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Sink Talks Trains and Ports in Jax

Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner and state CFO Alex Sink will be in Jacksonville Tuesday as she continues her Business Plan for Florida tour. Sink will be touring the Jacksonville Port Authority and afterward will have a news conference at the Florida East Coast Railway yard.

Sink will talk about her plans to revitalize Floridas transportation network and, as befitting her stops on Tuesday, both rail andmaritime issueswill be on her agenda.

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We're #2: First Glance at Lieutenant Governor Candidate Pool

Are you sitting on the edge of your seat wondering who is going to be the next lieutenant governor of Florida?

If so, strange to say, youre not alone and now there is a website for all four of uswho pass anxious nights pondering who will become our 18th lieutenant governor.

Our Campaigns has set up a page listing some of the various contenders and there are no real surprises.

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Obama Gives Sanchez a Recess Appointment

Frank Sanchez received a recess appointment from President Barack Obama to become Under Secretary of Commerce for International Trade this weekend.

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Raise a Glass in Good Cheer, Lawmakers

Hallelujah! Lawmakers will get the chance to sit down to Seder or celebrate Good Friday with families and friends in their home districts.

The Senate President and House Speaker have canceled all committees next week. Senators and Representatives will only come in for day-long sessions Wednesday and Thursday to hack away at budget proposals on the chamber floors. Praise the Lord.

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Highest Unemployment Rate in Florida's History

Florida is now facing the largest unemployment rate in the states history.

The Agency for Workforce Innovation just released its unemployment figures for February and the unemployment rate went up to 12.2 percent. In February 2009, the figure stood at 9.2 percent.

Floridas unemployment rate remains way above the national average which stands at 9.7 percent.

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On the Road Again

Gov. Charlie Crist announced he is opening bidding on the state's $1.8 billion First Coast Outer Beltway that will connect I-595 in St. Johns County and I-10 in Duval County, near Jacksonville. The 46.5-mile road will be the the largest infrastructure project ever undertaken by the Florida Department of Transportation and is being billed as creating "thousands" of jobs.

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Democrats Attack... Themselves?

According to a statement by the Senate Majority Leader's office, Democrats have launched a coordinated partisan attack on Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum for filing a lawsuit against the federal healthcare legislation.

Senate Majority Leader Alex de la Portilla defended McCollum saying, "In that role [as Florida's duly elected chief legal representative], not only is General McCollum's legal review of this new federal healthcare bureaucracy appropriate, it is obligatory."

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Bob Smith Pulls Out of Senate Race

Former New Hampshire Senator Bob Smith pulled out of the race for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination late Thursday night, citing an inability to raise funds to continue his campaign. Smith sent out an email to his supporters with the news. He did not offer an endorsement to any other candidate.

Smith represented New Hampshire for 18 years in Congress and ran for the White House in 2000 as a Republican and later as an independent.

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Crist Bashes Rubio in New Ad

Gov. Charlie Crist is running ads for his U.S. Senate campaign, including a television ad attacking his chief rival for the Republican nomination, former House Speaker Marco Rubio.

The television ad has a narrator saying, We thought he was different. Ideologically pure. Marco Rubio shot to national stardom. Called The Republican Obama. Now, comes the truth. Rubio was a registered lobbyist. His income skyrocketed while his power increased.

The ad brings up Rubios handling of Republican Party of Florida credit cards.

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Dockery Opposes Thrasher Merit Pay Bill

While most conservatives have gone along with Sen. John Thrasher's proposal for teacher merit pay, there has been one prominent exception. Gubernatorial candidate Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, and three other Republicans broke ranks to oppose the measure. The Jacksonville Republican's bill passed 21-17.

Most Florida teachers do a great job in the classroom and deserve our respect and support as they raise the bar on student performance, Dockery said.

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