Saturday, March 19, 2016

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

Bondi disses Jeb! . . . And then there's her Trump University problem

Joe Henderson wonders "what Bondi was doing by endorsing Donald Trump when he campaigned here Monday."

We all know that in politics, ambitious people like Bondi do what they have to do to get ahead. By endorsing Trump, Bondi may have her eye on a high-level job in his administration if he is elected, or some other quid pro quo. Isn’t that exactly why people hate politicians? They see them as lacking principles and conviction for anything except their next job.

I just don’t see how one minute you can praise Bush’s “character of leadership” and then endorse the man who treated him like a foot wipe.

"Bondi’s endorsement also brought up questions she probably thought were long buried."
In her first term as Florida’s attorney general, allegations surfaced about potential fraud with Trump University. A lawsuit in New York alleged more than 5,000 people had been scammed out of an estimated $40 million on the false belief that lessons from The Donald would bring them wealth. There were similar complaints in Florida, but Bondi never investigated.

As questions about the Trump venture began getting some traction here, a committee known as “Justice For All” backing Bondi received a $25,000 check from Trump’s foundation. Probably just a coincidence.

Trump is almost certainly going to be the GOP nominee for president. The people voting in his party have spoken loudly that he is the guy they want. So be it. Bondi went for Jeb Bush. She endorsed Jeb Bush. She said lots of nice things about Jeb Bush. . . .

In politics, though, I guess you can change your bet after the horses leave the gate.

"Bondi's endorsement of Trump was slap in face to Jeb Bush."

DWS crosses her fingers

Nancy Smith: "They say at least one-third of the nation's Republicans believe that Donald Trump can save America. Well, I don't know about all of America. But I do believe there's at least one American Trump could save if he emerges from Cleveland as the GOP presidential nominee -- Debbie Wasserman Schultz." "Debbie Wasserman Schultz ... Praying Donald Trump Will Save Her."

Grayson to spend weekend in surgery, having knives removed from his back

"Patrick Murphy Unveils Endorsements of 46 Congressional Democrats."

Must-read briefing on what's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State

Marc Caputo: "Trump’s big FL win puts Rs ‘in a bind’ – Rubio close to Cruz endorsement – The many meals of Rep. Mica – Tampa decriminalizes marijuana -- State catches ton of pythons with ‘snitch snakes’." "Florida Playbook."

Rubio's arrogance and sloth"

Scott Maxwell "It's too early to write Rubio's political obituary. This country has seen politicians indicted, imprisoned and still re-elected. Rubio's crimes were more arrogance and sloth." "Marco Rubio: The anatomy of a campaign collapse."

Florida Republican Party looks in the mirror . . . doesn't like what it sees

"Republican candidates across Florida are in a quandary over Donald Trump. . . . So many are just shutting up. At least for now." "GOP pols in a quandary over Trump’s big Florida win."

Mr. empty suit goes to Washington

"Marco Rubio Backs More Sanctions on Iran." More: "Out of race, Rubio returns to the Senate."

Heated GOP primary in Naples

"Sen. Garrett Richter announced Friday he is backing Rep. Kathleen Passidomo in a heated GOP primary for a Naples state Senate seat. Passidomo is running in the primary against fellow Republican Rep. Matt Hudson. Both live in Collier County, and the race is considered a match between the city of Naples itself, where Passidomo lives, and the outlying areas, where Hudson hails from." "Richter backs Passidomo to succeed him."

Dirty underwear

"A Tampa woman’s federal lawsuit over an investigation that led to the resignation of former CIA director David Petraeus is collapsing after her lawyers asked a judge today to let them withdraw from the case."

The lawyers cited irreconcilable differences, just weeks after the Justice Department declined a secret $4.35 million settlement proposal.

Jill Kelley of Tampa, along with her husband, Scott, had sued the government in June 2013 in Washington, alleging that officials violated the U.S. Privacy Act by disclosing information about them during the FBI’s investigation of Petraeus.

The first signs that Sidley Austin LLP, a prominent corporate law firm, and Sands Anderson PC, which handled related parts of the lawsuit, intended to abandon the case were in a brief court docket entry directing Kelley by next week to hire new lawyers, object to hers quitting or advise the judge that she planned to represent herself going forward.

"Jill Kelley had complained to the FBI in 2012 when an unknown person sent her harassing emails. Her complaint triggered a criminal investigation that led agents to Paula Broadwell, Petraeus’ biographer. "
Broadwell had been having an affair with him. Jill Kelley’s name and some harassing emails were disclosed on Nov. 11, 2012, to reporters amid the sensational disclosures about Petraeus, a former Army general. Two days later, she was linked to Marine Gen. John R. Allen, then-commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
"Lawyers abandon Jill Kelley’s federal lawsuit over Petraeus resignation."