Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:
Crist bans news crew from pictures of private jet he flies around the state – People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones, as the old saying goes, but Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist didn’t get the memo. Crist flew around the state on Saturday, hitting Jacksonville, Miami and Sanford, and allowed only one reporter on board the private jet, according to the Miami Herald. But Troy Kinsey of Bay News 9, was told there would be no photographs of the plane. Watch here
A dark horse emerges for DCCC chairman in 2016 – House Democrats have two things on their minds heading into next month: How many seats the party will lose on Nov. 4, and who will be the next chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee? Since the spring, speculation swirled around three members: Reps. Donna Edwards of Maryland, Jim Himes of Connecticut and Jared Polis of Colorado. But according to several operatives and members, a couple of other names surfaced in recent weeks — including Rep. Lois Frankel of Florida. The freshman didn’t rule out the gig when CQ Roll Call contacted her office for comment. “I am focused right now on electing as many Democrats to Congress as possible for the 2014 cycle,” Frankel said in a statement. “I will be honored to continue to these efforts going forward in whatever capacity I can be most helpful.” Read more
Legal protections an issue with Florida’s medical marijuana amendment – Florida’s Amendment 2, which would legalize medical marijuana, contains new protections for patients, doctors, caregivers and dispensaries: Those who follow the rules will not suffer “civil liability or sanctions.” The amendment’s drafters say they wanted to make sure patients who smoke medical marijuana would not lose rights to children in custody fights and doctors would not face lawsuits just for authorizing pot use. Opponents say these protections are too broad. If voters put Amendment 2 into the Constitution, they say, stoned patients could cause accidents and not face consequences. Doctors could authorize pot use willy-nilly with no fear of penalty. Read more
Report: Florida’s elections system has improved, but problems remain – In a hotly contested gubernatorial race that could come down to the wire, what could go wrong in Florida on Election Day? Many things, says Common Cause, the non-profit, liberal advocacy organization based in Washington, D.C. The group released a report that looks at how 10 swing states, including Florida, adopted recommendations from a presidential commission after long voting lines plagued the 2012 election. “Today’s report shows us that while Florida is making improvements in safeguarding our right to vote, we still have a long way to go,” said Miles Rapoport, executive director of Common Cause. Read more
Investigator in Secret Service prostitution scandal resigns – The investigator who led the Department of Homeland Security’s internal review of the Secret Service’s 2012 prostitution scandal quietly resigned in August after he was implicated in his own incident involving a prostitute, according to current and former department officials. Sheriff’s deputies in Broward County, Fla., saw David Nieland, the investigator, entering and leaving a building they had under surveillance as part of a prostitution investigation, according to officials briefed on the investigation. They later interviewed a prostitute who identified Mr. Nieland in a photograph and said he had paid her for sex. Mr. Nieland resigned after he refused to answer a series of questions from the Department of Homeland Security inspector general about the incident, the officials said. Read more
BONUS: Gov. Scott tells lawmakers that Florida is prepared for Ebola (w/video)
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