Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Politics

Can Sen. Marco Rubio recover with tea party? 'Absolutely,' leader says

Sen. Marco Rubio did not avoid the obvious in a meeting with the tea party Tuesday, addressing his high-profile work on immigration reform.

For 30 seconds.

Then Rubio launched into a speech on the need to continue opposing Obamacare.

So continues the Florida Republican's effort to move past an issue that has damaged him among conservatives. A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll shows Rubio's favorability/unfavorabilty numbers among tea party supporters has dropped from 52 percent/8 percent in February to 47 percent/15 percent now.

"He started off his remarks saying a lot of you don't agree with my position on immigration but I did what I thought was right for the country," Niger Innis, chief strategist of TheTeaParty.net, told the Tampa Bay Times. "He only spent about 30 seconds on it. He knows most people in the room disagree with him, but it was respectful. No eggs were thrown at him."

"He spent much more time — a good 10 minutes — talking about Obamacare and the moral and practical and economic responsibility that tea party members and conservatives have to derail Obamacare."

Rubio in his brief immigration remarks mentioned how he does not plan on pressing the House on immigration. "He's given his pound of flesh to those who want comprehensive immigration reform," Innis said. "We disagree with him, but it was courageous. But he's said his part. I think he's done. I think he realized he has to remind those in the tea party that on 95 percent of the issues, he is right in line with them. His record is sterling except for one major blemish."

Innis said "absolutely" Rubio can recover, though much depends on how the House addresses immigration: "They can't get steamrolled."

He said it would be unwise for tea party members to discard Rubio.

"Why would we want to alienate this rising star?" Innis said. "I'm not encouraging people to look past immigration, but — no pun intended — to have a comprehensive look at his record."

Comments
Bowen: Mariano to PSC?

Bowen: Mariano to PSC? "It’s a longshot’’

If this were American Idol, then Jack Mariano got past the first audition.Mariano, the Pasco County commissioner from District 5, is considered one of the "most qualified’’ applicants for an opening on the Florida Public Service Commission, the state...
Published: 01/23/18
Back to work: Government shutdown ending as Dems relent

Back to work: Government shutdown ending as Dems relent

New York TimesWASHINGTON — Congress brought an end to a three-day government shutdown on Monday as Senate Democrats buckled under pressure to adopt a short-term spending bill to fund government operations without first addressing the fate of young un...
Published: 01/22/18
Congressman combating harassment used public money on own case

Congressman combating harassment used public money on own case

WASHINGTON — Rep. Patrick Meehan, R-Pa., who has taken a leading role in fighting sexual harassment in Congress, used thousands of dollars in taxpayer money to settle his own misconduct complaint after a former aide accused him last year of making un...
Published: 01/20/18
The longer the shutdown lasts, the further the economic ripples will spread

The longer the shutdown lasts, the further the economic ripples will spread

The early days of the federal government shutdown won’t slow the U.S. economy much. No workers are missing paychecks yet, and because it is a weekend, few businesses expect to feel the effects of lost customers or suppliers.That could change, quickly...
Published: 01/20/18
Romano: If UCF is national champion, then I’m a Hollywood stud

Romano: If UCF is national champion, then I’m a Hollywood stud

Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan famously said people were entitled to their own opinions, but not their own facts.Clearly, Moynihan never dealt with Florida legislators.Because around Tallahassee, facts are fungible. They aren’t just up for debate, they...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18
U.S. government shuts down; Democrats, GOP blame each other

U.S. government shuts down; Democrats, GOP blame each other

WASHINGTON — The federal government shut down at the stroke of midnight Friday, halting all but the most essential operations and marring the one-year anniversary of President Donald Trump’s inauguration in a striking display of Washington dysfunctio...
Published: 01/19/18
Updated: 01/20/18
Battle lines already forming for Menendez corruption retrial

Battle lines already forming for Menendez corruption retrial

NEWARK, N.J. — U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez might spend 2018 asking voters to re-elect him and jurors to acquit him. Prosecutors from the Department of Justice told a federal judge in New Jersey on Friday that they will seek a retrial of the Democratic sen...
Published: 01/19/18
Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown

Congress likely racing toward a government shutdown

WASHINGTON — A bitterly-divided Congress hurtled toward a government shutdown this weekend in a partisan stare-down over demands by Democrats for a solution on politically fraught legislation to protect about 700,000 younger immigrants from being dep...
Published: 01/19/18
Clearwater City Council candidate John Funk: City needs better planning

Clearwater City Council candidate John Funk: City needs better planning

CLEARWATER — Voters may not be too familiar with the name John Funk.So since launching his campaign for City Council Seat 5 against well-known incumbent Hoyt Hamilton, Funk said he has knocked on 2,000 doors to introduce himself. Before the March 13 ...
Published: 01/19/18
Clearwater City Council candidate Hoyt Hamilton: Experience is key for critical next term

Clearwater City Council candidate Hoyt Hamilton: Experience is key for critical next term

CLEARWATER — By asking voters to elect him into office a fifth time, Hoyt Hamilton knows he’s now considered part of the old-guard. Born and raised in Clearwater, his family roots stretch back here more than 100 years. Hamilton, 59, spent nearly his ...
Published: 01/19/18