More shrinkage for Palm Beach County’s Senate delegation?

Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, probably won't be part of Palm Beach County's legislative delegation under a new map.
Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, probably won’t be part of Palm Beach County’s legislative delegation under a new map.

State Sen. Jeff Clemens of Atlantis is a liberal Democrat, but he likes having conservative Republican state Sen. Joe Negron of Stuart in Palm Beach County’s legislative delegation.

But it looks like Negron’s Senate district will shed its Palm Beach County constituents under a court-ordered redistricting plan making its way through Tallahassee.

Negron's District 25 would stay north of Palm Beach County under the new Senate map proposal.
Negron’s District 25 would stay north of Palm Beach County under the new Senate map proposal.

Despite an effort by Clemens last week to keep some of Negron’s constituents in Palm Beach County, the new plan leaves the county with three Senate districts — down from the current four and a far cry from a few years ago, when six senators represented some portion of the county.

Read more about what it means in this week’s Politics column.

Also in the Politics column: Republican congressional candidate Brian Mast gains a significan financial backer; the latest on the endorsement battle between property appraiser candidates Dorothy Jacks and Shelley Vana.

Florida Joe Biden supporters react to his decision not to run for president

The Draft Biden effort never got a signal to stop or slow down, state Sen. Jeremy Ring noted.
The Draft Biden effort never got a signal to stop or slow down, state Sen. Jeremy Ring noted.

Vice President Joe Biden‘s decision not to enter the 2016 presidential race surprised state Sen. Jeremy Ring, D-Parkland, who’s been involved in the Draft Biden effort and thought recent signs pointed toward a run.

State Sen. Jeremy Ring
State Sen. Jeremy Ring

Ring said Biden would have added excitement to the race for Democrats.

“There’s always enthusiasm around a presidential election. But I think with Joe Biden there would have been more enthusiasm around the individual. So it does take some of that away,” Ring said.

State Sen. Joseph Abruzzo
State Sen. Joseph Abruzzo

Another Democrat who urged Biden to run, state Sen. Joseph Abruzzo, D-Boynton Beach, tried to look at the bright side.

“The good news is we have Joe Biden to help lead our nation for another year. The unfortunate news is that when the vice president exits public office he will be irreplaceable,” Abruzzo said.

schale biden tweet
Tallahassee-based Democratic strategist Steven Schale, who signed on with the Draft Biden movement recently, told his Twitter followers he “Couldn’t be more proud to have been standing up for @JoeBiden. He represents the absolute best in what we all want in public service.”

Biden’s wrestling with a potential run was always linked to how he and his family are coping with the loss of son Beau Biden, who died of cancer in May.

Delray Beach resident Frank Biden, brother of the vice president.
Delray Beach resident Frank Biden, brother of the vice president.

“It’s all about the dialogue between his head and his heart,” the vice president’s brother, Delray Beach resident Frank Biden, said last week.

Ring said he believes Biden’s head was in the race, but his heart wasn’t.

“He wanted to do it, from the standpoint that they’ve been running a campaign for awhile now. He never told the Draft Biden team to stop or slow down,” Ring said. “If he ever could have figured out a way to emotionally make it work with all the tragedy that’s really pretty recent, he would have.”

Corey Jones shooting: Patrick Murphy renews call for police body cameras

Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter.
Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter.

U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Jupiter, says the Sunday shooting death of Corey Jones by a plainclothes Palm Beach Gardens police officer underscores the need for police to wear body cameras.


Corey Jones
Corey Jones

Murphy signed on in June as a cosponsor of a bill by Rep. Corrine Brown, D-Jacksonville, to authorize federal grants to local law enforcement agencies to buy or lease body cameras. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach, is another of the bill’s 28 cosponsors.


Click here to read The Palm Beach Post’s ongoing coverage of the Corey Jones shooting.


Said a Murphy statement today: “While there is an ongoing investigation into the death of Corey Jones, it is an unfortunate reality that all the details of what happened that night will never be known.  That is why it is vital that law enforcement officers – including plainclothes officers – be equipped with body cameras so that when terrible tragedies like this happen, we have a real window into what occurred. Congress must act immediately to help local law enforcement agencies invest in body cameras that protect both officers and citizens involved in altercations. By doing this, we will improve public safety and better relations between police and the communities they serve.”

For Charlie Crist, parties and offices change but the fan and ‘the people’ are constant

With "the people" at his back and his ubiquitous electric fan at his feet, Charlie Crist launches another campaign.
With “the people” at his back and his ubiquitous electric fan at his feet, Charlie Crist launches another campaign.

Charlie Crist has been a Republican, an independent and a Democrat.

He’s won races for state Senate, education commissioner and attorney general, lost two races for U.S. Senate and won and lost races for governor. He’s been conservative-talking “Chain Gang Charlie” and a Barack Obama-embracing cheerleader for the Democratic stimulus and health care bills.

The fan beneath Crist's lectern led to a 2014 debate fracas with Republican Gov. Rick Scott.
The fan beneath Crist’s lectern led to a 2014 debate fracas with Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

But some things about Crist never change.

For one thing, there’s that electric fan. Crist brought the cooling device with him in his Republican days (“What’s the deal with the fan?” primary rival Tom Gallagher demanded before a 2006 Republican gubernatorial debate) and, most famously, as a Democrat to last fall’s debate with Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

Not surprisingly, the fan was present Tuesday when Crist made an outdoor announcement that he’s running for a U.S. House seat as a Democrat in his home town of St. Petersburg.

Flanked by running mate Annette Taddeo (left) and wife Carole, "People's Governor" Charlie Crist concedes last year's election.
Flanked by running mate Annette Taddeo (left) and wife Carole, “People’s Governor” Charlie Crist concedes last year’s election.

There’s also “the people.”

Crist called himself “the people’s governor” when he took office as a Republican in 2007. As a Democrat, he ran unsuccessfully last year as “the people’s governor” against Scott. Crist regularly refers to “the people” in his speeches, and Tuesday was no exception.

“The real problem with Washington is that they fail to listen. They fail to listen to the people. I have always tried to listen to the people,” Crist said Tuesday.

He added: “I think it’s important to always listen to the people. That will be a hallmark of my campaign. Hopefully it’s been a hallmark of my career…The people’s will must be done.”

We made this gif to help explain Senate redistricting proposals

The Florida Legislature is in a special session right now to redraw maps for the state’s Senate districts.

But what does that mean to you?

Last week, Post reporter John Kennedy broke down the four Senate districts in Palm Beach County and how they could be affected by the proposals. (See links below.)

We made this gif to show the current South Florida Senate districts, and the six proposals now being considered by lawmakers:


As you can see, Palm Beach County would go from having four Senate districts to three under all six proposals.

You can review PDFs of the full state proposals here.

Check out John Kennedy’s special session preview here and blog posts:

• For Abruzzo’s Senate seat, redistricting may mean, go west
• Redistricting may anchor nomadic Sachs deeper in Palm Beach County
• Redrawing Senate districts unlikely to disrupt Palm Beach County’s central seat
• When lawmakers redraw Senate districts, Negron might exit Palm Beach County

Hillary Clinton coming to North Palm Beach for Oct. 2 fundraiser

Hillary Clinton at a 2013 appearance at the University of Miami.
Hillary Clinton at a 2013 appearance at the University of Miami.

Democratic presidential front runner Hillary Clinton will visit the North Palm Beach home of prominent trial lawyer Fred Cunningham for an Oct. 2 fundraiser.

The event carries a $2,700-a-head price tag.

Cunningham is a former president of the Florida Justice Association who has raised money for several Democrats.

Fred Cunningham
Fred Cunningham

After the North Palm Beach event, Clinton is expected to go to previously announced fundraisers that day in Fort Lauderdale and Miami.

It’s unclear whether Clinton will appear at any public events while she’s in Florida.


During her last visit to the Sunshine State on July 31, Clinton slammed Jeb Bush in a speech to the National Urban League conference in Fort Lauderdale and called for lifting the U.S. embargo on Cuba in a speech at Florida International University in Miami.


Clinton did only closed-door money events when she visited Florida in May.





Congressman shot Wednesday had Palm Beach County connection

House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. (Associated Press photo)
House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La. (Associated Press photo)

UPDATE: House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., was shot this morning as he practiced for a charity baseball game in Alexandria, Va. This story was initially published on Dec. 30, 2014. 

More on Scalise’s West Palm connection:

The uproar over House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., speaking to a David Duke-founded group in 2002 sprang from a 12-year-old post on Stormfront, a “white nationalist” website that’s run by West Palm Beach resident and former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard Don Black.

As a  liberal Louisiana politics blogger  noted Sunday, a Stormfront contributor named Alsace Hebert posted an account in May 2002 of a European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO) conference in the New Orleans area and mentioned that Scalise, at the time a state legislator, was one of the speakers.

EURO was founded by Duke, the former Klan leader and Louisiana legislator who is a friend of Black.

Scalise told the New Orleans Times-Picayune on Monday that he spoke to many groups in 2002 in opposition to a tax proposal.  He said he didn’t know EURO is a white nationalist group and wasn’t aware of its association with Duke.

“I didn’t know who all of these groups were and I detest any kind of hate group…Everyone knew who he (Duke) was. I would not go to any group he was a part of,” Scalise said.

Black weighed in on the Scalise matter Monday night on Stormfront.

“Nothing ever dies on the Internet!” Black wrote. “Now this obscure, old thread, by our long departed friend Alsace, makes the legacy news media (formerly called the mainstream news).”

Black continued: “I remember that conference well. Hard to believe it’s been over twelve years. I won’t comment on Scalise. But I will note the absolute hypocrisy of the anti-White establishment…Politicians grovel before African-American, Latino and Jewish groups, which openly promote their racial interests. But they are conditioned to run like scared rabbits at the very idea European-Americans have rights.”

Black told The Palm Beach Post in a 2013 interview that white nationalists are not white supremacists. He said supremacists favor segregation while nationalists are “separatists. … We hope to one day achieve our own country with our own borders with a government reflecting our interests.”