Wednesday, May 20, 2015

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

Jax returns to South Georgia roots

"Former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry defeated Democratic incumbent Mayor Alvin Brown on Tuesday with help from powerful friends like Sen. Marco Rubio and former Gov. Jeb Bush." "Former state GOP chairman elected Jacksonville mayor." See also "Lenny Curry Edges Alvin Brown in Jacksonville Mayoral Election."

Corporate voucher dance

The Tampa Trib editors extol "Another victory for corporate vouchers."

Florida government shut down would be "doomsday scenario"

"If the budget stalemate continues and Florida resorts to a bare-bones spending plan as suggested by Gov. Rick Scott, results could be dire for every Floridian." "If government shuts down, a doomsday scenario would emerge in Florida."

Wingnut whinge

"It has been less than a month since the U.S. Treasury Department approved the first licenses for ferries to carry Americans to Cuba. The ferry companies have not announced what U.S. ports they’ll use and the Cuban government has not agreed to allow any boats access yet." "New federal licenses mean cruises to Cuba may be close." Related: "Tampa delegations exploring trade return from Cuba."

Rubio's stature "troubling" among young Republicans

"A new national poll by Pew Research Center reveals some early strengths and weaknesses among several key Republicans running for president, including the observation that U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida might have an age issue."

Rubio did far better than any of the other candidates with older Republicans. A whopping 75 percent have a favorable opinion of him, and just 11 percent have an unfavorable opinion, Pew found. But Rubio’s numbers fall among middle-age Republicans: 50 percent like him, 21 percent don’t. And the response appears troubling among young Republicans: 39 percent like him, and 23 percent don’t.
"Pew Poll: Rubio may have an age issue (not the one you think)."

Scott's health-care commission meets today

"As Gov. Rick Scott's newly created health-care commission prepares to meet Wednesday to begin sifting through data about hospital funding, the governor's request for information has been met with hospitals essentially telling him to go look it up." "Hospitals to Rick Scott: You Look up Financial Data."

Low bidders

"A federal agency has proposed fines of $152,200 for nine contractors building million-dollar homes for the Shoma Group at Oasis Park Square." "Nine contractors cited for worker-safety violations at Doral residential project."

Scott losing his grip

"When Gov. Rick Scott ordered state agencies to come up with a list of 'critical needs' just in case state government shuts down this summer, he got a defiant response from many: Everything we do is critical." "Gov. Scott’s ‘critical needs’ demand gets defiant responses."

Republican front group hands out awards

"Fiscal Watchdog Group's 'Champs' and 'Chumps' in Tallahassee."

Clinton hooks up with Morgan

"Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is coming to Central Florida for a fundraiser May 29 at the home of Democratic rainmaker and lawyer John Morgan. The event will take place at Morgan's Heathrow mansion, at a time to be determined later." "Hillary Clinton coming to Orlando for $2.7K per fundraiser."

Miami-Dade and Broward toss tests

"Empowered by a new state law, education leaders in Miami-Dade and Broward counties announced Tuesday they won’t use the results of the new Florida Standards Assessment to hold students back — one of the most polarizing issues when it comes to how Florida uses tests in high-stakes decisions." "Miami-Dade, Broward schools won’t use controversial statewide test."

Miami one of least affordable

"New study shows that college graduates can afford fewer than one in 100 apartments on the market in Miami-Dade County." "Report: Miami one of least affordable housing markets for recent grads."

"Jeb blows off Iowa"

Howard Kurtz: "Jeb blows off Iowa straw poll."