Tuesday, December 02, 2014

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

Bush on verge of announcement

"Hinting that a decision on his presidential ambitions is coming 'in short order,' former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush on Monday condemned President Barack Obama’s recent immigration order for going 'way beyond” what other presidents have done – including Bush’s own father."

Bush, the son of one president and brother of another, also reiterated his support for a pathway to legal status for immigrants in the U.S. illegally, but said Obama may have exceeded his constitutional authority by unilaterally lifting the threat of deportation from millions of such immigrants last month.
Jeb Bush to decide on 2016 presidential run ‘in short order’" See also "Jeb Bush nearing decision whether to run for president in 2016."

"Florida has the highest increase in illegal immigration"

"Florida has the highest increase in illegal immigration of any state from 2009 to 2012, according to the Pew Research Center." "President Obama’s Immigration Order Could Cost Florida Taxpayers Billions."

Scott's inspector general waits until after the election to release report

Florida’s chief inspector general Melinda "Miguel, who reports to Gov. Rick Scott, waited until after the election to release its results, although sources close to the investigation said it was completed months earlier. The report concluded that the inspectors, whom Miguel had refused to give whistleblower protection, committed no wrongdoing and that the warrant was lawfully signed by a judge." "Gov. Scott's top investigator quietly releases prison report after months of delay."

Fullwood looks like a solid bet

"Reggie Fullwood is starting to look like a solid bet to return to the Florida House. First elected to the Florida House in 2010, Fullwood was the only candidate running for his secure Democratic seat in Jacksonville in the 2014 election cycle. But Fullwood was tripped up after a a notary overlooked a box to check off regarding his financial disclosure." "Democratic Establishment Helps Reggie Fullwood Against Johnny Gaffney."

"Florida deserves a distinguished DEP secretary"

The Sarasota Herald Tribune editors: "Florida's Department of Environmental Protection needs a new leader."

Herschel Vinyard, who has been secretary of the DEP since 2011, recently announced his resignation.

Gov. Rick Scott asked Cliff Wilson, the deputy secretary for regulatory programs, to serve as the interim secretary. Wilson, 35, has been with the DEP for about three years. Eric Draper, director of Audubon of Florida -- one of the state's leading environmental groups -- said: "We don't know much about Cliff or his background. Not much has happened there to distinguish him."

No offense to Wilson, but Florida deserves a distinguished DEP secretary.

"Environmental opportunity."

FlaGOP Party line

Nancy Smith toes the party line: "The email was between private citizens, not directed to elected officials. It was not directed to any legislators on the redistricting committee. Why would the public have a right to any of it? What action did Bainter or any other 'operative' take that would require him to surrender his protections under the First Amendment?" "Florida Redistricting Scam? Show Me the Smoking Gun."


"Despite assurance the records request were being processed, records show the department knew the requested emails were destroyed on March 19, 2012, the same day it occurred. That’s nearly 20 months before the public records request was filed." "Report: Lousy backup system to blame for lost emails at state prisons agency." "" "".

Secretaries at DCF, DJJ scrutinized

"As he gets ready to start a second term, Gov. Rick Scott will have to choose leaders for the Florida Department of Children and Families and the Department of Juvenile Justice. Both agencies are operating under interim secretaries, and Scott's choice at the Department of Children and Families will be particularly scrutinized." "Rick Scott Urged to Make Interim Secretaries Permanent at DCF, DJJ."