Winners of the Week: Foundation for Excellence. The profile of Jeb Bush's education foundation could well have diminished after the former governor stepped down to focus on the presidency. Naming former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to serve as the foundation's new chairman, however, should help ensure that doesn't happen. Winner of the week II: POLITICO. The beltway political outlet took a huge step into Florida, smartly hiring away ace reporter Marc Caputo from the Miami Herald to lead its Florida coverage
Loser of the week: Rick Scott. His fellow Republicans on the Florida Cabinet are now speaking out about his handling of the FDLE. the scandal has spread from the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald onto the front page of other Florida newspapers and is overshadowing most everything he does and says lately....
01/24/15 State Roundup
U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee, who unseated Republican Steve Southerland in November, is under fire from Democrats for votes in favor of the Keystone pipeline, to roll back Wall Street reforms and other issues, illustrating the difficulty she faces in a district with a sizable conservative base.
The rift is evident on Facebook, where Florida Democratic Party chairwoman Allison Tant posted a photo of her and Graham on Tuesday and the comment section filled up with negative assessments of Graham....
Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater appears Sunday on Political Connections on Bay News 9. The show airs at 11 a.m. and 8 p.m. in Tampa Bay. Here's a snippet.
Sounds like the House Business & Professions Subcommittee may have an intertesting proposal to discuss at 2 p.m. today. From a press release:
A coalition of retailers is supporting a measure that is expected to be heard before the 2015 Legislative Session relating to Florida’s outdated and inconvenient alcohol separation law.
Floridians for Fair Business Practices (FFBP) encourages lawmakers to vote to repeal the current law, originally passed in 1935 after prohibition, which restricts consumer access to alcoholic beverage by requiring liquor to be sold in a location separate from groceries and other goods....
Democratic former state Sen. Dan Gelber, a former federal prosecutor from Miami Beach, weighs in on the allegations that Rick Scott's administration wanted state law enforcement officials to target certain people:
...Think about what will happen when one of Scott's staffers asks the next FDLE Commissioner or agent to do something inappropriate or illegal? Will they follow the law or will they not have enough guts to do the right thing at the expense of their job?...
The Washington Post has a lot of new details about Jeb Bush's role as a board member and "key adviser" to Miami-based company InnoVida, whose executives ultimately went to prison on fraud convictions:
,,,Previously unreported court documents suggest that Bush was more involved with the company than has been publicly known — and that he deepened his role even as others associated with InnoVida grew concerned about its financial practices....
01/19/15 State Roundup
Florida's mighty Republican Party is in a state of uncertainty after the giant upset victory Saturday of a charismatic new party chairman who immediately signaled he won't be just another rubber stamp for elected Republicans in Tallahassee.
One of the first things state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia did after his election as Republican Party of Florida chairman was to restrict access to state party headquarters in Tallahassee, order no removal or transfer of documents and bar any financial transactions without his authorization. Treating the party's "George Bush Republican Center" like a potential crime scene does not exactly signal status quo....
Florida’s mighty Republican Party is in a state of uncertainty following a giant upset victory Saturday of a charismatic, new party chairman who immediately signaled he won’t be yet another rubber stamp for elected Republicans in Tallahassee.
One of the first things state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia did after his election as Florida’s state GOP Chairman was to restrict access to the state party headquarters in Tallahassee, order no removal or transfer of documents, and bar any financial transactions without his authorization. Treating the state party’s “George Bush Republican Center” like a potential crime scene does not exactly signal status quo....
Winner of the week
Blaise Ignoglia: The tournament poker plays knows a little something about high stakes risk, and running for state party chairman against the hand-picked candidate of the governor and legislative leaders was a giant one. He pulled off a giant upset, thanks to his grass roots relationships and his own canny political instincts. Now we'll see if he can lead and play nice with doubters in his own party....
01/17/15 State Roundup
Gov. Rick Scott has sent a warning to his former employees: You're on your own when it comes to defending yourself in court over lost public records.
In a response to a lawsuit filed in circuit court in Tallahassee accusing the governor of intentionally hiding public documents, the governor's legal counsel argued that the governor's office has done its part to turn over the records sought in the lawsuit and, if there are more records to turn over, it's not its fault....
01/16/15 State Roundup
Tricia Rivas had never written to an elected official, but gripped with emotion, she composed an urgent email to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. "Please save Terri Schiavo!" she wrote from her home in Tucson, Ariz., on March 20, 2005. "Do something before it is too late … please! Every parent is watching this drama unfold … and will remember the outcome in future elections." Schiavo would be dead by the end of the month at a hospice near St. Petersburg, but not before Bush took a series of actions that, looking back a decade later, are stunning for their breadth and audacity....
Apparently Republican state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia's campaign for Florida GOP chairman is strong enough to have at least one of his rivals worried. Why else would they share THIS VIDEO of Ingoglia at a televised poker tournament in New Jersey.
Gambling could be a turn off to some of the GOP activists voting Saturday in the chairman's race. But far more damaging than that are the deadly serious questions this video raises about Ingoglia's fashion sense. My lord, that shirt!...
We noted earlier how unpredictable the four-person race for Florida GOP chairman is shaping up to be. Now Leslie Dougher is rolling out endorsements from recent Florida GOP Chairmen. Our hunch is she didn't reach out to Jim Greer.
Here's her letter:...
The race for Florida GOP Chairman is looking more and more unpredictable. The latest sign of trouble for Leslie Dougher, the governor's candidare and ostensible frontrunner? Republican National Committeeman Peter Feaman is endorsing former state Rep. Kurt Kelly for chairman. Check out his video here
This is a pretty pretty big deal in terms of making more voting members comfortable going to Feaman, considering Feaman would presumably think twice before ticking off the governor and backing someone likely to lose....
Winner of the week - Daniel Webster
The Republican congressman from Winter Garden lost big when he ran against John Boehner for House speaker, but the low-key conservative recruited by colleagues to make the challenge earned a lot of attention and respect from people in the beltway who were previously unfamiliar with him.
Loser of the week - Ted Yoho...