RSS Feed of the blog
Reporter William March has covered state and national politics since 1994. Email
Reporter Mike Salinero has covered Hillsborough County government since 2007. Email
Florida Political Blogs:
Most Recent Entries
- Emily’s List again backs Ehrlich
- Jaroch: Tampa 912 “one of the first ones targeted”
- GOP Hispanic outreach official switches parties
- Castor, Crist, local Dems raise $$ for Graham’s daughter
- Joyner designated Senate Democratic leader
- Castor to Obama: Reform “outdated” Cuba embargo, travel ban
- U.S. House Dems send Weatherford letter re Medicaid
- La Gaceta ad, 300 signers, back Castor trip to Cuba
- Ehrlich announces she’ll try again v. Young
- Proposed Defense Budget Saves Clearwater-based National Guard WMD Unit
- Sarasota GOP’s next Statesman of the Year: Sean Hannity
- Mack joins dad’s lobbying firm
- Hagan, Higginbotham lead county commission candidates in fundraising
- Shimberg leaves Buckhorn’s staff for Lightning job
- Rep. Castor’s father dies
- Breaking News
- Back To School
- Allnighter For An iPhone
- 2008 Florida Primary
- A Killer's Grip: The Day Of Execution
- Al-Arian Trial
- Ask The Professor
- Back to College with Adam Emerson
- Baird Helgeson In Key West
- Behind The Crime
- Behind The Wheel
- Boot Camp Death: The Trial
- Branding Tampa
- Business & Careers
- Bus Money
- Civil Rights Movement
- Castro Resigns: Bay Area Reacts
- Coming Back From Extremes
- Couey Trial
- Consumer Updates With Stacie Schaible
- Convention Ears
- Day Without An Immigrant
- Destruction In Central Florida
- Dick Greco
- Diminishing Agriculture in Florida
- Driver's Licensing Soundoff
- Election Connection With Krista Klaus
- Election Day Updates
- Elevated Crosstown Opens
- Governor's Inauguration 2007
- Good Friday For Skipping School
- Great American Teach-In
- Guestbook - Al Lopez
- Guestbook - Gators Are National Champs
- Guestbook - James Dungy
- Higher Gas Prices, Higher Profits For Oil Companies
- Highlands News Updates
- Holiday Blog
- Holiday Office Parties
- Hurricane Guide Updates
- I-4 Traffic
- Insurance Protest Hits The Road
- I-75 Tanker Accident Leads To Traffic Snarls
- International AIDS Conference
- Lafave Plea Deal
- Interstate 4 Disaster
- Largo City Manager Update
- Life - As It Happens
- Live From Cuba
- Life 2.0
- Medicare Part D - Countdown
- Memorial Day Travel
- Memories Of Sea Wolf Restaurant
- Pasco County: What Makes It Special?
- Pasco Health Care
- Out Of The Park
- Plugged In with Jim Collins
- Polk County News Blog
- Politics 2.0
- Primary Voting Day
- Rising Gas Prices
- Saint Leo Trip
- Black Friday Shopping
- Shuttle Updates
- Smoky Skies
- Steele Murder Trial
- Target 8 With Steve Andrews
- The Crime Blog
- Onstott Trial
- The Road To City Hall
- The Weather Spot
- Traffic Tickets Backlog
- Training Videos
- View From The Stands
- War Stories
- Weather Dog
- Command Post Tampa
- Fact Finders - Databay Blog
- Guestbook: Remembering The Fallen Soldiers
- Fresh Squeezed Politics
- RNC 2012: The Road to Tampa
- Political Safari
Emily’s List again backs Ehrlich
Posted May 16, 2013 by William March
Updated May 16, 2013 at 10:48 AM
Emily’s List, a national fundraising group that backs pro-choice women candidates for political office, is again backing Democrat Jessica Ehrlich in her campaign against U.S. Rep. Bill Young.
Ehrlich, a St. Petersburg lawyer who has worked as a congressional staffer, lost in 2012 to the 22-term Republican from Indian Shores; Emily’s List backed her in that race also. She recently announced she’ll run again in 2014.
The organization can provide a significant fundraising boost for candidates it supports. It solicits donations from members across the nation to candidates it chooses.
The organization announced Thursday it has put Ehrlich “on the list.” It says that means “candidates who show promising campaigns,” urging members to contribute to them, but whom it has not yet endorsed.
That list now includes half a dozen 2014 congressional candidates, including Gwen Graham, daughter of former Florida senator and governor Bob Graham. She’s running in a Panhandle district against tea party champion Rep. Steve Southerland.
Jaroch: Tampa 912 “one of the first ones targeted”
Posted May 15, 2013 by William March
Updated May 15, 2013 at 10:10 AM
Karen Jaroch, an organizer for the Tampa 912 Project, says she believes the Tampa 912 Project was one of the first tea party-style organizations that faced extra IRS scrutiny after its application for tax-exempt status.
“I believe we were actually one of the first groups targeted,” she said.
Jaroch said the organization applied for its tax-exempt status in late February, 2010. The IRS inspector general reports say the targeting began in March, 2010.
“We ended up having to answer a bunch of questions,” she said. “We had to give them lots and lots of material – what literature were we passing out, copies of our educational classes on the Constitution. They wanted to to know what voter registration drives we were doing – a lot beyond what would be normal.”
She said the organization got its certification in December, 2010.
GOP Hispanic outreach official switches parties
Posted May 14, 2013 by William March
Updated May 14, 2013 at 03:31 PM
Republicans got another indication of the depth of their problems with Hispanic voters this week when Pablo Pantoja of Orlando, formerly Florida Hispanic outreach director for the national Republican Party, announced he’s switching parties and becoming a Democrat.
Pantoja announced the switch on The Florida Nation, a Democratic-leaning news web site, here.
He said his switch was motivated at least in part by a recent study by the Heritage Foundation which was critical of the comprehensive immigration reform bill sponsored by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
The study projected that legalized immigrants would cost the nation trillions in welfare and other government assistance. It was sharply criticized by Rubio and others; meanwhile, news reports indicated that one of its authors, Jason Richwine, had writtena Ph.D. thesis at Harvard arguing that Hispanic immigrants have lower IQ’s than white natives and genetic ancestry affects IQ.
Writing about his party switch, Pantoja said, “It doesn’t take much to see the culture of intolerance surrounding the Republican Party today. ... The complete disregard of those who are in disadvantage is also palpable. We are not looking at an isolated incident of rhetoric or research.”
Pantoja, who’s Puerto Rican and a Florida State University graduate, served in Iraq and Kuwait and in hurricane-related deployments in the Army National Guard, then worked in the state Division of Emergency Management during the administration of former Gov. Charlie Crist, according to information supplied by the GOP. He’s also been active in various conservative and GOP causes and campaigns.
He was central Florida director for the Romney campaign, and has worked for the state and national Republican parties, he said in an interview.
A state GOP spokesman had no comment on the party change.
Castor, Crist, local Dems raise $$ for Graham’s daughter
Posted May 13, 2013 by William March
Updated May 13, 2013 at 06:00 PM
Former Gov. Charlie Crist, U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor and former Gov. Bob Graham will hold a fundraiser at the home of Stacy Frank in Tampa for Graham’s daughter Gwen Graham, who’s running for the Panhandle U.S. House seat held by Republican Rep. Steve Southerland.
The host committee is a who’s-who of local Democrats, and some former Republicans including Crist—Sam Bell and Betty Castor, Mayor Bob Buckhorn,
DNC member Alan Clendenin, City Council member Harry Cohen, former U.S. Rep. Jim Davis Clerk of Court Pat Frank former Mayor Sandy Freedman, Public Defender Julianne Holt and others.
The $250-per-person event is May 22 at Stacy Frank’s home in Palma Ceia.
Southerland, of Panama City, a favorite of tea party-style Republicans, unseated former Democratic Rep. Allen Boyd in 2010.
Joyner designated Senate Democratic leader
Posted May 3, 2013 by William March
Updated May 3, 2013 at 05:02 PM
State Sen. Arthenia Joyner of Tampa has been designated incoming leader of the Democrats in the state Senate, the first black woman to hold that position.
Joyner, a Tampa lawyer elected to the Senate in 2006, will conclude her second term as a state senator in the next two years. She previously served three terms in the state House, 2000-2006.
The designation means Joyner can expect to be elected Senate Democratic leader in November and head the party’s caucus during the 2014 and 2015 legislative sessions. If Democrats won a majority in the Senate—which isn’t likely—she would be the leading candidate for Senate president. Between now and November, she’ll be in charge of the Democratic Party’s effort to elect Democrats to the state Senate.
Joyner was leader pro tem under the only previous female Democratic Senate leader, Nan Rich.