Saturday, December 05, 2015

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

Jeb in "free-fall"

"GOP presidential hopeful Jeb Bush says if given the chance, he will 'whup' Hillary Clinton. Bush spoke the Republican Jewish Coalition presidential forum in Washington on Thursday, where all GOP candidates were scheduled to speak." "Jeb Bush: I will 'whup' Hillary Clinton."

Even when the New York Times props him up, "Bush continues to be ignored, and to languish in the polls . . . ." "Jeb Bush’s New Show of Confidence Is Failing to Connect With Republicans." "At 3% in the polls, Jeb Bush in free-fall ('The poll was conducted October 15-18 and surveyed 364 registered voters who leaned Republican and had a margin of error of plus or minus 6 percentage points.')"

Meanwhile, "the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll released Wednesday"

puts Bush in fourth place, behind Ben Carson at 22% and Sen. Marco Rubio at 10%.
"GOP primary poll: Donald Trump on top with 32%."

Speaker's race

"Speaker’s race: Sprowls in, Eisnaugle claims support from three classes."

Uber drivers not eligible for unemployment

"Drivers for Uber and other app companies connecting passengers with rides are independent contractors and not employees, and are therefore not entitled unemployed benefits due to laid off workers, Florida’s jobs agency ruled Thursday. . . . the order is full of descriptive language that lauds the innovation of Uber and it’s relationship with drivers as a boon to the American Dream." "Florida: Uber drivers can't get jobless benefits."

Related: "Uber bill passes first House panel, faces tougher test in Senate."

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

Marc Caputo: "Judge Jack Schramm Cox’s terrible ruling – Andrew Gillum for Congress? – RJC boos for Trump – Rubio’s hospital deal – Mike Murphy’s amnesia – Zimmerman’s Twitter suspension." "Florida Playbook."

Ros-Lehtinen Changes Team

"The dean of the Florida congressional delegation heads into 2016 with new key staff and representing different parts of Miami-Dade County." "Ileana Ros-Lehtinen Faces Changes to Her Team and District as 2016 Looms."

Backroom Briefing

Backroom Briefing: Lawmakers Push 'Cut and Dry' Energy Plan." See also "Weekly Roundup."

Will Gillum challenge Corrine Brown?

"Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum, a rising figure in Democratic politics, is actively taking calls about mounting a primary challenge against U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown, whose seat was drastically altered as part of a long-running redistricting legal challenge." "With maps in place, Gillum inching closer to congressional run."

Panuccio gone

"Jesse Panuccio, Gov. Rick Scott’s jobs chief who was expected to face intense scrutiny during upcoming Senate confirmation hearings, announced Friday he is stepping down." "Gaither High taken off lockdown after receiving threatening call."

Amendment 1 lawsuit tossed

"A state circuit court judge on Thursday refused to throw out a lawsuit filed by environmental groups charging that the Legislature misappropriated $237 million provided for conservation spending under a 2014 ballot initiative." "Judge declines to toss suit over Amendment 1 spending."

Deutch, Frankel Exchange Districts

"In the aftermath of the Florida Supreme Court ruling on Wednesday to enact a map from the League of Women Voters (LWV) as the new congressional districts in the Sunshine State, two congressional Democrats carried out their promise not to run against each other." "In Aftermath of Congressional Redistricting Decision, Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel Exchange Districts."

Negron New Senate President

"Negron Chosen as Senate President as GOP Seeks Unity."

Florida's "lowest threshold in the nation for death sentences" may change

"With the lowest threshold in the nation for death sentences, Florida juries are sentencing prisoners to death faster than Gov. Rick Scott can sign their death warrants. But a pending U.S. Supreme Court case and a proposal before the Legislature could change that." "Court could change how Florida juries recommend death penalty."

Rubio sinking into irrelevancy

"Back for a very brief campaign swing through New Hampshire,"

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio on Friday declared that the recent California shootings signify "the most dangerous terrorist threat we've ever faced" while defending his vote against preventing individuals on the terror watch list from buying guns.

"It's just typical of the political left in America," Rubio continued. "I mean they didn't even know any of the facts about this and they immediately jumped on it as an opportunity to push their gun control agenda even though no gun laws would have prevented this from occurring."

"The New Hampshire Democratic Party was quick to respond, pointing to Rubio's recent vote against legislation aimed at blocking people on the terrorist watch list from purchasing firearms."

"Rubio: San Bernardino Attacks Represent 'Most Dangerous' Threat."

"Christie Slams Rubio: 'There's Not a Lot of Depth There'."