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  • Screen Shot 2019-04-25 at 11.25.19 AM
    2020 Electiondonald trumpFeaturedFloridaPresident Donald Trump
    Biden announces 2020 run, but can he win?
    Daniel Molina
    4 hours ago
    0

    Former Vice President Joe Biden made the announcement today that he is joining the 2020 Presidential election race.

    Taking to twitter to formally announce his candidacy, the former Vice President who’s recently faced controversy over a slew of sexual harassment allegations, expressed that “the core values of this nation… our standing in the world… our very democracy in the world… everything that has made America — America — is at stake.”

    Attached to the announcement tweet is a video where Biden makes the formal announcement.

    He begins the video by highlighting that Charlottesville is home of the words “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights.”

    Biden then discusses August 2017 when the Unite the Rally took place, saying that Klansmen marched in an attempt at “burying the fangs of racism.”

    And, it was then that he knew “the threat to this nation was unlike any I had seen in my lifetime.”

    The announcement comes after months of speculation over whether or not he would join the race, but it also comes with baggage as the former Vice President has come under attack by both Democrats and Republicans over sexual harassment allegations that have been made against him.

    In recent weeks, President Trump has also aimed attacks at “Crazy Joe” and Senator Bernie Sanders, who is currently polling second among Democratic voters.

    Though Biden enters the race polling as a front runner, he is still tasked with convincing voters that voted precisely against the Obama administration to elect President Trump in 2016.

    And, it adds on to a growing divide within the Democratic party that is currently experiencing a rise in Democratic-Socialism. It is a problem that Democrats have looked to solve, but it is still proving difficult heading into the 2020 Presidential Election.

  • Screen Shot 2019-04-25 at 10.10.52 AM
    FeaturedFlorida Politics
    House passes controversial felon’s rights bill
    News Service of Florida
    6 hours ago
    0
    TALLAHASSEE — In one of the most-divisive issues of the 2019 legislative session, the House on Wednesday approved a plan for carrying out a constitutional amendment designed to restore the voting rights of felons who have fulfilled the terms of their sentences.

    Democrats spent hours Tuesday and Wednesday criticizing the bill, contending that it would place too many restrictions on felons seeking to have their rights restored. They also repeatedly argued that the bill would thwart the will of more than 5.1 million Floridians who supported what appeared as “Amendment 4” on the November ballot.

    House Minority Leader Kionne McGhee, D-Miami, said the bill (HB 7089) “attempts to undermine the people of this great state.”

    But Republicans argued that they are properly carrying out the words of the amendment and disputed that they are trying to prevent felons from having their rights restored.

    “This bill doesn’t disenfranchise anybody,” sponsor James Grant, R-Tampa, said, adding that people disenfranchised themselves when they committed crimes.

    The House’s party-line, 71-45 vote drew a rebuke from backers of the amendment, who called the bill “a failure to live up to the bipartisan commitment” demonstrated by the 61 percent of voters who approved Amendment 4.

    With little more than a week left in the legislative session, the House and Senate will have to reach agreement on a final version of the bill. After numerous revisions, the Senate proposal this week got the backing of one of the main groups behind the amendment, which could affect 700,000 Floridians, according to an analysis by state economists.

    The constitutional amendment granted restoration of voting rights to felons “who have completed all terms of their sentence, including parole or probation.” The amendment excluded people “convicted of murder or a felony sexual offense.”

    But a sharp disagreement over what constitutes “murder,” “felony sexual offense,” and completion of “all terms of their sentence” has pitted supporters of the amendment against many Republican lawmakers.

    Much of the disagreement has rested on the financial obligations that felons must have cleared up to be eligible for automatic vote restoration.

    The House plan requires repayment of all financial obligations ordered by judges, including obligations that have been converted to civil judgments.

    The Senate proposal (SB 7086) that won the favor of Amendment 4 proponents Tuesday would require full repayment of restitution, including restitution that’s been converted to civil liens, but not other financial obligations — such as fees, fines or court costs — converted to civil judgments.

    The Senate Rules Committee signed off on the measure Tuesday after approving an amendment offered by the bill’s sponsor, St. Petersburg Republican Jeff Brandes.

    “For the first time since debate about clarifying Amendment 4 began, we are here to support the Brandes amendment and the bipartisan progress that we’ve seen in the Senate,” said Neil Volz, a “returning citizen” who is the political director of one of the committees behind the amendment. “We appreciate the effort… to find legislative language that mirrors the language of the amendment itself.”

    Democrats on the committee, however, continued to object that the proposal makes it too hard for felons to get their voting rights back and offered a series of amendments that sought to tweak the bill.

    Brandes, a staunch advocate of criminal-justice reforms, said injecting more changes at this point would make it more difficult to reconcile the two chambers’ measures.

    “Obviously, this is a dance between us and the House,” Brandes said. “We’re still far apart.”

    He called the support of Volz and other Amendment 4 backers, who had strenuously opposed previous iterations of the bill, a “bold sign” of “significant moves that we made” on the proposal.

    But Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens, argued that the measure would shut out people who have been ordered to pay such large amounts of restitution that they would never be able to pay off the debt in their lifetime.

    “The goal is not to have someone never able to vote because they’re never able to pay back some form of restitution,” he said.

    But Sen. David Simmons, R-Altamonte Springs, said people who have stolen millions of dollars from others don’t deserve the automatic restoration.

    “The idea that there’s an automatic restoration of rights after you have defrauded someone else and left them in misery … is not congruent” with the intent of the amendment, Simmons said.

  • Screen Shot 2019-04-25 at 10.02.22 AM
    FeaturedFlorida Politics
    Pot brownie school expulsion overturned
    News Service of Florida
    6 hours ago
    0
  • floridian logo
    FeaturedFlorida Politics
    THE FLORIDIAN – Florida’s Daily Political Read for 4.25.2019 – Biden is in! Trump drains swamp, SCOTUS on immigration
    Javier Manjarres
    7 hours ago
    0

    Florida’s legislative session nears its end

    From the looks of it, Gov. Ron DeSantis will be signing into law legislation that will not only appease the Republican-led state legislature, but the throngs of activists and politicos that ushered him into office last November.

    Arming teachers, sanctuary cities, and other high profile and controversial issues have passed the necessary legislative committees, and could hit the governor’s desk in the coming week or so. DeSantis is also getting what he wants and needs for Floridians from the federal government.

    It helps that he is a close ally of President Trump


    DODGING BERNIE SANDERS – Sanders dodges questions over race at “She the People” women of color town hall meeting in Houston: In a particularly striking moment, host Aimee Allison asked Sanders what he would do to fight white-supremacist violence. In response, Sanders launched into a familiar anecdote that — perhaps precisely because of its familiarity — seemed to crash and burn.

    “I know I date myself a little bit here, but I actually was at the March on Washington with Dr. [Martin Luther] King back in 1963,” Sanders began, as audible groans and jeers broke out at the auditorium at Texas Southern University. One person apparently shouted, “We know!”-FOX NEWS

    PANDERING THROUGH ELECTION SEASON -2020 Democratic presidential candidates (the guys) appear to be pandering for the female. Sen. Cory Booker joins Rep. Eric Swalwell in saying that they would pick a woman as VP running mate, if they won their party’s nomination.

    DRAINING THE SWAMP ONE CRITTER AT A TIME –Trump: “I am Breaking Down the Swamp” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina:As Democrats look to compromise on whether or not they should pursue an impeachment process against President Trump, the President briefly spoke to reporters this morning to discuss several things that are on his mind. READ MORE

    .

    THE GREAT SATAN? – “Omar Faces Backlash for “Black Hawk Down” Tweet” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina:Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar is embroiled in more controversy involving questionable comments she has made in the past.

    In a 2015 tweet that has resurfaced, Omar argues that United States forces killed “thousands” of Somalis during the 1993 mission known as “Black Hawk Down.” This claim directly goes against what many analysts confirm is a much smaller number. READ MORE

    SCOTUS UP TO BAT – “U.S. Supreme Court to hear citizenship question argument” by HISPOLITICA:Enumeration Clause of the Constitution states that Congress must count or conduct an “actual enumeration” of the entire population of the United States, including those individuals who lack U.S. citizenship. READ MORE

    JUST ONE PHONE CALL DID IT – “Democrats Hold Conference Call on Mueller Report–READ MORE

    JUST WORDS – House Democrat questions “why we keep using this word collusion?” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres:Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) appeared on Fox News’ “The Story with Martha McCallum,” where the freshman congressman told fill-n host Ed Henry that she has all-but supportive of House impeachment proceedings against President Trump.READ MORE

    GO AHEAD, MAKE HIS DAY – “Trump threatens Mexico with armed soldiers at border” by HISPOLITICA: President Trump has drawn a line in the desert with Mexico, as the president threatened to send armed U.S. soldiers to the southern border after a Mexican military patrol drew their weapons on a group of U.S. National Guardsmen patrolling the border.

    “Mexico’s Soldiers recently pulled guns on our National Guard Soldiers, probably as a diversionary tactic for drug smugglers on the Border. Better not happen again! We are now sending ARMED SOLDIERS to the Border. Mexico is not doing nearly enough in apprehending & returning!” he tweeted.READ MORE

    “Democrats question trump impeachment moving forward” by HISPOLITICA:Leading up to the conclusion of the Mueller report, Democrats were waiting for the report to confirm that the Trump administration and Russia had colluded in order to get Trump to win the presidency in 2016.READ MORE

    Detained leader of border militia beat up in jail” by NBC News READ MORE

    ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION BEING DEALT A BLOW – ‘Sanctuary cities’ bill clears Florida House by News Service of Florida:TALLAHASSEE — After a long and fiery debate about how the state should deal with illegal immigration, the Florida House on Wednesday passed legislation that seeks to crack down on local governments that do not fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities. READ MORE

    ARMING TEACHERS-Senate passes controversial school safety bill by News Service of Florida:TALLAHASSEE — In search of a solution that will prevent another school massacre, a sharply divided Florida Senate on Tuesday passed a wide-ranging school safety bill that includes a controversial provision aimed at adding armed teachers to the line of defense.

    The Senate passed the bill on a 22-17 vote, READ MORE

    NEXT ROUND OF SHOTS ARE ON DeSANTIS – ” DeSantis signs first death warrant for serial killer by News Service of Florida:Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday signed his first death warrant, with an execution scheduled May 23 for Tampa-area serial killer Robert Joseph Long, according to documents posted on the Florida Supreme Court website. Long was sentenced to death in the May 1984 murder of Michelle Simms after picking her up on Kennedy Boulevard in Tampa. READ MORE

    SUNSHINE – “Project Sunrise” Wants Florida to Shine by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina: The Florida Council of 100 released a report today that they’re calling a comprehensive roadmap for the sunshine state’s next 12 years. READ MORE

    DO NOT PASS ‘GO’ – “FL court denies fmr. Broward Sheriff, upholds his suspension” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres:The Florida Supreme Court has ruled against embattled former Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who was appealing his suspension by Gov. Ron DeSantis.READ MORE

     

    Biden is finally in the race, but how long will his poll bump last? Leading up to his announcement, Biden was only leading the field of Democratic presidential candidates by 7 points. He’ll get the bump, but the others are right on his heals, and what will happen when Bernie Sanders starts unloading on him. This will be an epic Progressive vs Liberal civil war.

    @realDonaldTrump

    The Great State of Tennessee is so close to passing School Choice. All of our Nation’s children, regardless of background, deserve a shot at achieving the American Dream! Time to get this done, so important!

    President Donald Trump

    Adam Schiff @RepAdamSchiff

    Today, Trump said he is the most transparent president in the history of our nation.

    If by transparent, he means opposing every request for documents and testimony by Congress,

    And obstructing Mueller’s investigation,

    Then I don’t think that word means what he thinks it means.

    “-Rep. Adam Schiff (D)

    “Like many public systems, GOP want to rip the battery out + say the whole car doesn’t work, so they can sell it for parts.

    Fully funding the VA & hiring to fill the *49k vacancies* is a clear path to improving it – not auctioning off our vet care systems to for-profit companies.”-Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

    Unfortunately, all “public systems” have either failed or are failing, including the VA. Maybe she should ask a veteran about his or her’s experience with the VA. My father is a vet and has to wait months on end for a single follow up appointment. The VA is broken,needs to be replace, at the very least, streamlined,

    More Ocasio-Cortez

    AOC supports Venezuela’s Nicolas Maduro, but maybe not for long. Maduro just announced that his government has just reactivated a Mineral coal mine in his country. Sooooo not very “Green New Deal”

    OAS wants more sanctions and use of force against Maduro’s regime by El Nuevo Herald

    The Secretary General of the Organization of American States (OAS), Luis Almagro, on Wednesday called for more economic sanctions and an eventual use of force to resolve the situation in Venezuela, a process he considered “difficult”.

    Venezuela, plunged into an economic crisis unprecedented in the recent history of the region, since January has been a pulse for power between the interim president Juan Guaidó, recognized by the United States and more than 50 countries, and the ruling Nicolás Maduro, clinging to the charge with support from the military, Russia and China.

    READ MORE


    THE REPUBLICAN

    Rick Scott @SenRickScott

    Today I was on the bridge of Unity where it @Nicolasmaduro blocked humanitarian aid to #VZ.

    The people of VZ are asking for help and we need to respond. Thanks [email protected] being a strong ally for the people OF VZ and @jguaido.

    THE DEMOCRAT

    US Rep Kathy Castor @USRepKCastor

    US Rep Kathy Castor Retweeted American Lung Assoc.

    The climate crisis is making our air dirtier. @LungAssociation just gave Hillsborough County a “D” grade for air quality. This is why we need

    44 Arrested in Operation Meth Death Peddlers

    LAKELAND, FL — A total of 44 people have been charged with various drug-related offenses during a more than year-long investigation dubbed “Operation Meth Death Peddlers,” according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

    “These drug dealers have blood on their hands. They make money off of the misery of others,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd in announcing the arrests at a news conference Wednesday. “They use violence as a means to enforce their business rules. Everything about what they do is violent to our communities and our quality of life.”

    Judd said some of the people arrested were suspected of trafficking multi-kilo shipments of methamphetamine. In 2017, the last complete year for which there is data, there were a combined 68 meth-related deaths in Polk, Hardee and Highlands County, contributing to 858 meth-related deaths across Florida that same year, according to Judd. READ MORE

  • desantis address
    FeaturedFlorida Politics
    ‘Sanctuary cities’ bill clears Florida House
    News Service of Florida
    1 day ago
    0
    TALLAHASSEE — After a long and fiery debate about how the state should deal with illegal immigration, the Florida House on Wednesday passed legislation that seeks to crack down on local governments that do not fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities.

    The measure, if passed by the Senate and signed into law by Gov. Ron DeSantis, would ban so-called sanctuary city policies in the state and punish any local officials who limit cooperation with federal immigration authorities. That would include local governments that restrict law-enforcement agencies from participating in a federal program that deputizes local officers to perform the duties of federal immigration agents.

    If they are found to be in violation of the bill, local officials could be removed from office, and local governments could be fined up to $5,000 for each day they have sanctuary-city policies.

    House sponsor Cord Byrd, R-Neptune Beach, argued that the bill (HB 527) is meant to require local government to follow federal immigration laws and ensure Florida residents are safe. His Republicans colleagues echoed that sentiment.

    “The state should welcome immigrants, but it should be legal immigrants,” said Rep. Mike Beltran, R-Lithia. “We are not saying that illegal immigrants are bad people … but they need to follow the law.”

    But Democrats criticized the bill in often-emotional testimony that sometimes included accounts about how their families immigrated to the United States.

    “This bill is not who we are as Floridians,” Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith, D-Orlando, said.

    In part, Democrats said the bill would not just target undocumented immigrants who commit violent crimes but also minor crimes, like driving without a license.

    Rep. Dotie Joseph, D-North Miami, said the bill would hurt the trust between law enforcement and immigrant communities, which she said would “make all of Florida’s families unsafe.”

    Rep. John Cortes, a Kissimmee Democrat who worked as a corrections officer, said he supports locking up immigrants who commit crimes but that non-criminals also likely would be targeted. He added that there would be a cost to taxpayers for holding immigrants on federal immigration detainers.

    Despite the pushback, the bill passed the House in a 69-47 vote along almost-straight party lines. Republicans Vance Aloupis of Miami and Rene Plasencia of Orlando joined Democrats in voting against the bill.

    The House has passed similar bills the past three years, but the Senate has not gone along. A Senate version (SB 168), however, is scheduled to be heard Thursday on the Senate floor.

    Sen. Joe Gruters, who also serves as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, has made the issue his top priority in the Senate.

    If a sanctuary-cities bill ultimately passes, the Republican-dominated Legislature would hand DeSantis a major win during his first year in office.

    During his campaign last year, DeSantis vowed to sign legislation cracking down on sanctuary cities. His tough stance on illegal immigration mirrored the arguments embraced by President Donald Trump, who endorsed DeSantis for governor.

  • rontemple2
    FeaturedFlorida Politics
    FL court denies fmr. Broward Sheriff, upholds his suspension
    Javier Manjarres
    1 day ago
    0

    The Florida Supreme Court has ruled against embattled former Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, who was appealing his suspension by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

    The court’s decision all-but ends the longstanding drama that occurred when DeSantis suspended Israel over his office’s epic failure during the Marjorie Stoneman Douglas high school mass shooting that left 17 students and teachers dead.

    “Today’s @flcourts opinion leaves no doubt of my authority to suspend a government official for neglect of duty and incompetence. Scott Israel failed to protect the families and students of Broward County and I look forward to the @FLSenate resuming the process of formal removal,” tweeted DeSantis

    The only chance or recourse that Israel has to regain his job as sheriff, is to run of re-election in 2020, and let the voters decide if they want him back or not.

    And according to Israel, that is exactly what he intends to do, run for re-election next year.

    DeSantis has replaced Israel with former Coral Springs Police Officer Greg Tony.

  • Rick Scott
    FeaturedFlorida
    “Project Sunrise” Wants Florida to Shine
    Daniel Molina
    1 day ago
    0

    The Florida Council of 100 released a report today that they’re calling a comprehensive roadmap for the sunshine state’s next 12 years.

    Included in the roadmap are six strategic goals, 20 policy options and 90 initiatives that they’re suggesting to ensure that Florida is effective in answering the question “where do we go from here?”

    Dubbed “Project Sunrise,” the economic study is an assessment of both risks and opportunities in the sunshine state. And, it highlights that Florida should work on improving its “tradeable sectors” so that the sunshine state continues on its course of being “an economic powerhouse and a leader in quality of life and economic productivity.”

    As Governor Rick Scott’s administration came to an end, he worked diligently to make sure that there was a smooth transition to the DeSantis administration.

    And, according to polls that indicate Floridians are happy with the work DeSantis is accomplishing, it appears that DeSantis is in fact working off of what Scott was able to accomplish as Governor.

    In describing “Project Sunrise,” Chris Corr, the FC100 chair, expressed that “Given Florida’s maturity as a worldwide economic powerhouse in recent years, we have a unique opportunity to lead and chart a path to help Florida become that ‘It’ State – the place where dynamic and exciting innovations lead the way.”

    Furthermore, “with this framework, Florida can apply the proper mix of talents, efforts, and resources to drive the state’s economy to thrive, en route to an improved quality of life for our citizens.”

    The six broad goals of the project include, Human Capital, Strategic repositioning, Economic development organizations, Public investment, R&D and innovation and health.

    And, Syd Kitson, the Vice Chair of FC100, explained that discussing these goals is important because it “tells us where we are, but it also provides specific strategies to guide and boost us to where we need to be.”

    In turn, Kitson adds that “Project Sunrise shows the path to sustained economic prosperity for Florida and its growing population.”

  • President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks on supporting veterans and their families Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
    2020 Electiondonald trumpFeaturedPresident Donald Trump
    Trump: “I am Breaking Down the Swamp”
    Daniel Molina
    1 day ago
    0

    As Democrats look to compromise on whether or not they should pursue an impeachment process against President Trump, the President briefly spoke to reporters this morning to discuss several things that are on his mind.

    In his talk with the Press, President Trump maintained his innocence in light of the controversial Mueller report.

    Trump called himself “the most transparent president in the history of our country,” and he proceeded to slam Democrats for trying to pursue impeachment.

    However, he argues that impeachment is important for Democrats because “they hate President Trump. They hate him with a passion.”

    Commenting on the upcoming presidential election, he detailed that Democrats are grasping at straws for something to help elect a Democrat but that it will be unfruitful in the end because the group of candidates that they have to offer are not strong enough to come out with a victory.

    Trump added that “the only way they can luck out is by constantly going after me on nonsense,” and he once again restated that they should actually be investigating “crooked Hillary” and the issues that she’s been embroiled in.

    What will help him win reelection, he says, is the fact that he is “breaking down the swamp” and that he will continue to drain “the swamp.”

    However, not all Republicans are as hopeful as President Trump is about heading into the 2020 Presidential election.

    Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, took to twitter to express that the ‘radical left’ have now taken charge of the Democratic Party, and he expects that there will definitely “be impeachment proceedings against President Trump.”

    In turn, while Democrats figure out whether or not impeachment proceedings will go as planned, it seems Republicans are also gearing up to respond to any impeachment proceedings.

    However, one thing is for sure, President Trump appears unbothered and looks to maintain this energy against the nominee that emerges from the Democratic primaries.

  • Screen Shot 2019-04-09 at 2.29.16 PM
    FeaturedFlorida Politics
    DeSantis signs first death warrant for serial killer
    News Service of Florida
    1 day ago
    0
  • desantis address
    Featured
    Senate passes controversial school safety bill
    News Service of Florida
    1 day ago
    0

    The Senate passed the bill on a 22-17 vote, with Democrats and Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, opposed to the legislation’s expansion of the school “guardian” program to allow armed classroom teachers. The program was created last year and has allowed other school staff members to be armed if districts approve.

    The measure (SB 7030) includes recommendations made by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, which was formed by the Legislature last year after a gunman killed 17 students and faculty members at the Parkland school.

    Some of those recommendations include strengthening mental-health services at schools across the state and improving communication between schools and law enforcement by enhancing districts’ requirements to report incidents that pose threats on school premises or at off-campus school-sponsored events.

    “This legislation continues our efforts to proactively enhance coordination between education, law enforcement, and community mental-health resources to ensure at-risk students receive the help they need before a tragedy occurs,” Senate President Bill Galvano, R-Bradenton, said in a statement after the vote.

    While the Senate universally agreed those provisions of the bill were important, most of the debate Tuesday focused on the expansion of the guardian program.

    Senate Education Chairman Manny Diaz Jr., a Hialeah Republican who sponsored the bill, argued the guardian program is voluntary for local school districts, and that if they do opt in, guardians go through psychological evaluations, background screenings and training on how to handle active shooter situations.

    “I am very fearful about changing the program this year,” Sen. Lori Berman, D-Lantana, said. “I worry about the logistics of this program, do the teachers carry the gun on their person? What happens in recess? Will children be able to get it?”

    Throughout the legislative process, Democrats tried to amend the bill to keep classroom teachers from participating in the guardian program and to give parents the option to pull their children from classes taught by armed teachers.

    “The parent’s rights are not being considered in this bill,” Sen. Annette Taddeo, D-Miami, said.

    Taddeo’s proposal to give parents the choice to keep their children away from armed teachers proved tricky because guardians’ identities are meant to be kept secret.

    While debating the bill, Sen. Lauren Book, D-Plantation, meticulously went over the details of the Feb. 14, 2018, shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and officials’ response to it, including how during the shooting, former Broward County Deputy Scot Peterson did not enter the building.

    “I will remind you that the shooting lasted 3 minutes and 43 seconds from first to last shot,” Book said.

    As senators pondered how quickly lives were lost during the Parkland shooting, they also discussed how a year later, two student survivors died of suicides. Sen. Kathleen Passidomo praised efforts in the bill to improve mental health services in schools. Last year, the Legislature gave school districts $69 million to address mental health, something Passidomo said is a “drop in the bucket.”

    This year, the Senate has proposed a total of $100 million for mental health funding. Passidomo also worked to amend the bill to aid students in crisis, particularly those with suicidal tendencies and who are bullied, a provision she said was needed to help potential shooters.

    “We want these students to be identified so they do not become monsters,” Passidomo, R-Naples, said.

    A similar House bill (HB 7093) has moved through committees but has not come up on the House floor for a vote.

  • omar
    donald trumpFeatured
    Omar Faces Backlash for “Black Hawk Down” Tweet
    Daniel Molina
    2 days ago
    0

    Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar is embroiled in more controversy involving questionable comments she has made in the past.

    In a 2015 tweet that has resurfaced, Omar argues that United States forces killed “thousands” of Somalis during the 1993 mission known as “Black Hawk Down.” This claim directly goes against what many analysts confirm is a much smaller number.

    The tweet is being slammed for being anti-American and pro-radical Islamist, which is a problem Omar has faced since announcing her congressional campaign.

    In addition, the tweet includes the hashtag “NotTodaySatan,” which has drawn confusion from critics. The term “Great Satan” is a derogatory term that was first used by Iranian leader Ruhollah Khomeinin in a speech given on November 5th, 1979 when referring to the United States. “Little Satan” is also a derogatory term that instead is used in reference to Israel, so many people are questioning what her intended use of the hashtag was in reference to.

    This new controversy comes at a time when Rep. Omar has come under heavy criticism for sharing anti-Semitic comments in the past through twitter and in person. It has caused both Republicans and Democrats to condemn her, but she has maintained her innocence and argues that she is not anti-Semitic.

    President Trump even slammed the freshman congresswoman after a speech given to CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic Relations.” In the speech, she defended the organization, saying that it was founded after 9/11 “because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties.”

    Many did not take this comment lightly, and it incited a feud involving her and other Democrats with Republican Rep. Dan Crenshaw.

    Concerning the newly unearthed tweet, Omar’s office has not responded with a statement, but online users have responded to the tweet with criticism and condemnation.

    One twitter account questioned her words, asking if she was “a United States Congresswoman?”

  • President Donald J. Trump delivers remarks on supporting veterans and their families Thursday, Nov. 15, 2018, in the South Court Auditorium in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)
    2020 Electiondonald trumpFeaturedFloridaPresident Donald Trump
    Democrats Hold Conference Call on Mueller Report
    Daniel Molina
    2 days ago
    0

    This morning, Democrats held a caucus conference call to discuss how they will move forward as a party concerning the results of the Mueller report.

    When the report was released last week, 2020 Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren called for the House to immediately begin the impeachment process to get President Trump out of office. Soon after, several Democrats followed in making the same call.

    However, not all Democrats agree with Senator Warren’s call to arms.

    One member of the Democratic party that was present during the conference call is Rep. Ro Khanna of California.

    In an interview with Fox news this morning, Khanna explained that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi set the tone during the conference for how Democrats should respond to the Mueller report.

    Khanna stated that Pelosi called for Democrats “to be deliberate, methodical and that we shouldn’t rush to judgement.”

    In fact, Khanna echoed in Pelosi’s sentiment. And, Fox News reports that, during the conference call, Pelosi expressed that “this isn’t about Democrats or Republicans. It’s about saving our democracy… if it is what we need to do to honor our responsibility to the constitution – if that’s the place the facts take us, that’s the place we have to go…”

    Khanna maintains that Robert Mueller should testify before congress, but he also explained that he’s working with Republican Rep. Kevin McCarthy to ensure that there’s no future threat to any elections in the United States.

    Furthermore, Khanna detailed that what the American people want is for Democrats to continue working on enhancing the nation’s infrastructure, reforming the healthcare system and making sure that child care is more accessible to parents. So, that is what he intends to do, and he called for Democrats to focus on working towards achieving those goals.

    While there’s no word on what move Democrats will take heading forward, the conversation will only intensify as the 2020 Presidential election unravels.

  • rontemple2
    FeaturedFlorida
    Charter Schools Polling High With Floridians
    Daniel Molina
    3 days ago
    0

    In the longstanding conversation of education reform, charter schools have been a controversial topic for years.

    Though they’ve received their fair share of detractors, a 2018 voter survey conducted by National Victory Strategies indicates that constituents strongly support charter schools and that they would endorse using tax paying dollars to be directed to charter schools as well.

    To conduct the survey, 403 people were interviewed via telephone from December 13th through December 15th, 2018.

    Voters were asked if they agreed that the Miami-Dade County School Board should include public charter school students and teachers in the distribution of tax funds for school safety improvements and teacher salaries on a per student basis, and 53% of voters said that they agreed with 43% arguing that they strongly agreed.

    In terms of the verbage in the 2018 midterm election, Floridians were asked if the ballot question had been vague and if they believed that the question should have been clearer and more detailed concerning charter school students and teachers being included in the tax distribution. To that, 72% voted in favor with 60% arguing that they strongly agreed.

    Finally, when asked if they would support the Florida legislature and Governor Ron DeSantis stepping in on behalf of public charter school students and teachers to ensure that tax funds are divided equally, 53% argued in favor while 45% said that they strongly agreed.

    With a large number of Floridian’s supporting charter school measures, it seems the information has a lot to teach not only residents but also lawmakers in the sunshine state.

    The survey covered a wide number of questions that constituents were told to share their opinion on, but the development of how they view charter schools clashes with the sentiments shared by many Democrats.

    While running for Governor, DeSantis assured that he would “support school choice options such as public magnet schools, district and non-district-managed public charter schools, Florida Virtual School, home education, and the various other choice options.”

    How the information from the survey will be used in the upcoming election remains to be seen, but the development in the charter school debate will definitely incite a response in the upcoming days.

  • Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 7.43.06 PM
    Featured
    House Democrat questions “why we keep using this word collusion?”
    Javier Manjarres
    3 days ago
    0

    Rep. Katie Hill (D-CA) appeared on Fox News’ “The Story with Martha McCallum,” where the freshman congressman told fill-n host Ed Henry that she has all-but supportive of House impeachment proceedings against President Trump.

    Hill, who sits on the House Oversight Committee, incredulously contradicted everything Democratic House leadership has been saying about the whole premise of the Mueller investigation, which found that there was no “collusion” between the Trump campaign and Russia, or any of its operatives.

    I don’t know why we keep using this word collusion,” said Hill.

    Henry quipped, saying that the term “collusion” was the word Democrats have been using ever since the investigation started, in particularly House Judiciary Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who has doubled-down on her ‘Russian collusion’ claim.

    “Because I also distinguish time and time again between collusion, that is acts of corruption that may or may not be criminal, and proof of a criminal conspiracy. And that is a distinction that Bob Mueller made within the first few pages of his report. In fact, every act that I’ve pointed to as evidence of collusion has now been borne out by the report. “-Rep. Adam Schiff (D)

    Speaker Pelosi is also on record of stating that there was “cold hard evidence” that Trump, his family tried to collude with Russia.

    Trump and Republicans have called on Schiff to resign his chairmanship for “lying” to the American people.

  • desantis address
    FeaturedFlorida Politics
    Flores Remains a Tirelessness Champion for Florida’s Immigrant Community
    Opinion
    3 days ago
    0

    In February, Senator David Gruters introduced SB 168, a dangerous piece of anti-immigrant legislation that will break up families and hurt our communities. As this bill advances through the state senate, we find ourselves at a crossroads. Will Florida be a place where families feel safe and law enforcement is equipped to protect and serve every individual in our communities? Or will a handful of misguided legislators in Tallahassee damage our communities and our economy, all without creating a single new job?

    The choice should be crystal clear, and I’m grateful that some of our state’s elected officials have already taken a stand against this alarming legislation, including my law school classmate and friend, the courageous Senator Anitere Flores.

    Senator Flores has consistently demonstrated that she is a strong, independent voice who puts her constituents ahead of partisan politics. In 2018, when a bill with similar aims came to the floor, Senator Flores took a stand for her district and opposed the legislation. I am proud of her leadership and courage.
    SB 168, the legislation currently under consideration, would be even worse for Florida families and businesses than the bill that Senator Flores helped to defeat last year. It would hurt communities across our state, and it is truly a solution in search of a problem: “sanctuary cities” do not even exist in Florida. SB 168 will hurt public safety and limit law enforcement’s effectiveness, by trying to tell hardworking men and women in law enforcement that Tallahassee knows better than they do how to work best in their communities. It is flatly the wrong approach.

    Requiring local law enforcement to carry out federal immigration law as a de facto extension of ICE makes clear that immigration enforcement takes precedence over focusing on the safety of local communities that local law enforcement are meant – and resourced – to serve. This bill fails to equip local law enforcement with the means to carry out their newly expanded responsibilities. It does not allocate additional funding for municipalities to assist with the cost of executing federal priorities. This means that expenses will be taken from local law enforcement’s already limited budgets, leaving even fewer resources for their primary job of serving and protecting local communities. We should all be worried about the toll that these greatly diminished resources will take on community safety.

    Additionally, much of local law enforcement’s effectiveness relies on the crucial relationships that they foster within their communities over time. Without public trust, law enforcement’s job is immeasurably more difficult, resulting in communities becoming less safe, and those living there feeling less protected. Florida can learn from the painful reality that other states and cities which have passed similar anti-sanctuary city legislation have experienced: a serious decline in the reporting of violent crimes and a disintegrating of community trust. Houston Texas, for example, found that the reporting of violent crimes like assault, rape, and even murder declined significantly once law enforcement was tasked with enforcing federal immigration law – the city recognized a staggering drop in deporting of nearlynearly 43%in reports of rape, and a 13% drop in report of violent crime overall.

    Many crime victims, particularly in the Hispanic community, declined to report what they had experienced out of fear of deportation and a broader fear of being targeted due to anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies becoming more pervasive in our communities. When doing ICE’s job instead of being able to do their own is the priority, critical community trust between immigrant residents and law enforcement vanishes. And when residents are afraid to come forward to report, cooperate with law enforcement or testify in court, dangerous criminals go free. That makes everyone – immigrants and citizens alike – less safe.

    We are grateful for Senator Flores’ continuing courage and leadership. When SB 168 comes to the floor, I hope she will display her trademark bravery and leadership by opposing this harmful bill, and rejecting the fear and divisiveness that some legislators are trying to sow into the fabric of our communities and those who protect them.


    Ted Hutchinson

    Florida Organizing Director of FWD.us. FWD.us is a bipartisan team of political campaigners spanning the fields of policy, advocacy, and technology working to create a stronger America founded by tech giants such as Mark Zuckerberg and Bill Gates.

  • Screen Shot 2019-03-20 at 10.50.51 PM
    2020 ElectionFeaturedU.S. Congress
    Warren pushes for universal free public college
    Daniel Molina
    3 days ago
    0

    Days after calling for the House to begin the impeachment process against President Donald Trump, Senator Elizabeth Warren (D), a candidate for the 2020 Presidential Election who has largely been overshadowed by former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders, now seems to be surging in the public eye with new calls for universal free public college and a call for cancelling student loan debt.

    In an Instagram post, the Senator from Massachusetts explained that she “got a quality, public higher education for just $50 a semester.” She explained that “that kind of opportunity opened a million doors for me – and is virtually impossible to find today.”

     

    In her call for education reform, she explains that she’s “calling for something truly transformational – the cancellation of up to $50,000 in student loan debt for 42 million Americans.”

    Furthermore, “to prevent this crisis from ever happening again, I’m also proposing a historic new federal investment that will eliminate the cost of tuition and fees at every public two-year and four-year college in America, and a bold plan to start fixing our higher education system so it better serves lower-income families and communities of color, making sure every student can graduate with zero debt.”

    In elaborating on her plan, Warren argues that the student debt crisis is the result of state and federal governments deciding “that instead of treating higher education like our public school system – free and accessible to all Americans – they’d rather cut taxes for billionaires and giant corporations and offload the cost of higher education onto students and their families.”

    In turn, Warren states that “the student debt crisis is the direct result of this failed experiment.”

    With many candidates proposing medicare for all, open borders and a slew of other policies that have been criticized for being radical, the new proposal from Warren is sure to incite comments from both Republicans and Democrats alike.

  • Screen Shot 2019-04-22 at 10.33.39 AM
    FeaturedFlorida
    Online gaming company could have business ties to Iran
    Javier Manjarres
    3 days ago
    0

    Pennsylvania gaming regulators gave conditional approval this week to an international online sports betting company whose apparent ties to the Iranian gambling market have raised concerns about the rush in many stateside to launch legalized online sports betting.

    The Malta-based company, SB Tech, is a major provider of online gambling technology internationally. It recently entered a partnership with Churchill Downs, the owner and operator of Presque Isle Downs & Casino in Erie, to provide mobile and interactive gaming.

    Recent reports have raised questions about SB Tech’s apparent ties to gambling in Iran, which is subject to a wide range of economic sanctions from the US. In November, the Trump Administration imposed a new round of sanctions on Iran requiring any company that operates in the US to cut off all connection to the Iranian market.

    SBTech maintains it does no business in Iran or Turkey and thoroughly vets customers who rely on its technology. Companies are checked for compliance with anti-money-laundering regulations and gaming regulations in their jurisdictions, company officials told the Statesman Journal in a statement.

    Customers are contractually banned from operating in forbidden territories, the company’s statement said, and SBTech takes action to stop any activities found in restricted areas.

    SBTech deactivated one of its websites this week after the Statesman Journal inquired about its link to sports leagues, including Turkish teams, listed by JokerBet. A separate company that used to be affiliated with SBTech, JokerBet operates in multiple countries, including Turkey, according to its online profile.

    Asked about the reason for the change, the company said the link was a “very old operator website.”

    “The company it was associated with has not had any relationship with SBTech for some time,” SBTech officials said in a statement. “When it was brought to our attention yesterday that the testing URL was still left out there by mistake, it was removed.”

    The company said it “categorically denies that any of its customers or resellers are taking wagers from Iran or Turkey” and those countries are on its list of excluded territories that customers and resellers are expected to follow.

    The company says information that “may appear on random affiliate sites on the web is inaccurate, unverifiable and cannot be relied upon.”

  • Screen Shot 2019-04-21 at 7.46.13 PM
    Featured
    Terrorist attack in Sri Lanka by “religious extremists” kills 200+
    Javier Manjarres
    4 days ago
    0

    The world woke up Easter Sunday to a series explosions that went off at three hotels and three churches, leaving more than 200 dead and 450 injured in Sri Lanka’s capitol Colombo.

    Law enforcement has detained 13 suspects in connection with the bombings, as government officials cautiously state that the “terrorist attack” was carried out by “religious extremists,” and not radical Islamists.

    Several U.S. citizens were among the 11 foreigners identified victims of the apparent coordinated terrorist attack.

    “Attacks on innocent people gathering in a place of worship or enjoying a holiday meal are affronts to the universal values and freedoms that we hold dear, and demonstrate yet again the brutal nature of radical terrorists whose sole aim is to threaten peace and security,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in the statement.

    President Trump and many members of the U.S. Congress, strongly condemned the attack, including several of Florida’s congressional delegation.

    “138 people have been killed in Sri Lanka, with more that 600 badly injured, in a terrorist attack on churches and hotels. The United States offers heartfelt condolences to the great people of Sri Lanka. We stand ready to help!,” said President Trump

    Rep. Ted Deutch (D) described the attack as “devastating,” saying that Americans wer standing with Sri Lanka against this terrorist act.

    Sen. Rick Scott (R) called attack an “evil act of terror,” while his colleague in the Senate, Sen.Marco Rubio (R)  called it a “cowardly & despicable terror attack.”

    No one has yet claimed responsibility for the bombings.