Flagler Democrats: Welcome to the official page of the Flagler Democratic Executive Committee!

"Organizing every neighborhood is the only way to achieve our ideas" - Barack Obama.

Florida Dem Press Release

Your place to visit for weekly summaries of all
Florida Democratic Party News direct from Tallahassee!

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April 21, 2012  FDP NEWS CLIPS


2. OFA Update:

a. OFA Canvass Kickoff: TOMORROW (4/21):

What: Florida canvass kickoff event

b. OFA Summer Organizers - Apply Now:

This summer, thousands of these organizing fellows are going to help lead our grassroots organization -- recruiting volunteers and running events to help more people make their voices heard.

It's an amazing experience -- one that could change your life while shaping this country for decades to come.

Apply now to be a summer organizing fellow, or pass this note along to someone you know who might be interested.
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3. FDP News Clips/ Redistricting News


WHAT TO READ ON CONGRESSIONAL REDISTRICTINGDrawing the lines — again [Miami Herald editorial] "As it is, the Senate’s second attempt to do right by voters still managed to protect virtually all incumbents (of both parties), creating 16 safe Republican seats, 14 safe Democratic seats and 10 toss-up battles that — surprise, surprise — lean to the GOP even though there are more registered Democratic voters than Republicans in the Sunshine State…For the first time the Florida courts can act as a true check and balance on the Legislature’s attempts to draw lines that result in representation that’s not an Incumbent Protection Act."


HAPPENING TODAYFla. justices again hearing redistricting argument [AP] "The Florida Supreme Court again is hearing oral argument over legislative redistricting. Friday's hearing focuses on the state Senate map that was revised after the justices kicked back the Republican-led Legislature's first attempt…Democrats and groups that backed the Fair Districts standards say the revised map still is in violation."


ON THE CONGRESSIONAL FRONT — DOUBTS LINGER & RIVERA SHOULD RESIGN, WEST DOUBLES DOWN, BUCHANAN SHOULD RELEASE TAX RETURNS 

Watchdog group: House leaders should ask Miami Rep. David Rivera to resign [Miami Herald] "A Washington government watchdog group is urging U.S. House leaders to ask for Rep. David Rivera to step down, following the end of a state investigation into Rivera's personal and campaign finances."

Doubts linger for Rivera [AP] "'The individual who has been there has been distracted and has not been focused on the situation of middle class,' said Gloria Romero Roses, his Democratic opponent. 'What has Congressman Rivera been doing but defending himself?'"

Allen West won’t name names on `communists’ in Congress [Sun Sentinel] "Pressed to name names, South Florida Congressman Allen West on Thursday reaffirmed his assertion that as many as 81 Democrats in the House are members of the Communist Party, but he wouldn’t say who they are."

Keith Fitzgerald challenges Vern Buchanan to release his tax returns [Bradenton Herald] "Fitzgerald cited a New York Times report that Buchanan, R-Sarasota, is under investigation by the Internal Revenue Service for failing to report more than $14,000 in income over four years."

Democrats plan big Florida TV buy [Orlando Sentinel] "National Democrats are planning an airwave assault in Florida this year with one arm of the party reserving $8.3 million in Florida broadcast time after Labor Day."


TWITTER ALERT: @JEFFATWATER2012 APPEARS, from the bio: "2002 to 2009: I worked at a Florida bank. It was one of the weakest in the nation. I quit, US taxpayers bailed it out, and it was sold to the Canadians."


RUBIO'S DREAM WITHOUT A DREAM A NIGHTMARE FOR MITT  Rubio’s DREAM puts Mitt in a bind [Politico] "It’s a risky move for a potential vice presidential candidate, and it puts presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney in a pickle as he may have to decide whether to back an immigration plan rolled out by one of the party’s rising Hispanic stars, or stick to the strident anti-illegal immigrant positions he staked out during the Republican primary."

Marco Rubio's Dream Act: A nightmare for immigrants [Los Angeles Times editorial] "The original Dream Act enjoyed bipartisan support because it was the right thing to do. Dream 2.0 should be seen for what it is: a divisive ploy to pander to Latinos. It is a faulty compromise at best -- and a nightmare at worst."



MORE BAD INK FOR THE "EDUCATION" GOVERNOR Funding for Florida's education still lags [The Florida Times Union editorial] Yet education is shortchanged from years of cuts, leaving Florida with a dismal record in K-12 and higher education. In a calculated use of spin, Scott chose an A school in affluent St. Johns County as the backdrop for signing the budget bill. St. Johns County has one of the most well-funded districts in the state, No. 8 in the state (see accompanying chart). 'Over $1 Billion in New Education Funding' proclaimed the classroom chalkboard behind Scott. Left unsaid is that this year's per-pupil funding of $6,357, while $150 more than last year, is $800 less than five years ago and is below the level when Scott took office. It is a cynical stretch to call that "'New Education Funding.'"



OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW 

Connie Mack's Dad Chastises Reporters for Pointing Out His Son Is Way, Way Behind [Broward Palm Beach New Times] "Republican Rep. Connie Mack IV's Senate campaign has hit a bump in the road -- a bump shaped like an electorate that doesn't want to vote for him. He's come up short in poll after poll, and papers in Florida and elsewhere have pointed it out. Well, one person is not having it -- Mack's dad."

Biden coming to Florida [Sarasota Herald Tribune] "The White House continues its intensive focus on all things Florida. The White House just annouced Vice president Joe Biden is scheduled to fly to the Everglades on Monday."

Florida Democrats looking for convention delegates [Bay News 9] "Florida's Democratic Party is looking for people who want to be delegates to the national convention in Charlotte, NC in September…The Florida Democratic Party website has an overview of how delegates are selected, and applicants can apply to become a delegate there as well."


David Bergstein
Deputy Communications Director 
Florida Democratic Party 
@DavidABergstein
--
Alison Berke Morano
Vice Chair, FDP
(813) 766-9872
Out Innovate * Out Educate * Out Build
...................................................
facebook.com/alisonmorano
alitwitter.com
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April 19, 2012  FDP NEWS CLIPS


 1. Reminder:  DNC Delegate Selection Plan Conference Call w/OFA (TONIGHT)

From OFA:

Would you like to represent Florida at the 2012 National Democratic Convention in North Carolina?!? If so, please join the conference call below where we will be discussing the new process to participate as a delegate for the 2012 National Convention. Please note, the process to become a delegate has changed since 2008, therefore OFA wants to provide as much information as possible for folks who want to participate and become a delegate. We understand that your time is valuable, this call should not last longer than 45 mins to an hour. Thank you in advance for attending this call. Talk to you soon!

What: 2012 National Convention Delegate Selection Process Conference Call
When: Wednesday, April 18th 7:00pm EST
Who: Organizing For America staff and FDP staff

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2. FDP News Clips


BREAKING: DCCC BLITZES WITH TV ADS IN 5 FLORIDA MARKETS [Politico] "POLITICO has learned that the House Democratic campaign arm is reserving more than $32 million in broadcast TV advertising after Labor Day, the first real signal of the party’s strategy for winning back control of the House."

In Florida: 
  • Tallahassee/Panama City: $828,000
  • Orlando: $2,530,000
  • Tampa: $2,498,000 
  • West Palm Beach: $656,000
  • Miami: $1,804,000 



OFA FL RELEASES SPANISH LANGUAGE ADS Obama campaign intensifies Hispanic outreach with Florida TV, radio ad [Tampa Bay Times] "The campaign has released Spanish language TV ads. In Florida, it features a woman named Lynnette Acosta, who is originally from Puerto Rico and now is an Obama volunteer." WATCH THE AD HERE 


RUBIO DOESN'T HELP ROMNEY  PPP poll: Obama leads Romney in Florida 50-45 [Tampa Tribune] "In his best showing in a Public Policy Polling survey in more than a year, President Barack Obama now leads Mitt Romney 50-45 percent in Florida. The poll also suggests Sen. Marco Rubio wouldn’t help Romney much in Florida—with Rubio as Romney’s running mate, Obama’s lead actually increased, to 50-43 percent."

Obama +5 in Florida [Palm Beach Post]

ALSO WORTH A READ: Why the GOP should worry about Orlando [Tampa Bay Times] "Democratic strategist Steve Schale has posted another of his terrific number-crunching pieces making the case for how demographic changes in metro Orlando - not just the growing Puerto Rican population, but also African-Americans - pose serious longterm challenges for Republican."


WHAT TO READ ON SCOTT'S BUDGETSound bites don't erase budget bites [Tampa Bay Times Editorial] "The reality is Florida still will spend less next year per student than it did before Scott took office in 2011 and roughly $800 less than in 2007. The Legislature — and Scott — are still shortchanging the future by insisting on special interest tax breaks rather than adequately funding Florida's needs…Republicans in Tallahassee continue to ignore the reality that Florida can't keep cutting taxes for special interests ($134 million alone next year) and still expect there's enough left for real investment. Acting the part of education governor is no substitute for true advocacy."

FDP Chairman Rod Smith on the Budget [News-Journal] "'This budget is nothing more than the same shortsighted priorities of Florida Republicans that has put the special interests ahead of investing in education -- while schools are left crumbling around our children,' Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith said in a statement. 'That is no way to lead.'"

Scott signs $69.9B Florida budget [AP] "Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith called the budget 'an assault on the middle class' because it puts "special interests ahead of investing in education."

Scott agrees to $300 million cut in university funding [Gainesville Sun] "The budget that he signed has plenty of bad news for the university system as a whole. State university funding was slashed by $300 million in the next fiscal year."

Polytechnic nonsense [Tampa Tribune editorial] "At the same time Gov. Rick Scott signed a budget Tuesday slashing higher education by $300 million, he let slip through $33 million for Florida Polytechnic University, a school with no students, faculty or legitimate purpose."


ANATOMY OF AN IMPLOSION: What’s the matter with Connie Mack? [Washington Post] "Six months later, Republicans are grumbling about Mack’s underwhelming campaign, and state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater is saying he might get into the race. A new poll of Florida insiders say it’s not too late for a new candidate? What happened?"

Jeff Atwater ponders run for U.S. Senate [Tampa Tribune] "With some Florida Republicans worried about their chances and their candidates in this year's U.S. Senate race, state Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater says he's reconsidering a previous decision and may enter the Republican primary."

Insiders cool to Mack [Tampa Bay Times] "Even without Atwater's name in the mix of possible contenders, a slight majority — 52 percent — said it's not too late for another candidate to get in the race and mount a credible campaign…Still, more than three out of four Insiders — including nearly two-thirds of the Republicans — expect Nelson to win re-election."

Connie Mack skips out on big votes, hits trail instead [Politico] "First, Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.) called the House Republican budget “a joke.” Then his staff praised it for its 'brave' ideas."

George LeMieux’s Senate campaign in trouble [Miami Herald] "In a series of one-two-three blows, George LeMieux's Senate campaign has been staggered by anemic fundraising, the specter of a big-name Republican jumping into the race and new court documents that make him a witness in the criminal case against the former governor’s hand-picked Republican Party of Florida chairman."


OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Deception is on the ballot [Palm Beach Post Editorial] "If you find some of the proposed constitutional amendments on Florida's November ballot confusing, that's because you're supposed to be confused. Legislators wrote the ballot questions so voters wouldn't understand the true ramifications of the amendments."

Office of Congressional Ethics Releases Quarterly Activity Report [Roll Call] "Buchanan has been the subject of two federal probes into possible violations of campaign finance law, though it is unclear whether the ethics case is related to those inquiries."

3 counties join effort to sue over disputed Medicaid bills [Orlando Sentinel] “Seminole, Osceola and Polk counties have committed to joining the suit, which is being prepared by the Florida Association of Counties. Lake, Orange and Volusia have not yet decided.”

David Bergstein
Deputy Communications Director 
Florida Democratic Party 
@DavidABergstein

--
Alison Berke Morano
Vice Chair, FDP
(813) 766-9872
Out Innovate * Out Educate * Out Build
...................................................
facebook.com/alisonmorano
alitwitter.com

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April 13, 2012  FDP NEWS CLIPS


BREAKING TODAY: FDP RELEASES MARCH VOTER REGISTRATION DATA, BEATING GOP BY 8 POINTS Fla Dems edge out Republicans in voter registrations last month [Palm Beach Post] "Florida Democrats are picking up steam heading into the general election, beating the GOP in lassoing new voters last month by 8 percent, according to data released by the Florida Democratic Party today."

--------------------------------


Cue the Cee-Lo: Dems release new web vid, 'Sh** Allen West says' [Miami Herald] "The Florida Democratic Party is portraying Plantation Congressman Allen West as crazy -- both in the words of talking heads and in the underlying music track, "Crazy," by Gnarls Barkley/Cee-Lo"

Florida Dems release 'Sh** Allen West Says' video after 'communist' remarks [The Hill] "The Florida Democratic Party released a video Friday titled "Sh** Allen West Says," in the style of the viral YouTube meme, slamming the Florida congressman for his controversial comments."

Dem video attacks Allen West remarks [Sun Sentinel] "The Florida Democratic Party released an attack video on Friday rounding up some of Allen West’s most controversial remarks to try to depict him as an unhinged right-wing radical."

What you might have missed on Allen West: Cold War Update - Alleged Congressional Communists [Colbert Nation]The Tea Party's Allen West spills secret hearsay about some Democratic Congress members.


ALSO BREAKING TODAY: FDP RELEASES MARCH VOTER REGISTRATION DATA, BEATING GOP BY 8 POINTS Fla Dems edge out Republicans in voter registrations last month [Palm Beach Post] "Florida Democrats are picking up steam heading into the general election, beating the GOP in lassoing new voters last month by 8 percent, according to data released by the Florida Democratic Party today."

Race before the race: Fla Dems claiming momentum in voter registration  [Orlando Sentinel] "The Florida Democratic Party today released their March voter registration data, claiming an 8-percentage point advantage over what Florida Republicans had done. A release from the Democrats called it a 'further sign that voters are fleeing the GOP.' It stated that Republican trailed Democrats in voter registration for the second consecutive month. Democrats continue to maintain an overall voter registration advantage of 4-percent."

POLITIFACT: CONNIE MACK IV AD "MOSTLY FALSE" Connie Mack says Bill Nelson voted to study monkeys on cocaine [Politifact] "Mack’s claim is pretty bananas…Even a critic who calls the project wasteful says you can't blame Nelson. We rate the statement Mostly False."

MEANWHILE…George LeMieux wins another U.S. Senate straw poll [Orlando Sentinel] "GOP U.S. Senate candidate George LeMieux won the East Manatee straw poll today with U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV, who’s lead in all the broad voter polls, finishing a distant third after not showing up…LeMieux also recently won two other straw polls, one of a Tea Party convention last month, and one of the Florida Federation of Republican Women earlier this winter."


OBAMA TALKS TRADE IN FLORIDA 

Obama keeps message on economy during Florida stop [CNN] "Touching down in the key campaign state of Florida for the second time this week, President Obama pledged to further promote trade with Latin America and unveiled a new federal program to aide small businesses exporting south of the border."

First Lady praises military families on Fla. Stop [AP] "Mrs. Obama visited Naval Air Station Jacksonville as part of the one-year anniversary of her "joining forces" program, which aims to help veterans and their families"

Happy 6th birthday, RomneyCare! Obama's campaign releases video[Miami Herald] “Lots of interesting quotes here. ‘This is a politicians dream... Romney's people built a stage on top of a stage....Massachusetts is a model for getting everyone insured....’”


OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Counties agree to sue over state Medicaid repayment law [Times/Herald] "The Florida Association of Counties said Thursday that it will sue the state over a new law that requires counties to pay $323.5 million in disputed Medicaid bills."

FAU students find budget cuts hit home [Sun Sentinel] "At Florida Atlantic University, nearly a third of classes in the normally bustling summer session have been canceled, after the school took a nearly $25 million hit. Florida International University is deferring some maintenance projects and delaying hiring while the University of Florida has asked its departments to cut about 5 percent from their budgets."

Scott gets it wrong [PNJ Editorial] "This week the governor vetoed a bill that passed, on a total vote of 152-4, through one of the more conservative legislatures in the country. Yes, it was a remarkably progressive bill to get through the Florida Legislature, but it just goes to show that you should never give up hope. Of course, governors like Scott seem to exist to squash hope."


David Bergstein
Deputy Communications Director 
Florida Democratic Party 
@DavidABergstein

--
Alison Berke Morano
(813) 766-9872
Out Innovate * Out Educate * Out Build
...................................................
facebook.com/alisonmorano
alitwitter.com

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April 2, 2012  FDP NEWS CLIPS


1. White House Community Partnership Summit

We're still receiving requests to attend Friday's Summit in Orlando - please use this link to register: Register here
*please do not advertise it on websites or email lists*

Friday, March 30th | Time: 9am - 5pm | Location: Disney Yacht and Beach Club Convention Center

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2. REMINDER: Florida College Democrats 2012 Convention this Weekend (3/30 - 4/1)


Special Dinner Event - Saturday Night

Inline image 1


March 30 - April 1
Florida State University
"A Celebration of Our Party's Future"
Full Schedule: http://fcd2012.com/


Updated Speakers List:

  • Senator Bill Nelson
  • DNC National Deputy Political Director Steve Walker
  • DNC Secretary Alice Germond
  • OFA Florida Youth Vote Director Stan Williams
  • OFA Florida State Field Director John Gilbert
  • FDP Vice Chair Alison Berke Morano
  • OFA Florida New Media Director Carey Jeremiason
  • Ruth's List Executive Director Ellis Robinson
  • Former FCD Membership Directors Erin Murphy & Kelly Kibbey
  • Equality Florida�s Public Policy Director Mallory Wells
  • OFA Florida Assistant Press Secretary Sabrina Caprioli
*There is a special dinner rate for College Dems ($20)*

We get a lot of inquiries about our outreach into the College Communities - the Florida College Democrats are extremely active - please come out and support them.

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3. FDP News Clips:


NEW Q POLL:�Obama has 7 point lead over Romney in Florida�[Quinnipiac]�


KEY TAKEAWAYS: President Obama + 7, Rick Scott underwater

  • Obama leads Romney by 7 points in Florida � 49 to 42 percent. If the election were held today, Obama would win the state.�
  • Women fueled the president's rise, backing "the President over Romney or Santorum by 6 to 19 percentage points in the three states"
  • Florida voters blame oil companies for the high gas prices, and oppose releasing oil from the strategic petroleum reserve.
  • This explains the RPOF ads two years out from an election:�Florida voters continue to disapprove, 52 - 36 percent, of the job Gov. Rick Scott is doing.
UNDERSTANDING THE OIL NUMBERS:�'Drill, baby, drill' isn't the answer�[Tampa Bay Times editorial]�"As Americans face sticker shock at the gas pump with prices near $4 per gallon and climbing, Republican presidential candidates see a political opportunity. On the campaign trail, they direct public anger at President Barack Obama by making absurd claims about his power to affect gas prices. Newt Gingrich promises gas at $2.50 per gallon if he wins the presidency. Mitt Romney blames the president for constraining domestic production. In truth, presidents have little control over the price of oil, where prices are set on a world market. Republicans who suggest that gas prices will come down if drilling is allowed in environmentally sensitive areas are looking out for only one constituency: the oil companies and their profits."

5 WORDS ON REDISTRICTING: WE'LL SEE YOU IN COURT

New Senate map approved [Times/Herald]�"'We�ll see you in court,' said Florida Democratic Party spokeswoman Brannon Jordan, in a one-sentence statement."�
Florida redistricting passes House, goes to court [AP]�"'We'll see you in court,' Florida Democratic Party spokeswoman Brannon Jordan said in a terse statement."
Legislature sends state Senate redistricting map to Florida Supreme Court [Orlando Sentinel] "But Democrats say the new map is still unconstitutional because it avoids pitting incumbents against each other. A state Democratic Party spokesman released a five-word statement: "We'll see you in court."
Court challenge coming [Florida Times Union] "Shortly after the vote, though, the Florida Democratic Party sent out a one-line sentence indicating the map battle is far from over.'We'll see you in court,' it read."�
Senate redistricting plan limps through House [Palm Beach Post] "Democrats said the measure still protects incumbents and includes a numbering scheme that may still be aimed at giving senators more time in office."
House approves map over Democratic, Hispanic objections [News Service of Florida] "The Florida Democratic Party's response was more succinct: "We'll see you in court," spokeswoman Brannon Jordan said in a statement issued moments after the vote."


RUBIO'S DREAM WITHOUT THE DREAM �

A Dream Act Without the Dream�[New York Times Editorial]�"Republican politicians have overwhelmingly embraced an approach to immigration reform that offers only misery, arrest and punishment to the undocumented. That is popular with party�s hard-right base, but toxic with Hispanic voters � which has led some Republicans to come up with proposals that seem to shimmer with promise but lead to the same no-future dead end.�Take Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, who has recently been floating his stripped-down version of the Dream Act�It�s the Dream Act without the dream and should be dismissed out of hand"�

Republicans Craft Watered-Down Version of DREAM Act [FoxNews Latino] "In general, the hostile stance of conservatives against undocumented immigrants has hurt the image of the Republican Party with the immigrant community and, in fact, the party has lost ground among Latino voters, according to several surveys."

RELATED:�Will Marco Rubio win Latino votes? Probably not�[The American Prospect]�"There�s a fair chance that Republicans will try to rehabilitate their brand by giving Rubio the vice-presidential nod, but even that relies on the assumption that Latinos value symbolic over substantive representation, and I�m not sure that�s the case. On the policies that matter to many Latinos, Rubio is just as right-wing as any other Republican�the only difference is his last name. What�s more, putting Rubio on the ticket smacks of pandering in a way that might be distasteful to Latino voters."

MEANWHILE:�Obama Campaign Makes Health Care Case To Hispanics [FLDemocracy 2012] "Last week, the focus was on women, who are key health care consumers and a crucial demographic for the president�s re-election bid. �This week, Obama�s campaign is drawing attention to how specific provisions of the heath care law benefit Hispanics, another group crucial to Obama�s reelection effort�especially in Florida."

SPOTLIGHT ON TWO FL TROUBLE MAKERS

GOP Running out of Gas on Solyndra [Politico] "And one of the main GOP investigators, Rep. Cliff Stearns, is mired in his own political mess after questioning the legitimacy of President Barack Obama's birth certificate and over allegations he tried to bribe another Florida Republican to get out of their August primary race."

Hoot hoot�Connie Mack's Hooters connection [Politico] "In the opposition's effort to portray Connie Mack as an 'unserious, risk-taking frat boy', what image is more indelible than Hooters?"

OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW�

School districts warned not to adopt prayer policies [Florida Independent] "The American Civil Liberties Union of Florida, along with other groups, sent letters to school boards this week, warning them not to adopt policies recently allowed by the state that the civil liberties groups says will surely land them in court."

GOP has ground to make up [FL Democracy 2012] "In terms of operations, the GOP has significant ground to make-up in Florida. Obama�s re-election campaign has already opened 18 field offices in the state and devoted significant resources and staff to organizing. 'President Obama�s campaign never left Florida, and OFA has been opening offices across the state � building the infrastructure and recruiting the supporters we need to win,' �Florida Democratic Party spokesperson David Bergstein said recently. "�

Florida lawmakers failed to confirm hundreds of Gov. Rick Scott's appointees [Miami Herald] �Senate President Mike Haridopolos calls it an oversight. Was it? Senators frittered away hours listening to long-winded termed-out members give farewell speeches, and speculation is rampant that it was done on purpose, to give Scott a deft way to revoke appointments he now regrets making.�


David Bergstein
Deputy Communications Director�
Florida Democratic Party�
@DavidABergstein

--
Alison Berke Morano
Vice Chair, FDP
(813) 766-9872
Out Innovate * Out Educate * Out Build
...................................................
facebook.com/alisonmorano
alitwitter.com____________________________________________________________________________

March 26, 2012  FDP NEWS CLIPS 

 

1. *Action Item* - 'Democracy at Stake' FB Page - Please LIKE

There is a movement to change the FL Supreme Court with the 2012 cycle. As you know, the FL Supreme Court has worked extremely hard to hear cases that address the constitutionality of several passed bills, and is now in the process of reviewing the redistricting process. Because it has not always gone the way of the legislature - they have been trying to change the structure of the court, as well as mount campaigns against the Justices up for retention this cycle. The FB page below was designed to keep everyone updated on the "Democracy at Stake" campaign to retain the Justices. Please 'LIKE" the page below to show support, and to keep updated on the latest news for your distribution networks. Thanks!

https://www.facebook.com/DemocracyAtStake


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2. "Obamacare" -

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Click here to add your name to the support list: http://www.barackobama.com/
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2. FDP News Clips:

2ND ROUND OF FAILED MAPS HIT THE HOUSE
FL Senate redistricting maps fail standards again [Bradenton Herald editorial] "Should the Supreme Court rule this version unconstitutional, justices themselves will take on the map-making task. These boundaries should be judged invalid over incumbent and party protection."

Why doesn’t Will Weatherford just blow up the Senate’s entire damn redistricting plan!?! [SaintPetersBlog] "Maybe it’s time for Weatherford to say, 'Look, Don, I was crossing my fingers when I first made that promise…'In fact, Gaetz should be pleading with Weatherford to blow up the Senate’s plan for him.  Few Senators think their plan is going to get past the Supreme Court during the second-go-around.  And if its not signed-off by the Supreme Court this time, the justices get to draw the maps.”

Discontent with the map [News-Service of Florida]"Of course, all the questions revolve around the Supreme Court's approval and the House being willing to go along with the Senate plan. Already, there are some signs of disquiet over the measure."

Get ready for the next round…Florida new congressional redistricting map likely to face court outcome [News-Press] "Florida’s new congressional redistricting map sits with the U.S. Department of Justice and in the courtroom of a state judge in Tallahassee, making it tough to predict what Florida’s 27 seats in the House of Representatives will look like."


BIDEN, BIDEN, BIDEN  Biden: Winning Florida Pivotal [FLDemocracy] "Vice President Joe Biden said he’s not planning on winning in November without Florida, a key battleground state in the presidential race"


In South Florida, Vice President Joe Biden attacks Republican playbook [Times/Herald] “He suggested that Republicans want to use the country's debt and financial crisis to dismantle Medicare and Social Security. The substance of his speech was a clear indication that Obama will run as much against Romney as he will against congressional Republicans who support Ryan's budget plan.”

Joe Biden Slaps GOP at South Florida Retirement Community [Sunshine State News] "Speaking at the blue-collar retirement community of Wynmoor Village in Coconut Creek, Biden hammered at the theme of 'economic security for America's seniors' and ripped into Republicans."

Joe Biden bashes ‘Etch-A-Sketch’ Mitt Romney, Republicans over Medicare and Social Security [Miami Herald] “Biden spent more time bashing the budget-cutting plans of U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., who’s not on the ballot nationally, than the likely Republican presidential nominee, Mitt Romney. ‘There is no daylight between Gov. Romney and Republican leaders on the most important issues facing this country,’ Biden said. ‘Not even Romney’s Etch-A-Sketch can change that.’”

Biden woos South Florida seniors with new attack on Republicans [Orlando Sentinel] “Vice President Joe Biden opened a new phase in President Barack Obama's reelection campaign here on Friday, warning seniors that in 2012 they face a stark choice between Democrats who want to protect Social Security and Medicare, and Republicans who supposedly would gut the programs to favor the rich.”


Rubio slammed on RESTORE Our Opinion: Forget Politics and Help the Gulf States [Tallahassee Democrat Editorial] "Consider this: Florida Sen. Marco Rubio voted no on the bill, the only senator from the five Gulf states to do so. His stated reason was that, with only about 80 percent of the money now going to the five states and other legislative compromises, it is 'no longer a Gulf Coast restoration bill.' With billions of dollars in the pot, that is ludicrous."


MUST READ EDITORIAL: Uphold the Affordable Care Act [Tampa Bay Times Editorial] "Congress has the power to bring order to a chaotic and inefficient health care system that constitutes 17 percent of the economy. It can require everyone to be medically insured so that the system is broadly funded by healthy and sick alike. The Supreme Court should follow legal precedent and uphold the Affordable Care Act."


ON THE CONGRESSIONAL FRONT: MORE ETHICS PROBLEMS FOR BUCHANAN, RIVERA SLAMMED ON DREAMS AND STARS, STEARNS ABSURDITY 

House Ethics Committee to take more time to review Buchanan allegations [McClatchy] "The House Ethics Committee said Friday that it will extend a probe of Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Longboat Key. It now has until May 9 to act on the matter, which is unrelated to a separate inquiry the committee is also conducting."

Ethics Committee announces new inquiry into Buchanan [Sarasota Herald]
Ethics committee opens second look into Republican Rep. Vern Buchanan [The Hill]
Ethics Committee extends investigation into Buchanan [Florida Independent]
Ethics Panel to Review Allegations Against Vern Buchanan [Roll Call]

Rivera slammed on DREAMS and STARS Rivera Stalls DREAM(s) to Replace with Smaller STARS [Politics 365] "Congressman Rivera hasn’t signed on as a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act, but he will readily whittle it down to impact fewer people. His recent policy maneuvers on the immigration matter place him at odds with the more than 90% of U.S. Latinos who favor the DREAM Act. Not lending support to a policy that the community favors isn’t a good way to drum up support from Latino voters heading into the election season."

Stearns must abandon absurd idea to sell off national parks [Orlando Sentinel guest column] "We need champions who recognize that nature is not ours to spoil. And we need forward-thinking legislators who recognize that our parks are part of our national legacy that not only belong to us, but to future generations as well. I urge Floridians to make their voices heard so that Cliff Stearns reconsiders his position" 


OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW

Lyin' Lenny: RPOF Chair's false statements exposed by Politifact, watch WTSP 10's video here [WTSP] "And President Obama has discussed the need to be energy independent though reduced consumption and renewable energy sources, but he has not promised $2.50 a gallon, so PolitiFact Florida rates Curry's statement: FALSE."

AS MY GRANDMOTHER WOULD SAY OH VEY GOP mistakenly hails early start to Jewish holiday [AP] "Fifteen minutes later the state Republican Party issued another statement - albeit quite brief - noting it had erroneously released the message early, claiming they were aware the Passover holiday doesn't begin until sundown April 6 - two weeks from now."

Justice Department says Florida fails 'burden of proof' on new voting law [Times/Herald] "The U.S. Department of Justice says Florida has not proved that its new voting law protects racial and ethnic minorities from discrimination in Hillsborough, Monroe and three other counties."

For some in tea party, honeymoon with Gov. Scott is over [Orlando Sentinel] " Everett Wilkinson and fellow tea-party leaders across Florida celebrated when Gov. Rick Scott took office, cheering when their hero killed a $2.8 billion high-speed-rail project, sought $4 billion in cuts in state spending and endorsed radical changes in public schools. But almost 15 months later, Wilkinson isn't quite as fervent a fan of what many had dubbed the "tea-party governor."



David Bergstein
Deputy Communications Director 
Florida Democratic Party 
@DavidABergstein

--
Alison Berke Morano
Vice Chair, FDP
(813) 766-9872
Out Innovate * Out Educate * Out Build
...................................................
facebook.com/alisonmorano
alitwitter.com



___________________________________________________________________________________
March 23, 2012  FDP NEWS CLIPS




REDISTRICTING: SEE YOU IN COURT — No Incumbents To Run Against Each Other Under New Map

New map worse than the old one [Times/Herald] "Democratic Party of Florida Chairman Rod Smith said the map will be show to violate the Fair Districts anti-gerrymandering amendments because it not only protects a political party but again protects incumbents. 'Throughout this process the GOP in the Senate have wasted thousands of tax dollars and shown a shocking disregard for Florida’s Constitution and the courts,’' Smith said in a statement. 'It has become abundantly clear that the GOP-controlled legislature lacks the leadership to draw maps that comply with Fair Districts. As expected, we now turn to the courts to enforce the people’s will.'”

A 2nd failure [AP] "Florida Democratic Chairman Rod Smith said the party will again 'turn to the courts to enforce the people's will.' Democrats and three nonpartisan groups that backed the Fair Districts standards challenged the original House and Senate maps during the first Supreme Court review."

Florida Senate approves redistricting map, challenges ahead [News-Service of Florida] "Democrats still slammed the map, saying it ignored the Supreme Court's 5-2 opinion striking down the first map and still appeared aimed at securing a GOP majority and shielding incumbents. That was particularly galling, Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich said, given that the court spelled out in the first ruling exactly how lawmakers should interpret the new standards…'It has become abundantly clear that the GOP-controlled Legislature lacks the leadership to draw maps that comply with Fair Districts,' Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith said."

Senate revamps redistricting map; critics say it remains flawed [Times/Herald] "The design of the Gardiner seat drew a sharp rebuke from Sen. Arthenia Joyner, who warned that “it includes the same appendage that our court held unconstitutional” and “grabs an incumbent’s residence for no apparent reason other than to draw that incumbent into a safe Republican seat.”

See you in court [Orlando Sentinel] "It didn’t take Florida Democratic Chair Rod Smith long to respond to Senate passage of new maps for the chamber’s 40 districts."

Senate redraws districts map [Tallahassee Democrat] "Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith, a former state senator from Alachua County, issued a statement saying the Republican-run Legislature wasted taxpayer money and disregarded the Florida Constitution throughout the redistricting process. He said he hopes the Supreme Court will reject the new plan."


MUST READ EDITORIAL GOP says, 'Vote Democratic' [Palm Beach Post Editorial] "If House Republicans were trying to hand their political foes the same budget club with which Democrats so effectively bashed the GOP last year, they have succeeded brilliantly. The 2013 budget blueprint by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., again details trillions in cuts in spending for low-income people, the elderly and students without specifically and equally spreading the pain to the wealthy."


ON THE ATTACK, FLORIDA DEMOCRATS STAY ON OFFENSE 

As Vice President Joe Biden's South Florida visit nears, Democrats attack GOP health-care plan [Palm Beach Post] "Ratcheting up the rhetoric on the eve of Vice President Joe Biden's visit to a South Florida senior community, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz today likened Republican Medicare proposals to 'a tornado through America's nursing homes.'"

Florida Democrats to GOP: Hands off Medicare [McClatchy] "The so-called Ryan budget is fresh off the presses, giving Democrats in Florida fresh ammunition when it comes to seniors and Medicare."

Joe Biden to bash Mitt Romney, GOP over Medicare, Social Security in Coconut Creek [Miami Herald] "The event is the second in a series of remarks that the Vice President will deliver in the coming weeks about the economy and the middle class that will frame the issues that will be at the core of the general election and the choice America will make in November about the future we want for this country."

Affordable Care Act already helping millions in Florida [Orlando Sentinel Guest Column by HHS Secretary Sebelius] "Today marks the two-year anniversary of the Affordable Care Act. Around the country, the law is already making a difference for millions of Americans. Here are five key ways it is helping Floridians get the care they need."

Caroline Kennedy campaigns for Obama in S Fla [Tampa Bay Times] "'Marking this week’s two year anniversary of the passage of the Affordable Care Act, Kennedy will remind Floridians of the President’s leadership on health care reform to protect Americans who work hard and pay their premiums so they will have the security that comes with good health care, and ensure we never return to when insurance companies could deny coverage or cancel a policy.'"

ON THE CONGRESSIONAL FRONT: DEMINGS ZINGS WEBSTER, MORE TROUBLE FOR BUCHANAN 

Val Demings zings Webster in “Webster has gone fishin’” video  [Orlando Sentinel] "U.S. congressional candidate Val Demings has rolled out a new Internet video zinging U.S. Rep. Daniel Webster, R-Winter Garden, for his uncomfortable town hall meeting last year and a recent CBS News report on a fundraising junket to Key Largo."

Rep. Vern Buchanan (R-FL) funding anti-gay lies with your tax dollars [DailyKos] "Congressman Vern Buchanan (R-FL) is wasting your tax dollars to distribute inaccurate and incorrect information to his district. Among the complaints of Planned Parenthood funding, a recent district mailer made this inaccurate claim"


OTHER NEWS WE THOUGHT YOU SHOULD KNOW 

Alex Sink sharp, passionate at Tiger Bay in St. Petersburg [Times/Herald] "Known for caution and always measuring her words on the campaign trail, Sink instead blasted the Legislature for slashing $300 million from the higher education system while creating 'an incredibly expensive and duplicative' 12th university. She called for far more focus on promoting existing Florida businesses than recruiting companies from out of state. She nearly choked up when talking about the killing of unarmed 17-year-old Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer in Sanford."

Scott should reject bill that punishes counties on Medicaid [Tampa Bay Times Editorial] "Gov. Rick Scott talks a lot about running a state that accounts for every tax dollar it spends. That same ethos should apply to how Florida treats its county governments and their taxpayers. Scott needs to reject the Legislature's unfair scheme to withhold counties' share of state revenue if they don't blindly pay disputed Medicaid bills. The governor should veto HB 5301 and tell lawmakers to try again."


David Bergstein
Deputy Communications Director 
Florida Democratic Party 
@DavidABergstein

--
Alison Berke Morano
Vice Chair,  FDP
(813) 766-9872
Out Innovate * Out Educate * Out Build
...................................................
facebook.com/alisonmorano
alitwitter.com
______________________________________________________________________________________________


February 17, 2012  FDP NEWS CLIPS

**
BREAKING** This morning the Florida Democratic Party filed a legal brief challenging the partisan, gerrymandered legislative redistricting maps passed by the GOP controlled legislature. FDP surrogates will also be on hand in the Orlando, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach media markets to give interviews  on the legal challenge and the problems with the GOP maps. Read more at the Miami Herald

And don't miss Rod Smith's redistricting Huffington Post piece: Deja Vu 2002 [Huffington Post] "Florida's Republican governor and GOP-led legislature are attempting to retain a stranglehold on state government and cement their control in Tallahassee for another decade. Déjà vu 2002. Just like in 2002, the GOP is ignoring the will of the people. Voters in 2010 overwhelmingly approved the Fair Districts amendments with 63 percent of the vote in a clear demand for a different process -- one free from incumbent protection and partisan advantage."

Speaking of incumbent protection…

Statement from Fla Dems on passage of legislative immunity bill [FlaDems] "With the GOP redistricting legal team in the front row, Republicans today rammed through perhaps the most outrageous and transparent abuse of legislative power in years, and that is no small feat in Florida. Today, with a looming redistricting legal fight on the horizon, Republicans sought to shield themselves from the courts and the people in what can only be called a cowardly move to conceal their own unconstitutional dealings from court review."

Another Power Play by Brazen Lawmakers [Tampa Bay Times editorial] "A suddenly appearing, proposed committee bill with no legislator's name attached to it. One quick committee hearing. A straight shot to the full House as the session nears its usual frantic end. This is another sneaky attempt by brazen lawmakers to bend the law to benefit themselves, and it is an affront to Floridians who demand fairly drawn legislative districts and open government."

Lawmakers vote to shield themselves from questions [Orlando Sentinel] “A House committee voted Thursday for a bill that would shield legislators and their staffs from ever being required to testify or produce public records when they get sued. The Republican-controlled Legislature's proposal to grant itself what's called 'absolute privilege' in any civil suit or legal proceeding emerged for the first time Wednesday, the sixth week of the nine-week lawmaking session and less than one week after the Florida Democratic Party filed a lawsuit challenging its redistricting maps."

Welcome home Sandy Adams [Orlando Sentinel] "Secondly, the potential of political consideration in drawing the seats could help a legal challenge to the new congressional maps filed by the Florida Democratic Party and one expected to be filed by Fair Districts groups, including the League of Women Voters, the National Council of La Raza and Common Cause."

FYI — the Florida Democratic Party will also be hosting a conference call with State Representative Alan Williams and Naturally Green Products CFO Amy Mandel to talk about success of President Obama's economic policies. Dial-In Number: (888) 527-0604, Conference ID # 54570079. 

LEGISLATURE 

Higher education: don't trash tenure and undercut reform [Orlando Sentinel editorial] "It's hard to see what benefit is to be gained by eliminating university and college faculty tenure, other than scoring political points. Yet some observers think the idea is still alive in the halls of the Florida Legislature, although no bills have been filed this session."

Senate panel OKs slashing hourly pay for servers, bartenders, others [Orlando Sentinel] “Restaurant servers, bartenders and other Florida workers who rely heavily on tips are expressing outrage about a plan moving through the Legislature that could slash their hourly wages.”

2012 RACES 

Romney draws heat from Fort Lauderdale Auto CEO and Republican [Tampa Bay Times] "Mike Jackson, chairman and CEO of Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation, is a registered Republican and plenty steamed by Mitt Romney's attacks on the auto bailout."


David Bergstein

Deputy Communications Director 
Florida Democratic Party 
@DavidABergstein

--
Alison Berke Morano
Vice Chair, FDP
(813) 766-9872
Out Innovate * Out Educate * Out Build

1. Week 5 is over. Press clips below:

**Including this: State Senate committee passes bill to reduce minimum wage for tipped workers; The state Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee passed a bill Thursday that would allow employers to pay tipped workers, waiters and waitresses, a lower minimum wage than what is currently authorized in Florida.**

2. Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida’s 46th Anniversary Annual Dinner Celebration
Keynote speaker: Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards

Honoring: noted journalist Robyn Blumner

Click HERE for tickets and further information.______________________________________________________________________________________________


3.  FDP NEWS CLIPS -- February 17

**
BREAKING** This morning the Florida Democratic Party filed a legal brief challenging the partisan, gerrymandered legislative redistricting maps passed by the GOP controlled legislature. FDP surrogates will also be on hand in the Orlando, Tampa, Ft. Lauderdale and Palm Beach media markets to give interviews  on the legal challenge and the problems with the GOP maps. Read more at the Miami Herald

And don't miss Rod Smith's redistricting Huffington Post piece: Deja Vu 2002 [Huffington Post] "Florida's Republican governor and GOP-led legislature are attempting to retain a stranglehold on state government and cement their control in Tallahassee for another decade. Déjà vu 2002. Just like in 2002, the GOP is ignoring the will of the people. Voters in 2010 overwhelmingly approved the Fair Districts amendments with 63 percent of the vote in a clear demand for a different process -- one free from incumbent protection and partisan advantage."

Speaking of incumbent protection…

Statement from Fla Dems on passage of legislative immunity bill [FlaDems] "With the GOP redistricting legal team in the front row, Republicans today rammed through perhaps the most outrageous and transparent abuse of legislative power in years, and that is no small feat in Florida. Today, with a looming redistricting legal fight on the horizon, Republicans sought to shield themselves from the courts and the people in what can only be called a cowardly move to conceal their own unconstitutional dealings from court review."

Another Power Play by Brazen Lawmakers [Tampa Bay Times editorial] "A suddenly appearing, proposed committee bill with no legislator's name attached to it. One quick committee hearing. A straight shot to the full House as the session nears its usual frantic end. This is another sneaky attempt by brazen lawmakers to bend the law to benefit themselves, and it is an affront to Floridians who demand fairly drawn legislative districts and open government."

Lawmakers vote to shield themselves from questions [Orlando Sentinel] “A House committee voted Thursday for a bill that would shield legislators and their staffs from ever being required to testify or produce public records when they get sued. The Republican-controlled Legislature's proposal to grant itself what's called 'absolute privilege' in any civil suit or legal proceeding emerged for the first time Wednesday, the sixth week of the nine-week lawmaking session and less than one week after the Florida Democratic Party filed a lawsuit challenging its redistricting maps."

Welcome home Sandy Adams [Orlando Sentinel] "Secondly, the potential of political consideration in drawing the seats could help a legal challenge to the new congressional maps filed by the Florida Democratic Party and one expected to be filed by Fair Districts groups, including the League of Women Voters, the National Council of La Raza and Common Cause."

FYI — the Florida Democratic Party will also be hosting a conference call with State Representative Alan Williams and Naturally Green Products CFO Amy Mandel to talk about success of President Obama's economic policies. Dial-In Number: (888) 527-0604, Conference ID # 54570079. 

LEGISLATURE 

Higher education: don't trash tenure and undercut reform [Orlando Sentinel editorial] "It's hard to see what benefit is to be gained by eliminating university and college faculty tenure, other than scoring political points. Yet some observers think the idea is still alive in the halls of the Florida Legislature, although no bills have been filed this session."

Senate panel OKs slashing hourly pay for servers, bartenders, others [Orlando Sentinel] “Restaurant servers, bartenders and other Florida workers who rely heavily on tips are expressing outrage about a plan moving through the Legislature that could slash their hourly wages.”

2012 RACES 

Romney draws heat from Fort Lauderdale Auto CEO and Republican [Tampa Bay Times] "Mike Jackson, chairman and CEO of Fort Lauderdale-based AutoNation, is a registered Republican and plenty steamed by Mitt Romney's attacks on the auto bailout."


David Bergstein

Deputy Communications Director 
Florida Democratic Party 
@DavidABergstein

--
Alison Berke Morano
Vice Chair, FDP
(813) 766-9872
Out Innovate * Out Educate * Out Build
____________________________________________________________________________________
FEBRUARY 7, 2012
BREAKING: The U.S. economy gained 243,000 jobs in January, far above expectations. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.3%
NYT: U.S. Jobless Rate Falls to a 3-Year Low, Report Shows: nyti.ms/A4KXBa /coincidentally, @barackobama has been in office..3 years


_________________________________________________________________

1. Voter Suppression Law:

**ACTION ITEM (Continues)**
- please continue to send letters/testimony about the Voter Suppression Bill.  We have another week to get in testimony.
Please address the letter to: Senate Judiciary Committee / Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights (send to: alison.morano@gmail.com)

Today - a judge in N. Florida will hear an appeal to STOP witness testimony in the federal court case that will decide the fate of the 5 counties under 'preclearance'.
Battle over depositions continues in elections law challenge:

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle has scheduled a hearing Friday on the depositions of the lawmakers and staff in the elections case. Along with the NAACP, other groups whose lawyers are involved in the case include the American Civil Liberties Union, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.
Also:

Florida College students rally against election changes
While the
presidents of Florida's colleges were telling state leaders what was on their minds, a slew of their students rallied in the state Capitol about changes to election laws.

___________________________________________________________________________________________


2. FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY NEWS CLIPS — FEBRUARY 3

It's Friday…go ahead, take a shot: 

BREAKING, NEW JOBS NUMBERS: U.S. Adds 243k jobs in January exceeding expectations of about 150,000 jobs - and the unemployment rate dipped to 8.3 percent from 8.5 percent in December

ICYMIDaily Show mocks Gov. Rick Scott's drug testing policy. Watch here

2012 RACES

Voter turnout numbers point to GOP enthusiasm gap [Gannett] "In Florida, where Romney grabbed a commanding 46 percent of the vote this week, overall turnout was down significantly from four years ago. A county-by-county look at the Florida numbers shows that turnout was up from four years ago in counties where rival Newt Gingrich did well and down in counties where Romney dominated, according to Michael McDonald, a professor at George Mason University who runs the United States Elections Project to track election data."

Pre-destroying Romney [The Atlantic] "Even as he finds increasing success in the Republican primary, negative views of Romney have skyrocketed, particularly among independents, according to recent polls. An ABC News/Washington Post survey released last week, for example, found Romney viewed unfavorably by 49 percent of voters and favorably by just 31 percent. Among independents, just 23 percent viewed Romney favorably, compared with 51 percent who felt that way about President Obama."

Gingrich challenging Florida delegate count [Boston Globe] "Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich, defeated in Florida by a wide margin, is challenging rules in the state that handed all 50 delegates to Mitt Romney."

Floridians have saved $142 million already because of Health Care Reform [SaintPeters Blog] "Over two hundred thousand Florida residents with Medicare saved $141,948,339 on their prescription drugs in 2011 thanks to the Affordable Care Act, according to data issued today by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). Savings for people with Medicare will increase over time. According to a new report issued today from HHS, the average person with Medicare will save nearly $4,200 by 2021 because of the new law.

18th District in Play [Sunshine State News] "'If anything, it brings another seat into play for Democrats. We feel confident about the new 18th District," said Steve Schale, a Democratic strategist. Celeste Bush, chairwoman of the St. Lucie County Democratic Party, is also bullish. 'Allen West is beatable. The Treasure Coast [which constitutes a large chunk of CD 18] is laid back. We don't cotton well to his right-wing extremist rhetoric,' Bush said."

LEGISLATURE

ALEC alive and well in Florida Legislature [Miami Herald] The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) is a right-leaning, pro-business think tank that prides itself on producing model legislation for Republican state legislators across the country. ALEC's aggressive efforts have spawned a liberal watchdog group, www.alexexposed.org, which claims ALEC is a front for powerful corporate interests that seek to control legislative agendas.

Florida prison bill a big win for political contributors [Huffington Post] "The action by Florida’s legislature comes after years of sustained lobbying by corporations that operate private prisons, an industry that has been expanding aggressively by offering itself as a solution to state budget shortages. The industry has contributed more than $1.4 million to Florida's Republican Party in recent years and has spent millions lobbying key lawmakers in that state."

From the editorial pages: 

Opponents of prison privatization should hold firm [Tampa Bay Times, Editorial] "Any idea too controversial to withstand the scrutiny of the full legislative process — particularly one that transfers public responsibility to for-profit businesses for questionable savings — is not one worth passing. Fasano's well-grounded opposition cost him his chairmanship but enhanced his reputation as a populist willing to stand up to leadership. Now Latvala, Dockery and their allies should remain firm."

Be wary of prison privatization scheme [Tribune, Editorial] "The bullying, rule-breaking attempt by the state Senate leadership to ramrod it through without regard for opponents' reasonable questions smells to high heaven."

Blame Tallahassee first for school cuts [Orlando Sentinel, Editorial] "State Rep. Jason Brodeur, elected to represent a swath of Seminole County. He introduced an amendment to the House's latest budget to bar the School Board from closing any more schools. This is the same lawmaker who voted last year to cut school funding by $1.3 billion. Who signed a no-tax pledge which, of course, creates more pressure for cuts in areas like education. And who declared on his campaign website, "The best decisions are made closest to the people and should be handled that way."



David Bergstein
Deputy Communications Director 
Florida Democratic Party 


--

Alison Berke Morano
Vice Chair, FDP
(813) 766-9872
Out Innovate * Out Educate * Out Build
...................................................
facebook.com/alisonmorano
alitwitter.com



JANUARY 30, 2012 
To the Legislative List:
1. Our Voice. Our Vote. Recap from Friday - AND VOTER SUPPRESSION LAW ACTION ALERT:

THANK YOU again to everyone who joined us on a rainy, Friday morning. We had a great turnout - large crowds outside, overflow seating inside, and awesome press coverage. Below are a few highlights from today's clips - there's more below.

BUT - We're NOT DONE. On Friday, Senator Durbin announced that the Senate Judiciary Committee will be accepting further written testimony and letters of testimony for 2 MORE WEEKS.

PLEASE take a moment and write a letter of opposition to the Voter Suppression Law - and email to me ASAP. Thank you!! - Alison.Morano@gmail.com


You can address the letter to:
Senate Judiciary Committee / Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights and Human Rights



Also see rally video from Tampa's NBC, CBS and a roundup of the hearing from the Tampa Bay Times  and Palm Beach Post ("Hundreds protest Florida election law change")

_______________________________________________________________________________

2. Obama for America - Florida Opens 2 New Offices While Republicans Fight:

If you've been watching the Primary/Caucus results from the first 3 states - you've seen that while the Republicans bash each other, the Obama Campaign continues to grow in every state. And, Florida is growing faster than all of them. Below are some clips from the OFA-Florida "Weekend of Action":
 


10 News, 11pm




Early Morning News 4am



WESH 2 News at 6pm Weekend

___________________________________________________________________________________


3.
FLORIDA DEMOCRATIC PARTY NEWS CLIPS — JANUARY 29, 2012 

PARTY NEWS 

**DRIVING THE DAY** Romney wallet is winning — not the candidate [Talking Points Memo] "'After failing to gain traction with Republican voters in South Carolina, anemic frontrunner Mitt Romney has turned to a scorched-earth spending approach in a desperate move to secure a victory,' Florida Democratic Party spokesperson Brannon Jordan told me in an email. 'Romney is clearly pulling from Governor Rick Scott’s playbook, depending on campaign slogans and dodging the press to avoid talking about his own record of Medicare fraud and killing jobs. Romney may survive on Tuesday, but his negative campaigning and pandering to the far-right have taken a toll on his appeal with the independent-minded voters who decide elections in Florida.'”


Also see rally video from Tampa's NBC, CBS and a roundup of the hearing from the Tampa Bay Times  and Palm Beach Post ("Hundreds protest Florida election law change")

Chairman Rod Smith on MSNBC's Politics Nation [MSNBC] Do Republicans Trust Mitt Romney?

Don't expect Rubio to save the day for Republicans [USA Today] "Brannon Jordan with the Florida Democratic Party said it's Rubio and other Republicans who have hurt the economic recovery by being obstructionists. 'Rubio offers more rhetoric than reality when it comes to addressing the concerns of Florida's families," Jordan said. 'Since taking office he's failed to accomplish nothing other than playing politics and blocking the president's agenda at every turn. That's more of the same failed leadership that has brought the approval rating of Congress to an all-time low.'"

2012 RACES

Newt outspent by nearly 12 million on Florida airwaves [Politico] "Newt Gingrich has been outspent on the Florida airwaves by a nearly $12 million margin, according to a source monitoring the Sunshine State ad war."

Connie Mack: the Newt Gingrich Stalker [Politico] "'I’ve never seen anything like it. He’s stalking Newt Gingrich and heckling him at events. That’s not something you see from a sitting congressman. I think it’s odd and erratic,' said LeMieux, who has not endorsed a presidential candidate. “For somebody who doesn’t spend a lot of time in Florida to begin with and then parachutes in … I think that’s strange behavior.'"

Keith Fitzgerald on the attack on Medicare [The New York Times] "In the 13th District of Florida, which includes Sarasota, Keith Fitzgerald, a Democrat, said Medicare would be 'a major theme' of his campaign against Representative Vern Buchanan, a three-term Republican. The 2010 census found that this district had a larger proportion of residents 65 and older than any other district in the country. 'People here, including many rock-ribbed Republicans, get Medicare,' Mr. Fitzgerald said. 'They understand Medicare. They see the benefit. For them, it’s tangible, it’s real, it works.' By voting for the Republican budget plan, Mr. Fitzgerald said, Mr. Buchanan was 'marching in lockstep with his party' and against the interests of constituents.

President Obama in strong shape with Latinos [Politico] "Over the past few months, the Obama administration has rolled out a series of executive actions that often garner little attention from the English-language press but get huge coverage in the Spanish-language media and other outlets favored by Hispanics."

Jeb Bush's silence is deafening [The New York Times]

Freddie Mack attack boomerangs on Connie's Mack [Miami Herald] "Rep. Connie Mack has been criticizing Newt Gingrich’s ties to Freddie Mac, but the congressman is less willing to talk about his own profits from a government-sponsored mortgage enterprise."
GOVERNOR AND LEGISLATURE

U.S. Senate field hearing in Tampa exposes flaws in Florida's new voting law [WMNF] "Florida’s new voting law has received criticism from groups across the country who think it makes voting harder for minorities and people with low incomes." 

Advocacy groups say Bondi going too soft on Big Banks [Miami Herald] "'Ms. Bondi’s attitude demonstrates how out of touch she and the rest of Tallahassee is with everyday people,” said Trenise Bryant, a resident of Miami and leader of the Miami Workers Center, via a news release.  'We need a settlement that repairs the harm that was done to homeowners in our community, not one that lets banks off the hook.'"

Not clear that privatizing prisons would save money [Orlando Sentinel, Deslatte Capitol View] "Lawmakers say they want to design a grand experiment between profit-driven prisons and those solely tasked with maintaining public safety. But if it isn't a fair competition, what have you proved?"

Rush to prison privatization a danger to Florida [The Ledger Op-Ed Column by State Sen. Dockery] "With so much at stake, including the jobs of 3,800 corrections employees and the public safety of 18 million Floridians, the rush to privatize prisons is not only an affront to the process, but a danger to our citizens."


David Bergstein
Deputy Communications Director 

Florida Democratic Party 
--
Alison Berke Morano
Vice Chair, FDP
(813) 766-9872
Out Innovate * Out Educate * Out Build
...................................................
facebook.com/alisonmorano

alitwitter.com