Florida Five: Crist sinks lower, uses Jeb Bush on his ‘excuses tour’; punishes Palin for rejection

For today’s top political stories in Florida news start with the Florida Five:

Florida revives push to give driver’s license to undocumented immigrants: Florida could join the ranks with other states allowing undocumented immigrants to get a drivers’ license. The push is being driven by several groups petitioning lawmakers to approve a bill that would permit undocumented residents to navigate the highways legally.Last weekend, United-Families, Students Working for Equal Rights and Tampa Estate set up camp at the Doral Farmers Market in South Florida to gather signatures for petitions calling for the measure. Read more.drivers

Charlie Crist invokes ‘my friend, Jeb Bush’ to explain why he became a Democrat: Charlie Crist is trying to repair his image and it’s not clear if his new book is helping or hurting him.
Crist made appearances on cable talk shows this week to plug “The Party’s Over.” On CNN’s “Piers Morgan Live,” Wednesday, he began his predictable excuses for leaving the Republican Party, conveniently forgetting to mention the fact that Marco Rubio was cleaning his clock in a race for an open US Senate seat in 2010, prompting a “Hail Mary” switch to Independent. Read more.

Florida Senate bill gives local control over textbooks, instructional materials: State Sen. Alan Hays, R-Umatilla, filed legislation Wednesday that gives more local control to school districts over instructional materials and textbooks for K-12 public schools.“Local school districts, not the state or federal government, are the most qualified to determine what textbooks are appropriate for Florida’s classrooms,” Hays said in a statement released by his office. “School districts have a constitutional duty to decide what materials best suit their classrooms, and by strengthening local control, Senate Bill 864 streamlines Florida’s bureaucratized instructional materials process and encourages the efficient and effective use of public funds. Read more. 

sarahpalincharliecrist0205Palin’s punishment for rejecting Crist, a Taylor Swift-like mention in new book: Sarah Palin wasn’t chummy enough for Charlie Crist.According to an excerpt from his book “The Party’s Over,” Florida’s most famous political turncoat paints a portrait of Palin during the 2008 presidential campaign as being too aloof for the glad-handing then-governor (who was a Republican at the time). Describing Palin, Crist writes . . . Read more. 

David Jolly and Alex Sink Go After Each Other’s Fundraising Links: Both Republican David Jolly and Democrat former state CFO Alex Sink are heading out of their Pinellas County district as they raise money for the March 11 special election and both sides went on the attack on Wednesday.Sink headed to Washington on Wednesday for a major fundraiser at the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC) headquarters. U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the chairwoman of the DNC, helped host the event. So did members of the House Democratic leadership including U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md. The DNC hosted an earlier fundraiser for the defense community with U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson’s, D-Fla., support. Read more. 

BONUS: 18-Foot Python Captured in Florida Everglades

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Michele Kirk

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