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Florida Democratic Party News Clips — March 30

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FDP ON RUBIO OFFENSIVE

Peas in a pod [Orlando Sentinel] "Florida Democrats who served with Rubio in the Legislature warned that he and Romney want to slash funding for education, Medicare and Social Security while limiting women's access to birth control. Democrats also blasted the pair for their hard-line immigration stances and opposition to the DREAM Act, which would give the children of illegal immigrants a path to citizenship if they go to college or serve in the military. 'They're two peas in a pod,' said State Rep. Darren Soto, D-Orlando. 'Their devotion to the tea party has showed voters their true colors.'"

Democrats Take Aim at Rubio-Romney on Immigration [National Journal] "'Rubio's support for Romney underscores what we already knew: Mitt Romney would have the most extreme immigration platform of any presidential nominee in recent history,' said the DNC statement. The line of attack was picked up on Thursday by prominent Hispanic Democrats in a call with reporters organized by the Florida Democratic Party.

Rubio again denies VP interest [FLDemocracy2012] "With Rubio ending his neutrality in the GOP race and actively courting press, Democrats are stepping up their attacks on the freshman senator.  In a conference call Thursday with reporters, Florida state Rep. Darren Soto depicted Rubio and Romney as “increasingly out of touch” with Florida voters."

See also: The Republican "Dream" Scheme [HuffingtonPost, Michael B. Keegan] "The authentic DREAM Act offers a path to citizenship for children who were brought to the country without documentation, who graduate from high school and go on to college or the military, allowing them to create a stable life and give back to the country that they call home. Rubio's dream-free proposal gives these young people a nebulous legalized status, so that rather than become American citizens, they will have permanent second-class status -- allowed to live, work and pay taxes in the only country they have ever known, but never permitted the ability to vote or exercise any of the rights of full citizenship."


2 POLLS IN 2 DAYS SHOWS DEMS DOING WELL IN FLORIDA

What's up with the Democrats' lead in Florida polls? [Sun Sentinel Column] "It's only a snapshot, but the picture isn't pretty for Florida's right-wing fringe.Not only is President Obama leading his wannabe challengers from the Republican Party by sizeable numbers, but Florida's senior Senator Bill Nelson is ahead of the GOP's presumptive nominee Connie Mack IV, a U.S. Representative from Cape Coral, Fla. Oh the agony! This is not the way Republicans envisioned it."

Poll: U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson grabs lead in U.S. Senate race [WTSP] "'You're seeing a real rejection from voters of the extreme Tea Party rhetoric coming out of Republicans whether that's trying to end Medicare as we know it, or whether that's an unprecedented assault on women and policies that restrict access to lifesaving healthcare for women, seeing a real rejection of the GOP's policies and it's certainly hurting them here in Florida.'


TODAY'S MUST READ EDITORIAL: If law goes, opponents responsible for fixing health care [Tampa Bay Times Editorial]  "The court should uphold the entire Affordable Care Act. If it finds the individual mandate unconstitutional, it should leave in place the rest of the law."

BUELLER? BUELLER? MACK'S EMPTY CHAIR — missed 25 votes this week

Connie Mack skips vote [Miami Herald] "Mack, who's running for U.S. Senate, missed all 25 House votes cast this week.

Mack, campaigning in South Florida, misses big vote [Tampa Bay Times] "Those obligations have made Mack miss votes all week, in fact, adding to a pile of absences as he kicks the Senate campaign into gear…It's may only be a matter of time before the empty chair Connie ad surfaces."

Mack misses vote on Ryan Budget [Hotline] "Ten House Republicans voted against Ryan's budget plan on Thursday, but one Senate candidate was notably absent: Rep. Connie Mack, R-Fla. Mack's spokesman said he supports the plan but had other obligations, the Tampa Bay Times reports. Missing a key vote like that becomes instant fodder for former Sen. George LeMieux in the GOP primary."

Connie Mack Misses Ryan Budget Vote Today [Florida Political Press] "Ok… what’s the deal with Connie Mack and his voting record in the U.S. House?"


SWANKY: 9 Investigates: Luxury trips by congressional leaders [WFTV] "9 Investigates reporter George Spencer exposed the luxurious fundraising getaway of two Central Florida congressional leaders. Representatives Daniel Webster and Sandy Adams won their seats in the U.S. House of Representatives on promises to do business differently in Washington D.C"

SCOTT PASSING THE BUCK ON MEDICAID Gov. Scott signs Medicaid billing changes; counties could be on hook for $325.5 million [Times/Herald] "Against the wishes of counties and tea party leaders, Gov. Rick Scott signed a controversial bill into law Thursday that will change the way counties are billed for Medicaid costs and could set up a legal showdown."

Scott signs Medicaid bill opposed by Fla. Counties  [AP]
Counties will have to pay millions in disputed Medicaid bills [Orlando Sentinel]  

OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Here are the FACTS about healthcare [Orlando Sentinel Guest Column by the College Democrats] "And based on what I’ve heard from politicians and insurers alike, I’m glad we have Obamacare because it’s good to know that at least Obama cares about me and my health."

UF trustees ponder how to survive budget cuts while students protest tuition hikes [Gainesville Sun] "As some University of Florida students protested rising tuition Thursday, university officials and trustees discussed the survival of public research universities at a time of dwindling state support."

College cuts imperil state [Palm Beach Post editorial] "Florida legislators say they want a premier higher-education system whose graduates can fill high-paying jobs that will boost the state's economy, but their actions belie their words.