Lingering feud with Scott reflected in tea party scorecard

AFP scorecard reflects lingering feud with Gov. Rick Scott
AFP scorecard reflects lingering feud with Gov. Rick Scott

Most Florida House and Senate Republicans drew high marks Tuesday from Koch brothers’-founded Americans for Prosperity, despite the organization’s lingering conflict with GOP Gov. Rick Scott.

AFP spearheaded opposition to Scott’s coveted $250 million economic incentive package, which ultimately failed to win approval from lawmakers.

While Scott wasn’t graded by the organization, a leading supporter of the incentive proposal, Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, drew a ‘C’ rating on AFP’s scorecard, the lowest mark among the Senate’s 26 Republicans.

“It was a tough year with us and the governor,” said AFP Florida Director Chris Hudson, whose father, Rep. Matt Hudson, R-Naples, was given an ‘A+’ by the group.

“But we still think (Scott) did a pretty bang up job,” he added.

No surprise, Republicans generally did better than Democrats in the eyes of AFP. Locally Rep. MaryLynn Magar, R-Tequesta, was the only lawmaker to score an ‘A+’ and appear on a list of “champions of economic freedom.”

AFP is a grass-roots organization which claims more than 100,000 members in Florida, many of them scattered through the ranks of tea party groups.

Many are backers of Republican Donald Trump for president. While some Florida lawmakers gaining praise from AFP may, in turn, keep their distance from Trump this fall, Hudson said he hopes the organization will help elect state legislators who adhere to its limited government philosophy.

 

 

Bill inspired by missing Tequesta teens wins final approval from state lawmakers

A memorial last summer to missing Tequesta teens
A memorial last summer to missing Tequesta teens

The memory of two Tequesta teenagers missing since they sailed out of Jupiter Inlet last summer will live on in legislation approved Wednesday by the Florida Senate and sent to Gov. Rick Scott.

The measure (CS/HB 427) is aimed at encouraging boaters to buy an emergency position indicator radio beacon (EPIRB) or personal locator beacon for their watercraft. Supporters portray the legislation as a legacy for the 14-year-old friends, Austin Stephanos and Perry Cohen, missing since last July.

Rep. MaryLynn Magar, R-Tequesta, and Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, who represent the youngsters’ home town, sponsored the legislation. It cleared the Senate on a 39-0 vote and now goes to Scott, who is expected to sign the bill into law.

Magar earlier told the House the measure will “save lives, heartbreak and anguish.”