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Political Bits and Pieces

May 21, 2014 - 6:00pm

This week, U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., faced fire both right and left for comments he made at the Berean Baptist Church in Ocala during the 2012 campaign. In a video that surfaced this week, Yoho said he was open to the idea of limiting voting to property owners. "Ive had some radical ideas about voting and its probably not a good time to tell them, but you used to have to be a property owner to vote," Yoho said in the video released by Right Wing Watch.

Attorney Jake Rush, who garnered national headlines for his vampire role-playing hobby, came out swinging at Republican primary opponent Yoho, insisting the congressman was advocating for a return to the Jim Crow era and insisting Yohos behavior is not an isolated incident; he has demonstrated a pattern of reckless and disruptive behavior. Over on his left, U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), insisted Yohos comments were typical of the GOP. Ted Yohos comments arent just from a different decade, they harken back to another century when Americans were denied their basic rights as citizens, Wasserman Schultz said. Yohos view is abhorrent and immoral and should be roundly condemned in the strongest possible terms.

For his part, Yoho spent this week focusing on his congressional work, backing U.S. Rep. Jeff Millers, R-Fla, bill giving the VA secretary more room to fire or demote employees and voting for the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA). Insisting the amendment process left it watered down and gave too much discretion to the NSA, Yoho did vote against the USA Freedom Act which he originally co-sponsored.

Count U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., among the 50 senators who sent letters urging the National Football Leagues (NFL) Washington Redskins to change their name. Nelson did not sign the letter U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sent to Redskins owner Dan Snyder. Instead, Nelson sent his own letter to Snyder. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., weighed in on Thursday after the Castro regime controlling Cuba blocked Yoani Schezs news website. Calling freedom of the press a universal human right, Rubio urged journalists to support which Cuban agents hacked this week as it launched. Al Cardenas is stepping down from his position at the American Conservative Union (ACU). Cardenas, who chaired the ACU for three years and served two stints leading the Republican Party of Florida (RPOF), cited increased responsibilites at Squire Sanders for why he is leaving the post. Cardenas resignation will be effective as of June 1. .

Former Florida Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff opened the door to a political comeback earlier this month. Bogdanoff lost to Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, in a rare battle back in 2012 pitting two incumbents against each other due to redistricting. While Bogdanoff ponders whether to challenge Sachs again, the Florida Democratic Party launched a pre-emptive strike, sending out a release hitting the former senator on education and womens health care. After four terms on the Orange County School Board, Rick Roach has his sights on another office. Not running in 2014, Roach is instead running for the Florida Senate in 2016. Roach filed to run this week as a Democrat for the seat currently held by the term-limited incoming Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando. Rep. Mike LaRosa, R-St. Cloud, is starting to face a crowd of Democratic opponents. Zulma Velez-Estrada filed to enter the Democratic primary earlier this month, joining Chad Steven Carnell and attorney Pete Placencia. ...

Sarasota GOP Chairman Joe Gruters might not be in the running to be the next chairman of the RPOF but he is remaining active. Gruters and the Sarasota Republicans launched petitions this week demanding U.S. Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki resign. U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Fla., announced this week that his office would be holding an information session on the service academies on June 14 in Valrico. U.S. Rep. Ander Crenshaw, R-Fla., spent Friday focused on businesses on the First Coast with tours of Kaman Aerosystems and Nuflo Inc./ KME America Marine Tube. U.S. Rep. Bill Posey, R-Fla., scored a win on Thursday as the House passed his Deployed Troops Support Act which will allow the armed forces to transport material from nonprofit organizations to service members stationed abroad.

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