**A Florida storyline continues — GOP enthusiasm (especially for Romney) is down**
Behind the numbers, Romney’s Tuesday Disaster [Washington Times]
If you read just one thing: Scott rejecting rail puts Florida at caboose [Tampa Bay Online Column] “It’s been a year since Gov. Rick (let’s get to work) Scott said thanks but I have my own plane and turned down more than $2 billion in federal funding to construct a high-speed rail line between Tampa and Orlando…The high-speed rail project went far beyond getting people from Tampa to Orlando. It would also have demonstrated that Florida is about ideas and moving forward. The fact that the project would have benefited from federal seed money made it even more viable.
Describe extreme Tea Party agenda which has hurt Florida’s economy in a word [Miami Herald] “On Monday night, Gov. Rick Scott — really his staff — asked the nearly 80,000 people who follow his Facebook page to fill in the blank: “If you could use one word to describe Florida’s 2012 legislative session, it would be _____. COMMENT below!”
What’s your one word to describe how the GOP controlled legislature is implementing Rick Scott’s Tea Party extremist agenda? Tweet it to us @FlaDems
Rick makes me sick [SaintPetersBlog] “Organize Now and Progress Florida are launching a campaign called “Rick Makes Me Sick” in response to efforts by Gov. Rick Scott and members of the Florida Legislature to gut health spending, side with insurance companies over consumers and obstruct implementation of the Affordable Care Act…The campaign is also launching its website, RickMakesMeSick.com.”
PROBLEMS IN THE GOP SENATE
Things are not going well in Haridopolis’ Senate [Tampa Bay Times] “Things are not going well in Mike Haridopolos’ Senate. Fresh signs of discord emerged Tuesday in what began as a routine review of the $8-billion-plus budget proposal in the Tourism & Economic Development Subcommittee. The senatorial anger and frustration is aimed at leadership, but the convenient target was Sen. Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Wellington, who chairs the 15-member panel.”
Ethics shortage in Florida Senate [Tampa Bay Times, Editorial] “Senate President Mike Haridopolos has used his procedural powers to kill a commonsense effort to impose a modicum of ethical standards on state legislators who can’t recognize a conflict of interest when they see one. When the Legislature sinks lower than Congress, it’s time for some re-examination in Tallahassee.”
GOP Senate rolls out more tax breaks for corporations [Orlando Sentinel] “The Florida Senate leadership rolled out an economic development budget Tuesday that boosts tax-breaks for corporations – but restive senators argued it was moving too fast and had too many “member projects,” including some in Orlando.”
Meanwhile…Rick Scott wants to cut $1.4 billion in medicaid funding to hospitals and the Senate is backing a 3 percent college tuition hike.
THE DRUMBEAT AGAINST PRIVATIZING PRISONS CONTINUES
Private prisons gain new foes [Capital News Service] “The prison privatizing plan is now drawing opposition from the ACLU. Attorney David Shapiro argues private prisons put p[ublic safety at risk. ‘Private prisons have every incentive to maximize their profits but cutting corners even at the expense of decent conditions and public safety,’ says Shapiro.”
FLA House to block closing of panhandle prison [AP] “The Florida House wants to block the closing of a Panhandle prison. The House budget chief on Tuesday proposed keeping open a prison in Jefferson County that residents say is the county’s biggest employer.”