Friday, June 27, 2014

Please consider giving a newspaper subscription as gifts and/or buying one or more subscriptions for delivery to your workplace. Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry follows.

"A shameful new low in the history of Florida politics"?

"Is the issue one of transparency, or is it about how much the public should be allowed to know about the families of those running for office?"

That's the tricky question raised by the back-and-forth between Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist as the two jostle over tax returns and who should release what. Scott's campaign has hit Crist, his most likely Democratic opponent, for not disclosing the tax returns of Crist's wealthy wife, Carole.

"I can't imagine what Mr. and Mrs. Crist are afraid of if the people of Florida learn the details of their assets and liabilities, as other Republican and Democratic gubernatorial candidates have freely disclosed over multiple elections," Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, said Thursday in a statement released by the Scott campaign. . . .

In return, Crist has tried to shift the focus, blasting Scott for bringing Crist's spouse into the campaign while pledging to release more facts about his own finances than Scott has.

"It's a shameful new low in the history of Florida politics for a candidate to run TV ads attacking the wife of a candidate. ... Spouses and children are off limits," Crist said shortly after the commercial was released.

"In Rick Scott-Charlie Crist battle, should wives be off-limits?." See also "Backroom Briefing: Are Spouses Fair Game?."

Empty suits

"Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal took a giant leap away from former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush last week when he signed an executive order pulling the Southern state out of the national Common Core State Standards." "Bobby Jindal Nixes Common Core, Distances Himself from Jeb Bush."

DWS Picks Fight With John Boehner

Kevin Derby: "U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said this week that he was planning to bring out a bill in July allowing Congress to sue President Barack Obama over his executive actions, and a congresswoman from Florida is in the lead pushing back." "Debbie Wasserman Schultz Picks Fight With John Boehner for Suing Obama."

Movin' on up

"After U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., lost a primary earlier this month, U.S. House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., quickly moved to replace him. U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., looked to move up to McCarthy’s spot, successfully winning the post last week."

U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., was a chief supporter of Scalise’s bid to become the GOP whip, the third highest official in the U.S. House. Ross was very active on Scalise’s account, meeting with various congressmen and getting their pledges in the leadership contest.

On Thursday, Scalise rewarded Ross by naming the Florida congressman one of his senior deputy whips.

"Dennis Ross Joins the GOP House Leadership."

Deep thinker

"Steve Southerland Wants Obama's Oceanic Plans Capsized."

Trib on verge of calling for Obama's impeachment

The wingers on the Tampa Tribune editorial board argue that Obama is engaged in "a serious abuse of the nation’s system of laws." "Reining in presidential abuse."

"New laws take effect Tuesday"

"On Tuesday, the state's largest-ever, $77 billion budget goes into effect, along with 157 other bills approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Rick Scott." "State budget, slew of new laws take effect Tuesday."