Iowa may not mean much for many of us. It’s a small state stuck in an area of this country referred to as America’s heartland. But as President Obama demonstrated in 2008, Iowa is important if you’re running for president. There is at least one presidential candidate wishing Iowa would just disappear, though. In a poll released this week by CBS News, Jeb Bush is registering a 3% among voters. Leading the pack? It’s the Donald, of course. Trump leads with 29%, trailed closely by Dr. Ben Carson with 25%. For those of you interested, Marco Rubio doubled Bush’s number at 6%, which still places him far from Mr. Trump. But it’s not only Iowa that has Bush flustered (Marco too, by the way). In Florida, a poll release this week has Trump leading with almost 34% of the vote. Jeb Bush comes in third with 15%. There’s one word to describe Jeb’s showing so far: BORING!
Scott sued again
We’ve written before about Florida Gov. Rick Scott and his penchant for doing as he pleases – especially if consequences are paid by us. It cost state taxpayers more than a million dollars recently to settle a lawsuit brought against him for ignoring the state’s Sunshine Law. Now the Associated Press is reporting that “two telecommunications companies [are contending] in a new lawsuit that the administration of Gov. Rick Scott is flouting the state’s public records law.” The dispute deals with a $400 million state contract recently awarded to a subsidiary of Florida-based Harris Corp. AT&T and a contractor working with them allege in the lawsuit that the state agency handling the contract is refusing to turn over emails and documents provided to the state by the winning bidder. The Department of Management Services turned over heavily redacted documents that asserted much of the information was confidential trade secrets.
Citrus greening is a bacterial disease slowly killing trees in Florida. Reports show that Florida’s citrus production has experienced a decline of about 60 percent since the first case of greening was confirmed in 2005. Now the Lakeland Ledger is reporting that Florida citrus growers are hoping state and federal regulators will approve an emergency exemption for use of three bactericides against the deadly citrus greening disease. The bactericides have been used successfully for decades to fight bacterial infections on pear and apple trees and other crops.
Gimenez raking it in!
Money is the mother’s milk of politics. And Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez wants to assure us that the rules are the same here in south Florida. A year before the election Gimenez has already amassed more than $1.25 million dollars. Just last month, the mayor picked up a hefty 160 thousand. His challenger, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado’s daughter, Raquel, took in $35,500 in August and has a total of $395,000 in the bank. Gimenez tallied the large August booty because three separate donors contributed $25,000 each. Of course, they promised that they were turning over the money with NO special interest involved.
Palm Beach County agriculture
The Palm Beach Post reported last week that Palm Beach agriculture is the county’s powerful economic engine and ranks first in the state in its total value of crops, livestock, forestry and fisheries at more than $1 billion. Their figures are based on a newly released University of Florida report. At $1.356 billion in output for those sectors, Palm Beach County ranked highest in the state, almost double the next largest county, Miami-Dade, at $783 million, said Alan Hodges, a scientist with the UF Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension. Palm Beach County’s sugarcane industry accounted for more than $511 million, and vegetable farming totaled $386 million in direct industry output, the report states.
Interested in buying the Palm Beach bed where John F. Kennedy once slept in? We’re sure that if it could talk, the stories it might tell… The longtime Palm Beach home of Joseph P. Kennedy, famously known as the Kennedy Winter White House, was recently sold for $31 million. The sellers kept the contents – about 300 original pieces – after the sale and are planning an auction next year. There’s also a dining table and chairs. We can then say, JFK once ate here too.
We are being told that two of our favorite Republican (just kidding), Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Lieutenant Governor Carlos Lopez Cantera, were the special guests of the Republican Club of Miami Federated this week. Our sources tell us their chosen topic was the Iran deal (and we suppose that the Cuba happenings were probably thrown in for the heck of it). It seems no one in the audience addressed the fact that Ileana is backing Jeb in the presidential race; Lopez Cantera a Marco fan. Neither seems to know how to deal with the Donald Trump phenomenon that is taking over the elephant’s party.
Labarga battling cancer
Cuban-born Jorge Labarga, Florida’s first Hispanic chief justice of the state Supreme Court, will soon head for Shands Hospital at his alma mater in Gainesville to have a kidney removed as part of his cancer treatment. LaBarga received his juris doctor from UF in 1979. We wish him the best and a speedy recovery.
Hillary and Marco have differing views on Puerto Rico
“You can’t fix your economy through austerity,” presidential candidate Hillary Clinton told a group of Puerto Ricans during last week’s visit to the island. Also there campaigning, and taking the opposite tack, Marco Rubio told a crowd he addressed that it was Clinton supporters responsible for the U.S. territory’s economic problems. Huh?! Marco, addressing the crowd in Spanish, insisted against giving Puerto Rico bankruptcy protection to resolve a staggering $72 billion debt. Clinton won Puerto Rico’s 2008 Democratic primary election.