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Florida Democratic Party News Clips — March 5

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Update your press list — Tallahassee Democrat long-time, leading political writer Bill Cotterell retiring. His retirement column is a must read: http://m.tallahassee.com/latest/article?a=2012203050306&f=1476

BOEHNER VISITS BUCHANAN — You can't spell REPUBLICAN FUNDRAISER without the letters F-B-I

Boehner, Buchanan hit the links before fundraisier in Sarasota [Sarasota Herald Tribune] "Boehner, an Ohio Republican, attended the fundraiser with U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key. The two also played golf earlier in the day at an undisclosed golf course in Sarasota, Sarasota Republican Party chairman Joe Gruters told reporters outside the event."

MACK'S BAD BEHAVIOR STILL MAKING HEADLINES:

Connie Mack's finances, past fighting become campaign issues [Orlando Sentinel] "Playing on the stories of bar and road-rage incidents raised in a 1990s lawsuit, and on other reports of financial issues Mack faced during his 2005 divorce, LeMieux recently released a video called "Two and a Half Macks" comparing Mack to Hollywood bad boy Charlie Sheen."

By the way, this piece marks a bad story for Mack in virtually every major newspaper in the state: Tampa Bay Times, Tampa Tribune, Miami Herald, Palm Beach Post, AP, Tallahassee Democrat, Sunshine State News, the list goes on and on. Not the kind of headlines Mack was aiming for post-launch.

The GOP's worst week [US News and World Report] "The GOP has been weaker than expected against Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson, where the leading GOPer, Rep. Connie Mack IV, has been tarred as the "Charlie Sheen of Florida politics" for past alleged bad-boy behavior."

REDISTRICTING AND GOP'S VOTER SUPPRESSION

Justices decision should ease fears [News Chief Editorial] "In fighting judicial review, the Legislature has not helped ease any concerns over the maps' fairness. It can be legitimately asked why legislative leaders are so opposed to judicial review if they did their best to follow the voters' mandate."

DOJ Opposes Florida Laws On Voter Registration Groups, Early Voting [Talking Points Memo] "The Justice Department objected late Friday to new provisions of Florida election law which place strict regulations on third-party voter registration groups and cut down on the early voting period. DOJ alleged in a court filing that Florida was unable to prove the new provisions were not discriminatory under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act."

OFA RAMPING UP: Obama-Biden team opens Sarasota headquarters [Sarasota Herald Tribune] "Republicans still have not selected a nominee for 2012, but President Barack Obama’s supporters are not waiting around to see who their opponent will be to start preparing. Obama For America supporters are creating a regional headquarters in Sarasota on Saturday to start planning for the general election."

A WELL DESERVED TITLE:  Loser of the week: Rush Limbaugh [Tampa Bay Times] "The Palm Beach resident attacked a Georgetown University law student as a "slut" and "prostitute" for testifying in support of birth control coverage. He doubled down on the attacks Friday, apologized Saturday, but so far hasn't won back advertisers who bolted."

HOW MUCH DAMAGE CAN THEY DO IN A WEEK? 5 DAYS TILL SINE DIE

Hospitals and nursing homes are set to lose $350 million [Palm Beach Post] "Hospitals and nursing homes are targeted to lose about $350 million in funding as House and Senate negotiators worked Sunday night toward completing a $70 billion state budget."

Medicaid power play [News-Herald editorial] "Legislators have proposed withholding withholding millions in revenue-sharing money from the counties in order to collect contested Medicaid bills. That could amount to a $148 million a year increase in county payments."

In a class of their own [Gannett Editorial] "It speaks volumes about the current Florida Legislature that even as members were working up budgets that cut school nurses who tend to some of the poorest children in the state, members of the Senate Budget Committee were voting down an amendment asking them to pay the same health insurance premiums as rank-and-file state employees."