Wednesday, May 13, 2015

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

"One big orgy of incompetence and waste"

Scott Maxwell: writes that "Florida is in the midst of a mess of epic proportions."

The Legislature is at a standoff. A government shutdown is possible. House members are prepared to raid state reserves to make ends meet. Legislators are denying ready health care to 800,000 working-class Floridians. And our governor has hired a lawyer — one who sometimes bills more than $1,000 an hour — to sue the feds for even more federal tax dollars.
"It's one big orgy of incompetence and waste."
We have Senate Republicans — including many die-hard conservatives — who want to use the health-care dollars to provide insurance to 800,000 Floridians.

We have House Republicans who want nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act — and who are willing to raid state reserves to make ends meet.

And we have Gov. Rick Scott, who now opposes Medicaid (after previously supporting it) — but who is also so desperate to get federal subsidies for emergency-room care that he has sued to federal government to keep that gravy train running.

To help him, Scott has enlisted a high-powered attorney, Paul Clement, who has made headlines for charging clients as much as $1,100 an hour. (More than some uninsured Floridians make in an entire paycheck.)

State officials confirmed Tuesday that taxpayers will be footing Clement's bills — but said his fees had not yet been negotiated.

So we have a standoff. And lawsuits. And people uninsured.

"Promise-breaking pols at heart of Florida's health-care mess." See also "Gov. Scott draws Republicans in Congress into Medicaid dispute."

Rick plays poker

"A massive tax-cut package and the governor's push for a 'historic' increase in education funding could be in jeopardy as the health care-fueled budget impasse continues in the Legislature." "Rick Scott: Budget Impasse Could Delay Tax Cuts."

Goin' blind

"The Florida Supreme Court is turning away a case challenging a law that allows Gov. Rick Scott to use a blind trust instead of providing a detailed accounting of his finances." "Florida Supreme Court turns down case sparked by Gov. Scott."

"Best B-List, Republicrat Speakers"

Nancy Smith: "FDP's Who-Dat Dinner: Best B-List, Republicrat Speakers Ever."

"Scott’s unserious commission"

The Daytona Beach News-Journal editors: "Scott’s unserious commission on hospitals." Background: "Scott names 9-member panel to review hospital funding."

FlaBaggers in a tizzy

"The day that relations between the United States and Cuba are considered 'normalized,' at least by the island nation’s government, might be getting at least a little closer." "Cuban official talks U.S. relations, ferries - and the path to normalization." See also "Tampa facing competition as Florida cities chase Cuba."

HD 30

"Seminole County criminal defense lawyer and political newcomer Ryan Yadav has announced his candidacy as a Democrat for the Florida House of Representatives District 30, which contends him with Republican incumbent state Rep. Bob Cortes of Longwood." "Democrat Ryan Yadav announces for Florida House 30 race."

ACU's latest Florida scorecard

"Since 1971, the American Conservative Union (ACU), the nation’s oldest grassroots conservative organization, has annually graded members of Congress based on their votes on issues important to conservatives."

Now that it’s 2015, the ACU latest scorecard shows how Florida congressmen and congresswomen and the two U.S. senators performed.
"Who’s the Most Conservative and Most Liberal Congressman in Florida?."

Jax early voting

"Amid a dogfight between Democratic Mayor Alvin Brown and GOP-challenger Lenny Curry, Democrats now have the lead in early voting but have built a smaller advantage compared to the March election." "Democrats have lead in early voting in Jacksonville, but advantage is smaller compared to March election."