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Posts Tagged ‘Republican Party Of Florida’

In keeping with his habit of governing in the dark, Rick Scott topped off the unveiling of his proposed budget privately with yet another private dinner at the Governor’s mansion last night for select state legislators. At the dinner were Sens. J.D. Alexander, R-Lake Wales, Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, and Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, and they were invited there to “discuss” Scott’s budget.

Here’s the gist of that discussion:

Rick Scott: “Just pass it.”

Wow. Dictator much Gov. Scott?

If you’ve kept up with Scott’s ego, you know that the last few days he’s been crowing that his budget should be a model for the entire nation. After a whole month of experience, Scott now feels that President Obama should also take his freely offered advice on how to govern. This probably shouldn’t be too much of a surprise, after all during his campaign he often made the mistake of thinking he was running against President Obama, and even skipped mentioning his true running mate, Alex Sink, several times in his ads. So much so that she laughed it off herself in her own ads. (I thought she deserved kudos for resisting an eye-roll on camera.)

It seems Scott is doubling down on the idea that he alone can lead the nation with his draconian budget slashing ideas according to an account of last night’s secret boys club meeting:

Later in the night that theme would be repeated when one of Scott’s top aides would suggest to all three senators that the nation will be watching to see if the Legislature enacts Scott’s “fiscally conservative” budget.

Yes, the nation is watching, but not for the reason Scott thinks it is. The nation is watching, and the nation is saying “Can you believe that those people actually elected that guy??” It’s not just that Florida actually elected the guy who was never charged with Medicare fraud, but whose former company set the record for Medicare fraud fines and is a textbook case, and now claims he wants to run the state like a business. (What could possibly go wrong in a state largely dominated by elderly residents?) It’s that combined with all that, Scott is also clueless on how to govern, and it shows.

Note to the ever-watchful nation: be afraid! Rick Scott announced last week that he would be spending a great deal of time in Washington, D.C., specifically on a monthly basis. (Gosh, I wonder if that might have anything to do with assisting the GOP in trying to dismantle the new Affordable Care Act?) If that’s the case, the “nation” may want to sleep with one eye open from now on. Don’t fall under a false sense of security if you aren’t aware of his presence. Just because you don’t see him or hear of him won’t necessarily mean he isn’t there. He operates under cover of darkness. As a resident of Florida I can tell you we have no clue what he’s up to down here most of the time. We only find out after the fact. Chances are unless you’re a lobbyist, business owner, or you’re made of money and want to throw some of it at him, you won’t either.

So by all means “nation” keep watching Rick Scott. If you’re lucky, you’ll learn from Florida’s mistake.

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Take This Door And Shove It?

 

Well, he DID say “these doors are open.”

Florida Senate President Mike Haridopolos, the self-proclaimed “open door policy” man and champion of tightening everyone’s belt but his own, has a brand new website! (And no, I don’t mean the new Mike Haridopolos Fan Site Florida Senate website.) It’s quite fitting for the guy who seems to aspire to personify the smarmiest character ever played by his lookalike William Devane.

No, the website DirtyHari.org is completely devoted to “opening the doors” to Haridopolos in all his hypocritical glory, and chronicles everything from those “silly” overlooked financial disclosures right down to every last measure  he voted to ban and subsequently sidestepped.

The new site was launched yesterday by Progress Florida and Florida Watch Action:

The site serves as an exposé “devoted to holding Senate President Mike Haridopolos accountable to the people of Florida, not just the banks, utilities, oil companies, HMO’s, big developers, and other corporate special interests who bankrolled his state senate campaign and rise to leadership.”

In conjunction with the site release, today at 11:00 AM members of Organize Now delivered hand sanitizer to attendees of a $10,000 a plate “private strategy meeting” in Orlando where Haridopolos was discussing his candidacy for the US Senate election in 2012 with wealthy supporters.  “Our message is simple: Sen. Haridopolos needs to clean up his act,” said Mark Ferrulo, Executive Director of Progress Florida.

That “sanitized” private strategy meeting reportedly raised $1 million for the U. S. Senate campaign that Haridopolos jumped into in less time than it took to remove those office doors after he was sworn in as Florida Senate President, the job which, according to Saint Petersblog,  Haridopolos told the crowd was his “political priority at least through the spring.” Just the type of statement you would expect from one of the elected officials who seek to thwart the will of the Florida voters who have the nerve to demand fair elections. Surely voters didn’t expect him to actually DO the job he was elected to?

If ever we needed to restore a little “Sunshine” to Florida’s ethically challenged backdoor politics it’s now when we have Gov. who ignores the people AND the press, and a Senate President with only part-term priorities who rips down office doors for the cameras, then holds his meetings privately in the president’s box at football games, the Governor’s mansion, and who knows where else?

Haridopolos didn’t want those office doors?

If he wasn’t “unhinged” before, he certainly is now.

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Well, here’s something you don’t see every day, an “honest” Republican. So honest in fact that he’s leaving the Party, but not before he states his reasons in a column published in the Tallahassee Democrat. He’s former Florida Rep. Randy Ball of Miami, and former criminal justice adviser for former Gov. Charlie Crist who left before new Gov. Rick Scott had a chance to ask him to resign.

As for his reasons? Well, his words speak for themselves:

“Republican leaders live in a fairy land where everything good — sunshine and bright blue skies, leprechauns and laughing daffodils — is bestowed by the wise Republican king, while everything bad — mold, dark nights and dragons — is inflicted by the Democrats and their snow queen,” Ball writes. “The dark must be thrown back, the evil crushed. And Republicans in their gleaming armor are the ones to do it. By golly, we will not vote for a Mother’s Day resolution if a Democrat submits it!”

Not only would Republicans “not vote for a Mother’s Day resolution if  Democrat submits it,” they would even go so far as to redefine rape to restrict abortions which are already restricted under existing federal law (and convince at least one Democrat to go along with them.) Let’s hope those “wise Republican kings” never have to face the consequences of this law they want to impose on “Mom” and all women.

To Randy Ball, I’ve got to say this: good call.

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Marco Rubio and David Rivera are making their respective debuts as two of the newest members in the House and Senate in Washington. How are they doing? What have they done for you lately? Well, today I thought we should play a little catch up, so here we go.

Tea Party? What Tea Party?

Starting his career in Washington, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-U-Kidding-Me-FL) made news right off the bat by giving a big brush-off to the Tea Party that were largely responsible for putting him there in the first place. When asked if he would now be joining the Tea Party Caucus, Rubio said “not so much.”

“Really what I think the strength of the tea party is that it comes from the grass-roots,” Rubio told a group of Florida reporters Wednesday in an interview in his temporary Senate office. “That it is not a political organization, it’s not something run by politicians or people seeking higher office, but rather it is a movement of every day citizens from all walks of life. That’s the strength of the tea party: that it’s not a political organization run by people out of Washington. My concern is a tea party caucus could intrude on that.”

So in other words, the Tea Baggers are a grass-roots movement to get candidates like Rubio elected, but they shouldn’t necessarily have a voice in policy making in Washington?

“Some activists have taken note of Rubio’s reluctance to join the caucus — which meets for the first time Thursday — and expressed concern; others have said he’ll be judged on how he votes.”

Just how much of an observation the Tea Party will have from their vantage point under his bus remains to be seen, but here’s a hint of things to come. One of his first announcements on Wed. was that he will co-sponsor his first bill, one which will repeal the health care law. So if the Tea Baggers really don’t want a “government takeover” of their health care, well then enjoy the symbolic gesture Rubio made yesterday. In his quest to go backwards, Rubio proves once again that he’s all about talking points and little substance.

“Thanks Mom!”

Meanwhile, Marco Rubio’s bud from South Florida, newly elected Rep. David Rivera (Re-Writing-Disclosure-Forms-FL) is in a bit of a pickle. He has begun his career in the House with lots of “splainin’ to do” over campaign donations, disclosures, “thank-you campaigns,” and hiding behind his mother and godmother’s skirts. It’s quite an involved little tale, so rather than try to bring you up to speed here, I’ll refer you to a couple of timeline summaries:

Investigators look into Rep. Rivera’s `thank you’ spending

Do The Right Thing-Step Aside

Meanwhile, new Republican House Speaker John Boehner doesn’t want so much to get involved. When asked about Rep. Rivera’s “problems” he basically washed his hands of it all.

“As I understand the allegations against Mr. Rivera, they don’t involve any of his congressional service,” Boehner said. “These were activities that took place before he was elected. And I think we’re waiting to see how this plays out.”

When asked similar questions, Marco Rubio said pretty much the same thing, in almost the same words. (Shocking, I know that Rubio would spew mere talking points from the Speaker!)

Rivera’s close friend, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, reacted similarly to Boehner: “I’m aware of the issue that’s out there but when something like that is happening, it’s always appropriate not to just comment on it and let it play itself through.”

So there you go. The month of January and the progress made by two of the newly elected members from the Republican Party of Florida. If you like corruption and going backwards in time, then they’re doing a bang up job, wouldn’t you say?

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(UPDATED BELOW)

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) the “Darling Of The Tea Party?” Maybe not so much.

Rubio rose in the Republican Party and on to the U.S. Senate largely by appealing to the Tea Party, with his fiscally conservative mantras (never mind those pesky investigations!) that gained him popularity from Tea Bagger types.

Now that he’s got their votes, it looks as though he, like many of his newly crowned Tea Party colleagues may be abandoning the very constituents he made all those promises to. Just as predicted, his Tea Bagger persona may have begun morphing back into the Republican mold he was fitting himself into all along.

Sorry Tea Baggers, looks like the joke’s on you.

No, Marco Rubio isn’t letting any “grassroots” grow under his feet.

From Politico:

An aide to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) told POLITICO that he’s still mulling whether to join the official Tea Party caucus on Capitol Hill.
“Senator Rubio is proud of his relationship with the tea party movement and shares its commitment to tackling the debt, defending the free enterprise system and restoring our limited government tradition,” said Rubio spokesman Alex Burgos. “He simply has not made any decisions about any caucus memberships.”

Shorter Rubio: “Talking point, talking point, hey it’s been great, thanks for the votes and the cash memories! Now excuse me while I join the good old Washington insiders, politics as usual boys club. See you around!”

Wow! Bummer for those of you in the Tea Party, but hey, can’t say we didn’t try to warn you.

It sure looks like you’ve bagged yourself a big ole’ heap of buyer’s remorse.

h/t: Senatus

UPDATE:

Also not part of his Tea Party fans plans, there’s this on Afghanistan:

Sen. Marco Rubio spent the weekend in Pakistan and Afghanistan and said he found encouraging signs, but he criticized the Obama administration’s goal of beginning to withdraw U.S. troops this summer.

“I think we are on the timeline this year to have some real good news and make some significant progress,” the Florida Republican said Monday in a conference call with reporters from Kabul. “But I think if you attach a date to it … you are really creating a difficult situation. The bad guys, the Taliban and even al-Qaida, must know all they have to do is wait.”

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In the wake of the shootings in Arizona, and the one at Florida State University last week where a drunk student accidentally killed his girlfriend’s twin sister with an AK-47, you might think that logic would dictate the idea of tightening notoriously permissive gun laws in Florida. Unfortunately, that logic goes out the window thanks to the National Rifle Association and lawmakers in Florida.

In fact, there are now three separate bills on the table that will further weaken firearms regulations in the Sunshine State. One seeks to restrict local governments from regulating firearms, and a second would prohibit physicians from asking about guns in the home. The third proposed bill, if passed, could make it even easier for more shootings just like the one that took place at FSU, accidental or otherwise. In that bill, lawmakers want to allow those with permits to carry weapons on college campuses. The reasoning behind the proposed laws are basically “because you can,” “free speech,” and in the case of the third, because “concealed weapons permit holders are adults, with the same rights as others.” That, according to NRA lobbyist Marion Hammer. Of course, adults also have the right to attend classes and move freely on a college campus without getting shot or killed too, but those rights are always trumped by the rights of gun owners. Add to that the lobbyists for the NRA who dole out truckloads of contributions to lawmakers who have no spines and, well, there you go.

Only two days after the shootings in Tucson, Florida Republican Rep. Joe Negron filed the bill that would prohibit local ordinances that might impose firearm and ammunition restrictions, and anyone who tries could be thrown out of office and could be fined up to $5 million.

Two days after the shootings.

According to Negron the timing had absolutely nothing to do with Tucson, he had been working on the bill with the NRA for over a month already.

Sadly in Florida, as well as nationwide, when it comes to gun laws it isn’t so much the lawmakers, but rather the NRA who dictate gun laws. (Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-NY) who lost her husband in the Long Island Railroad shootings, is introducing a bill that would outlaw high-capacity magazines like the one the Arizona shooter used, and already she faces an uphill battle against it.) It was only a day or two after the Arizona shootings, if even that, when the subject of possible restrictions came up, and they were quickly “shot down” by those in authority. Not going to happen. Not the right time. (As if there could be a better time?) As for Florida? Well, we just elected a Governor who was given an “A” rating by the NRA.

It’s “not the right time” for tighter gun and ammunition restrictions. If it’s never the right time after shootings like those above, when is it? I can’t think of a better time. Gun laws in Florida are permissive enough already:

I’ve heard all of the arguments against gun control laws. We all have. “Guns don’t kill people, people do.” Yes. Armed people. Does that mean we should make it that much easier to obtain a gun?

As for those those who claim President Obama wants to take away their guns, that’s utter nonsense. If anyone needs further evidence of that, look at what happened in Tucson. The only reports of problems the gunman had was having to try a second Wal-Mart when the first wouldn’t sell him the ammunition.

In the wake of every single shooting the subject of gun control comes up, and every time we discuss it for a couple of days, while others just throw up their hands in denial, and the powers that be like the NRA start complaining that someone wants to take away the rights of the gun owner, while they throw money at the feet of our lawmakers who will make the complaints go away.

In Florida, it’s one lawmaker who is willing to turn around and file more permissive gun bills just days after the deaths of a 9 year old girl in Arizona, and a college student in Florida. Once again there can’t even be a discussion of how to combat the problem. Florida’s only answer to the problem is more guns! Less restrictions!

Let no one get in the way of the NRA and one’s right to own and carry a gun.

You may have rights, but so do the gun owners.

And they’re armed.

Sorry, but that’s not an acceptable answer.

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ARIZONA SHOOTINGS UPDATE:

Good News For Rep. Gabrielle Giffords

Doctors at Tucson’s University Medical Center have removed Rep. Gabrielle Giffords from a ventilator, and she is breathing on her own. Doctors haven’t said anything about whether Rep. Giffords can speak.

Despite Shootings, Tucson Gun Show Goes On

New York Times Profile Of Jared L. Loughner

FLORIDA NEWS:

More Guns! Less Restrictions!

In the wake of the shootings in Tucson, and another at Florida State University last week where a drunk student accidentally killed his girlfriend’s sister with an AK-47, Florida lawmakers are about to propose changes in firearm restrictions. “They want more people to have the right to carry them in the open and fewer government restrictions.” What could possibly go wrong….?

Bob Graham Urges Gov. Rick Scott To Demand Oil Drilling Safety Reforms

Cuba is preparing to drill the wells off its north coast, using a Russian oil drilling firm “which frankly does not have a world standard safety record,” Graham told the Economic Club of Florida.

Tampa International Airport Eligible For Flights To Cuba

For the first time in nearly 50 years, Tampa International Airport will be eligible to restore direct flights to Cuba, fulfilling a longstanding goal of local Cuban Americans forced to rely on Miami’s airport because of federal restrictions.

Republican and darling of the Tea Party, Sen. Marco Rubio, opposes the new changes.

Planner Says It Would Be A Mistake For Gov. Rick Scott Not To Proceed With High-Speed Rail In Florida

“You Lie!”

Sen. Mike Fasano says that Florida 1st District Court of Appeal Judge Paul Hawkes “lied” when faced with tough questions about the brand new $50 million dollar “Taj Mahal” courthouse in Tallahassee.

Former Lobbyist And State Legislator David Bitner Elected As New Florida GOP Chair

New RNC Chairman Reince Priebus To Clean Up 2012 GOP Tampa Convention Mess

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