Tampa Bay Times columnist Daniel Ruth has been recovering from a heart attack and quintuple bypass surgery, but he returns to his column with a witty take on why The Donald is all the inspiration he needs. An excerpt:
In my post-surgical stupor I hear a voice from above. There is a vague vision of some kind, too. It appears that a giant Irish setter with a New York accent is accusing the Mexican people of sweeping across the U.S. border to pillage the citizenry. The humongous gourd dressed up like Shirley Temple is also suggesting Arizona Sen. John McCain, a Vietnam era prisoner of war, is even less of a hero than Robert Vaughn in The Magnificent Seven....
The Miami Herald's Glenn Garvin has a great story about the hundreds of presidential candidates out there. An excerpt:
Sifting through the presidential declarations filed with the FEC is a rewarding journey through, depending on how you see it, either the richness of American political diversity or the crumbling fault lines of American mental health. There’s a candidate from the Absolute Dictator Party who gives his name as Caesar St Augustine De Buonaparte and complains on his FEC papers that he’s the victim of civil rights violations by the Bilderberg Group, the Trilateral Commission and the media. Right under that is his catchy campaign slogan, “God Blast America!”...
Super strong statement from Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, about today's redisctricting ruling by the Florida Supreme Court. Brown's snake-shaped Congressional District 5 is one of eight districts the court ruled have to be redrawn for the 2016 election. Here's Brown's statement:
“The decision by the Florida Supreme Court is seriously flawed and entirely fails to take into consideration the rights of minority voters. It also fails to recognize federal law, in that it did not incorporate the spirit of the 1964 Voting Rights Act, which protects minority voting rights and clearly supersedes the contradictory standards set by the state’s Fair Districts requirements....
The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that legislators must go back to the drawing board for eight of the state’s 27 congressional districts:
• District 5, held by Rep. Corinne Brown, D-Jacksonville
• District 13, held by Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores...
From Steve Rothaus at the Miami Herald. We missed this earlier:
Eleven days after the U.S. Supreme Court declared same-sex couples have the right to marry everywhere in America, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi on Tuesday officially dropped her appeal of the state’s first two gay marriage victories, in Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.
One year after Bondi became a national symbol in the conservative fight against gay marriage, she submitted one sentence just before 5 p.m. to Florida’s Third District Court of Appeal: “Pursuant to Rule 9.350(b) of the Florida Rules of Appellate Procedure, Appellant State of Florida hereby voluntarily dismisses these appeals.”...
Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano with an unexpected story from the Republican stronghold in central Florida. An excerpt of the column:
The community has a soundtrack, and it is Fox News. Take a walk through one of the bustling town squares, and you can hear it descending from the speakers — or is it the heavens? — somewhere above....
From the wires:
The Supreme Court has upheld the nationwide tax subsidies under President Barack Obama’s health care overhaul, in a ruling that preserves health insurance for millions of Americans. Read the opinion.
The justices said in a 6-3 ruling Thursday that the subsidies that 8.7 million people currently receive to make insurance affordable do not depend on where they live, under the 2010 health care law....
It took a couple of months longer than usual, and we'll be back at it sooner than normal next year. But Florida's dramatic 2015 legislative session came to a close Friday night with the traditional Sine Die hanky drop.
Here then is the annual list of bills that passed and failed. Enjoy....
The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board published a series of articles in support of Medicaid expansion over the weekend, including a petition for readers to sign. The series includes:
In today's Tampa Bay Times, we welcome the debut of William March's new politics column. He starts off with talk of former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker thinking about the Senate race:
In the complicated jockeying around the Republican primary for the 2016 U.S. Senate race, there are some who would like to add yet another wrinkle — a Tampa Bay area candidate.
Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, has already said he's considering the idea, but if he says no, what about former St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Baker?...
From our friends at the Associated Press:
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush says he trusts the legal process that resulted in charges against six Baltimore officers in the death of a man from injuries sustained while in police custody.
The likely presidential candidate was asked on Friday how a president can address rising anger toward police. He told reporters a president can lead a conversation on how to fight the pockets of poverty that can result in dissatisfaction and anger....
House Speaker Steve Crisafulli writes an op-ed column exclusively for the Tampa Bay Times explaining why the Florida House opposes Medicaid expansion. An excerpt:
We oppose expanding Medicaid because it is a broken system with poor health outcomes, high inflation, unseverable federal strings, and no incentive for personal responsibility for those who are able to provide for themselves. Under current law, Florida provides for our most vulnerable: low-income children, pregnant women, the elderly and disabled people....
Watch TMZ's interview with newly declared presidential candidate Marco Rubio at the airport in Washington on Tuesday as he arrived for Senate hearings. He talks about his wife, Jeanette, a former Miami Dolphins cheerleader, how he's into David Guetta's music and still likes Nicki Minaj:...
Proud to welcome John William Bush ('Jack') to the world--6 lbs 4oz--19 3/4 inches--Mommy is doing great!...
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn visits White House for small business trade meeting with President Barack Obama03/25/15 Blog
Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn was at the White House on Wednesday night for a small business roundtable meeting with President Barack Obama and other local elected officials and small businesses from across the country.
They met in the Roosevelt Room to discuss the opportunities and benefits of trade as well as the challenges that small business exporters face.