Conexion Miami / Florida ranks in top 1/3 in poverty

Florida’s official poverty rate of 17.1 percent in the most recent estimate from the U.S. Census Bureau ranks the state 38th, behind Michigan and Ohio. More than 3.2 million Floridians were living below the official poverty line. Federal guidelines define poverty based on income levels ranging from $11,490 for an individual to $15,510 for a couple and $27,570 for a family of five. Florida ranked 34th in its rate of working-age women in poverty, 17.8 percent. And Florida was 37th in the nation in income inequality.

Jeb says brother ‘kept us safe’

Mitt Romney

Jeb Bush was not bad during last week’s debate. He was not good either, even boasting that brother George W. “kept us safe” during his presidency. Apparently it did not impress the voters. He was at 9 percent before the debate, a distant fifth; after the debate he registered a … nine percent, again. But there’s a group who took notice. Americans United for Change will launch an ad next week questioning Jeb’s comment. “It’s convenient but not honest to ignore the facts that the worst attack on American soil since Pearl Harbor happened on George W. Bush’s watch after dismissing warnings from U.S. intelligence officials weeks before 9/11…” said Brad Woodhouse, president of the organization.

Feisty Rubio aide allegedly punches Rand Paul guy

This appeared in the Miami Herald’s Naked Politics blog and we’re re-printing parts in case you missed it. “A top aide to Marco Rubio is accused of punching a counterpart for Rand Paul at a bar Thursday night. […] ‘Last night I went to a bar on Mackinac Island for the GOP Mackinac Conference. I ran into a guy named Rich Beeson, who frankly I didn’t even know who it was at first because he isn’t relevant in our political world,” John Yob wrote on Facebook. “Anyway, he is Marco Rubio’s national campaign manager. He literally physically assaulted me by punching me in the face. The state police are looking for him. I have it on video, from multiple angles. This will play out in the national media in the next few hours.’ The Guardian has what is says is video.” Beeson was Mitt Romney’s 2012 political director and serves as Rubio’s deputy campaign manager.

Debbie votes against rejecting Obama deal with Iran


Last week the U.S. House of Representatives voted to reject President Barack Obama’s proposed nuclear agreement with Iran. The final tally, against the deal, was 269-162. Since we did say she was on the chopping block… we will report that Debbie Wasserman Schultz came to her senses and voted in favor of the president. All of Florida’s Republican members voted against the deal, and they were joined by four Democrats: Ted Deutch, Lois Frankel, Gwen Graham and Alcee Hastings. Now you know who the cowards are, on the Democratic side anyway. Actually, we don’t care about the others, but we are disappointed with Bob Graham’s daughter, Gwen. And for those watching the Carlos Curbelo race in District 26, the Democratic challenger, Annette Taddeo, told the Miami Herald she would have voted against rejecting the President’s deal.

pepeCommissioner Pepe Diaz lands in Key West jail

Miami-Dade has a county commissioner who goes by the name of Pepe Diaz. From what we’ve read and now found out he’s an avid and enthusiastic motorcycle rider. The past weekend he may have taken that enthusiasm just a bit too far. He spent the night in a Key West jail. He was riding his Harley at 70 miles per hour, allegedly inebriated, in a 30 mph zone. Pepe we know you’re a tough guy, but for your own safety, slow down – especially after a night of partying! Those hogs are dangerous.

Name recognition

Francis Suarez, the 37-year-old city of Miami commissioner and son of former Miami mayor Xavier Suarez (now a county commissioner and possible county mayoral candidate), last week won re-election in Miami. Since there were no challengers, he is re-elected for four more years. Although don’t be surprised if you see Francis deciding to run for mayor of Miami in 2017 after Tomas Regalado’s term is complete. Regalado is term limited. And don’t be surprised to see Regalado’s daughter, Raquel (or Raquelita), running for the post if she does not beat Gimenez for county mayor next year. In fact, Progreso Weekly has spoken to some in the know who think that Raquel’s run for mayor of Dade is just part of the campaign to run for mayor of Miami.

For Miami’s one percenters


Some folks believe that parts of Miami are being built exclusively for the one percenters. Faena House on Collins Avenue in Miami Beach may be proving them right. The first tower of the rich people’s condo has yet to be completed and some are already re-selling their unit. Case in point is apartment 5B that has never been lived in and whose owner is selling for $14.5 million. Progreso Weekly also speculates (a good word to use in this case) that this one-percenters does not want to get stuck with a condo on the beach that is priced way too high when the bottom drops out of the real estate market – again.

Chinese skyscraper in Miamimiami_new_condos

The website Curbed Miami reported last week that “Chinese developers American da Tang Group and China City Construction are planning to bring an ‘iconic’ new building to the former Capital Brickell Place property in Brickell, according to Shanjie Li, the CEO of American Da Tang Group.” Mr. Li is hoping to negotiate with the Federal Aviation Administration to be allowed to build Miami’s tallest skyscraper, but he emphasizes that it is more important that the “whole project be iconic for Miami,” he told Curbed Miami. The project will be mixed use, with residential, retail, and offices.

Crazy in Florida

Associated Press reported last week that Republican lawmakers in the Florida legislature fighting to give licensed gun owners the right to carry on state universities earned their first two victories as House and Senate committees approved bills that would allow permitted students to take their guns to class. Supporters say schools will be safer and people with concealed weapons permits shouldn’t be denied their constitutional rights to protect themselves, while opponents said the often stressful environment of universities is not the right place to allow guns. And we say that they’re all crazy to be even considering this move.

Jeb a pothead – once

Jeb Bush seems more interesting in the media than in real life. Here’s one from the Politico website: Jeb Bush copped to smoking marijuana in high school during an exchange with Rand Paul during last week’s debate after the Kentucky senator implicitly called certain candidates out for being hypocritical on enforcing federal drug laws. Which candidate are you referring to?, moderator Jake Tapper asked. “I think if we left it open, we could see how many people smoked pot in high school,” Paul cracked. Bush immediately interjected: “Me. He was talking about me.” “So 40 years ago, I smoked marijuana, and I admit it,” Bush said, remarking that “my mom’s not happy that I just did” in front of 25 million people, referring to former first lady Barbara Bush.

Florida’s solar strength


We found this in the Palm Beach Post. Interesting. Florida is known as the Sunshine State, but when it comes to its solar resource strength – the intensity of the sun’s rays – it ranks ninth. Arizona has the most favorable amount of energy from the sun, and New Mexico is right behind it. It might seem odd, but Florida has about the same solar resource measurement as Kansas, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.