Tuesday, February 10, 2015

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

FlaBaggers break bread with SoFla GOPers

"The top Republican Party leaders from three South Florida counties are joining forces Saturday with a tea party activist known for incendiary comments she has directed at other Republican leaders." "South Florida Republican leaders to break bread with controversial tea party leader."

Florida leads nation in Obamacare enrollment and re-enrollment

"Florida is leading the nation in enrollment and re-enrollment in the Affordable Care Act, with 1.3 million people signed up as of Jan. 23. Enrollment has been brisk in Flagler County, too." "Gripes Aside, 6,000 Palm Coast and Flagler County Residents Enrolled in Obamacare as Deadline Approaches."

"A cold-hearted plutocrat"

"Mitt Romney opposed the government's rescue of U.S. automakers. So did Jeb Bush."

Both worked in finance and backed the Wall Street bailout. Both are advocates of tax cuts that Democrats contend only benefit the wealthy and big business.

While the first actual votes of the next presidential campaign may be a year away, Democrats already are drawing such comparisons between the former Florida governor and the GOP's 2012 White House nominee — and they don't consider them flattering.

Democrats are unwilling to let Bush define himself as a reformer who aims to close the gap between the rich and poor, so they are trying to paint him as this campaign's Romney. The ex-Massachusetts governor struggled in 2012 against criticism related to his work in private equity and his portrayal by President Barack Obama's allies as a cold-hearted plutocrat.

"Dems Paint Bush as Romney 2.0."

The best they can do?

The FlaGOP is getting desperate: "Florida Democratic Party leaders have officially shut down Leslie Wimes' growing and increasingly active Democratic African-American Woman's Caucus." "FDP 'Racist Mentality' under Tant Won't Stop Black Women's Caucus."

New tests worry school districts

"Florida's new standardized test for students will be mostly online, replacing traditional pencil and paper exams with more complicated computer-based questions." "New computer-based state tests worry school districts."

Jeb rally on the taxpayers' dime

"The Jeb Bush-backed Foundation for Florida’s Future will be taking its case to Tallahassee Tuesday to talk accountability and school choice for Florida’s schools. The half-day event, 'Keeping the Promise: A Florida Education Summit,' will convene the state’s top lawmakers to discuss heavy issues facing the education system."

But the summit will also feature some of the biggest names in Florida politics talking educational legislation and policy: Bush, Gov. Rick Scott, Senate President Andy Gardiner, and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli are all scheduled to give remarks.
"Jeb Bush, State Legislators to Talk Education Reform in Tallahassee."