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Florida Democratic Party News Clips — April 9, 2013

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RICK SCOTT 'IN THE MOST TROUBLE' FOR 2014, DOESN'T STAND FOR MUCH

Which Governors Are Most Vulnerable in 2014? [New York Times] "[...]Mr. Scott appears to be in the most trouble. A recent Quinnipiac surveyshowed former Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican-turned-Democrat and a possible candidate in 2014, beating Mr. Scott, 50 percent to 34 percent. Mr. Scott has been stocking up campaign contributions, but currently only 32 percent of voters say he deserves a second term."

Editorial: Scott is Running For Reelection But Standing For…Not Much [Palm Beach Post] "Aside from his talking points, though, the governor wouldn’t take a stand on issues from charter schools to alimony to texting while driving. And it can be hard to get the governor to explain the positions he does take...Gov. Scott ducked on whether political considerations led him to specific positions...Gov. Scott favors changes to the bad election bill he signed two years ago. Sowhy did he sign it? 'I mean, you don’t anticipate what’s going to happen.' In fact, critics warned that the bill could cause long lines at polling places...Gov. Scott has his talking points nailed down. On most issues, he’s impossible to pin down."

 

WOMENS RIGHTS ADVOCATES, DEM REPS RALLY AT CAPITOL FOR MEDICAID EXPANSION

Planned Parenthood Aims to Change Debate Via Rally at Capitol [The Florida Current] "Supporters of Planned Parenthood, besieged by anti-abortion Republicans, rallied at the Capitol on Monday in an effort to turn focus  on the health-care debate of the 2013 legislative session on expanding Medicaid eligibility for about 1.2 million poor people...At the Planned Parenthood rally, Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, and Rep. Alan Williams, D-Tallahassee, said legislators should concentrate on Scott's proposal to expand Medicaidcoverage under the federal Affordable Care Act. Sobel said about 2 million women in Florida have no health insurance and that about half of them would be covered if the state revised eligibility to include a family of three living on $26,000 a year -- 138 percent of the poverty level."

Activists Urge Expanded Health Coverage in Florida [Bradenton Herald] "Women's-rights activists rallying in Tallahassee are calling on lawmakers to expand health insurance coverage to more Floridians. Planned Parenthood supporters gathered near the Capitol on Monday to urge lawmakers to accept billions of dollars in federal funding under the Affordable Care Act to expand health coverage in Florida. Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, said Floridians pay their fair share of federal taxes and deserve access to available federal funding to broaden health coverage. House and Senate committees have voted against expanding Medicaid coverage to more than 1 million Floridians."

  

SEN. SOTO LEADING FIGHT AGAINST BILL THAT WOULD EXPEDITE FORECLOSURES

Sen. Soto, Housing Advocates Rail Against Foreclosure Bill, Settlement Spending Plans [The Florida Current] "Sen. Darren Soto, R-Orlando, flanked at a press conference Monday by housing advocates and representatives of PICO United Florida, an advocacy group for low-income families, denounced a bill designed to expedite the foreclosure process and a plan to spend $200 million in foreclosure fraud settlement money. Soto has filed amendments to SB 1666 that would add more time for due process and require more proof from banks and lenders of ownership of a mortgage before foreclosing on a home."

 

MAJOR LOOPHOLE IN GOP'S ETHICS REFORM

Lawmakers Eye ‘Blind Trust’ in Ethics Reform Bill [Miami Herald] "Tucked into a bill hailed by Senate leaders as the “most sweeping ethics reform” in decades is a provision that could shield elected officials from disclosing conflicts of interest or questionable assets. Under SB 2, which passed the Senate on the first day of the legislative session, any public official who wants to avoid disclosing embarrassing financial information on their financial disclosure forms could create a blind trust to hold their assets. 'This really would be a wolf in sheep’s clothing,’ said Phil Claypool, the former director of the Florida Ethics Commission who retired last year. 'The whole idea is to protect both the public official and the public from conflicts of interest' but under the Senate bill 'you’ve just got room for all kinds of mischief.'"

 

PATRICK MURHPY REFLECTS ON LESSONS LEARNED IN FIRST 100 DAYS IN CONGRESS

Patrick Murphy: Four Lessons Learned During First 100 days Serving Southern Treasure Coast in Congress [Treasure Coast Palm Editorial] "April 10 marks the completion of my first 100 days as congressman of the beautiful Treasure Coast district I am so fortunate to represent. Having come from the business world and never having held office before, it has been quite an eye-opening experience...[O]ne of the first things I did was organize a bipartisan group of freshman members to outline a core set of principles we could work across the aisle to achieve. These were areas in which we had a surprising amount of agreement: strengthening and preserving Medicare and Social Security; promoting economic growth to generate revenue, cutting spending; eliminating government duplication and waste; and aggressively pursuing Medicaid fraud."

 

BILL COTTERELL ON MARRIAGE EQUALITY: 'IT WILL HAPPEN'

Florida, U.S. Will Embrace Same-Sex Marriage in Time [Florida Voices] "[...]Except for Indiana Sen. Rob Portman, who cited his gay son for changing his mind, we are not seeing any movement on the issue in the GOP. But polls now show majority support for gay marriage, and politicians follow polls. Perhaps most significantly, as the Washington Post's conservative columnist George F. Will points out, opposition to gay marriage is literally dying off -- young people just don't think it's a big deal. Every current legislator will be term-limited out of Tallahassee before anything like Sobel's civil partner-registry bill passes. And it will be even longer before 60 percent of the voters will repeal the 2008 marriage-definition constitutional amendment. But whether the Supreme Court does it nationwide next summer or our children's generation does it legislatively, it will happen."