Florida Five: Crist hits airwaves but Scott’s team hits back, State rewarded to waste food stamp funds

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

Benjamin Netanyahu meets with Florida Congresspersons: A congresswoman and congressman from Florida met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, weighing in on the recent murders of three Israeli teens and other Middle Eastern matters. U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., the chairwoman of the House Middle East and North Africa Subcommittee, and U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., the ranking Democrat on the committee, met with Netanyahu on Thursday and weighed in afterward with a joint statement: Read more

Gov. Scott to VA Secretary nominee: Allow Florida inspectors into your facilities: Governor Rick Scott sent a letter to the nominee for U.S. Secretary of Veterans Affairs, requesting Florida Agency for Health Care Administration Inspectors be allowed into Florida VA facilities.Scott asked Bob McDonald to demand transparency of the Veterans Administration and to force a stop in delays of treatment, and the mismanagement of personnel, paperwork and patient care.Read more, Scott’s letter:

Crist hits airwaves but Scott’s team hits back:Former Gov. Charlie Crist, the favorite for the Democratic nomination to challenge Gov. Rick Scott, released his first television ad of the 2014 campaign on Monday. The new ad features Crist standing in front of the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, promising to fight for more education spending, for women’s rights and to raise the minimum wage. Despite unemployment dramatically increasing during his time in Tallahassee, Crist also touches on the workforce and claims to have saved 20,000 teacher positions during his term. Read more.

food stamps1Florida rewarded with $7 million from feds for wasting $47 million in food stamp funds: Florida once again is getting a hefty bonus from the feds “saving” taxpayer’s money.This year, the state’s Department of Children and Families managed to misspent only $47,829,887 in food stamp benefits. That’s out of almost $6 billion the state received from the federal government. Nevertheless, Florida’s error rate of .81 percent the second lowest in the nation, and only a slight dip from the previous year when the state received $8 million for having the lowest in the nation at 0.7 percent. Vermont had the highest waste rate at 9.66 percent, while the national average was 3.2 percent. Read more.

Controversy spreads over Everglades oil drilling: Alarmed by the spread of oil drilling in the Everglades, environmental activists and some lawmakers are pressing for stricter regulation of the energy industry and a state ban on new fracking-like techniques that blast open oil deposits near Florida’s aquifers. Critics in Collier County, the center of a mini-oil rush, warn that drilling leads to pipelines, refineries and hazardous-wastewater disposal — a domino effect that threatens a delicate ecosystem and water supplies. They say Florida is ill-equipped to control the search for black gold and that Texas wildcatters are taking advantage of the state’s limited laws. Read more.

BONUS: Video: Two brazen women busted stealing on beach July 4th attack guy with camera

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