Saturday, June 23, 2018
Politics

Gov. Scott tells Republicans that GOP is turning economy around

ST. PETERSBURG — By cutting taxes and slicing government regulations, Florida's Republican leaders have turned the state's economy in the right direction, Gov. Rick Scott said Saturday.

"Conservative principles, lower taxes, less regulation, smaller government, liking businesses — it works," Scott said.

"We've had the second-biggest drop in unemployment in the country," Scott told more than 400 people at Pinellas County's Lincoln Day Dinner.

Scott was full of praise for Republican legislators in the audience. But not so much for President Barack Obama, who he said was preparing to come to Florida soon "to brag about how well we're doing."

"I'm sure he'll give us credit," Scott quipped.

The Lincoln Day Dinner is an annual fundraiser and rallying session for GOP faithful. This one came four months after Obama's re-election, but the Democrat's victory wasn't up for discussion.

Instead, Scott said, "every person who lives in the state of Florida should be a Republican. We're the party of jobs, we're the party of education, we're the party of keep the cost of living low."

Business owners should be Republicans, and so should employees who need those businesses to thrive, Scott said. "If you're on a safety net, you for sure should be a Republican because who's going to pay for that?" Somebody working a job paying taxes, he said.

Scott also touted his plan to give $2,500 pay raises to schoolteachers, and that got applause too, but a few people seemed to be grumbling about it. Pinellas Republican chairman Michael Guju said he heard the reaction, but said it's hard to make any judgments about the meaning of an "audience noise." He stressed, "I think the governor's showing real leadership."

One Republican name that didn't come up was Jennifer Carroll, Scott's lieutenant governor who resigned abruptly this month in the wake of an investigation into a $300 million gambling operation involving Internet cafes. Scott declined to give an opinion after the dinner on whether Internet cafes in general should be banned. He said he would wait to see how the Legislature acted.

Attorney General Pam Bondi introduced Scott to the audience, and Scott returned the favor by praising her for her work to combat human trafficking and prescription drug abuse.

Bondi urged parents in the audience to be wary of dangerous synthetic drugs with harmless-sounding names such as "Scooby Doo" being marketed to adolescents. She also discussed the high number of drug-addicted babies being born in Tampa Bay hospitals.

In spite of Obama's re-election, Bondi said it's not time for a Republican course correction. "We're not going to change our principles," she said. "We're going to work harder than the other guys and we are going to keep our word."

Comments
Six candidates waltz into their seats as qualifying ends. The rest still have a fight

Six candidates waltz into their seats as qualifying ends. The rest still have a fight

Six local candidates across Tampa Bay — all county commissioners and city council members — effectively won their elections Friday by default: No one qualified to run against them.The rest still have a fight.Some will square off in an Aug. 28 primary...
Published: 06/22/18
Former Tampa police corporal qualifies as Democrat to run for Hillsborough sheriff

Former Tampa police corporal qualifies as Democrat to run for Hillsborough sheriff

TAMPA — A Democrat has officially joined the race for Hillsborough County sheriff.Gary Pruitt, a 50-year-old former Tampa police corporal who now works as director of security at a local mall, qualified Friday to challenge Republican Sheriff Chad Chr...
Published: 06/22/18
Carlton: Could anything be more partisan than going nonpartisan?

Carlton: Could anything be more partisan than going nonpartisan?

So Hillsborough County commissioners — most of them, anyway — want voters to consider dropping political parties from certain elections, making those races nonpartisan instead.This would mean when you go to vote in those elections, you won’t know if ...
Published: 06/22/18
Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

Hotel renovator approved by council to restore New Port Richey’s Hacienda Hotel

NEW PORT RICHEY — A seasoned historic hotel renovator and operator is going to take a crack at getting New Port Richey’s city-owned Hacienda Hotel back into action. New Port Richey City Council members, acting as the Community Redevelopment Agency, u...
Published: 06/20/18
Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

Pope Francis criticizes Trump’s family-separation policy on migrants, says ‘populism is not the solution’

VATICAN CITY - Pope Francis stepped into a growing controversy over President Donald Trump’s immigration policies, criticizing the separation of migrant families at the U.S.-Mexican border and saying that "populism" and "creating psychosis" are not t...
Published: 06/20/18
Raburn out in State House 57 race. Now who’s in?

Raburn out in State House 57 race. Now who’s in?

Well, that didn’t last long.U.S. Army veteran Michael Sean McCoy filed to run as the Republican candidate in the State House, District 57 race just hours after incumbent State Rep. Jake Raburn, R-Lithia, announced he was stepping down.McCoy, who live...
Published: 06/19/18
Updated: 06/21/18
Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

Romano: A Tampa Bay ‘superstar’ caught in the crosshairs of Trump’s border policy

At this moment, she is Tampa Bay’s most influential export. A smart, accomplished and powerful attorney making life-altering decisions on an international stage.But what of tomorrow? And the day after?When the story of President Donald Trump’s border...
Published: 06/19/18
‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

‘Don’t leave me, Mom’: Detainee tells of separation from son

SEATTLE — The call came at mealtime — an anonymous threat demanding $5,000 or her son’s life. So Blanca Orantes-Lopez, her 8-year-old boy and his father packed up and left the Pacific surfing town of Puerto La Libertad in El Salvador and headed for t...
Published: 06/19/18
Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

Trump defiant as border crisis escalates, prepares to lobby House GOP on immigration bills

WASHINGTON - As he prepared to visit Capitol Hill, President Donald Trump on Tuesday continued to insist that Congress produce comprehensive immigration legislation, while anxious Republicans explored a narrower fix to the administration policy of se...
Published: 06/19/18
Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

Trump, GOP to huddle as outrage builds over border policy

WASHINGTON (AP) — Calls are mounting on Capitol Hill for the Trump administration to end the separation of families at the southern border ahead of a visit from President Donald Trump to discuss legislation.Trump’s meeting late Tuesday afternoon with...
Published: 06/19/18