Saturday, October 24, 2015

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

Jeb! Reassessing Run

"Jeb Bush will attend a finance meeting this weekend in Houston convened by former President George H. W. Bush and attended by Bush's brother, former President George W. Bush, CBS News has learned. The session . . . will also be attended by Bush's mother, Barbara Bush." "Jeb Bush hunkers down with family to assess his candidacy."

New Senate Map Heads to Floor

Update: "Redrawn Senate Map Heading to Floor Monday."

Matt Dixon: "A handful of Democratic state senators are blasting a plan to give district numbers to a proposed state Senate map before it gets a vote, arguing it would spark “political jostling” as members fight for longer terms."

Numbering the maps is important because those who end up with even-numbered seats must run two years after the maps are redrawn, while those with odd-numbered seats will get an initial term of four years, the normal length for a senator. The staggered terms are intended to ensure the entire 40-member chamber is not always up for election at the same time.
"In redistricting fight, Senate Democrats hammer early numbering."

See also "Simmons' map amendment alters Tampa region," "Leadership fight bubbles up as map moves to full Senate," "Senators still pitching maps to settle districts," "Orlando Senate seats shift under proposed map" and "Senators still pitching maps to settle districts."

Yee Haw!

"The first bear was killed this morning in Lake County as Florida's controversial bear hunt is underway. The bear, which is the first reported killed in the statewide hunt, was shot in Lake County at 7:52 a.m. The hunt is the first one since 1972 and has sparked protests and lawsuits." "First bear killed in Lake County during bear hunt." See also "Protesters rally in Tampa as Florida bear hunt gets underway."

"Dark Money Behind Florida Redistricting"

Nancy Smith: "Doesn't anyone else think it's time the public found out who funded the coalition of groups suing the Legislature over its redistricting maps? Who paid plaintiff attorney David King? God knows, it wasn't the League of Women Voters of Florida. The Capitol Press Corps had more money in its scholarship fund during 2012 and than the League had." "The Dark Money Behind Florida Redistricting Plaintiffs' Extraordinary Coup."

"What's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State"

Marc Caputo: "Rep. Grayson CLAMS UP on ethics probe – FAMU keeps embattled prez – ‘All Lives Matter’ in Corey Jones’ shooting – Trump visits Miami -- FL bear hunt starts today" "Florida Playbook."

Trump moves in on Rubio, Bush turf

"Floridians know two of the Republicans presidential candidates very well: Jeb Bush led the state as a two-term governor and Marco Rubio has been a senator since 2011." "Trump moving in on Bush, Rubio turf with Florida rallies."

Trump's Florida Operatives

Kevin Derby writes that Donald Trump has "named two leading Republicans as the chairs of his Florida presidential team: Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) Vice Chairman Joe Gruters and veteran GOP operative Susie Wiles."

During his years as the chairman of the Sarasota County GOP, Gruters held events featuring Trump. Gruters is currently running for the Florida House. Based in Jacksonville, Wiles is a longtime Republican operative and managed Rick Scott’s gubernatorial campaign back in 2010. - See more at:
"Donald Trump Turns to Veteran GOP Operatives in Florida."

More Trump: "In Florida, Trump pans Iowa polls, says Carson ‘super low-energy’."

Curbelo Backs Ryan

"Carlos Curbelo Backs Paul Ryan to be House Speaker."

Solar to Battle Utilities

"The initiative has drawn opposition from a coalition including major electric utilities and has spawned a competing solar ballot proposal." "Supreme Court Clears Floridians for Solar Choice’s Ballot Initiative, Setting Up Battle With Utilities."

Yee Haw!

"The 2016 regular session may be a few months away, but a bill hoping to allow gun owners to openly carry their firearms in Florida has already begun to cause a commotion across the Sunshine State." "Gun Groups Get Fired Up Over Open Carry Bill."

"Grayson mum"

"Grayson mum on meeting with ethics investigator."

Like a "convertible wedding dress"

Nancy Smith: "If you've seen the new-style, all-purpose, convertible wedding dresses, you've got a glimpse of post-election Charlie Crist." "Charlie Crist, Washington's Perfect Fit." See also "Charlie Crist Draws Fire from the NRCC."


"Scott’s proposal seeks to defuse criticism of the current incentive program, called the Florida Enterprise Fund and the Quick Action Closing Fund. Republicans in the House of Representatives say the current system wastes money because funds are held in an escrow account that is not earning interest; they favor a 'pay as you go' system." "Gov. Scott calls for new $250M incentive fund." See also "AFP Opposes Rick Scott's Call for More Funds for Enterprise Florida."