Monday, January 25, 2016

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

"Political rumor mill spinning"

Matt Dixon writes: "When most members of the Florida House look in the mirror, they see a state senator looking back at them."

That dynamic will be on full display during the 2016 election cycle after a legal challenge led to redrawing of the state Senate districts. Along with the new maps came opportunities that will boost the number of former House members in the upper chamber. They currently hold 31 of the Senate’s 40 seats.
"Roughly 15 House members are now considering running for Senate seats, a dynamic that has the political rumor mill spinning in the wake of the legal challenge."
Combined with the fact that 30 House districts will have no incumbent running in 2016, more than 35 percent of the chamber could be new members next year.
Much more here: "New Senate maps will shake up House campaigns."

Columnists debate Jolly’s Stop Act

"Faceoff: Tribune columnists debate David Jolly’s Stop Act" See "Henderson: Stop Act proposal on fundraising is a Jolly good idea" and "Jackson: The trouble with Jolly’s feel-good, check-squashing legislation."

A Florida growth industry: rent-by-the-week motels

"Lawmakers are backing a bill they say will free up millions in state dollars to help homeless families get out of rent-by-the-week motels and into apartments and homes." "Florida housing bill would help homeless families, backers say."

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

Marc Caputo: "Bondi v. Legislature over Medicaid fraud – Rubio snags IA endorsements, but looks stuck – Jeb tumbles to 4% in FL poll – Abortion-ban bill hits FL House committee agenda –Shaq balls with Gainesville PD." "Florida Playbook."

"Abusive financial manipulations"

The Tampa Tribune editors argue that "Sen. Jack Latvala of Pinellas County deserves legislative support in his effort to halt abusive financial manipulations by the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, which is shifting its costs to county governments." "Fix abusive state billing system."

Dead again

Kevin Derby: "The second week of the legislative session in Tallahassee offered something of a contrast to a relatively calm first week as a lower state revenue estimate caused some concerns and campus carry once again looks dead in the Senate." "Some Turbulence Swirls in Second Legislative Week as Initial Budget Proposals Loom."

"Good for them — and great for the rest of us"

The Miami Herald editors: "Thankfully, Florida lawmakers, just weeks into the 2016 legislative session, have already shot down two gun-related bills that would have added practically nothing to Floridians’ safety and security. Good for them — and great for the rest of us." "Legislative gun bills are being shot down."

More Poodles in pain

One of Florida's few bona fide political chatterers find "shocking" Jeb "Bush’s barrel-bottom support in Florida: 4%. He’s in single digits elsewhere, but this is the state where he built the Florida GOP. What happened?"

Actually, it isn't all that surprising. Jeb's Florida "success" was a fiction created by a largely compliant stable of media poodles. For more, see "Poodles in pain."

Bondi gets it

"Pam Bondi has waged legal battles over everything from Obamacare to same-sex marriage, but now, after five years as Florida's attorney general, the Republican finds herself in a rare position: She is openly clashing with the GOP-controlled Legislature." "Medicaid special-interest bills pit Bondi against GOP lawmakers."

Rubio, "the young guy stuck in the past"

"Even most Cuban Americans support normalization of relations with Cuba — and 77 percent of those younger than 50 support Obama’s policy, according to Miami pollster Fernand Armandi. He said those who remain opposed are a shrinking group: older, Florida-based Republicans born in Cuba."

And Marco Rubio. . . .

He is not against change, he stressed, bristling at criticism that he is the young guy stuck in the past.

"Marco Rubio’s cold war."