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Politics

Political Bits and Pieces

July 17, 2014 - 6:00pm
News broke this week that former Gov. Jeb Bush, R-Fla., was involved in creating a Florida-based private equity investment firm,Britton Hill Holdings LLC, last year. Bush joined with former bankers to launch the company which has focused in part on energy investments. ... Bush is still contemplating running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. The Bush team told the media this week that the former governor is thinking about a presidential bid and expects to make a decision around the end of 2014 and start of 2015. ...

In the meantime, longtime Bush ally Ana Navarro is pushing back against Republicans calling for the impeachment of President Barack Obama. Appearing on ABC News This Week on Sunday, Navarro said "nobody of responsibility, nobody in leadership, nobody of relevance has talked about impeachment." Thats a clear shot at former Gov. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, who came out in recent days for Obamas impeachment. ...

Look for U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to woo social and religious conservatives in the coming days as he continues exploring the idea of running for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. Rubio will be speaking on how the breakdown of the family and the decline of morals has impacted the economy and other aspects of American life on Wednesday at Catholic University in Washington. The event is being sponsored by Catholic Universitys Institute for Policy Research and Catholic Studies and the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission. ... Insisting it was a jobs bill, U.S. Rep. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., managed to get his Travel Promotion, Enhancement, and Modernization Act through the U.S. House Energy and Commerce Committee on Wednesday. The bill reauthorized Brand USA, a public-private partnership working across the globe to bring tourists to America. Bilirakis said his bill wont cost taxpayers anything and that for every $1 Brand USA spends, it generates $47 in tourism. ... With Sunday marking the 40th anniversary of Turkish occupation of parts of Cyprus, Bilirakis took to the House floor to condemn it on Friday. Bilirakis called for Turkey to engage in sincere negotiations and concrete confidence-building measures instead of going through the motions and creating more obstacles when tough decisions are on the table. Bilirakis is the co-founder and co-chairs the Congressional Hellenic Israeli Alliance. ...

Former Florida Senate Democratic Leader Nan Rich turned to South Florida this week as she tries to catch former Gov. Charlie Crist in the Democratic primary to challenge Gov. Rick Scott. On Thursday night, Rich hit Palm Beach Gardens and issued yet another challenge to Crist for a debate. On Saturday, Rich is scheduled to take part in the CAP Peace & Justice March in Miami to show her support of more gun-control measures. ... Scott continues to feature Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera. This week, Lopez-Cantera was front and center in Tallahassee showcasing Paychecks for Patriots hiring fairs as state agencies try to transition veterans into the private sector across Florida. ... Florida Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, hit the airwaves this week with a new commercial focusing on his work on flood insurance and touting his Republican support, including the backing of Attorney General Pam Bondi and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. Brandes faces Democrat Judithanne McLauchlan in November. ...

The latest edition of the Rothenberg Report is giving two Florida congressmen better odds to keep their seats. Fridays edition saw U.S. Rep. Steve Southerlands, R-Fla., chances against Gwen Graham moved to tilt Republican though still ranked as a tossup while U.S. Patrick Murphys, D-Fla., had been upgraded to Democrat favored since the candidates running in the Republican primary continue to struggle with fundraising. ... The money flows into the Jacksonville mayoral race. After former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Lenny Curry announced he had raised more than $560,000 in June, the first month of his campaign, Democrat Mayor Alvin Brown revealed he had brought in more than $108,000 in June, raising his total to more than $1.3 million so far. Republican City Councilman Bill Bishop is far behind his two rivals with $37,050 of which $10,750 was raised in June. ... The mayoral race is dividing the only two honors in the Jacksonville Jaguars history in the National Football League (NFL). Wayne Weaver, who bought the team and launched it on the First Coast, is backing Curry while current owner Shad Khan is behind Brown.

Reach Kevin Derby at kderby@sunshinestatenews.com.

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