Tuesday, May 27, 2014

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

FlaGOP leaders deny wrongdoing "despite evidence that creates a much shadier perception"

The Pensacola News Journal editors - courtesy of Florida Today - urge us to "remember 2010? That's the year when we, the voters of the great state of Florida, passed a constitutional amendment that was supposed to combat gerrymandering, simplify our state's Legislature-drawn congressional districts and prevent them from favoring political parties or incumbents."

Remember 2012? That's the year when our Republican-dominated Legislature — helmed by Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Will Weatherford — set forth to scribbling and squiggling those aforementioned redistricting lines all over the state map.
"Now it's 2014, and the work of modern art our elected officials produced two years ago has now cost Florida taxpayers almost $2 million in legal defense fees. Why? The current trial over the legality of those 2012 maps is providing more clues by the day."
This courtroom drama is still unfolding, but Weatherford and Gaetz have steadfastly denied any legislative wrongdoing in the map-drawing process — despite evidence that creates a much shadier perception, including: • Legislative staffers sharing internal data and maps-in-progress with political consultants before they were even made public to Florida voters. • An admission from the former chief of staff to then-House Speaker Dean Cannon that he personally shared those unfinished maps with an interested political consultant in order to "help a friend." • Deleted emails and documents that pertained to the redistricting process, and specifically, communications between state workers and outside political operatives with a potential interest in the outcome.
Much more here: "A crime of perception."

DWS not on the Medical MJ Bandwagon

Nancy Smith reports that "at least one marijuana legalization proponent fears the chairwoman of the National Democratic Committee, fast friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, could influence Hillary Clinton to maintain a hard line on the weed if she makes it all the way to the White House in 2016." "Debbie Wasserman Schultz Isn't on the Medical Marijuana Bandwagon".

"Younger members split with GOP"

Brendan Farrington writes about "a growing generational divide in the GOP as younger Republicans increasingly break rank from the establishment on social issues." "Younger members split with GOP over social issues".

The Myth of Jeb: An intellectual trapped in a politician's clothes. Really?

The "Myth of Jeb" is off and runnung in the national media:

As governor of Florida, Jeb Bush flew in Ivy League social scientists for daylong seminars with his staff and carved out time for immersive brainstorming sessions he called “think weeks.” A voracious reader, he maintains a queue of 25 volumes on his Kindle (George Gilder’s “Knowledge and Power” among them, he said) and routinely sends fan mail to his favorite authors. A self-described nerd, he is known to travel with policy journals and send all-hours inquiries to think tanks. (A sample Bush question: What are the top five ways to achieve 4 percent economic growth?)
"Jeb Bush Gives Party Something to Think About."

Why is the media perpetuating the "Myth of Jeb" - that he is an intellectual trapped in a politician's clothes? Why the media is pushing this meme is anyone's guess, but there are are few fairly obvious answers, some of which are discussed here: "Not a Smart Man." See also "Jebbie Prepping for Preznit Run."

"Jeff Miller Eyes D.C. Leadership Ladder"

Jeff Henderson: "As the Obama administration tries to clean up the VA department, Jeff Miller has somewhat surprisingly emerged as one of the leading Republicans in Washington." "Jeff Miller Eyes D.C. Leadership Ladder Though Safely Seated in Florida".

ProtoBagger slams "low-information" Jeb critics

ProtoBagger Lloyd Brown argues that, should Jeb Bush run, his candidacy

should be welcomed by conservatives. Unfortunately, there are some who want to write him off because he supports the Common Core standards.

We have to parse that opposition. There are, again, low-information voters who believe Common Core places a new curriculum in the schools that instructs children Americans are racists and evil, and communism is superior to capitalism.

Common Core sets standards. Local schools boards set curriculum for the district.

Other opponents rightly see a danger in Common Core. They fear the federal government will seize control of it and impose the type of curriculum they fear.

A valid concern. But it was valid before Common Core and will be valid if Common Core is not adopted. The federal government will seize all the control it can from state and local governments and must be opposed at every step.

My take on it is this: I'd rather have a conservative like Jeb Bush, who would not allow the federal government to take control of local schools, as president than a big government proponent like Hillary Clinton.

He was a champion of standards, accountability and choice as governor, and I would expect him to be as president.

Thus, for rational voters, his name will not be a liability and his stance on education should be an asset.

"Alleged Bush Liability Actually May Be an Asset".