Sunshine State News Blogs
On Tuesday, Lutz businessman and consultant Scott Landry Jr. filed to run against Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, as a Democrat. The seat Lee currently holds represents parts of Hillsborough County and is generally considered to lean Republican.
“I’m really excited to do it,” Landry, a first time candidate, told Sunshine State News on Tuesday. “I saw there was a need.”
Landry said he had talked to business owners in the district and found they were concerned about the direction of the state government.
“People weren’t happy with the leadership in Tallahassee,” Landry said. He vowed to “alleviate pressures on small business” and fight for job creation.
If he sounds like more of a conservative on fiscal issues, Landry should appeal to Democrats on social issues. “I’ve always been one to look for equal opportunities,” he said, including more support for equality for gays and lesbians.
Former Congressman Allen West is now turning his fire towards entertainer Bill Cosby.
Over the weekend, Cosby took to the pages of the New York Post to argue against apathy and to support New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s crackdowns on smoking and unhealthy foods and soda. Towards the end of his piece, Cosby pointed towards Muslims as positive role models.
I’m a Christian. But Muslims are misunderstood. Intentionally misunderstood. We should all be more like them. They make sense, especially with their children. There is no other group like the Black Muslims, who put so much effort into teaching children the right things, they don’t smoke, they don’t drink or overindulge in alcohol, they protect their women, they command respect. And what do these other people do?
They complain about them, they criticize them. We’d be a better world if we emulated them. We don’t have to become black Muslims, but we can embrace the things that work.
We need people, not just in the church but in the community, who are not afraid to speak up because they want to hear a child’s laughter — not a child’s blood-curdling scream because a bullet hit them. We want them playing outside.
This promptly drew heavy fire from West, a favorite of the tea party movement, who has been raising his profile in recent weeks. West took to Facebook on Monday to slam Cosby’s take on Muslims:
In the latest version of cultural relativism and Islamic appeasement, “comedian” Bill Cosby wrote in a NY Post op-ed that "we should all be more like Muslims." Cosby said "There is no other group like black Muslims who put so much effort into teaching children the right things, they don't smoke, they don't drink or overindulge in alcohol, they protect their women, they command respect.”.Well, Mr.Cosby, I remember a time when black families -- and I mean two-parent homes -- raised their children just that way, I am living proof. When we allowed the breakdown of the black family to occur because of progressive socialist policies, such as welfare checks for having children out of wedlock, we committed familial suicide and now have third generation welfare. I’m not into condemning America, anti-Semitism, honor killings, spousal beatings (sanctioned by the Koran), killing American troops at Ft Hood, beheadings, and rampant assaults on Christians -- read up about Boko Haram in Nigeria. What a doggone ignorant statement Mr. Cosby. Please tell me you were making a joke?
U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, R-FL, announced on Tuesday morning that he plans to amend the immigration reform bill to ensure that residential provisional immigrants (RPI’s) need to be proficient in English to receive a green card.
“On the day we announced the principles that would shape the immigration bill, we made it clear that English proficiency would now be required for permanent residency for the first time in American history,” said Rubio. “This amendment ensures that will be the case.
“Since the bill was introduced two months ago, the open and transparent process it has undergone has elicited constructive criticisms to improve it,” Rubio continued. “This is one of the bill’s shortcomings that came to light, which we can now fix.”
In recent days, despite his prominent role in crafting the bill and supporting it in national media appearances, Rubio has expressed reservations about it, including calling for amendments to increase border security. As he still considers running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, Rubio continues to try to craft the immigration reform bill while ensuring conservatives aren’t too displeased with the overall product. It’s a tricky balancing act and Rubio’s efforts promise to be one of summer’s the more interesting political dramas.
Students who receive a 3 or higher on their FCAT will be receiving congratulatory notes from Gov. Rick Scott in addition to their score reports. The notes will go out to any student who receives a 3 or higher on any section of the FCAT 2.0. Students who earned a 3.5 or higher on the FCAT 2.0 writing section will also receive a congratulatory letter from the governor, according to the Florida Department of Education.
The letter will read:
"As Governor, I want to commend you for your excellent work on the statewide assessment. Your efforts and the outstanding work of your teachers have led to your on-grade-level performance on this important assessment. I am proud of your hard work this year, and I know your teachers and family are proud of you as well. I encourage you to keep up the good work. Doing well in school is the first step to success in life, and your progress this school year indicates that you are gaining the skills you need to pursue the education and career of your dreams."
Students who achieve perfect scores on their FCAT exam will also receive a certificate of achievement signed by Gov. Scott.
“It is important to recognize student achievement and Governor Scott wants them to know he appreciates their hard work,” wrote state Education Department press secretary Cheryl Etters. “His personal congratulations recognize the student’s academic performance and encourages them to keep doing well in school.”
Education has been a huge priority for Gov. Scott, who strongly advocated for teacher pay raises during this year's legislative session. He will be running for re-election in 2014.
Don’t look know but Ed Markey is starting to sweat in the battle for an open U.S. Senate seat in Massachusetts later this month.
Earlier polls showed Markey with a double-digit lead but two polls released on Monday show the Democratic congressman with a smaller margin over Republican challenger Gabriel Gomez in the special election for the seat vacated when John Kerry became secretary of state.
Suffolk University released a poll showing Markey with 48 percent and Gomez with 41 percent with the rest undecided or backing minor candidates.
“Ed Markey continues to lead but the margin has dwindled,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, on Monday. “Markey’s core ballot test number has fallen below 50 percent and recent Obama administration scandals, especially the Associated Press phone records scrutiny, have touched a nerve with likely voters who are holding back or no longer supporting Markey and President Obama with the same intensity.”
The poll of 500 likely Massachusetts voters was taken from June 6-9 and had a margin of error of +/- 4.4 percent.
Meanwhile, another poll released on Monday shows Markey with an even smaller lead. Republican pollster McLaughlin and Associates released a poll with Markey leading with 45 percent and Gomez right behind him with 44 percent. That poll finds Gomez in solid shape with 48 percent seeing the Republican as favorable and 27 percent viewing him as unfavorable. Markey is treading water with 42 percent viewing the veteran Democrat congressman as favorable and the same percent of voters seeing him as unfavorable.
“With less than three weeks to go to Election Day, Gabriel Gomez has the momentum in the race,” pollster John McLaughlin insisted. “Gomez’s high favorable ratings will be a strong asset over Markey’s high unfavorable ratings in this neck-and-neck race.
The poll of 400 likely Massachusetts voters was taken from June 5-6 and had a margin of error of +/- 4.9 percent.
Republicans can certainly compete in Massachusetts on occasion. Look at victories in recent years for William Weld and Mitt Romney. Republican Scott Brown won the special election for Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat back in 2010. But Democrats have the advantage in the Bay State and no other pollster is showing the race as tight as McLaughlin is.
The special election will be held on June 25.
The Florida Department of Environmental Protection announced on Monday that the Florida State Parks are a finalist for the 2013 National Gold Medal Awards for Excellence in Park Recreation Management by the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration in partnership with the National Recreation and Park Association.
“More than 20 million people visit our award-winning state parks each year to enjoy the beauty of Florida’s beaches, springs, rivers and wooded areas,” said DEP Secretary Herschel T. Vinyard on Monday. “Governor Scott and I once again congratulate DEP’s Florida State Parks for being named a National Gold Medal Finalist, as our Florida State Parks continue to show off the vast natural resources that our state has to offer.”
Florida is battling Missouri, North Carolina and Virginia for the award which will be presented in Houston in October.
U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., is not happy that a National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) assessment will be released next week, arguing it could shrink the 28-day red snapper season currently in place for the Gulf.
“NOAA’s release next week of a recently conducted stock assessment on Gulf red snapper should confirm the concerns of local fishermen already painfully aware that the current system is broken,” Southerland said on Monday. “This stock assessment should have been completed and presented to the Gulf Council before the last meeting in April, not in the middle of a season that is already two weeks under way. The best way to restore certainty for Gulf fishermen rocked by three changes to their snapper season this year is to extend their season into the peak July vacation period.
“Stock assessments on economically valuable fish like red snapper should be conducted responsibly, reaffirming certainty for coastal economies that are in desperate need of it,” Southerland added. “It’s inexcusable that regulators demand accountability from our citizens without a reasonable expectation that we receive the same accountability from regulators.”
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has been appearing a great deal on national cable shows in the past few days, mostly to weigh in on immigration reform. But he’s also been pushing his proposed amendment to the Constitution taking aim at President Barack Obama’s health care law.
Rubio appeared on “The 700 Club” on Monday to pitch his proposed “Right to Refuse” amendment. He explained why, after a Supreme Court ruling last year upholding the law, the amendment was needed.
“Under the ruling the Supreme Court had, if tomorrow the federal government decided every American must have a smart phone, and if you don’t we are going to tax you for not having a smart phone, they can do that under the logic of this ruling,” Rubio said. “So obviously health care is a much bigger issue. So we are basically filing a constitutional amendment which says that you can’t do that, that the government cannot compel Americans to buy a service or a good by punishing them for not doing it.”
A new Rasmussen Reports poll released Monday shows over half of Americans distrust the president, executive branch, Congress and federal judges to make sure national surveillance programs are abiding by the Constitution.
Last week, reports surfaced detailing a program by the National Security Agency to collect millions of Americans’ phone records. President Obama attempted to assure Americans that “nobody is listening to your telephone calls.” He went on to defend the surveillance programs, saying some encroachments of privacy were a “necessary trade-off for security.” Obama claimed the surveillance efforts were enacted to protect against terrorism.
But the new poll suggests more than half (52 percent) of Americans distrust the president and other branches of the government to make sure the program abides by the Constitution. Only 30 percent said they trust the government to do so.
On top of that, 68 percent believe the government is listening in on their phone conversations, despite the president saying otherwise.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on June 8-9. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.
Jorge Bonilla, a Navy veteran who also served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve, announced on Monday that he is seeking the Republican nomination to challenge U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla. Bonilla, a court interpreter, is hoping his Puerto Rican heritage will help win over the growing population of Puerto Ricans in Central Florida.
“I’m running because as a new father, I am deeply concerned about the direction that our country is headed in,” Bonilla said. “Our current leadership is projecting weakness to our enemies abroad, and overt hostility to our most cherished allies.
“At home we are beset by scandal, after scandal, after scandal, all of which arise out of a government that has run out of control and is seemingly unaccountable to ‘we the people.’ The central question of the 2014 election is this: Are we the people still capable of self-rule, or do we abandon the American revolution and concede that a small, connected elite from Washington, D.C., and New York, is better capable of running our lives than we are ourselves?” Bonilla continued. “This is America, guys. We can do better. We must do better, and we will do better. I know the road ahead is tough, but if you join me I know that we can work hard to restore America’s promise, and secure America’s future.”
Bonilla does not have an open shot at the Republican nomination. Carol Platt, best known for her work with the Osceola County Realtor Association, is also seeking the Republican nomination. Grayson has a primary challenge from Navy veteran Michael McKenna.
Grayson has been one of the chief beneficiaries of redistricting in Florida. After losing to Republican Ric Keller in 2006, Grayson bounced back to edge the incumbent in 2008, beating him by 4 percent. But 2010 was a different story as Republican Dan Webster trounced Grayson, beating him 56 percent to 38 percent. Grayson rebounded yet again in 2012 in a new district, beating Republican Todd Long 63 percent to 37 percent. Based on his latest performance, Grayson starts out as the favorite as he gears up to 2014. The new district simply fits Grayson better than his previous one.
A poll from Quinnipiac University finds Booker far ahead of his Democratic rivals. With 53 percent, Booker crushed two congressmen -- Rush Holt and Frank Pallone -- while 23 percent are undecided. Holt takes 10 percent and Pallone garners 9 percent. The poll was taken before New Jersey state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver jumped in the race.
All of the Democrats have leads over Republican Steve Lonegan but Booker’s is far more impressive. Booker routs Lonegan, 52 percent to 27 percent. Pallone is ahead 39 percent to 29 percent while Holt appears the weakest Democrat, beating Lonegan by only 36 percent to 31 percent.
"It's Newark Mayor Cory Booker in a runaway in this first look at the special election to fill the U.S. Senate seat held by the late Frank Lautenberg," said Maurice Carroll, director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, on Monday. "Who are those other guys? The record shows that Congressmen Frank Pallone and Rush Holt are big in their districts, but, statewide, no one knows them.
"Steve Lonegan gets the close-to-one-third Republican vote against any of the other three. He's up there with Pallone and Holt on the anonymity scale," Carroll continued. "Two cautionary notes: Booker has the recognition but does he have -- as the two Democratic congressmen do -- an organization? What effect will state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver have on our next poll?"
National Republicans often make noise about doing more in New Jersey but they have’t carried it in a presidential election since 1988. They’ve had their chances to be sure. Despite being severely outspent, Bob Franks lost to Jon Corzine in the 2000 Senate election by only 3 percent. Still, the only New Jersey Republicans who have held a Senate seat were appointed -- Jeffrey Chisea was appointed last week by Gov. Chris Christie and Nicholas Brady, best known for being Treasury secretary under Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush, was appointed for a brief tenure in 1982. This poll offers little hope that a Republican will be able to pick up this seat if, as seems very likely, Booker is the nominee.
The poll of 858 New Jersey voters was taken from June 7-9 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percent. The survey of 306 Democrats had a margin of error of +/- 5.6 percent.
On Monday, Gov. Rick Scott announced that GardaWorld Cash Services has employed more than 500 Floridians in the two years since moving its American headquarters from California to Boca Ration.
“During our mission to Canada that I led in 2011, I was proud to announce that GardaWorld’s USA headquarters was buying a one way ticket from California to Florida,” Scott said on Monday. “While GardaWorld was initially going to create 100 jobs, they have quintupled their workforce by creating 500 jobs in the Sunshine State. To those who wonder whether our international missions work, we’ve got one message: it’s working.”
“We are thrilled to have Governor Scott with us today, celebrating the continued growth of GardaWorld in the state of Florida,” said Chris Jamroz, the president of GardaWorld Cash Services. “We are excited to be headquartered in a state that offers a large pool of skilled and educated workforce to support our continued growth. Our success is a testament to the dedication of our team, and the quality services we provide to help our customers to profitably manage the cash needs of their business.”
Scott recently concluded a trade mission to Chile and continues to ask companies across the nation and around the globe to consider expanding or relocating to Florida.
Florida Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio continues to insist that if more border security is not added as part of his immigration reform bill, he would be open to voting against the measure he has publicly championed.
Appearing on Univision on Sunday, Rubio offered his thoughts on the bill.
“I am 100 percent committed to the immigration issue, immigration reform,” Rubio said. “Quite the opposite, I will continue to work to make sure that it doesn’t come to that. My point is that if we don’t have those -- if we cannot secure the border, if we cannot take the necessary steps to earn our colleagues’ trust, this will never become law. We’re wasting our time. But I don’t think it will come to that. I simply think that if we can arrive at a reasonable measure -- of course, it has to be something reasonable -- to secure the border and prevent any sort of wave of illegal immigration in the future, that we’re going to have more than enough votes to be able to accomplish it.”
Asked about border security measures, Rubio said they were needed to win over senators from both parties.
“There are four, five Democrats who are also asking for it in the Senate,” Rubio insisted. “And the point is the following: What they want are details on exactly where those resources are going to be used because, yes, there are sectors of the border that are much more secure, but there are others that aren’t. For example, the area of Tucson, Ariz. So what they’re asking is that it not be left to the discretion of the administration or agencies, but that the law specifically says where and how those resources will be used so that there is no waste and that the ... the errors of the past are not repeated.”
Most American voters -- more than half -- are opposed to the government’s secret collection of phone records, according to a new Rasmussen Reports poll released Sunday.
Just last week, it was revealed that the National Security Administration had collected the phone records of millions of Verizon Communications customers -- many of them Americans. The Obama administration defended the seizure of the records, claiming they were used as part of U.S. counterterrorism efforts.
According to the poll results, 52 percent of Americans believe the U.S. government is spying too much on its citizens. Twenty-eight percent say the level of spying is just about right.
Americans are also paying attention to the news reports on the U.S. government’s snooping -- nearly 70 percent of Americans are following the news reports either somewhat closely or very closely.
The survey of 1,000 Likely Voters was conducted on June 6-7. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.
The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) continues to attack former Gov. Charlie Crist on a number of fronts. Having held three state offices as a Republican, Crist left the GOP to run for the U.S. Senate with no party affiliation in 2010. At the end of 2012, Crist joined the Democrats and it is widely expected that he will challenge Gov. Rick Scott under his new party’s banner.
With national Democrats holding high hopes for Gwen Graham, who is running against U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., the RPOF is looking to remind voters about Crist’s past history. While Crist is a supporter of Graham, he ran against her father -- former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Bob Graham -- for a U.S. Senate seat back in 1998.
"Just 19 days ago, Charlie hosted a fundraiser for Gwen Graham, the daughter of former Democratic Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham,” Lenny Curry, the chairman of the RPOF, said on Monday. “He called him one of Florida's 'giants' who 'cares about Florida and America's future.' But 15 years ago today, Crist attacked Bob Graham for increasing taxes and letting criminals out of jail early. So the question for Crist is this: Do you still believe that Bob Graham is a tax hiker and soft on crime?"
During his almost two decades in the Legislature, Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, has taken on the Republican leadership more than a few times. Still, House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, must have some appreciation of Fasano’s experience. On Monday, Fasano revealed Weatherford had named him to the Housing Development Corporation of Florida’s Board of Directors.
“I am honored that Speaker Weatherford has asked me to represent the Florida House on this important board,” Fasano said. “I look forward to working with my fellow board members to acquire the funds needed to serve as many people as possible. The need for affordable housing in Florida is great and good leadership will maximize the impact of limited public dollars.”
On Friday, Gov. Rick Scott looked back on the trade mission to Chile he led last month and noted it has already generated more than $39 million in expected sales and $30 million in exports.
“During last month’s trade mission to Chile, we focused on connecting Florida businesses and organizations with opportunities to work with Chilean companies,” Scott said. “Because of these new opportunities, Florida’s economy and the families of our state will benefit. I am excited to announce that our trade mission to Chile was a success and these expected sales totals will only continue to grow. It is clear from these numbers that when it comes to trade missions – it’s working.”
Scott also noted that Crystal Lagoons was relocating from Chile to Miami, and the Atton Hotel -- a Chilean company -- would be opening a hotel in Miami. Other members of his administration also deemed the mission to Chile a success.
“The partnership opportunities available to companies that attend these missions are unmatched,” said Secretary of Commerce Gray Swoope, the president and CEO of Enterprise Florida. “Florida’s small businesses have a unique advantage over those in other states due to our proximity to and strong relationships with Latin America and the Caribbean. Missions like the one to Chile capitalize on that advantage by putting our business leaders face-to-face with those international companies and organizations.”
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., did an interview with Catholic network EWTN on Friday in which he shared his thoughts on immigration refom and how his religious faith guides his decision-making.
“As a policymaker, I have an obligation to the United States of America as well to ensure that it’s safe and secure,” Rubio said in the interview. “And so what I’m saying is, let’s do both. Let’s provide certainty for these folks so they can get legalized and begin to work and let’s not condition that on anything but them having to pass a background check – we all agree we don’t want dangerous criminals here. They have to pay a fine because there has to be consequences for wrongdoing, and they have to get in line behind the people who have done it the right way because we don’t want to punish those who have done it the right way. But they will get their legal status. They’re going to get to work, they’re going to get to travel, they will no longer be illegally here, and they’re going to have certainty.
“On the border side, however, we have a national security obligation to this country to ensure that we secure our borders for our own sovereignty, for our own security, and to ensure that there isn’t another wave of illegal immigration in the future,” Rubio continued. “And I think we can balance and achieve both of these things, and I think that the final product is something that the bishops will be able to support.”
Raymond Arroyo of EWTN asked Rubio how much his faith guided him on this issue.
“Let me tell you, it is all rooted to some respect in my faith, and also in my personal knowledge of this issue,” Rubio replied. “When you ask about my faith, look, my faith tells me that God has a plan for all of us and our job is to cooperate with that plan, to have faith, to do what we believe our conscience tells us is right, and let the chips fall where they may. So at the end of the day, what’s going to happen here is God’s will, that’s always going to happen. And the question is whether we cooperate [with] that in the spirit of faith or do we want to go off with our plan and charter our own course and our own life. You know, that’s not just the story with immigration reform, that’s the story of our life. That’s truly the purpose of our life is to be the best version of ourselves that we can be, to be who God created us to be. And that requires us to have faith that if you do the right thing, God’s plan is going to work out.”
On Friday, the Republican Party of Iowa announced that U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas will be appearing at an event on their behalf in Des Moines on July 19. With Iowa being the first caucus state, this will only increase speculation that Cruz will run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016.
That’s not the only event Cruz has scheduled in Iowa. At another event in July, Cruz -- along with possible 2016 rival U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky. -- will be speaking to evangelical leaders in Iowa.
If he runs, Cruz could be a major player, especially in Iowa where social and religious conservatives can propel a candidate to victory in the Republican caucus. Just look at Mike Huckabee’s and Rick Santorum’s wins in Iowa the last two election cycles.
On Friday, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., demanded President Barack Obama provide answers after reports emerged that the National Security Agency (NSA) gathered information on Americans from phone records from AT&T, BellSouth and Verizon
“The American people don’t want the government snooping into their private lives,” said Buchanan, who is a member of the Privacy Caucus. “They deserve answers as to why this amount of information was deemed vital to national security.
“Our strength as a nation flows from the values and freedoms laid out in the Constitution, including the right against unreasonable searches and seizures,” Buchanan added.
“It is a slippery slope if we allow our basic freedoms to be eroded in the name of security,” said Buchanan in conclusion. “I urge the president to explain to all Americans why these intrusive programs are necessary in combating threats of terrorism.”
U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., one of the leading Republican voices in Washington on international affairs, joined with 10 Republican colleagues to write Secretary of State John Kerry on Friday and demand North Korea be redesignated as a State Sponsor of Terrorism (SST).
“North Korea continues to cooperate with fellow SST regimes such as Iran and Syria, sends weapons to Hezbollah and other terrorist organizations, and continues to threaten the United States and our allies South Korea and Japan," Ros-Lehtinen said on Friday. “The North Korean regime has a history of gross violations of its international obligations, undermining U.S. interests in the region, and pursuing its nuclear weapons capabilities. It was a mistake to take North Korea off the SST list and redesignating them will help sanction and prohibit financial institutions from doing business with this rogue regime and send a strong message to Pyongyang that its belligerence will no longer be tolerated.”
Nearly three quarters of Americans say the government should allow free speech without interference, according to a Rasmussen Reports poll released Thursday.
The poll asked voters whether they thought the government should decide what types of hate speech should be banned. One-third of respondents said the government should be allowed to step in and regulate so-called hate speech, but the majority said the government should be hands-off with regulating hate speech. Rasmussen Reports did not define “hate speech” for the respondents.
The majority of voters also believe giving people the right to free speech is more important than making sure people aren’t offended by what others say.
Thursday’s poll results follow a related poll released Wednesday that found nearly 56 percent of American voters view the government as a threat rather than a protector of individual rights. Only 30 percent of respondents in the poll believe the feds are protecting individual rights.
The survey of 1,000 adults was conducted on June 3-4. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.
U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., announced at the end of May that she will not run for another term in Congress -- but opened the door to running for other offices, including another bid at the presidency.
Bachmann appeared on Sean Hannity’s show on Fox News on Thursday in her first interview since announcing she would be leaving Congress in 2014. While she slammed President Barack Obama and looked back at her time in Congress, Bachmann insisted she would remain active in public life.
“I’m not retiring, I‘m not going silent,” Bachmann told Hannity. “I may run for another office, that could happen.” While insisting she had “no definitive plan right now,” Bachmann added “I’m wide open and looking.”
Despite flopping in the 2012 presidential contest, Bachmann did not rule out another presidential bid when Hannity asked her about it. "I'm not taking anything off of the table," Bachmann said, adding “that's certainly not my No. 1 item that I'm looking at right now either. I'm in the game for the long haul.”
I wish Sen. Dianne Feinstein were a Floridian. I'd like to rip her right now. Figuratively speaking, of course.
The California senator is putting politics ahead of the United States Constitution, and thank goodness, it's getting noticed.
Feinstein emerges as a key defender of the administration in collecting everyone's call data.
The Obama administration is saying that without any individual suspicion of wrongdoing -- none at all -- the government is allowed to know who Americans are calling every time they make a phone call, for how long they talk and from where.
And this is OK with the Democratic senior senator from the Golden State.
As chairwoman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, Feinstein is supposed to be preventing this sort of overreaching. But she argued on Thursday that the authorities need this information in case someone might become a terrorist in the future. Then she went on to say she actually didn't know how the data being collected was used.
As the New York Times said in its powerful Obama administration condemnation editorial, "This sort of tracking can reveal a lot of personal and intimate information about an individual. To casually permit this surveillance -- with the American public having no idea that the executive branch is now exercising this power -- fundamentally shifts power between the individual and the state, and it repudiates constitutional principles governing search, seizure and privacy."
That's what I mean: Too much politics from Feinstein, too little respect for the Constitution.
While there were 175,000 new nonfarm jobs in May, the national unemployment rate slipped upward, from 7.5 percent in April to 7.6 percent in May, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday. The bureau insisted this left the economy "essentially unchanged."
The bureau found new jobs in retail, hospitality, health care, food services and professional and business services. There was a decline of federal employees in May. With more than 11 million Americans still out of work, 420,000 new Americans joined the workforce in May.
Florida sugar farmers invite viewers to visit their farms through a new, short video that showcases their successful efforts to help restore the Everglades.
Florida Crystals, U.S. Sugar Corp. and Sugar Cane Growers Cooperative of Florida have combined in an outreach program to educate viewers about their more than 20-year role collaborating with the state in successful restoration efforts and to celebrate the landmark state legislation that will complete the final phase of Everglades restoration.
For more than two decades, Florida sugar farmers have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to implement advanced farming methods, called Best Management Practices (BMPs). The new vignette shows how farmers have rolled up their sleeves using science, technology and innovative research to preserve the Everglades ecosystem.
To view it and share it online, please visit http://youtu.be/NG3s1Fg36iA
A transcription of the video is here:
It's beautiful when science and nature work together.
And it's happening with Everglades restoration.
Sugar farmers have invested in some of the most advanced environmental research being done anywhere.
Using smart farming methods to preserve Florida's precious resources.
Now, environmentalists have joined with sugar farmers and policymakers to put the final phase of restoration in place.
Florida sugar farmers. Part of the solution.
With President Barack Obama nominating Samantha Power to serve as ambassador to the United Nation, U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., the chairwoman of the Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee and a leading Republican on foreign affairs, called for major reforms to the U.N.
“The United Nations is an institution in need of serious reform,” Ros-Lehtinen said on Friday, before taking a shot at Susan Rice who is going from the U.N. to serve as Obama’s national security adviser. “While at the U.N., Ambassador Rice was unable to institute positive changes to fix this broken system. She brought a more laissez-faire approach to a problem that needs someone willing to roll up her sleeves and make reform a priority.
“The U.N. needs someone who can work to bring true reforms to that mismanaged institution, and I hope Samantha Power has the desire and the ability to recognize what corrective actions need to be taken, and will push back and fight harder against the anti-Semitic, anti-Israel, anti-United States agenda in that body,” Ros-Lehtinen said.
U.S. Dan Webster, R-Fla., took aim at the IRS on Friday in an email to supporters.
“Like you, I’m shocked and dismayed by the recent news from Obama’s IRS, showing that officials have been targeting conservative groups in a shameful political overreach,” Webster wrote. “The IRS abused its considerable powers for political purposes, in addition to their egregious and wasteful spending that has eroded Americans' trust in government. It’s a new low, and I’m disappointed by each revelation that comes to light.”
Webster promised “ to work hard in Washington to get to the bottom of this scandal” before noting that he ranks as a top target for Democrats.
“The Democratic Campaign Committee and liberal groups such as EMILY’S List have pledged to try and defeat me – and have even placed billboards targeting me in my district … 17 months before the next election,” Webster wrote.
Webster held off a challenge from Democrat Val Demings in 2012 and there has been talk of a rematch in 2014. While Republican David Seeley has already launched a Republican primary challenge to Webster, for the moment no Democrat has emerged to take him on in 2014. That should change -- and based on Webster’s message on Friday, he is clearly expecting a major opponent from the Democratic ranks.
Both Joe Biden and Rick Santorum can claim ties to Pennsylvania as they consider running for the presidency in 2016 -- but a new poll shows neither can be called a favorite son as Hillary Clinton eclipses them both in the Keystone State.
Quinnipiac University released a poll on Friday which finds Santorum in bad shape in his home state. He’s upside down with only 39 percent viewing him as favorable while 44 percent see him as unfavorable. Democratic front-runner Clinton routs Santorum in his backyard, beating him 53 percent to 36 percent.
While he has based most of his political career in neighboring Delaware, Joe Biden, who is considering a third presidential bid in 2016, has deep roots in the Scranton area. Biden also beats Santorum but does not do as well as Clinton does against him, only leading him 46 percent to 39 percent. The poll finds 49 percent of those surveyed see Biden as favorable while 42 percent view him as unfavorable.
Rand Paul does slightly better than Santorum. The Republican senator from Kentucky is somewhat unknown in Pennsylvania with 35 percent viewing him as favorable, 30 percent as unfavorable, while 35 percent don’t know enough about him to have an opinion. Clinton crushes Paul by 15 percent in the poll but he keeps it closer against Biden. The vice president leads Paul by only 45 percent to 41 percent.
Clinton clearly is the most popular candidate in Pennsylvania despite Biden’s and Santorum’s ties to the state. A solid majority -- 56 percent -- see her as favorable while 37 percent view her as unfavorable.
"Hillary Clinton hasn't uttered a whisper about running for president, but Pennsylvanians are giving her full-throated support," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, on Friday.
Despite winning the state twice, President Barack Obama gets mixed marks in the poll, with 48 percent approving his performance in the White House and the same percentage disapproving it.
The poll of 1,032 registered Pennsylvania voters was taken from May 30-June 4 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.1 percent.
Thursday marks the 69th anniversary of D-Day, the Allied landing of Normandy and the start of the liberation of France from Nazi control. U.S. Rep. Bill Posey honored the occasion with a statement on Thursday.
“On June 6, 1944, American soldiers, joined by Allied Forces, led the charge to restore freedom and rid our world of a great tyranny,” Posey said. “We owe a debt of gratitude to these heroes who made great sacrifices to ensure that their children and grandchildren could inherit a nation – and a world – that is free and prosperous. Good stewardship of our liberty is the only fitting tribute and the greatest monument one could build.
“One of the greatest privileges that I have as a member of Congress is when my wife Katie and I are invited to join local World War II veterans as they embark on their honor flights to visit the World War II Memorial in Washington that was so late in coming,” Posey added.