Florida Five: Rubio blasts Obama’s immigration reform, Bondi poised to oppose amnesty

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

Rubio BondiRubio wants immigration reform, just not like this – Sen. Marco Rubio, who has criticized the poll-testing of policy in national politics, said was opposed to President Barack Obama’s immigration action because it was too divisive for the country. While other Republican aspirants have criticized Obama’s actions as executive overreach, Rubio focused on style over substance. After writing legislation last year that included measures similar to the actions Obama is taking, Rubio said Obama’s go-it-alone approach makes it less likely immigration reform will pass Congress. “It divides the country,” Rubio told reporters in Washington on Thursday ahead of Obama’s speech. “That’s the argument I’m making. That it’s going to make it harder to achieve this.” Read more

Pam Bondi well-positioned to lead Florida conservatives against Obama amnesty – National pundits always claim nothing divides Republicans as much as immigration. Conservative Republicans will push back against Barack Obama’s amnesty plan but don’t expect too many of the GOP leaders on the issue to come from Florida. Many Florida Republicans stand in the middle between Obama on one side and conservatives on the other. But there is one Republican who should be front and center on this one for conservatives: Pam Bondi. When Bondi ran for attorney general back in 2010, she was a vocal champion of Arizona’s immigration law. During her time in Tallahassee, Bondi backed Arizona, filing an amicus brief when the Obama administration took the immigration law to court. Read more

Scott touts growing tourism – Florida remains on pace to top last year’s record-setting tourism numbers. Gov. Rick Scott, who has set a goal of attracting 100 million visitors in a single year, announced Thursday that nearly 74 million people had come to Florida through the first nine months of 2014. The year-to-date number represents a 2.5 percent increase from the same point a year ago. With the increase in visitors came an overall rise in spending, as the state said visitor spending through the first nine months of the year hit $55.6 billion, a 7.3 percent jump from the same period in 2013. Read more

3 Florida cities compete with Jacksonville for stadium money – Jacksonville has its eyes on attracting tourists from England as part of a recently filed application seeking $30 million from the state for work at EverBank Field. Orlando envisions that $110 million soccer stadium will be a “one-of-a-kind downtown venue” that plays a key role in the growth of the city’s central business district and also could increase tourism from South America, according to an application for $60 million. The Miami Dolphins promise world-class events that will benefit South Florida significantly as part of a request for $90 million to boost the team’s $350 million in renovations to Sun Life Stadium. Daytona International Speedway, also seeking $90 million from the state, declares that its ongoing $400 million front-stretch expansion will in addition to auto races “attract non-sports events that bring thousands of visitors to Florida and pump millions of dollars into the economy.” All four promise new jobs for Floridians. Read more

Jeb Bush offers nuanced defense of Common Core education standards – Former Florida governor Jeb Bush (R) offered a nuanced defense of the Common Core State Standards during a speech Thursday in Washington, trying to mend the divide within the GOP over the standards as he weighs a 2016 presidential bid. “I respect those who have weighed in,” said Bush, who is in the minority among the GOP’s top-tier potential presidential candidates when it comes to support for the Common Core, a set of K-12 standards in reading and math that has been adopted by 43 states and the District of Columbia. “Nobody in this debate has a bad motive.” Bush, 61, spoke at the annual summit of the Foundation for Excellence in Education, which he founded after leaving office in 2007 to promote his education agenda around the country. Read more

Bonus: 5 things to know in Florida for Nov. 21

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