Wednesday, February 03, 2016

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

"Candidates keep half an eye on Florida"

"The Iowa caucuses are over, propelling Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio into serious contention for the Republican presidential nomination and setting up a long battle ahead between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders on the Democratic side."

Throw in the continuing dominance — at least in national polls — of billionaire businessman Donald Trump and you have a recipe for a hard-fought and nationally significant presidential preference primary in Florida on March 15.
"Besides serving up a heap of red meat for political junkies in the state, a competitive Florida primary raises a host of questions:"
♦ Will Trump’s current lead in Florida polls hold up or will his meteoric candidacy flame out during the long slog of 20 or so state primaries before March 15?

♦ Can Rubio gain momentum following his strong showing in Iowa and arrive in his home state’s primary as the favorite to take all of Florida’s 99 Republican delegates?

♦ And can former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, who picked up just one delegate in Iowa, survive long enough to mount a comeback in the state that boosted him onto the national stage.

And that’s just the Republicans.

"Candidates keep half an eye on Florida as primary season marches on."

"Takeaways From Iowa and Why it Matters in Florida‭." The Sun Sentinel editors: "After Iowa, Florida candidates hopeful -- and desperate."

"Cantera Doubles Down on Term Limits Pledge"

Kevin Derby: "Now running for the Republican nomination in the U.S. Senate race, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera doubled down on his commitment to serve only two terms on Wednesday regardless if a the Constitution is amended for term limits." "Carlos Lopez-Cantera Doubles Down on Term Limits Pledge."

A bad year

"2016 could be a down year for South Florida’s economy."

Demings holds 20 point lead over Thompson in CD 10

"Former Orlando police chief Val Demings holds a commanding lead of more than 20 points over her nearest Democratic rival in the race for Florida’s newly drawn 10th Congressional District, according to a new poll commissioned by her campaign." "Demings campaign poll shows commanding position in Orlando race."

Charter madness

"Charter schools would fall under more accountability and performance guidelines under a bill by a Lakeland lawmaker that cleared a Senate education committee Tuesday."

Those guidelines include automatic closure of schools that get two consecutive “F” grades from the state and prohibiting charter schools from denying a student enrollment based on the student’s current or previous academic performance.

It would also allow charter school companies with an established high performance record to receive incentives and go through a more streamlined process to open new schools.

"Florida lawmakers advance bill changing charter school process."

"Legislators could carry concealed"

"Legislators could carry concealed in official meetings" "Florida lawmakers add significant change to open-carry gun proposal."

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

Marc Caputo: "Demings leads in CD-10 Dem race -- What the exit polls say about Rubio – Jeb takes on Trump – Scott’s tax-cut cornhole challenge – ‘BANANA’ BRAIN: Haiti’s president sang what?" "Florida Playbook."

"Back to the Past with Rubio"

"Back to the Past with Marco Rubio?" Background: "For a candidate who’s almost preoccupied with rhetoric about the 'future' and his willingness to break with old, 20th-century ideas, Rubio’s approach to energy policy is almost comically stale – the Republican wants to drill everywhere, pretend the climate crisis doesn’t exist, and scrap safeguards intended to protect the public." "Rubio looks backward, again, for his policy agenda."