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Florida Democratic Party News Clips — April 2

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CONNIE MACK IV FINISHES LAST IN STRAW POLL, AGAIN — THE MITT ROMNEY OF FL SENATE RACE?
Loser of the week: Connie Mack IV [Tampa Bay Times] "For the second time in six weeks, Connie Mack finished in last place in a straw poll of conservative activists who heard all the major candidates talk. Could he be the Mitt Romney of Florida's Senate race - the heavy frontrunner few Republicans actually like much? Mack also missed voting last week on the Ryan budget plan because he was busy campaigning in Florida."
GOP Senate Candidates continue brawling [AP] "Former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux aggressively pointed out differences between himself and GOP Senate frontrunner Connie Mack IV at a Saturday night forum with tea party organizers, drawing a sharp response from Mack."
LeMieux moves in on Mack territory [Sarasota Herald Tribune] "And LeMieux’s audaciousness may have paid off. State Sen. Nancy Detert, two-term county commissioner Joe Barbetta, former state Sen. Pat Neal and influential businessman Jesse Biter, the chairman of Rick Santorum’s presidential campaign in Florida, were among about 60 people to turn out to hear LeMieux speak at the downtown Sarasota event on Wednesday."
MUST READ EDITORIAL: UNDER RYAN BUDGET, RICH GET RICHER [TAMPA BAY TIMES EDITORIAL]  "House Republicans envision a country where Americans would be increasingly on their own to afford food and medical care even when they are elderly, disabled or poor. It also would be a nation with a tax code that tilts further toward benefiting corporations and the wealthy…Every Republican member of the House from the Tampa Bay area voted for the measure, including Reps. Gus Bilirakis, R-Palm Harbor; Richard Nugent, R-Spring Hill; Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland; C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores; and Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota."
Stand Up Florida stages protests against U.S. Rep. Allen West [Palm Beach Post] "Stand Up Florida has organized several recent anti-West protests and hired about 10 canvassers at $10 to $12 an hour for a five-week effort to build a "movement" in the newly drawn Palm Beach-Treasure Coast congressional district where West is running this year."
Lee County Democrats go after U.S. House seat [News-Press] "Lee County Democrats, who number more than 100,000, appear to have a spring in their step as they look ahead to the Nov. 6 election because their ticket is led by President Barack Obama and incumbent Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson" 
NEW AD AIRING IN FLORIDA: "ROMNEY'S BIG OIL TRAIL" — WATCH IT HERE
FROM THE OPINION PAGES: 
Don’t keep ‘Dreamers’ waiting [Miami Herald guest column by Sen. Harry Reid] "If Republicans have constructive ideas to improve the DREAM Act, Democrats are listening. Before the last DREAM Act vote, we adjusted age limits and made other changes to accommodate Republican concerns. They still opposed it. However, our door remains open."
Uphold healthcare reform [Miami Herald editorial] "In short, thanks to ACA, American healthcare is changing for the better. If the 'individual mandate' survives the Supreme Court test, as it should, it will enshrine a basic principle of insurance, casting the net wide enough so that healthy patients balance those who are ill. But even if it doesn’t, other parts of the law are worth keeping — and must be paid for with a formula that allows insurance providers to offer services without going bankrupt."
Failing Florida [Ocala Star Banner editorial] "For the past five years, the Florida Legislature has been steadily cutting state funding for universities, while jacking up student fees and tuitions."
Dumbing down the law [PNJ editorial] "Credit the Florida Legislature with succeeding at one of its least worthy efforts: suppressing the vote."
OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW
Senate to decide punishment in state Sen. Jim Norman's ethics case [Times/Herald] "The commission found probable cause in February to show Norman should have disclosed the gift when he was running for Senate in 2010. Norman also failed to disclose his interest in an Arkansas home and two boats that were bought with the money from the deal."
Dems Winning Women in Florida [Talking Points Memo] "The numbers are fairly stark. In two polls of the Senate races in Ohio and Florida released Thursday, Quinnipiac University identified a major gender gap…Sen. Bill Nelson’s (D-FL) overall 8-point advantage over Rep. Connie Mack (R-FL) in Quinnipiac’s Florida numbers was “fueled by female voters,” as women went for Nelson by 14 points."
Mayor to Governor Scott: We're not paying your bills [Orlando Sentinel] "The new Medicaid law will force counties to fork over millions of dollars in disputed bills and further strain already drained local budgets, they say. Scott and other state boosters of the law argue local governments are not paying their fair share of the medical and nursing care costs the Medicaid program picks up for the poor."
Ann Coulter: Rubio as VP would be a "mistake" [ABC News] "While pundits, politicians and prognosticators have tapped Florida Sen. Marco Rubio as one of the most likely GOP vice presidential picks, conservative commentator Ann Coulter warned today that such a choice would be a 'mistake.'"