Monday, December 08, 2014

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

Scott's Chief of Staff “quick on the draw with both her smile and middle finger”

"She ran a Texas state House campaign at 19, served as a media coordinator for President George W. Bush’s re-election campaign in her early 20s, and was a top aide to Gov. Bobby Jindal by age 25."

Now Melissa Sellers can add another top job to her resume at a relatively early age — chief of staff.

Sellers just completed her first week as Gov. Rick Scott’s chief of staff. The 32-year-old Texas native replaces Adam Hollingsworth and becomes one of the youngest people in Florida to serve in the role.

Sellers has spent much of her career working in communications or on the campaign trail. She had a reputation in Louisiana as a hard-nosed spokeswoman and was described as someone who was “quick on the draw with both her smile and middle finger” in a 2008 profile of Jindal in Esquire magazine.

"Scott’s new chief of staff known for hard-nosed approach."

Never mind

"Gov. Rick Scott pledged if voters rewarded him with a second term, he would return the favor with $1 billion in tax cuts and more spending on schools and conservation. Now, Scott and lawmakers are sorting out priorities for a dwindling supply of extra tax dollars expected to be available next year." "Scott's $1 billion tax-cut plan may take time."

Maps? What maps?

"In his first two years in the Senate, Galvano was put in charge of redistricting after a Tallahassee judge ruled the maps violated the Fair Districts Amendments. Galvano efficiently and effectively helped guide the new maps through the Senate during a special session back in August. What could have been a major disaster for Republicans during election season turned into a yawner and the new maps were approved by the judge. Galvano has to get some of the credit for that." "Bill Galvano's Star Rises in the Florida Senate."

Florida "House Republicans are politically homogeneous"

"Dana Young has worked as an attorney, taken time off to be a stay-at-home mom and then was elected a state representative for Tampa. She plans to advocate for the Tampa area this session."

Some political experts had predicted that after the November election the Legislature would start asserting its independence, at least from lockstep with the governor.

But with exactly two-thirds of the House in his hands, it’s hard to imagine how Crisafulli’s agenda could go off the rails among his own team, said Lance DeHaven-Smith, a public policy professor at Florida State University.

Unlike the Senate’s GOP contingent, the House Republicans are politically homogeneous.

"Tampa’s Young says she’ll lead House GOP but protect home town."

Has Dubya fallen off the wagon?

"George W. Bush says that he badly wants his brother Jeb to run for president -- and that if he were to face off against Hillary Clinton, he would 'absolutely' beat her in a 2016 matchup." " href="" More: "George W Bush on brother's 2016 presidential aspirations: 'Run, Jeb'."

""Could there be a bigger political pariah?"

Nancy Smith asks, "Could there be a bigger political pariah in corporate Florida than Duke Energy?" "Duke Energy's New Hire Has His Work Cut Out to Rehab the Company Image."

"Jeb!" depending on the "failure of the American people’s collective memory"

"Without this failure of the American people’s collective memory, there would be no premise upon which a three-president Bush dynasty could be built. If Jeb Bush were to actually succeed in getting elected two years hence as a “healing” president, America would need to seriously reexamine the political conditions that made that possible. The Bushes, though not among the progenitors of the New Right, have already become its most direct political beneficiaries." "Jeb continues a Bush tradition: Capitalizing on GOP obstruction."

Illegal immigrants flock to Florida

"While opponents of President Obama’s Nov. 20 executive action are decrying the plan’s legal consequence and calling attention to the scourge [sic] of illegal immigrants in the country, the numbers are saying the problem is actually not as severe as in years past."

Florida, however, is one of only two states to show increased numbers.
"Illegal Immigrants (Except in Florida) Are Going Home in Record Numbers."

Somehow appropriate

"Satanic Temple display approved for Florida Capitol."