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Florida Democratic Party News Clips - May 13, 2013

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SUN SENTINEL: GOV. SCOTT 'MISSING IN ACTION' DURING FIGHT TO EXPAND ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE

Now, it's Gov. Scott's turn to show leadership on the budget [Sun Sentinel Editorial] "The Legislature's failure to use federal funds to expand Medicaid as part of federal health-care reform law will cost Florida dearly, starting with the first installment of $51 billion we stood to receive over the next decade. The governor said he supported accepting the federal funds, but went missing in action when the matter came to a head in the Legislature. Gov. Scott should use his bully pulpit to push for the funding. The 1.1 million Floridians who'd benefit from the change deserve at least that much."

 

TEACHERS SEE THROUGH SCOTT'S ELECTIONEERING GIMMICKS, REMEMBER HIS RECORD

Will Gov. Scott’s teacher raises win him votes? [Palm Beach Post] "Despite making teacher pay his top priority of the legislative session, Scott, like every Republican governor before him, appears unlikely to break the Democratic Party’s powerful bond with the Florida Education Association, the state’s largest teachers’ union. 'Nobody knows what he’s thinking with this strategy,' said FEA President Andy Ford. 'It’s clearly all about 2014 and the governor’s race. Teachers welcome the raises. But that doesn’t buy forgiveness.' Scott continues to take heat for 3 percent payroll contributions required in 2011 for more than 600,000 government workers in the Florida Retirement System, almost half employed by school boards across the state. Scott that year also signed into law legislation ending teacher tenure and introducing a merit-pay plan based in large part how students perform on standardized tests. That, too, still stings."

 

FIVE MONTHS LATER RIGHT WING GROUPS STILL CAN'T ACCEPT ALLEN WEST LOST

Group plans to review St. Lucie County ballots, records from Murphy-West cliffhanger [Palm Beach Post] "A conservative group plans to examine more than 118,000 ballots and sift through voter registration records in St. Lucie County, which was the site of tabulating problems and litigation in Democrat Patrick Murphy‘s narrow congressional victory over Republican Allen West in November. The group True The Vote says it will send at least 10 people to Fort Pierce to look at the ballots and records under an agreement reached this week with St. Lucie County Elections Supervisor Gertrude Walker."

 

HOUSE GOP 'IGNORING COMMON SENSE' IN REJECTION OF HEALTH CARE EXPANSION

Douglas C. Lyons: State will go on break next year as politics trumps policy [Sun Sentinel Editorial] "State lawmakers obviously dropped the ball when it came to expanding health care by failing to take federal funding for Medicaid. Too close to Obamacare, a majority of Republicans in the Florida Legislature felt as they stood tall on partisan principle while ignoring common sense. How the Sunshine State would somehow go belly-up by taking $51 billion Washington wants Florida to have to pay for better health-care is beyond me. It shouldn't have come to this. State Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, is no fan of Medicaid expansion, but he's not stupid. He sees 51 billion reasons why federal funding makes sense, but he offered an alternative to Medicaid to get around the big-government, money-pit complaints from some conservative colleagues. The Florida Senate liked it. The Florida House? Not so much."

  

AS HISPANIC VOTERS TURNOUT IN INCREASING NUMBERS, FL DEMS FOCUS ON OUTREACH

As Hispanic voters' numbers increase, politicians come calling [Sun Sentinel] "A new Census Bureau analysis released last week showed growing voter participation among Florida Hispanics and found far greater voting by Hispanic citizens in Florida than the rest of the country. Past results and predictions for the future have both sides lavishing attention on Hispanic voters, with the efforts concentrated in South Florida and the Orlando area. 'Is it up for grabs?' asked Isidro Raul Mejia, president of the Palm Beach County Democratic Hispanic Caucus. 'Of course it is.' Charlie Toraño, of Boca Raton, agreed — and as a self-described conservative Republican is frustrated that the overwhelming support Republicans used to enjoy from the region's largest bloc of Hispanics, Cuban-Americans, is eroding. 'Cubans have traditionally voted more Republican than Democrat,' Toraño said. 'Now we're seeing those numbers get closer to 50-50.' Showing just how critical Hispanic voters are to winning elections in Florida, the state Democratic Party opened a field office this week in Little Havana, the symbolic heart of the Cuban-American community. It will serve as the base for a party staffer whose assignment is Hispanic outreach in South Florida."

  

SENATOR NELSON FIGHTING FOR FLORIDA'S ENVIRONMENT

Everglades on the line [Miami Herald Editorial] "[T]he debate over the Water Resources Development Act that began last week on the floor of the Senate...The long-awaited action on the bill would give the federal government authority to invest in all kinds of water projects around the country, from upgrading inland waterways to improving America’s harbors, ports and coastal areas. Closer to home, it also allows funding for six projects in Florida and reauthorization of beach nourishment programs in coastal communities that have suffered significant damage from recent tropical storms, from Broward County on the Atlantic to Captiva on the Gulf of Mexico. As Florida Sen. Bill Nelson pointed out during floor debate, the last time Congress passed a similar measure was 2007. Gridlock on Capitol Hill and the controversy over earmarks have resulted in costly delays in the ensuing years, lending urgency to the current debate and the need for action. For South Florida, the most crucial portion involves the Everglades."