Friday, January 10, 2014

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

"Wish lists for 2014 session"

"Lawmakers hear concerns, wish lists for 2014 session".

Senate mail room job was a formative experience

"The grandson of Pittsburgh Steelers founder Art Rooney, Tom Rooney, after graduating from college, worked for Connie Mack III’s Senate mail room. Rooney cites it as a formative experience which gave him insight into understanding the issues confronting everyday Floridians. After going to law school, Rooney joined the Army, served in the JAG Corps and taught classes at West Point. He returned to Florida and became an assistant attorney general." "Tom Rooney Makes Sense for Florida CFO".

Deep thoughts

"While faulting the president, Sen. Marco Rubio said he’s ready to back piecemeal immigration reform, even if there’s no pathway to citizenship." "Rubio: Distrust of Obama hurts immigration reform". More deep thoughts: "Marco Rubio: War on a poverty a failure".

Another genius: "Steve Southerland Takes It on the Chin for Insisting Big-Government Fails to End Poverty".


"Whoever wins the 13th Congressional District special election will face a slew of controversial national matters, not the least of which is immigration reform." "Immigration reform helping to shape 13th District race". Meanwhile, "Alex Sink's 'Truth Team' Doesn't Sit Well With NRCC".

"An old fashioned Florida hack"

Fred Grimm: "FAU’s finalists, most of them, offer academic resumes that knock your socks off."

And then there’s George LeMieux, political hack. . . .

An outsider, perhaps someone from a state that prefers to fill academic leadership vacancies with actual academics, might be surprised to find someone like LeMieux among the final 10 of 61 applicants. . . .

Not that LeMieux is the only pol on the list. Florida Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater also made the final 10 announced Monday. George, however, has distinguished himself from other elected officials looking for a sop college job as a politician who never actually won an election. He lost a state House election in 1998 and dropped out of the U.S. Senate primary in 2012.

Of course, George still introduces himself as Sen. LeMieux, referencing the appointment he wormed his way into back in 2009, after U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez resigned. Gov. Charlie Crist had planned to appoint John Delaney to take Martinez’s place, but Delaney was sabotaged by a nasty, “anonymous” website put up by LeMieux’s surrogates. George, Crist’s chief of staff, got the job instead.

His 16 months in the U.S. Senate didn’t amount to much, but that didn’t stop him from establishing the “Senator George LeMieux Center for Public Policy” at a bible college in West Palm Beach, his tenuous tie to academia.

Lately, George has been doing what most washed-up Florida politicians do — working as a lobbyist.

But surely, after such a distinguished career, he deserves that $345,000 job in Boca. Why should FAU want some dean or provost or distinguish professor when the university could land an old fashioned Florida hack?

"For FAU prez, a hack makes the cut".

Read all about it . . .

"The former governor details how he came to leave the Republican Party and his relationship with Marco Rubio." "Memoir details Charlie Crist’s rise to power".

Residency requirements

"Bill seeks to define residency requirements".

Bondi hire

"Bondi is hiring Tyler Cathey to serve as chief deputy attorney general. Cathey is currently an attorney with the Tampa office of Englander Fischer. He served as a special counsel to Bondi’s 2010 campaign. . . . Cathey recently represented hotels upset that Treasure Island city officials were allowing people to park their cars on beaches near the hotels." "Bondi taps Tampa lawyer to lead office".

Vultures circling

"Trey Radel Returns to Capitol Hill as Rivals Ramp Up for November".

Webster dodges opponent

"With Val Demings Out, Dan Webster's 2014 Odds Improve".

Skeletons in the closet

"As they ready for the gubernatorial race in November, former Gov. Charlie Crist is attacking Gov. Rick Scott on the minimum wage and Republicans are wasting no time hitting back." "RPOF Bashes Charlie Crist for Minimum Wage Flip-Flop".


"Sen. Margolis slams slots-only casino proposal".

"All eyes could soon fall upon rookie"

"All eyes could soon fall upon rookie state Rep. Amanda Murphy during her first legislative session after winning a contentious special election Oct. 15." "Murphy embarking on rookie term in House".