Wednesday, May 15, 2013

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

Nelson won't rule out run for Governor

Scott Powers: "For weeks Florida Democrats have been buzzing about the idea of getting U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson to run for governor in 2014 to challenge the re-election bid of Republican Gov. Rick Scott. And for weeks,Nelson has been saying he has no intention of running for governor."

Yet at the same time, Nelson won't flat-out rule out the possibility that he could be talked into leaving his third term in the U.S. Senate if the Florida Democratic Party really, really, really wants him to run for governor. And he repeated that stance Tuesday during an appearance in Orlando.
"In an interview with Political Pulse, Nelson sounded like he has no desire to be the Democrats' nominee for governor."
But if the party should conclude he's their best hope of beating Scott?

"I don't know the answer to your question," Nelson said.

"Bill Nelson: Not planning to run for governor; but not saying no if needed".

"Included in the fine print"

"A three-judge panel questioned Tuesday why it should wade into a battle over the possible privatization of prison health-care services, with the budget at issue in the change set to expire in several weeks. The 1st District Court of Appeal judges listened to arguments on a ruling in December that prevented the Department of Corrections from contracting out the health services in all but the bottom third of the state. The contract for that part of the state was included in the fine print of the budget for the spending year that ends June 30." "Department of Corrections Delves Into Prison Health Privatization".

On the road again

"After 'victory' lap around state, Scott to travel to Chile".

HD 74

"With state Rep. Doug Holder, R-Venice, facing term limits next year, Dr. Julio Gonzalez, an orthopedic surgeon from Venice, is off to an impressive head start as he looks to represent parts of Sarasota County." "Republican Hopeful Julio Gonzalez Has Good Head Start to Replace Doug Holder".

"Floridians shouldn't so easily dismiss the hypocrisy"

The Tampa Bay Times editors: "Republican state lawmakers on Tuesday didn't want to talk about 1 million of the state's poor who don't have health insurance."

Or about how Floridians and their health care system inevitably absorb the cost when the uninsured are in crisis. They tried to change the subject when asked at a Suncoast Tiger Bay meeting in St. Petersburg about news reports that juxtaposed Republican House members' generous taxpayer-covered health insurance with their votes to reject federal Medicaid expansion dollars to cover 1 million uninsured — and pump $51 billion into the state economy. Floridians shouldn't so easily dismiss the hypocrisy.
"Hypocrisy in the House".

"Cowards and simpletons"

Scott Maxwell: "Part of the reason is that we elect cowards and simpletons — politicians unwilling to stand up to extremists and not smart enough to think for themselves."

But another part of the reason for extremism taking root is the media. We are like gasoline to the fringy flames of foolishness. We give legitimacy to nonsense, giving equal weight to both the mainstream and the extreme.
"Florida just clamped down on 'gun rights'".

Laff riot

"Tallahassee needs to be nicer to Republicans, county leader says".

West again

"Mention of Allen West for lieutenant governor launches Dem fundraising appeal".

Good luck with that

The Palm Beach Post editors: "Editorial: Scott should sign bill to keep guns from Florida’s mentally ill".

"What's not to like?"

Nancy Smith: "Want a blatant example of fuzzy math? It's right here with ringing clarity in the outlandish proposed constitutional amendment known as Florida's Land and Legacy."

The Florida Water and Land Conservation Amendment (that's its real name) would embed in the Florida Constitution for 20 years 33 percent of net revenues from the existing excise tax on documents.

But, hey, no sweat. Eric Draper, executive director of Florida Audubon, promises the people of Florida the amendment will dedicate only 1 percent of the state budget to buying conservation land, no programs will get cut as a result, no one will get hurt, it's all tax free. And, oh yes, all it does is replace the minimum $300 million a year the Florida Forever program provided from 1990 through 2008. What's not to like?

"'No' to Budgeting Through the Constitution".

Wingnuts in a dither

"Several Florida activists claim they or their organizations are victims of the IRS' gone-wild, anti-conservative harassment campaign -- citing everything from individual audits to being burdened with probing, invasive questionnaires and being forced to disclose political beliefs, even seeing unpublished web pages unearthed." "Meet Florida Conservatives Targeted by Obama's IRS".

Another dead construction worker

"A worker is dead following a seven-story fall at a South Florida construction site." "Worker dies after 7-story fall".

Hialeah ballot broker

"After having learned that his name appears next to the amount of $1,500 in a notebook kept by an alleged Hialeah ballot broker, lawyer Ricardo Corona said Tuesday that he never hired anyone to collect absentee ballots on his behalf during his unsuccessful campaign for a Miami-Dade judgeship in 2008." "Defeated candidate Ricardo Corona says he never hired ‘boletera’ Deisy Cabrera".