Carlos Lacasa has a plan to revive a version of the tax swap proposed by House Speaker Marco Rubio last spring. It's a merger of the super-exemption and penny hike in taxes and he's filed it with the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission, which meets in Tallahassee again today. More here.
Trevor Lyman is an unlikely political mastermind: an Internet music promoter who has modeled and waited tables, a New Englander who moved to South Beach for the night life, a 37-year-old who has never voted, let alone worked on a campaign.
Then he became an overnight sensation. Literally, overnight.
On Nov. 5, Lyman helped raise $4.2 million online for Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, laying claim to the most money collected by a campaign over the Internet in a single day.
Lyman is ready to do it again, with a more modest goal of $2.5 million by midnight tonight. He started soliciting pledges only nine days ago, and this time, the national media is paying attention; he's juggling interviews this week from The Los Angeles Times, The Chicago Tribune and The Christian Science Monitor.
The prominent West Palm Beach law firm of Gunster Yoakley & Stewart has moved into new offices in downtown Tallahassee that happen to be just across the street from the Florida Capitol. The new offices at 215 S. Monroe St. are so new that there's just a little blurb on the law firm website that says "More info coming soon."
Is this the clearest sign yet that George LeMieux, the chief of staff for Gov. Charlie Crist, will be leaving by the end of the year, as many suspect. LeMieux, who was called the "maestro" for his work on Crist's campaign, worked at Gunster Yoakley from 1994 to 2003 when he work to for Crist in the Attorney General's office.
When asked Thursday about whether LeMieux's departure was imminent, Crist spokeswoman Erin Isaac would only say: "Everyone leaves at some point.''
The State Board of Administration _ made up of Gov. Charlie Crist, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink and Attorney General Bill McCollum _ voted at an emergency meeting to put a freeze on the local government investment pool, meaning that cities and counties with money in the $15 billion account cannot take any money out until at least next week.
The move comes in the wake of counties and cities withdrawing large amounts of money in the last two weeks. Since Nov. 14 roughly $10 billion has been withdrawn from the pool, sparked by fears that investment managers had placed money in companies that have been hurt by the housing market slump and credit shortage across the nation.
Coleman Stipanovich, the executive director of the state board, urged Crist, Sink and McCollum to adopt a five-point protection plan for the pool that included pledging money from the Florida Retirement System to back up the pool. But this idea was flatly rejected and Sink said that the state needs third-party advice about how to proceed.
Arizona Sen. John McCain had this to say about to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney's incomplete answer on whether waterboarding is torture during Wednesday night's debates: "I think he should get better briefed.''
At a press conference this morning, McCain, noted that the torture technique, invented during the Spanish Inquisition and today being used against Bermanese priests, "is clearly a violation of the Geneva conventions.''
"We tried and convicted Japanese...for doing the same thing on Americans,'' McCain said, adding that the Japanese punishment for those World War II violations was hanging. "America is better than that.''
McCain also said he would restore Florida's full complement of delegates to the Republican convention if he is the presumptive nominee after the primary process. But he wants the primary system dramatically changed -- leaving the three early primary states in tact and then allowing each quadrant of the nation to hold regional primaries, the dates of which would be chosen by a lottery. "If the parties won't fix it, then Congress should,'' he said.
St. Pete is still basking in the post-debate glow as CNN conducts interviews this morning with the city as a backdrop. Those interviews include one with retired Brig. Gen. Keith Kerr, who was booed by the audience when he challenged the candidates on the right of gays and lesbians to serve in the military.
CNN said it was unaware that Kerr is a member of Hillary Clinton's "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender steering committee." CNN host John Roberts said CNN had done a background search and found Kerr hadn't contributed any $$$ to any candidates.
From AARP Florida's state director, Lori Parham, on the CNN/YouTube Republican Debate: "Again, tonight's debate lacked a real discussion of the kitchen table issues that Americans are talking about day in and day out. This is a continuing disappointment as candidates seem focused on delivering the best sound bites rather than provide solutions for the issues that people care about."
From AARP Florida's state director, Lori Parham, on the CNN/YouTube Republican Debate:
"Again, tonight's debate lacked a real discussion of the kitchen table issues that Americans are talking about day in and day out. This is a continuing disappointment as candidates seem focused on delivering the best sound bites rather than provide solutions for the issues that people care about."
The Atlanta-based polling firm, InsiderAdvantage, just released its post-debate poll showing that Florida and Iowa voters found former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee won tonight's debate.
From a presser:
“Which candidate do you believe won the debate?” Mike Huckabee (44% ) Rudy Giuliani (18% ) Mitt Romney (13% ) John McCain (10% ) Fred Thompson (5%) Ron Paul (4% ) Tom Tancredo (1% ) No winner (5% ) The poll sampled 341 Republican voters, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.25%. The data have been weighted for age and gender.
“Which candidate do you believe won the debate?”
Mike Huckabee (44% )
Rudy Giuliani (18% )
Mitt Romney (13% )
John McCain (10% )
Fred Thompson (5%)
Ron Paul (4% )
Tom Tancredo (1% )
No winner (5% )
The poll sampled 341 Republican voters, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.25%. The data have been weighted for age and gender.
The numbers from an Iowa poll:
Mike Huckabee (32% )
Mitt Romney (16% )
Rudy Giuliani (12%)
John McCain (10% )
Fred Thompson (7% )
Ron Paul (6% )
Tom Tancredo (2% )
Undecided (15% )
The poll sampled 1,035 registered Republican voters, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3%. The data have been weighted for age and gender.
And with a song and smiles, and introductions from Gov. Charlie Crist, the Republicans have started their debate in St. Petersburg. Let us know how you feel about the Republican candidates do during tonight's much-hyped "You Tube" or "People's Debate" as Crist called it. Let us know your thoughts. Put something down in comments.
Taking the mic from CNN's Anderson Cooper, Gov. Charlie Crist just began introducing the Republican candidates for president on stage at tonight's debate.
A few thoughts: Would Crist make a better TV anchor or game-show host? Is Fred Thompson one John McCain taller than John McCain? How vociferous are Ron Paul's fans? How big is Mitt Romney's cohort? What's the real reason Chuck Norris is in the audience?
Beyond that: How much substance will the candidates cover? Judging by the first question about immigration and sanctuary cities (and the actual time and back-and-forth between Rudy Giuliani and Romney), quite a bit. But then, the arguing about who's softer on immigration, seemed like more of the same. But at least the candidates did the actual talking.