"'Florida is not going to implement Obamacare'"
"UPDATE (7/1 8:33 p.m. ET): Lane Wright, Florida Gov. Rick Scott's spokesman, told the Associated Press, 'Florida is not going to implement Obamacare' and added, 'We are not going to expand Medicaid and we're not going to implement exchanges.'" "Obama Health Care Law: Republican Governors, Legislators Not Ready To Fully Commit". See also "Rick Scott Puts Foot Down On Health Care, Florida Rejects Provisions" and "Gov. Rick Scott: Florida won't comply with health care law".
"Scott ignores every viewpoint that does not agree with his"
John Romano: "Rick Scott knows best."
It doesn't matter what the president says. It doesn't matter what laws Congress passes. It doesn't matter how the U.S. Supreme Court rules.
Rick Scott knows best.
It doesn't matter how many millions of Floridians are without health insurance. It doesn't matter how high your insurance premiums climb. It doesn't matter that emergency rooms have been turned into standing-room-only free clinics.
Rick Scott still knows best.
Haven't you figured that out yet?
Florida's governor is a one-man think tank. He is a walking legal precedent. He is going to tell you what is best for you even if you didn't bother to ask."Let's be very clear about this:"
Rick Scott is so danged smart, he is willing to play with people's lives. He is telling Florida's most desperate citizens that he's not going to expand health insurance through Medicaid even though the federal government is paying almost entirely for the plan.
Sadly, this has become a problem in Florida. Not the idea that people may have differing opinions, but the idea that Scott ignores every viewpoint that does not agree with his.
We saw it with drug testing. With light rail. With voter registration. With corporate tax cuts. And now, most conspicuously of all, with health care. ...
Go back and look at Scott's complaints about the Affordable Care Act. He makes outlandish statements, and offers zero evidence to back them up.
Instead, he cites vague conversations with business leaders. No names. No details. Just poppycock generalizations meant to scare the middle class.
Meanwhile, Florida suffers."Gov. Scott putting politics above people in need".
"Florida's banking industry is showing significant signs of recovery as the nation's financial system continues to strengthen. Profits are up, failures are down and more Florida banks are earning higher health ratings from analysts." "Southwest Florida banking's mixed bag".
Jeremy Wallace: "Hours after the ruling, Democratic and Republican candidates for office were sending fundraising appeals tapping into the joy or outrage of the moment, depending on their viewpoint. U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key, issued an appeal with the subject line 'Shocked' telling supporters he’d fight to repeal Obamacare regardless of the decision." "Health Care Ruling jump-starts campaign fundraising".
Obama floods Orlando TV market
"President Barack Obama's re-election campaign is already dropping millions of dollars in Orlando as it floods the TV market with attack ads against Mitt Romney, grabbing the early summer momentum. ... The ads appear to be working — at least for the moment. Most recent polls show Obama pulling ahead and Romney's 'favorable' ratings declining." "Obama floods Orlando airwaves with attack ads". At the same time, "Romney ads targeting Florida voters more than ever".
"Frankel hasn't been pitching an electoral shutout"
"Frankel hasn't been pitching an electoral shutout. Though the former West Palm Beach mayor and onetime top Democrat in the Florida House is still considered the favorite with six weeks to go until the Democratic primary in Broward and Palm Beach counties, her opponent Kristin Jacobs, a Broward commissioner, has managed to stay competitive." "Jacobs offering formidable challenge to Frankel for U.S. House seat".
"Florida's economic future looks a lot like its past"
The Tampa Bay Times editorial board: "Rick Scott's vision of Florida's economic future looks a lot like its past: heavily dependent on grand-scale development that creates sprawl and environmental damage but comes with no money to pay for the consequences." "Scott road map to damaging sprawl".
"Change never comes easily to Florida’s prison system."
It has been more than a year since the Legislature ordered the agency to privatize inmate healthcare to save money, the largest project of its kind ever attempted in the U.S.
It still hasn’t happened, leaving unfulfilled Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign promise to “competitively bid healthcare contracts” to cut costs.
In the past year, Scott ousted the corrections secretary who initiated the project, and two unions filed suit to derail the outsourcing. ...
Lawyers for unions challenging privatization argue that the project is dead, because it was created with fine-print language in a budget that expired Saturday. The state counters that it has the authority to privatize healthcare on its own, but that action would likely trigger more legal problems."Privatizing prison healthcare remains stalled amid court fight".
Meanwhile, "the Department of Corrections is pursuing privatization on a new front. The agency will seek bids to privatize all 20 of its work release centers, including three each in Pinellas County and South Florida, even though the Legislature didn’t mandate it."
The state has not made the privatization plan public.
The prison system says it has the authority under state law, but the Teamsters Union that represents state correctional officers is threatening a lawsuit.
Ken Wood, acting president of Teamsters Local 2011 in Tampa, calls the latest venture “highly suspect” and says: “We’re reviewing our legal options.”
Hundreds of nonviolent, well-behaved inmates approaching the end of their sentences live in small work release centers and earn money working jobs in the community to ease their return to society.
Private companies now run 13 of the 33 centers, and about 330 government employees work at the 20 state-run centers."Gov. Rick Scott presses for prison privatization".
"The Rothenberg Political Report -- brainchild of political analyst Stuart Rothenberg -- found 201 safe Republican seats and 161 secure Democratic seats across the nation."
Rothenberg maintained there are less than 75 competitive House seats across the nation with 29 tossups, 25 races where the Republican starts off ahead and 19 seats where the Democrats have the advantage. Rothenberg insisted there would be no “wave” resulting in a dramatic shift in the House with various projections showing Democrats gaining, at most, six seats -- far from what they need to take back the House.
According to Rothenberg, West, who is picking up a large portion of the area currently represented by U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Fla., after redistricting, is in a tossup district with a Republican tilt. West faces an August primary challenge from Martin County Sheriff Bob Crowder, still unpopular with some Republicans for backing Democrat Alex Sink in the 2010 gubernatorial race. Democrats have high hopes for businessman Patrick Murphy, who is expected to emerge from their primary contest.
Looking at other races, Rothenberg found only six competitive races in Florida, while he did not expect the other 20 congressional contests to be close."Allen West Ranked as the Most Vulnerable GOP Congressman in Florida".
"Rubio can't avoid politics"
"Rubio can't avoid politics during crowded Tampa book signing".
"Funny-named political slush funds magically appearing"
Aaron Deslatte: "It's that time of the election cycle when funny-named political slush funds magically appear in the IRS records, and we start to brace for a war of deceptive fliers and ads."
The Seminole Tribe of Florida has created a fund. Former state Sen. Alex Villalobos, R-Miami -- who is leading an organization defending the merit-retention this fall of three Florida Supreme Court justices – has created a new committee called, simply, "The People."
So has incoming House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel. Although he's raised nearly $1.3 million through another fund called "the Committee for a Conservative House" to support legislative candidates, last week he also created a new one called Citizens for Conservative Leadership to buy ads.
Democratic uber-lawyer Mark Herron has created "Invest in Our Future" to collect big checks from donors and funnel them into Democratic causes. Last cycle, he was the de-facto fundraising arm of the Florida Democratic Party. He also represents a lot of politicians before the state Ethics and Elections commissions, which makes him virtually indispensable to modern-day, money-addicted candidates.
No one can hold a candle to Alachua Republican Chairman Stafford Jones. The political operative who has been a consultant to both Senate President Mike Haridopolos and House Speaker Dean Cannon has filed paperwork for more than two dozen committees. Among them: the Florida Liberty Foundation, Truth Matters, Liberty 4 Florida, Americans for Liberty and Prosperity, and Proven Leadership for Miami Beach.
Michael Carlson, executive director of the industry-backed Personal Insurance Federation of Florida, has set one up called "Insuring Florida's Future."
Wade Vose, the Winter Park attorney who represented tea party activists in 2010 who tried to prove collusion between then-Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson and political activist Doug Guetzloe, has created a new committee called Citizens for a Safer Central Florida. He says it's for playing in local races.
The trial bar lobby has created regional "Justice" committees throughout the state, with the "Central Florida Citizens for Justice" headed by Orlando personal-injury lawyer Todd Copeland.
Still waiting for the good news? In a couple weeks, we'll start seeing which companies, interest groups, unions and individuals are doling out dollars to these groups to have their voices heard."Funny-named political committees are proliferating".