Florida Democratic Party News Clips - March 28th, 2013
WITH SENTENCE OF 1.5 YEARS FOR THEFT, THE GREER SAGA IS OVER…FOR NOW?
Ex-Florida GOP Chair Gets 1.5 Years For Stealing [AP] "The former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida has been sentenced to one-and-a-half years for stealing more than $125,000 in party funds. Jim Greer was sentenced in Orlando Wednesday, more than a month after he pleaded guilty to four counts of theft and a single count of money laundering...A trial had threatened to expose the underbelly of Florida's dominant political party and its formerly high-spending ways."
Free-spending Ex-Florida GOP Chief Greer Gets 18 Months in Prison [Tampa Bay Times] "Jim Greer, hand shaker, party thrower, power seeker, former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, was sentenced on Wednesday to 18 months in state prison plus one year of probation. Greer, 50 and a father of five, last month pleaded guilty to four counts of theft and one count of money laundering, admitting he had created a company called Victory Strategies to siphon to himself and an associate some $200,000 of party donations. 'You're now a convicted felon, sir,' Circuit Judge Marc Lubet told Greer Wednesday, adding that he had 'egregiously violated a position of trust.'"
Editorial: For Greer, Prison and Unanswered Questions [Tampa Bay Times] "Former Republican Party of Florida chairman Jim Greer deserved to go to prison for stealing money from the party, and the 18-month sentence he received Wednesday is appropriate. The sentence sends a message that even the state's most powerful political figures are accountable, and it recognizes that Greer was far from the only prominent Republican behaving badly. Yet the conclusion of the criminal case remains unsatisfying and leaves disturbing questions unanswered...Without a trial, the answers may never be known — and that is just the way powerful Republicans want it."
SEN. NELSON CALLS FOR FUNDS FOR EDUCATION, PROTECTING FL SPRINGS
Sen. Bill Nelson Seeks Money to Investigate Reform School [Miami Herald] "U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson said Wednesday that he's pursuing funding from a $3 million federal grant program to help identify buried remains at a defunct boys' reform school in the Florida Panhandle. The grant money is meant for exhuming bodies and identifying them through DNA, the Democratic senator told reporters. Nelson said he was contacted by a brother of a boy who died at the former Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys in Marianna. The senator said he knew the school well as a boy because his family would pass it as they drove to see relatives in the Panhandle."
Senator Bill Nelson Tours Silver Springs [WCJB] "Marion County commissioners are working on partnering up with the state and federal government on the restoration of Silver Springs. Chair Kathy Bryant invited Senator Bill Nelson to come see first hand the various issues affecting the environmental health of the springs. On Tuesday Sen. Nelson and Marion County commissioners toured Silver Springs...Sen. Nelson and county commissioners believe the degradation of the springs is not only an issue in Marion County. 'The springs have to be restored because it's part of our heritage. It's part of our history. It's part of Florida,' said Sen. Nelson. Nelson said in order to save the springs we have to reverse changes in our environment."
WHERE ARE THE JOBS? GOP LEGISLATURE FOCUSES ON EXTREME AGENDA INSTEAD
Abortion Bills Clear Florida House Panels [Miami Herald] "Bills seeking to ban sex- and race-selective abortions and to require that babies surviving botched abortions receive medical care cleared House subcommittees on Wednesday as the hot-button issue resurfaced during a legislative session that's been largely bereft of battles over social issues...An exasperated Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, said the bill amounted to another rendition of 'conservative story time.' 'This is just another attempt to chip away at access by calling into question every woman who makes a deeply personal medical decision,' he said. The bill also has sexist and racist overtones, Slosberg said...Missy Wesolowski with Planned Parenthood called the bill a 'dangerous intrusion' in the doctor-patient relationship by turning doctors into investigators and their patients into suspects. 'At the same time, it insults women of color by calling into question their ability to make decisions about their own bodies,' she said."
ORANGE COUNTY DEMOCRATS LEAD THE WAY FOR TAX EQUALITY
Scott Randolph, Orange County Tax Collector, to Institute Domestic Partnership Tax Equity Policy [Orange County Tax Collector's Office] "The Orange County Constitutional Tax Collector’s office announced today that it would immediately institute a Domestic Partnership Tax Equity Policy, which will establish a stipend to reimburse and make whole tax collector employees who continue to be discriminated against by the federal tax code’s treatment of domestic partner health benefits."
OBAMA TO DISCUSS ECONOMY IN MIAMI FRIDAY
Obama to Speak on Economy Friday in Miami [Palm Beach Post] "President Barack Obama will deliver an address on the economy at the Port of Miami Friday. The event, which is not open to the public, is scheduled to begin at 2 p.m. at the port, east of downtown Miami. No other details on the address were available. The visit will be short. The president is expected to be in Miami about two hours Friday afternoon."