Saturday, August 11, 2012

Today's Florida Political News and Punditry

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

Florida Republicans Rally Around Sinking Romney Campaign

"U.S. Senator Marco Rubio commends Mitt Romney for choosing Paul Ryan" and "Paul Ryan receives nod from former Florida congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart".

FlaGop out-grubs FlaDems by 4 to 1 in run-up to primary

"Florida Republicans took in more than $9 million in the crucial run-up to this year's primary elections, significantly more than Florida Democrats who reported raising nearly $2.2 million during the last four months." "Millions raked in by Fla. parties".

RNC fears air attack on convention

"Military mum on reports of missile launchers in Tampa for RNC".

11 state constitutional amendments

"11 state constitutional amendments struggle for voter attention".

"The hat lady vs. the actor"

"The Democratic Congressional race between incumbent Frederica Wilson and Rudy Moise offers little controversy." "It’s the hat lady vs. the actor in North Miami’s Democratic congressional race".

"More concerned with the bottom line than with patients"

The Tampa Bay Times editors "The nation's largest for-profit hospital chain is in trouble with regulators again."

Florida hospitals in the HCA chain, including one in Pasco County, are under federal investigation in connection with concerns that cardiologists conducted unnecessary surgical tests and procedures. HCA allegedly boosted its billings by working with cardiologists who put profits before patient health and safety. After discovering the problem, hospital executives seemed more concerned with the bottom line than with patients, raising questions about HCA's ethics and its for-profit model.
"HCA's prescription for profits".

West plays race card

"Rep. Allen West says ad plays on racial stereotypes; NAACP disagrees".

Grayson plays hardball, GOPers whine

"Is there an upset brewing in the Republican primary to challenge Democrat Alan Grayson in the 9th congressional district? Aides to establishment pick John Quiñones seem to think so. They say a flurry of last-minute attack ads -- largely funded by Grayson, who's spent $110,000 on anti- Quiñones TV commercials and more on mailers and radio ads -- have turned the GOP primary into a real race, with perennial candidate Todd Long playing the role of dark horse."

And they warn that unless Quiñones can regain momentum in just a few short days, then Long -- with a campaign warchest of just $3,511 -- could win the nomination next Tuesday. If that happens, a district drawn to be "accessible" to Hispanics – who make up roughly 41 percent of its voting age population – will see a general election contest between two non-Hispanic white men.

"It is a tight race. And I'm not just saying that," said John Dowless, a consultant to Quiñones. "I just hope the Republicans are wise and see where these attacks are coming from -- and why."

Grayson, a one-term congressman who earned a national reputation as an aggressive liberal, had nearly $1.2 million in cash-on-hand on July 25 and has been using emails to blast his would-be GOP opponents for weeks. But Dowless said they were caught by surprise by the paid ads slamming Quiñones as a tax-happy politician, a damning accusation in a GOP primary.

"This one caught us -- Republicans -- off-guard," Dowless said.
"Grayson-bought ads could make the difference in a GOP primary".

"Florida already is awash in guns"

The Tampa Bay Times editorial board: "The National Rifle Association knows no limits."

It persuaded the Florida Legislature to allow gun owners to take their weapons to work. It passed another law to stop doctors from asking patients about their guns, which is tied up in court. Now the NRA wants lawmakers to allow nearly 1 million owners of concealed weapon permits to openly carry their guns on the street. Florida already is awash in guns and high-profile shootings, and embellishing the state's Wild West reputation is no way to attract business and tourists.
"Open carry: More bad law from NRA".

"Make the boleteras and boleteros unnecessary"

In this well-researched column, Myriam Marquez summarizes recent developments in absentee-ballot law in Florida, and concludes "there’s one clean fix. Make the boleteras and boleteros unnecessary by simply including free postage on the return envelope of an absentee ballot." "For the cost of a ‘free’ stamp on an absentee ballot: Democracy".

Just another campaign stunt

"Property insurance reform was nowhere to be found among Gov. Rick Scott's 'legislative priorities' during this year's lawmaking session in Tallahassee. " "Florida Legislature turns blind eye to property insurance reform".

Saint Marco

"Marco Rubio passed over for VP but benefited immensely from exposure".

Last day for early voting

"The final day for early voting in the state's primary elections has arrived." "Last day for early voting in Florida primary".


"Connie Mack casts his vote — but for who?".

"More interested in currying favor than following the law"

The Tampa Bay Times editors write that "the more that is learned about how top officials have handled the wetland mitigation credit application of a well-connected landowner, the more it appears Gov. Rick Scott's administration is more interested in currying favor than following the law." "Wetlands smell of cronyism".