Kevin Derby's blog

At the end of last week, as the U.S. House debated the merits of using federal money to army Syrian rebels, freshman U.S. Rep. Curt Clawson, R-Fla., took to the House floor and warned about the dangers of Islamic terrorism and how the U.S. should respond to it. Clawson voted against funding the Syrian rebels which are battling Islamic State (IS) forces.
 
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U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., holds a solid lead over his Republican opponent according to a new poll.

Gravis Marketing took a poll for the East Orlando Post which shows Grayson taking 44 percent, Republican Carol Platt garnering 29 percent and Marko Milakovich, who is running with no party affiliation, with 6 percent while 21 percent of voters are undecided. The poll shows Platt is largely unknown in the Central Florida district.
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From his perch on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., unveiled a proposal to cut off federal foreign aid to the Palestinian Authority (PA) until it ends ties with terrorists. Introducing the “Foreign Assistance Accountability Act of 2014,” Yoho ripped the PA for paying salaries to terrorists and for having ties to groups like Hamas.
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Gov. Rick Scott announced Florida saw 23,000 jobs created in August but the state unemployment rate rose from 6.2 percent in July to 6.3 percent.
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Rupert Murdoch, the chairman and CEO of 21st Century Fox, appeared on Neil Cavuto’s show on Fox Business Network on Thursday and had kind words for two Republicans from Florida looking at running for the presidency.

“I am intrigued with the whole process that is happening,” Murdoch said.  “Who is going to run against Hillary on the Democratic side? If they do they will run way to the left. Will they pull her more a bit to the left, or a rather centrist position? What could happen there, how will that affect the results.
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U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., released a new TV ad on Thursday linking Democrat Gwen Graham to U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and to President Barack Obama’s health-care law.

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State CFO Jeff Atwater probably has the easiest electoral assignment of all the Florida Cabinet members come November and polls show him with a huge lead over Democrat Will Rankin. Atwater is staying positive in his campaigning so far this election cycle. On Thursday, Atwater’s team showcased a Web video in which the CFO talks about his experiences going to Omaha Beach on the 50th anniversary of D-Day back in 1994 and how it motivated him to enter public service. Atwater visited Omaha Beach with his father who was a B-51 Mustang pilot during World War Two
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On Thursday, Gov. Rick Scott announced he was appointing state Rep. Jimmy Patronis, R-Panama City, to the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) and keeping Julie Brown on it.

First elected to represent parts of the Panhandle and the Big Bend back in 2006, Patronis faces term limits in November. Earlier this year, Patronois ended a bid to replace current Florida Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Ft. Walton Beach, in the Florida Senate in 2016. Replacing Eduardo Balbis on the PSC, Patronis will start his new assignment in January 2015 and will serve for four years.
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The National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund (NRA-PVF) announced on Thursday it was backing Gov. Rick Scott for a second term, citing his strong record on the Second Amendment.

“Rick Scott has an unmatched record of support for the Second Amendment in Florida,” said Chris Cox, the NRA-PVF’s chairman. “Rick has signed more pro-gun bills into law in one term than any other governor in Florida history. Law-abiding gun owners in Florida have a true friend in Rick Scott.
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The Florida Forestry Association (FFA) announced on Thursday it was backing Gov. Rick Scott for re-election.

In the endorsement, Alan Shelby, the FFA’s executive vice president, pointed toward Scott’s work on the greenbelt assessment for agricultural land taxes.

"Gov. Scott understands that working forests work for Florida," said Shelby. "We appreciate his support of our industry's importance to the state's environment and economy.
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