1. Florida Politics

Climate change poll not good news for Marco Rubio

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s comments on climate change have attracted criticism.
U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio’s comments on climate change have attracted criticism.
Published Jun. 4, 2014

Sen. Marco Rubio is out of step with the public on his doubts of man's contribution to climate change, a new poll shows.

Public Policy Polling shows voters by 56 percent to 33 percent trust scientists more than the Florida Republican, who is considering a run for president in 2016.

"Rubio starts out trailing Hillary Clinton by a 49/42 spread in a hypothetical match up anyway, and when respondents were informed about Rubio's stance on climate change it pushed Clinton's lead up to 9 points at 50/41," reads a PPP release. "That's a wider margin than Barack Obama won either of his elections by."

PPP is a Democratic-aligned firm and the survey was commissioned by the liberal Americans United for Change.

Rubio concedes the climate is changing but has questioned the role of man. His comments have gained widespread media attention.

The poll asked if voters would support someone for president in 2016 who "did not believe that global warming was being caused by human activity." Thirty-eight percent said yes and 46 percent said no.

PPP surveyed 735 registered voters on June 2. The margin of error is 3.6 percent.

Miami may skip convention bid

Organizers putting together a bid to host the 2016 Democratic National Convention at Miami's AmericanAirlines Arena have recommended withdrawing from the process. They cited too short a time frame to put a winning proposal together.

In an email sent last week, organizers Freddy Balsera, a political consultant and publicist, and Bill Talbert, head of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, said Miami would be at a disadvantage because it began preparing its bid too late.

"We continue feeling very strongly that Miami would be the absolute best site for any political convention based on all of the attributes that our community has to offer and we urge you to consider taking steps so that we may organize ourselves with anticipation to potentially pursue the conventions in 2020," Balsera wrote.

Jacksonville mayor's race grows

Lenny Curry filed paperwork to run for mayor of Jacksonville next year, setting up a challenge to Democratic incumbent Alvin Brown. Curry recently stepped down as head of the Republican Party of Florida. He'll have to survive a primary.

State DEP official resigns

After three years of running the regulatory side of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Deputy Secretary Jeff Littlejohn — son of veteran Florida Chamber of Commerce lobbyist Chuck Littlejohn — turned in his resignation Friday.

Littlejohn, a frequent target of criticism from environmental activists, said in his resignation letter that he was glad he had been able to reduce "unnecessary regulatory burdens" on Floridians by eliminating or streamlining hundreds of rules "without lowering environmental standards."

He also said his staff of 1,250 had "significantly reduced the time it takes to make a permit decision" from 79 days in 2010 to 28 days this year.

Littlejohn, who earned $125,000 a year, said he would be pursuing a job in the private sector, but did not say what.

Littlejohn made headlines a year after his hiring when he ordered the agency's tokp wetlands expert to approve a permit that she said would violate state law. When Connie Bersok refused, she wound up being suspended and investigated by the agency.

Later, during a legal challenge to the permit, a judge declared Bersok to be the only one giving credible testimony, and blasted Littlejohn and the DEP for creating a new approach "developed by the department and Highlands Ranch, without opportunity for public participation or input."

Times/Herald staff writers Craig Pittman and Patricia Mazzei contributed to the Buzz.