Florida Five: Rubio wants Benghazi suspect in GITMO ASAP, ‘Chain Gang Charlie’ anniversary

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

khattalaMarco Rubio: Send Benghazi mastermind suspect to Guantanamo Bay immediately: U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla. wants Ahmed Abu Khattala, the man suspected to be the mastermind behind the attacks on the embassy in Benghazi, taken to Guantanamo Bay for detention and interrogation immediately. Read more.

Commissioners give labor unions a boost in Broward: The push to unionize workers at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport has county officials worrying the conflict will disrupt operations. So last month, Broward County commissioners took matters into their own hands, voting to have contracts at the airport redrafted to forbid disruption in services caused by labor unrest, says the Sun-Sentinel. The proposal will allow the county to yank a subcontractor’s contract if they can’t keep their employees on the job. Commissioners say they got involved because they want to avoid airport shut downs and delays. Going forward, county officials say they hope the new contracts will motivate airport employers to treat their hired help fairly, keeping things running smoothly. Here’s an excerpt of what the commissioners wrote: Read more

Are the political sands in Florida shifting so fast — even Rubio can’t keep up? A new survey conducted by the Florida International University threatens the long-standing political belief that Cuban-Americans overwhelmingly support the John Kennedy trade embargo of Cuba. Almost half of the 1,000 Cuban-Americans who were surveyed support lifting the embargo – which falls in line with efforts by President Obama and some business and academic leaders – to soften travel and trade restrictions with the communist nation. The shift in attitude is credited to newly arriving Cuban immigrants and second-generation Cuban-Americans. Senator Marco Rubio – just recently signaled his continued support of the embargo.  Read more.

fla lotAudit: Florida lottery department keeps shaky records: The agency overseeing the Florida lottery doesn’t exactly have the winning ticket when it comes to keeping track of its taxpayer-funded property. At least, that’s the conclusion of a review conducted by the office of the state auditor general, David W. Martin.Auditors used the Florida Department of the Lottery’s own records, and determined that as of July 31, 2013, millions of dollars in public property purchased and used by the department was poorly accounted for. As a result, officials found it difficult to fully rely on DOL’s inventory records to accurately account for purchased items. Approximately 82 percent of department property in use and costing a minimum of $1,000 per item had either missing inventory dates or information that was more than 10 years old. Read more.

Celebrating ‘Chain Gang Charlie’ anniversary week: Surely Charlie Crist’s new friends will forgive the former chain gangster a momentary nostalgic lapse. After all, this is a favorite anniversary for him. It was 19 years ago this week that a 37-year-old state Sen. Charlie Crist, who wrote the legislation reviving chain gangs, embarked with Corrections Secretary Harry Singletary on his famous 400-mile, fact-finding road trip to Alabama, Chain Gang Capital of the World.Man, oh, man, those guys in Alabama did chain gangs right, didn’t they, Charlie? Who on your 19th is going to deny you that glorious annual ritual of bringing out the whip and chains and dressing up strict like a real ‘Bama overseer? I’ll bet you look fabulous. Read more.

BONUS: Florida teachers receiving pay raises over summer

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Michele Kirk


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