Saturday, May 26, 2018
Politics

Poll gives Charlie Crist 10-point lead on Gov. Rick Scott

Charlie Crist leads Gov. Rick Scott by 10 percentage points in a new poll of Florida voters that also indicates a majority of voters view the former governor's party-switching in a favorable light.

The Quinnipiac University poll indicates Crist's 48-38 percent lead over Scott is reflected in three key areas: likability, trustworthiness and compassion.

Scott is spending at least $6.5 million in ads in two months and might have already spent as much as $20 million, according to Crist's campaign.

"So far, Florida Gov. Rick Scott's television barrage apparently has had no impact on the race. The incumbent has not been able to reduce former Gov. Charlie Crist's lead. In fact, voters see Crist's party switch in a positive light and the incumbent's effort to tie Crist's support for Obamacare has not yet borne fruit," Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement.

Republicans are sure to complain that the poll over-surveyed self-identified independents and didn't include enough Republicans (who account for just 25 percent of the sample but likely will be more than 40 percent of the ballot-casting electorate in November).

Charity bill passes

The Senate voted 39-0 Wednesday for a bill to protect Florida consumers from fraudulent and deceptive practices by charities.

The bill is designed to stop charities from misleading sympathetic Floridians into donating cash to noble causes such as sick children or veterans, when in fact most of the money ends up in the pockets of profiteers as detailed in an investigation by the Tampa Bay Times and The Center for Investigative Reporting called "America's Worst Charities."

Charities that have been banned in other states could not set up shop in Florida, paid telemarketers will have to undergo background checks and felons would be banned from soliciting funds.

The bill (HB 629) goes back to the full House for a final vote before it reaches the desk of Gov. Rick Scott, who is expected to sign it.

Finding new life

As is often the case during a session, bills are never dead until the very end. That's the case with HB 683, which was brought back to life Wednesday thanks to Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon. The bill would allow Hillsborough County agencies to opt out of using the Civil Service Board to save on costs and the time it takes in hiring employees. Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, used a procedural rule Monday to remove it from consideration. But at the end of Wednesday's session, Lee waived the rules and let a two-thirds vote place the bill back in play. "Now the civil service bill is being treated like any other bill in the Florida Senate," said its House sponsor, Rep. Dana Young, R-Tampa. Joyner issued a statement: "Unfortunately, delegation members and some local Hillsborough County officials seem to feel they know better than a system that has stood the test of time."

Steve Bousquet and Michael Van Sickler contributed.

Comments
Carlton: Sometimes taxpayers pay for not doing the right thing

Carlton: Sometimes taxpayers pay for not doing the right thing

I may have cracked the code. Found a way to sell doing the right thing. Discovered a method of persuasion in certain matters of fairness, conscience and the greater good.Like giving our fellow Americans a second chance.When morality-based arguments d...
Published: 05/26/18
North Korea demolishes nuclear test site as journalists watch

North Korea demolishes nuclear test site as journalists watch

PUNGGYE-RI, North Korea — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made good on his promise to demolish his country’s nuclear test site, which was formally closed in a series of huge explosions Thursday as a group of foreign journalists looked on. The explosi...
Published: 05/24/18
Trump violated the Constitution when he blocked his critics on Twitter, a federal judge rules

Trump violated the Constitution when he blocked his critics on Twitter, a federal judge rules

President Donald Trump’s decision to block his Twitter followers for their political views is a violation of the First Amendment, a federal judge ruled Wednesday, saying that Trump’s effort to silence his critics is not permissible under the U.S. Con...
Published: 05/23/18
All those city services that fuel Lightning fever? Team, not taxpayers, foot the bill

All those city services that fuel Lightning fever? Team, not taxpayers, foot the bill

TAMPA — All those public watch parties during the Tampa Bay Lightning’s postseason run? And how about the rally at Joe Chillura Courthouse Square Park with the big white Lightning logo spray-painted on the grass? You need police to prote...
Published: 05/23/18
Romano: A pathetic legacy for Florida’s all-or-nothing Democrats

Romano: A pathetic legacy for Florida’s all-or-nothing Democrats

Explain this to me: In the world of partisan politics, how is being an independent thinker a bad thing? When it comes to general elections, we seem to like rogues and mavericks. We want outsiders and swamp scrubbers. Folks appreciate a good finger-...
Published: 05/22/18
‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

‘World’s most expensive Witch Hunt’: Trump lashes out at New York Times, Democrats

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump lashed out Sunday at "the World’s most expensive Witch Hunt," trashing a new report in the New York Times that said an emissary representing the governments of Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates offered help...
Published: 05/20/18
Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Obama’s education secretary: Let’s boycott school until gun laws change

Former Education Secretary Arne Duncan pushed a radical idea on Twitter: Parents should pull their children out of school until elected officials pass stricter gun control laws.His tweet came hours after a shooting rampage at a Houston-area high scho...
Published: 05/20/18
China offers to buy more US products to reduce trade imbalance

China offers to buy more US products to reduce trade imbalance

WASHINGTON - China offered to boost its annual purchases of U.S. products by "at least $200 billion" Friday as two days of talks aimed at averting an open breach between the two countries ended in Washington, a top White House adviser said.Larry Kudl...
Published: 05/19/18
Hillsborough candidate falsified contract for fund-raising gospel concert, lawsuit says

Hillsborough candidate falsified contract for fund-raising gospel concert, lawsuit says

TAMPA — A concert organizer is accusing Hillsborough County Commission candidate Elvis Piggott of falsifying a contract and prompting the headline act to pull out of a gospel show.In a lawsuit filed in Hillsborough Circuit Court, Corey Curry claims h...
Published: 05/18/18
Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA chief despite scrutiny of her role in interrogation program

Gina Haspel confirmed as CIA chief despite scrutiny of her role in interrogation program

WASHINGTON - The Senate voted Thursday to confirm Gina Haspel as the next CIA director after several Democrats were persuaded to support her despite lingering concerns about her role in the brutal interrogation of suspected terrorists captured after ...
Published: 05/17/18