In the News

FDP News Clips — May 21, 2012

IN PRINT COAST TO COAST Marco Rubio’s past includes political vulnerabilities [AP] “The 40-year-old Florida lawmaker has close ties to a colleague accused of questionable financial dealings. He once was enmeshed in a controversy over the use of the state party’s credit card for his personal expenses. Since emerging on the national political scene, he has faced increased personal scrutiny. There are conflicting details about his parents’ immigration from Cuba and his recently disclosed ties to the Mormon faith.”

GRITTY GREER DETAILS CONTINUE SURFACING, ENSNARING FL-SEN Did LeMieux pressure Crist to get Senate seat? [Tampa Tribune] “But Greer maintains his innocence, saying he can prove top party leaders knew about the fundraising company and were responsible for excessive party spending he is now blamed for, and are making him a scapegoat.He says Crist instructed him to form the company and to take over party fundraising at LeMieux’s suggestion, which Crist and LeMieux deny, and that party officials agreed to pay him a large severance when he left the party post, but then went back on the agreement.”

Former Rep. Dave Weldon joins crowded GOP Senate field [Times/Herald] “Weldon decided to enter the race because none of the candidates is connecting with conservatives, his campaign said.”

South Fort Myers Congressman Mack’s home still an issue [News-Press] “The question of how much time Connie Mack IV has spent in his home district while a member of Congress is once again stalking his campaign for the U.S. Senate.”

Poll: Problems for Connie Mack in his home county [Tampa Bay Times] “Mack’s favorability ratings are upside down, with 41 percent having a favorable view of Mack and 44 percent an unfavorable View.”

PolitiFact: Chamber Medicare claims twist the truth [Tampa Bay Times] “The chamber is trying to scare the pants off Florida seniors in this one, but this statement is Pants on Fire!”

SACHS ANNOUNCES FOR SD 34 High partisan stakes in Bogdanoff-Sachs Senate race [Palm Beach Post] “Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith and incoming Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith plan to attend Sachs’ campaign kickoff event tonight at the South County Civic Center west of Delray Beach.”

FCAT DEBACLE CONTINUES, BLAME LIES AT GOP FEET State moves to defend against FCAT outrage [Tampa Bay Times] “Battered by a public outcry over plummeting student test scores — and bracing for more poor results to come — the state’s top education officials went on the defensive Friday…’They’re playing games with the kids,’ Powell said. His eldest already failed the FCAT once. The other was retained after missing the mark on the third-grade test. Now a sophomore, his son is anxiously waiting for this year’s scores.” 

Time to ring the bell on FCAT [Tampa Bay Times column]

FCAT Grading Change: Capital Test Failure [Lakeland Edger editorial]

FCAT failures: testing is not teaching [Miami Herald op-ed]

Jackie Pons: It’s time to get rid of the FCAT [Tallahassee Democrat column] 

Hold politicians accountable for education [Miami Herald column]

Read FDP Chairman Rod Smith’s statement on the GOP’s failure on public education here.

ROMNEY ECONOMICS [Miami Herald LTE from Cindy Hewitt] “From May 1996 to July 1998, I worked as a human resources manager for Dade Behring, a medical manufacturing firm with facilities in Miami. Every time I read about Mitt Romney citing his business experience — including job creation — as his chief qualification to be president, I’m dumbfounded.”

SUSPICIOUS TIMING Odd time to purge voter rolls [Tampa Bay Times column] “The process raises uncomfortable comparisons to the Jeb Bush-era error-ridden felon list. That purge list was used to prevent thousands of legitimate voters from casting ballots in the 2000 presidential election — an election decided by 537 votes.”

Florida’s election chiefs stung by state moves [Palm Beach Post] “With August primaries and November elections looming, state and local elections officials last week appeared to be trying to repair their strained relationship.” 

Purges and politics [Herald Tribune editorial] “We ask because, once again, the state is courting problems as it seeks to “purge” supposedly ineligible people from voter rolls.”


Time running out for Florida’s springs [Florida Times Union Column, Ron Littlepage] “More than 250 people came to the forum Tuesday night motivated by a proposal by the giant Adena Springs Ranch to take 13.2 million gallons of water a day out of the aquifer to grow grass to feed 30,000 head of cattle.More pumping of an already overused aquifer. More nitrates in the aquifer from tons of manure…Time is running out for Silver Springs and North Florida’s other iconic springs. The Adena Springs Ranch permit is the line in the sand.”

Why is Florida Killing Its Fountain of Youth [CNN] “According to Knight, even the world-famous Silver Springs near Ocala, a cash cow for the local economy, may soon be gone if state officials refuse to take actions that could save it. That cash cow could be traded for a cattle ranch. What’s going on here? The state’s water management districts (WMDs) refuse to deny or put a moratorium on the water permits that big agriculture, big power, and big industry insist that they need. One pending permit for a cattle ranch, if approved, could draw as much water in one day from the springshed that feeds Silver Springs as does the whole City of Ocala. Knight predicts that, if approved, that permit will sound the death knell for Silver Springs.”

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