Florida Five: Rand Paul slams DWS’ ‘horrific’ abortion stance, Mystery GOP ‘superPAC’ forms

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

Rand Paul and Wasseman Schultz

SLAM! Rand Paul crushes Debbie Wasserman Schultz in abortion fight — with her OWN words – As polls show Americans becoming increasingly pro-life, the left is getting more strident in its support for abortion. The abortion debate came to a head Wednesday in a back-and forth by pro-life Sen. Rand Paul, and pro-choice Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz. And the Kentucky Republican’s last word was devastating. Read more

New Florida Republican super PAC alert – Time for a political guessing game: Which Florida Republican may have created a new “super PAC” to raise big bucks for the 2016 election? A new political action committee, Reform Washington, to benefit an unnamed candidate was registered Wednesday with the Federal Election Commission. Its treasurer is Nancy Watkins, a top Florida GOP political accountant based in Tampa. Read more

Gambling divide widens as Senate expands, House contracts – The reliably precarious debate over the future of gambling in Florida continued its uncertain path on Wednesday when a Senate committee voted to end the requirement that horse and dog tracks operate live races and the House revised its gaming bill and excluded destination resort casinos. But leaders say both plans appear headed for change. The Senate Regulated Industries Committee narrowly approved a series of pro-gaming amendments to a SPB 7088 Wednesday that would have extended a portion of the gaming compact with the Seminole Tribe for one year. Read more

The Buzz: Tax hike for lobbyists’ Gucci loafers? Just a joke – Perhaps inspired by Incoming House Speaker Richard Corcoran’s rousing speech last week, Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez, D-Miami, filed an amendment that would increase the sales tax on Gucci loafers sold to lobbyists. “I will proudly declare war on all the special interests … all the Gucci-loafing, shoe-wearing special interests, powers-that-be, who are standing in that hallway (outside),” Corcoran said in his anti-Medicaid expansion monologue. “Come to war with us. I’ll fight. And if it costs me my political career or yours, so be it.” Read more

U.S. appeals court deals setback to Florida tobacco plaintiffs – A U.S. appeals court ruling on Wednesday could make it more difficult for smokers suing tobacco companies in Florida to prove claims that cigarettes are dangerous and that tobacco companies were negligent. The ruling by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals reverses more than $800,000 in damages from R.J. Reynolds and Altria Group Inc unit Philip Morris USA Inc awarded in 2013 to Earl Graham, whose wife Faye, a longtime smoker, died in 1993 of lung cancer. Read more

Is your city mentioned here? Three Florida communities have nation’s highest well-being: Gallup poll

Or here? Miami Gardens is Florida’s most liberal city

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