Friday, November 01, 2013

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

Sweeping campaign-finance bill takes effect

"Some of the biggest changes in a sweeping campaign-finance bill, approved last spring by the Legislature, take effect Friday." "New campaign finance laws take effect Friday".

As you might expect, incumbents like this incumbents relief bill: "Campaign contribution caps rise, but politicos predict little effect".

Scott crony gets 19% raise; or is it 25%?

"Gov. Rick Scott's jobs czar will get a 19 percent pay raise next year, the board of Enterprise Florida Inc. decided Thursday. Gray Swoope, chief executive of the semi-private agency, will see his annual salary grow from $230,000 to $275,000. His allowable bonus will increase from $70,000 to $100,000. And if the governor should fire him – or if another governor doesn't keep him on the job – Swoope for the first time will have a severance payout of $137,500 written into his contract." "Enterprise Florida chief gets 19% raise". See also "Enterprise Florida chief Swoope gets 25% raise".

Scott ready to pounce

"Gov. Rick Scott's political committee is planning to air an ad about Charlie Crist entitled "Opportunist" the same day Crist is scheduled to announce if he will run for governor in 2014." "Campaign Note: Cabinet: Governor".

Sink is Coal in Ehrlich's Christmas Stocking

"It’ll be a sprint to replace Bill Young in Congress with reports out that primaries will be held on Jan. 14 and the general election on March 11. This is good news for Alex Sink who is picking up momentum and building an early lead despite primary rival Jessica Ehrlich’s head start. Ehrlich never really stopped campaigning against Young after her solid outing in 2012 which was the best Democratic showing against him in recent memory. As she started preparing a second campaign, Ehrlich was starting to build some steam and rake in some endorsements and national attention."

But Young’s announcement that he would not run again in 2012, followed quickly afterward by his death, scrambled the entire race. The moment Sink expressed interest, Ehrlich’s momentum faded. It’s telling that Emily’s List abandoned Ehrlich for Sink on Thursday, only a day after the Democrats’ standard bearer in the 2010 gubernatorial nomination said she was running.

Democrats have nothing against Ehrlich but they don’t think she will be as strong a candidate as her rival, even if Sink has to pack her bags, buy a house and actually move into the district. As Sink inched closer to running, Democrats started clearing the decks for her. After being clobbered by Young in 2010, Charlie Justice said he wouldn’t run this time out. Janet Long also quickly took her name out of the mix. And why not? Sink’s no spring chicken at 65 and won’t be holding the seat for more than 40 years the way Young did.

"Christmas for Alex Sink, Coal in Jessica Ehrlich's Stocking". See also "Alex Sink is running for C.W. Bill Young’s congressional seat, will move to Pinellas" and "Sink raises more than $100,000 in 48 hours".

Charter madness

"The Orange County school system is investigating a charter school that wrongly threatened to dismiss students for failing the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Tests, or FCAT. The school, Cornerstone Charter Academy, retracted the threat Thursday, blaming a 'poorly written letter' from the principal to parents." "Charter school retracts letter that threatens to remove students if they fail FCAT".

Florida's $63 million website flops

"U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson has asked the U.S. Department of Labor to investigate problems with the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity’s new $63 million website whose technical problems have interfered with people applying for jobless benefits." "Sen. Nelson pushes for fix of jobless claims website".

Fading Rubio struggles to make himself relevant

"On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tried unsuccessfully to get the Democratic-controlled Senate to delay the individual mandate included in President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law due to the continued problems plaguing the marketplace website. Rubio asked for unaninmous consent to pass his bill delaying the individual mandate until six months after the federal Government Accountability Office (GAO) found was fully functional. The Senate denied Rubio’s request." "As Obamacare Website Flops, Marco Rubio Looks to Delay Individual Mandate".

Rubio is doubling down on desperation: "Two Florida Republicans are taking a leading role behind Wisconsin Republican U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson’s push to keep Americans enrolled in their health care plans instead of losing their coverage in the aftermath of President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law. Johnson introduced the If You Like Your Health Care Plan You Can Keep It Act this week with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., at his side. Rubio is co-sponsoring the bill while DeSantis is introducing the measure in the House." "Ron Johnson Enlists Florida Republicans So Americans Can Keep Current Health Care".

"Stacking the courts"

The Miami Herald editors believe Rick Scott is "Stacking the courts".

They said it

"Allen West in High Cotton (Tom Cotton, that is) in Arkansas".

All about me

"Miami Beach voters recently got an official city letter from Michael Góngora — a sitting commissioner who is locked in a tight race to become mayor."

Complete with a golden, raised city seal and printed on heavy paper, the letter lists all of Góngora’s “accomplishments” while in office. In total, 5,000 copies hit mailboxes, just days before the Nov. 5 election.
"Taxpayers foot bill for Miami Beach mayoral candidate’s self-promotion letter".