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4 posts from February 17, 2014

February 17, 2014

Charlie Crist to sign books in Miami Beach; RPOF talks Rothstein-Ponzi case


CristFormer Gov. Charlie Crist is scheduled to sign copies of his new book, The Party's Over, 7 p.m. Tuesday at Books and Books in Miami Beach. 

And the Republican Party of Florida is waiting.

RPOF is welcoming Crist back to what the GOP is calling the "scene of the crime:" -- South Florida, where one-time Crist donor Scott Rothstein pulled off his mammoth Ponzi scheme. Crist, who once attended Rothstein's wedding at the Versace mansion on the beach, has taken to calling the convicted fraudster a liar now that Rothstein recently testified that Crist essentially sold judicial appointments

ImageNot a helpful story to break as Crist runs as a Democrat for his old job back. 

Yet so far, except for a bad day-and-a-half news cycle over Rothstein's claims, Crist has been on a public-relations roll. He and his book have been featured on influential shows like MSNBC's Morning Joe, Comedy Central's Colbert Report and HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher. For the newly minted Democrat who's going to be badly outspent by Republican Rick Scott, the free media has been an equalizer.

Mathematically speaking, The Party's Over > Rothstein's claims. But the campaign is young. 

UF's student newspaper rips Bondi for comments made on campus


If there’s one basic rule in political communication, it’s know your audience.

So if, say, you’re speaking at a college or university during this time of rising student loan debt and limited job prospects, don’t brag to the students about all the lucky breaks you had or the personal connections that helped get you internships.

Alas, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi apparently broke this rule, and the Independent Florida Alligator, the student newspaper that covers the University of Florida, was there to report it.

In a review the paper ran Monday and can be found here, Matt Schneider, a UF engineering senior, seized on a number of comments made by Bondi, a UF grad, during a talk at the Bob Graham Center for Public Service on Thursday.

Consider Schneider’s opening Bondi quote:

“When I was in college, I didn’t know what I wanted to do...I wasn’t even sure I wanted to practice law...When I was in law school, I did a certified legal internship at the state attorney’s office, and my dad conspired with Bill James, who was the state attorney at the time because my dad was so worried I didn’t want to practice law. And so I did this internship at the state attorney’s office…”

Schneider doesn’t let that one go.

“In what was apparently meant to be an effort to connect with those of us students who aren’t sure what direction we want to go post-graduation, she instead told a story of the well-connected being afforded valuable opportunities in spite of a lack of drive to earn them,” Schneider writes.


There’s more, so if you haven’t already seen it, view it here.

And yes, listen early on for when Bondi boasts: “I don’t think I’ve ever made a resume in my life."

Just exactly the kind of thing students want to hear.


Sink donates to Crist campaign


Remember back in the dog days of Summer 2013, when Alex Sink was still flirting with the idea of running for governor and described a potential Charlie Crist candidacy as a "disaster" for Florida Democrats? Well, she seems to have gotten over it - or at least decided it does her no good to bash the likely Democratic nominee.

Campaign finance reports show that on Jan. 31, Sink wrote a $1,000 check to Crist. Not sure if that amounts to a formal announcement, but Sink has not given a dime to Crist's longshot primary opponent, former state Sen. Nan Rich.

Bill would extend subsidized healthcare coverage to immigrant children

Since she moved to Central Florida three years ago, Severiana Novas-Francois has been unable to take her daughters to the doctor.

The reason: Children born outside of the United States must wait five years before they qualify for the subsidized health insurance known as Florida KidCare.

Novas-Francois’ children were born in the Dominican Republic, her home country. “I’m a legal resident of the United States [and] my kids [are], also,” she said. “We applied a couple of times for KidCare. They denied us.”

This year, state lawmakers will consider opening KidCare to families like hers — legal residents with uninsured children — by eliminating the five-year waiting period.

The proposal, by Sen. Rene Garcia, R-Hialeah, and Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, R-Miami, would help about 26,000 children in Florida, according to estimates from the state Agency for Health Care Administration.

Read more here.