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Florida Democratic Party News Clips - August 22

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IF YOU ONLY READ ONE THING Medicaid cuts [Tampa Bay Times guest column] "My son was born with a neuromuscular disease and needs a ventilator to breathe. Even though he is vent-dependent, he can use a Medicaid waiver that enables him to live at home with a family that cares for him, a community that values his contributions, and at far less cost than institutional care…this presidential election will have a great effect on care for people with disabilities. President Obama believes that 'all Americans — including people with disabilities and seniors — should be able to live at home with the supports they need, participating in communities that value their contributions — rather than in nursing homes or other institutions.' Does our governor? Does his party?"

Scott picks ideology over residents' health [Tampa Bay Times editorial] "Gov. Rick Scott and his right-wing extremists in the Legislature are putting their hatred of President Barack Obama and health care reform ahead of Florida's poor children. Their rejection of a modest federal grant that has helped dozens of families in Pinellas County and hundreds statewide shamefully values rigid political ideology over the well-being of our own residents. But such callous calculations do not reflect the values of Floridians, who should demand better."

Medicaid plan would transform health care in Florida [Orlando Sentinel] "Florida's fast-growing Medicaid program -- which cares for the state's impoverished children and for most senior citizens in nursing homes -- would lose roughly a third of its federal money under budget plans embraced by Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan."

 

"BRACKETOLOGY" Bracketology: Joe Biden coming to Tampa area during GOP convention [Palm Beach Post] "Taking opposition “bracketing” to a new level, Vice President Joe Biden will campaign in the Tampa area and other cities on Monday and Tuesday — the first two days of the Republican National Convention" 

Michelle Obama to visit Fort Lauderdale today [AP] "First Lady Michelle Obama will be speaking in Fort Lauderdale later today in an effort to help her husband's re-election bid."

 

ON THE CONGRESSIONAL FRONT — DEMS ON OFFENSE ACROSS THE STATE, RIVERA BACK UNDER FIRE FOR CAMPAIGN FINANCE CONTROVERSY 

Akin’s comments reverberate in Florida races [Sarasota Herald Tribune] "Fitzgerald called on Buchanan 'not only to condemn his colleague’s remarks, but to withdraw his support of appalling legislation that would have narrowed the definition of rape under federal law'…Pinellas County Democrat Jessica Ehrlich similarly used the same legislation to criticize U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young, R-Indian Shores, in their 13th Congressional District race. In a fundraising letter, Ehrlich said Young’s support of the same 2011 legislation Fitzgerald cited makes Young from the 'same school of thought' as Akin."

Akin factor: Dems blast Hasner’s support for Ryan budget as anti-woman; Hasner rips ‘scare tactics’ [Palm Beach Post] "Democrats have long blasted Paul Ryan‘s budget plan as a threat to seniors, but today the Florida Democratic Party reframed it as a threat to women. The Democrats accused Republican congressional candidate Adam Hasner of supporting a plan that 'would turn Medicare into a voucher program, raising the cost of healthcare for women in south Florida by thousands of dollars every year'…The Florida Dems also highlighted former state House majority leader Hasner’s support in Tallahassee for legislation requiring a woman seeking an abortion to first view an ultrasound and other votes that included cutting money for women’s health programs."

Campaign vendors say Republican Congressman David Rivera funded Democrat’s failed primary bid [Miami Herald] "Fueled with $43,000 in secret money, Republican Rep. David Rivera helped run a shadow campaign that might have broken federal laws…Among the revelations: The mailers were often paid in envelopes stuffed with crisp hundred-dollar bills."

Rep. David Rivera's Connections to Suspected Ringer Candidate Justin Lamar Sternad Deepen [Miami New Times] "If you were Republican Rep. David Rivera, and you were dodging investigations by both the FBI and IRS, you'd think you'd try and keep your nose clean and avoid any controversy while running for reelection. Yet evidence continues to mount that Rivera and his associates helped run the campaign of a ringer in the Democratic primary."

Buchanan deposition could come a month before election [Sarasota Herald Tribune] "A month before Election Day, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan could be put under oath for a deposition as part of a 4-year-old lawsuit involving a former business partner."

Longtime GOP Congressman C.W. Bill Young chided for role in anti-gay Johns Committee [Miami Herald] "Today, Ehrlich's campaign has resurrected Young's involvement a half-century ago in the infamous Johns Committee, which persecuted civil rights groups and gay Floridians in the late 1950s and early '60s. 

 

ON THE STATE LEGISLATIVE FRONT – Bruno Draws Crowd in Ocala for Water Town Hall, Sachs Hits Airwaves, Dudley Pledges to Repeal Advance Nuclear Fee 

SD-8: On the eve of the Adena Springs Ranch public meeting, Frank Bruno spoke to a packed crowd at a town hall meeting in Marion County on protecting Florida's land and water for our children and grandchildren. 

SD-34: Sachs hits airwaves in battle for Senate seat [Sun Sentinel] "Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, has hit the airwaves with her first ad out in her general election match-up against Sen. Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale. The race is a top priority for both the Democratic and Republican parties and is expected to be one of the more expensive legislative races this fall." 

HD-68: Dwight Dudley Issues Pledge Promising to Repeal Advance Nuclear Fee Hurting Middle Class Families "Following a Tampa Bay Times story detailing Frank Farkas' vote to allow utility companies to raise rates on middle class families without providing power or services, Dwight Dudley, candidate for Florida House District 68, today issued the following pledge promising to repeal the advance nuclear fee."

 

OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Sen. Sobel: Romney-Ryan are devastating for women's individual rights [Sun Sentinel Op Ed] "For the first time in decades, women again find themselves having to defend their individual and most personal rights. Women's issues laid to rest years ago have re-emerged as the Republican Party has moved further to the right in a frivolous attempt to fight our battles of the past."

GOP congressman’s apology to women about rape akin to overdue apology from Florida lawmakers [Palm Beach Post] "Gov. Rick Scott could begin by apologizing for being so ideologically opposed to the new health care law that he has chosen to make life tougher for the state’s most vulnerable young mothers."

Change constitution to protect Florida’s natural resources [Palm Beach Post guest column] "Florida legislators have cut conservation spending more deeply than any other part of government. Since 2009, the Legislature has provided only $23 million for the landmark Florida Forever program, a 97.5 percent reduction. State appropriations for land management and ecological restoration, including Everglades projects, have suffered similar declines. " 

Controversial wetlands permit wins approval despite expert's objections [Tampa Bay Times] "The Highlands Ranch Mitigation Bank project has been embroiled in controversy since May, when the DEP's top wetlands expert, Connie Bersok, refused to approve the permit and subsequently was suspended."

Why is Marco Rubio shutting out the press from West Palm Beach speech? [Palm Beach Post editorial] "Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who often speaks passionately about government oppression in his parents’ native Cuba, will practice a form of censorship today when he speaks to the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches."