Sunday, June 05, 2016

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

"Clinton’s big Florida presence"

"Hillary Clinton hasn't clinched her party’s presidential nominee, but her campaign is acting like it in Florida, where it has a dozen senior staffers and about 100 paid organizers who are canvassing neighborhoods and starting to register voters for the general election."

Clinton’s Florida team includes a mix of national Democratic operatives and veterans of President Barack Obama’s campaigns, which won the state twice … Florida Democrats have nervously watched as the number of active registered Republican voters started growing faster than that of Democrats since the last general election — a sign Trump’s campaign might be better organized than it gets credit for.
"Headquartered in Tampa, Clinton’s big Florida presence underscores the importance of the nation’s biggest swing state, the part-time home of Donald Trump. He probably can’t afford to lose here and expect to win the White House. Recent Florida polls show the two are essentially tied." "Eyes on general election, Clinton showcases big Florida team."

"Here comes the slime"

"Ribbons of goop arrive early this year as discharges from Lake Okeechobee foul Florida’s east and west coasts. It’s an environmental disaster." "It’s summer, and here comes the slime."

"It could cost him a circuit judgeship"

"Gun rights groups are unleashing their wrath at a Jacksonville Republican who didn’t support a measure to shift the Burden of Proof in Stand Your Ground in the Florida Legislature this year, and it could cost him a circuit judgeship." "Florida Pro-Gun Groups Add on to Derail McBurney's Judgeship Ambitions."

"Sanders vs. Wasserman Schultz tiff"

The Sun Sentinel editors: "Bernie Sanders' supporters say Debbie Wasserman Schultz is abrasive and divisive. And Sanders is a collegial unifier? To be fair, Wasserman Schultz also faces criticism from outside the Sanders camp." "Little upside in Sanders vs. Wasserman Schultz tiff."

"Sharp increase in murders, rapes"

"Florida's crime rate drops despite sharp increase in murders, rapes."

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

Marc Caputo: "Hillary’s big Florida team – FL poll: Gary Johnson might hurt Trump -- Planned Parenthood sues Florida -- Ros-Lehtinen challenger: Vote for me; here’s my arrest record." "Florida Playbook."

Sorry, Rick

"Election, not Gov. Scott, to fill judicial seat in Palm Beach County, Supreme Court rules."

"Wildly unethical for [Bondi] to accept this money"

Scott Maxwell: "New York's attorney general says the evidence is compelling that Trump's get-rich seminars — promoted in both Florida and New York — were merely a "bait and switch scheme" where people paid thousands of dollars for promised training and insight they never received."

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, however, decided not to act on similar complaints filed by Floridians.

She, however, did take money from Trump — while her office said it was "reviewing" the complaints against him. Three days after the Orlando Sentinel wrote a story in 2013 about Floridians who felt scammed by a Trump affiliate, Trump's charitable foundation gave $25,000 to one of Bondi's campaign committees.

It was wildly unethical for her to accept this money. No self-respecting prosecutor would take money from a potential target.

Bondi's office always claimed there wasn't enough evidence to make a case. But I wondered how hard her staff worked to actually find any.

So I asked to see her office's investigative reports for myself.

Her office took about four weeks to respond and then finally did so with a massive document dump — thousands of pages, many of which were exchanges with the press about why they weren't investigating now and stressing they never had. A copy of an email I sent back in 2013 was included 39 different times.

All told, they provided 8,491 pages of records.

Perhaps they thought no one would really look at them.

If so, they were wrong.

"8,491 pages raise more flags about Bondi's Trump money."

"The most exasperating politician"

The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "Sen. Marco Rubio is becoming the most exasperating politician in Florida. For starters, Rubio's refusal — so far — to run for re-election is exasperating Republican leaders. He is being encouraged to enter a race in which the GOP field lacks name recognition." "Rubio exasperates multiple factions."

Run Rick, Run!

"Scott continues to shoot down speculation he'll be Trump's running mate."