Tuesday, August 20, 2013

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

Crist's RPOF Chair went after gambling regulator

"Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer, on the payroll of a South Florida dog track, tried to get a gambling regulator fired two days before the veteran state worker was forced to resign, according to court records obtained by The News Service of Florida."

Greer is now serving an 18-month sentence in state prison after pleading guilty to money laundering and theft in connection with a scheme in which he created a company and then steered party business to it.
"But while Greer -- hand-picked by former Gov. Charlie Crist to head the state GOP -- was party chairman in 2009, he was also working for the owners of the Mardi Gras Casino in Broward County, getting paid $7,500 a month as a consultant for entertainment and hospitality regulatory issues."
Four years later, gambling operators are still jockeying over lucrative pari-mutuel permits even as the Legislature explores how much -- and what types of -- gambling the state should allow.
"Jim Greer Tried to get Gambling Regulator Fired". See also "" and "".

SYG repealer filed, "support looks thin"

"Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee, said he looks forward to 'a meaningful dialog on this next month' as he filed HB 4003. NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer says the law needs no change." "'Stand your ground' repealer is filed". See also "Williams files repeal of Stand Your Ground". More: ""Stand Your Ground" Repeal Bill Filed in Tallahassee, But Support Looks Thin".

Not so "unanimous"

The Tampa Trib editors: "Turns out the 'unanimous' support among sheriffs for the state’s 'stand your ground' law isn’t quite as clear-cut as Polk Sheriff Grady Judd would have you believe. . . . several sheriffs have bravely stepped forward to say they support the concept of the law, but think some of its provisions need to be reconsidered. They said the vote taken at the association’s meeting earlier this month was confusing and didn’t reflect those concerns." "Polk Sheriff Grady Judd muddies the debate on “stand your ground”".


"Head Start programs in Florida will deny services to an estimated 1,205 children in Florida during the coming school year – far less than expected -- because of federal budget cuts known as a sequester." "Sequester cuts deny Head Start slots to 1,205 Florida kids".


The Miami Herald editors: " Some thorny issues and financial hurdles remain to be worked out, but, in a heartening move, a plan to clean up and redirect Lake Okeechobee spillover southward into the Everglades got a real boost this month from the South Florida Water Management District."

The $1.8 billion Central Everglades proposal has the water management district and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers splitting the costs. Expensive? Yes. But also necessary if two vital estuaries — the St. Lucie River on the East Coast and the Caloosahatchee River on the West Coast — are to be saved, and parched portions of the Everglades are ever to be slaked.
"Saving the Everglades".

Teabaggers fight health care law, offer no alternatives

"Florida can expect a familiar political battle in 2014 as the Tea Party and Democrats are gearing up to clash again over President Barack Obama’s health care law. On Monday, conservative Americans for Prosperity’s (AFP) Florida chapter announced they would be leading protests outside of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s, D-Fla., offices in Fort Myers, Orlando and Tampa on Tuesday to protest his support of Obama’s law." "Health Care Battle Continues to Shape Florida Politics".

Water war

"Long battle likely if Florida takes water fight to U.S. Supreme Court, experts say".

That was quick

"Just days after jumping into the race to become the state's chief financial officer, Central Florida Urban League President Allie Braswell Jr. abruptly quit his campaign Monday." "Democrat drops CFO bid after bankruptcies revealed". See also "Democrats’ CFO candidate out after bankruptcies emerge" and "Democratic CFO candidate drops out after bankruptcies revealed".

Jeff Henderson argues that "Allison Tant and Florida Dems Dropped the Ball on Allie Braswell".

The week ahead

"The Week Ahead for Aug. 19 to Aug. 23, 2013".