Florida Five: Changeling Charlie Crist’s political flip flops, Twitter unloads on DWS

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

From ‘Chain Gang Charlie’ to Changeling Charlie, Crist stays ahead of political flip flops: “Chain Gang Charlie” Crist once loved that nickname; it showed he was tough on crime. That, however, was before Crist left the Republican Party. Before he was an independent. Before he became a Democrat, a party with a significant number of black voters more apt to be troubled by images of shackled labor. Over the years, along with his party-affiliation changes, Crist’s policy positions have zigzagged, flipped and whirled. He’s no longer Chain Gang Charlie. Read more.

Florida’s school choice expansion awaits governor’s signature: More Florida families may get to send their kids to private school thanks to a new piece of legislation. Florida’s Legislature recently passed an expansion to the state’s tax-credit scholarship program, allowing partial scholarships to private schools for families that earn a little too much money to be eligible for a full scholarship. The bill also included some tighter restrictions on scholarship nonprofits. Read more.

DWSTwitter unloads on DWS’ Benghazi remark: ‘I’m convinced she has no soul’: It’s understandable as the head of the Democratic National Committee that U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., would call an investigation of an attack that left four Americans dead a political ploy.Almost.But to suggest the Benghazi investigation does nothing to “help middle-class families” is a stretch, even for Wasserman Schultz. Read more.

Seminoles will fork out $100 million this year to upgrade hotel-casinos: In case Floridians still question the demand for more destination resort casinos, they might want to note that the 500-room Seminole Hard Rock Hotel near Hollywood — one of only two hotel-casinos in the Sunshine State — apparently isn’t big enough to supply demand.The Seminoles have announced they are making “some upgrades and renovations.”On Friday, Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming, said during a ceremony marking the casino-hotel’s 10th anniversary that the Hollywood facility runs at 98 percent capacity, and on Fridays and Saturdays it entertains more than 40,000 people. Read more.

Patrick Murphy outsidePatrick Murphy’s odds improve in 2014 as he claims the center, works the district: Patrick Murphy is increasingly becoming the exact opposite of Allen West, the man he defeated to win a seat in Congress in 2012.Despite representing a swing district, West showed no hesitation in embracing the tea party and trying to rally conservatives at a national level. But West often played up his national prospects at the expense of working his district. More than a few Republicans from the area have grumbled about West not pounding the pavement more in his race against Murphy. Read more. 

For more Florida political news, visit BPR’s FLORIDA NEWS page

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