Wednesday, August 29, 2012

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

"Jeb!" says, "stop acting stupid"

"With Mitt Romney trailing Barack Obama badly among Hispanic voters in the polls, Republicans paraded out their top Hispanic political celebrities Tuesday and tapped the financial and influential heft of former Gov. Jeb Bush to help suture the gap."

Speaking at a panel discussion at the Republican National Convention, Bush repeated his frequent warning that the party must change its tone, an admonition he has frequently raised about the party’s hardline position on immigration.

“The future of our party is to reach out consistently to have a tone that is open and hospitable to people who share values,’’ he said, adding “the conservative cause would be the governing philosophy as far as the eye could see … and that’s doable if we just stop acting stupid.”

"Jeb Bush: Republicans need to stop 'acting stupid' in courting Hispanics". See also "Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio Remarks Highlight Issues Between Latinos, GOP".

Jeremy Wallace can't seem to get enough Jebbie: "On Thursday night, Bush will get a prime speaking assignment shortly before Romney is scheduled to accept the GOP nomination. It will be the most prominent convention speech of Bush’s career. He did not have a speaking role in either of the last two conventions, including his brother George W.’s re-nomination for president in 2004." "Mitt Romney the nominee, Jeb Bush the star".

FlaDem "voter-registration collapse"

"Republicans in Florida set out to make registering voters harder for this election. The new rules took effect last year, and the results are clear. Republicans are still reaching and registering new voters, if not quite as many. Democrats, as you can see on the chart above, are scarcely registering new voters at all." "Florida's voter-registration collapse".

Musta been sumthin' Rick did

"Floridian's consumer confidence remains steady overall".

Pleeze, enough with the blue shirt

"Gov. Scott in WPB: We’re doing everything we can".

Florida's most famous Republican losing grip on reality

Frank Cerabino points out that Rush "Limbaugh used his radio show this week to explain how the weather elites at the [National Hurricane Center] have used science — Why does science hate America? — to ruin the glory that would have been four full days of the Republican National Convention in Tampa." "Limbaugh sees Obama steering currents in GOP convention delays".

Prison health services privatization suit moot

"Judge Kevin Carroll of the 2nd Judicial Circuit Court of Florida on Monday dismissed a motion by the Florida Nurses Association and the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) to rehear their suit on plans by the state Department of Corrections (DOC) to privatize prison health services. The original suit had been dismissed by Carroll on July 2, when he found the matter 'moot' after a provision in an appropriations bill authorizing the privatization expired on June 30." "Florida Judge Affirms Dismissal of Unions' Prison Privatization Suit".

Marco speaks

"Marco Rubio: Election has Global Impact; About Charlie, 'I Told You So’".

Florida's hospitals on the hook last year for $2.8B in uncompensated care

The Tampa Bay Times editorial board wonders, what would Romney replace the Affordable Care Act with? "That is a critical question for Florida, which has nearly 4 million uninsured residents and has failed to develop its own solution."

Florida's hospitals were on the hook last year for $2.8 billion in uncompensated care. Tampa General Hospital spent more than $60 million on uncompensated care, while St. Petersburg's Bayfront Medical Center spent $34.7 million.
"Whatever one thinks of the Affordable Care Act, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that it will bring health coverage to 30 million people while reducing the federal deficit by $109 billion over 10 years."
That's true even if some states like Florida decline to expand Medicaid to cover all adults under 133 percent of the federal poverty line. Where the law needs more work is in controlling costs, an essential ingredient in health care reform and an opportunity for Republicans to do better. Right now there isn't a Republican leadership alternative to the health care reform law.
"GOP needs health reform alternative".

Blame the unions

"Broward Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie is making extraordinary accusations that union workers are purposefully disrupting school bus service, including drivers skipping stops, not picking up children, feigning unfamiliarity with routes and unloading kids in the wrong place." "Schools chief: Union workers sabotaging school bus service to oppose change".

Bondi sidesteps Akin’s comments

"Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi didn’t mention Todd Akin’s comments made last week about 'legitimate rape.' But in a speech before the Florida delegation Tuesday, Bondi said any talk from Democrats about how Republicans aren’t supportive of women is nonsense, and she asked conservative women to put a stop to it."

She said she will continue to battle the federal government on issues. But she asked the Florida delegation to make sure she doesn’t have to after this year. "I can sue the government every day, but the only way to stop it is to elect Mitt Romney as president of the United States," she said
"Pam Bondi disputes notion that GOP is not pro-women". Bondi neglected to mention whether she agreed with her own Republican Party's platform language approved on Tuesday "calling for a constitutional amendment outlawing abortion with no explicit exceptions for cases of rape or incest."

Perhaps an enterprising reporter will ask her.

More: "Pam Bondi's Convention Time to Focus on Federal Issues".

"The hits just keep coming in from the right"

"The hits just keep coming in from the right at the Republican National Convention for Florida’s former GOP governor-flip-flopped-to-Obama-backer, Charlie Crist." "Carole Jean Jordan on Charlie Crist: Dems Know 'You Can't Trust Him'".

Scott's austerity measures were meant for us, not for his brethren

Fabiola Santiago: "Shameless doesn’t even begin to describe them — or Gov. Rick Scott, ultimately responsible for allowing the state-operated insurer to spend without restraint. But no surprise there. Like his drug-testing policies, the governor’s austerity measures and suck-it-up mandates were meant for us, the taxpayers and homeowners, not for his brethren. But here – warning: this will make your blood pressure rise — is a small sampling of the outrageous expenditures uncovered by reporters Toluse Olorunnipa of The Miami Herald and Jeff Harrington and Susan Taylor Martin of the Tampa Bay Times." "‘Shameless’ doesn’t do justice to Citizens execs’ expenses".

Weatherford attacks Obama as not believing in the "American idea"

"Rep. Will Weatherford is on the verge of political prominence, and he wants Republicans everywhere to know it."

With his back yard the center of the political universe, the Pasco County Republican is taking advantage at his party's national convention this week by sparring with pundits, dining with House colleagues and doing what Tallahassee politicians do best: raising money. ... At age 32, Weatherford will soon follow the path of his father-in-law, Allan Bense of Panama City, who was speaker from 2004-06. When he occupies the speaker's spacious fourth-floor suite in November, he will be the youngest person to hold the office since 1957, when 28-year-old Doyle Conner used it as a springboard for a long career as state agriculture commissioner. Clean-cut and well-spoken, Weatherford is well-liked in Tallahassee, but his comments about President Barack Obama at a convention event have reverberated across the state and antagonized Florida Democrats. At a Faith and Freedom Coalition luncheon Monday, Weatherford said: "Here's the problem with the president. The president does not believe in the American idea. He does not believe in the foundation, the very pillars that this country was founded upon. He does not share that world view." Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Plantation, the incoming House Democratic leader, said he was disgusted to see Weatherford join Republicans who seek to demonize the president by questioning his patriotism.
"Will Weatherford uses RNC to raise political profile".

And these people want the run the White House?

"After a day spent waiting, the Republican National Convention started for real at 2 p.m. Tuesday with Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus launching the first of many attacks against President Barack Obama."

Finally, Florida’s moment in the political sun — forever captured in these words and stories. Which, for Florida’s delegates, is a good thing. They missed it. The delay was not of their making. Delegates were to board buses at noon to head from the Innisbrook Golf and Spa Resort in Palm Harbor to the Tampa Bay Times Forum 30 miles away. That did not happen, however, because delegates were told the Republican National Committee forgot to send the buses.
"RNC forgets to send buses to pick up Florida delegation".