Florida Five: What’s with DWS breaking ranks with Dems on major Fla. issue?

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

Florida’s governor’s race: mean and costly: Gov. Rick Scott is rewriting Florida’s campaign playbook by writing massive checks. Charlie Crist, on his third political affiliation in four years, is doing his own rewrite through political reinvention.Less than six months from Election Day, the two men are on a collision course in what promises to be the costliest and meanest governor’s race in the nation. Read more.

Debbie Wasserman Schultz isn’t on the medical marijuana bandwagon: The congresswoman’s office may downplay her position, but Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s opposition to medical marijuana makes her the highest profile Democrat in Florida to take such a stand.And now at least one marijuana legalization proponent fears the chairwoman of the National Democratic Committee, fast friend of Bill and Hillary Clinton, could influence Hillary Clinton to maintain a hard line on the weed if she makes it all the way to the White House in 2016.Earlier in the month the usually progressive Wasserman Schultz broke ranks with fellow Democrats, voting against allowing federal doctors to discuss medical marijuana with patients. Read more.

Florida TaxWatch Budget Turkey Report for 2014: Florida taxpayers are set to pay $120 million for projects inserted into the budget and not publicly vetted by lawmakers next year, according to the 2014 Budget Turkey Report t from Florida TaxWatch. The annual independent budget review highlights appropriations that circumvent transparency and accountability standards in public budgeting“Florida TaxWatch commends the Legislature for creating a balanced budget that meets the needs of many of our citizens and returns money to Florida’s hard-working taxpayers through tax cuts, but as the taxpayers’ watchdog, it is our responsibility to disclose each of the projects that did not receive adequate scrutiny during the budget process,” said Dominic M. Calabro, President and CEO of Florida TaxWatch, the independent, nonpartisan, nonprofit taxpayer research institute and government watchdog. Read more. 

All paths lead to Florida for Venezuelans: As political unrest persists in Venezuela, wealthy Venezuelans look to Miami real estate as a safe haven to park their cash. Like much of South America, Venezuela’s political right is in decline. The leftward shift is making the well-healed nervous and prompting them to throw down more cash for Miami real estate than any other citizens of the world.Florida’s a safer bet for investing.According to a report done by the Florida Realtors trade association, Venezuelan buyers last year made up about 8 percent of all the international purchasers in Florida, making them the second largest group of buyers in the 2013 survey. Read more.

GOP staffer questioned about districts he drew: An employee of the state Republican Party who drew congressional districts that appear to have been submitted to the Legislature under someone else’s name took the stand in a redistricting trial Friday, as lawyers continued to battle over access to documents generated by political consultants.Frank Terraferma, who became director of state House campaigns for the Republican Party of Florida in January 2011, began testifying late Friday as the trial’s first week came to a close.  Read more. 

BONUS: MURPHY’S FAST RAIL FLIP-FLOP: Murphy’s new opposition to AAF must be viewed as what it is: payback for AAF’s refusal to give Daddy Warbucks a sweetheart no-bid deal. This stinks of Tammany Hall politics.

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

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