DEMOCRATS SAY VIDEO SHOWS TIFF WASN'T THAT BAD
The Daphne Campbell-Scott Randolph saga continued Wednesday, with Rep. Campbell holding a press conference demanding that House Minority Leader Ron Saunders and Rep. Randolph publicly apologize for what she called bullying and sexist attacks. A group of Democrats responded with video and eyewitness evidence that they say proves Campbell is blowing everything out of proportion. Just typical 58th-day-of-the-legislative-session stuff. Campbell upset many Democrats last week for supporting legislation that would put further restrictions on abortion, which prompted fellow Democrat Randolph to promise to find someone to unseat her in 2012. After a vote, Campbell and Randolph exchanged words. And perhaps more. She says he flung papers at her. He denies it. Randolph acknowledges that he threw some of her papers and commemorative House pen in the trash because they were on his desk. After Campbell stepped out from the House floor Wednesday to address the controversy, about a dozen House Democrats stood alongside Randolph and said the entire issue had been exaggerated. They then played Florida Channel video showing the incident in question — the Democrats' own Zapruder film. The video shows Randolph start talking to Campbell, but then the camera cuts away for about five seconds. After, Randolph is seen walking away from the desk. "If there would have been very loud and aggressive behavior, I would have heard it," said Rep. Geraldine Thompson. Campbell filed an incident report requesting public protection in the chamber.
Some freed felons may get licenses
Legislation sponsored by Sen. Chris Smith, D-Fort Lauderdale, that would allow certain nonviolent ex-offenders to obtain occupational licenses is headed to Gov. Rick Scott's desk after a unanimous Senate vote. The House passed a companion bill last month. SB 146 prohibits the restoration of civil rights as a condition of obtaining public employment or occupational licenses such as those necessary to become a barber, plumber or auto mechanic. Currently, ex-cons need to have their civil rights restored before becoming eligible to obtain these licenses. In 2007, then-Gov. Charlie Crist began the process of streamlining the restoration process to allow tens of thousands of felons to regain their right to vote, sit on a jury and obtain various state licenses without having to undergo a lengthy review and hearing process. But at the urging of Attorney General Pam Bondi, that process was abruptly halted in March by Scott and the Cabinet, which approved a policy requiring many released felons to wait five years before they can seek restoration of their civil rights. Bondi, who testified in committee on behalf of the so-called decoupling of civil rights and occupational licenses, commended lawmakers for passing the bill.
Concealed carry 'oops' bill passes
The House approved a bill to decriminalize the accidental showing of a concealed weapon. SB 234 passed by a vote of 99-17 with no debate. It now goes to Gov. Scott.
Times staff and wire reports