Florida Five: Priebus, Wasserman Schultz mislead on immigration, Online voter registration bill filed

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

Photo source: Politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com

Priebus and Wasserman Schultz mislead on immigration, but Dems have political edge – One of the most bipartisan aspects of immigration reform is the inability of the Republican and Democratic leaders to talk honestly about it. Simply look at how Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus and his Democratic counterpart, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, handled the issue last week. Rather than provide hard facts, they reverted to the political parties’ default position: Recrimination for political point-scoring. Read more

PolitiFact Florida: Is online voter registration more secure? – Florida lawmakers have overhauled many aspects of our elections laws in recent years, but one aspect has remained untouched: Voters can’t register online. The statewide elections supervisors association, which represents officials in both major parties, wants lawmakers to change that during the upcoming session. Supporters of the legislation argue that one of the benefits is it’s more secure. “This is actually just simply a more secure, accurate and cost-efficient way of doing voter registration,” said state Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Lake Worth, at a Senate Ethics and Elections committee hearing Tuesday. Clemens is sponsoring a bill for the upcoming session. Read more

Rubio moves closer to White House bid – Sen. Marco Rubio told a private gathering of supporters this weekend that he has what it takes to win the White House and will spend the next months preparing for a presidential campaign. The Florida Republican was in Miami Friday and Saturday to host his political operation’s fourth annual “Team Marco” donor retreat. Rubio stopped short of announcing for president and might yet choose to run for re-election to the Senate. But if some thought former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush’s presidential jockeying might discourage Rubio and steer him toward a second Senate term, that’s hardly what the 43 year-old lawmaker signaled to his guests. Read more

FDA could set millions of genetically modified mosquitoes loose in Florida Keys – Millions of genetically modified mosquitoes could be released in the Florida Keys if British researchers win approval to use the bugs against two extremely painful viral diseases. Never before have insects with modified DNA come so close to being set loose in a residential U.S. neighborhood. “This is essentially using a mosquito as a drug to cure disease,” said Michael Doyle, executive director of the Florida Keys Mosquito Control District, which is waiting to hear if the Food and Drug Administration will allow the experiment. Dengue and chikungunya are growing threats in the U.S., but some people are more frightened at the thought of being bitten by a genetically modified organism. More than 130,000 signed a Change.org petition against the experiment. Read more

Primary elections are Tuesday for Florida Senate, House seats – Republican voters will choose Tuesday the likely replacement for John Thrasher in the Florida Senate and also fill the two Florida House seats left vacant by two candidates competing for Thrasher’s old job. Since Thrasher stepped down from the Senate in November to become the president of Florida State University, former state Reps. Ronald “Doc” Renuart, R-Ponte Vedra Beach, and Travis Hutson, R-Elkton, have battled each other to convince voters they are the most conservative and qualified candidate to fill the large void left by Thrasher’s departure. Dennis McDonald, Flagler Beach, is also competing in the GOP primary for the Senate seat, which includes St. Johns, Flagler and Putnam and part of Volusia County. Read more

ICYMI: Krauthammer picks Marco Rubio as ‘underestimated dark horse candidate’ to win 2016 GOP presidential primary

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