Florida Five: DWS growing pot pushback, Dem donor calls for her to resign as DNC chair

Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:

DWSFlorida Democrat Vice Chair breaks with Wasserman Schultz on medical marijuana: Despite U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), saying she opposes Amendment 2, a leading Florida Democrat showcased his support of the medical marijuana proposal on Monday.“Like too many American families, my family was stricken by tragedy when my mother Jerrilyn was diagnosed with cancer,” said Alan Clendenin, the first vice chairman of the Florida Democratic Party on Monday. “For over a year we watched my mother battle this horrific disease. We lost my mom Aug. 25, 2008.”Clendenin didn’t call out Wasserman Schultz by name but he did take aim at “Washington politicians” who oppose the proposed state constitutional amendment. Read more.

John Morgan: Debbie Wasserman Schultz should resign as Democratic chair: John Morgan, the trial attorney and financial backer of an amendment to legalize medical marijuana, said Debbie Wasserman Schultz should resign as leader of the Democratic National Committee. Morgan said she can no longer lead the party after expressing concerns about his amendment. “She should really step down as chairwoman of the DNC,” Morgan said on Monday.”I don’t care if she disagrees with me, but she really can’t be in that position,” he said. “It would be like if she was opposed to the funding of Planned Parenthood. This issue is so central to the Democratic Party. Bill Nelson, the most cautious politician in Florida, is in favor of the legalization of medical marijuana. It’s going to be hard for her to be our leader.” Read more.

Allison Tant 2Allison Tant: It’s my Party and I’ll cry (Only) if I want to: The Florida Democrats have less than two weeks to get their act together in the 2014 elections as the clock ticks down for candidates to qualify. When she took over the Florida Democratic Party, Allison Tant promised to take the fight to Republicans, running top-notch candidates for every Cabinet office and vowing to make inroads against the GOP majority controlling the Legislature. But a year and a half later, Tant simply hasn’t come close to either of those goals. Read more.

Hundreds of new patients wait 90 days or more for doctor appointments at Miami VA: Nearly 770 new patients at the Miami VA Healthcare System have waited more than 90 days to see a doctor, according to WFOR-CBS 4 News — some of the more than 8,500new patients that the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs announced Monday have waited three months or longer for initial appointments at six VA hospitals and clinics in Florida. In an audit report issued Monday, the VA said the longest waits in Florida were at the Gainesville facility, where more than 1,200 new patients have waited more than 90 days for treatment. Nationally, more than 57,000 veterans have been waiting 90 days or more for their first VA medical appointments — information that was supplied only after reports emerged that some veterans may be dying while waiting for healthcare. Read more.

In-State tuition becomes reality for Florida Dreamers: In-state tuition for the children of undocumented immigrants will become a reality in Florida. On Monday, Gov. Rick Scott signed HB 851 into law, which would offer Dreamers the same tuition rate as Florida residents.”Making sure all Floridians have access to an affordable higher education is one of my top priorities,” said Scott. “Signing this historic legislation today will keep tuition low, and allow all students who grew up in Florida to have the same access to affordable higher education.” The passage makes Florida the 21st state to offer in-state tuition rates for Dreamers and the bill will cost Florida colleges and universities around $49 million. Read more.

BONUS: Tea party activist Karin Hoffman seeks state Senate seat

For more Florida political news, visit BPR’s FLORIDA NEWS page


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