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Florida Democratic Party News Clips - June 20, 2013

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50% OF FLORIDIANS SAY GOVERNOR SCOTT SHOULD NOT BE REELECTED, DOWN BY DOUBLE DIGITS AMONG KEY VOTING GROUPS

Gov's Grades Are Low [Quinnipiac] “Voters still say 50 - 35 percent that Scott does not deserve to be reelected." 

Still one of America's least popular governors [Tampa Bay Times] “Still one of America's least popular governors, Scott trails Crist 47 percent to 37 percent in a face-off between the Republican governor and his possible now-Democratic rival…The percentage of voters who have a favorable view of Scott is up to 40 percent, the highest since he took office nearly two-and-a-half years ago.”

Florida voters are not happy with state Legislature [Tampa Bay Times] “When asked how voters feel about the job the state Legislature is doing, voters disapprove 49 to 32 percent. The numbers are predictably partisan for the Republican-led chamber: Democrats disapprove of the job lawmakers are doing 64 to 18 percent while Republicans approve 47 to 34 percent. But the telltale signal comes from crucial independent voters, who determine the fate of all statewide races in Florida. They disapprove of the job legislators are doing 48 to 33 percent.”

 

AS SCOTT MAINTAINS ANEMIC POLLING, VOTING DEMOGRAPHICS TREND DEMOCRATIC

Growth in minority vote helping Democrats [Tampa Bay Times] "Part of what makes Florida such a fascinating state for politics is its ever-changing electorate, and few people do a better job crunching the numbers than Democratic consultant Steve Schale in Tallahassee...Of the new black and Hispanic voters, 65 percent registered Democratic, and only 6 percent as Republicans...The demographic trends generally look good for Democrats in Florida, especially with Hispanic voters."

 

VOTERS STRONGLY SUPPORT DEMOCRATIC POSITIONS ON HEALTHCARE, IMMIGRATION, AND DRIVER'S LICENSES FOR DREAMERS

Poll: Florida voters not happy with Tallahassee, give gov and Legislature low marks [Miami Herald] "[...] They support expanding Medicaid to cover Floridians without health insurance by 49-40 percent, virtually unchanged from a similar March poll, a clear contradiction from the firm rejection of the issue by Republican legislative leaders...Voters want to allow path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants 58 to 24 percent, a federal issue that Florida lawmakers can only tinker with. And they oppose the governor’s veto of a non-controversial bill to make it easier for children of undocumented immigrants to get driver’s licenses, supporting the issue 59-32 percent. The governor surprised legislators by vetoing the bill which won near unanimous support."

 

“NO VISIBLE SIGN” OF LEADERSHIP FROM GOVERNOR ON EXPANDING MEDICAID — NOW BUSINESSES WILL FEEL THE PINCH

Brewer Pulled It Off; Rick Scott Didn't [WUSF] "Earlier this year, both Govs. Jan Brewer of Arizona and Rick Scott of Florida surprised political pundits by coming out in support of Medicaid expansion. Both Republican governors had been fierce critics of the Affordable Care Act, but they said they favored the expansion because it would hurt the people of their state to turn down federal funds. But the outcomes were quite different. Brewer muscled it through the Arizona Legislature, winning victory on Thursday after months of uncertainty and bare-knuckle politics. By contrast, Scott gave no visible sign of fighting for the Medicaid expansion when Speaker Will Weatherford and other House Republicans refused to go along. Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, said it's high time for Scott to show leadership on the issue, rather than flitting off to Paris. Scott should start by ‘taking the Speaker to the woodshed.'"

Business coalitions warn that failure to expand Medicaid will hurt them [Miami Herald] “Two business-backed health insurance coalitions sent a warning signal Wednesday to Florida’s employers about the effects of rejecting Medicaid expansion for the uninsured. In a nutshell: brace yourselves, this is bad for business.”

Business groups push Medicaid expansion [Herald Tribune] "Florida, still shaking off the stifling effects of the Great Recession, could find itself back in fiscal hot water if it rejects an expansion of Medicaid, business leaders told reporters in a conference call Wednesday. Florida legislators have until the end of the year to reverse course and accept $51 billion in federal dollars over the next 10 years as part of the Affordable Care Act."

Business coalition wants to talk health care with legislators [The Florida Current] "Initial research by a coalition of central and south Florida employers indicates rejection ofMedicaid expansion dollars is bad for business."

Health care advocates warn that not expanding Medicaid will hurt business [Palm Beach Post] "Florida’s economy will slump if the state Legislature fails to embrace some version of Medicaid expansion, advocates and business analysts warned Wednesday."

 

TAMPA BAY TIMES: SCOTT PUTS SPECIAL INTERESTS BEFORE FLORIDA’S MIDDLE CLASS

It's Scott against the consumer [Tampa Bay Times Editorial] "It's one thing to be a hands-off governor when it comes to lawmaking. It's something else to be a governor who fails to use the tools at his disposal to protect consumers even as he promotes himself as an advocate for the middle class. Five weeks after legislators left Tallahassee, the full scope of anticonsumer bills passed in the 2013 session is becoming apparent. Yet Gov. Rick Scott is routinely acquiescing to special interests by signing their bills rather than upholding his pledge to look out for consumers...The governor claims to represent the consumers, but his actions suggest otherwise."

 

IN THE WAKE OF HERITAGE SCANDAL TOP CITIZENS OFFICIAL RESIGNS 

Top Citizens official resigns after steady stream of scandals [The Florida Current] "Binnun has come in for fierce criticism from lawmakers and consumer advocates for championing some of the state-run insurers' most controversial policies...She was also part of a scandal involving exorbitant travel expenses by Citizens executives last year and has defended a deal to give Heritage Property and Casualty Insurance Co. up to $52 million to take over 60,000 policies from Citizens. The deal has been received blistering criticism from Democrats, who noted Heritage donated $110,000 to Gov. Rick Scott’s reelection campaign, and even from Citizens board members who say the deal was rushed."

  

FRED GRIMM: WHAT WAS HERITAGE “BUYING” WITH ITS $140,000 IN DONATIONS TO SCOTT, RPOF?

Rush to privatize is all about bucks [Miami Herald Editorial] "Our governor was deeply offended by a burst of unkind aspersions after an insurance company that didn’t exist 11 months ago finagled a $52 million deal out of the state-run Citizens Property Insurance Company. Heritage Property and Casualty Insurance landed the very sweet package...just two months after contributing $110,000 to Gov. Rick Scott’s 'Let’s Get to Work' political action committee in March. And after Heritage...contributed $30,000 to the state Republican party. Reporters wondered whether hefty political contributions might have greased the suspect transaction...The governor’s spokesperson retorted that 'any assertion that our office influenced the Heritage risk transfer decision by the Citizens Board is outrageous.' Then why, one wonders, the contributions? What was this fledgling company buying with its $140,000?"

 

FDP CHAIRWOMAN TANT RECRUITING CANDIDATES FOR FL CABINET

Democrats Looking Beyond Rick Scott in 2014 [News Service of Florida] "Even as they aimed most of their fire at Gov. Rick Scott during last weekend's Jefferson-Jackson Dinner, Democrats said they weren't focused exclusively on Scott. In fact, party leaders say, they are working to undermine one of the bulwarks of Republican dominance in Florida government -- a near-stranglehold on statewide offices...Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman Allison Tant said her party is laying the groundwork for all the statewide contests. 'We're actively recruiting for the Cabinet right now,' Tant said. 'We are not leaving any stone unturned. We are going to look at every race that we can and we're going to be very aggressive in playing in all of them, including [the] governor's race.'"

  

TEA PARTY MAKING GOP'S HISPANIC OUTREACH VERY DIFFICULT

"Speak English!" Diaz-Balart heckled at tea party rally [Tampa Bay Times] "Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Florida Republican working on a House immigration bill, spoke briefly in Spanish and was heckled by one of the Tea Party protestors who yelled 'learn English!'...King had wanted the Tea Party show up, and show up they did. They were mad: at Boehner, at Congress, at the Senate’s ‘Gang of 8’, at the media, and especially at Florida Senator Marco Rubio. 'Throw them both out, Go home' said Jessica Hayes of Boehner and Rubio...Cheryl Griffin drove up from St. Lucie Florida, armed with a sign that said 'Marco: Early advocate of Muslim Brotherhood takeover.' She had campaigned for Rubio in 2010, and wore two buttons: one with ‘Rubio 2010’ x-ed out, and another that pictured Rubio in a sombrero with devil horns. 'Today I would vote for Charlie Crist, at least I know who he is,' she said."

Tea party scalds Marco Rubio [Washington Post] "The tea party returned to Capitol Hill on Wednesday, but this time the don’t-tread-on-me crowd trod upon one of its own. Much of the scene was familiar: the yellow flags, the banners protesting tyranny and socialism, the demands to impeach President Obama and to repeal Obamacare. But there was a new target of the conservatives’ ire: Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and his 'amnesty' plan for illegal immigrants. The loathing of this onetime darling of the movement — Rubio rode the tea party wave to office in 2010 — could be seen in the homemade signs on the East Lawn of the Capitol proclaiming, 'Rubio RINO' (Republican In Name Only) and 'Rubio Lies, Americans Die.'"

 

OUTRAGEOUS: RUBIO WILL ABANDON IMMIGRATION REFORM IF RIGHTS ARE EXTENDED TO GAY PARTNERS

Equality Florida blasts Rubio's 'bigoted' comments on gay issues [Tampa Bay Times] "Equality Florida issued a sharp rebuke of Sen. Marco Rubio for recent comments on gay issues. Rubio said last week that if Democrats try to amend the immigration bill with a measure extending rights to gay partners, he will walk away...'By and large I think all Americans should be protected but I’m not for any special protections based on orientation,' Rubio said. 'Senator Rubio's statements are indefensible and heartless. I challenge Sen. Marco Rubio to meet with families torn apart by current laws. Let him sit with couples who have been forced apart and children who are denied access to both parents because the law does not recognize their family,' Equality Florida said."