Sunday, August 18, 2013

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

"That was before the checks started rolling in"

The Tampa Bay Times editors: "How do you turn a budget turkey into a peacock? Contributing at least $210,000 to Gov. Rick Scott's re-election effort does wonders. That's how much cash the governor received between vetoing state money for a Sarasota rowing center in 2011 and approving millions for the boondoggle he celebrated last week. The rowing center symbolizes Scott's transformation from a candidate who paid for his campaign himself to an incumbent who embraces Tallahassee's pay-to-play culture."

The $40 million rowing center project is under construction and scheduled for completion in 2015. The complex will include a boathouse, towers, grandstands and a 2,000-meter sprint course as well as practice facilities. Scott vetoed an appropriation for the facility in 2011, brushing it off as a special interest budget turkey with no statewide purpose. That was before the checks started rolling in. . . . Scott spent more than $70 million of his own money to become governor, campaigning against the special interests and pledging to be different. It turns out he is not different at all. His political committee just collects bigger checks.
"Scott's pay-to-play boondoggle". See also "What changed? Gov. Rick Scott toasts rowing center he once vetoed".

Atwood's pals go after Braswell

"At first glance, Allie Braswell is a dreadful fit for the Democrats to run against Jeff Atwater. Even more so now that we know about his bankruptcies. This is a candidate utterly lacking fiscal solvency creds on a personal level, let alone bringing any accounting know-how, against an incumbent chief financial officer who spent his career in leadership roles in banking and finance. But there are clear political calculations for the party rallying behind his candidacy." "Unvetted and Unqualified: Allie Braswell's CFO Bid Reeks of Empty Politics".

Orchestrated attack on Southerland

"U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland held a town Hall meeting Friday morning that was met by an orchestrated attack from local Democrats." "Democrats lash out during Southerland town hall".

To replace Fasano

"Two more file to run in race to succeed Fasano in House". See also "Monday is deadline to register foDemocrats lash out during Southerland town hallr voting in Fasano primary".

"Flooding threat"

"A burst in the dike would test mass evacuation plans for towns around Lake Okeechobee." "Computer simulation shows flooding threat from Lake O dike failure". See also "Despite repairs, Lake Okeechobee dike remains a danger".