Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Consider giving a newspaper subscription as a gift and/or buying one or more subscriptions for delivery to your workplace; whenever you visit a newspaper site online, please click on one or more of the advertisements and make an effort to patronize newspaper advertisers. Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry follows.

Thousands of Floridians to lose unemployment benefits

"Thousands of jobless Floridians will be kicked off unemployment benefits in two weeks unless Congress extends the benefits before the end of the year."

Thousands of jobless Floridians will be kicked off unemployment benefits in two weeks unless Congress extends the benefits before the end of the year.

A federal budget deal passed by Congress last week did not include an extension of emergency unemployment benefits, meaning 75,000 jobless workers in Florida will stop receiving benefits Dec. 28 if no further action is taken.

"The imminent end of benefits is the latest burden for those seeking unemployment checks in Florida."
As Gov. Rick Scott and fellow Republican lawmakers have reduced weeks of state benefits and added work search and skills test requirements as conditions of receiving benefits in recent years, unions and workers’ rights groups have grown more vocal about the difficulty of pulling down jobless benefits in Florida.

The task of receiving an unemployment check has grown more difficult in recent months. A switch to a new computer system called CONNECT in October has caused delays for thousands. Legal service providers say they’ve seen a spike in claimants reaching out for help since the switch happened Oct. 15.

"Benefits could cease for thousands of unemployed". See also "" and "".

Big of 'em

"Florida school named for KKK leader to change name".

To replace Young

"With U.S. House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, D-Md., in Florida to raise money for former state CFO Alex Sink, the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) is on the attack. Sink is the Democratic candidate in the special election for the congressional seat left open by the death of longtime U.S. Rep. Bill Young, R-Fla." "Alex Sink, GOP Candidates Battle for Position in Pinellas County Special Election".

"The first order of business for the Miami-Dade County Commission’s last meeting of the year Tuesday will be to uphold or override a veto by Mayor Carlos Gimenez." "Miami-Dade commissioners scheduled to take up mayor’s veto on workers’ pay".

"Will Anyone Investigate Hollingsworth?"

Nancy Smith: "It probably never occurred to Adam Hollingsworth that the lie he told on a job application in the mid-1990s could set him up for a second-degree felony conviction in 2013."

It probably won't, but it could. The governor's chief of staff is, after all, serving in one of the highest public posts in the state of Florida. . . .

Chapter 837.06 of the Florida Statutes reads, "Whoever knowingly makes a false statement in writing with the intent to mislead a public servant in the performance of his official duty shall be guilty of a misdemeanor of the second degree, punishable as provided in s.775.082 and s.775.083."

Mary Ellen Klas of the Times-Herald Tallahassee bureau broke the story Dec. 6, revealing Hollingsworth, who worked for CSX Corp. from 1995-2000 and again from 2002-2004, inflated his resume with the transportation giant by claiming he had received a bachelor’s degree in 1990.

Hollingsworth, 45, denied that falsifying his resume contributed to his departure from CSX in 2004, but he fully, apologetically admitted he lied on his resume.

"Will Anyone Investigate Adam Hollingsworth Under Florida's Perjury Statute?". See also "" and "".

The Week Ahead

"As the Capitol quiets down this week with the approach of the Christmas holiday the Office of Economic and Demographic Research holds three meetings this week, one to discuss long-term expenditures of Medicaid, another to discuss the state's long-term revenue picture and another to discuss PreK-12 enrollment." "The Week Ahead for Dec. 16 to Dec. 20, 2013".

Rubio got his

"Sen. Marco Rubio is at odds with some Obamacare critics in Congress who are refusing a federal employer contribution for their healthcare." "Rubio defends subsidy after Obamacare signup".

Lawson rules out run

"Lawson rules out run for contested congressional seat".

This GOP race could get ugly

"Businessman Jay Fant started strong out of the gate as he battles Paul Renner for the Republican nomination to replace Daniel Davis in the Florida House. Davis is leaving the House to focus on leading the Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce."

Fant has raised eyebrows with his strong fundraising. After doing nothing after jumping in the race in October, Fant went all out in November, raising more than $139,000, loaning his campaign $138,000 and keeping most of it in the bank. Fant is getting looks from the Republican leadership in Tallahassee and having pros like Brett Doster in his corner can only help.

But Renner is no lightweight, even though he is not keeping pace with Fant in the money race. Since getting in the race in early July, Renner has raised almost $77,000 and had around $69,000 on hand at the end of November. Renner also has pros on his side, including Data Targeting.

With two strong candidates running in the race so far, First Coast Republicans are starting to take sides. Having done legal work for the Republicans, Renner has major ties and he’s reeled in some major endorsements, including the backing of John Thrasher and John Rutherford. At first glance, Renner should have the edge on Fant in terms of GOP ties. But Fant’s family has been in banking for decades in the area and he has gotten some big endorsements of his own, including John Peyton.

This race could get ugly.

"Stakes Are High in Open Jacksonville House GOP Primary".