Florida Democratic Party News Clips - March 13, 2013
LT. GOV. CARROLL RESIGNS, IN LATEST HIT TO SCANDAL-PLAGUES SCOTT ADMINISTRATION
FL Dems on Resignation of Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll STATEMENT FROM FL DEMS CHAIR ALLISON TANT: “Floridians expected an administration focused on solving the problems facing Florida’s families, but instead got a scandal plagued Governor and a revolving staff door. Rick Scott and his administration have made a mockery of the Governor's office — embarrassing Floridians while failing to accomplish his legislative priorities. Scott campaigned on changing Tallahassee but his first three years have been more of the same corruption and waste that taxpayers have come to expect from Florida Republicans."
Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll Resigns [Florida Times Union] "Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll has resigned. The resignation comes two days after Florida Law Enforcement officers interviewed Carroll about her involvement with Allied Veterans of the World, a non-profit that operates internet cafes in Florida. Officials from Allied Veterans and Nelson Cuba, the president of the Jacksonville Florida Order of Police, were arrested on racketeering charges after an investigation by the IRS and Secret Service. Carroll gave her resignation letter to Gov. Rick Scott Monday. It gives no details about the
decision, but in a statement, Adam Hollingsworth, Scott’s chief-of-staff, said fallout from the Allied Veterans investigation spurred the resignation."
Lt. Gov. Carroll Resigns Amid Racketeering Probe [Tampa Bay Times] "Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigned Tuesday, Gov. Rick Scott office just announced. Tuesday she was interviewed by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, who is assisting in a national probe of Allied Veterans of the World, a Florida-based non-profit that operates a chain of internet cafes. Carroll once owned a public relations firm that represented Allied Veterans, and she did work for the company at the same time she served in the Florida House. Scott will address the media after an afternoon press conference on the matter conducted by law enforcement."
Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll resigns [Orlando Sentinel] "After a tumultuous two years, Florida Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll has resigned in the wake of a federal probe into a company she represented with ties to Internet cafes. 'Effective immediately, I hereby resign the Office of Lieutenant Governor of the State of Florida. It has been an honor to have served the State of Florida in this capacity,' her two-sentence letter dated Tuesday states. Florida Department of Law Enforcement officers interviewed Carroll Tuesday about her ties to Allied Veterans of the World, company that runs Internet cafes. On Tuesday, federal law enforcement arrested officials from the company along with a Jacksonville police union chief on racketeering charges."
RICK SCOTT KNOWS A THING OR TWO ABOUT FEDERAL PROBES…
Lt. Gov. Carroll Once Represented Internet Cafe Chain Targeted by Feds [Miami Herald] "A national probe of of a Florida-based non-profit that operates a chain of internet cafes has led to the arrest of several of the organization's leaders and the heads of Jacksonville's police union. Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll owned a firm that once handled public relations for the company, Allied Veterans of the World. Carroll's company, 3 N. and J.C. Corporation, is currently inactive, according to SunBiz. Allied Veterans paid her for consulting and communications work during the same time that Carroll was serving in the Florida House. A Florida Times-Union columnist wrote in 2010 that she also starred in television ads that commended the organization for her charity work."
GOP LAWMAKER CAUGHT WITH MAJOR CONFLICT OF INTEREST
$2.6-million Grant to Tampa Lawmaker's Firm Under Fire [Tampa Bay Times] "Mike Deeson of WTSP-Ch. 10 in Tampa Bay this week scorched State Rep. Jamie Grant, R-Tampa, over a $2.6-million economic development grant his company received from Hardee County. The state's auditor general found a host of problems with the grant to LifeSync Technologies, which Grant started in 2011 - 18 days after applying for the grant - and ran with a couple Tampa Bay Republican political consultants, Jennifer Lux and Jordan Raynor...The $2.6 million grant has created only 10 jobs, and of those, three went to relatives of those handing out the grant, Deeson said."
FL DEM LEGISLATORS FIGHTING FORECLOSURES...
Sen. Soto, Democrats, File Foreclosure Crackdown Bills [Tampa Bay Times] "Calling Florida’s No. 1 ranking on foreclosures 'shameful,' some lawmakers are pushing for reforms to the foreclosure law, hoping to help homeowners keep their properties. At a Tuesday press conference, some Democrats in the Florida Legislature pushed for new changes to laws governing Florida’s hundreds of thousands distressed properties. They say the changes are necessary to protect homeowners from banks who have engaged in fraud. 'We are number one in the nation (for foreclosures) and that is absolutely shameful,' said Sen. Darren Soto, who is backing a number of bills aimed at changing the foreclosure process."
...AND FOR EQUALITY FOR ALL FLORIDIANS
With LGBT Groups in Capitol, House Briefly Debates 'Sexual Oreintation’ Foster Care Bill [Orlando Sentinel] "It was a rare first-person discussion for the Florida House: two openly gay lawmakers discussing the problems they experienced as teens. The Florida House briefly showed its new, more diverse membership Tuesday when two freshmen openly gay House members supported an amendment to an otherwise non-controversial foster-care bill to prohibit foster parents from interfering in the 'natural development of the child’s sexual orientation.' The amendment was offered by Rep. David Richardson, D-Miami Beach, to a bill that otherwise gives caregivers more legal authority to allow the children to participate in after-school activities, along with placing new requirements on the state to protect the mental and emotional well-being of the child when deciding whether to re-unite them with their parents...The 15-minute debate is the first time an openly gay House member has pushed 'equality” amendments on the floor. Rep. Joe Saunders, an Orlando Democrat and the other openly gay House member, also spoke for the amendment."
FL GOP'S FAILURE TO EXPAND MEDICAID 'INDEFENSIBLE,' A 'COP OUT'
EDITORIAL: An Indefensible Decision [Miami Herald] "Unencumbered by arithmetic or concern for the welfare of Floridians without health insurance, lawmakers in Tallahassee are rushing headlong to reject the proposed Medicaid expansion that would cover some 900,000 state residents who don’t have healthcare protection today. In an astonishing rebuff to Gov. Rick Scott, a Senate panel joined its House counterpart this week in turning thumbs down on the federal government’s offer to pay 100 percent of the expansion for three years. This indefensible disregard for Florida’s most vulnerable ignores the advice of healthcare professionals, the business community and the needs of taxpayer-supported public hospitals, who have to treat everyone who walks in...In spite of these many reasons and others to endorse Medicaid expansion, Florida’s Republican-controlled Legislature prefers to play politics with the issue, mindful that Gov. Scott was labeled a turncoat by tea party activists after he embraced the expansion...It would be indefensible for Gov. Scott to back away from this fight. It’s not only morally right — it makes good business sense for Florida taxpayers."
Fasano Calls Senate Medicaid Move a “Cop Out” [Palm Beach Post] "Florida hospitals and health care advocates rallied Tuesday at the state Capitol to urge lawmakers to endorse expanding Medicaid — only hours after a state Senate committee said the state should come up with its own program for insuring 1 million low-income residents. But the harshest critics of the move by the Republican-led panel was a House Republican, Rep. Mike Fasano of New Port Richey. He dismissed it as just another delaying tactic by Florida Republican leaders who have long opposed the federal Affordable Care Act."
SEN. NELSON: EXPAND MEDICAID, BRING TRANSPARENCY TO POLITICAL ADS
Bill Nelson Editorial: Medicaid Expansion Would Save Taxpayers [Gainesville Sun] "On Feb. 20, Florida Gov. Rick Scott announced he was going to take the federal government up on its offer to cover the cost of Medicaid expansion in Florida. His decision would give health coverage to as many as 1.2 million additional low-income Floridians...But last week, the Florida House of Representatives came out against Gov. Scott’s decision, saying that expanding Medicaid will cause costs to go up and care to deteriorate. Then this week, a committee in the Florida Senate rejected the Medicaid expansion as proposed by the governor...In his announcement two weeks ago, Gov. Scott said he could not 'in good conscience deny the uninsured access to care.' Today, I urge the Legislature to support his decision. How can state lawmakers possibly rationalize their decision not to do so? The Legislature should not miss this opportunity to take advantage of a health-care investment that will reap benefits for all Floridians."
Sen. Nelson Urges FCC to Unmask Political Ad Donors [The Hill] "Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) urged the Federal Communications Commission on Tuesday to use its existing legal authority to force the donors behind political TV ads to reveal themselves. 'As the result of a Supreme Court decision, we have been beset upon in the political sphere with an avalanche of undisclosed, unlimited money,' Nelson said during a Senate oversight hearing of the FCC, referring to the court'sCitizens United decision. Nelson noted that FCC regulations currently require TV broadcasters and cable providers to 'fully and fairly disclose the true identity' of sponsors of ads."
GOP SEQUESTRATION CUTS THREATEN HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF FLORIDA JOBS
House Grapples With Sequestration Cuts, Incentives Oversight [Miami Herald] "The defense sector generates $79 billion in total sales in Florida and indirectly supports 758,000 jobs, according to statistics from Enterprise Florida presented Tuesday to the House Veteran and Military Affairs Subcommittee. The broad economic impact has lawmakers, especially those with military bases in their districts, worried about the federal sequestration cuts’ effect on the state economy."
DESILINE VICTOR: A HERO FOR VOTING RIGHTS EFFORTS
At Age 102, Her 15 Minutes of Fame Comes From Hours of Waiting to Vote [Miami Herald] "Desiline Victor never in her 102 years saw herself as a hero. But her story, a North Miami-Dade woman who stood in line for three hours to try to vote during the 2012 presidential election, captured the attention of many, including the president of the United States. 'We should follow the example of a North Miami woman named Desiline Victor,' said President Barack Obama during his State of the Union address last month.'