Thursday, June 25, 2015

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

Scott's Retaliatory, Americans for Prosperity Budget

The Orlando Sentinel editors say there's a "plausible" explanation for the Governor's vetoes: "politics." Consider the projects

backed by Senate President Andy Gardiner, the Orlando Republican who led his chamber's effort to use federal funds to provide private health insurance to 800,000 low-income Floridians. Scott was so opposed to the idea that he summoned senators for private meetings and threatened to veto their legislative priorities.

"He promised that he would punish the constituents of those legislators who disagreed with him, and he kept his promise," Sen. Don Gaetz, an Okaloosa County Republican and former Senate president, told the News Service of Florida.

It's another piece of irony from a governor who campaigned for office touting his nonpolitical background.

"Politics trumped jobs, economy in Scott vetoes."

Paula Dockery on Scott's political payback: "Just four days after the Florida Legislature passed the $78.7 billion state budget, Gov. Rick Scott, with no advanced notice, fanfare or public appearance quietly signed the budget behind closed doors. He didn’t confer with his partners in the process — fellow Cabinet members, legislative leaders and senators and representatives. Even his lieutenant governor was left in the dark."

Nor did he communicate with those who found themselves on the receiving end of his veto pen. Mayors, commissioners, university presidents and healthcare administrators were among those learning their fate online, through the news media or by word of mouth.

Scott vetoed $461 million of legislative spending, a personal record, or less than one percent of the budget.

There was mixed reaction to Scott’s vetoes and to the odd manner in which he performed what is arguably the governor’s most significant responsibility. Individual legislators were surprised to learn that he had completed the job without reaching out to them, as most governors traditionally do.

In the meantime, Scott's funders, like the Koch brothers'

Americans for Prosperity and Associated Industries joined Scott-appointed agency heads in singing his praises — state employees, the developmentally disabled and the uninsured working poor continue to be ignored.
"Gov. Scott wields his veto pen for political payback."

Florida's growth driven by Hispanics

"Hispanic residents made up almost half of Florida’s population growth last year, and the age gap between Florida’s white and minority residents continued to widen, according to figures released Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau."

Florida grew by more than 290,000 residents from July 2013 to July 2014, and more than 141,000 of those new residents were Hispanic.
"Census data: Florida growth last year driven by Hispanics."

Disney luvin' the Scott

"Disney makes big donation to Rick Scott PAC."

Nancy Pelosi Surfaces in SoFla race

"Running against U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., former Miami-Dade Democratic Chairwoman Annette Taddeo turned to U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Monday. Pelosi sent out a fundraising email on Taddeo’s behalf." "Nancy Pelosi Surfaces in South Florida Congressional Race."

Saint Scott

Rick Scott apologist Nancy Smith, goes after Senate President Andy Gardiner and Senator Jack Latvala for their criticism of Saint Scott, whinging that "it was the Senate that declared war on Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida House, and it did so the minute it took up Medicaid expansion." "Who Declared War on Whom? Let's Get It Straight."

Yee haw!

"Florida's first bear hunt in 21 years approved over critics' uproar."

Challenge to 24-Hour Waiting Period

"Only days before a new Florida law would start requiring 24-hour waits before women can have abortions, a Leon County circuit judge is considering whether to place a hold on the law while a constitutional challenge goes forward." "Judge Considering Temporary Block of Florida’s New 24-Hour Abortion Waiting Period."

Even wingers acknowledge (some of) Scott's vetoes were sloppy

Even right-wingers concede that Scott flubbed many of his vetoes, including cutting "a pay raise for forestry firefighters, employees who put their lives on the line yet earn an average $27,475 a year."

Meanwhile, the governor left alone pay raises for driver's license examiners and state troopers in six counties [as he should have]. Poorly thought out, damaging to Floridians when it needn't have been, damaging to the governor, damaging to the party in power in Tallahassee
Oh, and then there's the part where the veto is damaging to firefighters and their families.

Kathy Castor has led the normalization with Cuba efforts

"Tampa was chosen because it has sounded the call for normalization."

The Tampa City Council passed resolutions seeking to host a Cuban consulate and the signing of any documents restoring relations. The Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce supports trade with Cuba.

And U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, a Tampa Democrat, has led the normalization efforts.

"Cuban activist’s daughter in Tampa pushing for referendum."