Monday, January 15, 2007

FLORIDA DIGEST January 15, 2007

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It's tough to vote for the lesser of two evils


Jim Davis, a former candidate for Florida governor, pledged to raises taxesto almost a billion dollars, which some economists believe would force theaverage Floridia taxpayer to pay almost 55¤percent of their income in taxes.

The second major candidate was Charlie Crist, a man that accepted millionsof dollars in campaign donations from insurance companies, which couldpossibly lead to a slight bias.

I found myself searching in all political races of the midterm for thelesser of two evil candidates.

It seems our political system has boiled down to choosing the lesser of twoevils.

We have the freedom to vote in this country, but we have no way to expressdisdain for the candidates.


Broward Big draws bead on Wexler

Broward Big draws bead on Wexler
By George Bennett

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Monday, January 15, 2007

You have to figure something's percolating when a longtime Broward Countypolitician ventures into Palm Beach County's Democratic condo belt to holdforth on foreign policy.

The politician in question is former Broward County Commissioner Ben Graberand, indeed, he's considering a challenge of reputedly unbeatable U.S. Rep.Robert Wexler in a Democratic congressional primary next year.

Graber lost a Democratic state Senate primary last year to Wexler-backedJeremy Ring. Now Graber is remaining in circulation in Wexler's PalmBeach-Broward congressional district and making it known he's available tospeak to clubs and other organizations. On Tuesday, Graber has a gig at aKings Point Democratic club confab west of Delray Beach. After a career instate and local politics, Graber will speak to Kings Pointers on a topic ofcongressional heft: Iran, Iraq, Israel and U.S. policy.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Sun, Jan. 14, 2007

Pay now or pay later?
The legislature meets Tuesday to tackle the insurance crisis. Homeownerswill see some rate relief, but it comes at a big price.


Relief from rocketing insurance rates is on the way.

But curb your excitement. You will pay later.

Many of the proposals to be deliberated on during this week's specialsession of the Legislature would pass more risk from insurers to consumersand the state of Florida.

That means the tab would be deferred until a major storm hits. Then allFlorida residents would pay, through hefty surcharges on insurance policiesor higher taxes.

''What we're doing is providing a short-term fix, which is great forconsumers,'' said Michael Keeby, senior vice president of HBA InsuranceGroup. ``Long-term, what's going to happen is that [this crisis] is going tokill our economy.''


Bush allies back Romney, Oct. straw poll
By Brian E. Crowley

Palm Beach Post Political Editor

Monday, January 15, 2007

Jeb Bush may be gone from Tallahassee, but his political machine is activeand plotting a course that would make Florida a major player in picking theRepublican Party's candidate for president.

Key Bush operatives are backing former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Theyare led by Sally Bradshaw, Bush's former campaign manager and chief ofstaff; Ann Herberger, Bush's finance director; and Mandy Fletcher, who juststepped down as executive director of Bush's Foundation for Florida'sFuture.

Romney's Florida team is pushing for an October straw ballot in which 3,500Republican delegates would cast nonbinding votes for president. The Octobervote would bring attention from the nation's news media and give the winnera boost going into the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Mon, Jan. 15, 2007

Florida's finance chief tested early
Alex Sink, one of just two Democrats holding statewide office, has a lotriding on how she will handle the state's insurance crisis.

TALLAHASSEE - Just days before Adelaide ''Alex'' Sink was sworn in to hernew job as Florida's chief financial officer, the company responsible forreplacing one of the state's most important computer systems walked out thedoor.

The project is already behind schedule, likely to cost at least double the$57 million the state has already spent, and the now-departed company,Bearing Point, may wind up in court to get money it says the state owes it.

And this is no ordinary computer system the state is trying to fix: It's theaccounting system that actually keeps track of the billions spent by thestate each year.


What the senator learned in Syria
Published January 14, 2007

U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat, recently met with Bashar Assad,the 41-year-old president of Syria, whose country is accused by the Bushadministration of letting foreign fighters cross its border into Iraq.Syria, along with Iran, also supports the anti-Israel groups Hamas andHezbollah, and was implicated in the 2005 assassination of former LebanesePrime Minister Rafik Hariri, a critic of Syria's longtime control ofLebanon.

Nelson, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, discussed histrip with Senior Correspondent Susan Taylor Martin.

Q. Why did you want to go to Syria?

A. The Iraq Study Group had just reported to our committee, and one of themajor recommendations was that there needed to be a huge diplomaticoffensive throughout the Middle East to try to solve the Iraq situation, andone of their recommendations was to start a dialogue with Syria.

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