Local, Regional and National Politics …
Editorial Note: The Lehigh Acres Gazette will not endorse any candidates but will provide any opinion section space for the viewers of the Gazette to make their own decisions.
Florida Governor Rick Scott is coming under fire in SWFL.
Scott visited Florida Gulf Coast University Friday to talk about his proposal to eliminate sales tax on college textbooks, but he couldn’t escape the controversy surrounding the recent resignation of one of the state’s top law enforcement officials.
The governor remained steadfast in his assertion that his office handled the resignation of Gerald Bailey properly. Bailey, who resigned as Commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in December after 8 years, has since said he was forced out. He has also accused Scott of back-room political maneuvering and interfering in FDLE business.
Former Republican presidential candidate and talk show host Mike Huckabee made a stop in Southwest Florida on Saturday.
Huckabee was at the Books-A-Million promoting his new book ‘God, Guns, Grits and Gravy.’ When asked about a potential run for the White House in 2016, Huckabee would not say yes. However, the former Arkansas governor and Southern Baptist minister said he did not quit his job at the Fox News Channel so he could free up his Saturday.
He also talked about Mitt Romney bowing out as a potential candidate for President in 2016.
“He would have been an extremely formidable candidate, but what I’m hoping now that he’s dropped out is that all the others will drop out as well and leave me standing alone. If that happens then gosh, that will be terrific, so that’s my advice to all the others,” Huckabee said.
Huckabee’s visit came one day after former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney announced his decision not to run for the oval office next year
By Dara Kam The News Service Of Florida
Mirroring court rulings in other states, a Monroe County judge on Thursday struck down Florida’s ban on same-sex marriage, ruling that the voter-approved prohibition violates due process and U.S. constitutional protections against discrimination.
Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi immediately notified Circuit Judge Luis Garcia she intends to appeal the ruling, effectively putting it on hold. Garcia’s order would only apply in Monroe County.
Use with Permission By BRANDON LARRABEE THE NEWS SERVICE OF FLORIDA
In a highly anticipated ruling, a Leon County judge struck down a map of the state’s congressional districts drawn by the Legislature in 2012, potentially throwing the political future of the state into turmoil.
But the ruling, issued by Circuit Judge Terry Lewis, is virtually certain to be appealed and end up before the Florida Supreme Court, meaning that this year’s elections will likely proceed normally.
Legislative leaders were reviewing the ruling late Thursday, according to their offices. But a lawyer for voting-rights groups challenging the map said it was “very satisfying” to see Lewis’ opinion and said his side was ready for an appeal.
“We’re very optimistic that the Supreme Court will uphold the ruling,” attorney David King said.
Recently, I sat down with a local business owner and we discussed how revitalizing existing business areas can bring further economic growth to Lee County.
We can make our existing business districts communities safe, walkable, bikeable with shady trees, flowers, native plants, and appeal to tourists and residents. By doing this we can attract more business and improve what we’ve already invested in. Parking should be easy so residents can spend their money in our local stores and restaurants without worry. Streets need to be easily navigated. We want business and traffic to flow easily. Complete streets can be the goal. Gaps in sidewalks need to be closed. Seniors waiting for the bus or trolley should have shade and a bench to sit on. Who wouldn’t want to spend more time in an area with those features!
Larry Aguilar is fighting for his chance at a state representative seat — and he isn’t even on the ballot.
The Lehigh Acres Democrat is challenging the state Division of Elections for keeping him off the ballot for District 79 that incumbent North Fort Myers state Rep. Matt Caldwell and challenger Matt Miller qualified for.
The debate revolves around interpretation of state guidelines about what, exactly constitutes possession of a candidate’s qualifying documents — their placement in a post office box, or placement in a Division employee’s hands.
Aguilar first tried to qualify to be on the ballot through petition but didn’t get enough certified signatures.
By David Mark
Congressional Republicans and their allies are optimistic about finally ending the estate tax, paid by the inheritors of valuable property. Or “death tax” depending on your preferred term.
Rep. Kevin Brady, vying to become chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee in early 2015, is pushing legislation to permanently repeal the federal estate tax. The Texas Republican and other critics contend it’s fundamentally unfair to tax those inheriting property, because it has already been subject to taxation. In many cases, inheritors are forced to sell families homes, businesses and other assets just to avoid the huge tax bill.
And they argue the estate tax is the smallest source of revenue of any major tax in the United States.
Michael Dreikorn to challenge Benacquisto for senate seat
Michael Dreikorn has just announced his candidacy for the State Senate District 30. After withdrawing from the race for Southwest Florida Congressional District 19 on May 2 due to lack of campaign funds, Dreikorn now says he has gained thousands of supporters and has promises of more donations.
“I’m a fast learner,” Dreikorn said today.
After his victory last night in southwest Florida, Republican Congressional nominee Curt Clawson sent a special message to the Hispanic communities of Florida and the nation.
Curt Clawson, a businessman who was little known months ago in Southwest Florida, won a challenging GOP primary Tuesday to fill the U.S. House seat left open by the scandalous collapse of Trey Radel.
Clawson pitched himself as an outsider against more established candidates. He poured more than $2 million into television ads. In one, the former Purdue basketball player challenged President Barack Obama to a three-point contest.