Earlier today, Florida Governor Rick Scott gave his annual State of the State, kicking off the legislative session in Tallahassee.
A lot of us were at work. Don’t worry. I got you covered!
We’ll have reax and analysis later today!
The Legislative Session kicks-off tomorrow with Governor Scott’s State of the State and will set off a 60 day sprint where elected officials from all over Florida try to make a name for themselves to increase both their Political Streetcred and their chances for reelection this November.
Many laws will be proposed. More than half of those will be for show. It’s about “stunting” for the Cameras to keep the voters happy, while keeping your campaign donors and party leadership satisfied. It’s about making a statement.
These 3 lawmakers from the Great Orlando area will have to be particularly bold to ensure their political survival this November when they go before the voters.
State Rep. Mike Clelland D-Lake Mary: The former Firefighter and Attorney’s big victory last year was convincing the State Legislature to not raise the Physical Fitness requirements for his Firefighting brethren. This year facing a serious opposition in a Conservative district, the D29 Democrat will have to run towards the right and make some votes that could upset some of his colleagues.
State Rep. Linda Stewart D- Orlando: This time last week, the Feds were raiding property she owned in East Orlando under suspicion of drugs and prostitution in the residence. Even though she had nothing to do with it directly, she’s got to do something, anything to change the Conversation. She too will face tough opposition this November in a District that is expected to favor Republicans.
State Rep. Bryan Nelson R-Apopka: The Termed out State Rep’s situation is special because he’s actually auditioning for voters in the Orange County District 2 seat he’s running for. He’s one of half a dozen candidates trying to be the next Commissioner from the area he already Represents in Tally. He can’t fundraise during session but he can make some moves that will get him in front of the camera and showcase his effectiveness to the voters
Ricardo Rangel D-Kissimmee and Mike LaRosa R- St.Cloud: I’ve bunched them together because their both from the same area and they were both relatively quiet during their first session last year. Rangel actually has a primary, so he can be boldly partisan in his blue district. LaRosa is well liked by his party and has good energy on the stump. Expect more “Mic Time” from both of these Reps.
Today, Florida Governor Rick Scott announced that he wants to spend $215 Million Dollars on a train station as part of the expanding Orlando International Airport. The station would run trips up and down Florida with the main destination being Miami.
There is also the possibility that the depot could also link up to Sunrail in the future.
The project also has the support of the regions two most powerful people. Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Teresa Jacobs were on hand for the announcement and optimistic about the potential benefits of the project.
HERE’S HOW IT PLAYED
WESH 2 Video) Gov. Rick Scott pledges $213 million for OIA expansion
WKMG Local 6: Gov. Rick Scott says $213M to aid OIA expansion project
WFTV 9 Eyewitness News: Orlando Int’l Airport to become transportation hub with new train station
SO HOW DID IT PLAY, FRANK?: With cautious optimism
Most of the stories led with the price tag. It was anywhere between 200 and 215 mil, depending on what you were watching and there is not doubt that if this project gets the greenlight it will be scrutinized every step of the way.
It did however, have support from a lot of leaders and getting positive sound bytes from the two Mayors builds it credibility. This is Scott’s baby though and since he’s pushing the budget for this project, it depends upon the legislature approving it this year for the first half of the funding and his reelection for the second half. Only one outlet reached out to Charlie Crist to asked if he would support it. It’s likely he would considering Orlando’s standing as the tourism destination of the world.
Last night former Governor and Republican turned Democrat Charlie Crist was on the Comedy Central’s “Colbert Report” with Stephen Colbert.
If you’re not familiar with the program, it’s a humor show and Colbert’s host is actually a character (he’s actually a Democrat as well, who’s sister lost to Mark Sanford in a South Carolina Special Election Last Year).
Some of the Quotables:
Crist:”I’m just really happy to be a Democrat. I never felt really at home. I felt like a round peg in a square hole in the Republican Party.”
Crist: “Jeb Bush said it himself. The leadership tends to be anti-woman, anti-minority, anti-immigrant, anti-gay couples, anti-environment, anti-education, pretty soon there is no one left in the room”
Colbert: “You’re running for Governor of Florida Again. Against Rick Scott. Do you even have to campaign? Can’t you just say, “I”m Charlie Crist, I used to be Governor. How about more of that?”.
Colbert: “Are you afraid of Rick Scott”
Crist: “No, no sir I’m not”
Colbert: “You’re not afraid he’s going to unhinge his jaw and swallow you?”
Here are this week’s best Social Media Offerings from your elected officials
We start at the top with Florida Governor Rick Scott standing with former Guv Jeb Bush. His operation published this graphic on FB earlier this week.
Here we have the entire cabinet saluting Former Tampa Bay Buccaneers Great Derrick Brooks for his selection to the Hall of Fame. AG Commish Adam Putnam posted this pic on FB.
Florida Speaker of the House Will Weatherford posted this pic on Twitter, shortly after Florida’s new LG, Carlos Lopez-Cantera was sworn in.
— Will Weatherford (@willweatherford) February 3, 2014
Florida Senator Marco Rubio wasn’t happy with the Verbage used by NBC during the first day of the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Here is his tweet.
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 8, 2014
Congressman Alan Grayson is never short of time to trade shots with the GOP. Here is his post from FB.
Florida Congresswoman and DNC Debbbie Wasserman-Schultz shared her friend, former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords video driving for the first time since she was shot in the head in a tragic attack during a community event in Tuscon, AZ.
Congressman John Mica actually had an Intermodal Transportation Facility dedicated in his honor. The former House Transportation Chair has been an important part of that issue for some time.
State Rep. Ricardo Rangel posting on activity in Tallahassee.
Here is a picture of Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs speaking at the Orlando Ballet’s 40th anniversary. Also pictured is Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer.
We’ll see you again next week!