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6 posts from January 11, 2013

January 11, 2013

Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez flush with contributions, even before he announces for mayor

SuarezMiami Commissioner Francis Suarez has yet to say if he’ll run for mayor.

His campaign finance reports may speak louder than words.

Suarez raised more than $460,000 for his political committee in the last three months of 2012, a report released Friday shows. The only official candidate raising money, Mayor Tomás Regalado, collected about $91,000 in contributions over the same quarter.

The election is Nov. 5.

The early fundraising efforts signal what city observers have been speculating about for months: that Suarez, the charismatic, 35-year-old son of former Miami mayor and current County Commissioner Xavier Suarez, could pose a serious threat to Regalado.

“The good news for Francis is that he’s going to have the resources,” Florida International University professor Dario Moreno said. “There are enough political and business types that Regalado has angered. They are going to be able to raise money [for Suarez].”

Read the story here.

Satanists to rally for Rick Scott

If Gov. Rick Scott is worried about slumping poll numbers, he might take comfort in knowing that his support is growing with at least one demographic.

Satanists “from all over Florida” will gather at the State Capitol on Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. to applaud Scott’s backing of SB 98, according to a news release by a group called The Satanic Temple.

Scott signed the bill in March that allows school districts to create policies allowing students to deliver “inspirational messages” at public events. The bill sparked controversy among groups like Americans United for Separation of Church and State, who said it was wrong to subject students to coercive prayer.

But according to Lucien Greaves, the spokesman for The Satanic Temple, Scott showed courage in signing the bill that now allows all religious groups to spread their message.

“This is not a hoax,” said Greaves, who also goes by “Overlord”. “This is for real.”

Continue reading "Satanists to rally for Rick Scott" »

Video: At Goya workday, Gov. Rick Scott talks anti-static beans, tamarinds and working as a stock clerk

by @MarcACaputo

Video: Gov. Rick Scott on Obamacare and "false" Medicaid numbers, do-over

by @MarcACaputo

During a stop at a Miami-area Sedano's, Gov. Rick Scott talks about using what PolitiFact called "false" Medicaid budget numbers that claimed the program for the poor will cost Florida $26 billion over the first 10 years under Obamacare.

"As you know Florida's Agency for Health Care Administration put out their estimate of what the expansion would cost just for Florida taxpayers and it's over $26 billion," Scott said Monday.

Turns out, that number was wildly inflated in the eyes of Florida budget experts. Scott was warned weeks ago that he was using inaccurate numbers that could breach state law if they were used.

Then, his agency reversed course/relented and lowered the price-tag to the state to $5.1-$9 billion.


Some UF supporters worry Gov. Rick Scott crossed line to keep President Bernie Machen

News that Bernie Machen will remain president of the University of Florida has been widely regarded as a positive step for the school yearning for higher national prominence.

But some UF supporters and observers say they are concerned lines may have been crossed in persuading Machen, 68, to postpone his retirement.

Gov. Rick Scott and UF Board of Trustees Chairman David Brown made the joint announcement Tuesday and Scott's statement indicated he had actively helped keep Machen at UF.

"I have asked him to continue his service as president, and I look forward to working with him, the Board of Governors and the Board of Trustees on this effort to realize a new vision for higher education in Florida," Scott said.

That left some wondering whether the governor overstepped his authority. Hiring and firing university presidents is the role of each school's board of trustees. The state's Board of Governors signs off on hires and reappointments. Scott selects Board of Governors members.

"It seems to me to be rather odd and unusual that the governor would take a direct role of this sort in a search for a university president that is traditionally the province of the Board of Trustees and the faculty," said John Biro, president of UF's faculty union chapter.

Read more here.

After Digital Domain failure, FSU grapples with next step for film school

Florida State University is struggling to figure out the next step for its acclaimed film school in light of the failure of Digital Domain Media Group, the government-subsidized animation company that filed for bankruptcy in September.

The university's Board of Trustees gave FSU President Eric Barron permission Friday to move FSU's West Palm Beach film studio to Tallahassee if he thinks it would be in the best interest of the school. Barron will also discuss his options when he meets with the Board of Governors, which oversees the state's university system, on Jan. 16-17. 

FSU got into hot water after it launched a South Florida campus this fall with failed film company Digital Domain.

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