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Week In Review



Key Points from the new PPP poll:


Key Points from the new Quinnipiac Poll:


New Poll Shows Crist Leading Gov. Rick Scott [Orlando Sentinel] “[…]The poll shows Scott remains unpopular, with 33 percent approving his job performance and 57 percent disapproving. That rating has remained fairly steady since Scott took office in January 2011. Even Scott’s more moderate recent positions on education funding and accepting federal Medicaid money has not made a difference, PPP director Tom Jensen said. ‘What we’re finding is people are really dug in their opinions about him,’ he said.”


Despite Improved Jobs Picture, Poll Numbers Low for Gov. Scott [Palm Beach Post] “[…]Last week, the Scott administration was rocked by the resignation of Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, ousted for having earlier done public relations work for a purported Internet café charity accused in a multi-state criminal probe of money laundering and racketeering. A survey released Tuesday by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling showed 57 percent of Floridians disapprove of Scott’s job performance, compared with 33 percent approval. Scott’s unpopularity rating hasn’t changed since a January survey by PPP…Also potentially alarming for Scott, the survey found eroding support among Republicans for the governor – with 42 percent disapproving his performance, up slightly from January.”


More Dismal Numbers for Rick Scott in Quinnipiac poll; Crist Leads by 16 points [Palm Beach Post] “A new Quinnipiac University poll released this morning is full of bleak numbers for the governor. Only 36 percent of Florida voters approve of Scott’s job performance, with 49 percent disapproving. Only 32 percent say he deserves a second term in office. The Quinnipiac poll comes a day after the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling released a survey that found 33 percent of Florida voters approving and 57 percent disapproving of Scott’s performance. That poll found Crist leading Scott 52-to-40 percent in a 2014 match-up.”


Charlie Crist Would Crush Rick Scott in 2014, Quinnipiac Poll Finds [Tampa Bay Times]  


Poll: Scott Trails Democrats in Potential Governor’s Race [Tampa Tribune] 








Partisan Sparks Fly as Senate Panel OKs Voting Bill [Tampa Bay Times] “It was bound to end sooner or later, and it did on Monday. The bipartisan cooperation that marked early work on an elections bill vanished Monday as Democrats on the Senate Ethics & Elections Committee repeatedly forced roll-call votes on amendments the Republican majority opposed. The GOP prevailed on a series of 8-5 votes. That also was the vote on the bill (SB 600), sponsored by Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, the panel’s chairman. A visibly peeved Latvala at one point said he would consider giving way on a point the Democrats wanted, ‘but not now,’ he said, and he quickly left the hearing without speaking to reporters. With other Republicans rallying around Latvala, the GOP-crafted bill has two major provisions that worry election supervisors: a requirement that anyone voting absentee must have an adult witness their signature, and a requirement that anyone who wants an absentee ballot mailed to an address other than their voting address must fill out an affidavit.”


Bipartisan Voting Reform Effort Comes to an End in Florida Senate Committee [Palm Beach Post] “Senate Ethics and Elections Committee Chairman Jack Latvala hoped for a unanimous thumbs-up on a measure designed to fix the election woes highlighted by long lines at voting sites last November. Instead the St. Petersburg Republican stormed out of the committee meeting room Monday after all Democrats – including Vice Chairwoman Eleanor Sobel of Hollywood – voted ‘no.'[…]Senate Democrats said the early voting changes proposed by this year’s bill don’t go far enough to undo the damage created by a 2011 elections package (HB 1355) that shrank the number of early voting days from 14 to 8 and imposed new requirements along with stiff penalties for third-party registration groups. A federal court overturned the third-party voter registration part of that law, but the rest remained intact.”



After Flunking Running-mate Test, Rick Scott Gets a Do-Over [Miami Herald] “A first major test of how a candidate might govern: choosing a running mate. Rick Scott flunked that one…But regardless of whom Scott chooses, the Carroll bombshell does nothing to help the governor and his flatlined poll numbers heading into his 2014 reelection campaign.”


In Florida, a Political Marriage Soured Before a Top Official Stepped Down [New York Times] “[…]As a lawmaker, too, Ms. Carroll was tripped up by ethical lapses or oversights: she received a master’s degree from an online diploma mill; in 2010, she introduced a bill to legalize sweepstakes cafes, despite her work for Allied, later saying an aide had filed the bill without her knowledge; and she overstated her net worth in 2005 by $200 million, eventually amending it to show that her assets totaled $2 million. Last year, a former staff member, who is facing criminal charges, suggested that Ms. Carroll was having an affair with a woman who was her aide. Ms. Carroll, who has been married for 30 years, offended lesbians by saying, ‘Black women who look like me don’t have relationships like that.’ She later apologized, but critics said it was a major stumble. ‘There were red flags in Carroll’s political career dating back more than 10 years ago,’ said Dan Krassner, the executive director of the independent ethics watchdog group Integrity Florida.”


Jennifer Carroll Financial Disclosure Flawed [Capitol News Service] “Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll resigned last week after talking with law enforcement investigators over consulting work she did for Allied Veterans of the World – the internet cafe operator that skimmed hundreds of millions of dollars that should have gone to charity. A review of Carroll’s financial records should have raised red flags for the Rick Scott administration long before last week…By the time Jennifer Carroll was sworn in as Florida’s 18th Lt. Governor there were plenty of red flags in her financial disclosure that should have raised concerns for Rick Scott and his administration. As a state legislator, Carroll failed to disclose a list of her assets for two years, and for one of the years, a list of her debts. Integrity Florida calls the filings just the beginning of one error after another…The Rick Scott campaign used two Washington DC firms to vet Carroll. A very high level staffer to Rick Scott campaign told us it was quote ‘pretty hard to believe’ the mistakes were missed. Advocates say, the Carroll case alone is reason for the Ethics Commission to have more power to investigate blatant errors and mistakes.”


Romano: Did Anyone Know Jennifer Carroll Had Done Such a ‘Fantastic’ Job? [Tampa Bay Times Op-Ed] “‘I believe I did a fantastic job.’ Nope, can’t say that I saw that one coming. I mean, it’s not a hard and fast rule, but when ‘Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation’ and ‘resignation’ are in the same sentence, the term ‘fantastic’ is typically not the first description that comes to mind… Naturally, Carroll is entitled to her own opinion. And she knows better than anyone what she accomplished behind the scenes for a governor with a dramatically low approval rating. But I can’t help wondering if a lack of humility or self-awareness wasn’t part of the problem.”


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