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Florida Democratic Party News Clips - July 15, 2013

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IN THE WAKE OF THE VRA DECISION, GOV SCOTT MAINTAINS EFFORT TO MAKE VOTING MORE DIFFICULT

Scott administration seeks dismissal of voter "purge" lawsuit [Tampa Bay Times] "In the aftermath of the U.S. Supreme Court decision that gutted a key provision of the Voting Rights Act, Gov. Rick Scott's administration wants a federal judge in Tampa to dismiss a lawsuit stemming from last year's controversial effort to scrub non-citizens from the state voter database. Attorneys for Scott's chief elections official, Secretary of State Ken Detzner, have asked U.S. District Judge James Whittemore in Tampa to dismiss a suit filed by a Hispanic voter advocacy group, Mi Familia Vota Education Fund, and two Tampa-area voters. At the crux of their lawsuit was the assertion that Detzner failed to obtain preclearance, or approval from the the federal government, before searching the voter file for potential non-citizens."

 

REPUBLICAN PARTY OF FLORIDA CENSORS THEIR CHAIR, AG OVER HEALTHCARE 

Florida Republican divide over Medicaid expansion creates awkward gaps [Tampa Bay Times] "As much as leaders of the Florida Republican Party want to project unity, we keep seeing awkward signs of division between the governor's office and other top Republicans, especially over Medicaid expansion. Take Attorney General Pam Bondi's latest appearance on Fox News last week. The party was happy to send out a video clip of Bondi's appearance, but cut off the clip when she hailed the decision of Republican legislative leaders to reject billions of federal money to expand Medicaid. Gov. Rick Scott, who really leads the state party, supported taking the money (after thundering against the Affordable Care Act for years). Likewise, when Republican Party of Florida chairman Lenny Curry recently gave the News Service of Florida a 'five questions' interview, the party blasted out an email that included only four of his five answers. Lopped off? Curry on Medicaid expansion: 'This is the one where there were no good choices. The governor took the information before him and made the best decision that he thought that he could,' Curry said."

  

WEATHERFORD UNABLE TO EXPLAIN WHERE ALL HIS MONEY COMES FROM…

State House Speaker Will Weatherford makes $122K a year, but what does he do? [Tampa Bay Times] "For the past six years, Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford has reported that his largest source of personal income is from an outfit called 'Breckenridge Enterprises.' When asked about Breckenridge, which hasn't been registered in Florida since 2007, Weatherford says he doesn't actually work for the company...But it's no easy task understanding how Weatherford, one of the most powerful politicians in the state, earns the majority of his money or who pays him. His speaker job pays $29,714, so the vast majority of his income — more than 75 percent — comes from other sources. In recent years, it's become the norm for a Florida House speaker's income to raise questions. Ray Sansom resigned as speaker in 2009 after he was charged with channeling more than $25 million to Northwest Florida State College — where he had taken a $110,000-a-year job as the chief fundraiser."

…EARNING HIM THE TITLE "WINNER" OF THE WEEK

Winner of the Week: Will Weatherford [Tampa Bay Times] "Wouldn't it be nice to make more than $80,000 off of nebulous jobs you won't or can't explain? On top of that taxpayers subside your terrific health care plan that costs only $30 a month for your large family. Hard to see how anyone could think you're out of touch with most Floridians.

  

FL SUPREME COURT DELIVERS "SHARP REBUKE TO THE REPUBLICAN-CONTROLLED LEGISLATURE"

Fla. Supreme Court won't stop legal challenge [AP] "The Florida Supreme Court, in a sharp rebuke to the Republican-controlled Legislature, refused Thursday to throw out a lawsuit that contends legislators ignored new standards while drawing up legislative districts. The Legislature wanted the state's high court to block a challenge to last year's new map for state Senate districts. But the court - by a 5-2 vote - ruled that blocking the lawsuit would go against the will of voters who adopted two constitutional amendments that imposed new rules for redistricting."

 

CARL HIASSEN: RUBIO "ISN'T IN THE MAINSTREAM AND HE DOESN'T HAVE THE CONVICTION TO GET THERE" 

Marco Rubio: A funny thing happened on the way to the nomination . . .  [MIami Herald] "As the prospects for comprehensive immigration reform sink, so goes his hopes of establishing himself as the solid Republican front-runner in the 2016 campaign for the White House. Meanwhile, the junior Florida senator is under siege from the bug-eyed right wing of his own party. Glenn Beck called him a 'piece of garbage' and even the tea party has turned on him. It’s gotten so bad that GOP action groups are putting out commercials saying nice things about Rubio, just to preserve his shot at the presidency."