"Sen. Bill Nelson's prospective GOP challengers were curiously quiet this week after the Democrat was raked over the coals by the National Republican Senatorial Committee." "Tom Rooney Assails Bill Nelson Stance on Funding Bill -- But No One Else?".
Stearns grubs for wingnuts
"Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Ocala, is moving forward with his plans to launch an investigation of Planned Parenthood, a national chain of women’s health clinics."
Stearns mentioned back in July that such an investigation was possible, after the release a report arguing that lawmakers should defund Planned Parenthood. The report was written by Americans United for Life, an anti-abortion group. As The American Independent reported, Americans United called upon Congress to hold an investigation looking into Planned Parenthood’s finances and practices. While Planned Parenthood has called the report false and “ideologically driven,” Stearns did not rule out launching an investigation."Florida congressman moves forward with Planned Parenthood investigation".
Sarah Kliff of Politico reports that Stearns, who chairs a subcommittee on oversight and investigations, has already asked the president of Planned Parenthood to provide the committee with a range of documents.
Teabagger Alert: Rubio a mini-Perry on tuition breaks for undocumented children
"Texas Gov. Rick Perry has created a hornet's nest of controversy in conservative circles by defending his Texas policy of offering in-state tuition to undocumented students."
It is one of the deviations from conservative orthodoxy that has brought Perry strife in Florida, especially in tea party circles. Florida does not allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition."Florida's political climate cool to in-state college fees for immigrants, as issue becomes hot".
Down the line, conservatives may have other high-profile figures to question on the issue: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, a tea party favorite and GOP vice presidential possibility, once backed a bill similar to the Texas law when he was in the Florida legislature.
But for now it is Perry taking the heat.
"If you say that we should not educate children who have come into our state for no other reason than they have been brought there by no fault of their own, I don't think you have a heart," Perry said in the GOP presidential debate Thursday in Orlando.
"School board might open its own charter schools".
"Scott was grilled at a Sun Sentinel editorial board meeting today on a range of issues, including home and automobile insurance." "Gov. Scott answers questions about auto, home insurance".
A Legislature that claims to decry government interference
The Tampa Tribune editors:
When the Florida Legislature passed its infamous gag law preventing doctors from talking to patients about the risks posed by firearms in the home, it was generally taken for granted that the vote was a bow to the gun lobby. It was indeed. Not surprisingly, a federal judge recently blocked the law from being enforced."More laws than we need".
And when lawmakers passed legislation requiring Floridians applying for welfare to submit to drug tests, they were accused of an uncivil, unfair and even unconstitutional attack on the poor. The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit in Miami last week on behalf of a veteran who refused to take the test and was denied assistance to help care for his son. Also last week, state Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, filed a bill to repeal the law.
Both laws are in their own way unsettling, because they come from a Legislature that decries excessive government interference.
We don' need no stinkin' gub'ment reger'lations
"131,300 lbs. of ground beef, some shipped to Fla., recalled".
Carroll takes heat
"A former aide to Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll who was booted this month for publicly slamming her boss’ office wants Carroll to face the same fate."
“I am hereby calling for the removal of Jennifer Carroll from the office of lieutenant governor for not faithfully performing the duty of office,” wrote Carletha Cole in an email with the headline “Impeach Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll.”"Ex-Carroll staffer calls for her impeachment, says she created hostile work environment".
The House and Senate can vote to impeach a lieutenant governor.
In the email, Cole alleges that Carroll created a hostile work environment.
She says that Carroll’s travel aide routinely withheld important information, and that the issue blew up during a staff meeting.
Regalado squeezes workers while denying he's a crook
"Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado has hired a high-profile defense in response to a state investigation of his 2009 campaign finances."
Among the irregularities the [FDLE] is looking into: about $40,000 in contributions that mysteriously appeared in Regalado’s final campaign report after the deadline for new contributions."Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado hires a criminal-defense lawyer in campaign-finance probe"
Regalado also accepted at least $8,000 from individuals and companies based in Dominican Republic — donations that are prohibited by federal and state laws.
"Jeb!" ain't all that
"He’s been called the candidate who could unite all factions of the party, but there’s plenty in Bush for Republicans to grumble about."
He’s been aggressively moderate on immigration, telling Newsmax that the GOP needs to “change the tone of conversation” on the debate, and there’s little indication that the activists who resent his establishment ties have warmed to him. "Even ‘perfect’ candidates have flaws".
In fact, Bush proudly opposed Arizona’s controversial immigration law — a stance that’s given Perry some trouble. Further, in a cycle where activists want an aggressive attack against Obama (witness Donald Trump’s strange rise before opting out of a run), Bush’s quiet temperament probably wouldn’t sell.
Soon after the 2008 election, he told The Wall Street Journal that Republican “chest-pounders lost.” Yet a chest-pounder is exactly what voters are looking for right now, and Bush doesn’t appear to want that role.
RPOFers dissatisfied with U.S. Senate candidates
"Not satisfied with their current U.S. Senate primary candidates, some Republican insiders are seeking to recruit new ones, possibly including popular Tampa Bay area political figures Tom Lee and Rick Baker. At the same time, U.S. Rep. Connie Mack of Fort Myers, who previously said he wouldn't enter the Senate primary, appeared to re-open the door in comments to the Tampa Tribune this week." "GOP insiders: Tom Lee, Rick Baker could perk up Senate race". See also "GOP insiders: Tom Lee, Rick Baker could perk up Senate race".
Accelerated redistricting map timeline
The Orlando Sentinel editorial board: "Finally, signs of responsiveness on what are among the most crucial electoral decisions in advance of the 2012 elections."
On Sept. 22, the state Senate's Reapportionment Committee announced an accelerated timeline for releasing drafts of new district maps, a public comment period and potential resolution by the Legislature early next year. The new timing announced by committee Chairman Don Gaetz is far better than the unacceptable pace lawmakers initially proposed."Florida might just get fairer districts".
There's no room for doubt in what Florida voters want — no, actually, in what they demanded: electoral districts that are far more competitive than the gerrymandered ones that currently exist. ...
The new schedule could help dispel those suspicions. The committee's final recommendations should be ready for the full Senate as early as the first week of next year's legislative session, which starts in January as opposed to March.
"Haridopolos: Florida Offers Stability, Not Stimulus".
"On Tuesday, after finishing in third place in the Presidency 5 straw poll in Orlando, former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, one of the leading candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, unveiled his team to lead his efforts in the Sunshine State."
Molly Donlin, who led former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s efforts in Florida in the 2008 battle for the Republican presidential nomination, will be Romney’s director in Florida. J.C. Hernandez, the former Miami-Dade GOP executive director and Marco Rubio staffer, will be serving as Romney’s field director. Alex Melendez -- who worked for successful Republican gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott in 2010 and GOP presidential nominee John McCain in 2008 -- will lead Romney’s team in Tampa Bay, while political consultant Andrew Messer will lead his efforts in North Florida. Veteran Florida Republican leader Brett Doster, who led George W. Bush’s efforts in Florida in 2004, will be a strategic adviser for Romney in the Sunshine State."Mitt Romney Names Florida Campaign Team".
Obama on his way to O'town
"President Barack Obama will travel to Orlando on Oct. 11." "President to visit Orlando".
A perfect time to cut taxes
"State policy-makers in Florida have been antagonistic toward federal grants. Gov. Rick Scott and the state Legislature have expressed distaste for accepting some federal money, and have even turned away millions of dollars that were already awarded to the state — notably for health programs and transportation. Already, state policy-makers are saying they may eschew possible federal funds that could be set aside to help the state tackle its persistent unemployment problem." "Census report: Florida received third least amount of federal aid in 2010".
Scott opens mouth ...
"After surprising Cain straw poll win, Scott still confident Florida will determine GOP nominee".
Good luck with that
"State Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee, has filed a bill that would end the death penalty in Florida." "State lawmaker introduces bill to end death penalty".
Or so they say
"State Employee Pension Changes Keep Retirement Funding Stable".
Fred Grimm: "So let’s compare pensions".
"School accountability has gone awry"
The Saint Petersburg Times editorial board: "When a school can earn an A from the state and yet be given failing marks by the federal government, there should be no doubt that school accountability has gone awry." "No Child standards need tweak".
"Bizarre final budget hearing"
"In a bizarre final budget hearing even by Miami standards, commissioners finally signed off on a $479 million spending plan for 2012 at 3:32 a.m. Wednesday morning, completing a lengthy session that included a last-minute union deal, and had commissioners confused from the start as numbers changed throughout the day." "Miami ekes out its 2012 budget with a host of concessions from its unions".