Kevin Derby's blog

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is calling on three Florida Republican congressmen---Gus Bilirakis, Vern Buchanan and John Mica--to stand against increased wind subsidies. AFP is running ads in Florida newspapers urging the three congressmen to opposed these alternative energy subsidies.

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Former Sec. of State Hillary Clinton starts out 2016 as the favorite to win the Florida primary for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Gravis Marketing unveiled a new poll this past weekend showing Clinton claiming 51 percent of Florida Democrats. U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., stands in distant second with 18 percent followed by Vice President Joe Biden with 12 percent. Two governors--Martin O’Malley of Maryland and Andrew Cuomo--lag far behind. O’Malley takes 4 percent and Cuomo 2 percent.

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A poll released over the weekend shows former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., is the favorite son of Florida Republicans to be president in 2016.

Gravis Marketing unveiled a poll on Sunday which shows Bush out front with 33 percent followed by fellow Florida Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio with 14 percent. Two Republican senators--Ted Cruz of Texas and Rand Paul of Kentucky--are knotted up in third with 11 percent each.

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A senior member of the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., said he “saddened” that U.S. Defense Sec. Chuck Hagel was leaving the Obama administration.

“Chuck Hagel is a great patriot,” Nelson said on Monday. “And I believe he has been a very good secretary of defense. I’m saddened that the White House was unable to keep him.”

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U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a member of the U.S. Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and a possible contender for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, slammed the news that efforts to reach a deal to limit Iran’s nuclear program have been extended past its Monday deadline.

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With Thanksgiving looming later this week, Florida TaxWatch noted on Monday that Floridians should give thanks for the Sunshine State not being one of 14 states taxing most groceries. Still, there are some grocery items which are taxed in the Sunshine State. Florida TaxWatch released a report on Monday showing which grocery goods -- from catered items to alcohol -- are taxed.

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Harold Ickes, a close adviser to former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, spoke to the media on Friday and said if she runs for president in 2016, the Republican ticket that could give her the most problems would come from two perennial swing states: Florida and Ohio.

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A new poll shows former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., is a contender in New Hampshire, home of the first presidential primary, if former Gov. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., decides not to run for president in 2016.

A Bloomberg/St. Anslem College poll released Monday shows Romney remains the favorite in New Hampshire, which he won in 2012, with 30 percent. U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., places second with 11 percent, followed by Gov. Chris Christie, R-N.J., with 9 percent, Bush with 8 percent and a gaggle of candidates polling in low to mid single digits.

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Sen. Dorothy Hukill, R-Port Orange, unveiled three bills to cut taxes on Friday.

Noting Florida was ranked as the fourth highest wireless taxes in the nation in a recent study from the Tax Foundation, Hukill is, like she did last year, looking to roll back communications taxes.

"These taxes are paid every month and when combined with federal taxes, are an extreme burden on Florida's families and businesses," Hukill said.

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Gov. Rick Scott announced on Friday that the Sunshine State saw 32,000 new jobs in October as the state unemplyment rate dropped to 6 percent from 6.1 percent in September.

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