Saturday, April 23, 2016

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

Trump could have a profound impact on Florida's down-ballot races

"Donald Trump's controversial views on immigration have taken their toll on Latino support for the Republican Party in Florida and could have a profound impact on down-ballot candidates this fall, according to a poll of 400 registered Latino voters released on Friday by Latino Decisions, a public opinion research group." "Poll: Trump a big turn off for Florida Latino voters, including Cubans."

More: "Immigration Is Top Issue for President and Congress, Say Florida Latinos."

Weekly Roundup

"Ever since the departure of the Pork Chop Gang --- a cadre of North Florida lawmakers who ruled state government through the middle part of the 20th Century --- the northern reaches of the state have sometimes seemed like second-tier parts of Florida." "Weekly Roundup: The North Rises Again."

Don't do us any favors, Mr. Rubio

"Rubio says he’s not interested in being vice president."

Airbnb's tax games

"The Florida Department of Revenue and tax collectors in Pinellas and four other counties have signed agreements with online home-booking agency Airbnb to collect and remit potentially millions of dollars in tourist-tax revenue that until four months ago went unpaid."

Those agreements mean that people seeking a break through Airbnb on the rising cost of hotel and motel rooms will be paying more per night because state and local tourist taxes will be tacked onto their bills.

But on the other side of the ledger, how much the online home-booking agency will be collecting and turning in each month remains an open question because of Airbnb’s insistence that the names of people renting out property on its platform be kept secret.

Airbnb even insists that its agreements with government agencies remain secret. And it wants the state and counties to forfeit any potential taxes owed prior to executing the agreements. - See more at:

"Airbnb starts paying Florida taxes but still plays by different rules.."

Learn Tampa-Cuba history

"A trail through Tampa-Cuba history."

"Work isn’t over for presidential hopefuls in the Sunshine State"

"Donald Trump may have won the Florida primary, but the work isn’t over for presidential hopefuls in the Sunshine State." "Florida GOP Heads to Final Stretch of Delegate Selection."

PBC School Board member resigns

"Palm Beach County School Board member Mike Murgio resigned Friday following a federal indictment accusing him of bribery."

His departure creates a vacancy on the seven-person board. His District 1 seat was up for re-election and before his arrest, Murgio planned to run as an incumbent. Instead, in a letter sent to school board chairman Chuck Shaw, Murgio wrote he was stepping down because his "personal situation" may create a distraction for the board and the school district.
"Indicted Palm Beach school board member Mike Murgio steps down."

Opt out "slow to grow" in Miami-Dade

"While thousands across the country boycott standardized tests in schools, the Opt Out movement has struggled to gain traction in Miami-Dade." "Movement to ‘opt out’ of standardized testing slow to grow in Miami-Dade schools."