With the fight largely over and a U.S. Supreme Court ruling striking down a similar law in Arizona, a federal judge on Wednesday quietly set aside a portion of Floridas campaign finance law increasing payments to publiclyfinanced candidates who face challenges from privately backed candidates willing to bust state spending caps.
Even as Democrats pledged at their annual Jefferson-Jackson fundraising dinner this past weekend to fight for President Barack Obama and U.S. Sen. Bill Nelsons re-elections in 2012, some were already beginning to size up contenders for the partys gubernatorial nod in 2014.
Gov. Rick Scotts popularity has sagged to 29 percent. And some Democrats are already looking at a rematch of the 2010 election a few months after a Democratic-leaning polling firm found former Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink would win the election by 19 points if it had been held in March.
When it comes to the effort to re-elect President Barack Obama, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick had a simple message to Florida Democrats at their annual Jefferson-Jackson fundraising dinner Saturday night: Get involved.
Im in for 2012, Patrick told the crowd.
Some are also wondering if Patrick, who has traveled to three swing states in recent months, might be in the race for 2016 in a different role. And his appearance in perhaps the largest swing state in presidential politics served as something of a rehearsal if he were to make that transition.
The end game on the state budget drew closer late Friday, as Senate Budget Chairman J.D. Alexander and House Appropriations Chairwoman Denise Grimsley met after a day of deal-making on the spending plan for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
The brief meeting between Alexander and Grimsley highlighted the progress made on a variety of issues throughout the day, though some -- such as plan to graft a growth-management overhaul onto a conforming bill --- proved more controversial than others, like an agreement on how to reduce retirement costs for state employees.
A deadlocked committee vote after time expired further muddied the future of an already-tenuous attempt to bring destination casinos to Florida.
The Senate Finance and Tax Subcommittee tied on a 3-3 vote on the measure (SB 2050), a margin that would usually kill the bill. But Subcommittee Chairwoman Ellyn Bogdanoff, R-Fort Lauderdale, then announced that the rushed vote had actually happened after the panels scheduled 10:45 a.m. adjournment -- meaning the vote doesnt count.