Florida Democratic Party News Clips — April 10, 2013
FL DEMS CHAIR TANT JOINS DEM WOMENS CLUB OF FLORIDA IN CALLING ATTENTION TO PARENT TRIGGER, MEDICAID EXPANSION
Fla. Democratic Women: 'We Continue To Be Under Assault In This State' [WFSU] "Democratic women from all over Florida came to the state Capitol on Tuesday to let lawmakers know, they’re watching what’s happening this session. The women spoke in support of Florida’s ratifying a federal amendment outlawing gender discrimination...[Lori] Berman was followed by Florida Democratic Party Chairwoman, Allison Tant. The women cheered loudly as she called for things like expanding Medicaid, reinstating the Sunday before elections as an early-voting day, and opposing the so-called 'parent trigger,' which would allow parents to convert failing public schools into charters."
Democratic Women Tell Legislators: "We're Watching" [Miami Herald] "[...]Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant was especially critical of the possibility the state will turn down federal money for Medicaid expansion. 'You have a right to affordable health care,' she told the cheering crowd. She later referred to her own experiences, when her son, who has a disabling condition called Williams Syndrome had to undergo open heart surgery at 23 months old. 'We received a bill from the hospital for $106,000,' she said. If not for their insurance policy, Tant continued, 'I could be that mother, sitting bedside by my child, frantic about how I was going to pay the bills, figuring out if I could borrow enough money, wash enough dishes in a restaurant and watch my child deteriorate because I couldn't put the money together fast enough.' She and other speakers also criticized the parent trigger bill, which Democratic Women’s Club of Florida President Janet Goen called the 'parent trick' bill and 'we're not falling for it.'"
* * * NEW VIDEO FROM DCCC FEATURING PROBLEM SOLVING CANDIDATES HIGHLIGHTS GWEN GRAHAM — WATCH VIDEO HERE * * *
NOTHING TO SEE HERE... DEMS MEET PUBLICLY WHILE GOP RETREATS TO PRIVATE DINNER
In Weatherford's "Transparent" House, Only Democrats Meet Publicly [Tampa Bay Times] "House Republicans and Democrats both agreed Tuesday night would be a good time to huddle with their respective party members. Republicans ate dinner at the vast Augustus B. Turnbull III Florida State Conference Center for a mandatory meeting. Sans food, Dems jammed into their cramped third-floor conference room in the Capitol that was so small a third of those who attended had to stand. Guess which one was open to reporters? Although House Speaker Will Weatherford is a self-described lover of transparency, reporters weren’t allowed at Tuesday’s dinner, just three days before the floor vote of the $74.4 billion budget and an unveiling later this week of an alternative to Pres. Barack Obama’s Medicaid expansion."
HOUSE DEMS STAND UP FOR MEDICAID EXPANSION IN BUDGET VOTE
House Dems to Take Caucus Vote Against Budget [Orlando Sentinel] "House Democratic Leader Perry Thurston will ask his caucus to take a unified vote against the House budget in protest of House Republicans’ decision not to include some sort of Medicaid expansion. 'We’ve got meetings with our caucus and that’s what we’re prepared to do,' he said. 'We think there are good things in the budget, but we think this is an opportunity that is so important to the state of Florida that we should take a stand.'"
GOP'S LACK OF LEADERSHIP, INFIGHTING PUT CAMPAIGN FINANCE AND ETHICS REFORM IN JEOPARDY
Are Ethics and Campaign Finance Bills Imploding? [Tampa Bay Times]"Consider this series of events as they happened today: The Senate Rules Committee guts a provision in the House campaign finance bill that would have raised the caps on campaign contributions for the first time in 20 years. The Senate chairman of the committee has some choice words of observation about the House bill, a top priority of the House speaker. The House State Affairs Committee, which had scheduled to hear the Senate's ethics bill, postpones the hearing on the Senate bill -- which just happens to be a priority of the Senate president. The chairman of the House State Affairs Commission releases this statement: 'In today's State Affairs Committee meeting, we decided to TP (temporarily postpone) the ethics bill due to 12 amendments that have been filed on the bill,'' said Rep. Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island."
Campaign Finance Bill Changed, Ethics Reform in Crossfire [News Service of Florida] "A Senate change to a campaign finance bill that is a top priority of House Speaker Will Weatherford threatens to undermine both the fundraising proposal and ethics reform, a key senator said Tuesday. The Senate Rules Committee unanimously agreed Tuesday to remove from its bill a proposed increase in contribution limits for candidates for statewide and some judicial offices...A few hours later, a House committee pulled the ethics reform bill, the signature piece of Senate President Don Gaetz's agenda, from its calendar. The bill's sponsor said lawmakers needed more time to study a slate of amendments filed by Rep. Mike Fasano, R-New Port Richey. The back and forth over the two bills raised the prospects of tension between the two chambers over leadership priorities, even as Gaetz, R-Niceville, and Weatherford have worked to present a united front after two years of sometimes harsh standoffs between the House and the Senate."
Will Rick Scott’s Opposition to Campaign Reform Doom Ethics Overhaul? [Palm Beach Post] "Gov. Rick Scott’s opposition to proposed campaign finance changes will also doom an ethics reform, the two top priorities of House Speaker Will Weatherford and Senate President Don Gaetz, according to the lead GOP senator on both issues. The campaign finance proposal, a priority of Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, approved by his chamber last month would boost individual contribution limits from $500 to $3,000 for local and legislative candidates and to $5,000 for statewide candidates. Scott spokeswoman Melissa Sellers on Monday told The Associated Press that the governor 'can’t imagine signing a bill' that would raise contributions by any amount."
RUBIO DENOUNCED BY DEMOCRATS AND REPUBLICANS ALIKE FOR GUN FILIBUSTER THREAT
Rubio Getting Pressure From Left, and Right, on Gun Filibuster [Tampa Bay Times] "Sen. Marco Rubio is getting criticism from the left and the right for his support of a threatened filibuster on gun control legislation. Today, Sen. John McCain reiterated his criticism of the filibuster threat, which more than a dozen Republicans have signed. McCain today said not allowing a debate and vote is 'incomprehensible,' according to a tweet from Beth Reinhard of National Journal...A couple hours later, the DNC released a web video. 'If Senator Rubio and his Republican colleagues do not support measures to reduce gun violence in America they should vote that way,' the DNC said. 'These are not controversial bills-- they’re common sense and supported by the majority of the American people, including universal background checks, which 90% of Americans support. Senator Rubio and his colleagues are more interested in their NRA ratings than protecting our children—it doesn’t make sense and it’s not what the American people want.'"
SEN. NELSON LEADING FIGHT AGAINST IDENTITY THEFT
From Fraud-ridden Florida, Sen. Bill Nelson Targets Tax ID Theft [Miami Herald] "With nine of the United State's top 10 tax-ID fraud cities in Florida, Sen. Bill Nelson is again backing legislation to crackdown on the $5.2 billion crime. [From the press release] Two highly influential U.S. senators have joined today to cosponsor legislation by Florida’s Sen. Bill Nelson, increasing the chances for passage of Nelson’s measure targeting tax refund identity scams. The Identify Theft and Tax Fraud Prevention Act of 2013 is being filed Tuesday morning."