Saturday, September 06, 2014

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

Scott spinning as fast as he can on his failed job creation promise

"July jobs numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics show Florida lost 1,600 jobs last month — or gained 2,100, if you ask Scott. He has consistently ignored losses in government employment and touted private-sector growth. The state has lost 25,400 government jobs during Scott's term, U.S. Labor Department economist Timothy Ewing told PolitiFact Florida."

Recall that

Scott's original 7-7-7 plan promised to create 700,000 jobs in addition to the 1 million jobs state economists predicted Florida would add by 2017, with or without policy changes in Tallahassee. [Politifact has] previously noted that for Scott to make good on his promise, Florida would need to create 20,238 jobs a month, every month, for 84 straight months. In Scott's first 43 months in office, Florida created that many jobs in a month only 11 times.
"PolitiFact Florida: Tracking Rick Scott's promise to create 700,000 jobs."

Rick, Just stop it!

"After ordering Google to turn over information on the governor’s gmail account, a judge steps in to tell Gov. Rick Scott to stop resisting his order." "A judge orders the Gov. Rick Scott to stop fighting request for records."

"A sign of progress"

The Tampa Trib editorial board writes that the "Rare panther’s arrival a sign of progress."

How convenieeeent

"Florida on Thursday slashed the price of its prepaid college tuition plans by up to a half for the coming year, and thousands of families who in recent years purchased higher-priced plans will get refunds." "Prices on Florida's prepaid tuition plans to plummet for coming year."

Nancy says

Nancy Smith: "Rick Scott and Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein a couple? Biggest whooper since Burger King declared it invented the sandwich. But PolitiFact Florida, fact-checking vehicle of the liberal Tampa Bay Times, still couldn't find the stomach to give Charlie Crist a 'pants on fire.' "

The Crist ad that claims the governor "teamed up with a felon convicted of running a Ponzi scheme to smear Charlie Crist" is grudgingly rated "false."

What does this new Democratic Party darling have to do to show he's not only rewriting his own life as he goes along, but he's making up Rick Scott's, too?

"Charlie Can't Even Get a 'Pants on Fire' for the Phony Rothstein Connection?."

Weekly Roundup

Kevin Derby: "Political Bits and Pieces." See also "Arrivals and Departures, Sept. 5, 2014" and "Weekly Roundup: State of Flux."

Passing the buck

"The Florida Supreme Court on Friday declined a request for it to take up the issue of same-sex marriage, sending back to a lower court the case of two women who were denied a divorce by a Hillsborough County circuit judge." "Florida Supreme Court sends same-sex divorce case back to lower court."

Really? Thrasher, Really?

"State Sen. John Thrasher among 11 semifinalists for president at FSU." See also "Thrasher makes cut to become FSU’s next president."

Domino trying new tactics

"Though he is an underdog against Patrick Murphy, Republican Carl Domino is trying a few new tactics to get back in the game as he hopes to make this a competitive contest." "Carl Domino Pushes Congressional Reform to Counter Patrick Murphy."

Trickle down follies

Leonard Pitts wonders if "Republican fiscal policies really are the key to prosperity, if the GOP formula of low taxes and little regulation really does unleash economic growth, then why has the country fared better under Democratic presidents than Republican ones and why are red states the poorest states in the country?" "Which party deserves credit for good times?."

Bill's Florida follies

"The last time former President Bill Clinton got involved in a statewide race in Florida was 2010 when he reportedly sought to help Charlie Crist win the race by nudging former U.S. Rep. Kendrick Meek out of the race." "Former President Bill Clinton’s visit to Miami harkens back to a fight among Democrats over the 2010 Senate race."

"Hyper-speed selection process"

Aaron Deslatte: "There's lots of handwringing from good government/media types these days because another Florida political greenhorn has seemingly locked up enough support to be Florida House speaker in 2020."

The thinking goes that Florida's eight-year term limitations have once again handed the keys to Tallahassee's regime governance mechanism and purse strings to an unqualified newbie by virtue of the accelerated clock for speeding up leadership battles.

We know how this ended for a couple of notorious figures in the post-term limits era: Ray Sansom and Seminole County's Chris Dorworth, both of whom got mired in scandals and imploded before their official terms as speakers could get started.

The latest example of the hyper-speed selection process is Rep. Eric Eisnaugle, 37, a wonkish Orlando Republican lawyer who returned to the Legislature in a special election last spring thanks to a merry-go-round of sorts with Steve Precourt. (Reminder: Eisnaugle gave up his redistricted seat in 2012 so Precourt could have it; Precourt then resigned for an expressway authority job he never got; and Eisnaugle ran again for the job he never wanted to leave).

"Eisnaugle latest in line of short-timers with big clout."

Bill and Charlie

"Former President Bill Clinton tells Democrats to back Crist with big turnout."

Insurance rates an election issue

"Democrat Charlie Crist said Thursday he successfully reduced rising property insurance rates as governor and will do so again if elected, vowing to repeal a law enacted under Republican Gov. Rick Scott that he said provides weaker coverage at a higher price." "Crist makes property insurance an election issue."