Dems launch digital salvo at Scott
The Florida Democratic Party has launched a low-budget, online campaign against Gov. Rick Scott — slapping at his performance and policies in newspaper web ads and on social media sites.
The centerpiece of the effort is a website, http://www.realrickscott.com/ that blisters Scott for cuts in public education, rising
The summer-before-election-year effort has a partisan parallel. The Florida Republican Party’s relentless, ‘This Day in Crist-ory’ effort features daily e-mails which highlight the then-and-now policy stances of Charlie Crist, the former Republican governor turned Democrat who is now seen as an almost certain Scott re-election rival. Republicans also have a website to ridicule Crist: http://emptychaircharlie.com/
Scott asks for federal help after Panhandle flooding
Gov. Rick Scott has requested federal disaster aid for five Panhandle counties because of damage from torrential rains that fell throughout the first week of July. Scott asked President Obama on Tuesday to provide assistance for Bay, Holmes, Okaloosa, Walton and Washington counties, which received an estimated $29.9 million in roadway and infrastructure damage as more than a foot of rain fell during the week.
Areas of the Panhandle received more than 12 inches of rain between July 2 and July 7, with nearly 20 inches recorded in Florida seeks federal aid when damages top $25.76 million, according to a state emergency management news release.
Enterprise Florida, governor plan Puerto Rico trip
Enterprise Florida is planning a two-day business development mission to Puerto Rico with Gov. Scott in late February. The Feb. 26 and Feb. 27 trip will follow a November economic development mission to Japan, which will be Scott’s 10th international trade-related trip.
Overnight protest crowd grows for sit-in
The 10th day of a sit-in at Florida’s Capitol ended with a crowd of about 100 protesters planning to camp out in the first-floor hallways, with the number swollen by new arrivals from Philadelphia and a handful of ministers from across the state.
Youth United for Change brought about 30 people from Philadelphia to the Tallahassee event, which has been going on even as Gov. Rick Scott has steered clear of the Capitol. Scott has been lately in Colorado at the Republican Governors’ Association gathering while protesters in the Capitol lobby call for a special session to repeal the state’s stand your ground law and a host of juvenile justice changes.
The protest started July 16, following George Zimmerman’s acquittal in the shooting death of teenager Trayvon Martin in Sanford.
Port reopens after ethanol train derailment
Port of Tampa reopened after an ethanol train derailment about 1 a.m. Thursday.
No injuries were associated with the incident, although delays were expected for traffic, the Port Authority said.
Tampa Fire Rescue officials told a local NBC affiliate 15 train cars derailed and three spilled ethanol. That report added that cleanup could take longer than 24 hours.
Former state rep Weinstein to run for city council
After losing a Republican primary last year for a northeast Florida Senate seat, former state Rep. Mike Weinstein plans to run for the Jacksonville City Council, according to The Florida Times-Union. Weinstein, who served in the House from 2008 to 2012, will run in 2015 for an at-large seat.
Weinstein previously served as a top aide to former Mayors Ed Austin and John Delaney. Also expected to run for the council is former Rep. Terry Fields, according to a listing on the Duval County supervisor of elections website. Fields, a Democrat who was term-limited out of the House in 2008, served on the City Council in the 1990s.
DAYTONA BEACH SHORES
Hood recovering after brain surgery
State Rep. Dave Hood, R-Daytona Beach Shores, thanked House members this week for their support after he underwent surgery July 12 to remove a tumor. Hood said in a letter that he has battled brain cancer since 2007, including receiving four years of chemotherapy.
Hood, 59, was elected to the House in 2012 from a district that includes a large part of eastern Volusia County.
Post staff and wire services.