Friday, May 17, 2013

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

Rubio and "Jeb!" fail to impress in GOPer 2016 sweepstakes

"PPP's monthly look at the 2016 Republican field for President finds essentially a 4 way tie at the top- Marco Rubio has 16%, Jeb Bush and Chris Christie 15% each, and Rand Paul 14%. Paul Ryan at 9%, Ted Cruz at 7%, Rick Santorum at 5%, Bobby Jindal at 3%, and Susana Martinez at 1% round out the potential candidates [PPP] tested."

It's now been almost 6 months since we started doing regular polling of the 2016 race. The only candidate who's shown any real momentum over that period of time is Paul, whose support has doubled from 7% to 14%. Rubio's shift from 18% to 16%, Bush's from 12% to 15%, and Christie's from 14 to 15% are all within the margin of error. It is worth noting though that this is the first time Rubio hasn't held at least a 4 point lead over the other Republican contenders.
"There hasn't been much movement on the Democratic side either."
Hillary Clinton leads with 63% to 13% for Joe Biden, 4% for Andrew Cuomo, 3% for Mark Warner and Elizabeth Warren, 2% for Martin O'Malley, and 1% each for Kirsten Gillibrand, Deval Patrick, and Brian Schweitzer. Clinton led Biden 61-12 when we started polling on this in December. Clinton has at least 58% support with liberals, moderates, men, women, whites, African Americans, Hispanics, young voters, and seniors- in other words every key segment of the Democratic electorate.
"4 way tie for Republicans, Clinton leads Dems". See also "Hillary Clinton and Florida Republicans Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush Lead 2016 National Poll". Related: "Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush Lead Republican Pack in New Hampshire".

What's poor Ricky to do?

"Gov. Rick Scott must soon sign the new state budget, and he's getting intense feedback on all sides: from lawmakers protecting hometown projects, hospitals worried about losing money and a business-backed group criticizing pork-barrel spending." "Gov. Rick Scott holds power with budget veto pen". Related: "TaxWatch "turkeys" draw fire", "Water projects left off Florida TaxWatch's "turkey" list this year" and "Turkey Day: Florida TaxWatch Gives Legislature's Budget Mixed Reviews".

Teabaggers and other assorted wingnuts in a dither

"Local tea party groups say they were targeted by IRS". See also "Meet Florida Conservatives Targeted by Obama's IRS".

What a deal!

"Besides being a state with no personal income tax, one of the lowest corporate tax rates in the country, and a huge tourism and car rental market, Scott and Lee County officials greased the slide with about $85 million in taxpayer incentives. At face value that exceeds the company’s own investment in the move, leaving questions about whether the amount was necessary. In exchange for the public incentives, Hertz will deliver 700 jobs and spend $60 million toward construction of a new building." "Closer Look at Hertz's Golden Deal in the Sunshine State".

Ethics complaints kept under wraps

"Public records exemption complements the sweeping package he signed May 1. It will keep initial complaints to the Ethics Commission under wraps until a determination has been made on their validity." "Gov. Scott signs 2nd ethics law".

Bought and paid for

"The top Five lobbying firms collected more than $1 million from clients during the first three months of this year. Wednesday was the deadline for firms to file reports with the state. More than 100 lobbying firms say they earned more than $500,000 each in the first quarter representing clients before state government." "Lobbying firms cashed in on the session".

Amazon's Florida flop

"Fla. gov. rejects Amazon deal". See also "Amazon Effort to Build in Florida Crumbles".

"A small step forward"

The Tampa Bay Times editors: "For springs restoration, a small step forward".

What's wrong with Hillsborough?

The Tampa Bay Times editorial board: "The same four Hillsborough County commissioners who shot down domestic partner rights teamed up again Wednesday to reinforce the county's reputation for bigotry. It was a cowardly and self-serving move that is wrong for the times and a wrong read of politics." "Vote reinforces reputation for bigotry".

West won't go away

"Allen West's Gig at FOX News Will Keep Him Politically Alive". See also "Allen West lands job on Fox News".

Castor Dentel draws local hack

"With the 2013 legislative session wrapping up earlier in the month, Republicans are pushing ahead to find a candidate who can defeat freshman Rep. Karen Castor Dentel, D-Maitland, next year -- and it appears they've found their man."

With the 2013 legislative session wrapping up earlier in the month, Republicans are pushing ahead to find a candidate who can defeat freshman Rep. Karen Castor Dentel, D-Maitland, next year -- and it appears they've found their man.

On Wednesday Longwood City Commissioner Bob Cortes, who filed to run in January, is staging the kickoff in his bid for the Republican nomination to challenge Dentel in 2014. Cortes has the support of much of the Republican leadership -- including House Majority Leader Steve Precourt, R-Orlando, and Seminole County Sheriff Don Eslinger. Other Republican members of the Florida House from the area -- including Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, Rep. David Santiago, R-Deltona, Rep. John Tobia, R-Melbourne Beach, and Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne -- are also backing Cortes.

"Republican Leadership Backs Bob Cortes Against Karen Castor Dentel".

Rubio rakes in the dollars

"Rubio's financial disclosure shows $800,000 book advance".

Weatherford declares bill "extremely constitutional"

"After Gov. Rick Scott's highly prioritized manufacturing tax cut passed the Florida Legislature without receiving a two-thirds majority of votes, legislative staff analysts have had a change of heart and now believe such a supermajority was not necessary." "State analysts reverse course, say supermajority wasn't needed on tax cut vote".

"Job creators" whine

"Florida Job Creators Give State Mediocre Grade for Small-Business Friendliness".