Wednesday, June 18, 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.

"Garcia can expect to face heavy Republican fire"

Kevin Derby: "Republicans are looking to expand their majority in the U.S. House, announcing on Tuesday they are making their first ad buys of the general election, spending around $30 million in races across the nation including two in Florida."

The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) unveiled its first gameplan for the 2014 elections as they look to spend $30 million in 26 races. The NRCC intends to spend around $19 million against 19 vulnerable Democrat incumbents while spending $11 million to defend seven Republican congressmen. . . .

In Florida, the NRCC is looking to pick up a seat currently held by a Democrat while protecting a Republican congressman. Freshman U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., can expect to face heavy Republican fire this year as he looks to defend his seat. The NRCC is planning to spend $1.4 million against him. But the NRCC did not include U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., on its initial target list despite the freshman Democrat representing a swing district. The NRCC is planning to spend, as of now, $900,000 to help U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., who is facing a strong Democratic challenger in Gwen Graham. Staff from the NRCC stressed that their planned ad buys could change in the summer and fall.

But even as they need to pick up 17 seats to flip the House, Democrats insisted they were in good shape as the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) already lined up $44 million to run in 36 districts. But that includes 19 seats currently held by endangered Democrats.

"NRCC Plans to Go After Joe Garcia, Protect Steve Southerland."

First openly gay black male federal jurist

"Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Darrin P. Gayles reached an American milestone Tuesday when the U.S. Senate confirmed him as a federal judge, making Gayles the first openly gay black male jurist to sit on the bench. Read more here:" "Miami’s Gayles confirmed as first openly gay black male judge on federal bench".

The debate debate

Jeff Henderson whines that the so-called "liberal media" were beside themselves this week when Rick Scott didn’t answer whether he would debate minor Republican primary opponents while calling for Charlie Crist to debate Nan Rich."

The mainstream media, particularly the Tampa Bay Times, are trying to make an issue of how Scott isn’t committing to holding a debate with pharmacist Yinka Adeshina or frequent candidate Elizabeth Cuevas-Neunder, especially after calling out Crist for not debating Rich.
"Scott Refusing to Debate GOP Foes Different to Charlie Crist Ducking Nan Rich."

But this federal outlay is Okay

The Tampa Trib editors are all over some federal spending. They write that "the 2014 Farm Bill may be marred by subsidies and handouts, but it does offer an example of appropriate federal spending." "An investment to save Florida citrus."

Sorry Florida, no automatic death penalty

"Florida law said that people facing Death Row can only argue that they are intellectually disabled if they have an IQ score of 70 or below, not taking into account a margin of error. But the Supreme Court said the state could not automatically declare anyone with an IQ score higher than 70 was not intellectually disabled, and judges have to look at other factors as well." "U.S. Supreme Court ruling could complicate case of Jacksonville man facing Death Row."

Chain Gang Charlie

Nancy Smith: "Surely Charlie Crist's new friends will forgive the former chain gangster a momentary nostalgic lapse. After all, this is a favorite anniversary for him."

It was 19 years ago this week that a 37-year-old state Sen. Charlie Crist, who wrote the legislation reviving chain gangs, embarked with Corrections Secretary Harry Singletary on his famous 400-mile, fact-finding road trip to Alabama, Chain Gang Capital of the World.
"Celebrating 'Chain Gang Charlie' Anniversary Week."