Florida Five: Gubernatorial campaign fire exchanged at Forum Club, Rand Paul backs Clawson

Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:

Photo: Sunshine State News
Photo: Sunshine State News

Gubernatorial-race attacks turn to South Florida: Even though the Legislature took a week off for Passover and Easter, the Florida gubernatorial campaign showed no signs of slowing down on Monday as the various candidates exchanged fire.Former Gov. Charlie Crist, the favorite for the Democratic nomination to challenge Gov. Rick Scott despite spending most of his political year in the Republican ranks, spoke at the Forum Club of the Palm Beaches on Monday. Scott’s new running mate, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, was in attendance to keep tabs on Crist. Read more.

Plan would change payments for mental health care: The Florida Legislature is considering a plan that would change the way the state pays to treat people who need emergency mental health care, a move critics say would gut the current system to benefit large hospital systems. Read more.

WCTV: We take ‘full responsibility,’ apologize to Crist, Morgan for ad error that led to RPOF complaint: A Tallahassee CBS affiliate issued a public apology to Democrat Charlie Crist and his employer, Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan, for mistakenly running an ad that led to a Republican Party complaint because the spot violated campaign rules. “WCTV wants to apologize to both Mr. Morgan and Mr. Crist for inadvertently airing a commercial that we were not instructed to air,” the station said in an unsigned letter issued by General Manager Heather Peeples. Read more.

House and Senate not in sync on state pension reform: Carol Horton, a teacher for 18 years in Palm Beach County, is now approaching her retirement years.Horton told lawmakers last week she is worried about looming changes to the state pension fund, known as the Florida Retirement System. She questioned whether the $132 billion pension fund “will be out of money when I’m counting on it.” As the Florida Legislature approaches the final three weeks of its annual session, she asked lawmakers to back off plans to make major changes to the retirement system, which covers some 622,000 public employees in Florida, with the majority working for local school systems and county governments. Read more.

randpaul0818Rand Paul backs Curt Clawson in CD 19:  U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced on Monday that he was backing businessman Curt Clawson in the Republican primary to replace former U.S. Rep. Trey Radel, R-Fla., in Congress. Clawson takes on Florida Senate Majority Leader Lizbeth Benacquisto, R-Fort Myers, and former state Rep. Paige Kreegel in the primary on April 22. Washington is desperate for outside leadership,” Paul said on Monday. “Curt Clawson is an outsider who will bring refreshing ideas to the halls of Congress. Today, I proudly stand with Curt Clawson in his quest to restore fiscal stability and common-sense government. Curt will stand with me in defending the Constitution. I urge the voters of Florida’s 19th Congressional District to send Curt to Washington. Our nation needs new leadership and the first step in the right direction would be electing Curt Clawson.” Read more.

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