In the News

Florida Democratic Party News Clips u2014 April 3, 2013


Taxpayers Deserve Straight Numbers on Incentives [Tampa Tribune] “Florida taxpayers would never know it from an official report, but the state corporate subsidies intended to lure businesses and jobs here are falling far short of the target. Yet Gov. Rick Scott wants to more than double the amount of money devoted to economic incentives. Taxpayers and lawmakers deserve the unvarnished facts on what the incentives are accomplishing…We don’t question the need for incentives, given the fierce national competition for new companies and jobs. And it should be acknowledged that many of the state’s investments have realized a big return. But before Tallahassee puts more money into corporate subsidies, the state needs a reliable accounting process that accurately evaluates exactly what taxpayers are getting for their money. Citizens need to be assured their tax dollars are being invested carefully and monitored closely.”




Speaker Will Weatherford Says ‘Never Say Bever’ to Federal Money for Medicaid Alternatives [Tampa Bay Times] “As the Legislature weighs options for insuring the state’s low-income residents, House Speaker Will Weatherford, for the first time, indicated Tuesday he might be open to accepting federal money. ‘You never say “never” in this business, I’ve learned that,’ Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, replied when asked about his willingness to accept some federal aid as part of a House alternative to Medicaid expansion.”




Bob Graham’s Daughter Gwen Becomes Candidate for Congress [Miami Herald] “Gwen Graham, daughter of former Gov. Bob Graham, said this morning she will challenge U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland in Florida’s 2nd Congressional district…Graham, 50, has lived in Tallahassee since her father became governor and works in the Leon County School District. A news release casts her — as is common for congressional candidates – as a Washington outsider who will work with both sides.”


Former senator Bob Graham’s daughter running for Congress [Washington Post] “Former Florida senator and governor Bob Graham’s (D) daughter is joining the family business, launching a campaign for Congress against Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.). ‘It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Congress is a dysfunctional mess,’ Gwen Graham said in announcing her candidacy…Graham, a lawyer who works for the Leon County school district, pitches herself as an independent voice for northern Florida.”


Daughter Of Former Fla. Sen. Bob Graham Running For Congress [NPR] “The daughter of Florida political legend Bob Graham has announced she will run for Congress next year, taking on incumbent Republican Steve Southerland. Gwen Graham, a lawyer and administrator in the Leon County school district, made the announcement Tuesday morning. ‘It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that Congress is a dysfunctional mess,’ Graham wrote on her campaign website.”


Daughter of former Florida Gov launches bid against Rep Southerland [The Hill] “Gwen Graham, the daughter of former Florida Gov. Bob Graham and a top Democratic recruit, will challenge Rep. Steve Southerland (R-Fla.) in 2014, she announced Tuesday. In a release announcing her bid, Graham framed herself as a “Washington outsider,” running as an independent for the seat. ‘I’m running for Congress to represent you with an independent voice in Washington. I will work with anyone, regardless of party affiliation, to create jobs; invest in education and balance our budget — with a plan that stands up for the middle class, keeps taxes low and protects Medicare and Social Security,’ she said.”


Race for Florida’s 2nd Congressional Seat Already Heating Up [WJHG] “It seems like elections were just the other day, but a battle is already brewing in the Pandhandle over Florida’s 2nd Congressional District. Incumbent Steve Southerland found out Tuesday who at least one of his opponents will be. Her name is Gwen Graham, the daughter of former Florida Governor and U.S. Senator Bob Graham. She is a Tallahassee democrat with a law degree and is an administrator with the Leon County School District.”




Before Going to the Slammer, Jim Greer Speaks One Last Time [Tampa Bay Times] “Before he was sentenced to 18 months in prison, former Republican Party of Florida chairman Jim Greer maintained his innocence in a final interview with WTSP’s Mike Deeson. ‘People will always say, “If you are so innocent, why didn’t you go to trial?” And I understand that,’ said Greer, who pleaded guilty in February to charges he stole money from the state Republican Party…Greer also said he is planning on writing a book behind bars. The title: Dirty Laundry.”


Florida Republican Committeeman Arrested for Child Porn [Raw Story] “Officials in Florida on Monday said that an elected Florida Republican Party committeeman had been arrested on multiple charges of possessing and transmitting child pornography. Walton County Sheriff Mike Adkinson confirmed to The Northwest Florida Daily Newsthat Lane Rees, a former Walton County Commissioner, was taken into custody around 5 p.m. on Monday after a month-long investigation. Deputies recovered “multiple images” of child pornography after serving a search warrant on his home in Santa Rosa Beach.”


Lane Rees, Florida GOP Committeeman, Arrested On Child Pornography Charges [Huffington Post] “Lane Rees, a 61-year-old GOP committeeman for Walton County, Fla., was arrested Monday night for possession and transmission of child pornography, according to aNorthwest Florida Daily News report, since confirmed by other Florida outlets. Police reportedly searched Rees’ house after conducting a month-long investigation that began when authorities received a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children in February about child pornography being traded by an online profile at his address.”




What Marco Rubio’s Dance on Immigration Tells us About Washington [Washington Post] “[…]Democrats aren’t trying to rush the bill. But this hasn’t stopped Rubio from issuing a threat to kill it if the Senate doesn’t hew to his preferred process. One interpretation of this behavior is that Rubio is sincere in his calls for comprehensive immigration reform, but he doesn’t want to alienate Tea Party conservatives who are hostile to the idea…For Republicans concerned about the future of their party, the fact that Rubio has to do this dance should worry them. When a large portion of the GOP refuses to work with the other side, this sharply limits the opportunities for constructive, politically palatable legislation.”


Opinion: Rubio’s Coy Immigration Play [NBC Latino Op-Ed] “Senator Marco Rubio got cold feet this Saturday. This weekend the Senator protested that the immigration negotiations were proceeding too hastily and that things were just moving too fast. Much like a jittery bride he showed hesitancy in his commitment to taking the plunge..Now the buzz is whether the whole effort at reforming immigration is in peril. If Marco Rubio walks away, will the immigration reform fall apart?…Immigration reform does not depend on Rubio. Immigration reform needs Marco Rubio to the extent that the Cuban-American Republican can help streamline the process. It’s Marco Rubio who needs immigration reform.”




Sequester Cuts to Cost Palm Beach County Elderly, Children Under Measures Approved Tuesday [Sun Sentinel] “Needy senior citizens won’t get breakfast and poor children won’t get rides to pre-school under $2 million in Palm Beach County budget cuts approved Tuesday as a result of Congressfailing to reach a budget deal. The county expects to lose about 5 percent of the $36 million it usually gets each year in federal money for community services programs. That’s because of the federal “sequester” cuts – automatic spending cuts that reach from defense spending to domestic programs and were triggered because Congress couldn’t reach a budget compromise.”




Florida Legislators Join Anti-Islamic Crusade [Orlando Sentinel] “[…]Unfortunately, Florida is increasingly known as the state where common sense goes to die. A bill that was dismissed last year as irrelevant — one that tries to prohibit Islamic and foreign laws from affecting Florida court rulings — is now gaining steam. Even the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Alan Hays, struggled to cite examples of the problem he was claiming to solve. Instead, Hays called his bill ‘preventative.’ The fringe-o-sphere, however, claims Islamic Shariah law is creeping into America. So they are backing a bill that would supposedly ban judges from relying upon any and all foreign laws.”



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