Thursday, March 12, 2015

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

Crist considering Senate run

"Charlie Crist is considering another run for the U.S. Senate, in the 2016 race."

"Well, I have been encouraged to," Crist said Wednesday when asked by phone about reports that he might run again. Crist, who is in New York, declined to elaborate.

Crist, a former Republican governor of Florida, ran for the Senate in 2010 as an independent, losing handily to Republican Marco Rubio, but finishing ahead of Democrat Kendrick Meek.

In 2013 he formally changed his party affiliation to Democrat and last year ran again for governor, losing to incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott in a close race.

There is a chance that Rubio will not seek re-election. He has repeatedly said that if he decides to run for president, he would not seek re-election to the Senate.

"Crist says he is considering U.S. Senate run."

Nancy Smith: "Charlie Crist's career as a highway billboard was embarrassing enough. But running for a U.S. Senate seat he already lost twice? Five months after he came up empty in the Florida governor's race?" "Sure You Want to Run Again, Charlie?."

Even the Trib

Even the Tampa Tribune editorial board: "Senate committee’s Medicaid expansion plan a worthy measure."

"Jeb Bush withdraws from remaining businesses"

"Preparing for presidential run, Jeb Bush withdraws from remaining businesses."

"Florida's budget faces an unexpected deficit"

"Florida's budget faces an unexpected deficit. Accepting the federal Medicaid money could potentially offset the loss of the Low-Income Pool Funds. But the plan faces stiff opposition." "Fearing Loss of $1 Billion in Federal Aid, Senate Again Considers Medicaid Expansion."

Yee haw!

"Education Committee Easily Approves Gun-Carrying By Select Florida School Employees."

"Bill would remove gay adoption ban"

"A bill that would create incentives to adopt children in state care passed the House on Wednesday on a vote made much closer because of opposition from conservative Republicans who don't want gay couples to adopt children despite an appeals court ruling five years ago that said they can." "House bill would remove gay adoption ban from law."

"Law firm funding attack ads"

"Fort Myers law firm funding attack ads in Tampa race."

"Drastically different plans"

"The House and Senate are drafting drastically different plans on how to spend Amendment 1 money that could only complicate efforts to come up with a comprehensive water policy." "Water bill splits House and Senate, but for how long?" Related: "Transportation, Housing Funds Split Senate, House."

"Santorum Ramps Up Florida Outreach"

"In spite of former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., testing the 2016 waters, Santorum will make a swing through Florida, offering an address to The Villages Conservative Action Group in The Villages on Friday night. On Saturday morning, Santorum will travel to Orlando to speak on 'Celebrating Faith, Family, and Freedom' at the Awakening Conference." "Rick Santorum Ramps Up Florida Outreach as 2016 Nears."

"Florida Blames School Testing Trouble on Cyber Attack"

"Florida Blames School Testing Trouble on Cyber Attack as FDLE Investigates."

"Koch brothers sock puppet"

Fred Grimm has a little fun with our Gub'ner, who insists on running the gub'mint like a bidness: "Unfair! It’s so unfair how our governor has been disparaged across social media."

As if Rick Scott was some kind of anti-science, Koch brothers sock puppet, just because his administration forbade state workers from employing — let’s face it — some pretty depressing terminology.

“Climate change” and “global warming” are not terms apt to help Floridians kick their Xanax addiction.

Just two measly terms, mind you. When it comes to state censorship, Scott’s administration is a piker compared to the Chinese Politburo, which has forbidden hundreds of search terms on the Chinese Internet including “Dalai Lama” and “sea cucumber Holothuria,” something Scott ought to consider adding to his own blacklist. What with rising sea levels, folks wading through the flooded streets of Miami Beach don’t want to be thinking about fat, black, squishy invertebrates underfoot. . . .

In a state particularly vulnerable to the vagaries of climate, especially sea level changes, failing to account for global warming might make the Department of Environmental Protection seem like an oxymoron. But Rick “I am not a scientist” Scott clearly needed a new strategy. With 2014 going down as the hottest year on record, after 14 of the last 15 years registered as the hottest ever, denial began to seem moronic, without the oxy.

Scott couldn’t just tell his constituents, “Who cares? I’ll be out of office before things turn really nasty. Then I’ll just take my millions and move to balmy Canada.”

Obviously, censorship’s more expedient than that honesty stuff.

Besides, other government entities have done a dandy job of suppressing unwelcome information. And not just dictators in Uzbekistan and Cuba.

Since 1996, the Centers for Disease Control has been banned (through Congress at the behest of the National Rifle Association) from conducting research on gun violence. Because, sometimes, for politicians, it’s better not to know.

The Texas Board of Education demanded textbooks that deemphasize unwanted stuff about evolution and climate change. North Carolina passed a bill in 2012 that banned ban state agencies from basing coastal policies on the latest scientific predictions about sea level.

The mean Mr. Grimm closes his piece with this cattiness:
Rick Scott catches all this heat for censoring two little terms. Obviously, in a rush to judgment, the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting didn’t consider another possible explanation when the governor’s administration forbade DEP workers from uttering “climate change” or “global warming” aloud.

Scott, fun-loving guy that he is, just might be a big fan of charades.

"None of this climate change stuff. Just happy talk."

"Tenth day of the 2015 legislative session"

"Thursday marks the tenth day of the 2015 legislative session. More than a dozen House committees and subcommittees are scheduled to discuss a variety of issues. It will be much slower in the Senate." "Thursday: Top things to watch in Tallahassee."

"Spirited Battle"

"Spirited Battle Ahead over Florida's Liquor Separation Law."