Florida Five: Rubio playing with fire on immigration vote, Cases tossed over police links to KKK

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

AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Marco Rubio is playing with fire on immigration vote: Marco Rubio can be excused if the ghost of John Kerry’s presidential ambitions is haunting him this week. Rubio broke with Senate conservatives on Wednesday by voting to start debate on a proposal to increase humanitarian aid for illegal immigrants by $2.7 billion. Most Republicans in the Senate, including possible 2016 rivals Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, went the other way. So did Democrats expecting major challenges in November, like Kay Hagan and Mary Landrieu. Read more

Prosecutors toss three cases over police links to KKK: Prosecutors in Lake County have tossed three pending criminal cases because of an FBI report linking two former Fruitland Park police officers to the Ku Klux Klan. All three cases – two misdemeanor batteries and a felony traffic case – required the testimony of officer George Hunnewell, who was fired after the FBI report was forwarded to Fruitland Park Police Chief Terry Isaacs by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. Read more

Pinellas school district asks Crist to pull TV ad: The Pinellas County school district is asking former Gov. Charlie Crist to pull a television ad filmed at an area high school. A school administrator gave permission to the Democratic candidate to film the ad at St. Petersburg High. But district officials said that was an “error in judgment” that violated school board policy. Republican Party of Florida officials complained to the district on Thursday and asked them to demand the Crist campaign stop airing the ad. Read more

Medical marijuana draws the fire of Florida police chiefs: The Florida Police Chiefs Association (FPCA) took aim at Amendment 2, a proposed amendment to the state Constitution which will allow more medical marijuana options in Florida. A Quinnipiac University poll released earlier this week found 88 percent of Floridians support medical marijuana though the survey did not focus on Amendment 2. The poll also showed 55 percent of Florida voters backed the legalization of marijuana for recreational use. Read more

House passes Hamas condemnation crafted by Florida’s congressional reps: This week, a resolution crafted by two of Florida’s congressional representatives — U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla. — condemning Hamas and other terrorist organizations for using human shields, passed the U.S. House even as tensions continue to rise in the Middle East… The House passed the resolution by unanimous consent on Wednesday and sent it to the Senate. Read more

Bonus: Florida family finds 300-year-old sunken treasure

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