January 03, 2018

Bill Nelson tries to overrule offshore oil regulation changes by the Trump administration



Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is turning to legislative tactics developed by former Republican House Speaker Newt Gingrich in an effort to halt changes proposed by the Trump administration that would loosen regulations on offshore oil drilling. 

Nelson said he plans to invoke a procedural rule known as the Congressional Review Act to stop a ruling by the Interior Department that would end a current requirement for a third party to certify that an offshore oil rig's blowout preventer is working properly. The Congressional Review Act was initiated by Gingrich in the 1990s as a check on President Bill Clinton, but it went mostly unused until last year when Republicans in Congress used the rule to overturn a number of Obama-era regulations. 

"Almost five million barrels of oil spilled as a result of a defective device called a blowout preventer," Nelson said on the Senate floor Wednesday. "The BP spill devastated my state's economy and eleven people lost their lives. That's why I plan to subject this misguided rule to the Congressional Review Act." 

Since Democrats don't control Congress, it's unlikely that Nelson's use of the Congressional Review Act will succeed. Barack Obama simply vetoed rules that were overturned by Republicans via the Congressional Review Act when he was president, so Donald Trump could do the same if Nelson's effort is successful in Congress. 

The Interior Department is currently accepting public comments on its change to the Obama-era drilling regulations until January 29

"I hope the public understands that and starts registering some complaints, and I hope that during that time every Floridian remembers what happened to us when the beaches of Pensacola Beach were blackened with tar and oil, and we lost a whole season of our guests, our tourists who come to this extraordinary state," Nelson said.  

In 2006, Nelson and then-Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., passed a moratorium on drilling off Florida’s Gulf coast through the year 2022. Nelson filed legislation last year to extend that ban an additional five years, to 2027.

September 06, 2016

Gingrich says Trump has temperament to be commander in chief

via @learyreports

During the GOP primary, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush and other opponents repeatedly cast Donald Trump as unprepared and too erratic to be commander in chief. Of course, Trump beat them all.

“The country apparently thought he was OK,” Newt Gingrich told the Tampa Bay Times Tuesday morning.

That is still an open question for the general election and Hillary Clinton will give a speech in Tampa Tuesday afternoon that hammers the same theme as Trump’s former rivals. Rubio’s words have already been used in TV ads attacking Trump.

Gingrich was deployed by the Trump campaign to make the case that he has the right temperament and decision making ability.

“Trump has a very large personality, which he has cultivated his whole life and has enabled him to become a showman and an icon and a star and a billionaire many times over. Under it, this is a pretty relentless, serious guy,” Gingrich said.

Continue reading "Gingrich says Trump has temperament to be commander in chief" »

December 01, 2015

When Hillary Clinton thought 'Mittens' Romney might lose 2012 Florida primary

via @learyreports

An email from the latest State Department release of Hillary Clinton communications show she was concerned that Mitt Romney, whom she called Mittens, could lose Florida's 2012 GOP primary to Newt "Grinch" Gingrich.

Clinton, who thought a loss could bring changes to ballot access, sent the email to confidant Sidney Blumenthal. Romney won the primary in a blowout.

--ALEX LEARY, Tampa Bay Times

April 02, 2012

VP? Nah. Rubio-Bush-Ryan plan: Stop Rick Santorum

Marco Rubio sounds worried. So do Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan.

Their candidate, Mitt Romney, is losing to President Barack Obama. The GOP primary is becoming “counterproductive.”

So when the three Republicans endorsed Romney over the past two weeks, it wasn’t so much about jockeying for a vice-presidential slot on Romney’s ticket. Their underlying goal was more fundamental: Stop the primary.

That means stop Rick Santorum.

The former Pennsylvania senator has little chance of winning the nomination. But his ability to damage Romney and the Republican National Convention in Tampa is real. Nothing says Tea Party like wrecking the establishment’s tea party.

Santorum has pledged to take his candidacy to the convention. So has Newt Gingrich.

"They are saying the only way they can win this race is by having a floor fight in Tampa in August," Senator Rubio said Wednesday of the “recipe for disaster” on Fox News. " I think that’s a recipe to deliver four more years to Barack Obama. And our country — forget about the Republican Party — our country cannot afford that."

Even before Rubio’s endorsement, Gingrich appeared to be softening his attacks on Romney. He looks like he’s preparing for a graceful exit.

Not Santorum. It’s as if Obama’s campaign is writing Santorum’s attack lines about how Romney is virtually indistinguishable from the president.

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/04/01/v-fullstory/2726126/rubio-bush-ryan-plan-stop-rick.html#storylink=cpy

More here

March 28, 2012

Marco Rubio endorsing Mitt Romney (but Jeb's a better choice for VP)

Florida Senator Marco Rubio endorsed Republican presidential contender Mitt Romney -- just a week after his political mentor, Jeb Bush, threw in with the party's frontrunner.

Rubio's endorsement is another sign that Romney is viewed as the party's inevitable nominee and that the GOP establishment is growing more concerned with the protacted primary that has dragged down Romney's poll numbers.

"I don't have a problem with primaries," Rubio told Sean Hannity. "But I think we're at a stage now where at least two of the candidates have openly admitted that the only way they're going to be able to win the nomination is to have a floor fight in Tampa in August. I don't think there's anything good about that. There is no way that anyone can convince me that having a floor fight at the convention in Tampa in August is a recipe for victory in November. On the contrary. I think it's a recipe for disaster. So I just don't think that's a wise route to go."

Asked if he is endorsing Romney, Rubio said "I am going to endorse Mitt Romney.... He offers such a stark contrast to the president's record."

Rubio said he's convinced of two things: "No. 1, Mitt Romney will govern as a conservative. And No. 2 that he will be head and shoulders better than the guy who's in the White House right now."

Continue reading "Marco Rubio endorsing Mitt Romney (but Jeb's a better choice for VP)" »

February 27, 2012

Gaffes, miscalculations toll on Romney after win in FL. MI loss would set off 'panic'

Florida crowned Mitt Romney the unofficial Republican nominee last month. Now he’s on the precipice of losing the race in Michigan, his native state.

What happened?

A better question might be: What didn’t happen?

Romney failed to take his main opponent Rick Santorum seriously this month, giving the upstart room to breathe and time to win three state races in a row. Romney, plagued by gaffes, has failed to sell a consistent a message about why he should be his party’s nominee.

And in a volatile election season, Romney has also had the misfortune of being the victim of what one Republican called “Tea Party roulette,” which has extended the primary race and kept him in the cross-hairs.

“Mitt has had a bulls eye on his back for something like two years now,” said Allan Bense, a former Florida House speaker and co-chair of Romney’s Florida campaign.

“Once the bulls eye is on your back and the mainstream and others examine you and your issues and your history, it isn’t pretty,” Bense said. “Rick Santorum is learning that now. So I think we’ll be okay once voters become educated about the other candidates.”

Bense is among the more confident Romney Florida backers. They’ve watched with dismay as the Sunshine State’s primary failed to be a deal-sealer for Romney in the race.

Last week, the campaign had to postpone a Daytona Beach fundraiser so that Romney could focus on campaigning in Michigan, a state he was expected to win handily. Now he’s essentially tied with Santorum. Polls suggest Romney should win in Arizona. Both states hold their primaries on Tuesday. The two states set up the 10-state Super Tuesday contest on March 6.

“If we don’t win Michigan on Tuesday, we will start to panic,” said one top Romney official, who didn’t want to be on record for talking out of school. “We made a few missteps. We allowed Santorum to win in Colorado, but we only really started campaigning there once it was too late.”

More here

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/02/27/2664233/mitt-romney-struggles-to-win-over.html#storylink=cpy

February 24, 2012

Jeb finds “fear” mongering by GOP candidates “a little troubling.” Paging Rick Santorum?

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has watched the 20 Republican debates. And he doesn’t like what he sees. Unlike the candidates and some in the conservative cognescenti, Bush doesn’t seem to be on a blame-the-media jihad. He thinks the candidates have problems in and of themselves.

 “I used to be a conservative and I watch these debates and I’m wondering, I don’t think I’ve changed, but it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective and that’s kind of where we are,” former Florida governor Jeb Bush said after a Thursday Dallas speech, according to Fox News reported. “I think it changes when we get to the general election. I hope.”

Bush didn’t give specifics, though his concern about the GOP’s tone over the immigration debate is longstanding. Bush also didn’t single out any candidates, but his comments tellingly follow the last debate where former Penn. Sen. Rick Santorum essentially dissed Bush’s brother’s singular education reform plan: No Child Left Behind.

More broadly, as the Washington Post points out, Santorum sounded anything but optimistic when he said: “We hear this all time -- so you cut spending, limit the government, everything will be fine. No, everything’s not going to be fine.”

Santorum, who did poorly in the debate, blamed his performance on what he said was a pro-Romney crowd. Earlier in the week, the pro-Romney Drudge Report dredged up a 2008 speech at Catholic Ave Maria University where Santorum said Satan was targeting the United States.

Right now, national polls indicate President Obama would beat any Republican candidate by a slim margin, but Romney matches up best against him. Still, as the primary drags on, Romney’s favorability ratings are slipping.

Continue reading "Jeb finds “fear” mongering by GOP candidates “a little troubling.” Paging Rick Santorum?" »

February 21, 2012

Casino boss Adelson: I might give $100m to Newt, other Republican


Sheldon Adelson plays as stubbornly in politics as he does in business. So the criticisms that he’s trying to personally buy the presidential election for Newt Gingrich are met with a roll of the eyes. “Those people are either jealous or professional critics,” Adelson tells me during his first interview since he and his wife began funneling $11 million, with another $10 million injection widely expected, into the former speaker’s super PAC, Winning Our Future. “They like to trash other people. It’s unfair that I’ve been treated unfair—but it doesn’t stop me. I might give $10 million or $100 million to Gingrich.”

Adelson, 78,  certainly can afford to: With a net worth of roughly $25 billion, that $11 million, which jolted Gingrich’s flatlining presidential bid back to life, equates to 0.044% of his fortune. For someone with a $1 million net worth, the equivalent would be $440, or a two-night stay at Adelson’s Venetian casino. Adelson could personally fund an entire presidential campaign—say, $1 billion or so—and not even notice.

Full story here

February 08, 2012

Team Obama: Man, this GOP primary is great!

From an Obama For America press release/memo:

TO: Interested Parties
FR: Joel Benenson, OFA Pollster
RE: Republicans Increasingly Dispirited and Discouraged about Their Candidates

Tuesday’s results in Colorado, Missouri and Minnesota confirm a trend that has been evident in each of the Republican nominating contests this year:

Republican voters are dissatisfied with their candidates – resulting in low turnouts,

Republican voters are increasingly dissatisfied with the frontrunner, Mitt Romney,

Romney’s effort to woo conservative voters is hurting him with independents.

Republican voters are dissatisfied with their candidates – resulting in low turnouts

Republicans’ consistently low turnout shows that they are voting with their feet and staying home, rather than participating in Republican primaries.

Full memo here  Download ObamaMemo


February 06, 2012

Newt Gingrich flubs turnout facts for Florida counties he won

Right after his Nevada loss, Newt Gingrich gave an extra-ordinary press conference where he effortlessly hopped from topic to topic and vowed to stay in the race. He also echoed his longstanding complaint about how Mitt Romney and his allies have buried him with negative ads.

Gingrich then blamed a relatively low Republican voter turnout (compared to 2008) on Romney's negativity.

"Over time I don't believe the American people will approve of a campaign that actually suprresses turnout," Gingrich said. "I think it's amazing. If you go look at Florida, every county I carried in Florida had an increased turnout. Every county Romney carried in Florida had a decreased turnout."

So, we took him up on the challenge, and here's what we found: in terms of raw numbers (comparing total votes cast in 2008 to 2012), 21 Gingrich counties cast more ballots -- not all 34 counties that voted for Gingrich. These are mainly small counties, so the margins weren't big. Liberty County, for instance cast 7 more votes in the GOP presidential primary last Tuesday than it did four years ago. Washington County had the biggest increase: 1,088. But overall, there were 11,112 fewer 2012 votes cast in Gingrich counties compared to 2008.

Usually, the word "turnout" is used to mean the proportion of ballots cast to registered voters. If that's the measuring stick, voter turnout was down in EVERY Florida county compared to 2008. Gingrich counties were marginally better.

In Gingrich counties, turnout was down an average of 5.8%

In Romney counties, turnout was down an average of 9.6%.

Continue reading "Newt Gingrich flubs turnout facts for Florida counties he won" »