Wedding bells, surgery for Brown-Waite
U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, R-Brooksville, announced Friday that she will have surgery to remove a blockage from her abdomen during the upcoming recess, which runs from Monday to April 11. Her doctors expect a full recovery, Brown-Waite said in statement. "I ask that you respect my privacy as I recover with my family and husband," she said. Husband? Though it had been common knowledge for months prior, Brown-Waite last month formally announced her engagement to Spring Hill businessman Anthony "Tony" Selvaggio along with news that she is running for re-election. Brown-Waite said the couple would likely tie the knot over one of Congress' breaks. Then, in a Politico story Wednesday about the health care legislation, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Brown-Waite had approached him worried if she would make it home for her wedding today. Her spokeswoman was tight-lipped when asked about that, but then came the announcement about the surgery and the reference to her "husband."
Michael Moore in pitch for Grayson
Continuing to flaunt his liberal side, Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando, sent out a fundraising pitch Friday from Michael Moore. "I'm contributing what I can to his campaign and I'd like to encourage you to contribute also," Moore says in a video. "You can imagine, this man is no friend of neither Goldman nor Sachs. And, they are gunning for him in this election. We need to keep him in Congress." Grayson appeared in Moore's latest film, Capitalism: A Love Story. Grayson recently got help from that other avatar of the left, Howard Dean.
New treasurer for governors group
South Florida lawyer, consultant and fundraiser Alex Heckler has been named treasurer (national finance chairman) of the Democratic Governors Association. The 33-year-old uber money-raiser had been deputy treasurer. "There are 37 governors races around the nation this November," Heckler said. "One of the most important races is right here in Florida, where our Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink would make an outstanding governor." Heckler noted the races are particularly important because many of those governors — including Florida's — will oversee the redistricting process, drawing lines for congressional and state legislative races for the next decade.
Truth promoted, with exceptions
It's Sen. Alex Villalobos' legislative swan song this year — and he's trying yet again to require lobbyists to tell the truth in committee meetings. It's a perennial issue for the Miami Republican, though the bill always seems to bog down in the House. "People come up here and lie to the Legislature every day," Villalobos said. "And we pass bills based on their lies." The legislation — which exempts children, lawmakers and legislative employees — makes it a felony for someone to make a false statement "that he or she does not believe to be true." It cleared the Senate Criminal Justice Committee unanimously, with one more stop before the Senate floor.
Times staff writers Alex Leary, Lee Logan, Tony Marrero and Adam C. Smith