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Florida Democratic Party News Clips — April 26

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NOT SO FAST Why Marco Rubio won't be Mitt Romney's running mate [LA Times column] "Rubio comes with downsides. He’s unproven on the national stage; the last time a GOP presidential candidate opted for a fresh new face as his running mate was John McCain's choice of Sarah Palin in 2008, and that didn't turn out so well…It’s not clear whether Rubio, a Cuban American, would run all that well in the largely Mexican American communities of the Southwest. A nationwide poll of Latino voters conducted in January for Univision and ABC News found that 60% either had never heard of Rubio or had no opinion on him; only 22% of Mexican Americans polled said his presence on the ticket would make them more likely to vote Republican. (In 2004, George W. Bush won an impressive 40% of the Latino vote nationwide.) And Rubio might not even help Romney carry his home state."

Marco Rubio, Then and Now [Politicalwire] "'The most articulate and talented teleprompter reader in America.' -- Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), quoted by the New York Times, mocking President Obama in 2010. 'I left my last page of the speech, does anyone have my last page? Did I Ieave it with you?' -- Rubio, while giving a speech today at the Brookings Institution."


PANTS ON FIRE: CONNIE MACK LIES ABOUT OIL DRILLING [Politifact] "At one time, Mack very much opposed drilling off Florida's coast. His comment that he's "always" been for drilling misrepresents his actual record on a very high-profile issue in the state of Florida.  We rate his statement Pants on Fire!"

Mack's problem isn't liberals [Palm Beach Post editorial] "Connie Mack's Senate campaign is so obsessed with "liberals" that the definition extends to any Republican who doesn't love Connie Mack…Mack the Elder insisted that his son's campaign is 'going great' and that 'it's easy to find a few Republicans who are not supporting Connie, but only if that's what you're looking to find in the first place.' It didn't take much of a look. Mack the Younger has ducked candidate forums and placed third, behind George LeMieux and Mike McCalister, in straw polls at two conservative conclaves he did show up for. Perhaps Rep. Mack is reluctant to appear in public because people will realize who he is, and isn't."

Mack must strive to make votes [News-Press Editorial] "Mack this year has the dubious — and dare we say, embarrassing — distinction of having the worst voting record in the House..These absences mean they don’t vote on critical issues, and the voters deserve to know where they stand. After all, taxpayers pay members of Congress a base salary of $174,000 a year."

Mack ducks the tough questions [The Hill] "But Mack, who is running for Sen. Bill Nelson’s (D-Fla.) seat in the upper chamber, had little to say about whether Congress should extend current student interest rates before they double on July 1."

MEANWHILE, MACK PICKS ANOTHER FIGHT… Did Marco Rubio tick off Connie Mack in Colombia? [Tampa Bay Times] "Sen. Marco Rubio (D-Fla.) touched off the moment of discord when his meeting with Chilean President Sebastián Piñera went longer than scheduled…But the longer-than-expected meeting apparently didn’t sit well with Rubio’s fellow Florida Republican Rep. Connie Mack, who was leading the bipartisan delegation of House members. The group of lawmakers was told that their meeting had been pushed back 15 minutes to allow Rubio to finish up with Piñera."

SI SE PUEDE Obama targets Tampa area Hispanics [Tampa Tribune] "On Wednesday, it released a Florida-only Spanish language ad featuring a Tampa volunteer on the administration’s education record, and Wednesday it will hold a news conference with Tampa state Rep. Janet Cruz at a local Hispanic-owned jewelry store."

Tampa Area Obama Volunteer Featured In Spanish Language Ad [FLDemocracy2012] "The Obama campaign is running a new Spanish-language television ad in Florida, this one featuring Tampa volunteer Elena McCullough. In the ad, McCullough– a mother of two and a veteran–shares her experience as a volunteer. "

JD-U UNDER FIRE Report details financial mismanagement at USF Poly [Tampa Bay Times] "Two top administrators at the University of South Florida Polytechnic are facing dismissal after an investigation into complaints of financial mismanagement at the Lakeland campus…Not only did investigators find that USF Poly officials misused money, their report outlines a dysfunctional world that one employee dubbed "Marshall Goodman's own playground."

Tales of a UCF Grad: The Commencement Speech You Won't Want to Hear [Huffington Post] "The Florida legislature and our Governor pride themselves on the importance of Florida's educational system, yet they continuously find ways to sabotage it. It's ironic but true…Does it make sense to build a new state university when so many are already experiencing short falls? No, not really. But as expected, the fruition of Florida Polytechnic University was not based on logic or sensibility. It was instead a political move by our Governor to please Republican chairman of the Budget Committee, State Senator JD Alexander. Alexander, who will not be running for reelection due to term limits, demanded that USF's Lakeland campus -- which is in his district -- be made into an independent state university."

OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Democratic Campaign Committee spending big on TV ads in effort to oust West [FLDemocracy2012] In a race saturated with millions in campaign dollars for two big-money candidates, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee will throw even more weight behind Patrick Murphy through TV spots aimed to oust his Republican tea party nemesis, U.S. Rep. Allen West."

VIDEO: Governor Rick Scott confronted about veto of rape center funding [Florida Independent] "After The Florida Independent broke news on Monday that Gov. Rick Scott vetoed $1.5 million for Florida rape crisis centers during Sexual Assault Awareness Month, the governor began discussing the elimination today — and he is fumbling his words." Watch video here.

Gov's failed reappointments could cost him votes in 2014 [WFSU] "But, Senator Jones says if the Governor did make his decision based on the prison privatization effort, Scott will have to answer to the Pinellas County voters in the Governor’s bid for re-election."