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State of the Union’

Rubio votes against Violence Against Women Act hours before delivering GOP SOTU response

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013 by Dara Kam

Rubio practicing for his GOP response to the SOTU Tuesday

Florida U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio voted against the Violence Against Women Act, just hours before delivering the GOP response to President Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight.

The Senate easily passed the reauthorization of the 1994 law which expired in 2011, authorizing $659 million over five years in spending for domestic violence programs that include shelters, legal assistance and training for law enforcement officers.

Rubio objected to some portions of the act, which expanded services for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender victims and includes a controversial provision allowing tribal courts to prosecute non-Indians accused of domestic violence on reservations.

Read Rubio’s statement on his “no” vote Tuesday after the jump.
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Obama SOTU includes some Scott-like talk, but guv doesn’t buy it

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011 by Dara Kam

President Barack Obama threw out a few items in his state of the union speech that sounded as if they could have been lobbed by Gov. Rick Scott.

Obama’s already launched a review of rules and regulations with an eye on getting rid of those that hamstring businesses – the same thing the Republican governor started on his first day in office earlier this month.

And the president plans a massive reorg of the federal government, merging agencies to get rid of redundancies, another plan of Scott’s.

But Scott’s statement issued just after the conclusion of Obama’s hour-long talk didn’t mention any similarites. Instead, Scott derided the president’s “Sputnik moment” while making some big promises about his own budget, scheduled to come out Feb. 7 – three days later than he was supposed to deliver it to state lawmakers.

Read Scott’s remarks after the jump.
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Florida woman could be health care example at Obama’s State of the Union speech tonight

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 by George Bennett

Michelle Obama

Michelle Obama

Notwithstanding that Massachusetts special election and sinking poll numbers for Democratic health care proposals in Florida and across the nation, it looks like President Obama isn’t throwing in the towel.

The guest list for First Lady Michelle Obama’s box at tonight’s State of the Union address includes a Central Florida woman whose family, according to the White House, was denied coverage in 2008 because of preexisting conditions and can’t afford to buy insurance now.

Cindy Parker-Martinez of Belle Isle, near Orlando, is one of 26 people who will be seated near Michelle Obama for tonight’s speech, according to the White House.

Read the White House’s bio of Parker-Martinez after the jump….

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Crist wants to meet with Obama in Tampa tomorrow to give him some advice

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 by Dara Kam

Gov. Charlie Crist, apparently recovered from the man-hug he shared with President Barack Obama last year, is trying to meet with the president tomorrow in Tampa.

Obama will be in Florida to announce the winners of about $8 billion in federal grants for high speed rail projects, and it is almost certain that at least part of the state’s $2.5 billion ask will be granted.

Crist, who is scheduled to be in Tampa tomorrow, said his staff is working on a get-together with the president.

“I would like to see him, yes. It looks like it’s possible, yes,” Crist said after a speech to editors and reporters at the Capitol this morning.

Crist said he has three things to discuss with Obama, including some advice on reaching out across the aisle, a practice that has landed Crist in hot water with his fellow Republicans.

“I hope that what he announceas in Tampa brings a lot of jobs to Florida in the form of high speed rail. Number two, I’d like to talk to him about a more bipartisan approach which means, you know, it’s a two-way street, you know, reaching out more to Republicans and have them involved in the important issues of the day.
And then finally, encourage him on Race to the Top and lobby him a little,” Crist said. Race to the Top is a federal education grant program that could bring about $1 billion to Florida.

GOP critics lambasted Crist, a Republican running for U.S. Senate, for cheerleading for Obama’s $800 billion stimulus package last year. Crist appeared with Obama in Florida last year and a photo of the two embracing was used by critics to embarrass Crist in his GOP primary campaign against former House Speaker Marco Rubio.

Crist later denied he supported the stimulus, saying he did not have the opportunity to vote for it in Congress.

Crist repeated his “let’s-all-get-along” emphasis when asked what he expected from the president’s state of the union address tonight.

“A common sense approach, more bipartisanship, and I hope he delivers,” he said.

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