In the News

Florida Democratic Party News Clips – June 13, 2012

FDP CHAIR ROD SMITH TAKES ON RICK SCOTT’S VOTER PURGE Voter rolls with Rod Smith[News Service of Florida] “Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith says the the real reason for the voter purge is to energize Tea Party voters and discourage a large election turnout” WATCH VIDEO HERE.

Chair Rod Smith: Gov. Scott out of synch with Florida on purge [Gannett] “Democrats argue the effort is wasting taxpayers’ cash and just creating jobs for lawyers. Smith says Gov. Scott is showing once again his focus is not in sync with what Floridians want. ‘People want us to take on the serious problems of the time. They’re worried about jobs. They’re worried about better schools…Most people are really concerned about the things that he’s not been good at and people are largely unconcerned with that which he seems to be willing to spend his time and their money for his political purposes or for his political agenda”

Legal battle raging over Gov. Scott’s effort to purge Fla. voter rolls [CF13] “For Florida Democratic Party chair Rod Smith, the battle is now over voters who could play a decisive role in November…’Don’t be fooled – it’s not just in Florida, it’s in Texas, it’s nationwide, it’s part of an overall strategy of ‘if it’s going to be a close election, we need to drive down the voters that we identify as most likely to vote against us’.”

CHAIR SMITH ON ROMNEY’S VISIT:  ROMNEY “DISCONNECTED ” FROM THE CONCERNS OF FLORIDIANS [Palm Beach Post] “‘How much more disconnected from the concerns of Floridians could Mitt Romney be?’ Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith said. ‘Our citizens know that firefighters, policemen, and teachers are the backbone of a successful community, yet Romney’s suggestion that they aren’t vital to our well-being is shocking.’”

FDP HOLDS CONFERENCE CALL W/PUERTO RICAN LEADERS URGING RUBIO TO SUPPORT APONTE Puerto Rican Leaders Urge Sen. Rubio to Secure Confirmation of Aponte [FDP]“Today Puerto Rico Secretary of State Kenneth McClintock and Puerto Rico Senator Juan E Hernandez Mayoral held a bilingual press conference call urging Senator Marco Rubio to reject the extreme voices in his party, keep his promise, and secure the confirmation of Mari Carmen Aponte to be the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador. “


State’s political purge has misfired [Palm Beach Post editorial] “If only he were as concerned about the citizens who easily could have been wrongly barred from voting as a result of his tactics…You don’t need a judge, though, to recognize Florida’s grandstanding for what it is: a bellicose and politically suspect gambit that callously imperiled legitimate voters.

Voter purge another bad fight [Sun Sentinel Editorial] “Gov. Rick Scott is on a pretty sizeable losing streak in the courts, but that hasn’t stopped him from using more taxpayer money to fight various battles that shouldn’t be fought…”

U.S. Sen. Nelson, Gov. Scott at loggerheads over Florida voter purge  [Palm Beach Post] “It was Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson at the microphone — from the Senate floor — denouncing the Republican governor’s voter purge. Nelson, facing a re-election fight this fall, ripped Scott in prepared remarks, echoing the Democratic argument that Florida’s attempt to use flawed data would result in eligible voters being purged from the rolls.”

The ‘Voter Fraud’ Myth Debunked [Rolling Stone] “But here’s the thing: Not only is voter fraud not rampant – it’s virtually nonexistent. The iron-clad word on the subject comes from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, whose 2007 report, ‘The Truth About Voter Fraud,’ sorts through thousands of allegations going back to the 1990s in the most in-depth voter fraud study ever undertaken. The bottom line, confirmed by all subsequent research: ‘Usually, only a tiny portion of the claimed illegality is substantiated — and most of the remainder is either nothing more than speculation or has been conclusively debunked.’ In fact, ‘one is more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud.'”

Scott defends voter purge [Florida Current] “‘This idea of a systematic, massive voter fraud, this just doesn’t seem to happen,’ [FSU Political Science Professor] Barrilleaux said. ‘The penalties are too high and the payoffs are so low it just doesn’t make sense to engage in such a conspiracy from a cost benefit analysis.’ A recent poll by Public Policy Polling found that 50 percent of Floridians opposed the voter roll purge

Jon Stewart, John Oliver tackle Gov. Rick Scott, voter purge on ‘The Daily Show’ [Tampa Bay Times]“All told, The Daily Show spent nearly 10 minutes riffing on Gov. Rick Scott and lambasting the voter purge — which started in early 2011, Marc Caputo notes in today’s Times, with a simple question that has lead to three lawsuits. Via Comedy Central and” WATCH THE SEGMENTS HERE & HERE.  

MACK STILL TAKING HEAT FOR DUCKING DEBATE Connie Mack’s debate dodge [Orlando Sentinel editorial] “Mack instead shows contempt for his opponents, treating them like a band of misfits even though the ballot includes former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux, former U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon, and retiredU.S. Army Col. Mike McCalister. They are, however, unworthy of Connie Mack’s time and effort. Debates aren’t perfect, but they create the possibility that candidates will stray from their talking points long enough to offer voters a moment of candor or clarity. We could use a little more of that in politics, and a little less calculation.” 

INTRAPARTY BRAWL  Mica and Adams debate — and dislike — each other [Orlando Sentinel] “To Adams, Mica is a symbol Republican weakness – a career dealmaker who sacrificed conservative principles and became a fixture in Washington. To Mica, Adams is a legislative lightweight – long on rhetoric and short on accomplishments.”

PROTECTING OUR LAND AND WATER The hunt for water dollars [Ocala Star Banner Editorial]“The shocking move, a reversal of a generation of watershed protection and preservation, should raise fears that the state’s other water management districts could follow suit…locking away public lands for private use — and for very little return on investment at that — is a bad idea on its face, and one the Suwannee district’s governing board should reject and others should refuse to consider at all.” 


A LIGHTER CLICK In Emergency Session, U.N. Declares Florida a Rogue State [The Borowitz Report]“Calling the status of democracy in the Sunshine State “fragile at best,” the United Nations met in emergency session today to declare Florida a rogue state. The actions by Florida Gov. Rick Scott to purge the voter rolls in his state might have inspired the vote by the U.N., but as the spokesperson for the U.N. Secretary-General said, ‘We’ve had problems with elections in Florida before.'”

Jim Norman has withdrawn from his state Senate race [Tampa Bay Times] “He submitted a three-sentence letter to the Florida Division of Elections withdrawing his candidacy for re-election after one term in the Senate, just five days after qualifying to run again.”

More parents protest testing [Tampa Bay Times] “A growing number of Florida school districts are adopting — or at least considering — the resolution decrying over-reliance on high-stakes testing that’s making its way around the country. Parents here and elsewhere are supporting the backlash” 

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