"Florida right-wing groups are up in arms over a 19-year-old initiative launched by the United Nations in an effort to promote sustainable development in communities all over the world. The groups are convinced the U.S. is being held hostage in a secret plot by the U.N. to steal our sovereignty and individual property rights — and the belief is seeping into mainstream Florida politics." "How fear of Agenda 21 infiltrated mainstream Florida politics".
Related wingnuttery: "Tea party members tackle a new issue: manatees" ("'we cannot elevate nature above people,' explained Edna Mattos, 63, leader of the Citrus County Tea Party Patriots, in an interview. 'That's against the Bible and the Bill of Rights'") and "Lawmakers Plan Repeal of Septic Tank Inspection Bill" (Florida right-wing activists call on state legislators to repeal a septic tank inspection bill).
It never seems to end: "Senator Greg Evers fighting Florida's septic tank law".
"Round-up of media coverage of redistricting".
"What took so long" Mr. Scott?
The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Scott ordered a criminal investigation last month into the destruction of his transition team's email records. But his team knew they had been destroyed as early as March. So what took so long?"
Scott says he didn't know until a few weeks ago that the emails had been erased by the private company handling the accounts. The erasure violated state public records laws. Yet an attorney on Scott's transition team found out about the deletions six months ago, and knew that the company couldn't recover them. Since journalists had been asking to review the emails since before then, the truth should have come out sooner."Who knew what, and when?"
Romney goes Arizona-style on Perry
"With Rick Perry proving to be a serious threat to Mitt Romney's presidential campaign, the former Massachusetts governor swung through Tampa on Friday to exploit what some Republicans see as Perry's Achilles' heel: immigration." "With threat of Rick Perry in the air, Mitt Romney takes on immigration".
And she has the temerity to have a defined benefit pension
"The Polk County Sheriff's Office is investigating the Friday night shooting of an Auburndale police officer as she was responding to a 911 call." "Auburndale police officer critical after shooting".
Ricky gets a lotta luv ... for $157,000
Aaron Deslatte: "Scott's office paid a private consulting firm, MGT of America, $157,000 to spend about two weeks writing a 108-page report on how the new department should be organized. It praises the governor for 'working tirelessly on his core campaign promise to create 700,000 jobs over seven years.' It's also filled with organizational charts, showing how the pared-down staff from the dismantled DCA will be allocated – for instance, South Florida's 6 million people will have five full-time planners assigned to review new growth plans." "Got jobs? New state agency is ready to pay".
"Handful of gimme and a mouthful of much obliged"
"This week, the Republican Governors Public Policy Committee released a report on Medicaid that outlines cost-saving measures decided upon by 31 Republican governors. Among the policy recommendations is a proposal to require the federal government to pay for the care of undocumented immigrants." "Republican Governors Association wants feds to pay undocumented immigrants’ Medicaid".
Florida "Utilities unshaken"
"Three Florida Plants on Nuclear-Quake List; Utilities Unshaken".
Scott's Texas template
"Gov. Rick Scott hasn’t been specific about his plans to overhaul the state’s higher education system, but he has made clear his intention to make some changes — and higher education reforms in Texas will be a likely template."
The seven “Breakthrough Solutions” for higher education, written by Austin, Texas, oilman Jeff Sandefer and promoted by the [reactionary] Texas Public Policy Foundation, have guided the conversation around higher ed reform in the Lone Star State since Gov. Rick Perry debuted them at a 2008 summit for university leaders.
"Critics of Texas higher ed changes warn of fallout should Florida embrace Perry model". Related: "Florida legislators prepare eduction bills for upcoming session".
The “Solutions” aim to cut costs and increase class sizes at Texas universities. And they haven’t been met kindly. The “Solutions” seem more like problems to critics — who say they could downgrade the quality of higher education in the state.
I thought he said 700,000 jobs?
"Department of Economic Opportunity is being created by combining the Agency for Workforce Innovation, the governor's Office of Tourism, Trade, and Economic Development (OTTED) and the planning division of the Florida Department of Community Affairs. The business plan issued Thursday was a 'landmark' in bringing together 19 economic development partners, new agency head Doug Darling said." "New department aims to attract 21,000 Florida jobs by bringing companies to the state".
The week in review
"Among this week's highlights: A fleeting budget surplus and dropping consumer confidence, a looming budget deficit for one agency and ongoing negotiations over the future of Medicaid." "The Week in Review for Aug. 28-Sept. 2".
"Political meddling by the governor's office"
"A statewide volunteer advocacy program for nursing home and assisted living residents has been crippled by conflicts of interest and political meddling by the governor's office and state Elder Affairs administrators, a federal report says." "Florida nursing home advocacy program riddled with conflicts, federal report says".
Juvenile justice reforms
"Senate committee recommends shorter stays for juvenile offenders".
The Bush Corporation presents "Jeb!"
A lot of big talk about reining in charters ... "School Board chair takes harder line with charter applicants" ... after this: "Miami charter school accused of being adult club by night". More: "Charter school in adult-club scandal has money woes".
"Republicans have no one but themselves to blame"
The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "Give Florida state Sen. Don Gaetz credit. After weeks of public criticism about the Legislature's deliberate pace in drawing new political maps, the Republican senator from Niceville has proposed amending the state Constitution to allow the next redrawing to occur a full year before the general election. That's the first indication that anyone in Republican-controlled Tallahassee gets it: Voters are sick of a redistricting process that favors incumbents."
Gaetz and his House counterpart, Rep. Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, were caught flat-footed this summer at what were supposed to be routine public hearings on drawing boundaries for legislative and congressional districts. Instead, the leaders of their respective chambers' redistricting committees have seen the sessions devolve into public outrage, culminating in Pinellas County this week.
"Public heard on voting districts".
Republican lawmakers have no one but themselves to blame for failing to read the body politic. After spending the past two decades exploiting the redistricting process to accumulate an overwhelming majority of state legislative and congressional seats in a state where voter registration favors Democrats over Republicans, they have been tone-deaf to the building public backlash.
"General Halftrack" retreats
"Mike McCalister, one of four Republican candidates actively campaigning for U.S. Senate to oppose Democrat Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012, said Friday he'd take responsibility for any misunderstandings regarding his military service record." "Senate candidate McCalister seeks release of his military records".