Tampa Bay Times correspondent William March takes on the Kevin Beckner/Pat Frank primary and efforts to rejuvenate Tampa's Tiger Bay Club, among other topics, in his latest column:
Frank folks fling flack over Beckner funder
The Kevin Beckner vs Pat Frank Democratic primary for Frank's clerk of court seat, likely to be the most interesting race on the local scene in 2016, already is heating up....
From the Tampa Bay Times' Dan DeWitt:
Hernando County has a legislative powerhouse on its side.No, not that guy. The other one - state Sen. Wilton Simpson.
Simpson, a Republican whose district includes all of Hernando County and parts of Sumter and Pasco, apparently was one of the few people in Florida to get something good out of this year's disastrous, aborted legislative session....
While speaking to a reporter during a stop in Reno, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at one point lets loose the long-anticipated phrase "I'm running for president in 2016."
A video clip of the remarks quickly circulated the blogosphere, siezing on Bush's ever-prolonged ramp-up to actually declaring himself a candidate....
Gov. Rick Scott will be in Edgewater this afternoon as part of a relentless campaign of stop-bys to tout private sector job growth in Florida. The event -- this time at boat manufacturer Boston Whaler -- typically involves Scott honoring job creators with medals, comparing the ceremony to the Olympics.
But his timing comes amid a report showing that private sector job growth in Florida has tumbled to a new low this year....
05/13/15 Economic Development
Florida's briefly resurgent job creation has tumbled to the lowest point of the year.
The state added just 13,800 private sector jobs last month, according to a report released Wednesday by payroll-processing firm ADP.
That's not only the Sunshine State's weakest month so far this year, but far off 2014, when it enjoyed multiple months churning out 20,000 new jobs or more.
The ADP snapshot came as Gov. Rick Scott headed to boat manufacturer Boston Whaler in Edgewater as part of a relentless campaign of stop-bys to tout private sector job growth in Florida, typically honoring job creators with medals. ...
TAMPA — Freight brokerage firm Total Quality Logistics is nearly doubling its Tampa workforce, creating up to 200 new jobs as it opens a new carrier service division here.
Total Quality, which goes by TQL, said that in addition to opening new office space on Harbour Island this March, it will launch the carrier services division later this year.
The service center will be TQL's first non-sales division outside of its corporate headquarters in Cincinnati....
Tampa Bay Times' columnist Dan DeWitt takes State Rep. Blaise Ingoglia of Spring Hill to task for being "laser-focused" on a job that voters didn't elect him to.
Here's an excerpt:
State Rep. Blaise Ingoglia, R-Spring Hill, is "laser focused" on his new job.
He's "worked extremely hard," he wrote in a recent email, and has shown "unconditional commitment" to his cause....
Saying the Florida House violated the Constitution by adjourning three days early, Senate President Andy Gardiner challenged the Florida House to come back into session Friday.
The following is a letter that Gardiner sent today to House Speaker Steve Crisafulli:
April 29, 2015
The Honorable Steve Crisafulli, Speaker Florida House of Representatives
420 The Capitol
402 South Monroe Street
Tallahassee, FL 32399-1300...
As promised, Gov. Rick Scott has sued the federal government, alleging it was trying to coerce Florida into expanding Medicaid.
Almost immediately after his announcement, Attorney General Pam Bondi endorsed the suit by stating: "The federal government is trying to do precisely what the U.S. Supreme Court held that the Constitution prohibits it from doing-forcing states to expand Medicaid by threatening to cut off funding for unrelated programs. The President, once again, is overstepping his authority, this time by trying to force Florida to expand Medicaid through the Affordable Care Act."...
On Sunday, The Christian Science Monitor explored the question: Is Jeb Bush the 2016 version of Mitt Romney?
In New Hampshire this weekend, there was already the scent of it. Perhaps not overpowering yet, but unmistakable and very familiar.
"I'm sick and tired of mushy, wishy-washy conservatives," one attendee of a Republican gathering for potential presidential candidates in New Hampshire told The Boston Herald....
04/17/15 Working Life
Florida kept creating jobs last month, but not enough in higher-paying categories and not enough to nudge down its unemployment rate.
The jobless rate stood unchanged at 5.7 percent in March, after both February and December's rates were revised upward from 5.6 percent.
That puts Florida above the national unemployment rate of 5.5 percent.
Chris McCarty of the University of Florida's Bureau of Economic Research sounded underwhelmed by Friday's report from the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity....
The Tampa Bay Times' John Romano and Robert Trigaux -- Times' metro and business columnist, respectively -- offered two takes on the latest political happenings in the Capitol.
Trigaux writes about how Gov. Rick Scott's job-poaching trip to California has sparked a backlash on the West coast....
.. From the Tampa Bay Times' Ivan Penn:
TALLAHASSEE -- Duke Energy Florida customers will see their electric bills drop on average by $3.45 a month beginning in May after state regulators on Thursday approved an end to charges related to the failed Levy County nuclear project.
But the 1.7 million customers shouldn't get too comfortable with the extra change in their pockets.
Read more here ...
While Florida lawmakers remain at a standstill, another Republican-controlled state legislature moves forward with Medicaid expansion.
The Hill writes here about action in the Montana statehouse.
A Tallahassee take from the Tampa Bay Times' John Romano:
Folks, it's time we face facts.
And the glut of evidence suggests that residents of this glorious state are now intrinsically linked by this one simple truth:
We are morons.
You, me and everyone else.
We are morons for allowing a handful of selfish, egotistical, politically driven hucksters waste billions of our tax dollars while also playing games with people's lives....