Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:
Crist says he is considering U.S. Senate run – Charlie Crist considering run for 2016 U.S. Senate seat. Charlie Crist is considering another run for the U.S. Senate, in the 2016 race. Well, I have been encouraged to,” Crist said Wednesday when asked by phone about reports that he might run again. Crist, who is in New York, declined to elaborate. Crist, a former Republican governor of Florida, ran for the Senate in 2010 as an independent, losing handily to Republican Marco Rubio, but finishing ahead of Democrat Kendrick Meek. In 2013 he formally changed his party affiliation to Democrat and last year ran again for governor, losing to incumbent Republican Gov. Rick Scott in a close race. Read more
Land and water conservation could come at expense of transportation, affordable housing, advocates fear – Advocates for funding transportation and affordable-housing projects are concerned about losing money as the Florida Senate considers how to pay for the voter-mandated changes in the way land and water conservation is funded by the state. The advocates don’t think much of the Senate’s approach, which would strip money from trust funds for transportation and housing. They prefer the method before the House Agriculture & Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee, which unanimously supported a pair of measures (HB 1291 and HB 1295) that deal with the requirements of Amendment 1, which was approved by 75 percent of the state’s voters in November. Read more
Florida political parties pledge to communicate with Spanish speakers in 2016 election – Florida Republicans and Democrats responded to a request by a group of Hispanic activists for bilingual communications staff that the parties intend to reach out directly to Spanish speakers in the 2016 election. The pledge sounds obvious. Nearly 15 percent of Florida registered voters identify as Hispanic, and both parties have made concerted efforts to reach out to Spanish-language media outlets, especially in South Florida and Orlando. But the activists who wrote the party earlier this month noted that — outside of the heat of a campaign — the parties don’t often publish news releases in Spanish or pitch stories to Spanish-speaking media. Read more
Pols line up to replace Marco Rubio – The high-level maneuvering to replace Florida Sen. Marco Rubio accelerated Wednesday as Congressman Patrick Murphy emerged as the top pick of Senate Democratic leadership, and word leaked that Republican Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera is interested in the seat as well. The positioning for the seat in the nation’s biggest swing state — expected to be vacated by Rubio — didn’t stop there. Some Democrats said Wednesday that Gov. Charlie Crist was “making calls” regarding the seat, but his inner-circle discounted the talk. Read more
Muslim convert arrested after threatening to behead Miami rabbi — but cops let him go first! – It’s certainly newsworthy that a Miami Beach man was arrested after allegedly threatening to behead a rabbi outside his synagogue. It’s even more newsworthy that he first yelled out “Allahu akbar!” But what may be the most sensational aspect of the entire story is that police initially let the man go. Read more
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