Monday, April 06, 2015

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

Floridians give Rubio a reason to stay home

"Republican State Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater is the strongest candidate in an early look at the 2016 U.S. Senate race in Florida, getting 38 percent to 34 percent for U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy. Atwater leads another possible Democratic candidate, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, 42 - 32 percent."

Florida voters disapprove 49 - 42 percent of the job Gov. Rick Scott is doing, continuing a four-year streak of negative ratings.

Voters approve 54 - 35 percent of the job U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is doing and give U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson a 45 - 30 percent approval rating.

April 6, 2015 - Florida Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll.

"Florida is not a given for Jeb or Marco"

"Florida is not a given for Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio." See also "Iconic Freedom Tower holds symbolic value for Rubio as site for likely presidential announcement."

"Televangelist sics followers on bakery"

"Former televangelist sics angry followers on local bakery to make a point about religious freedom."

"Abysmally low"

"There’s money for rural lands, beaches and the Everglades. But as lawmakers prepare to negotiate details of the new state budget, debate continues over whether more money from Florida’s land and water conservation amendment should go toward buying property for conservation."

Amendment 1, sponsored by Florida’s Water and Land Legacy, passed with 75 percent of the vote in November. The measure sets aside one-third of money collected through taxes on real estate documentary stamps to protect environmentally sensitive areas for the next 20 years.

About $750 million is expected to be set aside in the first year, and Florida’s Water and Land Legacy had hoped the state would dedicate $170 million of that to Florida Forever, a state program to buy land for preservation, to protect and maintain conservation lands and local parks.

House and Senate leaders don’t appear to be close to that number. The state House set aside $10.5 million for Florida Forever in its budget, while the Senate initially put $2 million toward the land buying program.

“It’s an abysmally low figure compared to $750 million,” said Ray Judah, coordinator for the Florida Coastal and Ocean Coalition. 'It’s really very distressing.'

"Florida lawmakers set aside little for environmental land acquisition."

FlaBaggers in action

"Tea Party Miami hires actors to protest environmental land buy."

"I understand"

Darryl E. Owens " borrow[s] a line from Chris Rock: I ain't saying teachers should have cheated … but I understand." "Pay heed to the moral of Atlanta test cheating fable."

"Competitive 2016 race for swing South Florida congressional seat"

"Annette Taddeo, Charlie Crist’s former running mate, plans to run against U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo in South Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys." "Democrat’s candidacy sets up competitive 2016 race for swing South Florida congressional seat."

"Budget Standoff"

"Budget Standoff Will Rule Remainder of Legislative Session."

Good luck with that

"Florida’s citizen lobbyists, patrol the halls of the Capitol in Tallahassee and advocate for change, one issue and one lawmaker at a time." "Citizen lobbyists seek to be heard in Florida’s Capitol." See also "Health issues divide lawmakers."

Is Arceneaux to Work for Clinton?

Nancy Smith wonders: "Is Scott Arceneaux Really Going to Work for Hillary Clinton?"