Thursday, February 01, 2007

FLORIDA NEWS February 1, 2007

**IF YOU CAN'T ACCESS THE FULL ARTICLE, CONTACT US and we'll be happy to send the full article.


Crist plan may have role for touch screens
By George Bennett And Dara Kam

Palm Beach Post Staff Writers

Thursday, February 01, 2007

The paper-trail proposal that Gov. Charlie Crist will unveil today isexpected to make optical-scan ballots the Election Day standard acrossFlorida while keeping electronic touch-screen voting machines for earlyvoting and people with disabilities.

When Crist lays out his plan at a Voters Coalition meeting west of DelrayBeach, he'll call for the state to spend at least $30 million to buy opticalscanners for Palm Beach County and the 14 other Florida counties that nowuse paperless electronic systems, people familiar with the proposal saidWednesday

It's important to make sure that people have confidence in our votingsystem," Crist said Wednesday, declining to reveal more specifics. "We allremember 2000. That's why this issue is so important."

U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, D-Delray Beach, a prominent critic of paperlessvoting, will join Crist today at the South County Civic Center.


The Orlando Sentinel,0,389768,print.story?coll=orl-news-headlines

Democrats, some in GOP balk at Crist's call for huge tax breaks
John Kennedy and Jason Garcia
Tallahassee Bureau

February 1, 2007

TALLAHASSEE -- Democratic leaders in the Legislature sought to put thebrakes on Republican Gov. Charlie Crist's sweeping tax-cut proposalWednesday, warning that some portions of it may prove unconstitutional whileothers drain badly needed dollars from Florida cities and counties.

Crist defended the plan, which would cut property taxes by nearly $10billion during the next five years. But some lawmakers are wary of hisapproach and his pitch to put the measure before voters in September.

"I see where they're going right now, and it scares me," Senate DemocraticLeader Steve Geller of Hallandale Beach said. "It's going to come down tohard tax caps on the cities and counties."

Even Crist's fellow Republicans stopped short of embracing his proposal, butpraised him for putting the issue in play for the legislative session, whichbegins in March.


Crist's plan to replace touch-screen voting machines draws some calls forcaution

By Anthony Man
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

February 1, 2007

Gov. Charlie Crist's move to scrap Florida's controversial touch-screenvoting machines won't produce immediate change -- and may produce somepolitical controversy of its own.

The governor is set to formally unveil the proposal today with U.S. Rep.Robert Wexler, D-Boca Raton. In a preview Wednesday before a gathering ofFlorida newspaper editors and reporters, the governor said the move isdictated by lingering memories of the 2000 presidential election debacle andpublic desire for a paper record of votes in case a recount is needed.

"What could be more important to democracy than ensuring the integrity ofour elective process? It's at the very foundation of it all," Crist said.

Crist didn't offer details. Cost estimates of equipping each of the roughly4,300 touch-screen precincts with at least one optical scanner that readspaper ballots range from $25 million to $35 million. Wexler, a longtimepolitical friend of the Republican governor, said Crist would recommendspending enough money to buy optical scan machines for Palm Beach, Browardand the 13 other counties with electronic, touch-screen voting.


The Miami Herald

Posted on Thu, Feb. 01, 2007

Crist: Study select stem cells

Gov. Charlie Crist wants to spend $20 million in state money onstem-cell research -- but in a move applauded by conservatives, the moneywould not be used for research on embryonic stem cells.


TALLAHASSEE - Backing away from a stance he took during his campaignfor governor, Gov. Charlie Crist said Wednesday that he wants the state tospend $20 million on stem-cell research -- but not on the kind that destroysembryos.

While campaigning last summer, Crist said he supported embryonicstem-cell research and said he opposed President Bush's veto of federallegislation that would have paid for it. Backers of embryonic stem-cellresearch contend that it could lead to cures for such diseases asParkinson's and Alzheimer's.

Calling himself ''pragmatic,'' Crist retreated from his campaignposition Wednesday, instead proposing a grant program that would offer upmoney for other types of stem-cell research, including the use of adult,umbilical and amniotic cells. Crist conceded he took his position based onlikely opposition to embryonic stem-cell research in the GOP-controlledLegislature.



South Florida Sun-Sentinel Editorial Board

February 1, 2007

ISSUE: Concealed weapons law is riddled with flaws -- some potentiallyfatal.

A Pembroke Pines man pleads no contest to manslaughter after shooting hisgirlfriend in the head. Eight years later, he obtains a license to carry agun.

A Lake Worth man pleads guilty to pulling a gun on his roommate andthreatening to kill him. That same man later pleaded guilty to grand theftafter he was accused of stealing from his job. Four years later, the stategave him a license to carry a gun.

A man in Kissimmee has his license to carry a gun suspended and thenreturned five times. Despite a string of arrests for battery and domesticviolence, the man's concealed weapon license remains valid.

Absurd, yes. That's the law in Florida. However, the absurdity shouldn'tsurprise anyone.

This is the state where the Legislature approved a bill that makes it acrime for state agencies to sue gun-range owners to enforce environmentallaws, and bars law enforcement agencies from keeping electronic databases onfirearms and gun owners.

[ Send your comments about any of the articles in Ray's List Digest ]


No comments: