Wednesday, March 25, 2015

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

"Jeb Bush used another, previously unreported email address"

"As Florida governor, Jeb Bush used another, previously unreported email address, records show - the newest wrinkle in an evolving debate over public officials' use of private email accounts."

Bush said through a spokeswoman that he was unaware of the account, although records showed that people wrote to him there more than 400 times between 1999 and 2004.
"But its existence - and the mystery around it - show the potential complications when public officials, like Bush and Hillary Rodham Clinton, use private email accounts to conduct public business. Republican Bush and Democrat Clinton are two likely contenders in the 2016 race for the White House." "Jeb Bush had another email account while Florida governor."

Watch Florida's political poodles leap to Jeb's defense, even as Jeb himself skirted Florida law in disclosing his emails, and otherwise was quick to criticize Clinton's email practices.

More: "Jeb Bush: I'm No Hillary Clinton When it Comes to Email" and "Bush’s aides pointed gleefully to their handling of electronic correspondence as a model."

State healthcare funding under scrutiny

The Miami Herald editorial board: "Critical questions facing state’s healthcare funding."

Yee Haw!

"After a debate that conjured memories of Hurricane Katrina, the Florida Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly passed a bill that could lead to more people carrying concealed weapons when fleeing natural disasters." "Florida Senate passes bill to allow guns during evacuations."

PPP Poll: "Clinton has leads of 2-8 points over all GOP contenders in Florida"

"Floridians aren't very excited about the prospect of either Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio running for President, and Hillary Clinton leads the entire field of potential GOP candidates in the state."

Floridians aren't very excited about the prospect of either Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio running for President, and Hillary Clinton leads the entire field of potential GOP candidates in the state.

Only 37% of Florida voters think Jeb Bush should run for President, to 52% who say they think he shouldn't. The numbers for Marco Rubio on that front are almost identical- 35% say he should run to 51% who believe he should sit it out. The lack of enthusiasm for either Bush or Rubio making a White House bid is at least partially a function of their not being terribly popular. 45% of voters approve of the job Rubio is doing as a Senator to 40% who disapprove. Bush's favorability numbers are similar with 45% giving him good marks to 42% with a negative opinion. Their numbers aren't bad but they aren't that impressive either.

Hillary Clinton has leads of 2-8 points over all of the potential GOP contenders in the state. Rubio comes the closest at just a 48/46 deficit and Bush is down by a similar margin at 47/44. Rand Paul trails by 4 at 46/42, Mike Huckabee's down 5 at 49/44, Chris Christie and Ted Cruz each trail by 7 at 48/41 and 49/42 respectively, and Ben Carson (49/41), Rick Perry (50/42), and Scott Walker (49/41) all lag Clinton by 8 points.

"Florida Tepid Toward Bush."

House approves even more tax cuts than Scott wants

"The House approved a tax cut plan that is slightly larger than a $673 million tax-cut package that Gov. Rick Scott proposed, but it remains to be seen if the Senate will go along with such large cuts." "Florida House and Senate battle over tax cuts." More: "Calculator in hand, Scott makes tax-cut push."

Jeb not the "popular former governor" as the media endlessly bleats

The recent PPP poll reveals something all Floridians - aside from Florida's Bushco xxxxx "45% giving him good marks to 42% with a negative opinion" Full results here. Here's how 538 rates this polling operation.


"Lawmakers tout $160 in tax cuts for each state family."

Clinton early favorite among Dems in Florida

"Democratic-aligned Public Policy Polling (PPP) [you may want to 538's detailed analysis before accepting that statement] released a poll of Florida Democrats Tuesday which shows Clinton as the early favorite in the Sunshine State, blowing out the field with 58 percent support. Vice President Joe Biden takes a very distant second with 14 percent followed by U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. with 10 percent. Warren has said she will not run if Clinton enters the contest." "Hillary Clinton Blowing Out 2016 Democratic Primary Rivals in Florida."

Neo-Confederates infuriated

"All three men had been chosen by a nominating council of seven volunteers to be members of the 2014 class of the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame. They were denied recognition not because of politics but on narrow legal grounds, which only infuriated their supporters more." "Gov. Rick Scott and Cabinet refuse to honor Confederate war heroes."

House Committee approves backyard firing ranges

"A House panel Tuesday shot down a measure aimed at clamping down on backyard shooting ranges in residential neighborhoods."

The Criminal Justice subcommittee killed the bill (HB 623) by an 8-5 vote after opposition by the National Rifle Association.

“What this is all about is preventing discharge of a firearm on private property, period,” NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer said.

The bill’s sponsor, Democratic state Rep. Darryl Rouson of St. Petersburg, said he sought only “to curtail the use of a gun range, which the law currently allows, in urban and residential settings.”

He filed the legislation after reports that a St. Petersburg man had set up a makeshift firing range of wooden pallets and sand, upsetting neighbors.

"Bill aimed at backyard shooting ranges dies in House."

Florida Senate rebukes President Obama

"The measure, which rebukes President Obama for opening up diplomatic relations with Cuba, is largely symbolic." "Florida Senate votes to oppose U.S.-Cuba relations."