Tuesday, September 25, 2018
Politics

Former Republican leader Greer criticizes campaign against Florida Supreme Court justices

At least one Republican doesn't like the GOP's decision to oppose the merit retention of three Florida Supreme Court judges.

In a statement released Monday night, former Florida GOP chairman Jim Greer said the party "has no business interfering or attempting to manipulate the makeup of the Florida Supreme Court or the state's judiciary."

Greer said the move is just the latest in a series of steps taken to punish those who uphold constitutional protections that don't match the party leadership's "it's our way.''

"Floridians should be scared to death,'' Greer added. "As chairman, I never would have permitted it; it's wrong and needs to be stopped.''

"If these justices are removed, their political-lackey governor gets to appoint their replacements. They're abusing their power to stack the deck. … It's an unimaginative page straight from The Pelican Brief."

Party officials aren't likely to listen. Greer is charged with stealing about $200,000 from the party with a phoney fundraising company. He faces trial on multiple felony counts in February.

Drug database short of funds

As Florida's fledgling prescription drug monitoring program faces a potential funding shortfall, the state senator who pushed for the database is now asking Gov. Rick Scott to support ending restrictions that keep pharmaceutical companies from donating money.

Florida law currently prohibits the use of state funds or money from drug companies to support the operation of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, created in 2009 as an effort to curb prescription drug abuse and "doctor shopping."

Sen. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey, was the lead supporter of the database in the Legislature. The Florida Sheriff's Association will push for an amendment to state law to allow private companies to support the database, Fasano said in a letter to Scott on Monday.

The governor initially expressed concern about the database, saying it could compromise patient confidentiality. The tea party and some Republicans also voiced opposition to the database early on. Under Scott's urging, private companies that pledged money to support the database were barred from donating, Fasano's letter said.

The senator said that current funding for the database will run out in January, and he urged Scott to help find money for a short-term fix. But he said allowing pharmaceutical companies to make donations would be a long-term solution to the money issue.

Rubio on campaign trail

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio will be in North Carolina and South Carolina today campaigning for Republicans and raising money for Mitt Romney.

The Florida Republican will headline a fundraiser in Charlotte for congressional candidate Robert Pittenger and participate in a Romney-Ryan victory rally, also in Charlotte. He'll also do media interviews in the swing state. In South Carolina, he'll headline a Romney fundraiser.

On Monday, Rubio will turn attention to Florida's U.S. Senate race, spending the day with Connie Mack IV. He may then head to Denver for the first presidential debate next Wednesday.

Biden in South Florida

Vice President Joe Biden starts a two-day Florida swing Friday with grass roots events at the Century Village Clubhouse in Boca Raton and at the Palace Theater at Kings Point in Tamarac. On Saturday, Biden will attend a grass roots rally in Fort Myers at the Wa-Ke Hatchee Park Recreation Center.

Times staff writers Tia Mitchell and Alex Leary contributed to this report.

Comments
Trump attacks second Kavanaugh accuser, saying she 'has nothing' and was 'totally inebriated'

Trump attacks second Kavanaugh accuser, saying she 'has nothing' and was 'totally inebriated'

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump on Tuesday attacked the second woman who has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct, dismissing her account because she was "totally inebriated and all messed up," and accused Democrats of pla...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Anti-Kavanaugh protesters confront Ted Cruz at dinner

Anti-Kavanaugh protesters confront Ted Cruz at dinner

Protesters who oppose Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation to the Supreme Court confronted Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and his wife at dinner Monday night, heckling them at their table at a Washington restaurant until they left.As interest groups ...
Published: 09/25/18
You thought you knew these candidates? In House District 38, it's Tent Killer challenging Little Danny

You thought you knew these candidates? In House District 38, it's Tent Killer challenging Little Danny

Most everybody knew John David Hayes simply as “David’’ until 1982. The then-21-year-old skydiving enthusiast, however, made a bad landing on his 11th jump in Alberta, Canada, and soon everyone started calling him something else. "...
Published: 09/25/18
Hey kids, you really stink at this voting business

Hey kids, you really stink at this voting business

The public service announcement begins with an insult.This works on several levels for the audience of teenagers.It grabs their attention and makes them laugh. It also happens to be wickedly accurate, and it pretty much explains why Pasco Supervisor ...
Published: 09/25/18
Rod Rosenstein, who had been overseeing Russia probe, has offered to resign

Rod Rosenstein, who had been overseeing Russia probe, has offered to resign

WASHINGTON - Deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein has told White House officials he is willing to resign in the wake of revelations he once suggested secretly recording the president, but it’s unclear if the resignation has been accepted, according...
Published: 09/24/18
Solar farm land price is $6.8 million, including $4.4 million to state Sen. Wilton Simpson

Solar farm land price is $6.8 million, including $4.4 million to state Sen. Wilton Simpson

Tampa Electric Co. has said its Mountain View Solar project near Dade City represented a $75 million investment in alternative energy. The investing began in earnest last week when the utility paid more than $6.8 million for 382 acres in the rural co...
Published: 09/24/18
US considers limit on green cards for immigrants on benefits

US considers limit on green cards for immigrants on benefits

SAN DIEGO — The Trump administration has proposed rules that could deny green cards to immigrants if they use Medicaid, food stamps, housing vouchers and other forms of public assistance.Federal law already requires those seeking green cards t...
Published: 09/23/18
Christine Blasey Ford reaches deal to  testify at Kavanaugh hearing

Christine Blasey Ford reaches deal to testify at Kavanaugh hearing

The woman who has accused Judge Brett Kavanaugh of sexually assaulting her when they were teenagers has committed to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday, her lawyers said Sunday. The lawyers said some details — including whe...
Published: 09/23/18

AP source: Kavanaugh, Ford agree to testify on Thursday

WASHINGTON — Negotiators reached a tentative agreement Saturday for the Senate Judiciary Committee to hear testimony Thursday from Christine Blasey Ford, the woman accusing Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault from decades ago, two...
Published: 09/22/18

Trump administration aims to sharply restrict new green cards for those on public aid

WASHINGTON — Trump administration officials announced Saturday that immigrants who legally use public benefits like food assistance and Section 8 housing vouchers could be denied green cards under new rules aimed at keeping out people the administrat...
Published: 09/22/18