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FDP News Clips -- May 22, 2012

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DID BUSH LAY THE "WELCOME MAT FOR COMMUNISTS" Did Jeb Bush's brother, George W. Bush, lay "welcome mat for Communists" [Miami Herald] "But the press release itself might send the wrong message because it appears the administration of Bush's brother, former President George W. Bush, might have given Mrs. Castro a visa in 2002. That's according to two AP stories datelined out of Havana…Meantime, Democrats have glommed on to the report and bashed Republicans for bashing Obama for doing what President Bush appeared to do. 'Republicans need to stop playing with people's emotions when it comes to Cuba,' Obama surrogate Freddy Balsera said in a statement. 'While they grab headlines criticizing the President and distorting his record on Cuba, they avoid saying that Mariela Castro actually received a visa to visit the US in 2002 under the Bush Administration. In fact, the top State Department Official in charge of Latin America at the time was a Cuban American. Where was their criticism then? Nowhere, because ultimately this is all about politics for them.'"

Read the FDP release here.

BLOWBACK #2: RNC DROPS RIVERA FROM CALL David Rivera's a no-show on the call [Miami Herald] "Two Florida members of Congress have been the subject of intense investigations for their fundraising: Rep. David Rivera, R-Miami, and Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota…Rivera didn't end up on the call -- RNC spokesman Sean Spicer said they had difficulty coordinating schedules this morning. Here's what the Democratic National Committee had to say on that: 'The fact that the RNC found David Rivera to be a credible source on anything is laughable considering his status as an embattled member of congress, under investigation by Florida officials for living off his campaign contributions for nearly a decade. No wonder he 'couldn't make it' on the conference call.' 

Release from DCCC here

"RIDICULOUS" RUBIO "FROTHING AT THE MOUTH" LIKE GINGRICH Rubio's ridiculous red-meat, red-state rhetoric [Tampa Bay Times column] "When you start foaming at the mouth like Newt Gingrich, you turn into Sen. Marco Rubio uttering illiterate phooey in South Carolina in a craven attempt to goose your vice presidential aspirations…Rubio has inherited Gingrich's rhetorical mantle of grand, absolutist, twaddle-filled statements. When it comes to notoriously divisive figures in American history, he opted to study at the foot of a grandmaster."

FLSEN: THE IN-FIGHTING CONTINUES  Hyperventilating Mack campaign wants feds to investigate George LeMieux [Tampa Bay Times] " It's a pretty flimsy stunt, since the article said nothing about possible "extortion or bribery," as Mack's legal counsel suggests. Perhaps the feds should investigate LeMieux over the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa as well."

Mack targets LeMieux [Tampa Tribune] "Connie Mack IV's U.S. Senate campaign has sent letters seeking a federal investigation of the 2009 appointment of his Republican primary opponent, George LeMieux, to the Senate by then-Gov. Charlie Crist.

Are you smarter than a sixth grader? Connie Mack speaks at 6th grade level [The Hill] "Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) is identified as the legislator with the simplest speech. He speaks like a sixth-grader, according to the study"

ON THE CONGRESSIONAL FRONT — HOYER FOR EHRLICH, GRAYSON KICKS OFF CAMPAIGN, WEBSTER BAD AT CONGRESS

Hoyer for Ehrlich [FLDemocracy 2012] "House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer is coming to St. Petersburg area this week to campaign for congressional candidate Jessica Ehrlich. Ehrlich is running against Rep. Bill Young, the longest-serving Republican in the House, in Florida’s 13th Congressional District."

Grayson formally kicks off campaign with Puerto Rico’s Rep. Pierluisi [Orlando Sentinel] "It’s no secret he was running, but former U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson formally kicks off his campaign to go back to Congress tonight with Puerto Rico’s U.S. Rep. Pedro Pierluisi at his side in Kissimmee."

Let’s Make Fun Of Rep. Daniel Webster, For Being Bad At Congress [Wonkette] "The Republicans are led by freshman Rep. Daniel Webster, who’s trying to snag his one crappy piece of legislation that he can wave around to trick his constituents into thinking he does work and deserves reelection"

Southerland's bill endangers Cape San Blas [News-Herald LTE] "After years of taxpayer money being spent to try to have the designation of a Coastal Barrier Island under the Coastal Barrier Resources Act removed from Cape San Blas, that goal may now be in sight. Rep. Steve Southerland has introduced H.R. 4150 to have the cape removed from the CBRA designation."

OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Florida: A 21st century state with a 20th century tax system [Palm Beach Post] "Money for each of Florida's 2.7 million public school students this fall will be at its second-lowest level in eight years. Only last year was worse. There are no dollars for public school construction or repairs, while universities can pay for only about a quarter of what they say is needed."

Purge partisan advantage [Palm Beach Post editorial] "Gov. Scott, his appointed secretary of state and the Legislature care more about creating election problems than solving election problems."

Romney, Scott see economic recovery differently [AP] "'Gov. Rick Scott has been Florida's top cheerleader for President Obama's economic accomplishments,' party spokeswoman Brannon Jordan wrote in an email. 'Not only is the GOP sending mixed messages to voters, but Scott's argument undercuts the central premise of Romney's campaign.'"

Obama to address Latino officials in Orlando next month [News Service of Florida] "President Obama will be in Orlando next month to speak at the annual conference of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, the group announced Monday."