Sunshine State News Blogs

Former Miami Mayor Maurice Ferre endorsed former Florida Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich for governor on Wednesday. After an underwhelming bid for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination, Ferre crossed party lines to endorse Republican Rick Scott in 2010. Rich is an underdog against former Gov. Charlie Crist in next month’s Democratic primary.

“I’m strongly supporting Nan Rich because she is the candidate with a clear vision for Florida’s future that genuinely puts the needs of people first,” Ferre said. “Her unwavering commitment to improving Florida’s public schools, fighting for social justice, and protecting individual rights, clearly demonstrate her character and priorities. She is exactly the kind of person and leader we need as our governor.”

“I am sincerely honored to have Mayor Ferre’s support and endorsement,” Rich said. “His vision and leadership inspired confidence, stimulated investment, and reshaped the face of Miami. As the first Hispanic mayor of a major American city, he also opened the door of opportunity for all who followed. His experience and insight will be a valuable asset to our campaign.”
Add a Comment
Florida TaxWatch showcased airplane manufacturing in the Sunshine State in a report released on Thursday.

"Florida is a great place to do business, and the state's commitment to investing in aircraft manufacturing is ensuring that Florida's economy continues to benefit from this important industry sector," said Dominic Calabro, the president and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, on Thursday.

The reports shows the industry is set to boom as aviation continues to grow, leading to high paying jobs. The report finds airplane manufacturers currently located in the state are in good position to grow and shows companies can be lured from other states due to a host of factors, including the elimination of the manufacturing sales tax, one of Gov. Rick Scott’s chief priorities last year.

But Jennifer Linares, a research analyst for Florida TaxWatch, warned this opportunity could be threatened if education does not focus more on science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).

"Expanding the aircraft manufacturing industry helps the state retain STEM talent," said  Linares. "However, the shortage of qualified technical employees could be an impediment to the industry's future growth in Florida."  

 The report can be read here.
Add a Comment
The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) unveiled a new ad on Thursday entitled "The Better Governor," and the ad contrasts Gov. Rick Scott with former Gov. Charlie Crist.

The new ad focuses on the two governors’ records in Tallahassee, honing in on the sharp rise in unemployment under Crist.

Sorry, you need to install flash to see this content.
Add a Comment

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi nabbed the endorsement of the Florida State Lodge Fraternal Order of Police on Thursday. 

The Florida State Lodge FOP pointed to Bondi shutting down pill mills, cracking down on human trafficking and investigating Medicaid fraud as some of the reasons it supports Bondi in her bid for re-election.

In a letter to Bondi, Florida State Lodge FOP President James W. Preston wrote:

“Over the last four years we have been honored as you consistently supported our law enforcement profession. Your attendance at the funerals and memorial services for our fallen heroes means a great deal to those dealing with loss. Your genuine compassion, comfort and empathy during the tragic loss of an officer in the line of duty, for the families and officers, is extremely important as you speak for the state of Florida letting them know the state is there for them."

Bondi said it was an honor to receive the Florida State Lodge FOP's endorsement.

“This is truly an honor to have the endorsement of the more than 20,000 active and retired professional law enforcement officers who put their lives on the line each and every day to protect Floridians,” she said. “As Florida’s chief legal officer, and through my Office of Statewide Prosecution, we have collaborated in targeting criminal activities and keeping citizens safe from unscrupulous offenders.”

Add a Comment
According to the state Division of Elections website, state Rep. Travis Hutson -- who represents House District 24 which includes Flagler County and parts of St. Johns and Volusia counties -- filed paperwork this week to seek another term in 2016. The Elkton Republican is running unopposed this year.

Hutson and eight other House incumbents, as well as 12 Senate incumbents, are already planning to run in 2016. Filing the paperwork allows candidates to begin raising money.

Add a Comment
Democratic gubernatorial candidates Charlie Crist and Nan Rich are scheduled to appear this week before a gathering of newspaper editors and executives, but not at the same time.

The Florida Press Association and Florida Society of News Editors will hold a convention Thursday and Friday at The Biltmore in Coral Gables. Crist is scheduled to speak at 2:30 p.m. Thursday, while Rich -- who wanted to debate Crist during this event -- will be speaking at 9 a.m. Friday.

Republican Gov. Rick Scott is not expected to appear at all.
Add a Comment

Most voters strongly believe the debate about global warming isn't over yet and also disagree with the decision by some major news organizations banning comments from those who don't believe global warming is a problem.

According to a new Rasmussen Reports poll, only 20 percent of likely U.S. voters believe the scientific debate about global warming is over, while 63 percent say it's not. Seventeen percent say they aren't sure.

The BBC recently announced a new policy to ban comments from global warming deniers, but the BBC isn't the first organization to do so. The Los Angeles Times has banned comments from those who deny global warming, as well.

Most voters oppose the the decisions of news organizations to ban global warming skeptics. Not even a quarter -- 19 percent -- favor such a ban. Nearly half of voters -- 42 percent -- believe the media make global warming appear to be worse than it actually is, while 22 percent say the media paint an accurate picture of the environmental issue. 

The national survey of 1,000 likely voters was conducted July 7-8 by Rasmussen Reports.

Add a Comment
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a member of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee and a possible Republican presidential hopeful in 2016, called upon President Barack Obama on Wednesday to crack down on the Maduro regime in charge of Venezuela. Rubio wrote Obama, asking him to free the assets of Venezuelan leaders and prohibit them from entering the U.S, due to their continued actions against protesters.  

“Three months ago, the Senate unanimously passed a resolution urging you to impose targeted sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, against officials involved in this ongoing repression,” Rubio wrote, before mentioning he had been working with two Democratic senators -- Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Bill Nelson of Florida -- on the matter. “I have been working with Sens. Menendez and Nelson on legislation that would impose such sanctions immediately. I intend to seek Senate passage of this bill in the coming weeks, a version of which the House of Representatives has already passed, to ensure that Congress continues to send a strong message to the Maduro regime.

“I urge you to heed these bipartisan calls from Congress and take action immediately. You already have the ability to begin to make life more difficult for those involved in brutal human rights abuses and corruption,” added Rubio. “By preventing these individuals and their families from traveling to and investing in the United States, you can make clear that those who violate the Venezuelan people's fundamental freedoms will pay a significant price.”
Add a Comment
The Republican Party of Florida filed another ethics complaint against former Gov. Charlie Crist on Wednesday, this time accusing Crist of "cutting legal corners" by avoiding transparency on his personal finances. 

According to an email, the complaint filed by Sarasota GOP chair Joe Gruters outlines:

(1)  Crist misrepresented his financial interests by not reporting details of assets and liabilities reported by the Miami Herald.

(2)  Crist failed to report the full extent of his relationship with The St. Joe Co. on his financial disclosure.

(3)  Crist failed to include secondary sources of income into Charlie Crist LLC, instead listing it is an asset with no explanation of customers served or the sources of his income into the LLC.

See the complaint below.  

Add a Comment
Former U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., noted on Wednesday that former Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, was calling for the impeachment of President Barack Obama and claimed his efforts to remove the president from the White House were gaining momentum. West, who has left the door open to a political comeback in 2016, called for Obama’s impeachment last month.

“Sarah Palin joined tens of thousands of conservatives when she called for the impeachment of Barack Obama,” West emailed supporters on Wednesday. “This movement is far from over ... it's gaining speed!

“Barack Obama is guilty of high crimes and misdemeanors and of brazenly disregarding the Constitution of the United States,” West added. “And now a huge grassroots movement is under way to expose Obama and hold him accountable.”
Add a Comment
U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., who sits on the U.S. Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, pointed to reports from the Office of Inspector General (OIG) about the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and HealthCare.gov which found major flaws with President Barack Obama’s health-care law.

“OIG has reported 2.6 million unresolved inconsistencies in the applications of individuals who signed up for the president's health-care law. This could mean errors in citizenship, income, employment information, or a host of other issues," Bilirakis said on Tuesday. "This is yet another piece of evidence that the ACA was not ready for prime time. Improper subsidy amounts funded by taxpayers may have gone to people that were ineligible. I previously expressed my reservations about the ‘back end’ of HealthCare.gov, which is responsible for processing this kind of information. It’s obvious my misgivings were warranted.”

Bilirakis noted, back in August, he introduced the “No Taxation Without Verification Act” which would have stopped Obama’s health-care law from imposing fees and taxes until it was proven the website was secure and fully operational.

“I introduced legislation nearly a year ago that would have prevented this,” Bilirakis said. “However, the level of irresponsibility when it comes to the implementation of the president's health-care law by this administration continues. They went live with HealthCare.gov knowing full well how far it was from completion – chock full of errors. The administration’s malfeasance toward spending taxpayers’ hard-earned money is outrageous. These OIG reports detail the latest example of one of the many serious problems in the president’s health-care law."
Add a Comment
On Tuesday night, U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, who sits on the House State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee, weighed in on President Barack Obama’s request for $4.3 billion to provide humanitarian aid for immigrants crossing the border and for aiding wildfire operations.

Crenshaw did not close the door on supporting Obama’s request, saying the committee should review his proposals. But Crenshaw said the blame for the increase of illegal immigrants should fall on Obama.

“President Obama continues to ignore immigration law and circumvent Congress,” Crenshaw said. “The result: a humanitarian and national security crisis of dire proportions at our Southwestern border. Encouraged by the dangerous incentives and false hopes of the administration’s policies, thousands of children and families are placing themselves in harm’s way to enter our country illegally.

“The Appropriations Committee will review each piece of the emergency funding request to determine the best application of taxpayer dollars to address this dire situation,” Crenshaw added. “As it does, the president must commit himself to working with Congress, not around it, to stem the tide of a crisis that swells with every passing day. In a June 25 letter to him, I joined my colleagues in demanding that he stop bypassing Congress and put an end to his failed policies. I hope he takes us seriously.

“Moreover, the surge at our border is proof that it is not secure, and, in my book, that is the first correction that must be made,” Crenshaw concluded. “As we work to stop illegal immigration, let me be crystal clear that I stand 100 percent opposed to placing those who reside in our country illegally on an automatic path to citizenship.”
Add a Comment
From his perch on the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee, U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., called at the end of last week to cut off all foreign aid to Mexico until that nation can handle its side of the immigration problem.

“Mexico should not be accepting American generosity with one hand and covering their eyes to the situation at the border with the other,” Yoho said. “The House of Representatives controls the ‘purse strings’ and if the executive branch refuses to address this crisis, the House of Representatives should act. In addition to us securing our border, Mexico should be securing theirs. While Mexico, as a sovereign nation, is free to act how they want -- their negligence should not be rewarded with our foreign aid. Our unsecured border is a national security situation and we need to act now.”
Add a Comment
In the aftermath of Hobby Lobby’s challenge to the federal government which led to the Supreme Court ruling at the end of last month that business owners can object for religious reasons to being forced to cover birth control due to President Barack Obama’s federal health-care law, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is gathering petitions to protect religious freedom.  

Rubio, who is a potential Republican presidential candidate in 2016, is using his Reclaim America PAC to gather the petitions demanding religious freedom.

“The First Amendment is pretty simple. Congress cannot make laws infringing upon our exercise of religion," Rubio emailed supporters on Tuesday. “It's a cornerstone of our American way of life, despite the left only respecting it when it suits their political purposes. No person should be forced by the government to violate their faith.”
Add a Comment
Gov. Rick Scott continues to put his crime-fighting credentials in order this week. As he tours the state focusing on how Florida has its lowest crime rate in decades, Scott announced the backing of 40 sheriffs from around Florida led by Sheriff Grady Judd of Polk County.

“Crime is at a 43-year low in Florida because Gov. Scott works with and believes in law enforcement,” Grady said on Tuesday. “He knows the importance of keeping our families, our children and our job creators safe. That is why I and many of my colleagues support Rick Scott, our governor."
 
The “Sheriffs for Scott” so far includes the following sheriffs:

Mike Adkinson – Walton

Larry Ashley – Okaloosa

Susan Benton – Highlands

Rick Beseler – Clay

Chris Blair – Marion

Gary Borders – Lake

Tom Brown – Holmes

Don Eslinger – Seminole

Bill Farmer – Sumter

David Gee – Hillsborough

Robert Gualtieri – Pinellas

Wendell Hall – Santa Rosa

Jeff Hardy – Putnam

Mike Harrison – Gulf

Mark Hunter - Columbia

Wayne Ivey – Brevard

Ben Johnson – Volusia

Tom Knight – Sarasota

Arnold Lanier – Hardee

Bill Leeper – Nassau

Deryl Loar – Indian River

Paul May – Okeechobee

Bobby McCallum – Levy

Frank McKeithen – Bay

David Morgan – Escambia

Al Nienhuis – Hernando

Chris Nocco – Pasco

Bill Prummell Jr. – Charlotte

Kevin Rambosk – Collier

John Rutherford – Duval

Mike Scott – Lee

David Shoar – St. Johns

Gordon Smith – Bradford

William Snyder – Martin

Brad Steube – Manatee

Ben Stewart – Madison

Steve Whidden – Hendry

Stuart Whiddon – Glades

Brad Whitehead – Union.
Add a Comment

Women on the Move's Leslie Wimes will sit down at 7 p.m. Tuesday (tonight) with Jim Greer, the former chairman of The Republican Party of Florida, and Peter Golenbock, author who wrote Greer's story.

The interview will be presented live on "Let's Talk Live,"  www.blogtalkradio.com.

The book, "The Chairman," is the story of Greer's tenure with the Republican Party, and the betrayal he alleges by former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist. Crist currently is running again for governor of Florida, this time as a Democrat.

Greer became very close to Charlie Crist, who he feels betrayed him by lying about a fundraising company that Crist had approved. In his book Greer details the rise of Marco Rubio, as well as the tea party. The book documents backroom deals, sex, drugs, and lots of spending.

In promoting the broadcast Wimes says, "Learn about the inner circle of the Republican Party of Florida, as well as Charlie Crist, from the man who was right in the center of it all."

Greer was arrested June 2, 2010, after being indicted on six felony charges: organized scheme to defraud, money laundering, and four counts of grand theft. Prosecutors alleged that Greer, while chair of the Florida GOP, schemed to take more than $100,000 from the party through a fundraising company he created, Victory Strategies LLC.

Greer was officially released July 5. Wimes' interview will be Greer's first given live and on-air since the release.

Call in to speak with the show host at (347) 857-2102.

Add a Comment
The Republican Party of Florida (RPOF) launched a new video ad on Tuesday which offers a response to one from former Gov. Charlie Crist unveiled on Monday. Despite spending most of his political life as a Republican, Crist is the favorite for the Democratic nomination to challenge Gov. Rick Scott.

The new ad counters Crist’s claimed that “we saved the jobs of 20,000 teachers” by noting “3,000 teachers lost their jobs under Crist.” The ad also questions Crist’s record on property taxes, school funding and raising the minimum wage.

Sorry, you need to install flash to see this content.
Add a Comment
With former Gov. Charlie Crist, the favorite for the Democratic nomination to challenge Gov. Rick Scott in November, calling for raising the minimum wage, Republicans pushed back against him on Tuesday.

Earlier this week, Crist’s campaign launched a television ad in which the former governor says he would raise the state's minimum wage if elected.

Scott’s team sent out Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera on Tuesday to hit Crist not only on the minimum wage, but the economy as well.

“Charlie Crist must have a bad case of amnesia,” Lopez-Cantera said. “While he claims to be a champion of raising the minimum wage today, it was Crist who voted against it before he became governor. What’s worse was Crist’s neglect of our economy that led to 832,000 Floridians seeing their wage drop to $0.00."
Add a Comment
The National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) unveiled its third and last round of “Young Guns” on Tuesday. Launched by U.S. Rep. Eric Cantor, R-Va., U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., in the 2008 election cycle, the NRCC classifies “Young Guns” as top contenders to defeat incumbent Democrats or pick up open congressional seats.

The latest round of “Young Guns” does not include any additional Republicans from Florida, meaning Miami-Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo, who is running for the GOP nod to take on U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, D-Fla., is the only “Young Gun” in the Sunshine State. That’s good news for U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., a freshman in a competitive district who has six Republican primary foes.

The latest “Young Guns” are French Hill and Bruce Westerman in Arizona; Rod Blum, Dr. Mariannette Miller-Meeks and David Young in Iowa; Ryan Zinke in Montana; Lee Zeldin, Nan Hayworth, Elise Stefanik and John Katko in New York; and Will Hurd in Texas.

“Candidates that reach ‘Young Gun’ status have met a series of rigorous goals that will put them in position to win on Election Day,” said U.S. Rep. Greg Walden, R-Ore., the chairman of the NRCC. “Our job as a committee is to help elect Republicans to office that will serve as a check and balance on the Obama administration. These 11 candidates will fight to stop the harmful consequences of Obamacare, grow the economy, and get Washington’s spending under control. As the November elections approach, I am confident that these candidates will continue to work hard for their communities and bring common-sense principles to Congress.”

Add a Comment
The Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) endorsed Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi for a second term on Tuesday, pointing to her record on public safety, fights against human trafficking, efforts against drugs and leading efforts to crack down on pill mills.  

“Attorney General Pam Bondi has always demonstrated her commitment to law enforcement and the safety of our citizens,” said Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow, the president of the FPCA. “We look forward to her continued leadership and support.”

The FPCA is the fourth largest state Police Chiefs Association in the country and is composed of 750 of the state's top law enforcement executives.
 

"Based on her record, Attorney General Pam Bondi is the clear choice for re-election as Florida's top law enforcement officer," said Amy Mercer, the executive director of the FPCA. "The Florida Police Chiefs are proud to support her."
Add a Comment
One of Florida Senate President Don Gaetz’s, R-Destin, top staffers will be joining the Florida Medical Association (FMA). On Tuesday,  FMA Executive Vice President Timothy Stapleton announced that Chris Clark, who has been a staffer for Gaetz for eight years rising to chief of staff, will start as senior vice president of public affairs for the FMA on July 21. Clark also worked as an aide to former Gov. Jeb Bush.

"To say that we are excited about adding Chris to our team would be an understatement," said Stapleton. "Chris is one of the most respected and well-liked people in Tallahassee.

"It is rare to find someone who has a sophisticated understanding of the political process as well as in-depth knowledge of public policy," added Stapleton. "Chris is one of the few people who has mastered both politics and policy.

"Chris has over 16 years of experience working in both the executive and legislative branches of Florida government," Stapleton said in conclusion. "We look forward to bringing his expertise in governmental affairs to the FMA where he will help us achieve our goal of making Florida the best place in the country for physicians to practice medicine."
Add a Comment
Florida Sen. John Thrasher, R-St. Augustine, the chairman of Gov. Rick Scott's re-election committee, came out swinging at former Gov. Crist on Monday. Crist, the favorite for the Democratic nomination despite spending most of his political life with the GOP, released his first television ad on Monday.

"It's fitting that Charlie Crist's first campaign ad is called 'Sunshine' because he only wants to be around during good times,” Thrasher said, noting Crist did not seek a second term but instead ran for the U.S. Senate. “When times were tough here, Charlie instituted tax increases and teacher layoffs. Then he ran away. We need four more years of Gov. Scott's steadfast leadership and job creation. The sun has set on Good Time Charlie's time in elected office."
Add a Comment
Congressional hopeful Gwen Graham drew criticism from the National Republican Congressional Committee on Monday for her connection to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. 

Graham recently released two new TV ads in North Florida -- one of which says "this messed up Congress" needed to start doing business the "North Florida way." Both ads played off of a "squabbling" partisan Washington, D.C.

“Gwen Graham is trying to deceive voters with big-money TV ads but North Florida families already know she will be Nancy Pelosi’s puppet if sent to Congress," said NRCC spokesperson Katie Prill. "Graham needs to explain to voters why she continues to let her campaign be funded by Pelosi’s campaign arm and why she will support Pelosi’s liberal agenda in Washington.”

The NRCC had previously criticized Graham for accepting money from Pelosi.

Graham will face incumbent U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland, R-Fla., for the region covering Tallahassee and Panama City as well as the eastern part of the Florida Panhandle.
Add a Comment
Former governor Charlie Crist released his first television ad for his campaign to return to the governor's mansion on Monday.

In the ad, Crist vows to raise the minimum wage, demand equal pay for women and restore funding to Florida schools.
 
View the ad below:
Sorry, you need to install flash to see this content.




Add a Comment

Gov. Rick Scott kicked off the "Let's Keep Florida Safe" tour in Tampa on Monday. As part of the tour, Scott will be traveling around the state highlighting his "Let's Keep Florida Safe" plan. 

According to a press release, some elements of the plan include maintaining an 85 percent mandatory minimum sentencing, developing programs that identify "early signs of risk" and working to help "troubled youth" become successful adults, and working with law enforcement to combat cyber crimes in the Sunshine State.

“There’s so much about Florida that makes it the best state in the country to live, work, and raise a family. We have great weather and great job opportunities – but we also have great communities," said Scott on Monday. "Florida has seen a remarkable turnaround in the last few years and our crime rate is at a 43-year low, but we can still do more. I’m committed to working with law enforcement and public safety officials to keep Florida moving in the right direction.”

The tour will also make stops in Orlando and Miami.

Add a Comment
The Florida Lottery announced record high sales in its last fiscal year. During that time, the lottery generated $5.36 billion in sales and almost $1.5 billion of that went to help Florida schools.

“Our primary goal is and always will be to generate as much money as possible for education,” said Florida Lottery Secretary Cynthia O’Connell on Monday. “We set our goals high at the beginning of each year, and with a collective effort from lottery staff, our retailers and our loyal customers, we have once again exceeded our annual sales goal, resulting in record contributions to Florida’s student and schools.”
Add a Comment
Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie is steamed that he has been excluded from a gubernatorial forum being held later this week in Coral Gables. Wyllie sent a letter to the Florida Press Association (FPA) and the Florida Society of Newspaper Editors (FSNE) over the weekend demanding to be included in the forum, adding he would attend the event on Thursday.

“You may either allow me to participate in the forum, or you may have me arrested,” Wyllie wrote.

The letter is as follows:

As the only third-party candidate for Florida's governor, I am extremely disappointed in your failure to include me in your upcoming gubernatorial candidate forum at the 2014 FPA/FSNE Convention. Your exclusion of a viable third-party candidate is unacceptable, and exposes an entrenched bias in the FPA/FSNE approach to political coverage.

You will likely respond by saying that you have created "criteria" for inclusion in the forum, and you will then claim that I have failed to meet said criteria.

Please, allow me to pre-empt your likely rebuttal.

The criteria you have created make it absolutely impossible for any minor party candidate to participate, by its very definition. According to your stated rules, in order to be included, “a candidate must belong to a party that has at least 5 percent of the registered voters in Florida.”

The legal definition of a minor party in Florida is one that has less than 5 percent of the registered voters in the state. Therefore, your criteria guarantee that only Republican and Democrat candidates can participate.

Regardless of whether I have met your other, arbitrary criteria for polling and fundraising, the simple fact that I am not a Republican or Democrat would prohibit me from participating.

I have little doubt that this was entirely by design.

We will no longer allow you to stifle the voices of viable candidates, nor limit the informed choices of Florida voters.

Therefore, I refuse to accept your rules, and I present you with the following ultimatum: I will attend the FPA/FSNE Gubernatorial Forum on July 10th in Coral Gables. You may either allow me to participate in the forum, or you may have me arrested.

You have no third option ... As you have denied the people of Florida a third option, govern yourselves accordingly.

Add a Comment
A congresswoman and congressman from Florida met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, weighing in on the recent murders of three Israeli teens and other Middle Eastern matters. U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., the chairwoman of the House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, and U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., the ranking Democrat on the committee, met with Netanyahu on Thursday and weighed in afterward with a joint statement:

“These last few days have been a trying and difficult time for the people of Israel after the bodies of three of their sons were found. As an entire nation mourned, we mourned with it. We conveyed our deepest sympathies to Prime Minister Netanyahu and reaffirmed to our closest ally, the democratic Jewish State of Israel, that the United States stands firmly with it as it struggles to cope with the tragic loss of Eyal, Naftali and Gilad and as it seeks to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“We also discussed with PM Netanyahu the threats that Israel faces as the stability of the region continues to deteriorate. The growing threat of extremism in Syria and Iraq, and the threat posed by Iran’s nuclear weapons program, could have severe repercussions throughout the region, and these toxic obstacles put both Israel and U.S. national security interests at risk. We vowed to continue our unwavering support for the people of Israel and their safety and security, and will do whatever we can to ensure Israel maintains her qualitative military edge so that she can defend herself from all threats.”
Add a Comment
Gov. Rick Scott will be showcasing his record on crime this week in his “Let’s Keep Florida Safe” tour of the Sunshine State and he unveiled an endorsement to help his crime-fighting credentials on Monday. The Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) announced it was backing Scott for another term.

“Police chiefs across the state of Florida are thankful for the support of Gov. Scott regarding law enforcement and public safety,” said Jupiter Police Chief Frank Kitzerow, the president of the FPCA.

The FPCA noted the crime rate under Scott stands at its lowest in 43 years and praised the governor for vetoing a bill to raise the speed limit to 75 mph and signing bills targeting sexual predators,
Add a Comment
Charlie Crist's name will no longer be seen speeding by at the Coke Zero 400 race Saturday evening, since Phil Parsons Racing officials have decided to pull the "Charlie Crist for Florida" stickers featured on a NASCAR car.

Earlier this week, the Republican Party of Florida filed an ethics complaint over the sponsorship, alleging that the sponsorship violates Florida campaign law, which limits individual campaign contributions to $3,000 per person, per election. The average cost to sponsor a car in the race is around $55,000 to $60,000.  

Phil Parsons said, however, that he didn't pull the sponsorship due to the RPOF complaint but did so out of respect for his business partner, Mike Curb.

Curb is a Republican and a former Lieutenant Governor from California. 

Crist spokesman Brendan Gilfillian said the campaign itself didn't pay for the sponsorship, but that it was an in-kind donation from a "big NASCAR fan."

The hood of the car, which would have had Crist's name plastered on it, will now be black. 

Add a Comment