Florida Five: Wasserman Schultz on Netanyahu speech protest, RPOF chair says ‘party has funds’

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

Wasserman Schultz and NetanyahuWasserman Schultz won’t join protest of Netanyahu speech – While some Democrats plan to boycott a speech Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will give to Congress next month, Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz will attend, her spokesman tells the Buzz. The speech has angered Democrats because it is seen as a breach of diplomatic decorum — Netanyahu and House Speaker John Boehner sidestepped President Obama — and could upset delicate talks with Iran. Some Democrats are planning to skip. “I don’t think anybody should use the word ‘boycott,'” Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi said in her weekly press conference. Read more

New RPOF Chair Blaise Ingoglia assures state committee members, “The party has funds” – Contrary to reports, the Republican Party of Florida is doing just fine, newly elected Party Chairman Blaise Ingoglia said on Thursday night. Speaking with State Committee members on a conference call, Ingoglia said that despite the fact that political committees representing the Senate and Governor Scott both pulled cash out of the RPOF’s coffers as his victory over incumbent party chair Leslie Dougher became imminent, “The party is in a very good cash position.” He said that he was having discussions with both Senate President Andy Gardiner and Governor Scott’s office, and “everybody is on the same page.” Read more

Florida lawmakers to revisit sexting law – In 2011, Florida lawmakers made sure young people who sent racy pictures to each other via cellphone wouldn’t be labeled sex offenders. But they may have inadvertently made sexting a crime that can’t be punished. An appellate judge in West Palm Beach last month pointed out that the 2011 law makes sexting a noncriminal violation for first-time offenders — and that no court in Florida has jurisdiction over civil offenses for minors. Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, a Wellington Democrat who carried the sexting bill in 2011, said he plans to propose a fix. Read more

Cuba policy leads to burst of fundraising for anti-Castro lobby – President Barack Obama’s new policy on Cuba has unleashed a burst of political donations from South Florida, much of it from Cuban exiles in Miami. The U.S.-Cuba Democracy PAC raised $55,000 between Dec. 15 and Dec 22, around the time Obama announced an agreement with Cuba to move toward normal relations, according to a report released on Thursday by The Center for Responsive Politics. Then on one day, Dec. 23, the group pulled in $47,675. Read more

Florida man tearing down home gun range after intense public uproar – After a public outcry – and some generous private donations – a St. Petersburg, Fla., man won’t be putting a gun range on his property after all. Joseph Carannante, 21, claims he didn’t build the makeshift range made of wooden pallets, cinder blocks and dirt, to hurt anyone. He said he just couldn’t afford to pay to go to a shooting range. “I just want to use this as my enjoyment. I don’t want to have to go to a gun range when I can just go outside my door,” he said. Read more

TGIF: Jon Stewart knows who’d win in a war between Texas and Florida

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