Monday, February 29, 2016

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

"One more defeat for Scott"

Steve Bousquet: "Florida lawmakers handed yet another defeat to Gov. Rick Scott on Sunday when they agreed to use state tax money and not local property taxes to pay for higher school spending next year."

Senate and House members quickly reached a consensus that Scott’s plan to boost school spending to record levels was flawed because it put the cost almost entirely on homeowners and businesses that would have been hit with higher property tax bills for schools — even if the tax rate stayed the same.
"Florida Legislature’s school budget deal is one more defeat for Gov. Rick Scott."

UNF Poll: Clinton has 54-24 lead

"Hillary Clinton is maintaining a massive lead over Bernie Sanders in a new Florida Democratic primary poll that shows she’s pulling strong support from African-American and Hispanic voters."

The strong minority support underpinning Clinton’s 54-24 percent lead over Bernie Sanders in the University of North Florida poll bears a resemblance to her outsized backing by black voters in South Carolina, where the former secretary of state beat the Vermont senator by taking an astonishingly high 74 percent of the vote.
"Clinton’s support over Sanders with African-Americans was highest, 67-12 percent. Hispanics favored her over Sanders by 66-22 percent. Non-Hispanic white voters backed her 48-30 percent, according to the poll."
The poll of 685 adult registered Democrat likely voters, identified from the Florida voter file, was conducted Feb. 22-27 and has a margin of error of 3.74 percentage points.
"Minority voters help Clinton dominate Sanders in Florida poll."

More: "Bill Clinton rallies voters in Miami Gardens" and "Bill Clinton and black officials highlight policing issues at Miami Hillary event"

Early voting

"Early voting in Florida primary kicks off today in Hillsborough."

VP Scott?

Kevin Derby: "After three wins in a row, Donald Trump looks like a solid favorite to win the Republican presidential nomination--and he could be looking to the Sunshine State to find a running mate." "Rick Scott For VP Does Have Some Merit for Donald Trump."

Raw political courage

"House Floats Proposal to Hold Property Taxes Level."

Lake O Emergency

"Following sustained rainfall and record Lake Okeechobee discharges, Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Friday in Lee, Martin and St. Lucie counties." "Scott Declares State of Emergency for 3 Counties Hurting from Lake 'O' Discharges."

Dream on

"How Rubio could lose every state on Super Tuesday and still win."

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

Marc Caputo: "516k have voted in FL prez primary – why Rubio went Trump now – Clinton still crushing Bernie in new FL poll -- Docs v. Glocks still in court – FL GOP’s gains – ‘Streetfighter’ Carlos Beruff." "Florida Playbook."

"Cue the violins"

Carl Hiaasen writes that, "at Trump’s ultra-posh Palm Beach resort, foreign-born workers have a much better chance of being hired than locals who seek the same positions."

“Getting help in Palm Beach during the high season is almost impossible,” the Big Orange Trumpster grumped to MSNBC last fall. Cue the violins.

According to the New York Times, since 2010 at least 296 American workers have applied or were referred to Trump’s oceanfront Mar-a-Lago Club to fill openings for cooks, housekeepers and wait staff.

Only 17 U.S. applicants were hired, according to federal records. That’s slightly less than 6 percent. The rest of those Mar-a-Lago jobs were filled by foreign workers, many from Romania, for whom Trump’s club obtained legal visas.

Of those many Americans who didn’t get hired, Trump said: “The only reason they wouldn’t get a callback is that they weren’t qualified, for some reason.”

A few undoubtedly weren’t qualified, but out of nearly 300 there had to be way more than 17 who could make the cut. Otherwise it’s a harsh slam on the diverse hospitality trade in the Palm Beach area.

Maybe the Trumpster has different employment standards for his kitchen staff and waiters — for instance, they have to speak Romanian. That would definitely narrow, and whiten, the labor pool.

"At Trump’s resort, guest workers favored."