Miami's Questionable Diaz de La Portilla Dynasty Ready For Another Chapter

Categories: Politicks

Photo by L. Kyle Rojas
The photo is reminiscent of a poster for The Sopranos. Three men dressed in natty suits with slicked-back hair saunter down a dimly lit, brick-paved alley. They leave little room to pass. It seems like they are intentionally blocking someone's path. The pretty boy on the left scrunches his face as if to say, "You talking to us?" The tough guy in the middle buries his hands in his pockets as if hiding a Beretta. And the handsome little one struggles to catch up.

This triumvirate forms the heart of Cuban Miami's second most prominent family after the Diaz-Balarts, who have long dominated South Florida's voice in Congress. Miguel, Alex, and Renier Diaz de la Portilla have played powerful roles from Tallahassee to county hall for more than two decades.

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Florida's First Openly Gay Rep Won Reelection Because His Opponent's Check Bounced

Categories: Politicks

photo by Stian Roenning
Florida's first openly gay legislator will return to Tallahassee next year... because his GOP opponent's filing fee check bounced. So much for Republican fiscal responsibility.

David Richardson, who represents a district that includes parts of Miami Beach and the City of Miami, was elected to the house in 2012 as Florida's fist openly gay legislator after defeating his primary opponents and running unopposed in the general election. This year a Republican, Laure Levey, also a former Miami Beach mayoral candidate, decided to throw her hat into the general election ring but apparently did not have her finances in order.

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Florida GOP's Refusal To Expand Medicaid Has Cost 63,000 Local Jobs, White House Says

Categories: Politicks

Even Rick Scott thinks the Florida GOP messed this one up.
How dumb is the continued refusal of Florida's GOP-dominated legislature to accept the federally funded Medicaid expansion? So dumb that even Gov. Rick Scott -- who essentially ran on an anti-Obamacare platform -- reversed course last year and admitted, yeah, a state full of uninsured poor folks probably should let the feds help out with the doctors' bills.

Scott's reversal on the issue wasn't enough to convince Tallahassee, though, and this morning comes a new estimate from the White House on another cost of their refusal to expand Medicaid coverage: 63,000 new Florida jobs.

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Who Is Progressive Choice? The Mysterious Group Race-Baiting Charlie Crist

Categories: Politicks

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Just days after launching a radio ad in the Orlando market blaming Charlie Crist for "for a lost generation of African-Americans," the mysterious political group Progressive Voice is back with a new ad running in North Florida that calls one of Crist's marquee political efforts as a Republican state legislator "reminiscent of slavery."

The thing is no one has any idea who is behind this group.

See also: The Ads in Charlie Crist-Rick Scott Race Are Getting Ugly

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The Ads in Charlie Crist-Rick Scott Race Are Getting Ugly

Categories: Politicks

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We're still five months away from when Florida elects a new governor, but the latest round of advertisements in the race have gotten ugly.

Florida Republicans are urging television stations not to air a new ad from Democrats highlighting the legal problems of Scott's former companies.

Meanwhile, a racially tinged new ad is running in Central Florida paid for by little known PAC that claims Crist is responsible "for a lost generation of African-Americans."

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Rick Scott's New Spanish Radio Ad: "He Cuts Taxes 40 Times... GOOOOOOOALL!"

Categories: Politicks

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Rick Scott, a man who ran the first time around on a later abandoned platform of bringing Arizona-style immigration laws to Florida, is now desperate to get the Hispanic vote in November. Someone at Scott reelection HQ noticed that Hispanics tend to like soccer, and with this whole World Cup thing going on, his Let's Get to Work committee decided to release a soccer-themed, Spanish-language radio ad chock full of clich├ęs.

We're not going to say it's aggressively dumb and pandering even for a political ad. We'll just let you listen for yourself.

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David Rivera May Just Drop Congressional Bid and Run For State House

Categories: Politicks

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Earlier this month, disgraced ex-Congressman David Rivera got whacked by a state judge who found "corrupt intent" in the way he'd double-billed his campaign and fudged his spending records. His surprise bid to win the Republican primary for his old seat, meanwhile, has been stalled in the water with virtually no reported fundraising and $128,000 in loan debts.

So it wouldn't be the biggest surprise to see Rivera dropping out of the race. What would be a shock, though, would be Rivera pivoting to run for the state House instead, which is just what one report claims this morning that he's doing.

See also: David Rivera, Disgraced Rep Under Federal Investigation, Is Running For Congress

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Darrin P. Gayles Becomes First Openly Gay Black Federal Judge

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The United States now has its first openly gay black federal judge, and he's from South Florida. Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Darrin P. Gayles' nomination to serve on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida was approved by the Senate today in a 97-0 vote.

Gayles was nominated by President Obama after another openly gay black local judges's nomination was singlehandedly held up by Marco Rubio, who had ironically recommended him the first place.

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Rick Scott's Personal Wealth Has Soared While in Office

Categories: Politicks

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One of the hazards of having a governor who financed his way into office with his own immense fortune is that he probably has money stashed in all kinds of places that conflict with his political decisions. That certainly applies to our own magnate-turned-leader.

New disclosures this morning show that Scott's wealth has ballooned by more than 50 percent while in office in part because he and his wife sold a chain of clinics doing the same kind of drug testing he wanted to implement for state workers and welfare recipients. News of his growing fortune comes as Scott is fending off new attacks for another investment, in an oil company drilling close to protected Everglades territory. Being rich is hard!

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Rick Scott Signs "Charlotte's Web" Medical Marijuana Bill

Categories: Politicks

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Photo via PabloEvans' Flickr | CC2.0
Florida now officially recognizes marijuana as a substance with medical benefits -- well, at least in some very narrow cases.

As expected, Gov. Rick Scott signed the "Charlotte's Web" bill into law today. The bill allows certain strains of noneuphoric marijuana tincture to be used to treat a very short list of maladies, including childhood epilepsy.

"As a father and grandfather, you never want to see kids suffer," the governor said in a statement. "The approval of Charlotte's Web will ensure that children in Florida who suffer from seizures and other debilitating illnesses will have the medication needed to improve their quality of life."

Of course, cynics might point out that Scott's signing of the bill may have just as much to do with his opposition to a wider medical marijuana policy in Florida as it does children.

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