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Will politics get in the way of jobs bill? Murzin calls Gaetz bill a headline grabber

Tuesday, February 9th, 2010 by Dara Kam

A race for an open Panhandle state Senate seat may stymie success of a jobs package.

State Rep. Dave Murzin, House Economic Development and Community Affairs committee chairman, took a swipe at the Senate’s jobs package sponsored by Sen. Don Gaetz.

Murzin, a Panhandle Republican who is running for a Senate seat neighboring Gaetz’s district, was asked about the Gaetz proposal at an Associated Industries of Florida event in Tallahassee yesterday.

“It’s a great package. If I had a $150 million it might be some good ideas. But quite frankly I don’t have $150 million. I think I stopped counting at about $150 million,” Murzin, R-Pensacola, told the crowd of business lobbyists.

Gaetz’ bill includes a $1,000 tax break for businesses that hire an out of work Floridian and a variety of other corporate tax breaks or incentives to induce them to put the unemployed back on the job and to get them off Medicaid and other state benefits.

Murzin said his package will be more realistic.

“So yeah, we’ll take a look at some stuff but quite frankly we’ll roll out a jobs package, an economic incentives package, an economy package that actually works, doesn’t necessarily cost a lot of money because …an economic package that Floridians can afford,” Murzin said. “I’m not really into it for the is still trying to figure out exactly how much it will cost and how much it could save).headlines. I’m actually into it to put Floridians back to work.”

Gaetz, who is backing Murzin’s opponent Rep. Greg Evers in the Senate race, expressed tongue-in-cheek surprise at Murzin’s inability to come up with the money to pay for the package. (Gaetz says his staff

“Well, Rep. Murzin is welcome to his opinions. I wish him well this session. And in his future. I wish him well in everything except his aspirations to be a senator. In all other cases I wish him well,” Gaetz, R-Destin, said.

Crist utility reg pick owns hot Panhandle nightclub, doesn’t work for sheriff

Thursday, October 1st, 2009 by Dara Kam

Dominatrix night at Ricks Cabana Lounge

Dominatrix night at Ricks Cabana Lounge


Gov. Charlie Crist’s office says that Benjamin “Steve” Stevens, one of Crist’s new appointees to the Public Service Commission, “has served as chief financial officer for the Escambia County Sheriff’s Office since 2001.l”

But workers at Sheriff David Morgan’s office said Stevens, a Panhandle accountant, hasn’t worked there since Morgan assumed the post in January.

Stevens, 44, is also an owner of Rick’s Cabana Lounge, a nightclub in Pensacola, according to Department of State records and his PSC application. He’s listed as an owner of Ben Bartows Bar LLC, which has the same address as the bar.

State Rep. Dave Murzin, a Pensacola Republican who chairs the nominating council that included Stevens in the list of six candidates given to Crist, had called Stevens an “accountant extraordinaire.”

UPDATED: Murzin, United Way “Downtown GetDown” showdown

Monday, September 21st, 2009 by Dara Kam

Rep. Dave Murzin, a Panhandle Republican who’s in a hot GOP primary against Rep. Greg Evers for state Senate, is holding a fundraiser coinciding with the popular “Downtown GetDowns” on Tallahassee Friday night.

The street parties take place each Friday night before a Florida State University home football game.

But an invitation to the Murzin fundraiser at the Florida Hotel and Restaurant Association in the heart of downtown in the capital city provoked United Way of the Big Bend President Ken Armstrong into calling for a time-out.

(more…)

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