Florida Five: ‘Perma-tanned’ Crist’s 2016 social media announcement, Party’s over for many Florida voters

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

charlie-crist2Charlie Crist passes on yet another campaign – So much for The Last Temptation of Crist. Charlie Crist, the perma-tanned Republican-turned-independent-turned-Democrat who has sought nearly every statewide office of note in Florida, will not run for Senate in 2016, he said Monday. “I will not be seeking office in 2016, but I will be working alongside you,” Crist wrote in a Facebook post. “Too much is at stake for our beautiful Florida to be on the sidelines. Thank you for your continued support and encouragement.” Read more

Bousquet column: No-party-affiliation voters surge in numbers across Florida – For a growing number of Florida voters, the party’s over. They don’t want to be Republicans and they don’t want to be Democrats. But they could be a potent political force in Florida if they would get out and vote. The latest statewide data show that nearly 27 percent of Florida’s 12 million voters are registered to vote with neither major party. The vast majority, more than 2.8 million people, are known as “NPAs” who are registered with no party affiliation, and a small percentage belong to minor parties such as the Libertarian Party of Florida. Read more

Walker camp whacks Jeb on affirmative action – Scott Walker may not be a candidate for president yet, but the Wisconsin governor’s growing political action committee staff is already going after a potential rival in the Republican primary. GOP strategist Liz Mair, CNN reports, has just signed on to consult for Walker’s Our American Revival PAC, doing outreach to bloggers and other digital media outlets. But days before Monday’s announcement Mair was already taking on Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who’s currently seen as Walker’s chief competition. Read more

Controversial campus guns bill advances in Florida Senate – Despite vehement opposition from university presidents, campus police chiefs and student government associations, the Senate Higher Education Committee on Monday approved a proposal that would allow guns on college campuses. The Republican members of the panel characterized the bill as a Second Amendment issue. “It goes back to the individual’s right to protect themselves,” said Sen. John Legg, R-Trinity. “I have a hard time telling a person that they don’t have the right to protect themselves.” But Senate Democratic Leader Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, offered her own explanation for the party-line vote. Read more

Seminoles finance poll that finds majority of voters want to renew the gaming compact – A new poll financed by the Seminole Tribe of Florida finds that voters like the level of gambling currently being offered today throughout the state and support the renewal of the gaming compact between the Tribe and the state. The poll is a “screaming” statement about “where people see gaming. They like it the way it is. They fear having more of it,” said Adam Goodman, the poll’s media consultant in a conference call with reporters. A portion of the tribal compact expires in July and the Florida House has proposed a bill to end it and replace it with a massive expansion of gaming in South Florida. The Florida Senate, meanwhile, says it is considering not renewing the option of the compact that expires this year. Read more

Seriously?? That crazy ‘Florida Man’ parody is now a beer

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