Blogs from around the state

Naked Politics Public Service Commission ousts another veteran staffer, offers no reason

Months after Commissioner Art Graham was named chairman of the Public Service Commission for the second time, the director of the Public Service Commission has asked for and received the resignation of one of the agency's highest ranking and longest-serving staff members, Marshall Willis.

Naked Politics American Bridge's Bright Futures attack faces Truth-O-Meter

Republican Gov. Rick Scott paid for college by working at a doughnut shop and getting help from the GI bill. Now he says he wants low-income students to have that same shot at the American dream that he did.

Florida Politics House opens the stadium incentive bill to rodeos, minor-league soccer, baseball

TALLAHASSEE -- A proposal to give tax subsidies annually to help finance a handful of professional sports stadiums got considerably more wide-open Tuesday when a House panel expanded eligible teams to include rodeos, minor-league baseball, and semi-professional soccer league with a team in Tampa.

Naked Politics Gov. Scott signs tougher sexual predator laws

Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday signed into law four bills targeting violent sexual predators, following the murders of two young girls in the Jacksonville area and news coverage that exposed problems with the sexual predator law known as the Jimmy Ryce Act.

"As the father of two girls and the grandfather of three little boys, I think about how the legislation I'm signing today will affect Florida's families. It will make Florida's children safer," Scott said.

Naked Politics Who is behind the attacks from the left on Charlie Crist?

A shadowy group calling itself Progressive Choice is attacking Charlie Crist as "a conservative Republican" who is "no friend of progressive Democrats."

Mailers started showing up in Tampa Bay area homes (and in Tallahassee, we're told) over the weekend, claiming Crist is pro-life, A+ rated by the NRA and that he signed a petition banning gay marriage.

Naked Politics Brandes seeks investigation of PSTA's Greenlight Pinellas

 Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, is asking the Florida Department of Transportation's inspector general to investigate how Pinellas County's mass transit agency's Greenlight Pinellas program.

Naked Politics Latvala plans to take the House position on immigrant tuition

A bill that would extend in-state tuition rates to undocumented students won the support of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday.

But could it be in trouble with Gov. Rick Scott?

The sponsor, Sen. Jack Latvala, said Tuesday that he plans to "pass the House [version of the] bill."

So far, Scott has expressed his support only for the Senate version.

Naked Politics Governor's new ad features former South Bay city manager convicted of grand theft

Gov. Rick Scott's re-election campaign released a new web ad on Tuesday, featuring footage of the governor talking to the now-convicted former South Bay City manager Corey Alston, and Alston's brother Tory.

"That's definitely Corey and his brother,'' said Sen. Chris Smith, the Democratic leader in the Florida Senate from Fort Lauderdale, who knows both Alston brothers.

Post on Politics With election looming, Republicans rally around in-state tuition for undocumented immigrants

Florida Senate Republicans rallied Tuesday around a proposal that would grant in-state tuition to children of undocumented immigrants, risking the wrath of tea party conservatives in a bid to woo Hispanic voters to their side this election year.

Naked Politics The campaign's a stage and Jake Rush says he's being attacked for merely acting

@MarcACaputo

Political newcomer Jake Rush says he's being unfairly attacked by Congressman Ted Yoho's campaign over his acting and gamer past. Here's part of his statement:

Post on Politics Scott blasts feds on veteran deaths, wants state to inspect VA hospitals

With Riviera Beach VA Hospital in background, Gov. Rick Scott is flanked by Air Force Brigadier Gen. Chip Diehl (left) and Col. Chris Hart

St. Petersburg Democrat Ross Hancock seeks rematch against Rep. Erik Fresen in HD 114

Democrat Ross Hancock would like a rematch against Republican Erik Fresen in House District 114, but first he must get out of what looks to be a tough primary.

In 2012, Democrat Ross Hancock lost by just two points to Republican incumbent Erik Fresen in a closely-watched state House race. Hancock filed yesterday with the Florida Division of Elections to run in HD 114, located in Miami-Dade.

Hancock joins Democrat Daisy Baez in the race. 

 

Naked Politics Even by FL standards, Jake Russ campaign is 100 percent strange

@MarcACaputo

Nothing like a little gamer-occult-rape-cocaine imagery to keep Florida in contention for the Capitol of Weird.

So thank you, Jake Russ.

St. Petersburg Gov. Scott wants inspection of federal hospitals

Gov. Rick Scott wants state authorities to inspect federal hospitals that serve veterans.

Scott sent a letter Tuesday to the secretary of the state’s main health care agency asking for the inspections.

The governor joins other elected officials pressing for answers about care at hospitals in the Veterans Affairs Sunshine Healthcare Network.

The Buzz Kreegel's first ad: 'Campaigns have become so nasty'

For a guy with a Super PAC waging big dollar attacks on his opponents, Paige Kreegel's first campaign ad seeks a stark contrast. "Campaigns have become so nasty," his wife says in the ad, which associates …

The Buzz Weatherford's official daily schedule -- wait, what day is this?

House Speaker Will Weatherford apparently was checking to see if anyone was paying attention to his official daily schedule, this being April 1, after all. So here it is, as released by the speaker's office:

OS Political Pulse Demings backs Field of Dreams revival in Orange

Mayoral candidate Val Demings backs reviving a park funding program in Orange County, dubbed Field of Dreams.

St. Petersburg Jake Russ: Conservative Congressional GOP hopeful’s bizarre double life

Running for the U.S. Congress can be the role of a lifetime for a budding politician, which would seem, on the surface, to fit right in with “conservative” Republican candidate Jacob A. Rush.

Rush, a 35-year-old attorney who just launched a campaign in Florida’s 3rd Congressional District, knows a thing or two about role-playing.

Post on Politics Black caucus urges Weatherford to take action on Richardson case

The Florida Legislative Black Caucus agreed Monday night to urge House Speaker Will Weatherford to let legislation be heard aimed at compensating an elderly man convicted but later absolved of one of the most infamous mass murders in state history.

The measure amounts to a state apology to James Richardson, a migrant farmworker from Arcadia accused in 1967 of poisoning his seven children.

Naked Politics Rick Scott: Obama's 'not caring about Venezuela'

@MarcACaputo

Ruth Alcalá just wants the president she twice voted for, Barack Obama, to speak forcefully about the government violence in Venezuela.

But for more than a month, she says, she and other natives of Venezuela have been “disappointed” in the administration’s relative silence, even as she gathered 1,000 signatures on a letter that calls on Obama to act -- or at least speak.

Naked Politics MIA, FLL to get more passport control agents

@PatriciaMazzei

Miami International Airport will get more passport control agents to handle long immigration lines, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Monday.

Airport administrators won’t know for a while how many more agents they’ll get. They have been promised by the Sept. 30 end of the fiscal year. Some 2,000 additional agents will be deployed across 44 ports in 18 states.

Naked Politics Scott signs "Florida G.I. Bill"

Gov. Rick Scott signed the first substantive bill of the session Monday, creating a program that will waive out-of-state tuition fees for military veterans.

The "Florida G.I. Bill" will also connect veterans to potential employers, and pump money into continuing education and industry certification programs for active service members.

Naked Politics While Florida postpones use of SAVE to check voters, the website remains in use by agencies nationwide

A footnote on our story last week about Secretary of State Ken Detzner’s announcement that he will delay his “Project Integrity” -- or more commonly known as the noncitizen purge.

Post on Politics Scott signs G.I. Bill in military-rich Panhandle

Florida’s Republican-ruled Legislature made a priority of approving the state’s so-called G.I. Bill this spring, and Gov. Rick Scott followed suit Monday by signing the measure into law in Panama City, the heart of the military-rich Panhandle.

“We are working to be the most military-friendly state in the nation, and this is another step to support our brave men and women who serve our nation,” Scott said.

Post on Politics Restore Justice leader looks to unseat Central Florida Democrat

A Central Florida man who led an unsuccessful effort to unseat the last three Florida Supreme Court justices appointed by a Democratic governor announced Monday that he is running as a Republican for an Orlando-area House seat.

Naked Politics Gov. Rick Scott's foreign trips increasingly rely on corporate contributions

Via @ToluseO at Bloomberg

Months before Florida Crystals Corp. won a no-bid contract to farm sugar on state-owned land, its top lobbyist and president met with Governor Rick Scott in the home of King Juan Carlos of Spain.

Naked Politics As David Beckham presses case in Miami, soccer deals a mixed bag across the country

@PatriciaMazzei

Miami-Dade County plans to charge David Beckham some amount of rent if he builds a Major League Soccer stadium on public land. But across the country, government hasn’t necessarily done well as professional soccer’s landlord.

Naked Politics Gov. Rick Scott has "concerns" with PECO plan

It’s become one of the perennial fights in the Florida Legislature.

In one corner: cash-strapped school systems with aging facilities and billions of dollars tied up in debt service.

In the other: charter schools looking to build and refurbish facilities of their own.

Both want dollars from the Public Education Capital Outlay (PECO) trust fund, an ever shrinking pot of money generated by a disappearing tax on cable TV and land-line telephones.

Naked Politics Today in Tallahassee: Five Things to Watch

Hump week, the mid-point of the 2014 Legislative session, is here, and not a moment too soon. But don’t think that the pace is slowing down on bills. Even though it’s a Monday, typically a travel day for lawmakers, a number of high profile bills will be considered.

Post on Politics ‘Congressman who can count’? Blackjack player Schlesinger puts different spin on CPA Murphy slogan

When Democrat Patrick Murphy ran for Congress in 2012 against Republican Rep. Allen West, he contrasted his experience as a Certified Public Accountant with West’s reputation for polarizing rhetoric.

“We need a few more people in Congress who can count, and a few less who divide,” Murphy said in one campaign ad.