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Florida Democratic Party News Clips — April 19, 2013

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MIAMI HERALD: WEATHERFORD MUST STOP 'IRRESPONSIBLE AND INSENSITIVE' POLITICAL POSTURING ON MEDICAID

Don’t Reject Medicaid Funds [Miami Herald] "The Florida House’s refusal to accept federal funds to expand Medicaid stands as the most confounding action of the 2013 legislative session thus far, and probably the most irresponsible. Money that could be used to help more than a million needy Floridians who lack access to healthcare is in danger of being rejected for political reasons that fly in the face of common sense and elementary mathematics...House Speaker Will Weatherford, who has rejected the federal funds, appears concerned that taking the money would link House Republicans to President Obama, drawing fire from the political right. That is both fiscally irresponsible and insensitive to the needs of Floridians. He should reconsider his position, and Gov. Scott should push harder. Accepting the deal is a far better alternative."

  

RICK SCOTT, GOP FOCUSED ON WRONG PRIORITIES FOR FLORIDA

Florida House Passes Raft of Social-conservative Bills [Orlando Sentinel] "The Florida House capped two days of contentious debate Thursday by advancing a host of social-conservative causes, from a ban on the use of "foreign law" to more restrictions on abortion to final passage of a bill that will basically end permanent alimony. The sweeping package of bills, hashed out over two days and 14 hours of debate, contains many pieces of conservative Republican social policy that have been pushed in prior years."

Scott Praises 'Anti-Sharia' Bill [Herald Tribune] "Gov. Rick Scott today praised the Florida House’s passage of a bill aimed at limiting the influence of foreign law on legal decisions in Florida. Critics have questioned whether the law is necessary."

 

GOP ETHICS REFORMS LEAVE MAJOR LOOPHOLES OPEN

Legislature's Ethics Bills Still Have Loopholes [Ocala Star Banner] "Kelli Stargel sometimes must evict tenants from the rental properties she and her husband own in Polk County, a process that can be cumbersome. But it might soon be getting easier — Stargel, in her other job as a state senator, is sponsoring a bill that critics contend would take away rights from millions of Florida renters. Under Florida law, that's not a conflict of interest...And it's likely to stay that way. Despite tough talk about beefing up the state's ethics laws, these types of conflict will remain even if a bill passes before the legislative session ends May 3. The measures being considered would only prevent legislators from voting on bills that would create a financial gain for just themselves. Legislators could still vote on bills that benefit themselves if they also benefit a larger group."

 

PALM BEACH POST, MIAMI HERALD: RUBIO'S GUN VOTE COWARDICE, SHAMEFUL

Editorial: On Gun Vote, Marco Rubio and Others Were Profiles in Cowardice [Palm Beach Post] "In Sandy Hook Elementary School, teachers died trying to protect children. In the U.S. Senate, politicians including Florida’s Marco Rubio found self-serving excuses not to put themselves between guns and future victims of gun violence. The contrast between courage and cowardice rarely is so stark...Sen. Rubio said background checks would infringe on the Second Amendment and would not protect lives. Those claims are lies. Senators who voted against the measure also claimed that it would be a step toward a federal registry and government confiscation. That’s not just a lie, it’s a paranoid lie, recycled from National Rifle Association honcho Wayne LaPierre."

Editorial: Crushing Vote on Gun Control [Miami Herald] "[...]Our own Sen. Marco Rubio keeps harping that the culture of violence must be changed, but he refuses to see the practicality of instant background checks that have, indeed, turned away scores of criminals from buying guns legally at stores. He voted No. Shameful. Right here in Miami we are witnessing a spike in gun violence, especially in poor neighborhoods."

 

JESSICAL EHRLICH DECLARES CANDIDACY AGAINST BILL YOUNG FOR FL'S 13th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Attorney Jessica Ehrlich to Challenge Rep. C.W. Bill Young Again [Tampa Bay Times] "[...]Ehrlich, a 39-year-old Democrat, said Young has lost touch with Pinellas County, accusing him of not helping education, job creation, Medicare and Social Security...Allison Tant, who chairs the Florida Democratic Party, issued a statement praising Ehrlich's "background of finding bipartisan solutions to our nation's problems.' Young is serving his 22rd term, currently representing the 13th Congressional District, which encompasses most of Pinellas."