All The Qualities The GOP Oppose: Women and Women's Rights
In spite of boasting to the contrary, is the Republican Party of Florida not so sure they have a winning incumbent in Rick Scott? After all, common sense would say yes, given his record-breaking unpopularity. They showed their fear of Charlie Crist early on in spite of the fact that he's taking his time deciding whether to run or not.
Now it seems they fear another candidate and they're getting an early jump on attacking her while declaring yet another war on Florida women all at the same time. Because that's worked so well for them in the past. No doubt they're sad given that they were only able to pass one anti-abortion bill in this year's legislative session, and zero the year before, so I suppose this is another way to make sure women in Florida still know where they stand. They would also like you to know that liberals are scary. So given Nan Rich is and woman AND a liberal, she may be even more frightening than old Charlie.......to the RPOF.
Today the RPOF blog is attacking Democratic candidate Nan Rich in the largest red font they could find, blaring this headline (emphasis theirs):
THAT'S RICH! Liberal Champion Nan Endorsed By One Of Florida's Leading Pro-Abortion Organizations...Here's Why!
RICH SAYS DEMS SHOULD NOMINATE LIBERAL FROM SOUTH FLORIDA, GETS EARLY ENDORSEMENT FROM PRO-ABORTION ORGANIZATION
To back up those bold, nightmarish headlines, yes, both The Tampa Tribune and the Tampa Bay Times have in fact reported that Rich is a liberal. However, neither article paints her as a scary liberal, and one quotes from her endorsement by the National Organization for Women as "the best hope for Florida women." RUN FOR YOUR LIVES!
Again, not nearly as haunting as the RPOF would have you believe, but OMG, did we mention she's "pro-abortion" asks the RPOF? Just in case anyone missed it in bold caps the first time:
RICH’S EXTREME LIBERAL POSITIONS ON ABORTION EARNED HER THAT ENDORSEMENT
They list several instances where Rich did indeed vote the opposite of Republicans for much of that abortion legislation they've failed to pass, which they feel proves her "extreme liberal position on abortions." Except that it's not so extreme in that the majority in Tallahassee agreed with her and those abortion bills failed.
As for that endorsement from "Pro-Abortion organizations?" One might think by their claim illustrated in all caps in blood-red that this group must be spanning the State of Florida encouraging abortions, or perhaps gangs of women are hunting pregnant women and forcing abortions on them. Why, if women vote for Nan Rich, perhaps those groups will push for an Abortionplex mandate?
Uh, no. This "pro-abortion group" is actually NOW, the National Organization For Women. Rather than the roving abortion pushers Republicans would have you imagine, they favor reproductive rights. They also work on other "horrifying issues" like supporting equal rights, marriage equality, Social Security, student loans, and reducing gun violence. In other words, all things that Republicans don't like, nor support. NOW also opposes things like violence against women in the military, as well as violence against all other women, so BE AFRAID!
Voters actually owe some thanks to the RPOF for this attack though, because it reminds them of all the time and money the legislature spent in years past proposing abortion bills and those that would prevent women from getting the health care they need, rather than legislation on the things that are important to them involving jobs, the environment, education, and letting them vote.
Just another reminder that the War On Women is still alive and well, and operating out of RPOF headquarters everywhere regardless of who the Democratic candidate will be.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) is asking supporters of his Reclaim America PAC to support beleaguered Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) for voting down a bipartisan amendment extending background checks for gun purchases.
Ayotte is the Senator who, after voting against background checks, saw her approval ratings do a nosedive. Having tanked in the polls, she now claims she supports, and in fact voted for background checks. She's so desperate to have constituents believe this that she penned an op-ed at the Bedford Patch, opening with this statement:
I want to set the record straight: I support effective background checks and in fact voted recently to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
Rubio of course knows this, and while he's not all that sharp in some departments, he knows how to grift. So if he can cash in on ignorance and score political points at the same time, what's not to love? "Freedom" at any price is Rubio's cash cow, and his selling of it has little to do with actual Democracy, or common sense.
Liberals just can’t get over the fact that their most recent attempt to restrict our Second Amendment rights was defeated soundly by the American people.
Whether Rubio can read, or chooses not to, is beside the point here. It's not "liberals" that can't get over the background checks that failed, which in no way would have restricted Rubio's beloved Second Amendment rights. It's the 91% of all "the people" regardless of party affiliation who favored those very same background checks that won't easily get over the fact that Rubio and his "freedom loving" colleagues voted against their will. It wasn't "defeated soundly by the American people," it was defeated by 46 NRA backed Senators, several of which are now seeing their poll numbers plummet. Go figure. If "the people" had soundly defeated it, the NRA would have no need to spend $250,000 to support Ayotte now, and Rubio would have no reason to grift anew. And yet, here he is waving a petition in the face of the gullible as he hands them a pen to sign it with, and while they're at, another check. "Reclaim America" indeed.
No, for the sake of this particular argument, these are a few of the only people that matter in Rubio's world right now. The people who have vowed to break the law by marching into Washington armed on the Fourth of July, and daring any authorities to enforce that law against openly carrying loaded weapons in the subtlest way possible. Nothing says "subtle" like knowingly break the law, then claiming enforcement of that law means "the government chooses to make it violent."
Speaking as a "liberal" I would be the first to stand up for, and support anyone, Republican or Democrat, who would be willing do what all of "the people" want, not just the ones who Rubio defines as "Americans." The majority of Americans do, but they have no representation in Marco's world, and he's not being subtle in pointing that out. For those who still need a little convincing, he and Ayotte have to grift their way around reality to get where they want to go. Unfortunately the dishonesty is catching up with them, and their desperation is showing.
Obtaining power by propaganda and force rarely bodes well, but then isn't that the whole idea that Rubio has propped up his history and political ambitions with?
...Rubio acknowledged the politics of opposing a fellow son of immigrants, complimenting Perez's "sharp intellect" even as he trashed him as a liberal.
In a news conference yesterday, Hispanic lawmakers warned Republicans not to block Perez. “Tom Perez is eminently qualified for this job,” freshman Rep. Joe Garcia, a Florida Democrat, said in an interview with McClatchy. “If Republicans wanted to show an understanding of the Hispanic electorate or sympathy for the Hispanic electorate, they picked the wrong guy to make a scapegoat.”
Unfortunately the particular goat in question is a Democrat, a sin that far outweighs intellect, or the lack thereof, to Marco Rubio. After all, Rubio's own mentor is, of course, former Sen. and Republican Jim DeMint. DeMint is now the head of the Heritage Foundation, a "think tank" which is big on "tank" but small on "think." They recently hired Jason Richwine, who wrote:
‘No one knows whether Hispanics will ever reach IQ parity with whites, but the prediction that new Hispanic immigrants will have low-IQ children and grandchildren is difficult to argue against.‘
“Before joining the Obama Administration, Mr. Perez built a long record as a committed liberal activist and politician, particularly in the areas of labor and immigration. It was that record that gave many senators pause over his initial nomination to be Assistant U.S. Attorney General.
Oh my, sounds so scary! After you pause for a refreshment, please continue Senator....
Those who voted against his confirmation then feared that he lacked the capacity to put his political agenda aside when he became a federal official tasked with enforcing the law. Unfortunately, his record as Assistant U.S. Attorney General confirmed those fears," Rubio said in a statement.
“During his tenure at the Justice Department, Mr. Perez has been associated with some of the Department’s most controversial decisions and appears to have engaged in selective and politically motivated applications of the law.
Again, sounds so ominous. I'm sure Rubio will get to those "controversial decisions" in detail sooner or later...
“As the son of immigrants, Mr. Perez rose from modest beginnings to the highest levels of government through his obviously sharp intellect and impressive work ethic. Many Americans, especially those of us of Hispanic descent, celebrate his success and his personal story as yet another example of all that’s possible in America no matter where you or your family came from.
So far so good. Sounds like a ringing endorsement. Also, most of it sounds oddly familiar. Son of immigrants, rose from modest beginnings, smart man, good work ethic, seems to have overcome that old Heritage Foundation low IQ standard. So what's the problem?
Unfortunately, intellect and work ethic are not sufficient qualifications for a cabinet secretary.
“Mr. Perez’s far left views and troubling record at the Justice Department simply do not qualify him to lead the Labor Department, and I will strongly oppose his confirmation.”
It all just comes down to the "being a Democrat" problem? "Being a liberal?" Is that really the best Rubio can do? He can't support Perez because "he lacked the capacity to put his political agenda aside when he became a federal official tasked with enforcing the law?"
Reactions from Democrats and Progressives to the 2013 Legislative session:
Statement from Progress Florida executive director Mark Ferrulo:
"In dissecting the 2013 legislative session, one thing is clear, Florida has the wrong leaders with the wrong priorities. Floridians want effective and efficient government that improves our quality of life and protects the middle class. What Republican leadership delivered was a 60 day corporate special interest feeding frenzy.
"Floridians want economic fairness, quality public schools and access to health care. What we got instead was a refusal to expand access to health care, more attacks on our public schools, and hundreds of millions in corporate tax giveaways.
"Not only did Gov. Scott and legislative leaders ignore the priorities of working families, they doubled down on a commitment to govern from the far right and at the beck and call of corporate donors."
STATEMENT FROM FL DEMS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR SCOTT ARCENEAUX:
"The 2013 legislative session was a loss for Florida's middle class. It will best be remembered for Governor Rick Scott and House Speaker Will Weatherford's complete failure to expand affordable healthcare to 1.2 million Floridians. Weatherford placed such a premium on catering to the Tea Party that he rejected federal funding and the creation of over 120,000 permanent jobs that Medicaid's expansion would have brought to our state. Scott, who reversed his position on expanding Medicaid just before session, proved that when he said he 'cannot, in good conscience, deny the uninsured access to care,' it was nothing more than an electioneering gimmick. Health care costs for every Floridan will now go up as a result.
"The Governor refused to lead on this issue and sat silently by as Will Weatherford and House Republicans put politics before a morally and economically sensible policy. The GOP-led House instead spent their time on divisive social issues and doling out hundreds of millions in corporate tax giveaways. With thousands of lives on the line, this refusal to act in the best interests of the people of Florida is unconscionable."
Democratic Leader Perry Thurston Calls For A Special Session:
THURSTON: ‘Governor Scott, please order the Florida Legislature into special session’
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Legislature adjourned the 2013 regular legislative session Sine Die on May 3 without adequately addressing a crisis of uninsured Floridians. House Democratic Leader Perry Thurston (D-Fort Lauderdale) issued the following statement:
“To save lives and improve health outcomes, to create jobs and grow our economy, Florida House Democratic Caucus members proudly fought throughout the 2013 legislative session, and will continue to fight, for an expansion of health care coverage for working Floridians.
“Unfortunately for our state, the Florida House of Representatives, under Republican leadership, failed to meet the health care needs of our citizens.
“Despite ample opportunities to pass a bipartisan health care solution that enjoys the backing of Republican Governor Rick Scott and the Florida Senate, House Republican leadership dropped the ball.
“By blocking passage this session of a plan that would dramatically help 1.2 million of Florida’s low-income and working families, many Floridians are disappointed and will continue, despite the session’s end, to expect the governor and Legislature to approve a bipartisan health coverage expansion compromise that relies upon available federal funds.
“Therefore, I call on Governor Scott to take prudent action and to please order the Florida Legislature into special session at the earliest convenience to pass a bipartisan health coverage expansion plan for Florida’s working families.”
Rep. Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, said it was difficult to address Florida’s needs when more than a third of the budget is tied up in trust funds that restrict spending to specific line items. That millions get reserved for street beautifications while other health care and elderly care needs go unmet is not acceptable, he said.
“The budget is not plugged into the reality of what’s happening outside this chamber,” Pafford said.
On the House floor Friday, Democrats praised the budget, the process and House Speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, who dug in against accepting federal money for health care, a move that helped derailed expansion talks this year.
“I would like to thank Mr. Speaker for a bipartisan affair,” said state Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton. “Sorry we had a meltdown for a little bit, but we are real happy.”
While the budget does provide some good things the Democrats wanted like funding for public education, pay raises for teachers and state workers, the budget, and most of what was passed this session is indicative of a sad truth in Florida: The state is for sale to the highest bidder, and Floridians have virtually no one to stand up for them in Tallahassee. It pains me to say this, because some Democrats have done things that were admirable, but in the larger picture, citizens have been sold out.
To go from saying you will take a stand for those who have no voice and no hope of decent health care one day, to apologizing for the little "meltdown" just days later is a sad display. Democrats were praised for doing it, praise that may not have been deserved.
In the end the Democrats caved, and if the budget passes, along with it they still get their pet projects, so everybody's happy in the Capitol, Republicans, Democrats, lobbyists and Gov. Rick Scott. Legislators will go home happy knowing that they only have to pay a mere $8 for their own health insurance. Rick Scott will be happy that he gets to look as if he favored Medicaid expansion, and happy that the Republicans had his back by ignoring Medicaid altogether. He gets to have it both ways, even though Floridians know better.
Today is the final day of a damaging 2013 legislative session. As Florida's "leaders" gather to pat themselves on the back in ceremony for a "job well done" the people of Florida are the ones who lose.
(Correction: This post previously contained a procedural error, which has been corrected.)
After the Florida Senate passed a Medicaid bill that would accept $50 in federal funds for health care coverage, Democrats in the House moved to stall the session to protest the House GOP's refusal to budge on Medicaid. The House version does not accept federal funding and instead would use state funds and would provide inadequate coverage to only 115,000.
Two House Democrats met with Gov. Rick Scott this morning asking him to veto the budget if legislature refuses to adopt the bill, knowing that Scott favors the Senate version.
The standoff began at 2:35 p.m. when Minority Leader Perry Thurston, D-Plantation, asked the a bill on the special order calendar be "read in full." The Republican majority, which had been huddling for about an our in anticipation of the move, had the bill temporarily postponed after Democrats mustered more than the 40 votes, or one-third of the chamber, needed. Democrats did the same thing with the next bill, and Republicans again skipped over the bill.
The third time, on a bill related to instructional materials in schools, House Speaker Will Weatherford relented and allowed the 14-page bill to be read in full by an auto-reader software application the speaker's office said was called "Mary."
"There needs to be some clarity so we're going to have the bills read in full," Weatherford said.
With school children in the galleries, House leaders ordered the chamber secured and all members to their desks as a robotic, female voice began reading through the bill.
In debate, Republican sponsor refused to answer Democrats questions on the bill.
As of this writing, there is no word of any compromise from the House on Medicaid. There are only a few days left in the session, and with more shutdowns like today's a distinct possibility, there could be some long hours ahead before it's all over.
Today Florida House Democrats took a stand against Speaker Will Weatherford's budget, saying they will vote "no" until it includes the kind of Medicaid expansion they're looking for. In voting against the budget, they're also voting against funds for other priorities they support, but say their goal right now is to save lives through Medicaid expansion that covers more Floridians:
In an appeal for legislative action this session to expand health coverage for working Floridians, today House Democratic Leaders Perry Thurston (D-Fort Lauderdale) and Mia Jones (D-Jacksonville) joined numerous other Democratic Caucus members at a press conference to explain a caucus stance on a state budget proposal.
House Democratic Caucus members said that they believe an expansion of health coverage is affordable and achievable, and that it is imperative that Republican leaders respond with action and available funding as directed by the nation’s Affordable Care Act.
Democratic Caucus members said that expansion of health coverage that relies on available federal resources could provide coverage to more than 1 million Floridians, is estimated to save more than 5,000 lives a year, and would create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs throughout Florida.
During their press conference, Democratic Leader Pro Tempore Mia Jones made comments concerning Florida's tax dollars, saying that we shouldn't continue to be at the top of the donor list at the same time the legislature fails to provide Medicaid coverage which is available to over a million people in the state.
"Today, following President Obama's lead and the overwhelming will of Floridians, Rick Scott finally abandoned his crusade to block affordable health care for Florida's families and accepted the expansion of Medicaid. We hope and expect that Republicans like Rep. Will Weatherford and Sen. Don Gaetz, who have stood with Scott to consistently stall its implementation, will soon follow suit.
"Three years of staunch opposition and tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars later, embattled Governor Rick Scott today flip-flopped on the central issue which has defined his political career. This stunning about-face is merely the latest move to repackage a Governor whose approval rating with Floridians remains as toxic as his Tea Party agenda. But Scott’s election year makeover on issue after issue is fooling no one and simply underscores his central problem: he can’t be trusted."