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Florida Democratic Party News Clips — April 4, 2013

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FL DEMS TAP VETERAN OPERATIVE CHRISTIAN ULVERT AS POLITICAL DIRECTOR

Dept. of Smart Hires: FL Dems Make Christian Ulvert Political Director [Miami Herald] "Christian Ulvert, a well-connected political operative, is taking over a newly created spot at the Florida Democratic Party: Political director. Ulvert's hire is a smart move on multiple levels. A Miami native who's Hispanic, he also cut his teeth in Tallahassee as a consultant and lobbyist. So he understands the dual worlds of Florida politics that run the gamut from Hialeah Drive to Capitol Circle."

 

RICK SCOTT'S SESSION PRIORITIES REJECTED BY GOP LEGISLATORS

Rick Scott’s Tax-cuts are Nowhere to be Found in Legislature’s Budget [Orlando Sentinel] "Tahe Florida legislative session is halfway over, both the House and Senate have drafted similar versions of their $74 billion-plus budgets, and so far Gov. Rick Scott’s corporate and manufacturing tax cuts are nowhere to be found. This is part gamesmanship, part competing priorities. The governor had requested about $160 million in tax cuts for businesses this year, through a combination of exempting companies from paying sales tax on manufacturing purchases and allowing a greater number of smaller companies to avoid paying corporate taxes. But so far, lawmakers haven’t included either in their budgets."

 

DEMS STAND STRONG FOR MEDICAID, REJECT GOP'S INCOMPLETE BUDGET

Weatherford Loses Democratic Support on Budget [Tampa Bay Times] "Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford’s refusal to offer a plan in lieu of expanding Medicaid cost him votes on his biggest bill -- the state budget. House Democrats on Wednesday voted against that chamber’s proposed $74.4 billion budget at its final stop before a floor vote. And they actually liked much of it, such as $1.3 billion increase on education spending...'An excellent job in some areas has been done,' said House Minority Leader Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale. 'But my main concern is not what’s in the budget but what’s not in the budget. It fails to adequately protect the uninsured in the state...it’s a budget that doesn’t recognize that many low income Floridians suffer from health and financial consequences and don’t have access to health care.'"

 

BEAN MEDICAID PAN LAMPOONED BY EXPERTS

Now, the Teeny Weeny Bean Plan [WUSF] "What kind of health coverage can you buy for $20 to $30 a month? 'You can't,' says John Sinibaldi, an independent broker in Seminole. That may sum up the real-world prospects for Health Choice Plus, the plan for extremely low-income uninsured Florida adults that State Sen. Aaron Bean's Health Policy Committee approved Tuesday along party lines...The bill,  SPB 7144, 'would not remotely provide health coverage of any kind,' said Greg Mellowe, policy director for Florida CHAIN. "Quite frankly, many drug store chains have coupons in the Sunday paper that would accomplish more than this.' Richard Polangin, government affairs director for Florida Alliance for Retired Americans, offered similar sentiments. 'Unfortunately, Senator Bean's anemic proposal is like giving an aspirin tablet to a patient who needs open heart surgery,' he said."

 

BRADENTON HEARLD: STOP PARENT TRIGGER, EXPAND MEDICAID

Editorial: Highlights, Lowlights Midway Through Florida's Legislative Session [Bradenton Herald] "Lowlights — Public school trigger law: Once again, the House is pushing a measure that gives parents the ability to convert a failing public school into a charter school, including those run by for-profit companiesthat move our tax dollars out ofstate...A companion bill is moving through the Senate, which killed the measure last year on a deadlocked vote. The upper chamber should once again kill this attack on public schools and giveaway to charters....Medicaid expansion: One of the biggest and most contentious issues this session revolves around the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. Both the House and Senate adopted political positions rather than pragmatic ones in rejecting billions of federal aid to provide health insurance to around 1 million Floridians...But Medicaid will bail out hospitals that write off indigent care, create health care jobs, and even save businesses with low-wage workers money. The Legislature, though, remains blind to the positives."

 

MURPHY POSTS BIG FUNDRAISING HAUL, DEMS TARGET YOUNG

Murphy Says he Raised $550,000 in First Quarter [Palm Beach Post] "The campaign of freshman Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, says it collected more than $550,000 during the first quarter of 2013 for a race that is being targeted by the national GOP. Murphy’s campaign says it has more than $650,000 in cash on hand for the 2014 race."

Heads' Up: Democrats Target Rep. C.W. Bill Young [Tampa Bay Times] "[...]Five months after the election, the DCCC is paying for an electronic billboard that suggests the 22-term congressman is a fixture of Washington "partisanship." The billboard, on Ulmerton Road in Pinellas County, is only the latest salvo against Young. Robo calls have already hit him on gun control and immigration...'Every day when the people of Florida drive home, they think of how they will pay their bills, support their families, and pay for their healthcare and retirement – and now they will be reminded that Congressman Young would rather put radical ideology ahead of solutions for those worries,' said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. 'Congressman Young voted for the Republican budget that puts millionaires ahead of the middle class and partisanship before solutions. Now Congressman Young will not be able to hide from his radical record because it’s in plain view.'"

  

TALLAHASSEE COMMISSIONER ANDREW GILLUM ANNOUNCES BID FOR TALLAHASSEE MAYOR

City Commissioner Gillum Running for Mayor in 2014 [Tallahassee Democrat] "Tallahassee City Commissioner Andrew Gillum is running for mayor in 2014...Gillum confirmed this afternoon in an interview with the Tallahassee Democrat that he planned to file for mayor “in the coming days,” though he didn’t give a date. Later in the day, he filed his paperwork with the Leon County Supervisor of Elections, officially making him a candidate for mayor. 'My interest in continuing my service and elevating it to this level is to put a new, young, exciting face to all of the wonderful change that our community is experiencing and will experience,' he said."