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.
According to CNN: Donald Trump and Ted Cruz clashed Thursday in their sharpest — and most personal — encounters of the campaign season.
“I guess the bromance is over,” Trump told CNN’s Dana Bash after the debate.
The 2.5-hour event sponsored by Fox Business Network was filled with testy exchanges between the seven candidates on stage. Cruz and Trump are battling for first place in Iowa with less than three weeks until the state’s caucuses, though the businessman has a commanding lead nationally. And with pressure mounting for someone to emerge as an establishment alternative to Trump and Cruz, sparks flew between Marco Rubio and Chris Christie.
The much-anticipated Trump vs. Cruz showdown took a few minutes to materialize — but when it did, it packed a punch.
Cruz forcefully responded to Trump’s accusations that he isn’t eligible to be president because he was born in Canada — a controversy that Trump has only recently embraced.
By Scott Higham and Manuel Roig-Franza
When Marco Rubio was majority whip of the Florida House of Representatives, he used his official position to urge state regulators to grant a real estate license to his brother-in-law, a convicted cocaine trafficker who had been released from prison 20 months earlier, according to records obtained by the Washington Post.
In July 2002, Rubio sent a letter on his official statehouse stationery to the Florida Division of Real Estate, recommending Orlando Cicilia “for licensure without reservation.” The letter, obtained by theWashington Post under the Florida Public Records Act, offers a glimpse of Rubio using his growing political power to assist his troubled brother-in-law and provides new insight into how the young lawmaker intertwined his personal and political lives.
|Written by Suzanne Potter, Public News Service (FL)|
Starting today, 18 Florida state legislators will have to pay for food, transportation and anything else they need with just $17 a day.
It’s a part of a five-day Minimum Wage Challenge designed to bring attention to the plight of low-wage workers, and to bills in Tallahassee to raise the state minimum wage.
Patricia Walker, a home health care worker, says she works long hours, takes the bus to see clients and barely scrapes by.
After wrapping up a series of votes today in opposition to the Administration’s nuclear agreement with Iran, Congressman Curt Clawson (Fl-19) issued the following statement:
“There is no question that the so-called Iran deal is deeply flawed. To claim the U.S. cannot force a new deal grossly underestimates the leverage we have. Access to the U.S markets, U.S. trade, and U.S. financial institutions is crucial to most of the free world’s nations and companies, and for the Administration not to have harnessed this leverage is a tragically missed opportunity. America is the engine for economic growth world-wide.
“The world does not need the current deal because instead of rendering Iran unable to ever build nuclear weapons, it legitimizes Iran as a nuclear threshold state. And the rhetoric of the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei this week, asserting that Israel will not exist in 25 years and there will be no dealing with the U.S. beyond the nuclear talks, confirms that this must be prevented. We need for either the current or the next Administration to reject the proposed deal, and then use our economic leverage with trading partners to force a new agreement.
Congressman Curt Clawson’s office announced Tuesday night that his mother has passed away.
Cherie Marcil Clawson was 83.
Clawson returned to Bonita Springs last week to be by his mother’s side as she suffered from congestive heart failure.
His office released a statement on her death:
By Congressman Curt Clawson
Following the announcement by the Administration on a so-called nuclear deal with regime of Iran, Congressman Curt Clawson (FL-19) a Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made the following statement:
“With mounting concern on the details over the Administration’s deal with the regime of Iran, the world’s largest state-sponsor or terrorism, it is not in the interest of the American people to have the deal ratified by the United Nations before Congress can speak with a united voice. A deal with Iran is the Administration’s ‘Flounder’ moment. We all know what happens in Animal House when Flounder gave the keys to his brother’s car to his fraternity brothers. Why are we giving the keys to nuclear technology to the largest state-sponsor of terrorism in the world, who has also called for the elimination of Israel, our strongest ally in the region. Today I join with many others, including Prime Minister Netanyahu, in saying, ‘No deal is better than a bad deal.’”
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.