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Florida Democratic Party News Clips — February 28, 2013

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HYPOCRITE ALERT: WEATHERFORD BLASTS FLORIDA POLY, WHICH HE VOTED FOR!

Weatherford: Creation of Florida Poly ‘a disaster’ [Tampa Tribune] "Calling the creation of Florida's newest university 'a disaster,' Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford on Tuesday floated the idea of allying Florida Polytechnic University in Lakeland with a major technical institute such as the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Without an alliance with another major university inside or outside of Florida, taxpayers may spend millions on Florida Poly and receive little benefit for years, Weatherford said in a Tampa Tribune editorial board interview."

 

FL Dems Chairs Throws Support Behind Rick Kriseman for Mayor

Five Democrats Endorse Rick Kriseman In St. Petersburg Mayoral Race [Tampa Bay Times] "A Kriseman victory would put a Democrat in charge of another large city in the Sunshine State. Democrats hold top offices in Tampa, Orlando and Jacksonville. 'It's a recruitment effort," MacManus said. "It's creating a bench"… A Democratic Party spokesman…released a statement calling Kriseman a 'tireless advocate' and 'proven leader' and said "the party plans to put our full support behind Rick as we have done in mayoral races across the state."

 

FL DEMS FILE BILLS TO CLOSE GUN SHOW LOOPHOLES, HELP HOMEOWNERS IN FORECLOSURE,

Orlando Senator Files Four Foreclosure Bills, Calling Florida's No. 1 Ranking 'Shameful' [Miami Herald] "Calling Florida’s position as the No. 1 state for foreclosures 'shameful,' Sen.Darren Soto, D-Orlando, has filed four bills aimed at helping struggling homeowners. The bills would provide taxpayer support for people who are on the verge of foreclosure, make it more difficult for banks to sue homeowners for additional debt after a foreclosure and crack down on lenders who use false documents in court. They stand in contrast to another bill that seeks to speed up the foreclosure process, which can take an average of more than two years in Florida...Soto, who led the protests against Passidomo’s 2012 bill, said his proposals are aimed at taking the state in the opposite direction when it comes to foreclosures."

State Representative Mark Pafford Files Gun Scalping Bill [House Democrats] "State Representative Mark Pafford (D-West Palm Beach) has filed House Bill 1051, Sale or Transfer of Firearms at Gun Shows, which would allow only licensed gun dealers who perform background checks on purchasers to sell guns at gun shows.   The current gun show loophole allows unlicensed people to sell or “scalp” firearms at gun shows without conducting background checks. 'Right now, two out of every five guns sold in the United States are not subject to a background check,' said Rep. Pafford. 'Gun buyers that would be flagged by a background check, such as convicted felons, domestic abusers, fugitives from justice, individuals adjudicated as mentally ill, are now able to buy weapons unchecked.'"

 

REPUBLICANS FAILING TO MAKE THE GRADE

Jacksonville Gives Rick Scott An ‘F’ At Midway Point [Jacksonville Business Insider] "Gov. Rick Scott is at the midway point of his four year term as governor of Florida, but according to a recent poll a majority doesn't think he has done a good job so far. Last week's Business Pulse survey closed about an hour ago, and the results show that 28 percent would grade the governor's performance an 'F.'"

 

Changing To 401(k) Pension Plan Would Be Costly For Floridians and Public Employees [Palm Beach Post Editorial] "A key Florida House committee didn’t wait for facts and figures before moving ahead with a plan to bar new state employees from enrolling in the Florida Retirment System’s most popular pension plan. Now, the consultant’s report that was supposed to provide those facts and figures is flawed and must be reworked…Because of errors in the study prepared for the House, we can’t yet to compare the cost of keeping the current system with the cost of switching to a new one. But it’s clear that ideology is the prime reason for the change."

 

RIVERA SUSPECT IN HOT WATER

Suspected Ringer-candidate In David Rivera Case To Plea Guilty [Miami Herald] "A former candidate whose suspicious campaign finances led to an FBI investigation of him and former Congressman David Rivera plans to plead guilty next Wednesday in federal court to conspiracy and false-statement charges. The change of plea by Justin Lamar Sternad was expected to happen soon because he's cooperating with the U.S. Attorney's Office. Sternad has told investigators that Rivera's friend, Ana Alliegro, was his campaign manager and helped steer secret money to his congressional campaign against the former congressman's rival, Joe Garcia, who went on to beat Sternad in the Aug. 14 Democratic primary. Garcia then defeated Rivera in the general election."

 

US SHOULD LEARN FROM FLORIDA’S MISTAKES ON VOTING

Florida Advocates Say 2012 Proved Need For Voting Rights Act [Miami Herald] "As a skeptical U.S. Supreme Court raised doubts about a central provision of the federal Voting Rights Act on Wednesday, the law’s defenders said the 2012 election provided a vivid example for why it was needed to protect Florida from voter suppression. 'Look at the performance of our governor and Legislature in the last election,’' says Howard Simon, executive director of the ACLU of Florida whose parent organization has joined in the lawsuit to retain the law. 'They are walking advertisements for why we need the Voting Rights Act.'"

 

Our Election Laws Should Be Smart, Efficient, Fair [Florida Voices Editorial] "Who could forget the 102-year-old Miami woman who waited in line for three hours last November to cast her ballot? Desiline Victor, who farmed in Haiti before becoming a U.S. citizen, decided to vote early to avoid the rush on Election Day. Like thousands of others, the centenarian became mired in Republican legislation that cut early voting hours, creating lines longer than those in a Disney theme park all over the state. More than 200,000 Florida voters gave up and went home, according to an analysis by Ohio State University...Florida has been the laughingstock of many an election year. We need to stop that by ensuring our laws are smart, efficient and fair. When thousands of people go home rather than vote on a possible election winner, the only losers are the citizens."