Sunshine State News Blogs

Conservative groups are throwing their weight around in South Florida, taking on one of the most vulnerable congressional Democrats in the nation.

Americans for Prosperity (AFP) is targeting U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., for his support of President Barack Obama’s health-care law.

On Tuesday, after Garcia launched his first TV ads of the campaign, AFP’s Florida chapter hit him with a new Web video.

Sorry, you need to install flash to see this content.

"Congressman Garcia is still supporting Obamacare, even though he's seen the disruption, confusion and hardship it's causing Florida families,” said Chris Hudson, AFP’s Florida director on Tuesday. “Congressman Garcia may claim he is working on behalf of Floridians to get them relief from the law, but the truth is he's done nothing to get rid of Obamacare, even a year after the disastrous roll-out."

Also on Tuesday, conservative group American Action Network (AAN) announced it would spend $1 million against Garcia.

“South Florida families deserve better than another scandal-plagued politician like Joe Garcia who won’t take responsibility for the criminal actions of his own chief of staff,” said Emily Davis, a spokeswoman for AAN. “It’s time Joe Garcia answers for the crimes under his watch and his record of boosting Obamacare at the expense of South Florida families.”

Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo is the Republican nominee running against Garcia in what is expected to be one of the most competitive congressional races in the nation.

Add a Comment
Florida’s two U.S. senators -- Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Marco Rubio -- teamed up on Monday to introduce a bill offering up to $10 million for information on the Islamic State (IS) terrorists who beheaded journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. They were joined by New Hampshire’s two senators -- Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Kelly Ayottee -- and U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas. The money would come from the federal Rewards for Justice Program.

“James Foley and Steven Sotloff nobly risked their lives in the pursuit of truth, and the United States will not stand idly by after two of its own were brutally murdered at the hands of fundamentally evil and freedom-hating extremists,” said Rubio on Monday. “This bill is a symbol of our commitment to their parents that America will not rest until justice is served, and let it serve as a clear message to IS that we will stop at nothing to ensure the deaths of these beloved journalists do not go unpunished.”
Add a Comment
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi will launch a new TV ad on Tuesday running in five television markets in Florida. The ad stresses Bondi’s crime-fighting credentials as she seeks a second term, focusing on her efforts against drugs.

Sorry, you need to install flash to see this content.

“Attorney General Pam Bondi has earned a national reputation in taking on synthetic drugs and running unscrupulous pill mill doctors out of Florida,” said Pablo Diaz, Bondi’s campaign manager. “This first advertisement highlights Bondi’s tough-on-crime initiatives. Florida voters will have the opportunity to learn more about her record of accomplishments and her work with law enforcement officials, who have endorsed her re-election efforts.”

Bondi faces Democratic candidate former DCF Secretary George Sheldon and Libertarian Bill Wohlsifer, an attorney from Tallahassee, in November.  

Add a Comment
The Republican Governors Association (RGA) unveiled a Web video on Monday tying attorney John Morgan to his former employee former Gov. Charlie Crist, the Democratic nominee running against Gov. Rick Scott in November. The new video features the video of Morgan rallying supporters of medical marijuana last month in which the prominent trial lawyer talked about his own experiences with marijuana and used curse words. The ad accuses Crist of wanting to name Morgan to the Florida Supreme Court.

Sorry, you need to install flash to see this content.


“Charlie Crist’s campaign, in an ongoing struggle to gain traction, is putting big-time trial lawyer John Morgan on the stump,” said Gail Gitcho from the RGA on Monday. “With little to say about Crist’s record, Morgan resorted to drunken obscenities to try to generate excitement about voting for the notorious political opportunist.

“If these are the political allies Crist keeps and would be willing to elevate to positions of authority, his judgment needs a serious course correction,” Gitcho added. “Florida deserves better than that.”
Add a Comment
Appearing on “Face the Nation” on CBS this past weekend, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was asked by Bob Schieffer about his plans for 2016. Rubio said he would put off a decision until after the November elections.

“You've been thinking obviously about whether to run for the Republican nomination in 2016,” Schieffer said. “Are you anywhere close to making a decision on that?”

“Well, you know, I'll have to make a decision in 2016 either way, because I'm up for re-election in the Senate and for me it's not going to be about the position,” Rubio answered. “It's going to be about where can I best advocate for a 21st century reform agenda that allows us to usher in another American century.

“The decision I have to make is can I best do that as a senator or can I best do that as running and hopefully winning the presidency,” Rubio added. “And that is a question I'll have more clarity on after this midterm, because I can promise you this: the one place where I will not be able to do that from is a Senate that is still run by Harry Reid, that allows no votes on anything of substance or importance.”

Add a Comment
From his perch on the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., said on Monday that it was no surprise to see, the website for President Barack Obama’s health-care law, has been hacked.

“ has been plagued with errors since day one,” Bilirakis said. "Unfortunately, it is no surprise was hacked which potentially jeopardizes the personally identifiable information of Americans. I saw this coming, which is why I introduced HR 3795, the One Hour Notification (OH No) Act, in December of 2013.”

Bilirakis’ bill would have mandated the U.S. secretary of Health and Human Services to contact any Americans whose information was compromised through within an hour, the same time frame the federal government demands of contractors working on the website. While Bilirakis’ bill did not pass, parts of it were included in the “Health Exchange Security and Transparency Act of 2014” which sailed through both chambers of Congress.
The Florida congressman continues to oppose the health care law.

“Millions of Americans were forced to sign up for the exchanges in order to avoid being fined under the individual mandate,” Biliraksi said. “They have seen their health care costs rise, lost access to the doctor or plan they liked, and now are potential victims of identity theft. Despite all this, the administration opposes legislation like mine, which would require the federal government to alert Americans when their information has been compromised. The president forced his unpopular, unworkable law on the American people which is not functioning the way he promised.”
Add a Comment
On Friday, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, called on President Barack Obama to outline a strategy to take on Islamic State (IS) forces in the Middle East. Rubio sent Obama a letter, urging him to reach out to the American people on why IS should be defeated and insisting the president had the constitutional authority to strike against IS forces in Syria without congressional approval.

“The American people and the world need to hear you outline our strategy to defeat IS in clear and unequivocal terms,” Rubio wrote. “They need to hear the truth about IS, the threat they represent, and the sacrifice and combined effort that will be needed to defeat them.

“IS represents a clear and immediate threat to the national security of the United States, which is why you should use the constitutional and legal authority you possess as commander in chief to conduct attacks to degrade and defeat IS,” Rubio continued. “Just as the U.S. has conducted operations against terrorists elsewhere, there is no legal reason preventing you from targeting IS in Syria.

“With U.S. leadership, the United States should vigorously pursue an international coalition to increase military options against IS, including increased air support and lethal assistance to Iraqi and Kurdish forces as well as a more aggressive approach to destroy supply routes, vital infrastructure and IS leadership wherever they are operating,” Rubio added.“ It is also important to increase support to moderate Syrian opposition forces currently fighting IS.

“In addition to striking IS abroad, there must be a renewed and heightened effort to secure the homeland as well. With the disturbing increase in Western fighters from Europe and the United States drawn to support IS, as well as IS’s attempts to expand their territory, we must be vigilant in working with European and Middle Eastern partners to track the flow of IS fighters and prevent the return of jihadists to Europe or the U.S.,” Rubio wrote. “This is a large challenge and one that will require considerable attention by the U.S. government and a broad coalition of allies, but it is paramount to U.S. national security.”
Add a Comment
The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) takes aim at former Gov. Charlie Crist in a new TV ad hitting the Democrat challenging Gov. Rick Scott for the unemployment rate rising during his term in office. The ad also slams Crist for deciding to forego a second term in Tallahassee to run for the U.S. Senate in 2010.

Sorry, you need to install flash to see this content.

“Four years ago, Charlie Crist abandoned the governor’s office and tried to flee to Washington, after losing almost 1 million jobs,” said Leslie Dougher, the chairwoman of the RPOF, on Friday. “The people of Florida saw through Charlie’s blatant opportunism and failed record and rejected him. But now, he’s back, and he wants his old job back, even after failing the people of Florida once before. One thing remains the same: the only job Charlie Crist cared about was his own.”
Add a Comment
Florida’s two U.S. senators will join up with their colleagues from New Hampshire to introduce a resolution next week honoring James Foley and Steven Sotloff, the two journalists beheaded by terrorists working for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).

Since Sotloff was originally from Miami, the two senators from the Sunshine State -- Democrat Bill Nelson and Republican Marco Rubio -- will be bringing out the resolution with U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte. Foley was a native of Rochester, N.H.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of James Foley and Steven Sotloff,” Nelson said on Thursday, when the senators announced their plans to introduce the resolution. “Steven’s family are my constituents and I've been in touch with them through their representative throughout this horrific ordeal. The United States needs to immediately put together a coalition and go after this group. We need to take the fight directly to them, not only in Iraq but in Syria as well.”

“It’s important that Americans never forget James Foley and Steven Sotloff, the lives they led as successful journalists, and how loved they were by their families and friends,” Rubio said. “The U.S. Senate should honor these brave men by approving this resolution as soon as Congress reconvenes next week. The American people should also never lose sight of the fact that these awful executions are only the beginning of ISIL’s plans to sow evil across the Middle East and the world, unless we stop them.”
Add a Comment
Miami-Dade Superintendent Alberto Carvalho wants the Florida Department of Education to temporarily pause testing and school grades for one year while students and teachers adjust to Common Core. 

In an op-ed published Wednesday, Carvalho wrote: "Rapid changes to the accountability system, with no consideration for the impact of multiple adjustments, have left the public confused about students’ true performance. Meanwhile, educators are concerned, doubtful and skeptical about both policy and its quick roll-out. The recent disconnect between sinking school-grade performance and improved student outcomes has only added to the confusion and heartbreak."
Testing has become a hot issue in recent weeks, with some school districts saying they want to opt out of standardized tests entirely. Carvalho does not, however, advocate for the elimination of testing. 

Carvalho urged ensuring Florida's new test is valid and reliable and also advocated to remove penalties for school grades for two years. 

"There is a high moral imperative at play that, if not addressed, will define not only who we are, but also what we value, how we tackle challenges when we know better and how we value our children and those who teach them," he wrote. "And as we, the adults, consider, debate, argue and, unfortunately, sometimes disrespect each other in this process, we should not ignore the fact that our children are watching us and shouldn’t be confused by our confusing ways." 
Add a Comment
The National Federation of Independent Business (NIFB) endorsed U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., at a campaign event in Panama City on Thursday. Southerland faces a serious challenge from Gwen Graham who Democrats see as their best chance to defeat a Republican congressman in Florida.  

“Southerland is the clear pro-small-business candidate in this critical race for District 2,”" said Bill Herrle, the Florida NFIB’s executive director. “"During his time in Congress, Southerland has fought aggressively to protect small businesses from the strangling effects of overregulation and the heavy hand of the federal government. He also understands firsthand the challenges facing our state'’s job creators, making him the ideal candidate to represent them in Washington. Our members know that Congressman Southerland is one of them, and believe he will continue to be a dependable voice for Florida’s small-business owners in Washington, D.C."
Add a Comment
The Drug Free America Foundation launched a new billboard in downtown Orlando, attacking Amendment 2, a proposal to expand medical marijuana in the Sunshine State. The ad calls out trial attorney John Morgan, one of the chief supporters of Amendment 2.
“Amendment 2 is riddled with loopholes: It is one thing to be compassionate; it’s another to be reckless,” the billboard reads. “Does John Morgan know the difference?”

For Amendment 2 to pass, it needs 60 percent of Florida voters to support it on the November ballot.

Here's a photo of the billboard:
Marijuana billboard
Add a Comment
With reports across the nation that Home Depot is the latest retailer to have faced a data breach on customer financial information, including debit and credit cards, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi told residents of the Sunshine State to keep tabs on their accounts.

“I encourage all consumers to closely monitor their credit and debit card accounts to ensure that there are no unauthorized charges,” Bondi said on Wednesday. “If anyone suspects that their personal information has been compromised, they should contact their financial institution immediately and report the possible identity theft to local law enforcement.”
Add a Comment
Amendment 2, a proposed state constitutional amendment expanding the use of medical marijuana in Florida, has gotten the support of  Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), a group of more than 150,000 supporters across the nation. LEAP came out strongly behind Amendment 2 and pushed back against criticism of the proposal from the Florida Sheriffs Association (FSA).

“Voters deserve to know that many of us in law enforcement do not wish to stand between them and their doctors when it comes to marijuana,” said Neill Franklin, the executive director of LEAP, on Wednesday. “It is a waste of taxpayer dollars to make suffering people risk arrest, a criminal record, physical danger and even poisoning on the illicit market. Like any other medicine their doctors recommend, they should be able to obtain quality medical marijuana in a safe, lawful marketplace where the proceeds are not going to benefit criminal gangs and drug cartels.”

Noting some media reports have hit the FSA for going overboard in attacking Amendment 2, Franklin said his group would fight their claims.

“As these newspapers point out, the sheriffs’ fear-mongering claims are nonsense: repeated studies over many years in states that permit medicinal marijuana have found no evidence of increased teen usage, no increase in crime -- and an actual reduction in the number of traffic fatalities,” said Franklin. “In the face of a desperate fear campaign, LEAP’s members will continue to serve the people of Florida as a ‘truth squad’ that will respond to the wild misstatements and distortions about Amendment 2.”  

Add a Comment

Wansley Walters, former secretary of the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice, has gone to work for governmental affairs lobbyists Ballard Partners, according to a Ballard news release issued Wednesday.

According to the release, Walters will co-chair the firm’s public policy team with a strategic focus on children, youth and justice issues.

“Wansley is a highly-respected voice in Florida government and she’s a proven leader with a track record of success," said Brian Ballard, president of Ballard Partners. "We are excited to bring her level of expertise and knowledge to our clients and their issues.”

Walters was appointed by Gov. Rick Scott in 2011 to serve as DJJ secretary. Ballard emphasizes that under her leadership, Florida saw the lowest juvenile crime rate in 30 years. Walters also currently serves as Scott's appointed chair of the Florida Children and Youth Cabinet.

“It is an honor to join one of the most prestigious governmental affairs firms in Florida,” said Walters. “I have been an advocate for Florida’s children and families my entire career and I look forward to continuing that work with Brian, his team and the clients at Ballard Partners.”

Walters has presented at numerous state, national and international conferences on juvenile justice. She received the 2012 Juvenile Justice Without Borders International Award presented by the International Juvenile Justice Observatory during the International Youth Justice Convention in London.

Add a Comment
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who sits on the U.S. Senate Foreign Affairs Committee, weighed in on the murder of Miami native Steven Sotloff, the journalist beheaded by Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists.

“Steven Sotloff was a man of enormous courage and decency,” Rubio said on Tuesday. “Through his journalism, he demonstrated deep personal compassion toward the Middle East and its people. He hoped to shine a light on both the good and the bad of the region – to show the world the dramatic potential of its people as well as the stark forces of evil holding them back. As Steven was a native of Florida, my office has been in contact with his family throughout their ordeal, and today my heart goes out to all who loved him as they make the painful transition from fear to grief.

“Steven’s balanced and earnest approach to journalism was met with love by many in the Middle East, but with brutal disdain by those whose tactics stood in such clear contrast to his own,” Rubio added. “Through Steven’s execution, ISIL has demonstrated yet again its limitless capacity for cruelty and its unbridled hatred of freedom-loving people everywhere. ISIL continues to establish that its violent grasp for regional control represents a threat to the American people, our allies, and the principles of freedom and human rights that we cherish.”

Rubio called for action against ISIL, including working with moderates in the Middle East in combating it and leaving the option of U.S. military strikes on the table.

“The horrifying clarity of ISIL’s message toward America should have been met from the beginning with an equally clear opposing message,” Rubio said. “ISIL is now the best funded terrorist group ever established and has large areas of territory under their control. There is no disease that becomes easier to treat the longer you wait, and as history has shown time and again, it is the same with malignant forces in global affairs. If we do not act now to assist our Iraqi partners and moderate Syrians who oppose ISIL, as well as utilize our own forces to directly target ISIL’s leadership, the result will be more suffering and tragedy for our people.”
Add a Comment
The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) released a new TV ad on Wednesday, featuring Gov. Rick Scott attacking former Gov. Charlie Crist’s record on jobs and the economy. Despite having spent most of his political life in the GOP, Crist won the Democratic primary last week and will face Scott in November.

Sorry, you need to install flash to see this content.

“Charlie Crist lost 832,000 jobs as governor, and rather than stay and fix the mess he created, he tried to run away to Washington to further his own political career,” said Leslie Dougher, the chairwoman of the RPOF, on Wednesday. “But from day one, Rick Scott has focused on solutions that help all Floridians. He’s cut taxes 40 times, including $500 million this year, and the results speak for themselves. Florida has created over 600,000 jobs in the last three years and we’re not done yet. Rick Scott’s action -- not Charlie Crist’s empty talk -- has helped Florida head in the right direction.”

The ad starts hitting Florida airwaves on Thursday.
Add a Comment
A Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/UF Bob Graham Center poll released late on Tuesday night shows Gov. Rick Scott holding the edge on former Gov. Charlie Crist, who won last week’s Democratic primary.

The poll shows Scott taking 40.9 percent, Crist with 35.7 percent and Adrian Wyllie, the Libertarian nominee, garnering 6.3 percent. When Wyllie is taken out of the mix, Scott takes 43.7 while Crist gets 37.6 percent.

Florida voters are growing more optimistic about the economy with 48.7 believing the Sunshine State is recovering while 25.2 expect a recovery soon.

The poll of 814 likely voters was taken from Aug. 27-31 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percent.
Add a Comment
From his perch on the U.S. Senate Armed Services Committee, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., announced on Tuesday he was introducing a bill giving President Barack Obama authority to launch airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) forces in Syria. Earlier in the day, Nelson said, after the murder of journalist Steven Sotloff, the U.S. needed to get active against ISIS.

“This will ensure there’s no question that the president has the legal authority he needs to use airstrikes in Syria,” Nelson said. “Let there be no doubt, we must go after ISIS right away because the U.S. is the only one that can put together a coalition to stop this group that’s intent on barbaric cruelty.”
Add a Comment
Former Gov. Charlie Crist spoke out on the murder of freelance journalist and Florida native Steven Sotloff on Tuesday. 

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Sotloff family today," Crist tweeted. "This brutal murder of an innocent man who sought to document suffering in the world demonstrates the type of evil we confront."

Sotloff, who is from the Miami area, was a student at the University of Central Florida. He was kidnapped by ISIS in 2013.

"We will defeat this evil just as we have time and again throughout our history," said Crist. 
Add a Comment
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., called for American action against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) forces on Monday after video showing the murder of journalist Steven Sotloff, a Miami native, was released on Tuesday.

“Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Steven Sotloff,” Nelson said on Tuesday. “Let there be no doubt, we must go after ISIS right away because the U.S. is the only one that can put together a coalition to stop this group that’s intent on barbaric cruelty.”
Add a Comment

Gov. Rick Scott spoke out on the brutal murder of freelance journalist and Miami native Steven Sotloff on Tuesday after a video of his alleged murder surfaced online.

Sotloff attended the University of Central Florida. He was captured in Syria by ISIS last year.

“On behalf of Ann and myself, and on behalf of all the people of Florida, we want to convey our sorrow and our condolences to the entire Sotloff family. We cannot begin to understand their grief," said Scott.

“The people who did this are evil. They are not merely wrong, they are not adversaries, they are evil. And evil must be confronted and destroyed. In fact, these immoral animals reject the basic code of human morality that crosses all cultures. This is not a political or international disagreement. It is a case of barbarians choosing to set themselves apart from the rest of humanity.

“Here is what they need to understand – Steve Sotloff was a Floridian, but more importantly he was an American. If you attack one American, you are attacking all Americans. Last week President Obama said that his administration does not at present have a strategy for dealing with ISIS – these immoral evil people.

“I think I can speak for all Floridians and all Americans when I say that the time for a strategy is now, and part of that strategy needs to include destroying them.”

Add a Comment
Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo, the Republican running against U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., in what is expected to be one of the most competitive congressional races in the nation come November, came out swinging at the Democratic congressman on Tuesday over foreign policy.

“Rather than serving as a rubber stamp for the administration’s failed foreign policy, Joe Garcia should join members of Congress from both parties in demanding that the president take strong and decisive action to protect American interests throughout the globe,” Curbelo said. “For too long America has dithered as the world has spun into chaos. We need strong leaders in Congress who will hold the president accountable for our country’s national security.”
Add a Comment
At the end of last week, U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., announced his support for Carol Platt, the Republican candidate challenging U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla., in November. Posey pointed to Platt’s background in the private sector as a reason why she will do well in Congress.

“Carol’s experience in business, balancing budgets, making payroll and having to make tough decisions will serve her very well,” Posey insisted. “We need more representatives like Carol with real-world experience and the guts to make Congress accountable.”
Add a Comment
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., has been helping Republicans across the country as they look to flip the U.S. Senate from Democratic control in November. On Tuesday, Rubio waded into another Senate race as he penned an op-ed which appeared in the Lafayette Advertiser hitting U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., on a vote over sanctions against Venezuela.

Rubio penned the piece with U.S. Rep. Bill Caddidy, R-La., who is running against Landrieu who is considered one of the most vulnerable senators in the nation.

Rubio and Cassidy wrote:

For too long, Venezuelan regime officials have been oppressing innocent Venezuelans, pillaging that country’s wealth, traveling to the U.S. to splurge, and then return to Venezuela to carry on with their repression. At the very least, it should be U.S. policy to not allow these practices to continue.

In June, the House passed its bill unanimously. Not surprisingly, the Venezuelan government opposes these sanctions and, just as the Senate was about to unanimously pass legislation to impose them earlier this month, Maduro’s regime succeeded in finding a senator to block them: Mary Landrieu.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee assured Landrieu that the bill would not affect Louisiana jobs and has no bearing on Citgo’s operations in the U.S.

When the Senate reconvenes in September, she and the Democratic majority will face an important choice about whether the U.S. will continue to stand up for human rights, or whether we will allow repressive strongmen like Nicolas Maduro to dictate America’s human rights policy.

This issue and this sanctions legislation is about human rights and is specifically targeted at individuals in Venezuela’s government who abuse them. It has nothing to do with jobs and energy policy.

It has to do with responding to the violent crackdowns we’ve seen in the streets of Caracas, and standing in solidarity with young Venezuelan leaders like Leopoldo Lopez, who’s been sitting in jail for months for opposing the regime so passionately and courageously. It has nothing to do with a Citgo oil refinery in Louisiana, as Landrieu and the Venezuelan regime would like Louisianans to believe.

While many honest, hard-working Americans are currently employed by Citgo, the reality is that a request by its officers to block or weaken this legislation is as good as a request from the highest levels of the Venezuelan government. Therefore, the U.S. Senate should move to vote on this bill in September without any special carve-outs for Venezuela’s human rights violators.

In recent times, our two states -- Florida and Louisiana -- have seen the lengths to which the Chavez-Maduro regime in Venezuela will go to entrench itself in power. When Venezuela held its most recent presidential “election,” in October, 2012, the regime chose New Orleans as its expatriate polling location for Venezuelans living in the U.S. who were eligible to vote.

To enhance participation, the regime could have chosen South Florida, which is home to the largest Venezuelan community in the U.S. Instead, the regime opted to make it harder -- and make travel longer -- for all these Venezuelans who have escaped Chavez’s disastrous socialist state to cast their votes against him.

Add a Comment
With Labor Day over and the general election season ramping up, President Barack Obama is shaping up to be an anchor pulling down Florida Democrats despite carrying the Sunshine State in the last two presidential elections.

A poll from Gravis Marketing released on Friday finds Obama is upside down in Florida with a majority -- 53 percent -- of those surveyed disapproving of his performance in the White House. Only 38 percent say they approve of Obama while 9 percent are unsure.

The poll of 859 registered voters was taken from Aug. 14-24 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent. Of those voters, 73 percent of them identified themselves as “very likely” to vote while 17 percent said they were “likely to vote” and 10 percent were “somewhat likely to vote.” Most of the sample -- 80 percent -- was collected via phone but the remainder came from Internet panels.
Add a Comment
Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the heavy favorite for the Democratic presidential nomination, starts off the 2016 election cycle with the lead in the key swing state of Florida over two Republicans from the Sunshine State.

A poll released by Gravis Marketing on Friday shows Clinton cruising over U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., in a potential 2016 match-up. Clinton takes 44 percent of voters in that scenario while Rubio lags behind with 35 percent. More than a fifth of voters -- 21 percent -- remain undecided.

But Clinton’s lead is cut dramatically when former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., is inserted as the Republican nominee. Clinton takes 39 percent in that scenario with Bush right on her heels with 37 percent. The percentage of undecided voters in that case rises to 24 percent.

The poll of 859 registered voters was taken from Aug. 14-24 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent. Of those voters, 73 percent of them identified themselves as “very likely” to vote while 17 percent said they were “likely to vote” and 10 percent were “somewhat likely to vote.” Most of the sample -- 80 percent -- was collected via phone but the remainder came from Internet panels.
Add a Comment
A new poll shows Amendment 2, a proposal to allow more medical marijuana use in Florida, is in good shape for the November elections.

The poll released Friday from Gravis Marketing finds 62 percent of those surveyed support Amendment 2 while 26 percent say they plan to vote against it and 10 percent remain undecided on how they feel about it. For Amendment 2 to pass in the general election, it needs 60 percent or more support from Florida voters.

The poll of 859 registered voters was taken from Aug. 14-24 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent. Of those voters, 73 percent of them identified themselves as “very likely” to vote while 17 percent said they were “likely to vote” and 10 percent were “somewhat likely to vote.” Most of the sample -- 80 percent -- was collected via phone but the remainder came from Internet panels.
Add a Comment
The Florida gubernatorial contest is a jump ball according to a poll released by Gravis Marketing on Friday.

The poll finds both Gov. Rick Scott and Democratic challenger former Gov. Charlie Crist running even, taking 37 percent apiece. However, more than a quarter of those surveyed -- 26 percent -- remain undecided.

Most polls have shown the race tightening up as the double-digit lead Crist had last year has vanished.

The poll of 859 registered voters was taken from Aug. 14-24 and had a margin of error of +/- 4 percent. Of those voters, 73 percent of them identified themselves as “very likely” to vote while 17 percent said they were “likely to vote” and 10 percent were “somewhat likely to vote.” Most of the sample -- 80 percent -- was collected via phone but the remainder came from Internet panels.
Add a Comment
Banker Jay Fant was declared the winner of the Republican primary to replace Rep. Daniel Davis, R-Jacksonville, in the Florida House on Friday. After the Duval County Elections Supervisor held a machine recount and examined ballots, Fant beat attorney and Navy veteran Paul Renner by 2 votes: 5,962 to 5,960.

“I have to thank my wife, my children, my family, and all my loyal supporters and volunteers who made today's victory possible,” Fant said on Friday after the recount. “I cannot say a word, however, with expressing my full and heartfelt congratulations to Paul Renner for a contest well fought. This was a tough race in which we agreed more than we disagreed, and I want to continue to work with Paul on the priorities that we share, which include the well being of Florida's economy and resistance to so much of the Obama agenda.

“I also want to express thanks to the faithful public servants who conducted this election, including Duval Supervisor of Elections Jerry Holland, the canvassing board, and the many workers who have worked late hours these past few days,” Fant added.
Add a Comment