Sunday, May 24, 2015

After reading the hard copy of your hometown newspaper, please consider becoming a site fan on Facebook and following us on Twitter. Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry follows.

Rick Scott's "perpetual campaign"

"Florida’s governor is still collecting donations from special interests with a stake in legislation, even though he’s term-limited from running for governor again." "The perpetual campaign of Gov. Rick Scott."

Desperate for a story

Desperate for a story, the New York Times gives us this claptrap: "They use words like 'historic' and 'charismatic,' phrases like 'great potential' and 'million-dollar smile.' They notice audience members moved to tears by an American-dream-come-true success story. When they look at the cold, hard political math, they get uneasy." "A Hillary Clinton Match-Up With Marco Rubio Is a Scary Thought for Democrats."

And then there's this: "GOP has tough road appealing to Florida Jewish voters."

"Tale of Two Justices"

Scott Maxwell: "In March, Attorney General Pam Bondi announced she had nailed someone for Medicaid fraud."

The culprit was a 49-year-old home-health worker from dirt-poor Gadsden County, accused of bilking the state out of $13,000.

For her crime, Melissa Letica Simmons was ordered to spend six months behind bars — and repay all the money she stole from taxpayers.

Six months. For $13,000.

"A few years earlier, the state accused three hospitals of bilking the Medicaid system as well … only this time, it involved millions."
Yet no one was criminally prosecuted. Or even ordered to repay all the money. Instead the hospitals settled — without admitting wrongdoing — and repay taxpayers pennies on the dollars. . . .

This, my friends, is the Tale of Two Justices. The small-time thieves get prison sentences. The big-time thieves get deals.

"Health-care fraud: Little guys get jail; big guys get deals."

Weekly Roundup

"Weekly Roundup: Feds Give the Word on LIP."

Propping up the FlaGOP's Tally flop

The Tampa Trib does its best to prop up the FlaGOPs nevervending Tallahassee flop. They write, "Here is what you usually read about the Florida Legislature’s dispute over Medicaid:"

The House leadership refuses to expand Medicaid as called for under the Affordable Care Act while Senate leaders want to comply with Obamacare.

That interpretation does not do justice to the Senate’s position, which by no means is meekly going along with Washington’s dictates.

The Senate is trying to protect Florida taxpayers while also addressing the needs of the working poor. It offers a plan that is more fiscally responsible — and conservative — than doing nothing.

"A conservative plan to help the uninsured."

Non-traditional public sector candidates

"Non-traditional candidates sought in public sector."

Marijuana scares Florida lawmakers

Bill Cotterell: "Usually, if 58 percent of the voters say they want something done, Florida legislators will do it."

And if they see something coming at them, the politically smart thing for legislators is to hurry up and do it themselves before the issue runs over them. Even if it’s something they don’t want to do, they’ll usually work out some half measure before the public imposes its undiluted will at the polls.

And when the issue is something that’s proved beneficial in about half of the states, Florida usually gets on board in a few years. There’s safety in numbers.

But there must be Usually, if 58 percent of the voters say they want something done, Florida legislators will do it.

"Marijuana, even medical, still scares Florida lawmakers."