Thursday, November 28, 2013

After reading the hard copy of your hometown newspaper, please consider becoming a site fan on Facebook and following us on Twitter. Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry follows.

Scott out-raises Crist by wide margin

"Charlie Crist made it into the millionaire’s club three weeks after jumping into the race for governor as a Democrat."

“Charlie Crist for Florida,” the political committee backing the one-time Republican governor, posted contributions totaling $1.28 million on its website as of Nov. 23. The soft money includes $100,000 from the Institute of Cardiovascular Excellence in Ocala.

Crist also raked in more than $36,000 at a fundraiser last week at the home of Tallahassee trial lawyer Don Hinkle, including $15,000 from lawyer Darryl Parks. Parks is a law partner of Benjamin Crump, the attorney who represents Trayvon Martin’s parents.

"Crist Cracks $1 Million; Scott Hits $25 Million Goal".

However, "Scott, a Republican whose unpopularity in polls has left him vulnerable, has demonstrated no weaknesses on the fund-raising front so far: collecting $5.84 million for the same time period through his own electioneering group, Let's Get to Work." "Scott blows away Crist in first-month fundraising".

Florida's all-star empty suits

USA Today - Potential 2016 GOP candidates "Marco Rubio" and "Jeb Bush".

Scott's self-congratulatory letters

"Gov. Rick Scott has sent congratulatory letters to law-school grads, lottery winners, new-business owners and others that tout the state's advances under his watch, at a cost to taxpayers of at least $11,370."

Scott views the missives as a means to applaud individuals and to promote Florida. His critics say some of the messages include language that deviates into campaign talking points.
"With Scott's re-election on tap for 2014, along with his near-automatic propensity to reel off his jobs and economy mantra in public comments, don't expect the letter-writing campaign to slow or the questionable language to disappear from such messages."
The use of letters highlighting positive accomplishments isn't unusual by government agencies and elected officials, it's just that Scott hadn't always employed such a bulk of correspondence, said Susan MacManus, a political-science professor at the University of South Florida in Tampa.
"Re-election Puts Focus on Rick Scott Congratulatory Letters".

Mica peddling KSC

"NASA is in the midst of a huge yard sale at Kennedy Space Center, peddling unused hangars, assembly buildings, launch complexes and even a landing strip to commercial space companies. But at the request of U.S. Rep. John Mica, R-Winter Park, Congress soon may be asking whether the space agency is cleaning out the closets thoroughly enough." "Mica questions whether NASA has let go of enough unused KSC property".

"Radel scandal running its course"

Bill Cotterell: "Immediately after the revelation of Radel’s case, Democrats expressed the appropriate hope that he gets help and that rehab will work. At the same time, they recalled that Radel supported Republican efforts to require drug-testing of welfare recipients."

That’s not a precise comparison, but close enough for politics. Leaders should vote for what they consider good public policy, no matter what goes on in their personal lives. But the hypocrisy of one standard for the poor and another for the privileged was underscored by Radel’s admission.
"Radel scandal is running its course".

Meanwhile, "Republicans Gear Up to Replace Trey Radel in Congress".

Charter school follies

"Sen. Clemens says he's frustrated by the battle for dollars between charter and traditional public schools. He sponsored a bill to insert a specific need requirement in the law authorizing the creation of charter schools." "Senator wants to tighten charter school focus".

Jeb Perpetuates Another Wingnut Myth About Obama

"Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) called out President Barack Obama for closing the U.S. embassy to the Vatican, questioning whether the decision was political "retribution" for Catholic opposition to the Affordable Care Act." "Jeb Bush Perpetuates Myth That Obama Is Closing The Vatican Embassy".

Week in Review

"Week in Review for Nov. 27, 2013".

Scott gettin' desperate

"Rick Scott has some thinking to do as names drop off his short list to be Florida’s next lieutenant governor, leaving two Tampa Bay Republicans in the mix. . . . It’s not the most impressive of short lists but the lieutenant governorship hasn’t exactly helped Florida politicians over the years." "Tampa Bay May Hold Rick Scott's Next Lieutenant Governor".

"Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman has confirmed she’s being vetted as a possible appointee to become Gov. Rick Scott’s lieutenant governor but stopped short of saying she would accept the job if it’s offered." "Murman flattered by Lt. Gov. consideration".

Groundwater contamination . . . no problem

"The Legislature provided about $10 million a year for the Dry-cleaning Solvent Cleanup Program at DEP until 2009 when funding was cut to $4 million for the following three years. 'Legislators do not understand or realize the potential health risk that exists,' said Phil Leary, lobbyist for the Florida Groundwater Association and an alliance of cleanup contractors." "Support urged for dry cleaning contamination sites program that saw sharp budget cuts".