"Florida Sen. Bill Nelson holds a solid 8 percentage-point lead over one of his potential rivals, Congressman Connie Mack, in a new poll that shows Democrats are gaining political ground in Florida."
Nelson beats Mack by a 44-36 percent margin – a shift of 7 percentage points in Nelson’s favor since January, when the two were essentially tied, according to Quinnipiac University’s Polling Institute. Nelson’s 8-point lead is outside the poll’s 2.8 percent error margin."Poll: Sen. Bill Nelson beating Connie Mack by 8".
More: "March 29, 2012 - Nelson Opens 8-Point Lead Over Mack In Florida, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; Women Are Key To Democrat's Lead".
Law clearly suppresses the vote among Democratic-leaning constituencies
The Saint Petersburg Times editors: "The defenders of a new state law that makes it harder to register to vote can no longer dismiss concerns that it will reduce turnout in the November elections."
A new study shows 81,471 fewer Floridians have registered to vote since the law took effect in July than during the same time period in the 2008 election cycle. The law clearly will result in disproportionately suppressing the vote among minorities, college students and other Democratic-leaning constituencies, and the courts should overturn it."An analysis of registration information published by the New York Times on Wednesday found new registrations have dropped sharply in the eight months since the law took effect."
New registrations are down by 39 percent in Miami-Dade County compared to the same period four years ago, the newspaper reported. They are down by some 20 percent in Orange County and Volusia County. And they are down 34 percent in Pasco, 23 percent in Hillsborough (where the law is not even being enforced yet) and 21 percent in Pinellas, county elections officials told the Tampa Bay Times on Wednesday. That is no coincidence, no matter how much state elections officials speculate about other factors."Florida law takes toll on voting".
"$1B in business tax breaks"
"Flanked by leaders of Florida's top economic trade groups and agencies, Gov. Rick Scott signed a number of business tax cuts he says will accelerate economic development in the state." "$1B in business tax breaks". See also "Scott signs more tax breaks for businesses into law" and "Jobs Legislation Seeks More Positive Atmosphere for Business in Florida".
"The surprise endorsement has the potential to give a shot of credibility to Romney, who has failed to excite the deeper conservatives of the Republican base, and instantly added to speculation that Rubio would be his running mate. Rubio was quick to dismiss the idea."
But it is still significant, given Rubio's rising national status and conservative bona fides. He has feet in both the establishment circles and the tea party."Sen. Marco Rubio endorses Mitt Romney for president". See also "Rubio endorses Romney, says GOP race should end". Related: "Don't do it, Marco Rubio! Why would you want to be vice president?".
And he is Hispanic. Romney has adopted some hard line positions on immigration — as did Rubio during his 2010 run for Senate against then-Gov. Charlie Crist, but he has tried to moderate his positions since entering the Senate.
The embrace has potential downsides. Rubio's followers may see it as politically calculating and acquiescing to establishment politics. It also may intensify scrutiny of his positions of immigration and other issues.
Scott presides over drop in consumer confidence
"Florida consumer confidence drops in March as gas prices rise".
"Sanford police threaten to arrest reporters"
"Sanford police threaten to arrest reporters for asking questions". Related: "Police video: George Zimmerman was in cuffs but no apparent injuries", "Sanford cops wanted to charge Zimmerman in Trayvon Martin case", "No Action Expected on Request for 'Stand Your Ground' Special Session", "Agreement Grows on Clarity for 'Stand Your Ground'", "Trayvon Martin case draws more blacks to Twitter", "Trayvon Martin’s death: When does fight justify deadly force?", "The Florida Independent", "Special prosecutor: I may need no grand jury in Martin case" and "Trayvon Martin: Sanford's tab is $35,000 for PR firm, big TV screen to broadcast meeting on case".
Martinez pushes tax
"Ex-Sen. Martinez: Tax could help Orlando's homeless".
"SoFla Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the map"
"Florida House leadership believes the Senate map will pass muster in the Florida Supreme Court, but a Justice Department review -- now that might be a tougher sell."
The House on Tuesday, as expected, approved the Senate’s second effort to create a map based on the less-than-2-year-old Fair Districts Amendments."Hispanic Lines in South Florida Could Trip up Senate Map".
However, a number of South Florida Republicans joined Democrats in opposing the map, questioning the lack of Hispanic representation in South Florida, which could set the map up for rejection by the U.S. Department of Justice under the federal Voting Rights Act.
Scott signs pro-business laws
"Scott signs Workforce, other pro-business laws".
As of 9:30AM the link did not work
"How to jump start small business job creation in Florida? Google is teaming with Intuit and the Gov. Rick Scott to offer a free website design, a free domain name and free server hosting for a year."
Florida businesses can go to http://www.floridagetonline.com get the free website as well as free tools, training and resources to help their business succeed online."Florida offers free website to small business".
Smith don' like Teamsters
Nancy Smith: "Bringing a lawsuit is one thing; scaring people half to death dishonestly is another. But such is the culture of the Teamsters Union." "Boo! Teamsters' Notice of 'Dangerous Criminals' Lawsuit a Tad Over the Top?".
"The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, along with other groups, sent letters to school boards this week, warning them not to adopt policies recently allowed by the state that the civil liberties groups says will surely land them in court." "School districts warned not to adopt prayer policies".
"According to a recently released study by the Everglades Foundation, the agriculture industry is responsible for 76 percent of the phosphorus pollution entering the Everglades. But despite passage of a 'Polluter Pays' amendment to the state Constitution in 1996, the ag industry isn’t paying for even half of the cost of phosphorus removal, leaving the balance of the burden on the shoulders of taxpayers." "Everglades Foundation study finds that polluters don’t always clean up after themselves".
One word: "plastics"
"Orlando faces test with huge plastics trade show".
Get 'yer stoopid straight
"PolitiFact: Drug testing bill sponsor wrong about exemption for legislators".
Divided Supreme Court agrees to hear FRS case
"A divided court announced Wednesday that it will hear a challenge of a law passed last year that requires public employees to contribute 3 percent of their paychecks to their retirement. Oral arguments are set for early September." "Florida Supreme Court accepts public pension case".
Influence from U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland?
"The move to nominate and then pass over Chairman Robert P. Gill for another three-year term on the Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council prompted some to point to influence from U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Panama City. " "Gov. Rick Scott's reversal on Gulf fisheries council nomination raises concerns".
Rank opportunist "repeats her talking points"
"Elected in 2010, the former state prosecutor and former Fox News legal commenter inherited the lawsuit from former Republican Attorney General Bill McCollum. But she campaigned on the issue herself and has seized it as her own since taking office at the beginning of 2011."
A registered Democrat from 1984 until 2000 when she switched to the Republican Party, she wasn't especially politically involved until running for office."Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi front and center in fight against health care law". See also "Pam Bondi finds spotlight outside Supreme Court".
Today, Bondi, 46, downplays suggestions that the health care lawsuit may have raised her profile — and as a result, her future prospects in the Republican Party.
"I don't care about that," she said. "I care about defeating the health care mandate. That's all I care about."
She repeated her talking points: the legal challenge was about the Constitution, not politics.
Frank Cerabino:"Alcee Hastings' denial of nepotism relies on relatively dubious logic".