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Florida Democratic Party News Clips - July 22, 2013

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TAMPA BAY TIMES: "FLORIDIANS DESERVE BETTER" THAN RICK SCOTT
Gov. Scott skips out on governing [Tampa Bay Times] "Gov. Rick Scott HAS BEEN missing in action. While the governor spent five days in New York and bounced around the Florida Panhandle and Tampa Bay boasting about bringing new private sector jobs into the state, firestorms were breaking out all over state government. Yet the governor appeared unengaged, uninformed or uninterested in explaining the actions of his administration. Floridians deserve better."

 

AS DCF SECRETARY RESIGNS AMID SCANDAL, RICK SCOTT SAYS "HE DID A GREAT JOB"
Wilkins resigns at DCF, governor announces interim replacement [Tampa Bay Times] "David Wilkins, Florida’s top child welfare and social service administrator, resigned Thursday amid an escalating scandal over the recent deaths of four small children who had a history of involvement with child abuse investigators. Wilkins is leaving the agency to 'pursue opportunities in the private sector and to provide more attention' to a foundation he leads, Gov. Rick Scott said in a statement. Wilkins has served longer than any other agency head under Scott, serving since the governor's inauguration in 2011. But in recent months, Wilkins had become mired in a simmering controversy over the deaths of four youngsters in a six-week period, all but one of them from Miami-Dade and Broward counties. A fifth child, also from Miami, nearly died from a lacerated liver after the agency failed to act when the infant had suffered a broken thigh bone months earlier."

  

WATCH: RICK SCOTT RUNS AND HIDES FROM THE PRESS
Governor Rick Scott walks out on press conference [WTSP] "In a week filled with a number of growing controversies, Governor Rick Scott has apparently had enough. After scheduling a press conference Thursday, Gov. Scott made the media wait nearly an hour, then answered one question for a total of 51 seconds. The question had to do with the national outcry over Florida's Stand Your Ground law and dozens of protesters waiting in the Capitolto talk to the governor. Scott answered with what seemed to be a well-rehearsed rebuttal to criticism, saying he has no desire to change Stand Your Ground after a 19-person, bipartisan panel analyzed the law and suggested no changes."

 

THE LATEST IN RICK SCOTT'S FAILED EDUCATION POLICIES
School grade ‘safety net’ vote opens new rifts [Miami Herald] "The state Board of Education’s decision last week to inflate school grades for a second year was widely praised by parents and educators, but it also exposed a hard-to-miss rift between the closest allies of former Gov. Jeb Bush and those who back Gov. Rick Scott. The 4-3 decision to reduce the number of F schools in the state by almost 60 percent was divided along Bush-Scott lines, with Bush allies against...'This year alone, our public school system would have seen a 650 percent increase in F-rated schools had they not changed the math at the last minute,' the Florida Democratic Party said in a statement. 'Florida’s students cannot afford another four years of Rick Scott’s education policies.'"

 

REPUBLICANS ARGUE GOP SHOULD BECOME "THE PARTY OF WHITE PEOPLE"
GOP looks for its racial identity [Tampa Tribune] "Should the Republican Party be the party of white people?...The debate arises from a dissection of the 2012 presidential election using sophisticated statistical analysis by respected political analyst Sean Trende...Trende argues that Republicans don't need to take 'extraordinary measures' to curry Hispanic votes and thereby ensure the party's future. Instead, he says, the increasing alignment of whites with the GOP - along with inevitable, incremental improvements with Hispanics and other minorities - is enough to keep the party viable. Trende doesn't argue that Republicans should 'double down on white voters,' or become 'the party of white people,' as some national commentators have suggested."

 

SEN. NELSON FIGHTS FOR NASA FUNDING
Senator Nelson Calls for $18.1 Billion for NASA [WMFE] "Florida US Senator Bill Nelson says anything less than $18 Billion for NASA next year could harm its space exploration program. Nelson has filed a bill asking for $18.1 Billion for the agency, which is close to a budget approved by the Senate appropriations committee this week."