Saturday, August 25, 2012

Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry.

"Wanton groping bound to occur as delegates celebrate the wild and crazy nomination of Romney"

Carl Hiaasen: "It’s been widely noted that Tampa is the strip-club capital of America, and this week vigilant media will be scrutinizing arrest reports in search of Republicans who strayed too far from the convention center (not to mention the party’s puritanical agenda)."

Hillsborough County actually has a law that strippers must keep a six-foot distance from patrons, but wanton groping is bound to occur as delegates celebrate the wild and crazy nomination of Mitt Romney. Hopes that Missouri Congressman Todd Akin would be caught with a naked dancer writhing on his lap have been put on hold. As of this writing, Akin says he won’t come to the convention, a monumental relief to Romney but a disappointment to those who are curious to hear Akin clarify his odd theories of female biology.
"GOP delegates: Don’t go near the strippers". Related: "Exotic economics: Strip clubs ready to cash in on RNC boom".

Florida RNC delegates

"Florida RNC delegates named—finally".

Biden to Orlando

"Biden skipping stop in Tampa, still coming to Orlando Tuesday".

Afraid of their own shadows

"Climbing, flying drones on the prowl for police at Republican convention". Meanwhile, "This Week in Tampa".

Just another knuckle-dragger from central Florida

"Nearly two decades ago, former Republican state lawmaker Bob Brooks made headlines for his attacks on abortion and condemning Walt Disney World for offering its gay employees benefits."

But in his current state House campaign, his Democratic opponent Linda Stewart says Brooks is avoiding that record because it would show he is too conservative for a competitive district that is trending Democratic. ... Brooks distanced himself from the recent remarks of Missouri U.S. Rep. Todd Akin and the GOP's platform to outlaw abortion. Akin said "legitimate rape" victims were unlikely to become pregnant; he has since apologized. Brooks said Akin's remarks were "clearly incorrect." In the ensuing uproar over Akin's comments, added attention fell on the official Republican Party platform, which would outlaw abortion, even in cases of rape and incest. Brooks said he opposes abortion in most instances but said he is "not in sync" with the party's platform in cases of rape and incest. "The decision on what to do should be up to the woman," he said.
"Stewart blasts Brooks over abortion, gays' rights".

"Rubio is wrong"

The Palm Beach Post editorial board: "Sen. Rubio is wrong if he thinks that Rep. Paul Ryan’s plan is the way to save Medicare, wrong when he accuses President Obama of doing nothing to reduce Medicare costs and wrong when he says those near or in retirement shouldn’t play any part in saving it." "Editorial: Rubio right on Medicare diagnosis, wrong on treatment".

"How to avoid being arrested"

Joe Henderson has now "been briefed on how to avoid being arrested while covering a news event." "At the RNC, be prepared for anything".

Campaign Roundup

"Campaign Roundup: Early voting and eyes on Isaac".

Redistricting will produce only marginal short-term changes

Aaron Deslatte: "After millions of dollars spent and years of litigation over Fair Districts, Floridians will go to the polls in two months and get a heaping dose of political pragmatism."

Florida's most recent round of redistricting is still being litigated. But it's clear the new districts will produce only marginal short-term changes in the composition of the Legislature and congressional delegation.
"How could a state — even a Southern, conservative one — choose to elect super-majorities of GOP lawmakers, along with an entirely Republican Cabinet, and four-fifths of its congressional members when Democrats have more than 500,000 more registered voters?"
Although all 120 seats in the Florida House are up this year, Democrats — who hold only 39 seats — stand to gain only about four more — even though Democrats outnumber Republicans in 59 of the 120 new districts. The spread would be even greater if Democrats weren't so heavily concentrated in a minority of these districts. The average Democratic voter-registration advantage in those 59 seats is 23.9 percentage points. The average GOP advantage in the 61 districts where they outnumber Democrats: 10.2 percentage points. Senate seats tell a similar story. Democrats hold 12 of the 40 Senate seats but have a registration advantage in 19 of them, outnumbering Republicans by an average of 22 percentage points. Republicans outnumber Democrats in the other 21 by 8.4 percentage points. Still, Democrats expect to pick up two or three seats, at most. Social scientists have offered a range of explanations for the imbalance: Democratic registration does not equal Democratic performance, especially in the South; the GOP's cash advantage scares away many would-be Democratic candidates; and Democratic voters tend to be younger and more diverse, living clustered into denser urban areas — and less likely to vote — while Republican voters generally are more dispersed through the suburbs.
"Legislative redistricting won't reverse GOP domination".

Sue Carlton: "It is disconcerting how my downtown has been transformed by tall, black, heavy metal fences, things out of a prison movie, there to protect Important Buildings that have windows whited-out to reinforce them should someone aim a brick." "Hiding Lady Justice, fencing a city".

Weekly Roundup

"Weekly Roundup: Republicans and Isaac Head Toward Florida". See also "Week in Review for Aug. 20 to Aug. 23".

Privatization Follies

"An investigation into a program for delinquent girls at Florida detention centers was badly flawed, the governor’s office says." "DJJ probe of Miami group bungled, state says".