Florida Five: Fed panel to discuss ‘stand your ground,’ Crist violates debate rules

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

Rules don’t allow for Crist’s fan in CNN / WJXT debate – Charlie Crist’s fan isn’t allowed on stage under the rules of an October 21 Florida governor’s race debate that CNN is hosting in conjunction with Jacksonville affiliate WJXT. The candidates were sent a memo on October 8 outlining the format, rules and logistical information for the debate. Among those rules: No electronic devices. The memo stated: “There will be no opening and closing statements, no notes, no props and no electronic devices will be allowed on stage. Candidates will be provided water, notepad and pen,” a CNN spokesperson said Thursday. Read more

standyourgroundlawFederal civil rights panel to discuss ‘stand your ground’ law – The fatal shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in Sanford ignited a nationwide debate on gun rights, profiling and Florida’s controversial self-defense laws. That debate continues Friday, when a panel of experts convene in Orlando to discuss the “stand your ground” law, as part of an investigation the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights launched after the teen’s death became a cause celebre. Michael Yaki, one of eight appointed commissioners on the panel, said in an interview Thursday at the Rosen Plaza Hotel that Central Florida was a natural place to discuss those laws. Read more

Platt poll shows her close in Grayson race – The campaign of Republican congressional candidate Carol Platt has released internal poll results that show her 5 points down in her effort to unseat Democratic incumbent U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Orlando. The poll, by Republican pollster Data Targeting of Gainesville, finds Grayson leading Platt 40 percent to 35 percent, with independent candidate Marko Milakovich getting 7 percent and 18 percent unsure or refusing to answer. Platt took the unusual move of releasing the results because they look good for her, given that their District 9 is heavily Democratic and most observers had given her slim chance of hanging close with the well-known congressman. Read more

Amendment Two: Up in smoke over loopholes – The most interesting constitutional amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot seeks to allow medical marijuana. In May, the amendment looked like a shoo-in, until a Quinnipiac poll claiming support from 88 percent of Floridians was debunked as flawed. When polling on amendments to the Florida Constitution, accuracy requires asking the question as it would appear on the ballot. The Quinnipiac poll didn’t do that, and so its 88 percent support estimate was roundly questioned. Read more

Crisafulli announces new leadership posts – Incoming House Speaker Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, has made his picks for the top leadership positions. Rep. Matt Hudson, R-Naples, will serve as speaker pro tempore. Rep. Dana Young, R-Tampa, will be House Majority Leader. Rep. Ritch Workman, R-Melbourne, will be the Rules and Calendar chairman. Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Trinity, will oversee the budget committee. (All are expected to win re-election in November, but stranger things have happened.) Read more

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

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