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Florida Democratic Party News Clips — April 24

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ON RYAN BUDGET, FIRST CONNIE MACK IV FLIPS: Fla. Rep. Connie Mack calls Paul Ryan's budget 'a joke' [Miami Herald] "Republican Congressman and Senate candidate Connie Mack called the budget plan, drafted by fellow Rep. Paul Ryan, a "joke" during a weekend Orlando Tea Party forum"

THEN HE FLOPS: Connie Mack IV "Supports" Ryan Budget [Tampa Bay Times] "His spokesman, David James, tells the Buzz that Mack certainly supports the Ryan budget, as well as his own debt reduction plan, but had other obligations."

AND LAST NIGHT, HE FLIPS AGAIN: Connie Mack IV says he would have "voted against" Ryan Budget [Miami Herald] "Mack said if he had been present for the vote he probably would have voted against Ryan's budget plan"

From Twitter Via @MattCanter: "Connie Mack now has nearly as many positions on the Ryan plan as he has bar fights, arrests, and road rage incidents -- FIVE!"

Mack faces tough questions on LeMieux’s home turf [Palm Beach Post] "Mack, who is married to California Rep. Mary Bono Mack, was asked how much time he spends in California and whether he’d release travel logs…Then came a question about barroom fights Mack was in more than 20 years ago and more recent financial troubles he faced after divorcing his first wife."

SEE ALSO: A fifth grader of U.S. Senate [Tampa Tribune editorial] "There is competition for the television show "Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader?" It is not on TV but it is entertainment nonetheless. It's called the Florida Republican U.S. Senate primary. Lacking a talented bench, Florida Republicans have nothing but a Charlie Crist re-tread, a blessed to be born with a good name dipstick, and a wing-nut, now that the ultimate political opportunist, Florida's CFO Jeff Atwater decided not to get into the race"

DREAMER'S COOL TO RUBIO'S PLAN Valedictorian Facing Deportation Cool to Rubio's DREAM Act Redo [ABC News] "But Pelaez, whose attendance at Dartmouth hinges on her ability to stay in the country, doesn't believe the sketch of Rubio's plan goes far enough. In an interview with ABC News, Pelaez expressed displeasure with the glimpse Rubio has offered of his upcoming proposal, arguing that it is 'wrong' for it to not provide a path to citizenship, but admitted it at least provides 'baby steps' towards immigration reform."

OUCH: Romney Spokeswoman in 2010: Marco Rubio is a “Wheeling-and-Dealing” “Lobbyist-Politician w/ “Questionable Ethics” [ABC News] "On his way to becoming a Republican superstar, Marco Rubio endured a bruising Senate campaign where his ethics, his integrity and even his commitment to conservative principles were under almost daily assault.Consider what one of his most vocal critics said about him:"

It's too soon for Marco Rubio as vice presidential candidate [Tampa Bay Times column] "Fourth, Jim Greer — oops. The trial of former Florida Republican Party chairman Greer on fraud, money laundering and grand theft charges is set to begin on the eve of the Republican National Convention in Tampa. Testimony is sure to include the former Florida House speaker's financial relationship with Greer, which will hardly help burnish the senator's squeaky-clean Boy Scout image."

ON THE CONGRESSIONAL FRONT — WEST COMMIE COMMENTS MAKES MORE RIPPLES, DCCC NAMES NEW RED TO BLUE AND EMERGING CANDIDATES IN FL 

West’s ‘Commie’ Claim Creates More Ripples [FCIR] "Allen West’s 'commie' smear of Democratic members of Congress continues to reverberate. TCPalm.com reports that a Treasure Coast branch of the NAACP dis-invited West to be guest speaker at its annual fundraiser."

Rep. Allen West Uninvited From NAACP Fundraiser Over Communist Comments [ABC News] "The local NAACP chapter in Rep. Allen West’s South Florida district is distancing itself from its congressman following West’s accusation earlier this month that 81 House Democrats are Communists."

DCCC adds Murphy to Red to Blue, Romero Roses to Emerging Candidates [Politico's Morning Score]

THE VERY REAL IMPLICATIONS OF THE FLORIDA GOP'S WAR ON EDUCATION How Governor Rick Scott is Sabotaging Florida's Universities [Forbes] "Florida Governor Rick Scott signed the 2012 state budget at a Jacksonville elementary school, presumably to emphasize the budget’s inclusion of an additional $1 billion for education. That would be impressive, if not for the fact that last year he cut the state’s education budget by $1.3 billion. That’s like burning down someone’s house, replacing it with the wooden frame of a house and calling it progress."

USF Can't Keep Everyone From Lakeland, Staff and Faculty Told [Lakeland Ledger] "There will not be enough money to keep all the faculty and staff on the payroll while the University of South Florida's Lakeland operation is phased out, President Judy Genshaft told a somber crowd of employees Monday morning…Late Friday, Gov. Rick Scott approved Senate Bill 1994, establishing a new, 12th state university effective July 1, and essentially doing away with USF Polytechnic. The newly created Florida Polytechnic University will operate on funds previously allocated for USF Poly. It also will be given all of the current school's facilities and equipment."

What is the University of Florida thinking? [Miami Herald column] "UF’s backward move was just another manifestation of the state’s disinvestment in higher education. After cutting the budgets of the state’s 11 universities by $780 million since 2008, the Legislature took another $300 million this year. So UF leads us into the future with a ruined computer science department"

A true cynic [Gainesville Sun editorial] "In approving a bill creating a brand-new state university in Polk County — shortly after signing a state budget that cut $300 million from the State University System — Gov. Rick Scott demonstrated last week that he possesses neither fiscal nor common sense." 

As governor, Rick Scott still a work progress [Tampa Bay Times column] "Then the governor decided he would explain to the children the importance of reducing fraud in Florida's no-fault car insurance program. 'There's money that's wasted in auto accident mistakes. Fraud," Scott told the kids. "So we passed a bill — personal injury protection — that hopefully will reduce the growth rate and the cost of auto accident fraud.' Then Scott turned his attention to a series of oversized cartoon-style posters that explained how a bill becomes law."

OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Retired engineer to run for Norman's Senate seat [Tampa Tribune] "Democrat Wes Johnson, a retired nuclear and biomechanical engineer, has announced he'll run for the state Senate District 17 seat held by Republican Jim Norman."

Honoring Rep. Kriseman’s Leadership [Tampa Bay Times] "Rep. Rick Kriseman announced Monday that he won't seek re-election this year."

Lawmakers urged to cut ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council [Bay News 9] "The lobbying group that helped get the Stand Your Ground law passed is under fire from critics and lawmakers are being urged to break ties with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). The group is just one that gives ideas to lawmakers for their bills. Around three dozen Republican senators and House representatives are members of 'ALEC.'"