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Florida Democratic Party News Clips — February 12, 2013

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WHAT FLORIDIANS ARE READING THIS MORNING: Greer, Greer, Greer 

Breath-taking Arrogance and Entitlement In Florida Politics Not Limited to Jim Greer [Tampa Bay Times, 2/12/13] "You could practically hear the gasp of relief from Florida Republican leaders Monday when ex-GOP chairman Jim Greer pleaded guilty to theft and money laundering charges, sparing them a sordid, two-week trial. What a trial it could have been, a veritable reality show featuring testimony about lying political leaders, hookers, bitter vendettas, personal slush funds and secret contracts. The whole sorry story of the Florida Republican Party under Jim Greer is exhibit A on how near-absolute power, combined with astronomical campaign accounts, can and did breed breathtaking arrogance and entitlement, if not outright corruption, among party leaders professing conservatism." "Sen. Marco Rubio's name may not have surfaced during the trial, but he epitomized the culture of the state GOP in recent years as much as anyone” … “The leading candidate for president in 2016 used his party credit card to charge everything from groceries to personal flights to family reunion expenses."

Former Fla. GOP Chairman Pleads Guilty To Money Laundering Before Jury Selection Began [Washington Post, 2/11/13] 

G.O.P. Chief in Florida Pleads Guilty [New York Times, 2/11/13] 

Jim Greer Pleads Guilty To Theft And Money Laundering Before Trial Begins [TBO.com, 2/11/13] 

Jim Greer Pleads Guilty to Grand Theft, Avoids Trial [Tampa Bay Times, 2/11/13] 

Ex-GOP Head Jim Greer Pleads Guilty Moments Before Trial Begins [Palm Beach Post, 2/11/13]

Updated: Disgraced Fmr. State GOP Chair Jim Greer Pleads Guilty [WFSU, 2/11/13] 

Jim Greer Guilty Plea: Former Republican Party Chairman Jim Greer Pleads Guilty in Theft Trial [WPTV, 2/11/13] 

Jim Greer pleads guilty to four counts of grand theft [Miami Herald, 2/11/13] 

 

All Eyes on SOTU

Don’t miss the State of The Union Tonight at 9pm ET

#SOTU Tweet of the Day: @JoeGarcia Chatting with Telemundo about the #SOTU and #immigrationreform prior to touring a small business in the district today instagr.am/p/Votldqkpip/

 

Dems to GOP --  Beware: Marco Rubio Knows Nothing About the Middle or Class

DNC Blasts Marco Rubio Ahead of State of the Union Response [ABC, 2/11/13] “Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was labeled his party’s 'savior' by Time magazine last week, and Tuesday he will be giving the Republican Party’s official response to the president’s State of the Union address, but Democrats are denying they see him as the new face of the GOP and therefore their political opposition. ‘No, not necessarily,’ Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) said on a conference call to ‘prebut’ Rubio’s Tuesday night response, when asked if they now see Rubio as the person who personifies their political opposition.”

What Marco Rubio Doesn’t Understand About Debt And The Economy [Think Progress, 2/12/13] "“Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will deliver the official Republican response to President Obama’s State of the Union address tonight. While Rubio has been pitched as the ‘savior’ and ‘new face’ of the GOP, a preview of his speech gives the indication that he is just as disconnected from the current economic reality as the rest of his party."

Marco Rubio’s Got ‘Toughest Gig in Politics’ Giving Response to President Obama’s State of the Union [Palm Beach Post, 2/11/13] “After being splashed on the cover  of Time magazine as nothing less than ‘The Republican Savior,’ Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will be combating lofty expectations as well as the Democratic agenda when he delivers Tuesday night’s Republican response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address."

 

SOTU Story of the Day

102-Year-Old Florida Woman Who Waited Hours To Vote To Join Michelle Obama for State of the Union [Palm Beach Post, 2/11/13] “A 102-year-old Florida woman who waited more than three hours to vote before casting her ballot in North Miami will join First Lady Michelle Obama at President Obama’s state of the union address tomorrow night, highlighting his pledge to do something about the problems last fall that again cast an unwelcome spotlight on Florida elections. Desiline Victor, a Haitian-born U.S. citizen and former Belle Glade farm worker, waited three hours to vote on Oct. 28 at a public library.”

South Florida Lawmakers Want To Bring Attention To Gun Violence at Tuesday's State of Union [Miami Herald, 2/12/13] “In a move to highlight the need for gun control legislation, two South Florida lawmakers, Democratic Reps. Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Lois Frankel, will bring those directly impacted by gun violence to Tuesday night's State of the Union address."

Undocumented Immigrant Will Be State of the Union Guest of Rep. Kathy Castor [Tampa Bay Times, 2/11/13] "Rep. Kathy Castor is bringing with her to the State of the Union an undocumented immigrant from Tampa who is seeking admission to the Florida Bar to practice law” … “In late 2012, Mr. Godinez-Samperio was granted ‘deferred action’ under an Obama administration program and has since received his driver’s license and a work permit, Castor's office said. ‘We have a stake in Jose because we’ve already invested in him,’ said Castor, D-Tampa. ‘Deferred action has helped many immigrants who know no other home, but a pathway to permanent residency and citizenship is needed.'"

Patrick Murphy: I'm Acting in Bipartisan Fashion [TC Palm, 2/12/13] “I ran for office on a pledge to be bipartisan — to reach across the aisle and work with both Democrats and Republicans to get things done for this district — and I stand by this pledge. But one of my greatest disappointments in my early congressional experiences is that so much that is done in Washington is separated by parties. This is truly a disservice."

 

Meanwhile, FL Dems Chair Announces Two Donor Heavyweights to Lead New Party Fundraising Effort

Q and A with: Allison Tant [The Florida Current, 2/11/13] “Chairing the Florida Democratic Party is going to be a ‘busy and interesting’ job for Allison Tant” … “In the two weeks since [taking office], Tant tapped former Congressman Ron Klein of Boca Raton to head a trustees brain trust and Andrew Weinstein of Parkland, who headed Lawyers for Obama, as finance chair. She said she's setting up a special fund for the governor's race, which has already lined up $200,000. She takes over a party of 4.8 million that's showing signs of reawakening. After a disastrous 2010 performance, when Scott and an all-Republican Cabinet were elected and four Florida congressional seats went Republican, the Democrats carried the state for Obama, re-elected U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, won four U.S. House seats and made gains in the Legislature.”