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7 posts from May 9, 2014

May 09, 2014

Charlie Crist: Cuba embargo, travel ban are 'definition of insanity'

@MarcACaputo @AdamSmithTimes

Charlie Crist minces no words describing the government of Cuba: "It's oppressive. It's anti-free-press. It's totalitarian. It's wrong."

But the likely Democratic gubernatorial nominee wants to visit Florida's communist neighbor this summer and says it's past time to lift the United States' 53-year-old Cuba trade embargo.

"The definition of insanity is continuing to do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result. This policy has not worked," Crist told the Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald in an interview Friday, explaining for the first time the thinking behind his plans.

The controversial trip — panned by Republican Gov. Rick Scott as a public relations coup for the Castro regime — would be a first for such a high-profile Florida candidate, and it may not happen at all if the Department of State or Cuban government reject the idea. The former Republican governor said he is optimistic after submitting his request to the Department of State two weeks ago.

Full story here

Rick Scott's team: we raised $2.7m in a month


The Rick Scott campaign-finance juggernaut keeps juggernauting.

All in all, in the past month, Scott's team says it has raised more than $2.7 million for his reelection. Flush with more than $45 million, the campaign more than a month ago began burning some of it on TV ads: at least $8 million in air time has been purchased since mid-March.

Democrat Charlie Crist and Nan Rich's numbers aren't out yet, but they'll certainly pale in comparison.

Here's how Team Scott says its money breaks down:

$1.4 million for the Republican Party of Florida

$1.05 million for Scott's reelection campaign.

$257,000 for Scott's political committee, Let's Get to Work.

Libertarian gov. candidate Adrian Wyllie arrested in 'unconstitutional' Real ID standoff

From a press release:

May 9, 2014, Safety Harbor – In a nearly three year long battle against Real ID, Adrian Wyllie, Libertarian candidate for governor of Florida, has been arrested in Safety Harbor giving him legal standing to fight the constitutionality of the legislation in court.

Wyllie, began his battle in May of 2011 by publicly surrendering his driver’s license in protest of the Real ID Act of 2005 . This federal legislation, implemented by the State of Florida by then Republican Governor Charlie Crist in 2008, made changes to the requirements of obtaining a driver’s license or identification card, including digital image captures of licensees, compliant with facial recognition via the FRnet. It requires certified documents to explain any name change- such as marriage or divorce- regardless of how long the person has been licensed. The fact that women are subject to far more difficult renewals than men and certain people are no longer subject to the birth certificate requirement is a violation of the 14th Amendment. The very fact the State is making you re-prove your identity without cause via these intrusive means is a violation of Florida’s Article 1 Section 23 as well as a violation of our 4th Amendment rights.

Continue reading "Libertarian gov. candidate Adrian Wyllie arrested in 'unconstitutional' Real ID standoff " »

Why Leslie Dougher's endorsements email shows she'll be RPOF Chair


With the backing of Gov. Rick Scott, Clay County's Leslie Dougher already was the frontrunner for Republican Party of Florida chair. Then House Speaker Will Weatherford said he wouldn't run and threw his support behind her. Now look at the "grassroots" endorsements in the following email she sent:

Continue reading "Why Leslie Dougher's endorsements email shows she'll be RPOF Chair" »

Pants on Fire claim about Senate Dems and Sharia law

In the final days of Florida’s legislative session, some conservative blogs claimed that they had unearthed the "real" war on women -- a war being waged by Democrats.

"Florida Democrats just voted to impose Sharia law on women," read one headline April 30, 2014, on WesternJournalism.com, a blogging platform for "conservative, libertarian, free market and pro-family writers."

The story explained: "Anyone who isn’t certain that Democrats are devoted to destroying America need only take a look at their despicable conduct in the Florida Senate. In a vote that never should have had to be taken, every single Democrat voted to force Sharia law on the people of Florida. By doing so, they placed women and children in very real danger. The vote was 24 votes for America and 14 votes for al-Qaida and the Taliban cast by loathsome Democrats."

The article said that elements of Sharia law include women being barred from voting, forced marriages for young girls, stoning to death of adulterous women and a requirement that women wear burqas -- the full-body clothing required of women in some very traditional Islamic societies -- when in public.

While we were distracted by the close of the legislative session and a hotly contested governor’s race, we somehow missed Democrats voting in favor of burqas and stoning. But readers have made clear to us that they want to know: Did Florida Democrats vote to impose Sharia law on women?

Read PolitiFact Florida for the answer.

Adam Putnam: Low-THC cannabis took amendment 'substantially off the table'


While few of the advocates for the marijuana amendment on the November ballot were opposed to the Legislature passing the low-THC cannabis for medical purposes, many were wary of it being a wolf in sheep's clothing that would allow opponents to claim the issue is resolved.

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam told Adam Smith of the Tampa Bay Times and Al Ruechel of Bay News 9 that the narrowly drawn new law takes the constitutional amendment "substantially off the table." The law requires doctors to register patients on a state-controlled Compassionate Use Registry and allows the medical use of cannabis only for epileptic seizures, muscle spasms and cancer. 

Putnam, an opponent of Amendment 2, also disputes the economic potential of the new crop in Florida. "You're not going to see marijuana grown in former orange groves,'' he said. "This will all be grown indoors. This is not a potential cash crop. This is not a potential replacement....To me, the medical component of the marijuana ballot inititave is substantially off the table now."


David Beckham registers as Miami-Dade County Hall lobbyist


Looking for David Beckham's autograph? It's on file at Miami-Dade County Hall, on a lobbyist registration form.

Beckham had to fill out the form before meeting with county commissioners to speak to them about a potential Major League Soccer stadium on public land. He hadn't registered earlier -- leading to a complaint that he had violated county rules requiring people trying to influence politician's decisions to register.

The Commission on Ethics and Public Trust cleared Beckham in March, saying had not had to register because, up to that point, his interactions with elected leaders had amounted to "meet and greet" occasions, and not to meetings over a pending proposal.

Now that Mayor Carlos Gimenez's administration is negotiating with Beckham's group, the retired English footballer and international celebrity had to file the form like everyone else. 

On the form dated May 2, Beckham registered on behalf of XIX Entertainment, the company run by his business partner, Simon Fuller -- who has also filed as a lobbyist, according to county records.