Florida Five: Hillary Clinton’s foggy memory on Cuba embargo, Fake birth cert gets you American dream

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

medical-marijuana-dispencaryAmendment 2 foes aim to attack the language, not the product: Medical Marijuana Opponents of Amendment 2 are showing their cards on how they intend to fight the medical marijuana proposal Floridians will be voting on in November. The anti-Amendment 2 forces aren’t taking on medical marijuana; instead, they’re focusing their fire on the vague language in the amendment, hoping to defeat it on the edges. Polls have constantly shown Amendment 2 qualifies for the threshold of passing with more than 60 percent of voters saying they plan to back it. But support for the amendment drops when some of its underbelly is exposed, including nothing specific about age requirements or mandating criminal background checks for caretakers. Read more.

american_dreamThose with fake birth certificates find it’s easy to live the American dream:It may be getting harder to sneak into the United States, but once you’ve arrived, getting fake documents in Florida is a piece of cake.Counterfeit, altered or stolen birth certificates coming from Puerto Rico are the Holy Grail to Florida’s undocumented. With a phony birth certificate you can live the American dream. You can also enroll in school, land a job and get a driver’s license. (It has also been estimated that up to 40 percent of the passport fraud in the United States involves counterfeit or stolen birth certificates from Puerto Rico.)The racket was made possible thanks to a law passed in 1917 by Congress, which granted U.S. citizenship to all Puerto Ricans. Now, desperate economic times together with eye-popping profits have created a black market where for as little as $25 a birth certificate can be bought and later resold for $5,000. Read more.

In Cuba-embargo reversal, Hillary Clinton revises history by omission as presidential bid looms: Too bad Florida International University’s latest poll, which showed Miami-Dade Cubans increasingly oppose the embargo of the island nation, didn’t ask respondents just two more questions:1) Do you favor lifting the embargo only if Cuba holds open and fair elections, releases political prisoners and allows for a free press and labor unions? 2) Does Hillary Clinton need a time machine? Okay. Maybe No. 2 wouldn’t make the cut. Now that the erstwhile secretary of state, U.S. senator and first lady is plugging her new book and publicly reversing her long-held positions on Cuba, her memory about the embargo, its effect and its history seem a little foggy. Read more.

Florida’s new school choice law likely to spark others: Parents of certain special-needs students in Florida will be able to customize their children’s education, thanks to a law signed by Gov. Rick Scott on Friday.
The law allows certain parents access to Personalized Learning Scholarship Accounts, modeled on Arizona’s Empowerment Scholarship Accounts. Parents receive an allotted sum in their education savings account, which they can use for private school tuition, educational therapy, private tutoring, or other educational expenses. The money rolls over year to year and can be saved for college. Read more.

Marco Rubio: Nip ISIS threat in bud: Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is definite that the United States must act now on the ISIS threat in Iraq. What he is advocating, however, left his interviewer, Norah O’Donnell, asking for specifics.In an interview Sunday on CBS’ “Face the Nation,” Rubio said what is happening is “without a doubt” an urgent counter-terrorism matter.”This is a counter-terrorism risk that we need to nip in the bud,” Rubio told O’Donnell. “It is my view that we will either deal with ISIS now or we will deal with them later. And later they are going to be stronger and harder to reach.”Rubio said the Iraq crisis is an example of history trying to repeat itself and cited the example of al Qaeda carrying out the 9/11 attacks because the Taliban had given the terrorists a safe operating space in Afghanistan. Read more.

BONUS: Former porn star enters race for south Florida school board

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

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Michele Kirk


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