07/04/15 State Roundup
The big surge in Gov. Rick Scott's personal wealth in the past year raises a question: Is Florida's governor the richest governor in the country?
The short answer is no, not by a long shot, but he's way up there. Scott's net worth is $147 million. He got rich running the Columbia/HCA hospital chain, left the firm in 1997, became an investor and has successfully nurtured an extensive portfolio....
The biggest obstacle to Hillary Clinton winning the Democratic presidential nomination is a rumpled, white-haired grandfather who doesn't even call himself a member of the Democratic party.Sen. Bernie Sanders has no entourage or bevy of political advisers. He represents a state with half the population of Hillsborough County, and he has long been viewed by the national media as a quaint, fringie — a self-described democratic socialist, of all things! — from the People's Republic of Vermont....
The biggest obstacle to Hillary Rodham Clinton winning the Democratic presidential nomination is a rumpled, white-haired grandfather who doesn't even call himself a member of the Democratic Party.
Sen. Bernie Sanders has no entourage or bevy of political advisers. He represents a state with half the population of Hillsborough County, and he has long been viewed by the national media as a quaint fringie — a self-described democratic socialist, of all things! — from the People's Republic of Vermont....
From the Miami Herald:
Jeb Bush says he’s proud of what he and his wife, Columba, have contributed to charity. But his tax records show they’ve given less than the national average and less than others with similar wealth.
The former Florida governor’s boast that he and his wife had donated $739,000 to charity since he left the governor’s office in 2007 is only one view of his record....
A new habit is taking hold among reporters covering Florida government and politics: Making a point of looking at the official calendar of Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera.
Today's was typical:
LT. GOVERNOR LOPEZ-CANTERA’S SCHEDULE
FOR WEDNESDAY, JULY 1, 2015
NO SCHEDULED EVENTS
This is turning into a sizeable problem for the Republican lieutenant governor, who is poised to formally announce his candidacy for U.S. Senate within a couple weeks. Voters tend not to appreciate forking over $125,000 in taxpayer money to pay someone to do very little. Lopez-Cantera's response - that he's always on call - is unlikely to deflect attacks....
06/30/15 State Roundup
The Bush family mantra has been consistent for generations: First make a lot of money, then focus on public service.
Jeb Bush followed that path before running for governor of Florida in the 1990s, and 33 years of newly released tax returns show how he embraced that strategy with zeal before launching a presidential campaign this year.
His income jumped from $261,000 in 2006, his final year as governor, to more than $2.2 million in 2007. Then, from 2010 through 2013, tax returns released Tuesday show his annual income exploded from $3.2 million to nearly $7.4 million....
The Washington Post digs into Rubio's "soaring personal income" as his political influence grew and found something that was news to us: Rubio was a registered federal lobbyist.
...In December 2003, Rubio was registered as a federal lobbyist for Becker & Poliakoff in Washington, according to records maintained by the House and the Senate and never previously reported. The registration form, which includes Rubio’s signature, declares that he would concentrate on “budget appropriations and health care.”...
Hillary Clinton's campaign manager, Robbie Mook, is headlining a low-dollar ($25 per guest) fundraising reception this evening at Mise en Place. The event is closed to the press, and the campaign declined interview requests. For those keeping track - the Republican Party of Florida, for instance - the reception marks the latest example for the Clinton campaign declining to do any public events. So far she and her campaign team have only held closed-door money-raising events in the Sunshine/Bush-Rubio state....
As Jeb Bush touts his record leading Florida as a model for how he grow the national economy by at least 4 percent a year, he faces a good deal of skepticism from analysts who see another factor as much more important than Gov. Bush in Florida's economic growth from 1999 to 2007: The housing bubble.
From retired UF economist David Denslow this weekend: "(E)veryone knows that Florida’s strong growth from 1999 through 2006, his years as governor, was fueled by a housing bubble, even zanier here than in most other states. Fortuitously, the bubble slowed and then burst as Jeb left office, plunging Florida deep into recession.... Jeb’s Florida fails as a model for the nation..."...
Winner of the week
GOP leadership. The U.S. Supreme Court's Affordable Care Act ruling means party leaders across the state and the country don't have to deal with millions of constituents losing health insurance subsidies. They can continue denouncing the Affordable Care Act without offering an alternative or a coherent policy on health care reform. And, also courtesy of the Supreme Court, they can declare gay marriage the law of the land and move past a wedge issue damaging the GOP brand....
Democratic congressional candidate Eric Lynn, running against Republican incumbent David Jolly of St. Petersburg, hasn't done much to scare off potential primary rivals. Both St. Petersburg City Council member Darden Rice and former Tampa City Council member Mary Mulhern are seriously looking at jumping in the race. But they may think again when they see Lynn's early fundraising numbers....
What could be one of the biggest political stories of this election cycle also happens to be among the least talked about: the chaos poised to ensue if the Florida Supreme Court tosses out the state's latest congressional districts drawn by the Legislature.
We're not predicting it will happen — and we may know as early as Thursday — but we've heard a fair amount of chatter and speculation about it lately. The stakes are enormous, with big implications not only for members of Congress but also for the 2016 race for U.S. Senate and even perhaps the 2018 race for governor. Consider:...
The announcement by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal this week that he was jumping into the crowded Republican presidential primary field prompted widespread speculation that Melissa Sellers, a former senior Jindal adviser, would leave Gov. Rick Scott's staff as chief of staff to join Jindal's campaign. Sellers, who managed Scott's reelection campaign, has antagonized plenty of legislators in Tallahassee since she became Scott chief of staff seven months ago - his fourth chief of staff in 4 1/2 years....
What could be one of the biggest political stories of this election cycle also happens to be amond the least talked about: The chaos poised to ensue if the Florida Supreme Court tosses out Florida's latest Congressional districts drawn by the legislature. We're not predicting it will happen - and we may know as early as today - but we've heard a fair amount of chatter and speculation about it lately....
That Quinnipiac Florida poll released today finds voters feeling better about the performance of Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio than Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida legislature. Here are the job approval/disapprovals results in the Q poll:
Rick Scott: 39 percent approve/49 percent disapprove. That's his lowest approval rating in Q polls since May 2011....