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Florida Democratic Party News Clips - July 11, 2013

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TOP SCOTT DONOR PROFITED FROM MISREPRESENTING LOAN INFO TO VETERANS

Group asks Rick Scott to return $500K contribution [Tampa Bay Times] "A liberal veterans group called on Gov. Rick Scott to return a $500,000 campaign check from St. Petersburg mogul (and Vietnam veteran) Bill Edwards, saying Scott should not take the money following news of Edwards' company being hit with a record fine for violating the 'Do Not Call' telemarketing rule. 'Surely Governor Scott will not willingly retain political contributions -- totaling a half-million dollars -- derived from funds that may have been the fruit of misrepresentations to veterans,' VoteVets.orgFlorida chairman Pablo Pantoja said in a statement. 'He should return these tainted contributions immediately. Quite simply our veterans deserve better.'"

 

FL STATE HOUSE DEMOCRATS LAUNCH NEW WEBSITE, BOLSTER CAMPAIGN OPERATIONS

Democrats ramp up profile of state House campaign operation [Tampa Bay Times] "Normally the folks who run state House Democratic campaigns every two years remain relatively anonymous, working below the radar while the state party leads the overall messaging effort. Under Minority Leader Designee Darryl Rouson, however, that's about to change as the "House Victory" team ramps up a higher profile effort to energize grass roots activists and build lasting campaign infrastructure."

 

AWKWARD: FLORIDA GOP EDITS OUT BONDI'S MEDICAID REMARKS 

State GOP touts Pam Bondi's Fox and Friends interview, cuts out her criticism of Medicaid expansion [Florida Times Union] "In an email blast Monday, the Republican Party of Florida sent out an interview Attorney General Pam Bondi did with Fox and Friends. The interview is just under four minutes, but RPOF's email includes less than two. It cuts off when the conversation turns to Bondi's opposition to the Medicaid expansion offered under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. The Senate and Gov. Rick Scott pushed for expansion, but the plan went nowhere when the House would not agree to accept federal money. 'I felt very strongly that we should not participate in the Medicaid expansion, and the House of Representatives agreed,' she said. 'So, therefore, Florida is not participating in the expansion of Medicaid, and I'm very proud of our state.'...Medicaid expansion is a tough issue for the state GOP because the party's main job is to advocate Scott's policies and ensure he gets reelected. Needing to play fullback for Scott’s positions while working to elect Republicans opposed to expansion could be a delicate political balancing act. The issue has already caused some heart-burn for the state GOP. A February email blast from RPOF featured Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam blasting Medicaid expansion."

 

RPOF STATE COMMITTEEMAN A "SLUMLORD" WHO RUNS ILLEGAL RENTAL PROPERTY "NOT FIT FOR HUMAN HABITATION" 

Top GOP fundraiser, state committeeman, port chairman is slumlord [Tampa Bay Times] "William A. 'Hoe' Brown, chairman of the Tampa Port Authority and prominent Republican fundraiser, has been running an illegal rental property that Tampa's code enforcement director calls 'deplorable' and 'not fit for human habitation.' 'It was shocking. People shouldn't have to live like that,' said Jake Slater, Tampa's Neighborhood Empowerment Administrator and former police officer, who termed the squalor on Brown's property among the worst he has ever seen." [UPDATE: Officials take closer look at Tampa port chairman's 'shocking' rentals]

 

SEN. NELSON VOTES TO KEEP STUDENT LOAN RATES LOW, RUBIO VOTES TO KEEP THEM DOUBLED

Senate Fails To Lower Student Loan Rates [WJHG] "An effort to restore lower interest rates on student loans has failed in the Senate...The White House and most Senate Democrats favored restoring interest rates to 3.4 percent for another year. But lawmakers on Wednesday were unable to muster the necessary 60 votes to overcome a procedural hurdle...NewsChannel 7 checked the roll call to see how Florida's senators voted. Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, who was one of 43 co-sponsors, voted for it. Republican Senator Marco Rubio voted against the bill."

 

GOP "SAVIOR" MARCO RUBIO REJECTED BY HOUSE REPUBLCIANS

House rejects Rubio/Senate's 'flawed' bill, will take piecemeal approach to immigration [Tampa Bay Times] "House Republicans gathered behind closed doors this afternoon to discuss immigration reform, with leaders signaling something must be done, but rejecting the bill designed by Sen. Marco Rubio and others in the upper chamber. 'Today House Republicans affirmed that rather than take up the flawed legislation rushed through the Senate, House committees will continue their work on a step-by-step, common-sense approach to fixing what has long been a broken system,' House leaders said in a statement. The move was not unexpected. Florida lawmakers endorsed the go-slow, border-first approach."