"Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich said Tuesday she is seriously considering a 2014 run for governor. In an interview with the News Service of Florida, Rich said Gov. Rick Scott's priorities have been made clear by the budget he proposed and the one he signed - and that she thinks most Floridians don't share his priorities. " "Senate Democrat Leader Nan Rich mulling run for Florida governor".
"Scott vs. teachers unions"
Bill Cotterell: "Scott vs. teachers unions: Round 2".
"Brightest economic forecast since the recession"
"Florida lawmakers Wednesday received their brightest economic forecast since the recession hit, with projected tax collections and spending in harmony and no budget shortfalls seen through 2015." "Florida economic forecast the best in five years, but still dark".
"Round-up of media coverage of redistricting for 9/8".
"Sunniland, the unlikeliest oil patch in the South"
"GOP presidential candidate Michele Bachmann startled some people last week when she said she'd be in favor of drilling for oil in the Everglades. Most oil-drilling discussions in Florida concern whether it will sully the beaches, not whether it would ruin the River of Grass."
But then, this week, Gov. Rick Scott appeared to back Bachmann up, then backed down, and now other politicians and activists are weighing in."Oil drilling in the Everglades was a race to the start — in 1940s"
As Scott pointed out, drilling for oil in the Everglades is not some wild-eyed scheme that Bachmann made up. Oil has been pumping out of wells from what's known as the Sunniland Trend in the western Everglades since 1943.
So here's a quick 10-point tutorial on Sunniland, the unlikeliest oil patch in the South — and so far one of the safest, since according to state records there has never been a major oil spill there.
"Scott had a hard time this week getting his story straight"
The Saint Petersburg Times editors: "Rick Scott had a hard time this week getting his story straight on whether he is open to expanding oil drilling in the Everglades. He could have saved himself a lot of trouble if he would have delivered the correct one-word answer: no." "No hedging: No Glades drilling". Fred Grimm: "Oil and water don’t mix in the Everglades".
Even the Daytona Beach News-Journal editorial board gets it: "Glades oil drilling would be too much risk for too little".
The oil shills - starting with Congressman Mica's brother - want none of that: "The head of Florida’s oil lobby applauded Gov. Rick Scott’s statement that further oil drilling around the Florida Everglades should be done with extreme caution. However, David Mica of the Florida Petroleum Council said Wednesday he wished Scott had called for more drilling to lessen the country’s dependence on foreign oil." "Oil Industry Lobbyist Applauds Rick Scott Stance on Drilling".
"Florida's tea partiers will have a place to mingle at the Presidency 5 summit in Orlando. A hospitality suite -- the so-called "Suite Tea" -- will open Sept. 22 at the Peabody Hotel, across from the Orange County Convention Center."
Sponsors of the suite -- in the Challenger 38 and 39 breakout rooms -- include the Latino American Tea Party, East Side Tea Party, Eastern Tea Party, Gainesville Tea Party, The Martin Tea Party Committee, Miami 9/12 Project, Tampa Tea Party, Titusville Patriots, Volusia 9/12, West Orlando Tea Party, AFP-FL, Campaign for Liberty, American Conservative Union, CPAC-FL, National School Choice Week and Apryl Marie Fogel. "Tea Party Group Brewing 'Suite Tea' at Presidency 5".
Second amendment stoopid
"Would-be boat buyer pulls gun during test cruise".
Mica would leave water quality regulation to the states
The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Bashing the Environmental Protection Agency has been a GOP theme since the party took control of the House this year. In July, the House approved a bill sponsored by Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park, that would leave regulation of water quality to the states. Republican members of the Florida delegation, along with most state politicians, oppose the EPA's proposed standards for the state's rivers, lakes and streams - even though the Florida Department of Environmental Protection proposed essentially the same standards in 2009."
Given the rhetoric, it's hard to believe that protecting the environment once was a strongly bipartisan issue. President Richard Nixon, a Republican, signed the Clean Air Act of 1970 - Rep. Paul Rogers, a Democrat, did much of the legwork in Congress, and the Senate passed it 73-0 - and the Clean Water Act of 1972. Mr. Nixon approved creation of the EPA in 1970. President George H.W. Bush, also a Republican, signed the 1990 upgrade of the Clean Air Act. The first Florida governor to champion environmental protection was Republican Claude Kirk, in the late 1960s."This idea doesn't hold water".
To counteract this misinformation campaign, which gets backing from polluting industries, we will remind those who may have forgotten or weren't around yet what prompted Congress to act. Before the Clean Air and Clean Water acts, industry pumped waste directly into lakes and rivers.
"Arbitrary death-penalty decisions"
Mike Thomas: "When will state stop arbitrary death-penalty decisions?"
"There is a breaking point"
The Miami Herald editorial board:
Rick Scott has made no secret that he supports taxpayer-backed vouchers for private schools, though he has pulled back — for now — from forcing the issue because Florida’s Constitution prohibits public money for private schools. Yet most Floridians want their public school system to be top-notch."A winning formula for schools".
Tough times call for sacrifice, to be sure. But there is a breaking point, and it seems ever closer.
State funding for public education has plummeted — and that began before the Great Recession. In fact, the state’s current base student allocation is at the same level it was a decade ago, and maintaining school facilities has been crippled by a bad economy and poor tax revenues. Teachers, who in most districts have not had a raise in several years, have had to dip into their salaries to cover a larger portion of their pension costs.
"While former state House Majority Leader Adam Hasner has garnered several endorsements of Florida legislators for his bid to take on Democrat incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in 2012, former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux announced on Wednesday that five Republicans in the Legislature were backing his bid." "Five Florida Legislators Back George LeMieux for Senate".
Friends of Florida's First Coast (?) filling mailboxes
"A group calling itself Friends of Florida's First Coast filled mailboxes Wednesday across the area with mail attacking state Senate candidate Terry Fields. The mailers are based on a Times-Union story reporting Fields has a property tax break at odds with state law. He is one of four Democrats running in a special election Sept. 20 to fill the District 1 seat vacated by Tony Hill." "Special election to replace Tony Hill gets nasty".
A Rick Scott miscalculation?
"Gov. Rick Scott, who began his political career by criticizing the federal health care overhaul, has constantly said he opposes President Barack Obama's plan because it is a 'job killer' and would limit consumers' health care choices."
The Scott administration, however, now finds itself fending off legal challenges over its health care plan for state workers. This summer the Department of Management Services signed off on new state contracts that would restrict state workers to one health maintenance organization for each county starting next January."Scott's plan to limit HMOs coming under fire".
Scott touted the contract in July, saying it would help the state save $400 million over the next two years. Florida is expected this year alone to spend $2 billion on state worker health insurance.
But three of the HMOs that didn't like the new contracts have asked an administrative judge in Tallahassee to throw them out. And one of the arguments is that the state messed up in how it calculated potential savings.
UnitedHealthcare of Florida contends in legal filings that the state's decision will actually cost the state nearly $500 million more because the HMO — which serves more than 2.5 million Floridians — has better discounts with doctors and clinics.
"PSC interviews three finalists for executive director".
The Sarasota connection
"FBI found ties between hijackers and Saudis in Sarasota but never revealed the findings". "Link to 9/11 hijackers found in Sarasota".
Scott in court again
"A state law that requires poor Floridians to pass a drug test before receiving cash welfare assistance — a key tenet of Gov. Rick Scott's campaign — is now being challenged in federal court by a Navy veteran and the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida." "Suit filed over welfare drug tests".
Allen West spreading the hate
"U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., no stranger to controversy for his remarks about Muslim-Americans, on Wednesday renewed the debate over the Islamic center near Ground Zero in New York City, just days before the country marks the 10th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. ... The film, "SACRIFICED SURVIVORS: The Untold Story of the Ground Zero Mega Mosque," was produced by Martin Mayer of the Christian Action Network, and shown in a conference room in the Rayburn House Office Building across from the Capitol." "West promotes film about controversial Ground Zero mosque".