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Florida Democratic Party News Clips - June 14, 2012

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PURGE THE GOV — TURNS OUT HE ONCE WAS Rick Scott: I was stripped from the voter rolls [AP] "Florida Gov. Rick Scott knows what it's like to be told that he's not a registered voter. In a radio interview Thursday, Scott said he was forced to cast a provisional ballot because election officials thought he was dead."

Legal voters may have been purged from rolls in Florida's noncitizen hunt [Miami Herald] "Florida Gov. Rick Scott often says that no actual citizens have been removed from the voter rolls in his program to make sure noncitizens don't have the chance to cast ballots…But that might not be the case. In two counties — Collier and Lee — at least nine people have been removed from the voter rolls under Scott's program, and elections officials have no solid proof that those people are noncitizens"

Scott Spoofed [WCTV] "The Chairman of the Florida Democrats says the attacks on Scott’s policies are valid. 'It’s funny to watch it, but the tragedy is, it’s not at all funny as a matter of policy for the state,' said Chairman Rod Smith."

Voter Purge Brings More Dark Days to the Sunshine State [Bradenton Times column] "There is no evidence that voter fraud has been anything more than a blip on the radar in our state, yet there is considerable evidence that voter suppression has not only been a problem, but a coordinated policy by a broad group of officials over a long period of time."

Welcome to the Florida Office of Unconstitutional Initiatives [Palm Beach Post column] "We are led into the Florida Office of Unconstitutional Initiatives, a multi-story building populated by lawyers who appear to be busy at work…We take an elevator to the second floor. As we get off, Scott motions to the beehive of activity in front of us. 'We’ve devoted the entire floor to voter suppression,' Scott says. 'There’s so much work to be undone.'”

Minorities Won't Let Vote Suppressors Get Off Scott Free [Florida Voices] "It’s obvious that Gov. Rick Scott is bent on discouraging minority voters from heading to the polls. The presidential election might be close this fall. Scott doesn’t want to leave anything to chance…This initiative has nothing to with protecting the rights of the majority and stopping voter fraud. It has everything to do with winning elections. "

RUBIO AT ODDS W/ 50-PERCENT OF FLORIDIANS, DEFENDS PURGE Rubio defends Florida voter roll purge [USA TODAY] "Florida Sen. Marco Rubio on Tuesday defended controversial efforts by Florida Gov. Rick Scott to purge the Sunshine State's voter rolls

Sen. Marco Rubio's plan for alternate Dream Act lacks details [Tampa Bay Times] "Three months after U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio revealed he was working on an alternative to the Dream Act, triggering a gusher of positive news coverage, he has yet to produce a written proposal."

THEM'S FIGHTIN' WORDS: MACK A "BUTT NUGGET," DUCKS SECOND DEBATE Mack is a "butt-nugget" [Hotline] "In a complaint filed with the Office of Congressional Ethics over the congressman's use of taxpayer-funded mailers, a Broward County man calls Mack a 'butt-nugget.'"

Mack to skip another GOP primary debate [Tampa Bay Times] "Connie Mack, who already said he won't participate in a Tampa Bay Times/Bay News 9/Florida PBS debate, is also not committed to a Leadership Florida debate."

Leading U.S. Senate candidate Mack turns down GOP debates [Palm Beach Post] "'We are going to proceed and count on him to do the right thing and say he’ll be there,' said Leadership Florida President Wendy Abberger…LeMieux, the best-financed of Mack’s rivals and the most aggressive in attacking the GOP front-runner, says Mack 'wants a coronation and not an election. However, that is not how our political system works and Floridians deserve a primary.'"

Once upon a time, LeMieux proudly had a Mack's support [Miami Herald] "When a younger LeMieux ran for the state House in 1998 -- the only other time he sought public office -- he proudly touted the support of the congressman's father, then-U.S. Sen. Connie Mack III."

ON THE CONGRESSIONAL FRONT — FDP OPENS JOIN OFFICE W/ DEMINGS, SOUTHERLAND TARGETED ON HIGHWAY BILL 

Fla Dems opening joint office with Demings [Orlando Sentinel] "The Florida Democratic Party is opening a joint office today with Val Demings, the former Orlando police chief who’s taking on freshman U.S. Rep. Dan Webster, R-Winter Garden, in a widely anticipated matchup in November…Demings has outraised Webster to date — $760,000 to $625,000 — and has the national party and several women’s groups working for her."

Democrats bring out heavy machinery to blast GOP on transportation bill [Washington Post] "Reps. Dave Camp (Mich.), James Lankford (Okla.), Steve Southerland II (Fla.) and Patrick J. Tiberi (Ohio) were targeted in ads that were identical in their content but personalized to add the number of bridges in need of repair in each respective state."

CASTOR DENTEL MAKES A SPLASH Plakon v Castor Dentel is a marquee House race [Orlando Sentinel] "Castor Dentel, 43, has lived in Maitland within the new district for 20 years. Married with two children, she has a doctorate in education from the University of Florida and has taught in Orange County Public Schools for 11 years…Castor Dentel is kicking off her campaign this Friday with a rally at the Maitland Civic Center – a bit of a high-profile entrance for a state House race"

OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW 

Mostly False: Rick Scott Says Citizens Property Insurance has "over $500 billion worth of risk, with less than $10 billion worth of surplus [Politifact] "Scott’s statement ignores critical facts that would give a different impression. We rate his statement Mostly False." 

Sen. Haridopolos comes to aid of politically connected firm [Miami Herald] "When a politically connected company was in danger of losing a $9.4 million no-bid contract with the state, Senate President Mike Haridopolos came to the rescue of the outfit — a firm that employs his good friend and political benefactor as a lobbyist." 

Police union cusses governor in newsletter [Miami Herald] "It added: 'If you would like to know what we really think of the governor and the staff member who refuses our requests, go back to page four and write down the first letter of each paragraph.' A careful reading of Executive Director Matt Puckett’s column provides the answer: 'S-H-*-*-H-E-A-D-S.'"

Florida firefighters back Barack Obama [Miami Herald] "Now they're behind President Obama, whom they supported in 2008. The firefighters, like the police union, have historically been more likely than other government-sector unions to back Republicans. But amid Republican-led budget cuts and criticisms about pensions, the unions have little choice but to stampede to Democrats."

Key education group takes aim at state's FCAT culture [Orlando Sentinel] " Frustrated with the FCAT and a school-accountability system they think tramples educational quality, a key panel of the Florida School Boards Association on Wednesday urged state leaders to scale back Florida's use of standardized tests for important school decisions. "