09/30/14 State Roundup
Two Tampa Bay elections supervisors criticized as "inaccurate" and "incorrect" a mailer by Gov. Rick Scott's campaign committee that tells voters that their absentee ballots should have arrived by now. The attention-grabbing mailer by Scott's Let's Get to Work committee has the words "Voter Alert!" and the statement, "By now, you should have received your absentee ballot."
Not true, elections official say. The first day that in-state absentees could be mailed was Tuesday, and they can be mailed up to Oct. 7, four weeks before Election Day. The last thing county elections officials want is to be inaccurately blamed for not sending ballots to their voters. ...
Two Tampa Bay election supervisors criticized as "inaccurate" and "incorrect" a mailer by Gov. Rick Scott's campaign committee that tells voters that their absentee ballots should have arrived by now. The attention-grabbing mailer by Scott's Let's Get to Work committee has the words "Voter Alert!" and the statement, "By now, you should have received your absentee ballot."
Not true, elections official say. The first day that in-state absentees can be mailed is Tuesday, Sept. 30, and they can be mailed up to Oct. 7, four weeks before election day. The last thing county elections officials want is to be inaccurately blamed for not sending ballots to their voters. ...
As they prepare for the first of three TV debates, Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist are fine-tuning their talking points for viewers who are just starting to pay attention to the biggest race for governor in the country.
Scott is sure to remind TV viewers that when Florida was in the depths of a recession in 2009, Crist raised taxes and fees by $2.2 billion.
That's true. But it's not the whole truth....
Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant said Friday that Republicans and Gov. Rick Scott tried to "bully, harass and intimidate" people by photographing the license plates of cars belonging to people at a Charlie Crist fund-raiser at her home Tuesday.
The picture-taking took place at Tant's Tallahassee home Tuesday outside a fund-raiser for Crist and was first reported by The Associated Press. Activists protesting Crist's candidacy wore prisoner costumes and videotaped people as they arrived....
Libertarian candidate for governor Adrian Wyllie is about to start running his first TV ad of the campaign on stations in Tampa Bay. His low-budget campaign relies on advertisers who support him, such as a Tampa dry cleaning company, to donate TV ad time as in-kind contributions on cable channels. In the 30-second spot, Wyllie tells voters they have an alternative to Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist. Here's the script:...
09/24/14 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE —The race for governor of Florida looks as close as ever with a new statewide survey showing voters are evenly divided on the contest and many people question the integrity of both candidates.
The Sept. 17 to 22 survey by Quinnipiac University shows Republican Gov. Rick Scott with 44 percent support, Democrat Charlie Crist with 42 percent and Libertarian Adrian Wyllie with 8 percent. Six percent were undecided and 17 percent said they still might change their minds....
Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist are in a dead heat in the latest Quinnipiac University poll, with Scott at 44 percent, Crist at 42 percent and Libertarian Adrian Wyllie at 8 percent, along with 6 percent saying they're undecided and 17 percent saying they might change their minds before they vote.
"This race is too close to call," Quinnipiac's Peter Brown told reporters in Tallahassee. "It looks like it's going down to the wire."...
09/23/14 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — Voting rights groups say Floridians face persistent barriers to vote that could result in more ballots not counting in November.
The groups say Florida should encourage more people to register to vote, that voters are inconvenienced by changes in polling places and that voters are not always told about a new law that gives them a second chance to fix their absentee ballots when they forget to sign them....
Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet voted Tuesday to locate the state's seventh nursing home for veterans on the Treasure Coast in Port St. Lucie. A site selection committee ranked St. Lucie the best of nine possible sites for the new 120-bed skilled nursing facility, and elected leaders mounted a months-long lobbying effort to close the deal.
Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, Rep. Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart, and Rep. Larry Lee, D-Port St. Lucie, led a delegation of two dozen residents who drove for six hours to attend a Cabinet meeting in favor of the site, near an acute care hospital. Negron said the home would fill a "gap in service" between Daytona Beach and Pembroke Pines in Broward County where the two closest vets nursing homes are based....
Florida's 67 election supervisors released a report Tuesday that calls on the Legislature to create a new system of online voter registration next year. But the report cautioned that the system should be implemented cautiously and after the next presidential election in 2016.
The report, released on National Voter Registration Day, was produced at the request of Sen. Andy Gardiner, the Orlando Republican who will be Senate president in November. The full report can be found here....
Gov. Rick Scott signed a death warrant Monday for Chadwick Banks, who fatally shot his wife Cassandra and then raped and shot to death his 10-year-old stepdaughter in Gadsden County near Tallahassee in 1992. Banks pleaded no contest to both killings and a jury recommended a death sentence by a vote of 9 to 3.
The Florida Supreme Court upheld Banks' death sentence in 2003, and rejected defense claims of ineffective legal counsel and that he should have been allowed to present evidence relating to his mental health....
09/22/14 State Roundup
When Republican Rick Scott ran for governor in 2010, he carried 52 of Florida's 67 counties, yet he barely beat Democrat Alex Sink.
How could that happen?
If you know your country, it's simple: A lot more people in suburbs, small cities and towns vote Republican and a lot more people in big cities vote Democrat.
Those numbers from 2010 are more revealing if you drill a little deeper....
TALLAHASSEE — Just more than six weeks before Election Day, some voters are already casting ballots and helping to elect Florida's next governor.
County elections supervisors have until today to mail hundreds of thousands of ballots to Floridians living overseas, many of whom are active-duty military personnel.
Those far-flung voters in Europe, Asia and elsewhere can't see the constant barrage of TV ads in the race between Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist. But they represent the first wave of voters in a general election in which more than half of all participating voters likely will have voted by the time polls open Nov. 4....
09/19/14 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — A state elections panel has tossed out a highly publicized complaint filed against Florida Gov. Rick Scott over the presence of on-duty police at a July campaign event in Tampa.
Without conducting an investigation, the Florida Elections Commission dismissed the complaint and called it hearsay because the person who filed the complaint had no direct knowledge of what happened....
The Florida Elections Commission has thrown out a highly-publicized complaint that was filed against Gov. Rick Scott in July, calling it "hearsay."
The complaint accused Scott of illegally coercing uniformed law enforcement officers from the Hillsborough County sheriff's office and other agencies to attend a campaign event in Tampa. Widely reported by Florida TV stations, the incident was a distraction for Scott's campaign for at least a week and it attracted national news coverage....