Sep 28 2011

Stearns in middle of Planned Parenthood fight

Ocala Republican Congressman Cliff Stearns this month launched an investigation that seeks detailed financial information from Planned Parenthood.

At least in part, Stearns, the chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Oversight subcommittee, is probing whether any federal funds paid for abortions.

But Stearns’ investigation is drawing heavy criticism from Democratic House members, with two leaders saying there is “no predicate that would justify this sweeping and invasive request to Planned Parenthood.” Here is a link to a story in The Hill.

The News Service of Florida

Sep 27 2011

Does Michele Bachmann’s ‘Path to Victory’ include Florida? Kinda

The presidential campaign of U.S. Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., has put off a video detailing her “path to victory” — a path that currently only includes Florida in passing. According to the campaign:

[Campaign manager and narrator Keith] Nahigian pinpoints Bachmann’s leadership and unwavering conservative principles as the reasons she is the only candidate in the GOP field that can defeat President Obama in 2012, and lays out Team Bachmann’s plan to target the key caucus states of Iowa, South Carolina, New Hampshire and Florida.

But the video makes only passing reference to Florida, if even that — it basically nods to Florida with a picture of the state. (Around the 3:40 mark in the video, give or take a few seconds.)

Of course, as Nahigian points out in the video, Iowa is seen as crucial to Bachmann’s chances of winning the GOP presidential nomination. Shining a spotlight on Florida wouldn’t do Bachmann much good if she never gets there. Bachmann drew just 1.5 percent in the Presidency 5 straw poll held in Orlando over the weekend.

The News Service of Florida

Sep 27 2011

Afternoon political roundup: Buchanan not running, Cardenas on Cain

Political read

From ABC, a strangely amateurish (from a production standpoint, for a big network) clip of what former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Al Cardenas thinks about the straw poll:

Broward County Republicans have blocked a Muslim activist from becoming a member of the party’s executive committee. The Miami Herald has a story


U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan will take a pass on the Senate race.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate George LeMieux on Tuesday announced the support of three more Republican state lawmakers, Sens. Nancy Detert and Paula Dockery, and Rep. Clay Ford.


From Politico’s Playbook

SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-Fla.) is circulating a 20-page proposal (that he wrote himself, with research help) for a memoir that likely would come out in late 2012 or early 2013. About a dozen publisher are interested: Some came to Rubio and some came straight to superlawyer Robert Barnett, just ASSUMING (correctly) that he represented Rubio. Part of the author’s proceeds will go to Florida charities. A decision about a collaborator will depend on the deadline.


Also from Playbook

James Davis writes friends and family: “I am leaving the Brunswick Group … to accept the Communications Director job at the 2012 Republican National Convention. This is an exciting journey for my amazingly supportive wife, Patricia, our two daughters — Isabella, age 7, and Paloma, 13 months — and me. We’ll be leaving for Tampa on October 8th and I’ll start the new job on Oct 10th.”


Legislative race news


From northeast Florida, a feel-good, bi-partisan, story: Democratic Rep. Mia Jones and Republican Rep. Mike Weinstein are holding a joint fundraiser.


The News Service of Florida

Sep 23 2011

Rick Scott jokingly jabs back at Rick Perry, tells CPAC FL not to let him blink

Gov. Rick Scott’s remarks to Conservative Political Action Conference Florida largely followed his well-worn lines from his governorship of the Sunshine State: Getting rid of regulations, drug-testing welfare recipients, job creation. On the latter, he took a joking shot back at Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

“We are clearly competing with Governor Perry in Texas, and we’re going to win,” Scott said.

That was a clear reference to Perry’s line during the Republican presidential debate Thursday, when Perry noted Texas’ place as No. 1 in job creation in some surveys.

“We plan on keeping it that way, Rick,” Perry said, looking at Scott.

On Friday, Scott was before many of the supporters who have continued to give him back despite negative numbers overall. Scott’s disapproval rating was at 50 percent in the latest Quinnipiac University poll, but his popularity among very conservative voters has remained in place. Scott got a rousing reception at CPAC FL. And he encouraged audience members to hold him accountable to his campaign promises, which followed the tea-party line closely.

“If I blink, you should complain loudly,” Scott said.

The News Service of Florida

Sep 23 2011

Up today in Fla politics

The Republican State Executive Committee is set to meet during the party’s Presidency 5 event to select a successor to late Party Chairman David Bitner, who died earlier this month. Vice Chairman Lenny Curry is expected to be named as his replacement. The meeting is in Orlando, where party activists are anyway for the RPOF’s Presidency 5 event.

The committee that is expected to decide when Florida will hold its presidential preference primary meets for the first time today. The committee has to look at national party rules aimed at giving certain states preference in the primary calendar. The panelists are: Sen. John Thrasher of St. Augustine and Sen. Rene Garcia of Hialeah, both Republicans, and Democratic Sen. Gary Siplin of Orlando; Republican Reps. Carlos Lopez-Cantera of Miami, and Seth McKeel of Lakeland and Democratic Rep. Cynthia Stafford of Miami; former Gov. Bob Martinez, a Republican; Jenn Ungru, deputy chief of staff to Gov. Rick Scott; and former state Sen. Al Lawson, a Democrat from Tallahassee. The non-voting chairman of the committee is Secretary of State Kurt Browning.

The Ameican Conservative Union’s Conservative Political Action Conference holds CPAC Florida, in Orlando today. Ten GOP presidential contenders, Gov. Rick Scott and conservative author Ann Coulter are among the speakers. The group will also hold a straw poll on the state’s U.S. Senate Republican primary and several panel discussions.


As part of the CPAC-Florida event there’s a panel discussion on a balanced budget amendment. Panelists are Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, Colin Hanna of Let Freedom Ring, Dick Armey of FreedomWorks, and Grover Norquist of Americans for Tax Reform. That’s at noon at the Orange County Convention Center.

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The News Service of Florida

Sep 22 2011

Q Poll: Perry has small lead in Fla

Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry has a small lead over the Republican presidential field in Florida with 28 percent, followed by former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney with 22 percent, a new Quinnipiac University poll shows. Perry tops Romney 31 – 22 percent if Sarah Palin doesn’t run and leads Romney 46 – 38 percent in a two- man race.

There’s more here:

The News Service of Florida

Sep 22 2011

Rubio hires new press secretary

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has hired Alex Conant as press secretary, a job he most recently held for ex-Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty’s presidential campaign, Roll Call reports this morning.

The News Service of Florida

Sep 22 2011

Floridians watch for social security, immigration issues in debate

Several political observers note this morning that as GOP presidenital candidates prepare to debate tonight in Orlando, the focus for many voters in Florida is on social security. Mitt Romney was in the state yesterday and hit Rick Perry hard on the issue, reminding voters again and again in this key voting bloc – elderly people – that Perry thinks social security is a Ponzi scheme. Perry has responded by saying Romney sounds like a Democrat. But Florida voters – particularly many in South Florida – are also watching the immigration issue play out in the presidential contest. Romney is expected to attack Perry on that issue tonight, too. Another thing Floridians are listening for: Medicare. Again, the huge population of seniors in the state, is very, very attune to mentions of changes to Medicare.



The News Service of Florida

Sep 21 2011

Scott brushes off pay raise question

Gov. Rick Scott dodged a question about pay raises for state employees Wednesday while speaking with reporters after a clemency board meeting. But Scott did seem to acknowledge that the idea, first reported in the Orlando Sentinel and South Florida Sun-Sentinel, has been discussed in his office. “I think what they’re talking about is something that was put out back in June about what my legislative agenda is,” Scott said without confirming or denying that he supported the idea. “I’ll come out with my legislative agenda after P5 this week.” The Presidency 5 straw poll and conservative gathering wraps up Saturday evening.

For complete coverage of the Legislature and Florida’s executive branch, go to

The News Service of Florida

Sep 21 2011

Mid-week politcal roundup

What others are writing on Florida politics

Times: Obama may lose indies who helped put him in White House

Carole Jean Jordan is backing Adam Hasner in the Senate race: Sun-Sentinel

For legislative watchers, the Sun-Sentinel-Orlando Sentinel has a good story today about the developing legislative agenda of Gov. Rick Scott (by News Service of Florida alum Kathleen Haughney.

The Orlando Sentinel also has information on plans for gambling expansion.

A judge in Jacksonville has denied a motion to add U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan to an FEC lawsuit

Read More

The News Service of Florida