Sunday, December 17, 2017
Politics

Florida Democrats have top-notch lodging, big numbers in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Florida Republicans may not want to read this story.

As the Democratic National Convention begins this week, Florida Democrats are staying in one of Charlotte's best hotels, the Marriott City Center, a mere five-minute walk from where the festivities will take place.

"This is going to be the most wonderful experience for me," said Elena McCullough, a 51-year-old from Wesley Chapel. "I am so excited to be surrounded by all these enthusiastic people from all across the United States."

Aside from top-notch lodging, the size of the Florida delegation swelled this year to 363 — which includes 300 voting delegates, the highest number ever.

"It underscores just how Florida is going to be one of the most important states in this year's elections," said Brannon Jordan, communications director for the Florida Democratic Party. "And the party wants Florida delegates to feel appreciated. It's a good motivator for them to work hard after the convention, to go back home and get energized about this election."

By contrast, Florida Republicans were exiled last week as punishment for holding their 2012 primary earlier than the GOP allowed. The delegation was cut in half — to 50 voting delegates — and they were banished to the Innisbrook Golf and Spa Resort, about 30 miles from the convention in downtown Tampa.

The punishment felt worse, however, when several bus drivers got lost or were late. The delays caused delegates to miss parts of the convention. On one trip back, a bus driver mistakenly took some delegates to the Seminole Hard Rock Casino. They didn't get back until well after 3 a.m.

During the last two days, organizers provided more buses for the delegates and no other problems were reported.

But Democrats took note. They issued a news release of their accommodations after reports of the GOP's bus delays were published. And as delegates know, no price is too high for proximity to power.

"I'm not sure I'm happy about paying $482 a night to stay here," said Evelyn Fox, a Gainesville resident. "But there's something to be said for convenience. It's worth it."

Comments
Trump says he isn’t considering firing Mueller

Trump says he isn’t considering firing Mueller

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump said Sunday that he is not considering firing special counsel Robert Mueller even as his administration was again forced to grapple with the growing Russia inquiry that has shadowed the White House for much of his ...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

Trump defends tax plan, proclaims economy set ‘to rock’

WASHINGTON — Closing in on the first major legislative achievement of his term, President Donald Trump on Saturday defended the Republican tax cut as a good deal for the middle class while boldly suggesting it could lead to explosive economic growth....
Published: 12/16/17
Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Romano: Some bullies survive beyond the schoolyard

Sometime soon, members of the Florida House will be asked to consider a solution for bullying in public schools. It’s a dubious idea based on the premise that students should flee their tormenters, and use voucher funds to attend a private school of ...
Published: 12/16/17
CDC gets list of forbidden words: ‘fetus,’ ‘transgender,’ ‘evidence-based’

CDC gets list of forbidden words: ‘fetus,’ ‘transgender,’ ‘evidence-based’

Trump administration officials are forbidding officials at the nation’s top public health agency from using a list of seven words or phrases - including "fetus" and "transgender" - in any official documents being prepared for next year’s budget.Polic...
Published: 12/16/17
Female congressional candidate leaves race after sexual harassment allegations resurface

Female congressional candidate leaves race after sexual harassment allegations resurface

A Democratic candidate hoping to flip a hotly contested congressional seat in Kansas has dropped out of the race after allegations that she sexually harassed a male subordinate resurfaced amid her campaign.Andrea Ramsey, 57, who was running to unseat...
Published: 12/16/17
Highlights of GOP compromise bill to overhaul tax code

Highlights of GOP compromise bill to overhaul tax code

WASHINGTON — Republicans in Congress have blended separate tax bills passed by the House and Senate into compromise legislation that seeks to achieve a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax code. GOP leaders are looking toward passage of the final pa...
Published: 12/15/17
Updated: 12/16/17
With Rubio, Corker back on board, GOP speeds ahead with tax plan

With Rubio, Corker back on board, GOP speeds ahead with tax plan

WASHINGTON — Republican lawmakers on Friday secured enough votes to pass the most sweeping tax overhaul in decades, putting them on the cusp of their first significant legislative victory this year as party leaders geared up to pass a $1.5 trillion t...
Published: 12/15/17
Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

Experts chart path for Hillsborough to grow smarter before sprawl takes over

TAMPA — Nearly 600,000 more people will live in Hillsborough County by 2040, and if elected officials and county planners don’t take bold steps now, the population boom will turn the county into the soulless sprawl of Anywhere, U.S.A.That’s the messa...
Published: 12/15/17
Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

Tillerson retreats on offer of unconditional N. Korea talks

WASHINGTON — America’s top diplomat stepped back Friday from his offer of unconditional talks with North Korea, telling world powers that the nuclear-armed nation must earn the right to negotiate with the United States. Secretary of State Rex Tillers...
Published: 12/15/17
Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

Judge signals release of ex-Trump chair Paul Manafort to Florida home under curfew and GPS monitoring

A federal judge Friday said a bail package has been put together that would release former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort from home confinement in his condominium in Virginia and allow him to reside at his house in Palm Beach Gardens, but unde...
Published: 12/15/17