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Florida Democratic Party News Clips - March 20, 2013

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'DISMAL' ‘WOEFUL’ ‘ALARMING’ RICK SCOTT'S POLL NUMBERS CONTINUE TO SLIDE

New Poll Shows Crist Leading Gov. Rick Scott [Orlando Sentinel] "[...]The poll shows Scott remains unpopular, with 33 percent approving his job performance and 57 percent disapproving. That rating has remained fairly steady since Scott took office in January 2011. Even Scott's more moderate recent positions on education funding and accepting federal Medicaid money has not made a difference, PPP director Tom Jensen said. 'What we're finding is people are really dug in their opinions about him,' he said."

Despite Improved Jobs Picture, Poll Numbers Low for Gov. Scott [Palm Beach Post] "[...]Last week, the Scott administration was rocked by the resignation of Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, ousted for having earlier done public relations work for a purported Internet café charity accused in a multi-state criminal probe of money laundering and racketeering. A survey released Tuesday by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling showed 57 percent of Floridians disapprove of Scott’s job performance, compared with 33 percent approval. Scott’s unpopularity rating hasn’t changed since a January survey by PPP...Also potentially alarming for Scott, the survey found eroding support among Republicans for the governor – with 42 percent disapproving his performance, up slightly from January."

More Dismal Numbers for Rick Scott in Quinnipiac poll; Crist Leads by 16 points [Palm Beach Post] "A new Quinnipiac University poll released this morning is full of bleak numbers for the governor. Only 36 percent of Florida voters approve of Scott’s job performance, with 49 percent disapproving. Only 32 percent say he deserves a second term in office. The Quinnipiac poll comes a day after the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling released a survey that found 33 percent of Florida voters approving and 57 percent disapproving of Scott’s performance. That poll found Crist leading Scott 52-to-40 percent in a 2014 match-up."

Charlie Crist Would Crush Rick Scott in 2014, Quinnipiac Poll Finds [Tampa Bay Times] "People love Gov. Rick Scott's idea of a teacher pay raise, and they agree with him on Medicaid expansion. But they don't like him, and Scott would lose handily to former Gov. Charlie Crist in a hypothetical 2014 matchup for governor, according to a new Quinnipiac University poll...Scott's woeful poll numbers persist: Only 32 percent of voters say he deserves a second term in office, including 28 percent of independent voters. In addition, 36 percent of voters say he is doing a good job compared to 49 perent who say he's doing a bad job, including 26 percent of Republicans in Florida."

Poll: Scott Trails Democrats in Potential Governor's Race [Tampa Tribune] "Gov. Rick Scott's job approval ratings are still under water, and he trails leading Democratic contenders for governor, in a new Public Policy Polling survey. The poll showed Scott has problems within his own party. Only 42 percent of Republicans in the poll said they hope to see him nominated to run for re-election in 2014."

 

SCOTT'S FAILED LEADERSHIP: GOVERNOR REBUKED BY HIS OWN PARTY

Fla. Gov. and House Leader Clash Over Budget [AP] "In an uncharacteristic moment, Florida Gov. Rick Scott is already raising questions about some of the early budget proposals emerging from the Republican-controlled Legislature. Scott on Tuesday openly questioned whether or not House Republicans were going to recommend a $2,500 across the board pay raise for teachers. It's one of Scott's priorities for the session...Weatherford responded to the governor initially on Twitter, suggesting that the governor's staff had misread the initial House proposals. He ended his message on Twitter with (hash)truth...'The governor must be confused,' Weatherford said. 'His staff must have misinterpreted our budget.'"

Gov. Scott Rick Scott Chides House Speaker Weatherford on Teacher Pay Raise Issue [Bradenton Herald] "Gov. Rick Scott's top priority in the current legislative session is a $2,500 across the board pay raise for teachers, and on Tuesday he took the gloves off and pointedly called out a fellow Republican, House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, for not embracing the idea...Scott and Weatherford also are at odds over Medicaid expansion, which the governor supports and the speaker opposes. Weatherford was a featured speaker Tuesday at a Capitol rally by Americans for Prosperity, which has criticized Scott for supporting Medicaid expansion."

Senate GOP Budget Leader Opposing Gov. Scott's Manufacturing Tax Cuts [Naples Daily News] "Sen. Joe Negron isn’t convinced by Gov. Rick Scott’s pitch to cut $115.3 million in taxes on Florida manufacturers...It’s the third big policy position where Negron has clashed with the governor’s priorities. Scott wants to set aside $480 million to give each public schoolteacher a $2,500 pay raise. Negron prefers any raises be based off teachers’ job performance as school boards see fit. Scott also endorsed the expansion of Medicaid under President Obama’s health-care law. Negron, and the Affordable Care Act committee he chairs, decided last week to reject the expansion and try to use the same federal money for a different plan providing private insurance to more citizens who don’t qualify for Medicaid."

 

EVERYONE BUT THE GOP WANTS TOUGHER ETHICS REFORM

Experts, Advocates Warn Ethics Reform Bill Too Weak [Florida Center for Investigative Reporting] "This year’s stab at ethics reform in the Florida Legislature is losing some fans. Organizations ranging from tea party groups to the liberal Progress Florida have banded together to oppose a bill intended to improve the state’s ineffective ethics rules. The ethics bill doesn’t go far enough, these groups say...[O]pponents allege the bill doesn’t do enough to fix ethics problems in the state and is particularly weaker than its Senate counterpart. For one, the House bill doesn’t bar lawmakers from lobbying government agencies for two years after they depart from their elected office. The Senate bill, however, does include such a provision. The House bill requires that only the Senate president and the House Speaker must abide by such a rule."

 

HOUSE GOP REJECTS PARENTS, TEACHERS, AND COMMON SENSE IN PARENT-TRIGGER VOTE

FL Dems Statement on House Committee Vote on Parent-Trigger Bill 

Committee Opponents Question Motivation of Parent-Trigger Bill [The Florida Current] "The "parent trigger" bill continued its march to the House floor on Tuesday, with opponents questioning whether it's needed...[...]Rep. Mia Jones, D-Jacksonville said she is opposed to the trigger out of fear that for-profit companies will invest in marketing campaigns to transform traditional public schools into money-making opportunities. 'If they can get the system moving in the direction they want to move in. Put everything in place so that it appears that all we have done is create an option, an opportunity to do something -- (where they say) "We’re just going to come in and be white knights and put these things in place,"' Jones said.  'I don’t want to move in that direction.'"

 

SEQUESTER AFFECTING EVERYDAY FLORIDIANS LIVES

Republican Sequester Leads to Customs Delays, Missed Flights at MIA [Miami Herald] “So many international passengers missed their connecting flights at Miami International Airport last weekend that about 200 of them had to bed down at the airport’s auditorium, for one night turned into a makeshift hotel. Blame federal budget cuts known as the sequester, which have limited overtime pay for U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers.”

 

NEWARK MAYOR CORY BOOKER TO VISIT SOUTH FLORIDA FOR PALM BEACH, BROWARD, MIAMI-DADE COUNTY DEMS EVENTS

Democrat Cory Booker Hits South Florida Money Circuit [Sun Sentinel] "[...]The Democratic wunderkind begins his whirlwind of South Florida fundraising appearances on Friday night. It continues on Saturday and Sunday...Booker is also building support in the region by helping each of South Florida’s county Democratic Party organizations raise money."