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FDP News Clips -- May 11, 2012

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MORE REPUBLICAN HAND-WRINGING OVER FLSEN Ex-GOP congressman eyes Fla. Senate bid [Politico]"Weldon’s potential eleventh hour entry is the latest signal of unrest within Sunshine State Republican circles about the party’s chances of knocking off Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) The current field includes two problem-plagued candidates, Rep. Connie Mack and former Sen. George LeMieux."

LEMIEUX, MACK TAKE AIM AT EACH OTHER  LeMieux takes issue with Mack mail mistake [AP] "George LeMieux is making an issue of a government-paid mailing that went outside Senate primary opponent Connie Mack IV's congressional district"

Connie Mack Aims for George LeMieux, Hits Marco Rubio [National Review Online] "I don’t have time to list all the ways Mack’s attack is ridiculous, so let me just mention one."

MeanwhileMissed votes continue to add up for Connie Mack [Tampa Bay Times] "Rep. Connie Mack missed a series of votes yesterday, including the symbolic GOP measure to replace Pentagon cuts with spending on food stamps and social programs, adding to a growing list since he started running for U.S. Senate."

ON THE CONGRESSIONAL FRONT — BUCHANAN BLASTED, MURPHY TIED W/WEST, GOP BLASTED FOR BUDGET 

The world according to Vern Buchanan: Ethics, schmethics [Tampa Bay Times Column] "Whoa! The newbie congressman barely had time to unpack his Rolodex of defense lawyers and he was already on his way to achieving mythic status for being more ethically compromised than Silvio Berlusconi at a Miss Teen Italy pageant."

Murphy Internal Poll Shows Him Tied With West [National Journal]  "An internal poll released on Thursday by his Democratic challenger shows Rep. Allen West, R-Fla., in a dead heat for reelection to a second term."

Advocates demand meeting with Rep. Young; worried about budget for social service programs [WMNF] "A group of progressive advocates wants U.S. Representative Bill Young to meet with them to talk about provisions in that controversial budget. The Republican-backed plan in the House would cut funding to things like federal Pell grants, foreclosure assistance programs and Medicare and Medicaid."

Florida Democrats bracket Buchanan [FLADems] "As Congressman Southerland drives to his town hall meeting in Marianna today, Florida residents deserve to know why he spent the last week in Washington championing a transportation bill which would bankrupt the highway fund and cost Florida over 30,000 jobs. With an extremist record like that, it's no wonder Tea Party icon Allen West endorsed Congressman Southerland one week ago today."

Watch: Congressman Says Antigay Discrimination Doesn't Happen [The Advocate] "Florida congressman Allen West says LGBT people don’t have to worry about discrimination — it doesn’t happen."

EDITORIAL PAGES COME OUT FOR OBAMA President Obama's momentous evolution on same-sex marriage [Tampa Bay Times editorial] "In a courageous act of moral leadership, President Barack Obama has made civil rights history by announcing his support for same-sex marriage. The president has supported civil unions and equal rights for gays and lesbians, but until this week he had stopped short of embracing full marriage rights. Like many Americans, Obama says his views have evolved. While his personal declaration is largely symbolic, it furthers the public conversation and moves the nation further along the path toward equal rights for all couples."

A historic stand at pivotal moment [Miami Herald editorial] "But for now President Obama has taken a historic stand at a pivotal moment. Leadership requires as much."

OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Marco Rubio Faces Backlash From Allen West, Other Conservatives Over Immigration [Huffington Post] "Even before he unveils the details, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's compromise proposal to legalize the children of undocumented immigrants is drawing political attacks from the right and deep skepticism from the left."

RNC chairman Reince Priebus to Florida GOP: There's room at Tampa Bay Times Forum [Tampa Bay Times] "Florida Republicans better not count on a lenient national GOP to give them prime floor seats to the Republican National Convention in Tampa after they broke the party's primary schedule rules. But RNC chairman Reince Priebus said Thursday that they don't have to worry about access to the Tampa Bay Times Forum in August."

Gov. Rick Scott’s chief of staff made exception to travel rule for friend [Miami Herald] "But MacNamara changed the rules for Shari Kerrigan, a lawyer and friend of MacNamara’s whom the governor appointed the state’s film commissioner in December."

Scott's task force a waste [Palm Beach Post editorial] "If Gov. Rick Scott wants to remake Florida's higher education system to meet the demands of a knowledge-based economy, he should start from a personal knowledge base rather than appoint a "blue ribbon" task force."