Friday, August 15, 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.

"Who is Charlie Crist? The answer is complicated"

"On the stage, Crist asked a raucous crowd to 'please give a warm Florida welcome' to Obama, and the president walked toward Crist, leaning forward to give him a quick hug. Cameras clicked. Later, in his book, Crist would say it 'ended my career as a viable Republican politician.'" "Who is Charlie Crist? The answer is complicated." See also "Charlie Crist, Nan Rich Take Different Paths in Lead-up to Primary."

Crist bashes Scott

"Former Gov. Charlie Crist brought his school bus tour to Tampa, blasting Gov. Rick Scott for cuts in public school funding as the two continued their battle over who has been more favorable as governor to education." "Crist bashes Scott during Tampa school bus stop."

"Standardized testing a detriment to public education"

"Among critics of modern education, standardized testing is one big detriment to public education. And in Lee County -- the ninth largest district in Florida -- the School Board wants to appeal the process entirely."

Whatever the standards, whatever the test, the Lee County School Board doesn’t want it -- and board members are looking into exactly how they can pull their district (so far the only district in Florida to discuss this) out of standardized testing.
"Lee County School Board Wants Out of Standardized Tests."

Bolton laff riot

"John Bolton Gets Busy in Florida as 2016 Beckons."

Jeb spreads his "influence" on medical MJ

"Jeb Bush is adding his influential [seriously?] voice to the medical marijuana debate in Florida, saying the ballot initiative could harm Florida’s reputation." "Jeb Bush: ‘I strongly urge’ Floridians to vote against medical marijuana." See also "Opposing Amendment 2, Jeb Bush Can Play a Major Role in Defeating It."

GOPer exposed as man behind hit-Robocalls

"State Sen. Tom Lee hosted a fundraiser for Charlie Crist at his Brandon home in 1998 when Crist ran against Democratic U.S. Sen. Bob Graham."

Today, however, Lee lambasts Crist as the embodiment of why the public distrusts elected leaders. And he is leading a campaign to make sure hundreds of thousands of Democratic and independent voters in Florida hear Crist in his own words tout his rock-ribbed conservatism. . . . .

The robocall campaign is less about partisan politics, Lee claims, than honesty. Crist "has failed the litmus test of character and integrity that should be the prerequisite."

Lee's campaign is not entirely honest or transparent either. He did not initially disclose his involvement, and nowhere in the robocalls does it explain when the recordings of Crist were made or that the purpose of the calls is to damage Crist.

"Sen. Tom Lee is behind those 'conservative Charlie Crist' robocalls."

Big of them

The Miami Herald editors: "Unintended torture not part of the bargain." "Death penalty woes."

Is Florida's unemployment rate still higher than national rate?

"New jobless numbers are due out and will show whether the state's unemployment rate is still higher than the national rate. . . . . The unemployment rate is important for Gov. Rick Scott because he campaigned in 2010 on a pledge to add 700,000 jobs above normal growth." "Florida's new unemployment numbers due out."

Boleteras season

The Miami Herald editorial board: "Early voting marks start of election fraud season." "Voters beware of boleteras."

Following the rules

"The Obama administration is granting Florida a one-year extension of its No Child Left Behind waiver. . . . . Florida was one of five states granted a waiver extension Thursday. The others are Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina and Wisconsin." "Florida granted 1-year No Child Left Behind waiver."