable that elected officials are looking for any way to boost employment. But the idea in Hillsborough County to steer government contracts to local vendors is a heavy-handed and unfair scheme. " "Unfair, wasteful jobs plan". Meanwhile, "Medicaid contracts to favor FL-based HMOs".
Big of him
Bill Cotterell: "Scott: 'I want to fix this stuff, as much as I can'".
Low income growth
"Here is some recognition we could do without: only five metropolitan areas in the United States posted lower income growth in 2010 than the North Port-Bradenton-Sarasota market." "Region ranks near bottom in income growth".
"Those with power to change things like things as they are"
Bill Cotterell writes that "the Florida Commission on Ethics is such a short-leashed watchdog. The reason ... is that those who have the power to change things like them just as they are. That's not the fault of the nine-member commission, which has futilely asked the Legislature for some teeth over the years." "Ethics has its limits".
GOPer gamesmanship creates pension fund problem in Florida
"Political drama in Washington and the ensuing turbulence on Wall Street has cost Florida's state retirement fund $8 billion in market value since the end of July." "Plunge shrinks state pension fund's value by $8 billion".
State's new textbook adoption process in court
"Citizens for National Security, based in Boca Raton, wants a judge to toss out a new law that delegates the review of state education materials to just two people, saying the state will be unable to provide high-quality education as a result."
The old textbook adoption process required a committee of at least 10 members — including teachers and a school board member — to review materials and make recommendations to the state education commissioner.
"New lawsuit against Gov. Rick Scott is over new textbook adoption law".
The new process leaves the job to two subject matter experts selected by the commissioner, with a third breaking a tie.
The agency pushed the changes, citing cost savings derived from digital reviews of materials and not paying substitutes for taking over classrooms of the teachers on the committee.
In that connection, The Saint Petersburg Times editors point out that "results of the National Assessment of Educational Progress on civics found that only 27 percent of fourth-graders, 22 percent of eighth-graders and 24 percent of high school seniors could demonstrate proficiency in age-appropriate questions about how government works. The NAEP U.S. history assessment was even more disheartening, with only 20 percent of fourth-graders, 17 percent of eighth-graders and 12 percent of 12th graders demonstrating proficient understanding of our country's past."
That suggests trouble for this two-century-old experiment called America, where an informed electorate is assumed to share the values upon which the nation was founded, which in turn inspired the constitutional principals of rule of law, individual rights and representational government."Civics education suffers from neglect".
"Bright spot in Florida's otherwise lackluster real-estate landscape"
"Fort Lauderdale has emerged as a bright spot in Florida's otherwise lackluster real-estate landscape, and an industry analyst said he sees signs that sales momentum is building across the state." "'Momentum Is Building' in Florida Home and Condo Sales".
Daddy's boy threatens to hold his breath
"Florida Republican Congressman Connie Mack said on Wednesday that he intended to introduce a measure of no-confidence against U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Mack has been calling for months for Geithner’s resignation." "Connie Mack, Rand Paul Ready-Aim-Fire at Treasury Secretary Geithner".
Now you can robocall Ricky
"Fed up with those Republican Party-paid-for Gov. Scott robocalls? Now you can robocall Scott. The group PinkSlipRick.com is letting people record 60-second phone calls that it will send to Scott's office on Monday." "Turn the tables on robocalls".
"We keep voting to pass the buck to the next guy"
Mike Thomas: "Florida is proof that democracy has no place in determining who pays property taxes. We keep voting to pass the buck to the next guy. Each referendum creates a new set of inequities, laying the groundwork for yet another referendum." "Dorworth's property-tax plan would cut life out of businesses".
"Barney Bishop has resigned his position as one of the top business lobbyists in Tallahassee: president of Associated Industries of Florida." "Associated Industries of Florida chief resigns".
Stearns makes excuses
"Environmental groups are disputing claims by Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Ocala, that they weren’t included in the congressman’s Tuesday water pollution hearing because they didn’t ask to be." "Environmental groups maintain they were shut out at Stearns’ water pollution hearing".
"Six in the Morning"
Travis Pillow's "Six in the Morning: A six-pack of infobits you might have missed".
"As Florida waits for approval from the federal government before moving forward with its plans to overhaul Medicaid, patient advocates remain concerned about problems with prenatal care access that plagued a five-county pilot program similar to the new statewide measure." "Advocates, doctors concerned about prenatal care access in state Medicaid overhaul".
West embarrasses himself
"West, R-Fort Lauderdale, told the South Florida Sun Sentinel Tuesday that sexuality is a 'behavior' that can be changed, something he’s 'seen people do.'" "West discusses LGBT issues, ice cream".
Wait 'till the RPOF-Baggers hear about this
"$100 million buy will preserve open lands".
Revolving door blues bill
"Idea is, quit AG's office and you won't be able to work for a firm under investigation". "Bill Aims to Close Revolving Door Between AG, Probed Companies".
"Scott says S&P was justified"
While moderate Republicans like "Steve Forbes says S&P’s downgrading of U.S. credit was a political and 'outrageous move.'", Ricky Scott's nose remains firmly inserted into Teabagger derriere:
Gov. Rick Scott said the S&P was justified in its decision because Congress and the Obama administration have failed to cut enough spending to significantly reduce the deficit.
"S&P Downgrades Don't Faze Florida Leaders".
“In contrast to trying to be mad at a rating agency, when we all know that this country is spending more money than it should be spending -- it’s the wrong approach,” Scott said.
Gettin' desperate ... an endorsement from Jebbie Junior?
"Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman announces Jeb Bush Jr. endorsement".
"Crazy as it may sound"
Adam C. Smith: "Crazy as it may sound, many of the savviest political minds in Florida think Charlie Crist will run for governor in 2014."
The St. Petersburg Times' latest Florida Insider Poll surveyed 98 people — consultants, lobbyists, fundraisers, activists — and 49 percent predicted Crist would run, including 56 percent of the Democratic insiders and 45 percent of the Republicans. ...
"Politicos predict Charlie Crist will try to get old job back".
Given the choice of Crist, former Tampa Mayor Pam Iorio, state Sen. Jeremy Ring, former gubernatorial candidate Alex Sink and state Democratic Party chairman Rod Smith, 47 percent said Crist would be the strongest Democratic nominee (including 41 percent of Democrats surveyed and 49 percent of Republicans). Twenty-two percent said Smith would be the strongest Democrat, 17 percent said Iorio and 11 percent said Sink.
"150-mile gift-in-the-making to J.D. Alexander"
The Orlando Sentinel editor: "The Scott administration announced plans Friday to boost Florida's commitment to road construction, which it said should help build the Wekiva Parkway and complete the beltway around Orlando. Getting work going on the Wekiva, and other roads and bridges, according to the administration, also should help the state take advantage of low construction costs."
Sounds good — great — but up to a point. This point: The plan also could help build roads to nowhere, and lead to our tolls funding projects far from Central Florida. ...
"Hazards in Gov. Scott's road plan prevent smooth ride".
Scott says his transportation plan will give Florida "state-of-the-art infrastructure." The high-speed Orlando-to-Tampa train that Scott rejected is state-of-the-art. Roads — part of Florida since the Spaniards were in charge — aren't.
And when he says the state's plans for its roads "will make Florida tough to beat for the place where we all want to live, work and play," well, that's just not the case with administration designs on roads like the Heartland Giveaway, er, Parkway.
That 150-mile gift-in-the-making to J.D. Alexander, the Senate's budget chief, is as necessary to Florida's well-being as a lighted bocce ball set from the Hammacher Schlemmer gift catalog.
"Rick Scott fishes in Keys to lure tourists".
"Expansion of nuclear power in the state"
"Against a backdrop of Japan's Fukushima nuclear plant disaster and fears about the stability of the U.S. economy, Florida utility regulators are considering an expansion of nuclear power in the state and how much of the bill will be shouldered by rate payers." "FPL seeks rate increase for nuclear expansion that opponents say may never come". See also "Florida Power & Light and regulators square off over nuclear plant costs".
Bill Cotterell : "Boyd: Entitlement changes a must".
County Commission term limits restored by court
"An appeals court restored term limits to the Broward County Commission in a ruling Wednesday that spells the end on the dais for the county’s long-serving politicians. Broward voters in 2000 embraced term limits overwhelmingly, voting 122,475 to 30,463 to limit county commissioners to three consecutive four-year terms." "Appeals court upholds county commission term limits". See also "Appeals court decision buttresses term limits for Palm Beach County commissioners".