Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry.

Lobbyists play Bondi

The New York Times:"Attorney General Pam Bondi of Florida, after taking a free ride on a chartered jet last year to a resort island far from her home state, made an unusual offer to one of the corporate lawyers from Washington who helped foot the bill: an invitation to stay at her Tampa home while recuperating from surgery."

The hospitality was extended to Lori Kalani, a lobbyist and lawyer from Dickstein Shapiro, the Washington-based firm that specializes in building personal relationships with state attorneys general to help corporate clients avoid becoming targets of investigation.

The circumstances of the trip to Mackinac Island, Mich., and the subsequent offer to host Ms. Kalani in convalescence were uncovered as part of a continuing investigation by The New York Times into the relationship between private lawyers and state attorneys general. They make vivid how aggressively Dickstein and firms like it have worked in recent years to try to influence top state law enforcement officials.

Representatives from Dickstein Shapiro did not respond to requests for comment. A spokeswoman for Ms. Bondi declined to comment for this article.

"Link Shows How Lobby Firm Cultivates Influence." See also "New York Times Continues Investigation Into Pam Bondi’s Connection With Corporate Law Firm."

"Where there’s a Bush, there’s a debacle — too often with Florida at the center of it"

Stephen Goldstein writes that, "since Americans have the historical perspective of fruit flies, it’s time to take a walk down memory lane and remind ourselves that where there’s a Bush, there’s a debacle — too often with Florida at the center of it and the rest of the nation wondering what’s wrong with us." Read Goldstein's tame list of Bush debacles here: "Jeb Bush Could Win in 2016, But He’ll Have To Rely on The United States of Amnesia."

FlaGOP dilemma

Jeff Henderson: "Florida Republicans could have a sizable dilemma in the coming weeks. The political waters simply aren’t deep enough for both Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. If Bush and Rubio both run for the White House, they would cannibalize each other’s support. Certainly the Bush and Rubio camps are aware of this. The question is, which one will jump in and which one will stay out?"

Bush is starting to get a little more attention. Part of this comes from his brother’s new book on their father, which was the front page story of Monday’s USA Today and is getting national media attention. In the resulting interviews, George W. Bush is pretty clear on what he thinks his brother should do: run for president in 2016.

But Rubio is also testing the presidential waters. He was active in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina in this year’s elections and has said he will make a decision about 2016 in the coming weeks.

Still, even as he keeps the door open to 2016, things are starting to shape up to keep Rubio in the Senate. Rubio was pretty adamant that he did not want to keep serving in the Senate if Democrats remained in charge. With the Republicans now controlling the Senate and looking ahead to 2016 when they face a tough fight to keep it, pressure will rise on Rubio to stay where he is.

"Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio? Jeb Is the More Likely to Go for the White House."

Health Insurance Again in the Balance For 1 Million Floridians

"For 1 Million Floridians, Health Insurance Again in the Balance as Supreme Court Rethinks Subsidies."

The Public Records Litigation business

"In Lawsuits Statewide, Questions of Profits and Public Records." See also "In lawsuits statewide, questions of profits and public records."

"The nation's largest swing state"

"Close contests this year reaffirmed Florida's significance as the nation's largest swing state, sharply divided and capable of shifting between political parties." "Florida's close elections set stage for 2016."

Depends what you mean by "Micky Mouse"

"Florida doesn't count votes for 'Mickey Mouse' any more."

"Nine of them failed"

The Gainesville Sun editors: "The Florida Legislature has asked voters to approve a dozen amendments to the state constitution in the last two general elections. Nine of them failed." "Failed attempts."

That's why they're called the "MSM"

Not surprisingly, Lloyd Brown doesn't "understood the liberal fascination with campaign spending."

Liberals relentlessly bombard the electorate with "news" about how much candidates are spending and who is giving them money.

Clearly, the media believe voters are so stupid that they will vote for whoever puts the most ads on TV. The complementary assumption is that politicians are beholden to donors -- although in the liberal media this only seems to apply to conservative politicians.

So, why wouldn't the lib media refuse to run the ads on their TV stations and in their newspapers if it is helping to subvert democracy?

That ain't gonna happen. Election-year ads help TV stations and newspapers earn big, fat profits.

Did you think the media were comprised of charitable organizations?

"Liberals Echo ABBA: 'It's a Rich Man's World'."

Just what we needed . . .

"The state Supreme Court on Monday refused to take up a dispute about whether voters should choose a replacement for a Northeast Florida judge, ensuring that Gov. Rick Scott will have the power to fill the post." "Supreme Court Clears Way for Scott to Appoint Judge."

"The Only Mandate From This Election"

"Florida can congratulate itself on yet another dubious distinction: political parties, corporate patrons, gazillionaires, dark money groups, and the candidates themselves spent $345 million on the 2014 elections — the most expensive in the nation." "The Only Mandate From This Election: Protect Florida’s Environment."