Florida Five: Ted Cruz electrifies Sarasota, Job demand at all-time high, Warning shot bill ready

TGIF! Take a look at the day’s top political stories in Friday’s Florida Five:

Florida job demand at all-time high: Florida is hiring and Governor Rick Scott wants people to know. There are more than 282,000 openings statewide; and January online job vacancies increase by 5.1 percent over the yearScott announced that according to Help Wanted OnLine, the number of available job openings in Florida increased in January 2014 compared to the previous January by 13,725, or 5.1 percent, for a total of 282,056 openings (seasonally adjusted). This is an all-time high in the data series, which began in May 2005, and the third consecutive month of record growth for job openings. Job postings in Florida also increased over the month compared to December 2013 by 1,588 openings or 0.6 percent. Read more.

Ted Cruz electrifies Sarasota as he accepts ‘Statesman of Year’ award:If one were to bet that a maverick, Dr. Seuss-reading, applecart-upsetting lawmaker like U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, would get a lukewarm tedcruz1216reception in the staid, establishment, Gulf-coast community of Sarasota, that bet would be lost.The Thursday night event was originally estimated to attract several hundred participants by the Sarasota County Republican Party — the event’s planners. Instead, almost 2,000 people RSVP’d the Cruz rally, where he was presented the Sarasota GOP “Statesman of the Year” award, according to Breitbart News.“We are shocked at the level of interest that we’ve received for doing this rally,” Sarasota GOP chairman Joe Gruters said. Read more.

How much trouble could Common Core cause for Rick Scott?:Forces opposing Common Core State Standards, Florida Standards or whatever the new, national education assessment standards are called, showed Thursday they weren’t blowing smoke when they promised to “sit this election out” if Gov. Rick Scott doesn’t reject the standards for Florida. Tea party groups have already begun organizing email campaigns to reach the governor en masse. “He does an about-face on Common Core or he’s history,” Marion Clare, a tea party activist from Citrus County told Sunshine State News. “This is very important to us. We won’t vote for (Democrat Charlie) Crist, but we won’t vote for Rick Scott either.” Read more.

Warning shot bill ready for state House floor:A bill that would allow warning shots to be considered self-defense sailed through its final committee stop in the Florida House on Thursday, but one lawmaker warned the language is too vague. The House bill (HB 89) has widespread bipartisan support and amends the state’s “stand your ground” law, granting criminal and civil immunity for warning shots. The bill does not explicitly list warning shots; instead, it cites “threatened” use of force scenarios that lawmakers made clear would include discharging a firearm to scare off a potential attacker. The state House Judiciary Committee advanced the bill with only two members voting “no.” It has broad bipartisan support, including 41 cosponsors. Read more.

dws VenezDebbie Wasserman Schultz shows her #SOSVenezuela solidarity with a selfie [pic]:President Obama “strongly condemns” the “unacceptable violence” in Ukraine, but he hasn’t really said much about what’s happening in Venezuela. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz has it covered . . .  Just look:

BONUS: Survival of a salesman: Former Fla. governor Charlie Crist tries to get back where he was

 

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Michele Kirk

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