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Obama And Romney's Big South Florida Donors

Oct 12, 2012
Facundo Gaisler/Flickr

Not only are South Florida's votes key to the upcoming presidential election, but its residents are some big donors to the presidential campaigns, as well.

South Florida Business Journal rounded up some of the biggest donors in the region to both President Obama and Mitt Romney's campaigns. 

Obama campaign

President Obama came to Florida yesterday to find himself trailing Mitt Romney by seven points in the latest Mason-Dixon poll. Many agree, it’s the result of his lackluster debate performance last week.

And that's what the president tried to make up for during a rally at the University of Miami. Sounding confident and energetic, the president covered the points he overlooked during the debate -- passing Obamacare, killing Osama bin Laden and ending the war in Iraq.

Dogs Against Romney

Mitt Romney is getting his nose rubbed today in one of the most durable memes of the 2012 campaign, his hapless dog Seamus strapped to the roof of the family van during a long vacation road trip.

Only it’s not the dog this time. It’s Big Bird. Memes aren't memes, you know, unless they adapt.

Neither candidate let his opponent get away with much of anything during the vice presidential debate Thursday night.

The tabletop discussion between Vice President Biden and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin showcased their clear differences over policy. The two disagreed about nearly every issue that came up, whether it was military posture, tax policy or abortion.

Many of these differences were expressed in negative, sometimes surprisingly personal terms.

Jeb Bush Endorses Florida Amendment 6

Oct 12, 2012
World Affairs Council of Philadelphia/Flickr

Jeb Bush, our former governor who only occasionally steps into the political fray, has publicly endorsed a controversial proposed constitutional amendment on Florida's ballot.

He announced his full-throated support for Amendment Six. If passed, the amendment would prohibit public funding of abortions and removes a current state constitutional right to privacy.

The Orlando Sentinel reports,

Vice President Biden and his Republican opponent, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, had a lively debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky., this evening — one marked by Biden's aggressive challenges to many of the Republican vice presidential nominee's claims and Ryan's oft-repeated message that the Obama-Biden administration's policies aren't working.

The discussion was steered by ABC News' Martha Raddatz. It's the only vice presidential debate of the campaign.

Obama for America/Flickr

The Tampa Bay Times chatted with David Plouffe, President Obama's Senior advisor, recently. While polls show the president is struggling right now, Plouffe tells the Times that he's confident Obama will make gains in Florida-- particularly among Miami Hispanics.

Everyone #FLDispatches talked to about oystering told us the same thing: oysters are unusually scarce this season. 32-year-old Matt Hodges has been oystering for about three years and says the problem comes from a combination of overharvesting, a long stretch of drought and then torrential fresh water from Debbie and Isaac this year. Matt and his wife Holly are one of a handful of married oystering couples who work out of the Ochlockonee Bay that splits Wakulla and Franklin Counties.

Look at this map, and notice that deep, deep in the Republican South, there's a thin blue band stretching from the Carolinas through Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. These are the counties that went for Obama in the last election. A blue crescent in a sea of red.

Will New Florida Voting Laws Affect Election?

Oct 11, 2012
Voters in America: Who Counts? / CNN.com

Voting in Florida has always been a contentious issue.  But now, it's even more so thanks to new voting laws passed by the Florida Legislature.

House Bill 1355 - passed in April 2011 - mandates a total of 80 changes to Florida's election laws. 

Among the most noticeable are  restrictions on voter registration, form filing deadlines and reductions in early voting days.  

How they may impacting the 2012 election is the subject of a new documentary airing on CNN this Sunday, called "Voters in America: Who Counts."

Absentee Ballots In High Demand In Palm Beach County

Oct 11, 2012
Rusty Brick / Flickr/Creative Commons

Voter registration ended on Tuesday, and elections supervisors are busy preparing for next month’s vote.

They say thousands of registrations have come in just this month, and the final numbers will come in next week once the state is done certifying all of the voter registration forms that came in at the deadline.

Monroe County Supervisor of Elections Harry Sawyer says he’s expecting a big increase.

“Even before we get the final numbers in, we’re still ahead of 2008," said Sawyer.

National Republicans showed off some of the results of a Hispanic candidate recruitment drive during a packed-to-the-rafters blowout in Tampa's colorful latin community, Ybor City, during the Republican National Convention this past summer. The gala is called "Nuestra Noche", and the event took place at the historic Cuban Club.

Tim Donovan/FWC/Flickr

Our buddies over at WUSF caught a small faux pas made by Gov. Rick Scott today.

According to WUSF,

Florida.arrests.org

A civil lawsuit filed by former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer against two state lawmakers can proceed.

A judge in Tallahassee on Monday refused to toss out the suit against Senate President Mike Haridopolos and Sen. John Thrasher. Greer is suing them as well as the state Republican party over severance pay he says they promised him.

Florida Office of the Attorney General

Florida's Attorney General, Pam Bondi, says she's not backing the state GOP's effort to oust three state Supreme Court Justices.

The Florida GOP is currently endorsing a conservative effort to remove Justices Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince from the Florida Supreme Court. All three are considered by conservatives to be the most liberal members of the Court-- and they are up for a merit retention vote this year. This means Floridians will vote on whether these judges get to keep their job at the state's highest court.

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