Tuesday, July 23, 2013

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

"Padding grades to help Scott's reelection prospects"

"The state Board of Education’s decision last week to inflate school grades for a second year was widely praised by parents and educators, but it also exposed a hard-to-miss rift between the closest allies of former Gov. Jeb Bush and those who back Gov. Rick Scott."

The 4-3 decision to reduce the number of F schools in the state by almost 60 percent was divided along Bush-Scott lines, with Bush allies against.

None of the seven board members nor Education Commissioner Tony Bennett would to speak with the Herald/Times about last Tuesday’s vote.

Their silence, however, has fueled speculation about the motives on each side. Scott allies have been accused of padding grades to help Scott’s reelection prospects.

"School grade ‘safety net’ vote opens new rifts". The Miami Herald editors: "School-grade sanity".

And he has a line of duty disability pension

"Orlando cop shot during traffic stop".

"Deliberate indifference to the suffering of frail and disabled children"

"Florida health care agencies have acted with 'deliberate indifference to the suffering' of frail and disabled children by offering parents no 'meaningful' choice but to warehouse their children in nursing homes along with elders, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a lawsuit against the state filed Monday." "Justice Department files lawsuit against Florida over medical care for disabled children". See also "Feds sue state over alleged treatment of disabled children".

Lake O

"Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, is calling together his select committee on the Indian River Lagoon and Lake Okeechobee for a day-long public hearing in Stuart on damage from water releases from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie estuary." "Hearing set on Lake Okeechobee releases into estuary".

Miller has challenger

"While he has won elections overwhelmingly for the last decade, U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, R-Fla., has recently drawn his second primary opponent in the 2014 election." "Political Newcomer Challenges Jeff Miller in GOP Primary".

Immigration divide

"With Republicans who control the U.S. House clearly unenthused about the immigration reform bill passed by the Senate last month, the Florida delegation continues to divide on the issue." "Florida Congressional Delegation Continues to Split Over Immigration Reform Bill".

The Week Ahead

"The Week Ahead for July 22 to July 26, 2013".

Another Jindal laff riot

"With buzz growing that he could be running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana will be speaking to conservatives at an event [for the teabaggery Americans for Prosperity] in Orlando as he tries to get his once-promising national political ambitions back on track."

This has not been Jindal’s first time on the national stage. While there was speculation that Jindal would be John McCain’s running mate in 2008, his first real national exposure came the following year when he offered the Republican response to Obama’s first State of the Union address. Jindal’s speech earned him harsh reviews from pundits across the political spectrum but he would go on to win a second gubernatorial term in 2011. Jindal was also considered a potential vice presidential candidate in 2012 but lost out to Paul Ryan.
"Bobby Jindal Looks to Reverse his Political Fortune with Speech to AFP in Orlando".

Hijacking teachers

The Tampa Trib editorial board: "Most of us were taught to be polite when we're invited into someone's home. So it's no surprise that finalists in the annual Teacher of the Year competition said nice things about Gov. Rick Scott at a recent gathering in the governor's mansion in Tallahassee."

They didn't know those interviews would be hijacked by the Republican Party and used in an advertisement for the governor's re-election campaign.

At least one of the those teachers isn't happy about it.

"State GOP should pull ad with teachers' comments".

West to lead Benghazi attack

"Having left the door open to a political comeback in 2016, former Congressman Allen West will be launching a national petition drive to demand the creation of a House Select Committee to investigate the Benghazi attacks." "Allen West Leads Efforts for New House Committee to Investigate Benghazi Attacks".

Obama to Jax

"President Barack Obama will travel to Jacksonville on Thursday and deliver remarks at the Port Authority as part of a series of events scheduled to focus on the economy, the White House announced Monday." "President Barack Obama to bring economy message to Florida".