01/29/15 State Roundup
From Florida's capital to early voting Iowa, Jeb Bush dramatically beefed up his political committee this week making it the largest GOP presidential campaign-in-waiting.
Bush's Right to Rise PAC officially hired Iowa strategist David Kochel and opened its Tallahassee headquarters where at least eight staffers are based.
The moves are the latest in a series of aggressive steps Bush has taken as he seeks to dominate the critical early game of lining up key staff and campaign money....
Update: Bush has also snagged David Kochel as an adviser. Kochel has been a longtime Mitt Romney adviser.
A new but old political team is setting up shop in Tallahassee: Jeb Bush’s crew....
Sen. Marco Rubio’s wife sideswiped a donor’s Porcsche Panamera at the Delano hotel’s porte cochère during a big weekend fundraiser for her husband, whose truck she was driving.
The owner of the Porsche, whose identity hasn’t been made public, didn’t want to file a report against Jeanette Dousdebes-Rubio because the damage to the vehicle’s bumper was minimal, Miami Beach Police said....
Seriously sick Floridians and those who can't find adequate prescription drugs would be allowed access to "medical-grade" marijuana under a major cannabis bill filed Monday by a top Florida Republican state senator.
St. Petersburg Sen. Jeff Brandes' 28-page legislation, the most far-reaching of its kind by a top legislative leader, seeks to regulate the cultivation, distribution and use of medical marijuana in Florida....
Florida medical physicians would be allowed to prescribe "medical-grade" marijuana to needy patients under a major cannabis bill filed Monday by a top Florida Republican state senator.
The legislation proposed by Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, would allow people who have specified serious medical conditions -- such as cancer, AIDS or epilepsy -- to receive and use medical marijuana if a doctor certifies its use. Patients would be limited to a 30-day supply....
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said there are “serious questions” over how the state’s law-enforcement chief was ousted from his job by employees of Gov. Rick Scott.
Bondi indicated she didn’t know all the facts of what happened to former Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey, who has alleged that Scott’s employees meddled in law-enforcement business and used strong-arm tactics to pressure him to resign last month....
01/21/15 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — Florida Cabinet members are turning up the heat on Gov. Rick Scott over the botched removal of a top state police official, with Attorney General Pam Bondi raising "serious questions" about Scott's conduct.
Bondi on Wednesday became the last of the three elected Republican Cabinet members to distance herself from the ouster last month of Gerald Bailey as commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Bailey alleges that Scott and his aides meddled in law enforcement business and used strong-arm tactics to pressure him to resign....
After yesterday's unexpected vote installing Rep. Blaise Ingoglia as Republican Party of Florida chairman, the Florida Senate's election staff moved money and equipment out of RPOF, leading to this edict from Ingoglia:
Republican Party of Florida Officers, Staff, and Consultants,
To help ensure a smooth and orderly transition of power between the administrations of outgoing Chairman Leslie Dougher and myself, and pursuant with Republican Party of Florida Rules and Florida Statutes, I’m instituting the following guidelines as we work through this process....
Florida Republicans buck Gov. Rick Scott's party chairwoman pick, elect state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia of Hernando as new chair01/17/15 Blog
The Republican Party of Florida's grassroots bucked Gov. Rick Scott on Saturday by choosing to replace his hand-picked chairwoman with a leader of its own choosing, state Rep. Blaise Ingoglia.
In the end, many Republicans say, the decision to pass over sitting Chair Leslie Dougher was less about Scott and more about her campaign and Ingoglia's bid....
While opponents of same-sex marriage are vowing to fight on, former Gov. Jeb Bush sounds ready to move on as he considers a potential bid for president.
"We live in a democracy, and regardless of our disagreements, we have to respect the rule of law," Bush said in a statement. "I hope that we can also show respect for the good people on all sides of the gay and lesbian marriage issue – including couples making lifetime commitments to each other who are seeking greater legal protections and those of us who believe marriage is a sacrament and want to safeguard religious liberty."...
12/23/14 State Roundup
The polling is in: Cuban exile hardliners and Republicans are in the clear minority nationwide when it comes to the embargo and re-establishing ties with the island nation.
A raft of new surveys, taken after President Barack Obama announced plans last week to normalize relations with Cuba, shows far more Americans want the sanctions lifted and relations improved compared to those who favor current U.S. policy — namely Republicans and many Cuban-Americans....
12/19/14 State Roundup
Cuban-Americans nationwide are almost evenly divided over support for the embargo and for President Barack Obama's effort to normalize relations with Cuba, according to a new poll that shows a vast generational divide in reaction to this week's historic announcement.
The poll by Bendixen & Amandi International also showed that Cuban-Americans are nearly split on whether Obama should have exchanged prisoners Wednesday with Raul Castro's communist government....
Nicaragua's president says he is banning U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from traveling to the Central American country in protest of the Venezuela sanctions the Republican lawmakers helped pass Wednesday in Congress, according to a newspaper report.
"Just like they (U.S. officials) have their lists, we can make our own lists in Latin America of those who shouldn't enter our country," Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega told The Tico Times, a Costa Rican newspaper, during a meeting with Venezuelan officials in his country....
12/05/14 State Roundup
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced late Friday that the Sunshine State would join a federal lawsuit to block President Barack Obama's executive action sparing as many as 5 million undocumented immigrants from deportation.
Of the 18 states now suing the Obama administration over immigration, all have Republican governors or Republican attorneys general. But Florida is the only major swing state with a significant Hispanic population, making Bondi's decision a potential presidential campaign issue as the 2016 election cycle gets underway....
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi announced late Friday that the Sunshine State would join a federal lawsuit to block President Obama’s executive action sparing as many as 5 million illegal immigrants from deportation.
Of the now-18 Republican-run states that have sued Obama, Florida is the only swing state with a significant Hispanic population; that makes Bondi’s decision a potential presidential campaign issue as the 2016 election cycle gets underway....