Monday, July 27, 2015

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

FlaGOP Splintered in advance of 2016 Campaigns

"Just six months ago, Gov. Rick Scott stood onstage outside the state Capitol basking in his hard-fought victory as he began his second term."

Scott boldly proclaimed in his inaugural address that the campaign was over, and while there would be "robust debates on the best direction for Florida" that "we should not let partisan politics, or any politics for that matter, get in our way."

But that's not been the case for the Republican governor who has grown isolated from many other Republicans in the GOP-dominated Sunshine State.

He's not actively helping the Republican Party of Florida, his recent budget vetoes angered already fragile relations with Senate Republicans, and he's at odds with other statewide elected officials such as Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. There are questions about his relationship with Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera after Scott didn't rely on the former legislator to help push his agenda in the Legislature this past spring.

"Florida Gov. Scott at odds again with fellow Republicans."

Runnin' Gub'mint Like a Bidness

"A program that would have erected miniature billboards on state trails has ended, with the company hired to find potential sponsors having found no takers." "Effort to put billboards on state trails ends with no takers."

"Murphy bolts to the left"

"During his two terms in Congress, Patrick Murphy built up the reputation as a moderate who would work both sides of the aisle for his district. But now that he's running for the Democratic Senate nomination and needs the approval of party-first-district-second, Murphy is starting to bolt to the left." "Patrick Murphy Goes Left Before Primary With Alan Grayson."

After All, There's Money Involved

The Tampa Trib editors write that "Florida’s leaders should consider why the left-leaning president and the conservative activists believe the nation is imprisoning too many people, particularly nonviolent offenders."

The nation spends $80 billion a year keeping 2.2 million people behind bars. Florida spends more than $2.2 billion a year imprisoning 100,000 people.

We agree with Charles Koch when he says it’s time the nation focuses on ensuring that the punishment fits the crime and we stop imprisoning people promiscuously, wasting tax dollars and people’s lives.

This must be done with caution. We don’t want to go back to the days when Florida prisoners served but a fraction of their sentences and criminals ran amok. Nor do we want to see penalties for certain offenses, including environmental abuses, become so slight that they become meaningless.

"Right time for prison reform."

Environmental Group Hit with IRS Complaint

"The former mayor of Pahokee has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service against the litigation arm of perhaps the largest environmental group on Florida's Treasure Coast." "Treasure Coast Environmental Group Slapped with IRS Deceptive Practices Complaint."