JUICE – Florida Politics’ Juicy Read – 2.4.20 – Democrats Implode In Iowa – Sen. Brandes Likes Him Some “Dark Money” – Trump Wins Iowa – Rubio’s SOTU Guest
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JUICE – Florida Politics’ Juicy Read – 2.4.20 – Democrats Implode In Iowa – Sen. Brandes Likes Him Some “Dark Money” – Trump Wins Iowa – Rubio’s SOTU Guest

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Democrats Implode in Iowa

Oy Vey! The Democrats have detonated a political IED to pretty much destroy their “show and tell” night at the Iowa Caucuses.

It’s 6am in Florida and the vote count is still MIA leaving many Democratic and Republican operatives and media types to think that the “fix” might be in Iowa.

Didn’t Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently tell voters not to support Bernie Sanders?

Also, it’s about time that Iowans get with the program and cast its ballots like every other American does on election day.

“Democrats are stewing in a caucus mess of their own creation with the sloppiest train wreck in history. It would be natural for people to doubt the fairness of the process. And these are the people who want to run our entire health care system? Tonight President Trump posted a record performance in the well-run GOP Iowa caucuses with record turnout for an incumbent.”

– Brad Parscale, Trump 2020 campaign manager 

What a disaster!

TLH

Meanwhile, if you are in Tallahassee, make sure you show up to the capitol at 11:45am for a press conference with Senator Lauren Book (D) where she will address her second annual “42 Hours for 42 Million” advocacy walk to draw attention to the child sexual abuse.

AG Commissioner Nikki Fried, Sen. Aaron Bean (R), and other politicos will be putting on their sneaks to help the cause.

Before that…

Florida Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and State Fire Marshal Jimmy Patronis along with Governor Ron DeSantis and the Florida Cabinet will conduct the ‘Ringing of the Bell Ceremony’ to recognize Florida’s firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty TOMORROW, TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 4, 2020. The event begins at 8:30 a.m. EDT. 

A little later…

Florida African American Ministers Alliance (FAAMA) to host a press conference to denounce attacks on the Florida Tax Credit Scholarship tomorrow, Tuesday, February 4, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. ET in the middle of the 4th floor, Rotunda, of The Florida Capitol.

Eagle 1 to the rest of the field: Stand down

Dane Eagle’s $422,000 came from nearly 300 contributors and was nearly four-times more than any other candidate raised, and more than all the other Republicans combined. Eagle’s contributors ranged from local grass-roots activists, to current and former members of Congress, to highly sought out national donors. Eagle stated, “I am grateful to each and every one of them for their help to make this campaign a success. These leaders know my record and understand they can count on me to represent the conservative values of Southwest Florida when I get to Washington.”

Shevrin ‘The Shev’ Jones Scores Again

State Senator Perry Thurston, Jr. (D-Fort Lauderdale) has endorsed Shevrin Jones in his campaign to represent Senate District 35. Thurston represents Senate District 33, and before he was elected to the Senate in 2016, Thurston served as House Democratic Leader during his four terms in the Florida House of Representatives. Senator Thurston was recently selected by his peers to be Senate Democratic Leader for 2022-24. 

“DMP” aka Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell Pushes Climate Change Agenda

Today, U.S. Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (FL-26) announced that her guest at Tuesday’s Presidential State of the Union Address will be 16-year-old student researcher and scientific diver in-training from Key West, Marsella Munoz. Mucarsel-Powell, Vice Chair of the Water Resources and Environment Subcommittee, has made defending clean water, corals, and Florida’s Everglades a top priority in the 116th Congress. Munoz has been SCUBA diving in South Florida and researching corals and water quality since she was 13 years old.

Rubio Takes Two to State of the Union

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) will host prominent Uyghur human rights activist Rushan Abbas and Lieutenant Governor of Florida Jeanette Núñez as his guests to President Trump’s State of the Union Address on Tuesday evening. Rubio has repeatedly condemned the mass internment of an estimated 1.8 million ethnic Uyghurs and other Turkic Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. As the Senior Senator for the State of Florida, Rubio will also welcome and host Florida’s Lt. Governor as his guest.

Yeah, he better take Nunez or he will hear it at home. Nunez is a long-time amiga of the Rubios and part of the Miami Boogie Down’s Cuban-American delegation in politics. 

Visit The Floridian

 

Schiff seems to concede to Trump: “The sun will rise again”” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – House Democrat and impeachment trial manager, Rep. Adam Schiff, closed the argument in favor of President Donald Trump’s impeachment but did so by signaling what could be perceived as a concession as Republicans will soon vote against his case for impeachment and removal of the president. “History will not be kind to Donald Trump,” stated Schiff “Because of truth matters. Right matters. And decency matters. It may be midnight in Washington, but the sun will rise again. I put my faith in the optimism of our Founders. You should too. Florida Senator Marco Rubio tweeted that removing Trump ” would not serve the nations best interest.” “If House votes to impeach, the Senate decides not just guilt or innocence, but also whether removal is in the nations best interest EVEN IF (not EVEN THOUGH) Article I could be proven, removal would not serve the nations best interest; Article II is a joke,” stated Rubio. Republicans voted against calling anymore witness to the trial, all-but solidifying an acquittal in the Republican-led U.S. Senate. Democrats were always swimming against the political and parliamentarian current, as 2/3 of all senators would have to vote in favor of impeachment for Trump to be impeached and removed.

“Frederica Wilson accuses Trump of pushing war with Iran” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Moments after President Trump Donald Trump ordered and executed a targeting killing of Iranian state terrorist Qasem Soleimani, House Democrats expressed their anger for what they feel was an unsanctioned political killing of a high-level Iranian government figure. Democrats asserted that President Trump needed to get their permission before launching any attacks against any Iranian military assets, even the killing of Soleimani, who by their own admission, killed hundreds of U.S. military personnel. According to Florida Congressman Al Lawson (D), even though the threat didn’t “mean that much to him,” his party’s leadership was still “real serious about” following through with it. Rep. Lawson told The Floridian that he believed that the decision to limit the president was “because a lot of egos involved, and because “they didn’t get a call,” adding that he had to “tell the truth” about what he believes is behind the reason for Speaker Pelosi wanting to limit the president’s ability to use the military. “A lot of them got rubbed the wrong way,” said Lawson. Over the weekend, Florida Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D) continued pushing the talking point that Trump killed Soleimani and imposed new sanctions against the Islamic State of Iran simply for political gain. “Mr. Trump just imposed additional sanctions on Iran,” said Wilson “He is doing his best to squeeze them into war. He is instigating war because no U.S. president has lost an election during war!” Rep. Wilson is right, no other U.S. president has lost reelection while the country was at war, including Democrat Presidents Franklin D. Roosevelt (WWII) and Lyndon B. Johnson (Vietnam). Sanctions alone will not cause a war with Iran, all past presidents, including President Barack Obama, have imposed strict sanctions against the Iranians. According to the archives of the Barack Obama White House, the former president outlined his efforts to levy sanctions against Iran during his 2012 reelection.

“Rush Limbaugh Diagnosed With “Advanced Lung Cancer” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Conservatives are taking a hit today as influential conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh has announced that he was diagnosed with “advanced lung cancer.” As a result, he has commented that he will be forced to miss shows because he will undergo treatment. In a statement, Limbaugh addressed fans and the political world, expressing that “this day has been one of the most difficult days in recent memory, for me, because I’ve known this moment was coming.” He added that “I’m sure that you all know by now that I really don’t like talking about myself and I don’t like making things about me… One thing that I know, that has happened over the 31-plus years of this program is that there has been an incredible bond that had developed between all of you and me.” Noting that his job has filled him with “greatness, satisfaction, and happiness,” he informed listeners that he was diagnosed with the disease. Limbaugh has been a vocal supporter of President Trump, and he has often been seen as a controversial political figure, but he has dedicated his life to covering politics, policies and the people involved. This story is developing.

“Ocasio-Cortez Warns Democrats will be Making a “Dangerous” Mistake if They Don’t Rally Behind Eventual Nominee” by The Floridian’s Mona Salama – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the most powerful surrogate for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) 2020 presidential campaign warn that Democrats will be making a “dangerous” mistake if they don’t rally behind whichever Democratic presidential candidate wins the nomination to take on President Trump in the general election. “Bernie has said this, I absolutely believe this: whoever gets the nomination, we have to rally behind them, no matter who it is,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview with Time. “And I would hope that everybody would do so if Bernie is the nominee as well.” On Sunday, former Secretary of State John Kerry and a powerful surrogate for former Vice President Joe Biden was reportedly overheard complaining that Sanders is “taking down” the party. When asked if she thinks the Democrats’ attempts to stop Sanders from winning Iowa and the Democratic nomination, the freshman lawmaker said it has been “overblown,” but suggested she could see a situation the party would use rules to block the Vermont senator. “I don’t think it’s a good idea for people to try to use superdelegates or other kind of subversive policies to deny anybody the nomination because it’s incredibly divisive to do so, and very demoralizing, which is a direct threat in November,” she said, adding, “The moment you start playing games trying to deny whoever is the nominee, we really start to get into dangerous territory in terms of defeating Trump.” Ocasio-Cortez believes that Sanders, who has been absent campaigning in Iowa due to ongoing Senate Impeachment trial in Washington, will have a “good finish” heading toward the rest of the early states. She pointed to her own primary in 2018 against former New York Rep. Joe Crowley as proof that Sanders can secure the nomination.

“Mucarsel-Powell Warns of Coronavirus Health Risk” by The Floridian’s Daniel Molina – Freshman Florida Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell (D) issued a press release regarding the threat of the Coronavirus in Florida, but she may have jumped the gun on the matter because it was recalled shortly after being sent. The popular and influential congresswoman argued that the virus “represents serious international health crisis” in light of health officials in South Florida who “say it poses no risk.” In her statement regarding the virus that has spread globally in recent weeks, Rep. Mucarsel-Powell commented “that at this time there is no immeadte threat to public health.” She informed that she will “continue to closely monitor the developing situation with the Coronavirus and my office is staying in continuous contact with officials from the Centers from Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, the Department of State, and the Department of Homeland Security.” However, the Florida lawmaker did issue a call for Florida citizens, saying that “we each have an important role to play to help reduce the risks.” She explained that people should “follow recommended public health practices at this time of the year, including washing your hands often, not coughing into your hands, and checking in with a doctor if you are feeling sick.” Mucarsel-Powell concluded by stating that “although tensions may be high, we must not allow fear to guide our actions.” What we should do instead is “not discriminate against any of our neighbors of Asian descent simply because of their background.”

“Rapper Jay-Z and Beyonce sit during National Anthem” by The Floridian’s Javier Manjarres – Who says the Super Bowl isn’t political. During Demi Lovato’s singing of the National Anthem at last nights Super Bowl LIV, Beyonce and Jay-Z refused to stand for the anthem, further fueling the division that former NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick created when he first began to kneel during the anthem in order to promote a “Black Lives Matter” message, a message that eventually a presumably got him kicked out of the league. Jay-Z’s entertainment company Roc Nation managed to get a partnership with the NFL. “As long as real people are being hurt and marginalized and losing family members, then yes, I can take a couple rounds of negative press,” he said of the backlash received for the partnership, which some say as a betrayal of Colin Kaepernick and his protests within the NFL. “No one is saying he hasn’t been done wrong. He was done wrong,” Jay-Z said. “I would understand if it was three months ago. But it was three years ago and someone needs to say, ‘What do we do now?’ Because people are still dying.” (New York Times). What people are dying? In Chicago? Where?

“St. Pete tried to abolish super PACs. Jeff Brandes wants to end that.” By Tampa Bay Times’s Mary Ellen Klas – A St. Petersburg ordinance that is serving as a national model for dark money reform would be preempted under a last-minute proposal attached to a Senate bill by Sen. Jeff Brandes on Monday. A Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican, introduced the amendment to SB 1372, a bill he filed to update elections law sought by the Florida Association of Supervisors of Elections. But instead of limiting his bill to the supervisors’ fixes, he used it to take aim at a 2017 ordinance passed by the St. Petersburg City Council that abolishes super PACs and prohibits spending by foreign-influenced corporations in city elections. The Brandes amendment, which received bi-partisan support on a voice vote of the Senate Ethics and Elections Committee, would ban cities and counties from “adopting any limitation or restriction” on contributions to political committees or expenditures from political committees in city elections. In 2017, the non-partisan St. Petersburg city council voted 6-2 to require corporations that spend money in city elections to certify that their ownership was not more than 5 percent controlled by foreign entities. The ordinance, the first of its kind in the nation, also imposed new limits on contributions to political action committees, essentially ending the influence of super PACs in local elections. “Every person in the state has right to have a PC, even if you’re not elected you can have a PC,” Brandes told the committee. “The question is, whether local municipalities should be able to prohibit those PC dollars which are statewide.” He said he was motivated by the desire for more transparency because contributors to local races were getting around the ban by giving money to political parties, which are allowed to shield donors by bundling their contributions and not disclosing them in local races. “I want a very transparent, seamless process in the state of Florida,” he said. But, Brandes acknowledged, the ban would not address the current law that allows political parties to shield donors. “There’s more we can do to increase transparency using a PC process,” he said. Darden Rice, a former president of the League of Women Voters and the city council member who spearheaded the 2017 ordinance, said that while Brandes “seeks a cookie cutter” approach to the issue, “our local communities don’t think of ourselves as cookie cutters.”

“Lawmakers seek to end Florida’s key role in shark fin trade” by Associated Press – While Florida gains notoriety as the epicenter of the shark trade in the United States, state lawmakers there advanced legislation Monday that would ban the possession of shark fins. The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee endorsed that proposal, as well as another bill that would stiffen penalties against hunters who kill black bears. Spurred by advocates, the committee voted to join other states in outlawing the sale and possession of shark fins, a prized delicacy in some cultures, and a lucrative one. “A state that is now the hub of the fin trade needs to take a stand on the issue. If you don’t stop the trade of the shark fins, it’s hard to stop the decimation of the shark population,” said Stefanie Brendl, the founder and executive director of Shark Allies. She is among those pushing Florida lawmakers to act. Earlier Monday, U.S. wildlife officials highlighted Florida’s role in the trade, announcing the seizure in Miami of 18 boxes containing 1,400 pounds of shark fins. Authorities say the confiscated fins, possibly harvested off the coast of South America, had a value of up to $1 million and might have been headed to Asia. Fishermen harvest tens of millions of sharks each year across the globe, hacking off their fins then dumping the creatures — unable to swim without their fins — back into the ocean to drown or bleed to death. While the practice of finning is already illegal in the United States, most states currently have no prohibitions against possessing and selling shark fins. Advocates are pushing the U.S. Congress to enact a national law banning the shark fin trade. In the absence of such a law, they have been working state-to-state. A decade ago, Hawaii became the first state to ban the possession and sale of shark fins. Since then, about a dozen other states have enacted similar laws. The proposal working its way through the Florida Legislature would impose a $4,500 fine on a first-time offender and temporarily restrict fishing privileges for six months. The penalties could rise to as much as $9,500 for a third offense and a permanent revocation of one’s fishing license.

“Florida lawmakers back stamping out smoking in parks” by News Herald – A Senate committee Monday approved a proposal that seeks to let local governments decide if they want to ban smoking at their public parks. The Innovation, Industry and Technology Committee backed the measure (SB 630), which would allow cities and counties to further restrict smoking within the boundaries of parks. Bill sponsor Debbie Mayfield, R-Rockledge, said the proposal is intended to keep local parks “a healthy environment” for residents and children. “Additionally, cigarette butts are one of the most littered items in our parks, which becomes a hazard to our wildlife,” Mayfield said. The state, rather than local governments, generally controls tobacco-related laws and regulations. Under constitutional amendments passed in 2002 and 2018, smoking tobacco and vaping are banned in enclosed indoor workplaces throughout the state. The 2018 amendment also allows local governments to adopt more-restrictive ordinances on vaping, which could include banning the use of electronic cigarettes in public parks. A House version of Mayfield’s bill (HB 457) has not been heard in committees.

“Attorney suspended by Florida bar nearly 6 years after controversial payouts of more than $250,000” by WFTN’s Steve Barrett and James Tutten – A local attorney is barred from practicing for at least a year for his actions that involved the Orange County Clerk of Courts office and more than $250,000. WFTV has reported for years on how two top employees at the clerk’s office took big severance payouts but then continued to work. The questionable claims came from the two employees, just one day after Clerk of Courts’ Lydia Gardner died. It’s taken nearly six years for this action to come from the Florida bar. In May 2014, top officials at the Orange County Clerk of Courts office wasted no time in capitalizing on the death of Gardner. Her general council, Stephan Carter, and deputy clerk, Colleen Reilly, scrapped their current contracts and took payouts topping $270,00, and then went right back to work under new contracts. WFTV previously reported that after a new clerk of courts took over, the strange and lucrative deal came to light. “The payments were improper, and we are going to seek restitution,” said former clerk of court, Eddie Fernandez. “I think the people are entitled to their money. This office is entitled to its money and we are going to pursue that.” Carter and Reilly paid back the money, but more than a half-decade later, Carter’s law license has been suspended by the Florida Supreme Court for one year. WFTV’s legal analyst Bill Shaeffer said cases that don’t involve client money or criminal wrongdoing are not rushed through Florida bar investigations. “When the Florida bar perceives that there is not an immediate danger to a client or client’s assets, they believe they have time to investigate the case thoroughly before they take some action,” Shaeffer said.

 

“Jill Biden: As first lady, I will ‘get rid of Betsy DeVos’by Hispolitica’s Mona Salama – Dr. Jill Biden, the wife of presidential hopeful Joe Biden, said if she becomes the first lady, the Bidens will “get rid of” current Education Secretary Betsy DeVos. “We are going to get rid of Betsy DeVos, number one,” Jill told “Morning Joe” Monday morning when asked as First Lady what would she do for education. “We are going to have a secretary of Education who has been in the classroom. These are all things that I have personally seen and have been important to me as a teacher.” “When he’s elected president, when you look right next to him, there will be standing a teacher,” she added. The former Second Lady praised her husband’s education plan, saying “it’s teacher approved.” “Joe’s education plan is so great and I like to say, it’s teacher approved,” she said. “So we’re going to raise up the profile of the teachers and celebrate who they are and give them better pay and give our students resources.” The former Vice President last summer at the National Education Association vowed to nominate a teacher to be the secretary of Education but added that he would not put up his wife for the nomination. “First thing as president of the United States, not a joke, first thing I will do is make sure that the secretary of Education, not Betsy DeVos, is a teacher,” Biden said at a forum in Houston in July. “So the press doesn’t get confused, I promise I’m not going to appoint my wife.”

“Rapper Jay-Z and Beyonce sit during National Anthem” by Hispolitica’s Javier Manjarres – Who says the Super Bowl isn’t political. During Demi Lovato’s singing of the National Anthem at last nights Super Bowl LIV, Beyonce and Jay-Z refused to stand for the anthem, further fueling the division that former NFL Quarterback Colin Kaepernick created when he first began to kneel during the anthem in order to promote a “Black Lives Matter” message, a message that eventually a presumably got him kicked out of the league. Jay-Z’s entertainment company Roc Nation managed to get a partnership with the NFL. “As long as real people are being hurt and marginalized and losing family members, then yes, I can take a couple rounds of negative press,” he said of the backlash received for the partnership, which some say as a betrayal of Colin Kaepernick and his protests within the NFL. “No one is saying he hasn’t been done wrong. He was done wrong,” Jay-Z said. “I would understand if it was three months ago. But it was three years ago and someone needs to say, ‘What do we do now?’ Because people are still dying.” (New York Times) What people are dying? In Chicago? Where?

“Ocasio-Cortez Warns Democrats will be Making a “Dangerous” Mistake if They Don’t Rally Behind Eventual Nominee” by Hispolitica’s Mona Salama – Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), the most powerful surrogate for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) 2020 presidential campaign warn that Democrats will be making a “dangerous” mistake if they don’t rally behind whichever Democratic presidential candidate wins the nomination to take on President Trump in the general election. “Bernie has said this, I absolutely believe this: whoever gets the nomination, we have to rally behind them, no matter who it is,” Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview with Time. “And I would hope that everybody would do so if Bernie is the nominee as well.” On Sunday, former Secretary of State John Kerry and a powerful surrogate for former Vice President Joe Biden was reportedly overheard complaining that Sanders is “taking down” the party. When asked if she thinks the Democrats’ attempts to stop Sanders from winning Iowa and the Democratic nomination, the freshman lawmaker said it has been “overblown,” but suggested she could see a situation the party would use rules to block the Vermont senator. “I don’t think it’s a good idea for people to try to use superdelegates or other kind of subversive policies to deny anybody the nomination because it’s incredibly divisive to do so, and very demoralizing, which is a direct threat in November,” she said, adding, “The moment you start playing games trying to deny whoever is the nominee, we really start to get into dangerous territory in terms of defeating Trump.” Ocasio-Cortez believes that Sanders, who has been absent campaigning in Iowa due to ongoing Senate Impeachment trial in Washington, will have a “good finish” heading toward the rest of the early states. She pointed to her own primary in 2018 against former New York Rep. Joe Crowley as proof that Sanders can secure the nomination.

“Key Republican Senator dashes Democrat impeachment hopes” by Hispolitica’s Javier Manjarres – The Senate impeachment trial may be over by the end of the week. Democrats were hoping to get three Republican Senators to vote in favor of calling witnesses in President Donald Trump’s impeachment trial, but those hopes were dashed when Sen. Lamar Alexander (D-TN) flatly dismissed the impeachment trial as being nothing more than a “shallow, hurried and wholly bipartisan” effort by House Democrats. “If this shallow, hurried and wholly partisan impeachment were to succeed, it would rip the country apart, pouring gasoline on the fire of cultural divisions that already exist,” Alexander said. “It would create the weapon of perpetual impeachment to be used against future presidents whenever the House of Representatives is of a different political party.” Sen. Alexander then added: “The framers believed that there should never, ever be a partisan impeachment. That is why the Constitution requires a 2/3 vote of the Senate for conviction. Yet not one House Republican voted for these articles.” Florida Senator Rick Scott (R) reminded constituents that then-Senator Joe Biden “argued against allowing witnesses during Clinton’s impeachment trial in 1999” and accused Democrats of “changing their tune” out of utter hatred for President Trump. Democrats now must rely on the three moderate Republican senators that have signaled support for more witnesses, Sens. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins, and Lisa Murkowski. If all three Republicans vote in favor of more trial witnesses, the vote would fail in the chamber, and would prompt Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to call for a vote in the trial. Because a 2/3 majority vote is needed to convict President Trump, the trial is all but over.

“VA’s Deputy Secretary Dismissed by Department’s Top Official” by Wall Street Journal’s Ben Kesling – Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie fired his deputy, citing a loss in confidence in James Byrne’s ability to carry out his duties. Mr. Wilkie declined to elaborate on the reasons for Monday’s dismissal, which he said was effective immediately. Mr. Byrne was asked to resign earlier in the day but declined to do so, people familiar with the matter said. Mr. Wilkie then fired him. Messrs. Byrne and Wilkie recently clashed over the department’s handling of allegations of sexual assault at a Washington, D.C., VA medical center, people familiar with the matter said. No charges were filed after an investigation begun after allegations made in September and whose findings were released in January by the VA Office of Inspector General. The report wasn’t made public, and the people familiar with the matter didn’t provide details about the allegations. In a January letter to Rep. Mark Takano (D., Calif.), the chairman of the House VA Committee who brought attention to the allegations, Mr. Wilkie wrote that the woman’s sexual-assault claim was unsubstantiated, a decision that prompted the inspector general’s office to send a letter rebutting his characterization.

“New DNC debate rules open door for Mike Bloomberg to make stage” by NBC News’s Alex Seitz-Wald – New debate qualification rules by the Democratic National Committee will open a path for former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg to participate in the party’s Feb. 19 debate, hosted by NBC News and MSNBC at the Paris Hotel in Las Vegas.

The new rules require candidates to get at least one delegate out of either the upcoming Iowa caucuses or New Hampshire’s primary, or to register 10 percent support in four national polls or 12 percent in two single-state polls of Nevada and South Carolina. The party scrapped, for the first time, the grassroots donor threshold, which has required candidates in every other debate thus far to received donations from tens of thousands of supporters to qualify. That opens the door to Bloomberg, a multibillionaire who is funding his own campaign and has refused to accept any donations for his campaign. “Now that the grassroots support is actually captured in real voting, the criteria will no longer require a donor threshold,” said DNC spokesperson Adrienne Watson. “The donor threshold was appropriate for the opening stages of the race, when candidates were building their organizations and there were no metrics available outside of polling to distinguish those making progress from those who weren’t.” The response to the new rules was fast and furious from some rival campaigns. The campaign of Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders suggested the DNC was doing Bloomberg’s bidding. “To now change the rules in the middle of the game to accommodate Mike Bloomberg, who is trying to buy his way into the Democratic nomination, is wrong,” said Jeff Weaver, one of Sanders’ top advisers. “That’s the definition of a rigged system.” Brad Bauman, a senior adviser to Andrew Yang, said on Twitter, “If you look at the new DNC debate thresholds as anything other than ‘Get Andrew Yang off stage and put Mike Bloomberg on,’ Then you are high.” Trump’s defense looks shaky on first day of impeachment trial.

“New York governor proposes free tuition at state colleges” by CNN’s Katie Lobosco – Students whose families earn $125,000 or less would pay nothing for tuition at two- and four-year public colleges under the governor’s plan. It’s similar to what Hillary Clinton proposed for public colleges across the country during her presidential campaign. Cuomo announced his proposal in Queens on Tuesday, alongside Senator Bernie Sanders who first advocated for free tuition during the 2016 presidential campaign. “In this economy, you need a college education if you’re going to compete,” Cuomo said in front of a crowd at LaGuardia Community College. “It’s incredibly hard and getting harder to get a college education today. It’s incredibly expensive and debt is so high it’s like starting a race with an anchor tied to your leg,” he said. Tuition at New York’s state-operated colleges, which includes 64 SUNY campuses, is $6,470 at four-year schools and $4,350 at community colleges for the 2016-2017 school year. The City University of New York’s 18 campuses have similar tuition costs and would also be included under Cuomo’s plan. (Students would still be on the hook for additional fees, as well as room and board costs.) About 59% of students at New York’s four-year colleges graduate with debt, according to The Institute for College Access and Success. On average, they are carrying $29,320 of debt. Cuomo said his proposed program, called the Excelsior Scholarship, would start this year, and roll out over the next three. It would begin by making families who earn up to $100,000 a year eligible in the fall of 2017, increasing to $110,000 in 2018, and eventually reaching $125,000 in 2019.

“Trump wins Iowa GOP caucusesby POLITICO’s Quint Fogey – President Donald Trump on Monday coasted to victory in the 2020 Iowa Republican caucuses, quickly quashing his two lesser-known GOP rivals. Trump won the Republican contest with 97 percent of the vote and 8 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Associated Press, while former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh achieved 1.4 percent of voters and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld garnered 1.2 percent. The results came less than a half hour after Iowa Republicans began caucusing across the state at 7 p.m. CT. The president’s first-place finish also came as the initial entrance polls from the Democratic caucuses showed a predictably close competition among the party’s four top-tier candidates: Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Both Walsh and Weld weighed in on Twitter in the minutes after the GOP caucuses were called in Trump’s favor.

“Senator Rubio bringing Uighur activist as State of the Union guest” by Reuters’ Patricia Zengerle – Republican U.S. Senator Marco Rubio said on Monday he was bringing Rushan Abbas, an advocate for the rights of China’s Uighur Muslim minority, as his guest for President Donald Trump’s annual State of the Union address on Tuesday. The House voted nearly unanimously last year for legislation calling for a tougher response to China’s treatment of its Uighur Muslims. The bill has bipartisan support in the Senate, but the Senate’s Republicans leaders have so far not scheduled a vote in that chamber. Members of Congress often invite guests to the nationally televised speech as a way to bring attention to political positions. China warned last month as the two countries negotiated a trade agreement that the Uighur legislation could affect bilateral cooperation.

“Lisa Murkowski, swing-vote Republican, says she ‘cannot vote to convict’ Trump” by Fox News’s Andrew O’Reilly – Alaska Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski, considered one of the possible swing votes in the Trump impeachment trial, announced on the Senate floor Monday night that she “cannot vote to convict” President Trump. Murkowski, whose comments closed out a day of debate on the floor over the articles of impeachment, said the “Constitution provides for impeachment but does not demand it in all instances.” While most Republican senators are expected to vote to acquit Trump, Murkowski had been considered a possible vote against the president. In her floor speech, she said Trump’s “behavior was shameful and wrong” with Ukraine but argued against removing him from office, calling for voters to make a judgment in November’s election. “The response to the president’s behavior is not to disenfranchise nearly 63 million Americans and remove him from the ballot,” she said. “The House could have pursued censure and not immediately jumped to the remedy of last resort.” The Alaska senator added: “The voters will pronounce a verdict in nine months and we must trust their judgment.” Murkowski made news last week as she opposed calling witnesses in the trial, amid speculation she could side with Democrats to prolong the trial. She told reporters at the time that she was “frustrated and disappointed and angry at all sides.” A separate swing-vote senator, Democrat Joe Manchin of West Virginia, suggested earlier Monday he may not vote to impeach Trump, although he said he had not fully made up his mind. He also used part of his speech on the Senate floor to call for the legislative body to censure Trump instead.

 

 

 

 

Rick Scott @SenRickScott -Tomorrow, I plan on asking @POTUS administration to look into whether the $12.5m @FoleyandLardner was paid by the Maduro Regime violates any laws or US sanctions. Anyone doing the work of the Maduro Regime should suffer the consequences.

Marco Rubio @marcorubio – My STEM Careers Act will soon be signed into law by @POTUS It will require the National Science Foundation & Office of Science & Technology Policy to coordinate programs for veterans transitioning into STEM careers & address barriers to entry.

Rep. Debbie Mucarsel-Powell @RepDMP – Today, the US signed the #USMCA—a bipartisan act that will go down in history. Because of the changes @HouseDemocrats demanded, this agreement takes steps to support Florida workers, farmers, businesses & environments. Proud of the work we accomplished!

Debbie Wasserman Schultz @DWStweets Having access to counsel can skyrocket your chances of making a successful asylum application. Yet DHS has used #RemainInMexico to erect overwhelming barriers between asylum seekers & counsel. Denying due process is un-American & unconstitutional. #EndMPP #DontLookAway

Rep. Matt Gaetz @RepMattGaetz – Saddam Hussein died in 2006. The Authorization to Use Military Force against Saddam’s Iraq should be repealed. If we can’t claim victory now, what war is ever winnable?

Rep. Ted Deutch @RepTedDeutch – In order to be an ally to the LGBTQ community, President Trump must do a lot more to address issues that affect them. By continuing to associate himself with anti-LGBTQ figures & issue discriminatory orders, he is an ally to no one but the homophobes & transphobes.

RepRossSpano @RepRossSpano – Today, @realDonaldTrump made history by signing #USMCA into law. This trade agreement is a huge win for our economy as it has the potential to create over 170k new jobs & produce over $60 billion in new economic activity. #Florida #FL15

Jimmy Patronis @JimmyPatronis – Glad to give the @floridabankers Association an update today on the great health of Florida’s economy and highlight my legislative priorities including fighting fraud on behalf of all Florida consumers.

Commissioner Nikki Fried @NikkiFriedFL– With the #USMCA’s signing today, we look forward to having Administration officials in Florida to hear first-hand from our seasonal producers on protecting against unfair trade.

Bill Galvano @BillGalvano –Honored to have my mom Betty here today for Catholic Days at the Capitol. I’m proud of her passion for advocating on behalf of our Catholic community.

José Javier Rodríguez @JoseJavierJJR – Great work @CarlosGSmith and response appreciated @FifthThird who joins others who have pulled support for taxpayer-funded discrimination. Who’s next?

Rep. Carlos G Smith @CarlosGSmith – “Publicly pressuring corporations that fund the tax credit program may be the best option for those who want to see changes in scholarship rules because the state’s GOP leaders….seem uninterested in making changes, @CarlosGSmith

 

 

 

 

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Javier Manjarres is a nationally renowned award-winning South Florida-based political journalist owns Diverse New Media, Corp. which publishes Floridianpress.com, Judicialpost.com, shark-tank.com, and Hispolitica.com He enjoys traveling, playing soccer, mixed martial arts, weight-lifting, swimming and biking. He ran as a Republican in the 2018 congressional primary race in Florida's CD 22. Javier is also a political consultant, and has also authored "BROWN PEOPLE," which is a book about Hispanic Politics. Learn more at www.brownpeople.org Email him at [email protected]

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