October 07, 2009

Aronberg, Deutch: Study, baby, study before drill, baby, drill

Democratic Sens. Ted Deutch and Dave Aronberg just released a draft of their own proposal dealing with oil drilling off Florida's coast.

But their proposed legislation is not what oil proponents want. Instead, Aronberg and Deutch propose a task force to study the pros and cons of drilling offshore -- something Republican leaders including future Senate president Mike Haridopolos and House speaker designate Dean Cannon want to get going soon as what they consider a revenue generator.

The task force would look at the environmental and economic consequences of an oil spill, said Aronberg, who is running for Attorney General. The nine-member task force would consist of the AG, CFO, transportation and environmental protection secretaries, a labor representative and the heads of other state agencies such as Fish and Wildlife. The Senate president and House speaker would also appoint members representing experts in economics and the environment, as would the chambers' minority leaders.

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September 25, 2009

Aronberg's gameday offense: Cash Play in Delray

Tomorrow's a big day in college football, Florida football in particular -- with Miami taking on Virginia Tech, FSU hosting USF and UF trying to maintain its No. 1 ranking against Kentucky.

But winning an Attorney General race doesn't come cheap, so Sen. Dave Aronberg will seek donations at a Delray Beach fundraiser while the rest of Florida guzzles beer and noshes wings. The fundraiser is hosted by assistant attorneys general Melanie Surber and Dan Hyndman and their spouses.

Aronberg, D-Greenacres, has boasted of his support and endorsements from the law enforcement community. (Opponent Sen. Dan Gelber, D-Miami Beach, got former US Attorney General Janet Reno's support.)

The two-hour cocktail reception starts at 4 p.m, by which time the FSU-USF score will be final and the 'Canes will be well into the first half. Sen. Aronberg will, however, have plenty of time to see the UF game that kicks off at 6.

See the invite here: Download AronbergInvite9-26-09

September 23, 2009

Gelber-Aronberg endorsement brag continues...

The calendar says fall, but the Great Summer 2009 Endorsement Brag continues, with Democratic AG candidate Dan Gelber of Miami Beach releasing the latest press release about the latest endorsement - this time from several northeast Florida Dems including Florida House Reps. Audrey Gibson and Mia Jones.

This is not to be outdone by fellow Dem and fellow AG candidate Dave Aronberg, whose camp is quick to say something along the likes of Oh yeah, well Aronberg has gotten all these endorsements from law enforcement. Where are Gelber's?

Well, Gelber's camp would count former U.S. Attorney Janet Reno as the mother of all law enforcement endorsements.

Aronberg's latest nod came from Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden, who joins Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, Glades County Sheriff Stuart Whiddon, and St.Lucie County Sheriff Ken Mascara in backing Aronberg, D-Greenacres.

The back-and-forth comes as Gelber's camp touts a Chamber poll as giving Gelber a lead over Aronberg, but even a Chamber official said the poll "doesn't really tell you anything."

Gelber leads in A.G. race, but there's a catch

Supporters of state Sen. Dan Gelber's campaign for attorney general are touting a recent Florida Chamber poll that shows the Miami Beach Democrat has a lead in his primary race against state Sen. Dave Aronberg. (Really? The chamber hasn't released any such poll). Turns out it's true: Marian Johnson, who runs the chamber's Political Institute, says the group did a statewide poll in early August of 605 voters on various issues. The Democratic sub-sample for the Gelber-Aronberg race was smaller (about 350 voters, Johnson said, with a slightly higher margin of error, about 5.5-percent age points).  

Here are the resuts: Gelber, 16 percent; Aronberg, 9 percent; undecided or no opinion, 75 percent. The Chamber's Marian Johnson offered the best analysis of these numbers: "That poll really doesn't tell you anything," she said. "We know Dan Gelber. We know Dave Aronberg. The public doesn't. This far out, people just don't know who they are."

-- Steve Bousquet

August 12, 2009

Janet Reno endorses Dan Gelber

Janet Reno, the former U.S. Attorney General and Miami-Dade State Attorney, is backing state Sen. Dan's Gelber campaign for state attorney general. Gelber's main Democratic rival is state Sen. Dave Aronberg of Greenacres.

Touting Reno's support is part of an effort by the Gelber campaign to portray the former federal prosecutor as the more serious and experienced law enforcement candidate in the race.

"Dan has the gumption and spirit to make the Attorney General's office a vital force in the lives of Floridians,'' Reno says in a written statement. "For more than 25 years, I have watched him as a federal prosecutor, a legislator, and a community servant. He has approached each trust with competence, integrity and passion."

Dan v. Dave: The Thrilla in...Orlando

Images The Florida Democratic Party is planning to host a debate at its October 9-11 meeting in Orlando that could rival the greatest boxing match of the 20th century. Well, maybe it will rival the greatest political debate south of the Mason Dixon Line in the month of October.

In this corner, weighing in heavy with his experience as a prosecutor: state Sen. Dan Gelber of Miami Beach. In the other corner, weighing in heavy on criticism of automatic pay raises to state contractors: state Sen. Dave Aronberg of Greenacres. They're both in blue trunks.

Let's keep it clean. More information on the party's meeting is here.

July 30, 2009

DOT stops salary bonuses for contractors

Sen. Dave Aronberg hit pay dirt today when his public records request of the Department of Transportation yielded a change in policy that DOT calculations show it could save at least $10 million. Download Senator aronberg 07 28 09

Aronberg, a Greenacres Democrat who is running for attorney general, asked DOT on July 13 for a list of all contracts with private companies that allowed for automatic salary increases for workers that are handling DOT proejcts. Aronberg argued that because of the state's deep budget woes awarding automatic pay hikes to private contractors "was unfair to state workers and unfair to taxpayers."

Secretary Stephanie Kopelousos supplied the list on Thursday and said that she has since changed state policy and is "eliminating any salary modification terms from new contracts and new amendments to existing contracts."

Update: Kopelousos' spokesman Dick Kane said Friday the agency began reviewing contracts after the January special session when lawmakers urged state officials to try to reduce the cost of their private contracts, not as a result of Aronberg's request. 

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