Monday, January 26, 2015

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

Florida politicians pondering Senate run

"With less than two years to go before the election, Florida politicians are already pondering a run for the U.S. Senate in 2016."

Many of the Democrats and all of the potential Republican candidates, however, will most likely wait to see what incumbent Marco Rubio will do next. The Republican from Miami is considering a run for president in 2016.

U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson of Orlando last week became the first of potential major Democratic candidates to say publicly he was seriously exploring the idea. U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy of Jupiter has also declared an interest.

Other Democrats said to be considering the race include U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston, former state Sen. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum.

"And if Rubio decides to not seek re-election and run for president instead, Florida Republicans would have plenty of potential candidates."
Most often cited are former Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford; U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan of Bradenton; and three Florida Cabinet members, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. The latter two, however, are said to be focused on the next governor's race.
"All eyes on Rubio as 2016 U.S. Senate talk begins." See also "Rubio on the Launching Pad, but Will He Blast Off with Jeb in the Mix?." See also "Who's Florida Democrats' best hope for Senate?"

The best they can do

"Travis Hutson is starting to pull ahead of Doc Renuart in the final days in the fight for the open Florida Senate seat that had been held by John Thrasher before he became president of FSU." "Travis Hutson Favored Over Doc Renuart for Florida Senate Seat."

"Governor’s duplicity"

Dockery: "Governor’s duplicity on Bailey ouster warrants investigation" (subscription).

"Economy would come to a screeching halt if people actually had to pay fair-market, fair-wage prices"

Scott Maxwell finds "it fascinating when the same people who gripe about illegal immigration get incensed at the idea of paying a penny a pound more for tomatoes."

Who on Earth do you think is picking your tomatoes for a measly 50 cents for every 32-pound bucket?

Labor stats show that upward of 50 percent of America's agriculture workforce is undocumented.

Big Agriculture says it's much higher. And they don't want to be forced to hire only U.S. citizens — because it costs more to play by the rules. . . .

Florida's governor actually said it'd be "foolish" to force companies to follow the law.

See, America's dirty little secret is that our entire economy is built on cheap labor. And cheap food. And cheap everything.

Partly because we love a deal. But mainly because we can't afford anything more.

America's middle class has shrunk. The ranks of the poor are growing.

When I was a child, one parent could hold a decent job and still buy a house and provide for a family. Today, both parents often work — and it's still not enough. Especially in a place like Central Florida, the lowest-paying metro area in America.

So, with working-class wages stagnating, the entire economy would come to a screeching halt if people actually had to pay fair-market, fair-wage prices for bread and milk.

"Immigration debate really about low wages, cheap products" (subscription).


Nancy Smith writes that "the governor is exactly where the buck stops. If Baileygate is the tip of an iceberg, Scott IS the iceberg."

"There's a Lesson in Baileygate and Allegations of FDLE Meddling."

Weak bench

"U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio has inched his way into second place as a potential 2016 Republican presidential primary candidate, placing only three percentage points behind former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney."

In the poll breakdown, Rubio fared much better with female voters than other possible primary nominees. He received 22 percent of women among self-identified Republicans and conservatives, while other nominees like Romney walked away with only 14 percent of the same demographic.

Among men, however, Rubio has a lot of ground to cover. He only takes 4 percent of the vote among self-identified Republicans and conservative men, while Romney and Bush take 20 percent and 16 percent, respectively.

Republicans have significantly underperformed among single women during the last two presidential elections. The Zogby poll is an indication Rubio could be the GOP’s answer to moving more of these female voters into the Republican column in 2016.

"Latest Zogby Poll Declares Rubio a Real 'Player'."