Frank Torres, Orlando Freelance Reporter

Posts Tagged ‘Rick Scott’

Rubio pushes Immigration deal on every Sunday Morning Talker, Scott signs Internet Cafe Ban, Orange Commission greenlights Universal Bridge – WIR

In Uncategorized on April 14, 2013 at 11:04 pm

It’s your Week in Review and the big news was Florida Senator Marco Rubio‘s media blitz this morning on all of the Sunday talk Shows. He was on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week, State of the Union, Fox News Sunday, and Al Punto.

His main message was aimed at fellow Conservatives. That message? This is not amenesty and will be the toughest immigration laws we’ve seen.

He also talked gun control and plans for 2016. An effective slew of appearances for Rubio, who many believe is the future of the party.

We’ve also got Rick Scott and Tim Tebow and the Orange County Commission gives Universal Studios their pedestrian bridge.

This is your Week in Review

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres. This is your Week in Review. Now normally, we start from the beginning of the week and move forward to Sunday but this week we’re doing it in reverse. That is because the big new took place this morning. I’m talking about Florida Senator Marco Rubio making his big immigration media blitz, hitting every Sunday morning talker discussing the agreement on sweeping immigration reform from the bi-partisan “Gang of Eight”. Rubio appeared on Meet the Press, Face the Nation, This Week, State of the Union,…Am I missing any? Fox News Sunday and Al Punto on Univision. Rubio’s big message was that this was not amnesty. This talking point was to try to calm some of the more Conservative opinion leaders that any path to citizenship that did not require the undocument or illegal immigrant to return to his country was amnesty.

Immigration wasn’t the only issue Rubio discussed. He was asked several times about Gun Control and the push behind the legislature for mandatory background checks. This was complicated, several of the moderators stretched back to Rubio’s time in the Florida House when he supported background checks. Rubio had to differentiate the two circumstances before moving on. He stressed that Violence was the problem, not the procedure so many Americans go through to purchase firearms.

He was also asked several times about 2016. Rubio deflected by saying that he was in Washinton to solve problems and that’s where his head was. This was similar to what he did last year when he was getting the same kind of questions.

All in all a good round of appearances for the junior Senator from Florida. Not as strong as former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who did the same a few weeks back but, Rubio was talking about gun control and specific immigration points. Bush was promoting a book and the only obstacle he had was his changing mindsets on the path to citizenship.

One problem Rubio had was the lighting at his location. His people need to learn how to handle the lighting. It looked at times like Rubio was melting and was about 3 shades redder than he had to be. He literally was in the hot seat. For a second, I thought we were going to get a repeat of the State of the Union Republican response.

We move on to Florida Governor Rick Scott. Scott quietly signed the bill banning internet cafes this week. Those are illegal, although some are being defiant and staying open until being asked to close. This could have been a bright photo op for the Governor. He could has sent a message by saying he wasn’t going to tolerate companies like this one stealing millions from veterans. He could have had the department of law enforcement, maybe AG Pam Bondi, but instead he chose to sign the bill without any cameras present. This could be because of the connections of former Florida Lieutenant Governor Jeniffer Carroll had with one of the companies that forced her to resign.

Also earlier this week. The Orange County Commission approved the Universal Studios pedestrian bridge that would link the park to one of it’s resorts. This bridge will be payed for entirely with tax payer dollars. The “Yes” votes were Scott Boyd, Fred Brummer, Tiffany Moore-Russell, and Jennifer Thompson. All of those commissioners except Thompson are termed out. The “No’s” were Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Ted Edwards, and Pete Clarke. Those commissioners questioned why they couldn’t split the tab of 9 million dollars with the park that will seen increased profits. Advocates for the bridge will argue that, the more successful the park is, the stronger the profits will be for the surrounding smaller businesses.

Finally, we return to Governor Scott. Scott appeared with Tim Tebow this weekend. It benefits Scott greatly to stand next to a guy like Tebow. As popular as Tebow is, that’s how unpopular Rick Scott is. It certainly doesn’t hurt. Right now Scott at odds with the legislature, this delay additional dents his reputation might have to endure.

That’s your Week in Review, I’ll see you next time.

Orange Commission greenlights Universal Bridge, Scott to signs cafe ban quietly, and Rubio and Gang of 8 to announce immigration deal soon

In Uncategorized on April 9, 2013 at 11:59 pm

Big day involving the Theme Parks and local politics. The Orange County Commission greenlit the tax dollars to build the Universal Pedestrian Bridge that would connect the resorts to it’s park. The vote went 4-3 in favor of the 9 million dollar project.

Today, it was announced that Florida Governor Rick Scott will not have any public signing of the internet cafe ban bill. This is due to the connections between an investigation that found one of the cafes allegedly funneling non-profit dollars into for profit companies which resulted in almost 60 arrests. Former Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll resigned because of ties her old PR firm had with the company.

Finally, it was also announced that the “Gang of 8” Senators would announce a deal on immigration next week. The bi-partisan panel including Florida Senator Marco Rubio have been working on a solution for one of the year’s biggest issues on the hill.

This is your daily wrap up

Transcript of Video:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres and this is your daily wrap for Tuesday, April 9th 2013. The big news today was the Orange County Commission approving the pedestrian bridge that would connect the Universal Studios park to the resort. 5 million dollars on the bridge 9 million dollars on the entire package. The vote passed 4 to 3, your “Yes” votes were Commissioner Thompson, Scott Boyd, Tiffany Moore-Russell, and Fred Brummer, those were the votes in favor of the Tax Payers picking up the tab for this bridge for the park. Your “no” votes were Mayor Teresa Jacobs and commissioners Ted Edwards and Pete Clarke. We’re always looking at elections here and the political equity involved and those 4 commissioners with the exception of Jennifer Thompson are termed out. Moore-Russell, Scott Boyd, and Fred Brummer are termed out. Very little to be gained from opposing Universal on this. Jennifer Thompson, we spoke about her new opponent yesterday in Sean Ashby. She’ll be on the ballot next year. Still, very little involved when you add up the reasons to oppose it. Mayor Teresa Jacobs, Ted Edwards and Pete Clarke questioned why the taxpayers should have to pick up the entire tab but, the vote passed and the vote will be passed entirely with taxpayer money. Wow! What a victory for Universal, whoever worked out this bill really did well. This bridge will increase the overall satisfaction of their guests and increase the chances for repeat business. Which have had a big couple of years with the Harry Potter expansion and other attractions. They’ve done really well in the region over the last few years and when they do well. The revenue trickles down to the smaller businesses.

Other news, it was announced that Governor Rick Scott would not have a big public signing of the bill that would ban internet cafes. It was a curious move over why they wouldn’t want to make a signing out of this, it would have been a great photo op for him and State Attorney General Pam Bondi and sent the message that they weren’t going to put up with it. Most recently the group Allied Veterans of the World which allegedly was caught stealing millions. Reasons almost definitely relating to Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll who’s old PR company did business with Allied. It was recently revealed over the weekend that she didn’t volunteer to resign. She was asked to. So, a complicated situation for the Governor. I think the Publicity would have done him well. A public signing would have sent a message that Florida will not put up with this kind of operation. But, there are positives and negatives to both choices.

Finally, late this afternoon Politico broke the news that the Bi-Partisan Gang of 8 will announce a deal at the beginning of next week for sweeping immigration reform. Of Course Florida Senator Marco Rubio has been strongly featured in this group of lawmakers from both sides including John McCain, Chuck Schumer, and Lindsey Graham. It also means that the deal might include tougher rules on worker visas and border security. We’ll see.

Another big day in Florida Politics and we’ll keep rolling along. I’m Frank Torres and I’ll see you next time.

Bill Nelson supports Gay Marriage, Jennifer Carroll was asked to resign, Parent Trigger and Anti-OC Sick Time Bill Advance

In Uncategorized on April 5, 2013 at 12:24 am

So much for that break.

It was a big day with Florida Senator Bill Nelson formally endorsing Gay Marriage. Nelson has been quiet on the issue that has been debated in Washington over the last couple of weeks and has dominated social media and was getting pushed by activists to support the initiative. He made it official today.

In what would normally be a top story discovery, former Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll gave her first television interview today where she says she was asked to resign after her connections to the racketeering investigation behind Allied Veterans of the world that lead to dozens of arrests. You would tend to believe that the relationship between those two would have been closer. NOTE: the footage of the interview is awful but the sound is good. You can watch the original footage at the Local 6 website here.

All of this and the internet cafes that led to the Carroll resignation will be illegal as the bill set forth by the legislator goes to Rick Scott for signature. We’ve also got parent trigger and anti- Orange County sick time measures moving forward in the legislature.

Busy day, and we’ve still got Friday.

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres. This is your daily wrap up and a big day in Florida Politics. A lot of these developments happening later in the day or really close to close of business on this Thursday. We start out with the big news from today, that would be with Florida Senator Bill Nelson coming out today on gay marriage. Gay marriage has been one of the big issues in Washington as its being debated in front of the supreme court and the big social media push with that red equal sign dominating your Facebook pages. Florida Senator Bill Nelson throwing his support in favor of gay marriage if you look at the political math involved, there isn’t much behind it. The guy is in his 70’s he’s gone as high as he’s going to go. There has been some rumors he would go after Rick Scott next year for Governor is a race I believe he would win but, he’s defused those rumors, he’s doing it strictly because he thinks it’s the right reasons to. He’s quoted as saying that his reason for publicly supporting same sex marriage is because god wouldn’t have created homosexual couples like he has heterosexual couples if he did not want us to support them. So, that’s the big news. He was even trending on Twitter, yes Bill Nelson. You’ve got to wonder if he’s even familiar with that particular social media outlet.

Anyways another big announcement later in the afternoon is news that former Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll was actually asked to resign after it was discovered that she was being investigated for her connections with Allied Veterans of the world. That company is under investigation for racketeering and almost 60 people have been arrested. This adds more controversy to an already complicated situation and more problems for Florida Governor Rick Scott. You know these reports coming out earlier, this was handled very coldly. We’ve got footage by Local 6. Let’s have a look at it right now.

(Jennifer Carroll Footage)

Very eye opening stuff by the former Lieutenant Governor. A very shocking revelation coming out, you thought they were closer. Well, that’s the way it happens up there in Tallahassee.

In a connected issue you’ve also got that ban on Internet Cafe going to Rick Scott for signature. That’s moved along quickly. Those will soon be illegal in Florida.

Some other controversial legislation has been Parent Trigger. This would allow parents to have a say over the direction a failing school would take, this would include firing the principal or other administrators or even changing the public school to a charter school. Current State Rep. Karen Castor Dentel a school teacher herself, has come out strongly against it, saying in the Orlando Sentinel it makes the charter schools or for profit groups look like heroes. but parents and their voice over how their kids a very precious thing. That legislation is moving along.

Now bringing it back to Orange County, you’ve got legislation at the state level that would nullify the Orange County Sick Time initiative. Sick Time would make it mandatory for employers to offer paid sick time to workers after a certain amount of hours have been reached. Workers in favor believe it would be there right to receive that, those against believe it would hurt hiring, and growth and would possibly result in lawsuits.

A very big day. Nelson coming out in favor of Gay Marriage. Jennifer Carroll’s shocking interview, and these big legislation moving quickly. Big enough to take me off of break but hey, you do what you have to do. I’ll see you for Week in Review. For now I’m Frank Torres.

Rubio stumps for McConnell against Possible Ashley Judd run, Bondi backs Plakon, and Scott touts job numbers in Web Vid

In Uncategorized on March 25, 2013 at 11:20 pm

We’ve got something for everyone today! We’ve got Florida Senator Marco Rubio hitting the “Bluegrass State” to stump for Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell with Movie Star Ashley Judd considering a run against him. We’ve got Attorney General Pam Bondi throwing her support behind former State Rep. Scott Plakon in his state house race against Mike Clelland, and a new Webvid from Florida Governor Rick Scott.

Here is your daily wrap-up!

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres for Monday, March 25th 2013. Today, we’ve got one of those rare instances where Hollywood sort of intersects with Florida Politics. I’m talking about Senator Marco Rubio heading to Kentucky to fund raise for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. Of course McConnell’s probable opponent next year is movie start Ashley Judd. I’m sure you’ve seen her movies, her television shows during her time in the business. What an interesting race that would be, what a conflict of personalities you’ve got there. McConnell with his position in the Senate and Judd who’s been involved for sometime very big on Women’s rights. She’s been encouraged to run by Bill Clinton, and we’ll see what the Florida Senator can do up there, as far as raising money goes. The other Kentucky Senator? Rand Paul along with Rubio rumored to be a 2016 favorite, during the Sunday talkers yesterday he deflected the question but certainly didn’t deny it. So, two Presidential hopefuls playing a part in Kentucky politics these days.

Another story. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi endorsing former State Representative Scott Plakon in race next year against Mike Clelland in district 29. Scott Plakon was outfront of this whole internet cafe gambling thing, he brought up the idea of banning those things a few years back, there wasn’t any movement on that, of course with the scandals involving Allied Veterans of the World, and the resignation of Jennifer Carroll, Plakon looking pretty good as far as his early push to get rid of those things go and with it paying off with an endorsement from Pam Bondi. An endorsement from Bondi in that very red district, very important, could scare other Republicans from running against Plakon in that red district, District 29. The current Representative is Mike Clelland a Democrat who beat Chris Dorworth who took a beating from the media for the entire year and lost with the President Obama on the ballot which maximized turnout. So a big endorsement for Plakon who has also been pushing fundraising online.

More news from Florida Governor Rick Scott, he has released another “its working” video. I’m not going to show you the whole thing like I did last time. The messages are the same.

(It Working II Video)

There you go. Very similar to the last video. Touting job numbers. Jobs continues to be the number 1 issue in the state. Scott’s had plenty of problems. Rumors of a primary, problems with Jennifer Carroll, the list goes on and on. That polling that has him down double digits to Charlie Crist. These videos arent’t going to do it. He needs to get back on TV and use his financial strenght to go after Charlie Crist, or possibly Alex Sink, should she decide to run. or whoever should come out of that Democratic primary, he needs to use his money to the advantage to prop up those job numbers. And I really wish Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs would stand a little farther back and out of frame during those messages. Rick Scott at this point is kinda radioactive. That is your political news today. You’ve got everything from Ashley Judd to Florida Job numbers. That is your daily wrap for today. I’m Frank Torres.

OC Mayor 2014 Rumors, Hilary Clinton and Charlie Crist enjoy lead in Polls – WIR

In Uncategorized on March 23, 2013 at 5:58 pm

Your “March Madness” Week in Review features rumors about former Orlando Police Chief and Congressional Candidate Val Demings taking on Teresa Jacobs for Orange County Mayor next year, and possibly State Representative Stephen Precourt jumping into the fray as well.

We’ve also got poll numbers that give former Governor Charlie Crist a double digit lead over his successor Rick Scott and even 2016 data that shows former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton beating Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, right here in Florida.

This is your Week in Review:

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres and this is your March Madness “Week In Review”. My bracket is already a mess, I’d like to thank Georgetown and Wisconsin for “phoning it in” this year and destroying my chances of scoring in those regions.

Anyways, a lot of politics this week, let’s get started. The week started with rumors of former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings taking on Teresa Jacobs in for Orange County Mayor next year. Demings of course lost to Daniel Webster last November, with President Obama on the ballot and with a significant fundraising advantage. She lost to him last November but there is also a rumor that she might go after him again. But, these are new rumors with these two possibly meeting in 2014, Jacobs said she had spoke to her about a run and her response was uncertain, she was running for Congress at the time, her opinions must have changed and she’s got to find a race to run in. Neither of those choices sound very good with Webster’s district leaning Republican and his probable turnout in the mid term and that would also come into play for Orange County Mayor. There are also a lot of questions of Val Demings having the infrastructure to run a county wide campaign with the organizations that had helped her in the past concerned about the national races. But she’s got to do something.

A bizarre twist. Representative Stephen Precourt criticizing Teresa Jacobs, by saying there was a leadership crisis in Orange County, input from Precourt, he says he’s been getting urged to run, I haven’t heard anything about that, I know he’s also termed out. So, he’ll need a race to run in the future. You know, it’s interesting that he would go after jacobs like that. He’s been a supporter of her’s in the past and I actually saw this footage of Precourt talking to Channel 6’s Lauren Rowe on her show “Flashpoint” here take a look.

Precourt “Flashpoint” Footage.

Yeah, so Precourt’s opinion of her must have changed. He’s got a positive reputation and is well liked there might be some support out there for him. Very bizarre but we’ll keep an eye on that moving forward.

Poll numbers coming out this week that put Governor Rick Scott in a double digit deficit against Florida Governor Charlie Crist. The former Republican, turned Independent, turned Democrat enjoying a big lead in polling. You know, I’ve called this the darkest point in the Scott administration with the resignation of Jennifer Carroll, his low approval numbers, and his education policy changes being poorly received. The real question is what is Rick Scott going to do about it? He’s going to have a large financial advantage going in, maybe not as large as the one he ad against Alex Sink in 2010 but a large one. Who also by the way has a lead on him in polling. But what is he going to do to change the mind of the voters? He released that “It’s Working” video but that video was also not well recieved and you wonder if anyone even saw it. We’ll keep an eye on those poll numbers going forward.

Jump ahead to 2016 where former Secretary of State Hilary Clinton enjoys a lead right here in Florida against Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio. That shouldn’t come as any surprise and I’ll tell you why. The state has been trending blue, President Obama has one it during the last two elections and the GOP hasn’t been able to roll with the Demographics and get the Hispanic voters.

So a very busy week with Politicians gearing up for 2014. We’ll keep any eye on everything as we move forward and I’ll see you next time.

Scott tries to get back on track with “It’s Working” Vid

In Uncategorized on March 20, 2013 at 1:10 am

– Low approval numbers including hypothetical double digit deficits to Charlie Crist in polling
– Can’t win back educators and critics after returning money to budget and pushing for teacher raises
– His “Number 2” resigned last week after connections to a criminal ring robbing Veterans

This is the lowest point in Florida Governor Rick Scott‘s time in office and he’s got to change the subject. This is how he’s going to do it.

This is your daily wrap up.

Transcript of Video:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres. This is your daily wrap-up for Tuesday March 19th, 2013. Your big story today is a video released by Florida Governor Rick Scott. Scott having a rough start to the year. First, with former Governor Charlie Crist officially changing party affiliation to be a Democrat and asking questions about his old job. Second his change of position in Education with the Governor returning budget money he took from his first two years in office and with his proposals to give teachers a bonus has played as insincere. Finally, there was the resignation of Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll. He’s put off naming a replacement, I think that is a mistake, leaving a gap that big in his administration, I don’t know why he would want to wait until after session perhaps, his preferred choice is working in the legislature. So he released this campaign video which is trying to relay what the Governor has been trying to shout above all of the political noise. Let’s take a look.

(Its working video)

It’s working. I’m not crazy about that catch phrase. “Let’s get to work” was perhaps the most likeable part of the the Scott campaign and really related to what the voters wanted. Let’s get to work for 2014, is it working? Well, it’s debatable. Expect more of this kind of media as a delivery system for Rick Scott to say what he has to say without follow up questions. Scott stayed away from the media during his first run sorta went into this shell. We’ll see if that continues. We’ll see where it goes. You look at all of that talent up there in Tally right now. Your Adam Putnam’s your Atwaters, you really don’t want to see Scott go through a primary but you’ve got to wonder what you would do to keep the Governor’s mansion on your side. We’ll see how it goes, there will be more speculation and rumors over Jennifer Carroll’s resignation. I’m Frank Torres, I’ll see you next time.

Val Demings vs. Teresa Jacobs .. vs. Stephen Precourt in 2014 for OC Mayor? and the RNC Autopsy

In Uncategorized on March 19, 2013 at 12:25 am

If you’re a fan of rumors and speculation involving local politics, then this article in the Orlando Sentinel was a welcome surprise for what is usually a slow Monday. We’ve all know for sometime that former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings was looking at another run and that she could set her sites on Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs next year. We haven’t know that popular State Rep. Stephen Precourt has been urged to run too and unloaded a few shots at Jacobs as well. How hostile can it get this early?

We’ve also got the RNC autopsy from Reince Priebus. Where do our GOP lawmakers stand.

This is your Daily Wrap Up!

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres and this is your Daily Wrap for Monday March 18th, 2013. Let’s look at the big story in the Orlando Sentinel this morning that said that Val Demings was a considering a run at Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs for Orange County Mayor in 2014. A lot of layers to this, let’s look at Val Demings, She ran against Daniel Webster last November for Congress and lost in that Republican heavy district with President Obama on the ballot and a decisive money advantage. Couldn’t come up with the grassroots support needed to counter Daniel Webster’s efforts on the ground and ultimately lost that race.

She’s got two choices. She can run against Daniel Webster again without President Obama on the ballot, the DCCC is still attacking Daniel Webster on a weekly basis, trying to pick apart what he’s been doing in Washington this year but she would still be an underdog going into a congressional race, even with the money being there.

She could run against Teresa Jacobs for Orange County Mayor. She won’t be able to match policy wits against Teresa Jacobs, it’s true that Demings is more at home with municipal issues but Jacobs has 12 years of experience with County Policy.

So, you look at her options, neither look very good, but she’s got to do something. If you look at what she would face against Teresa Jacobs in 2014, it would be a mid-term, she’d have to find the money, and raise the grassroots, running a campaign in Orange County is no easy task, it’s huge. You have to wonder if she’s got the infrastructure there to stay competitive.

Jacobs has been underfire recently for “Textgate” or the text messages exchange about the Orange County Sick time initiative. She was targeted by activists, but this isn’t about Sick Time, you can’t think that, this is about flipping seats. Those activists will be able to give Val Demings a push should she decide to run against her. But the policy knowledge isn’t there, she debated Daniel Webster once and didn’t do well, she would have to debate Teresa Jacobs at least 4 times if you look at the debate schedule from 2010. She is a strong candidate with a good background so it’s only a matter of time before she picks her next race.

Out of nowhere, State Representative Stephen Precourt taking some shots at Teresa Jacobs in the media saying there is a leadership crisis in Orange County and that he’s been urged to run. Precourt a pretty reasonable guy, one of the sharper Reps in the area and well spoken but, you’ve got to wonder where this is coming from. He says he’s being urged to run. Who’s urging him? Friends and family? The political community hasn’t been urging him because from the Republican side the two biggest priorities for 2014 is getting Rick Scott elected (which is a task in itself) and reinforcing it’s incumbents. He’s termed out so, he’ll have time to figure out what he wants to do next but really bizarre behavior from Stephen Precourt from what I’ve seen so far. I know some of his buddies tried to throw her off the Expressway Board sometime back.

So, if you look at Jacobs’ role in all of this. She’s going to be attacked for being too lax on the rules from Val Demings in “Textgate” and she’s going to be attacked for being too strict with regulations from Precourt, you just can’t win if you’re the Orange County Mayor.

A very intriguing story it looks like a lot of people are already gearing up for next year, it looks like it’s going to be exciting. 2010 had some interesting personalities and made for a good race and with the potentials already kicking the tires on a potential run, it could be even bigger in 2014.

Other news today, The RNC releasing what is being called “The Autopsy” put out by Chairman Reince Priebus, illustrating the talking points over what went wrong with the Republican party last November. Most of it is stuff we already know. More technology, more outreach or inclusion of minority voters. What I’m interested in is how the local politicians will react. You’ve got John Mica and Daniel Webster who were re-elected and you’ve also got Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush who are already moving in the new direction. You’ve got to wonder what these lawmakers in the state will do. Will they stick with old script? Or the new one?

Big day. Buzz over who’s running for what and national reports being published. We’ll keep an eye on it for you. For now, I’m Frank Torres and I’ll see you next time.

Carroll Resignation, CPAC Buzz, and Mystery Candidate in Florida House 44 – WIR

In Uncategorized on March 17, 2013 at 6:57 pm

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! This is your week in review and this Sunday we’ve re-visit Lt. Governor Jennifer Carrol‘s resignation, buzz from CPAC involving Jeb Bush, and Marco Rubio. A rift between Tallhassee Republicans and State Young Republicans and finally a mystery candidate in Florida State House 44 that could spin the race in a different direction.

This is your Week in Review.

Video Transcript:

Florida Politics with Frank Torres. I’m Frank Torres and this is your Week in Review for Sunday, March 17th, Happy St. Patrick’s Day, I hope you’ve had the chance to get out and enjoy this awesome weather. We’ve got a lot to go over, let’s get started.

And we start with the resignation of Jennifer Carroll. Carroll resigned from her Lt. Governor Position after being connected with a company called Allied Veterans of the world. This company runs the internet cafes that you might see in a strip mall that revolves around providing internet access to individuals but at the center of it all is a sweepstakes that is basically a gambling operation. This company was suppose to take the proceeds from this operation and donate them to Veterans causes but it was revealed that the money was being rerouted to For-Profit operations and that only 2% of the procceeds were actually going towards the charity. The company is now being accused of racketeering, Jennifer Carroll thought that because of her connections with the company that it would be best to step down. Florida Governor Rick Scott deciding to name a replacement after session. Choosing to deal with it later than sooner, I happen to think it’s a big mistake. Why leave such a big gap in your administration empty? The Lt. Governor may not do a lot but to leave the story out there for so long doesn’t make a lot of sense. It hurt him during his media tour, Governor Scott in town to talk about job gains and lower unemployment but ended up having to deal with this instead.

More problems with Republicans up in Tallahassee, their handling of younger Republicans and their resources. A disconnect recently reported by the Jacksonville Newspaper of a rift between the RPOF brass and the Young Republicans in the state, Young Republicans saying that they’re not being utilized correctly only being asked to contribute on social media from time to time. I’m compelled to agree. I’m a Young Republican, an active one at that, and it doesn’t seem like, we’re utilized correctly, especially with void between Younger Voters and Republicans, as opposed to Democrats and their connection. So, a disconnect up there, that needs to be addressed, there needs to be a change of strategy to ensure that the youth vote isn’t always lined up decisively behind one party like it has been. Some changes definitely need to be made.

Let’s move right along to CPAC, the Conservative Political Action Conference, with Florida lawmakers taking the stage and playing a very pivotal role, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and Senator Marco Rubio in the spotlight. Jeb got a lukewarm response by some Conservatives by being a little more moderate leaning to some of the social issues. Marco Rubio was well received during his speech reinforcing the traditional thinking of the Republican party, unfortunately he came in second to Kentucky Senator Rand Paul in the CPAC straw poll, Paul coming off of that headline making filibuster taking the win at CPAC. It might be a question for some but it’s not for me, I think if you line up Rand Paul next to Marco Rubio, if you take his style, his delivery, is electable, I can’t see him beating Hilary or even Joe Biden in 2016 but, he plays very well with that audience up there and he takes the straw poll over Marco Rubio, not by a lot and we’ll see how the relationship plays out between those two as they appear to be on a collision course for 2016.

Also some State House races for 2016 already lining up. Some match ups we’ve mentioned before, Florida House District 29 that has former Rep. Scott Plakon going after the newly elected Mike Clelland who narrowly defeated Chris Dorworth last November. Dorworth getting a ton on negative media and losing that very red seat. The early advantage goes to Plakon because of the layout of the district and Republicans turning out better for mid-terms. You’ve also got Bob Cortes going up against Karen Castor Dentel Florida State House 30, Cortes rolling out endorsements earlier in the week. He’s already engaged in that campaign. In Florida State House 28 you’ve got Republican Jason Brodeur going up against Libertarian Franklin Perez in what seems like the hundredth time. It’s likely a Democrat will jump into that contest before it’s all over. Florida State House 44, Eric Eisnaugle vs. Ronney Olivera for that seat for the termed out Stephen Precourt. Eisnaugle stepped aside last cycle to avoid any conflict, with Precourt will face off with Olivera, who lost to Randolph Bracy in November. Unconfirmed rumors of a mystery candidate perhaps jumping into that race, that would change the entire dynamic of that contest in a very drastic way, unconfirmed rumors of another Republican jumping into that race. I’ll continue to track that as we move along.

A lot going on this week with CPAC with, Jennifer Carroll’s resignation and all of these races lining up. I think Rick Scott has to look at this as the low point of his term and he’s never got those approval numbers and with losing someone who helped deliver him the Governor’s mansion, losing her is a big blow. Her replacement will have to be picked very carefully. I’m Frank Torres, I’ll see you next time.

Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll resigns, Presser this afternoon

In Uncategorized on March 13, 2013 at 2:00 pm

Update: Governor Scott has announced that a replacement won’t be selected until after the legislative session.

Lt. Governor Jennifer Carroll has tendered her resignation to Florida Governor Rick Scott.

Carroll was recently investigated by FDLE concerning her ties to Allied Veterans of the world, a non-profit organization that runs a lot of the internet cafes which feature high dollar sweepstakes on their machines. Arrests have been made with charges including Racketeering.

There is a press conference scheduled for this afternoon.

This news could not have come at worse time for Rick Scott who’s been on a media tour promoting the states job gains while having to beat away questions regarding his recent decisions to expand medicaid to accommodate the President’s health care plan and changes in the state’s budget.

We’ll have full analysis this evening.

Lt Governor Jennifer Carroll has resigned

Lt Governor Jennifer Carroll has resigned

Jeb on Immigration trumps State of State and Beginning of Session on Tuesday

In Uncategorized on March 6, 2013 at 2:13 pm

It was a really busy day in Florida Politics on Tuesday.

You had Florida Governor Rick Scott give the annual Florida State of the State, where he doubled down on his recent support for teachers and, creating a fertile environment to attract businesses to the state and create jobs. You had our new lawmakers cut their teeth on a voting bill that would extend the window for early voting and prevent long lines on election day. Plus, Florida Speaker of the House Will Weatherford made waves officially speaking out against the expansion of medicaid to accommodate the President’s Health Care Plan, taking his place as the new Conservative leader of the legislature (this year anyways).

That is a lot for a 24 hour period but if you turned on Cable Television yesterday, the story was former Florida Governor Jeb Bush‘s evolving opinions of Immigration and Harry Reid‘s reply to those views that resulted in the Senate Majority Leader insulting Bush in the media.

The story grew from remarks written in Bush’s new book that supports sweeping changes to the country’s immigration system but not a path to citizenship, that wouldn’t require those already in the country to return home to begin the process. Bush has previously said he supported a plan similar to the “Gang of 8” plan that allows undocumented workers to remain in the country, while beginning the legalization process.

Harry Reid called Bush a “fool”, said that his views were “Devolving”, and declared Florida Senator Marco Rubio the true leader on Immigration from the state of Florida.

Bush later appeared on CNN to clarify those views, and Rubio has said “they are in the same place” as far as the issue goes.

So what does this all mean.

Bush really could shrug this entire thing off… unless he plans on running for President, which means he’s already running a primary and scoring points with the more Conservative voters. This would essentially be a good thing for Florida’s former Governor.

It also means that if he’s still thinking about a run at the White House in 2016, then Friendly Fire with Rubio becomes a possibility every time the two disagree on an issue.

I’ll keep an eye on any movement from this story, and activity from session in Tallahassee throughout the week.

Is Jeb still thinking about 2016?

Is Jeb still thinking about 2016?