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6 posts from July 25, 2013

July 25, 2013

Sen. Bill Nelson: change Stand Your Ground, Florida


Florida Sen. Bill Nelson appeared on MSNBC today and spoke with Andrea Mitchell about the self-defense law connected to Trayvon Martin's shooting last year by George Zimmerman, who was acquitted July 13 of second-degree murder.

Nelson, a Democrat, has repeatedly downplayed calls for him to run for governor against Republican Rick Scott, but interviews like this make you wonder.

The transcript:

MITCHELL: I want to just give you a quick chance to speak back to … the leader of the Urban League, who believes that Stand Your Ground laws really do lead to more violence. You’re not going to take, or take a position, I should say, on the Florida law ?

NELSON:  Oh, indeed I do.  I think the Florida law ought to be changed.  I think where there are the extreme cases – for example, a guy gets into a fight, he leaves, goes to his car, gets a gun, and comes back and kills the person he was fighting – to use Stand Your Ground in that circumstance is ridiculous.  And yet, in 200 cases in my state of Florida, they go all over the waterfront as to how they’ve been adjudicated, and so I think the law needs to be considerably tightened.  And since it’s in about two dozen states, you’re not going to wipe out the laws – maybe down the road we do need to change these and completely eliminate them – but in the meantime, they need to be severely constricted.

MITCHELL: Senator Bill Nelson, thank you very much.

NELSON: Thanks, Andrea.

President raises the heat on Congress as he calls for focus on middle class

JACKSONVILLE _ President Barack Obama continued his economics road show on Thursday, coming to the Jacksonville Port Authority to underscore his commitment to infrastructure investment and bash Republicans for delaying progress.

The president chose Jacksonville because the port is home to two port development projects that he fast tracked last year as Congress delayed action and he vowed to continue to use his executive powers in the months ahead if Congress won't act.

“Where I could act on my own, I’ll act on my own,’’ he told the crowd of about 500 at the port’s steamy passenger terminal. “Because the choices we make right now will determine whether or not every American will have a fighting chance.”

The president focused his criticism on the Republican-controlled House and pointed to its failure to pass a water resource bill that would provide the authorization to allow Jaxport to deepen the Mile Point channel it says it needs to allow large cargo ships coming from Asia.

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Gov. Rick Scott: No special prosecutor for Miami-Dade absentee-ballot case


Thanks but no thanks, Florida Gov. Rick Scott's office said Thursday in response to a congressional candidate's request that the state appoint a special prosecutor to investigate fraudulent absentee-ballot requests in Miami-Dade County.

Cutler Bay Mayor Ed MacDougall mailed the governor a letter Wednesday asking for him to intervene in the ongoing criminal probe, suggesting Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernández Rundle was taking too long to press charges.

Fernández Rundle replied with a sharp statement warning that the investigation involving Miami Congressman Joe Garcia's former campaign staffers should not be used for "political fodder" by MacDougall, a Republican who plans to run against Garcia next year. Garcia and Fernández Rundle are both Democrats.

"We will not be appointing a special prosecutor," Scott's press secretary, Jackie Schutz, said Thursday in an email to the Miami Herald.

A disappointed MacDougall told the Herald he will continue collecting petition signatures online urging Scott, a fellow Republican, to step in.

Dems seek to expose "the real Rick Scott"

Who is the real Rick Scott?

The Florida Democratic Party wants to tell you.

On Thursday, the Dems rolled out a new Web-based campaign "dedicated to exposing the truth of Rick Scott’s extreme agenda as governor," party chairwoman Allison Tant said.

"In poll after poll, Floridians have reported their total lack of trust in this governor," Tant said. "Now, with his reelection looming, we have seen him try to change his stripes and camouflage his real beliefs in an effort to win over voters."

The Democrats say they will highlight Scott's record of slashing the education budget and "giving millions to special interests."

They'll take to Twitter and Facebook, as well as RealRickScott.com.

During a media call Thursday, party leaders acknowledged that defeating Scott will be a challenge.

"We’re not pretending this race is going to be easy," the party's Executive Director Scott Arceneaux said, noting that Scott may spend $100 million on his reelection campaign.

When asked why no high-profile Democratic candidates had stepped up, Arceneaux said people are "taking their time."

“We’ve got some really good, smart candidates out there, including Nan Rich," Arceneaux said. "I think you’ve got other candidates who are looking at this seriously and putting together the operations that they need to win."

There was no mention of former Gov. Charlie Crist.

Rubio: It's not too late to stop ObamaCare

A day after the feds told Florida it's not too late to expand Medicaid, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio issued a statement of his own.

His message: It's not too late to stop ObamaCare.

"This September, Congress will have to pass another short term spending bill to fund the federal government," Rubio wrote in a piece posted on FoxNews.com on Thursday. "We should pass one that keeps the government open, but doesn’t waste any more money on ObamaCare... ObamaCare might be old news in Washington, but for millions of middle class Americans, it is just beginning. It is time to admit that ObamaCare isn’t going to work, decide not to waste a single cent more on it, and replace it with market-based reforms that will give people more health insurance choices and options."

Rubio gave a shout-out to Miami's Calle Ocho in the piece.

"Miami’s famed Calle Ocho is lined with small grocery stores, bakeries, restaurants, beauty salons and small auto shops, among many other small businesses..." he wrote. "Many of them are too small to trigger the employer mandate, but their owners and their workers still have to deal with the individual mandate, which forces people to buy insurance on expensive state level exchanges. Because of ObamaCare, many of them will now have a new expense and it could be enough to put them out of business or force a downsizing."

RPOF welcomes Obama with full page ad

As part of its continuing strategy to take the credit for economic improvements and blame the Obama administration for the economic woes, the Republican Party of Florida is running this ad in today's Times Union. More on the battle over voter perceptions here.