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7 posts from December 6, 2013

December 06, 2013

Hollingsworth admits he lied on resume at previous job

Adam HollingsworthAdam Hollingsworth, the chief of staff and closest advisor to Gov. Rick Scott, admitted Friday that he lied about earning a college degree on his resume with a former employer.

Hollingsworth, who worked for CSX Corporation from 1995-2000 and again from 2002-2004, told the Herald/Times that he regrets inflating his resume with the transportation company by claiming he had received a bachelor’s degree in 1990, but he denied it contributed to his departure from the company a decade ago.

“For many years, I publicly stated that I was a graduate of the University of Alabama, however, I did not complete my degree until 2009,’’ Hollingsworth said in a written statement given to the Herald/Times. “I am not proud of this and I deeply apologize for this misrepresentation. I have learned from this failure in judgment and know that, over the last several years, my life and character have and will continue to grow from this.”

Hollingsworth, who is expected to have a pivotal role in the governor’s re-election campaign, told Scott about the issue on Friday after being asked about it by the Herald/Times. The governor said he was confident his chief of staff had taken the proper corrective action. More here.



Marco Rubio, immigration reformer, funds immigration-reform opponent Tom Cotton


Republican Sen. Marco Rubio's political committee is underwriting as much as $200,000 in ads for the Arkansas Senate campaign of Rep. Tom Cotton for good reason: The 36-year-old Harvard-educated Bronze Star recipient is the type of conservative the GOP dreams about.

And in one respect -- immigration reform -- Cotton appears more conservative and consistent than Rubio, who has repeatedly zig and then zagged over the issue, especially as tea party criticism mounted when he backed the type of "amnesty" he once decried.

For Cotton, Rubio's bipartisan immigration bill was comparable to that worst of proposals to Republicans: President Obama's Affordable Care Act.

“In so many ways, this bill is just like Obamacare -- not just the slap-dash manner it ran through the Senate but also in the big, cumbersome, unwieldy, very complicated undertaking that will begin to collapse under its own weight, and [it is] nothing more than amnesty without any enforcement,” Cotton told Real Clear Politics in July after he played a starring role in a House GOP immigration strategy meeting.

The National Review explained what happened:

The crowd of 200-plus Republicans took notice. From the start, Cotton’s message was a contrast with Ryan’s. He sliced into the Senate’s immigration bill and dismissed the idea of a compromise. He urged Republicans to oppose a conference with the Senate, and warned that any formal negotiations with the upper chamber would lead to disaster. He then turned to Speaker John Boehner, who was standing nearby, and advised him to tread carefully. For a moment, they engaged in a terse back-and-forth.

“We are not worlds apart from the Senate, we are galaxies apart,” Cotton told the speaker. Boehner responded that Cotton shouldn’t worry. “We’re not going to conference until we’re ready,” he said. The speaker coolly explained to Cotton that it’s important to pass legislation that reflects the position of House Republicans.

So, assuming Rubio doesn't retreat any more from his immigration bill and Cotton stays put, this is an area in which they don't see eye to eye.

"Since they strongly agree on, Taxes, Government Spending, Healthcare, Abortion / Social Issues, Foreign Affairs, Government Over-regulation, Energy Independence, and one or two other issues, I guess Marco was OK with them disagreeing on that one," said Terry Sullivan, with Rubio's Reclaim America PAC.

In all, Reclaim America has spent about $300,000 this year on candidates, a change since the National Journal last year called Rubio out for spending big on consultants as he positioned himself, unsuccessfully, to be Mitt Romney's running mate.

Jameis Winston's Dad knew son was not guilty 'because I raised him'

By Joseph Goodman

HUEYTOWN, Ala -- . A tired man in a well-driven Mitsubishi Montero pulled into the front yard of his Alabama home on Thursday at exactly the same time that his son’s attorney was stepping in front of microphones hundreds of miles away in Tallahassee.

Inside the house, the family pit bull recognized the sound of the engine and Ice’s bark turned from defensive to excited. Antonor Winston put the vehicle in park, looked up at his front porch and shook his head in disbelief. He waved to a neighbor, ended a conversation on his cell phone and walked up the three steps leading to his front door.

“If I hadn’t talked to you yesterday, and you just came over here without me knowing you, this would have been a bad day for you,” he said to a reporter, half laughing and half serious and completely exhausted. “I’m offended that you’re here. Come on in and make yourself at home.” Miami Herald story here. 


Rick Scott's record: Many promises. Jobs? Meh.


Ba0kIY7CIAApmdNGov. Rick Scott has staked his political future on his ability to bring jobs to Florida, but the first comprehensive review of his efforts shows few successes and hundreds of unfulfilled promises.

The Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times reviewed public information for 342 job-creation deals that involve various tax breaks since Scott took office in 2011. Among the findings:

•  Of the jobs Scott can influence most, only a fraction now exist. Scott has pledged $266 million in tax breaks and other incentives in return for 45,258 new jobs. But 96 percent of the jobs have yet to materialize, according to state data.

•  The total number of new jobs Scott ultimately might deliver doesn’t offset the jobs lost at companies with more than 100 workers in the same time period. Between January 2011 and November 2013, large Florida employers reported 49,163 layoffs, according to federal data.

•  Nearly 14 percent of Scott’s deals — 46 in all — have collapsed for various reasons, the state says, and more projects are dormant.

•  Florida offers tax breaks in most cases only when a company creates the jobs it promised, and $45 million sits idle waiting to be claimed by companies that have not yet reached hiring goals.

•  The jobs outlook isn’t better in Broward and Miami-Dade counties, where Scott inked deals to create 5,456 jobs in exchange for $25.2 million tax incentives and breaks. Jobs created to date: 61.

More here on this first part of the series

Rick Scott won't say if top aide is possible Lt. Gov. pick

With the re-election campaign gearing up, speculation continues to rise about who Gov. Rick Scott will pick as his running mate.

One rumor recently floated by the Saintpetersblog and others: his chief of staff Adam Hollingsworth.

Scott isn't saying much. 

"There's a lot of great Floridians and so we're continuing the process," Scott said during a brief press availability after a speech at the Florida Manufacturers Association annual meeting on Thursday morning in St. Petersburg.

"Is Adam under consideration?" the Times/Herald asked.

"There's a lot of great Floridians," the governor repeated.

As far as we know, Hollingsworth has been heavily involved in helping the governor vet running mate candidates.

The Times/Herald reported last month that there were four people on the lieutenant governor short list. Since then, two of the four candidates have said they are not interested.

Mandela visit to Miami in 1990 sparked boycott


When Nelson Mandela announced he would visit Miami only four months after spending 27 years as a political prisoner in South Africa, it sparked a series of exchanges in Miami-Dade County between the black and Cuban-American communities that made national headlines and caused economic hardship, but eventually led to significant economic change.

“We really were looking for something to ignite and unify us,” attorney H.T. Smith, who spearheaded a three-year boycott of Miami by black businesses and organizations, said Thursday.

It began in May 1990 when Mandela, who had spent almost three decades in prison, announced he would visit Miami a month later. Miami politicians planned a proclamation.

But a week before his planned June 28 visit, Mandela appeared on ABC TV and acknowledged his support for Moammar Gadahfi, Yasser Arafat and Fidel Castro — setting off a string of events that people still recall more than two decades later.

The day after Mandela’s comments, Miami Commissioner Victor DeYurre demanded the city rescind its proclamation. Other commissioners agreed.

More here.

Miami-Dade commission restores workers' pay


Miami-Dade County commissioners eliminated an unpopular employee healthcare concession on Thursday, restoring public workers’ pay in defiance of Mayor Carlos Gimenez after hours of harrowing testimony from labor unions.

As of Jan. 1, most of the county’s nearly 26,000 employees will stop contributing 5 percent of their base pay toward group healthcare costs, for the first time in more than three years.

To make up for the contribution, Gimenez’s administration will be forced to cut $56 million from the county’s current $4.4 billion operating budget. About $27 million of that will come from the general fund. The Jackson Health System will also have to adjust its budget.

Layoffs, the mayor said, are probable. Fee hikes, he added, are also possible.

“Are we still in a very tough situation? Yes, we are,” said Commissioner Jean Monestime, who voted to eliminate the concession. “But when these employees gave back to the county, they were in a very difficult situation as well.”

Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa and Commissioners Monestime, Bruno Barreiro, Audrey Edmonson, Barbara Jordan, Dennis Moss, Javier Souto and Xavier Suarez voted in favor. Vice-Chairwoman Lynda Bell and Commissioners Esteban “Steve” Bovo and Sally Heyman voted against.

Commissioners Jose “Pepe” Diaz, who was hospitalized, and Juan C. Zapata were absent.

The decisive 8-3 vote, taken after a 12-hour special meeting, does not provide the commission with a nine-vote, veto-proof super-majority against Gimenez, who had asked to keep the concession in place. Gimenez is likely to wield his veto pen.

“What they did today was completely irresponsible,” an angry Gimenez said after the vote. “They squarely were on the side of the employees instead of the people of Miami-Dade County. I think we need to do another round.”

More here.