The Libertarian Party has gotten all that it can handle in U.S. Senate wannabe Augustus Sol Invictus. So notes Tampa Bay Times metro columnist John Romano:
For a moment last year, they were Florida's favorite political underdogs.
If not hip, Libertarians were at least funky. They sided with conservatives on shrinking the government and owning guns, and stood with liberals on marriage equality and ending the war on drugs....
With the Planned Parenthood debate taking center stage in a Congressional hearing this week, PolitiFact's Linda Qiu dissected a chart that was a centerpiece to the discussion.
Congress may have avoided a government shutdown related to Planned Parenthood funding - at least so far - but the controversy over the women's health organization looks like it's here to stay.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sparred with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards during a high-profile hearing on Sept. 29. One of their face-offs originated with a chart Chaffetz flashed, indicating that Planned Parenthood performed more abortions than "life-saving procedures" in 2013, a complete reversal from just seven years ago....
From the Associated Press:
TALLAHASSEE - Florida passed 227 bills during its annual session and 27 of those became laws today.
They address issues ranging from revenge porn and prostitution to training law enforcement officers on how to recognize health emergencies brought on by diabetes. The following is a look at some of the new laws:
American Bridge is launching a new ad in Florida and Iowa hitting Republican candidates, including Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush, on their pledges to get rid of Obamacare.
The liberal group said the ad -- which it calls the "GOP's Plan to Steal & Erase Healthcare for Millions" -- will appear on Twitter and Facebook today through Thursday. It did not disclose how much money was being spent....
Fueled in part by low gas prices, Florida's economic recovery keeps rolling.
The state added a solid 19,600 jobs in August — second-best in the country to California — as its unemployment rate tumbled to 5.3 percent, the lowest mark in more than seven years. Tampa Bay, where unemployment dipped to 5.2 percent, was second only to Orlando among Florida metros in creating jobs over the year....
ICYMI: From Julie K. Brown of the Miami Herald:
They ambushed Gesnerson Louisius in an isolated corner of A-Dormitory, in an unlocked concrete-block room at Lancaster Correctional Institution, one of four state prisons in Florida where crime wears a young face.
It was May 7, 2013, and Louisius, 19, a new inmate, was slammed in the back of his head with a bar of soap stuffed inside a sock. Six inmates pinned him down, and one grabbed him by his throat, as two others dragged him across the carpeted floor by his ankles, according to the department's report on the attack....
09/10/15 Working Life
Job growth in Florida is picking up slightly but remains far shy of last year's levels, based on the latest regional employment roundup from payroll processing firm ADP .
Florida added 15,100 private sector jobs in August, up about 1,400 jobs from the month earlier, ADP reported Wednesday.
That kept Florida firmly ensconced as the third-biggest job creator behind California and Texas. But based on its population as the third-biggest state, Florida's performance was less impressive. The ADP report, which ranks 29 states and Washington, D.C., indicated Florida was tied with Idaho and Oregon for sixth in percentage growth of adding jobs. It trailed Washington, D.C., Arizona, Utah, California and Nevada....
With Gov. Rick Scott planning a jobs-poaching trip to Kentucky later this month, Enterprise Florida has released a radio ad in the Bluegrass state today to lay out Scott's campaign.
In the radio spot, the state's chief jobs-recruiting arm encourages businesses to relocate to Florida.
"The new ad... continues to highlight why Florida is a better place than Kentucky to do business," Scott said in a statement. "The credit rating agency, Standard and Poor's, just dropped Kentucky's credit rating and it is now among the worst in the nation. I look forward to highlighting Florida's AAA credit rating to Kentucky business leaders and demonstrating how Florida out-competes Kentucky for the best place in the nation to grow their business."...
With roughly 800 new residents added to the population every day, Florida has re-emerged as a growth state enjoying falling unemployment rates and a swelling workforce.
But a study released Sunday by Florida International University indicates that one of the state's financial millstones — income inequality — persists as a drag on its overall economic vibrancy.
Among the many intriguing numbers inside the "State of Working Florida 2015" report from FIU's Center for Labor Research and Studies are these two: 39.5 percent and negative 7.1 percent. The first represents real income growth for the top 1 percent of wage-earners in Florida between 2009 and 2012; the second is the drop in real income growth for the bottom 99 percent over the same time....
Doug Hanks of the Miami Herald writes about a Donald Trump parody that has surfaced out of Miami Beach, complete with a cameo from his ex-aide, Roger Stone.
Steve Berke ran for Miami Beach mayor twice and makes a living producing videos on a You Tube channel dedicated to marijuana. His latest project: teaming up with Roger Stone, a former top aide to Donald Trump, in a video celebrating the Republican front-runner....
Cynthia O'Connell, the under-fire Secretary of the Florida Lottery, has resigned.
Gov. Rick Scott said Friday he has appointed longtime lottery executive Tom Delacenserie as the Interim Secretary.
Scott said in a statement that O'Connell announced her Oct. 1 departure to explore opportunities in the private sector. However, O'Connell and her agency have faced severe criticism over poor financial management and a fraud investigation into recurring payouts. Earlier this week, Politico wrote that O'Connell racked up nearly $30,000 in travel bills and took nine weeks of vacation in 2014 -- roughly 20 percent of all business days -- in a time key staffers in her office were under investigation....
The Tampa Bay Times' Dan Ruth dishes up a column on the latest special session in Tallahassee -- the one triggered by a Supreme Court mandate to redraw the state's Congressional districts so as not to favor/disfavor any particular incumbent or party.
It's a dive into what Ruth describes as addled delusions, crybabies, and Lord Voldemort meeting Lance Armstrong. Here's his take:
Here's a simple question to ponder. Suppose you found yourself sitting next to a member of the Florida Legislature in a saloon. Would you feel comfortable leaving your bar change unattended within arm's reach of one of our elected officials if nature suddenly called?...
Throughout his tenure, Gov. Rick Scott has been fonding of taking friendly jabs at Texas as Florida's arch-rival in job creation.
Earlier this month, he took glee in announcing that a Texas company is moving 420 new jobs to Broward County....
Florida added 13,700 private sector jobs in July, the weakest monthly performance so far this year, according to a report released Wednesday.
The estimate from payroll-processing firm ADP indicated Florida is still among the strongest job generators in the country. But it has slumped to third behind Gov. Rick Scott's arch-competitor, Texas. California remains No. 1, adding a robust 27,600 private sector jobs....
So you're a Jeb! enthusiast shopping for a Guaca Bowle? Maybe a BBQ apron or vintage tank from the presidential aspirant?
Jeb Bush's online store has that and more as Katie Mettler of the Tampa Bay Times writes:
We're still trying to figure out whether Jeb Bush's 2016 online campaign store, which was launched Wednesday, is making more of a political statement or a fashion statement....