Blogs from around the state

OS Political Pulse Teachers union: Scott testing order not enough

TALLAHASSEE - Florida’s largest teaching union, the Florida Education Association, thinks Gov.

Naked Politics WSJ: Jeb Bush plans to introduce big donors to campaign team in Miami in April

From the Wall Street Journal:

It may be the most coveted invite in Republican politics.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, still in the preliminary phase of an expected White House bid, plans to reward his biggest early financial backers with a mid-April meeting in Miami with his likely campaign team.

Naked Politics Joe Garcia gets new gig with Miami Beach merchant and investment bank, talks new U.S.-Cuba policy


Former Miami Democratic Rep. Joe Garcia has taken on a job as senior vice president of QueensFort Capital, a Miami Beach-based merchant and investment bank.

Naked Politics Rick Scott signs executive order to suspend 11th grade exam

Gov. Rick Scott signed an executive order on Tuesday suspending the new 11th grade exam in English language arts. 

The action comes in response to a growing backlash from parents and teachers to the state's standardized testing program.

Naked Politics Seventh candidate files in Miami's District 2 race

Yet another candidate has filed to run for Miami's District 2 commission seat.

Ken Russell, the South Grove resident who fought the city over its cleanup plans for contaminated Merrie Christmas Park, filed campaign papers Monday. Russell is the seventh candidate to run for the seat, which is held by term-limited Commissioner Marc Sarnoff.

Here's the press release:

OS Political Pulse Gov. Scott suspends new 11th-grade language arts exam


Post on Politics Obama to visit Miami for MSNBC/Telemundo immigration town hall


While Congress and courts grapple with President Barack Obama‘s executive action on immigration, the president will visit Miami on Wednesday to discuss immigration in a town hall-style forum at Florida International University.


Naked Politics In New Hampshire, Marco Rubio pressed on immigration

From the Associated Press:

HOLLIS, N.H. (AP) - Back in New Hampshire for the first time since the midterm elections, it didn't take long for Sen. Marco Rubio to get a question about immigration.

Post on Politics Bill would legalize recreational pot use in Florida

A Senate bill that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana and impose a $50-per-ounce tax when commercial growers sell pot to producers and retail stores was introduced late Monday afternoon.

Naked Politics Zo charity fundraiser to feature Bill Clinton


Naked Politics Names roll in for Jeb Bush PAC fundraiser in Gables


Big donors have been named "co-chairmen" of an upcoming Coral Gables fundraiser for Jeb Bush's political action committee.

Post on Politics More cheesesteaks for Florida after Scott woos Wawa

Gov. Scott woos Wawa

Naked Politics Miami Young Republicans to host new party chair


State Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, the new Republican Party of Florida chairman, will be feted Tuesday in a fundraiser by the Miami Young Republicans.

Post on Politics U.S. Sugar land-buy battle kicked up a notch

Although the Governor and the South Florida Water Management District have hinted strongly that they don’t support buying U.S. Sugar land south of Lake Okeechobee for Everglades restoration and the Speaker of the House Steve Crisafulli has unequivocally said “no,” an environmental group has launched a six-figure television and multimedia campaign in support of the land buy.

Naked Politics Media outlets ask judge to protect data in FDLE case

Florida news outlets asked a state judge Monday to issue an emergency "preservation order" to compel Gov. Rick Scott and all three Cabinet members to protect and preserve any materials that may be relevant to their lawsuit alleging a Sunshine Law violation in the ouster of FDLE chief Gerald Bailey.

Naked Politics It's Jeb Bush's 41st wedding anniversary, so he posted about it on Facebook


Jeb Bush married his wife, Columba, 41 years ago today, so the former Florida governor and likely Republican presidential candidate wished his bride a happy anniversary -- on social media.

"Happy anniversary to my beautiful wife of 41 years, Columba," he posted on Twitter and Facebook, along with a photo.

Naked Politics Bill, Chelsea Clinton - but not Hillary - to speak at UM


Two Clintons will speak at the University of Miami in early March, though neither is the one expected to run for president next year.

Naked Politics 'All in' with Jeb Bush, but Mario Diaz-Balart says Marco Rubio would also make 'darn good president'


Jeb Bush is the presidential pick for Miami Republican Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart. Yet  he also had nice things to say Monday of U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, assuming both Bush and Rubio seek the GOP presidential nomination.

Naked Politics Mario Diaz-Balart warns Miami-Dade may have to make unpopular choices to fund transportation


U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart has a powerful new budget post in Congress, but don't expect federal dollars to start pouring in for local transportation projects.

There's not that much money to work with, the Republican told the Miami Herald's editorial board Monday. And Miami-Dade County must first draft detailed plans to extend public transit -- and find a way to pay for part of them on its own.

PolitiJax Northeast Florida LGBT Leadership PAC to announce endorsements

A newly formed political action group for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender rights will unveil its picks for mayor and city council Tuesday.

Members of the Northeast Florida LGBT Leadership Political Action Committee said they will anounce the endorsements on the steps of City Hall 4 p.m. Tuesday.   

Naked Politics Appeals court rejects challenge to blind trust law

From our friends at the News Service of Florida:

An appeals court Monday tossed out a constitutional challenge to a 2013 law that allows public officials to put their assets into blind trusts, pointing to the “speculative nature” of the case.

OS Political Pulse Simmons: Legislature likely to offer stadium money

With $2 million in state tax money in limbo after a state panel declined to approve a stadium-funding deal, state Sen.

Naked Politics Donald Trump plus Miami-Dade politics equals a story to watch


One of the reasons Donald Trump does so well in real estate, hospitality and television is his ability to draw the spotlight. The lobby of his resort in Doral features 21 photographs of him, including a Time cover story. 

So when Trump plays golf with Miami-Dade's mayor on a premiere county golf course and then proposes to rescue that golf course with a 99-year management contract, Trump's celebrity makes the story all the more intriguing. 

Post on Politics Ben Carson plan: ‘Good enough for God,’ ambitious for flat-tax crowd

Ben Carson in Palm Beach last week.

West Palm Beach resident Ben Carson, the retired pediatric neurosurgeon whose potential Republican presidential bid is a favorite with grass-roots conservatives, wants a single income tax rate “somewhere between 10 and 15 percent.”

Naked Politics WaPo: After customs incident, Jeb Bush's wife took out loan to buy pricey jewelry

From the Washington Post:

In 1999, Columba Bush, the famously private wife of then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, was detained and fined by federal customs officials for misrepresenting the amount of clothing and jewelry she had bought while on a solo five-day shopping spree in Paris.

Naked Politics Rampant South Florida tax fraud counts Janet Reno, Eric Holder as victims

Just in time for tax season, Miami Herald federal courts reporter Jay Weaver has a two-part special report about rampant tax fraud in South Florida -- which has apparently ensnared former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno, a Miamian, and current U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who doesn't even live here:

Post on Politics Who’s winning the GOP’s 2016 Rick Scott primary?

Gov. Rick Scott and former Texas Gov. Rick Perry joshing each other about jobs in 2013 in West Palm Beach.

Naked Politics Jeb Bush publicly advocated for fracking while privately investing in industry

via @adamsmithtimes @learyreports

In the summer of 2013, well before he became an all-but-declared presidential candidate, Jeb Bush spoke to conservatives gathered in New York. He talked up the promise of education reform, immigration and policies to boost America's economy — standard lecture circuit talk for which the former Florida governor often commanded $40,000 a speech.

Naked Politics NYT profiles Jeb Bush's wife, Columba

The New York Times reports on the political reticence of Columba Bush, the former Florida first lady, who has always been far more private than her husband and likely Republican presidential candidate, Jeb Bush

Naked Politics Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush question President Obama's policies, not his patriotism

via @learyreports

Sen. Marco Rubio was asked by a Florida radio station on Friday about Rudy Giuliani's comment that President Barack Obama does not love America.