Monday, January 04, 2016

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

Charlie Crist to run against fellow Democrat Eric Lynn in congressional primary in redrawn CD 13

"Former Gov. Charlie Crist, seeking yet another political office, is running against fellow Democrat Eric Lynn in a congressional primary race made possible only by redrawing the district boundaries — even though they aren’t official yet."

The proposed realignment of District 13 in the U.S. House of Representatives appears certain to sweep all of St. Petersburg into the district. Currently, downtown and nearby areas are in District 14, which includes Tampa.
"Charlie Crist is in a familiar place - early favorite - before primary."

The best they could do?

"Facing the threat of term limits, Florida’s appellate court judges will beef up their presence in the Capitol by hiring a lobbyist with strong political connections and a controversial past." "Florida judges hire lobbyist — a former judge — to fight proposed term limits."

The Dems don't like Paul Hawkes?

The Tampa Bay Times editors described him this way: say "Hawkes left a permanent stain on the judicial branch, and he does not deserve a second chance." "Gavel should fall on Paul Hawkes' career."

More: "Judge this judge harshly: Paul Hawkes 'has inflicted substantial harm' upon entire system." See also "Gov. Bush names House insider to appeals court."

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

Marc Caputo: "STATE GOP shake-up -- RUBIO gives some family help -- BUSH’s bad week." "Florida Playbook."

Immigration issues could dominate 2016 campaigns

"This year saw new influxes of Central Americans and Cubans on the southern border, Syrian refugees rejected by the leaders of more than 30 states and the president's executive action on immigration mired in legal challenges." "How immigration issues could unfold during the 2016 campaign."

"'Carpetbagger' Candidate"

Nancy Smith: "'Carpetbagger' Candidate Causing a Stir over Senate Seat in Black Riviera Beach."

Could be a RPOF "massacre"

"Florida Republican insiders are bracing for a shakeup at the state GOP amid persistent financial troubles and looming staff departures that some have predicted could be a 'massacre.'" "Republican Party of Florida plans shakeup amid financial struggles." More: "Herold leaving state GOP to join DeSantis campaign."

"Medicaid still a thorny subject"

"There are still issues to resolve as lawmakers decide how much more the state will have to contribute to the massive federal-state health care program." "Medicaid still a thorny subject for legislators in Florida."

PolitiFact Florida’s 2015 Top 10

"PolitiFact Florida’s Top 10 fact-checks in 2015."

About those petitions

"After acknowledging this month that the initiative might not make the 2016 ballot, backers of a proposed solar-energy constitutional amendment have filed a federal lawsuit against a petition-gathering firm, court documents show." "Solar-power initiative backers sue petition firm."

"Rubio actually showed up for work"

"A strange thing happened the other day in Washington, D.C. Marco Rubio actually showed up for work. Without needing MapQuest he found his way to the Senate floor. He even remembered where his seat was." "A rare Rubio sighting."