Florida Five: DWS tells a whopper involving Israel, GOP white knight rides in for Senate run

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

Jeff Atwater
Fla. CFO Jeff Atwater

Atwater to the rescue? Florida Republican set to bid For Senate as Rubio readies WH bid – With Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) apparently planning to run for President, Republicans desperately want a successor who has established statewide name recognition, a reputation beyond criticism, and a proven track record raising money. Enter Jeff Atwater. The name may not be familiar to those outside of Florida, but the former banker has served as the state’s Chief Financial Officer (CFO) since 2011, winning two statewide elections by wide margins. Atwater had also been elected state representative and then state senator, serving as Senate President before he ran for CFO. Read more

Another Wasserman Schultz whopper: Spirit of Israel lives in Democratic Party – With U.S.-Israeli relations currently at just about absolute zero — minus 459.67 degrees Fahrenheit — U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz claimed in a piece she wrote for The Hill that, according to its headline, “The spirit of Israel lives in the Democratic Party.” The South Florida Democrat, and chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, was writing in response to a statement by U.S. Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, during an interview earlier this month on Boston Herald Radio. Read more

Senate Seeks To Ban Powdered Booze – Spirits aren’t high on the future of powdered alcohol being mixed in Florida. The Senate Commerce and Tourism Committee on Monday unanimously supported a measure (SB 998) that would prohibit the sale and possession of powdered alcohol throughout the state. The effort to ban powdered alcohol comes shortly after the U.S. Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau approved the sale of a powdered alcohol called Palcohol by the privately held company Lipsmark LLC. Read more

Marco Rubio confirms presidential announcement date – U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, confirmed Monday that he’ll announce on April 13 whether he’ll seek the Republican presidential nomination. Rubio teased potential supporters during a lengthy interview on the late-afternoon talk show “The Five” on Fox News, the cable channel favored by Republicans. He said his announcement day is in two weeks, but he wouldn’t say just where or what he plans to do. Read more

Koch brothers group attacks Gardiner, Senate over Medicaid expansion – Americans for Prosperity, the free-market advocacy group financed by the billionaire industrialists Charles and David Koch, is going on the attack. The group sent mail ads Monday to the districts of Senate President Andy Gardiner, R-Orlando, and 24 other senators over their support for a plan to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare. “The Florida Senate continues to move forward on a plan to give good people bad coverage,” the mailer states. It also encourages residents to call senator’s district offices. Click here to view the mailer. Read more

ICYMI: Fourth-grade firecracker gets standing O for feisty speech on testing

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