by Mitch Perry
There was a lot of election news across the country last night. I attended the first mayoral debate in the general election season between St. Pete mayoral candidates Bill Foster and Rick Kriseman (I'll have a post up later this morning), but the national news today is focused on New York City, where the voters of the five boroughs said adios to both Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer in their attempts for electoral rehabilitation.
But check out what happened in Colorado: Two state senate Democrats — Senate President John Morse and Senator Angela Giron — who supported strong gun-control measures that were enacted in the wake of Newtown, were recalled in a special election. Their defeat leaves the Democrats with just a vote majority in the upper chamber of the Colorado Legislature.
Their defeat comes five months after the U.S. Senate failed to pass a measure on universal background checks, and it proves, for now at least, that the legislators who believe in enacting gun restrictions may pay the ultimate political price — their jobs — for daring to defy gun-lovin' supporters.
Some people say everything was different after Newtown, but when it comes to making gun control regulations a viable issue for politicians, it doesn't seem much different than the way it's been throughout the past decade in this country.
The fact that many homeowners' flood insurance rates, particularly in Pinellas County, will go up dramatically in three weeks is finally starting to sink in for folks. State Rep. Dwight Dudley is imploring Florida's senators to vote on an amendment that would delay the implementation of the Biggert-Waters Amendment for at least a year.
House Speaker Will Weatherford held court at the Suncoast Tiger Bay Club in St. Pete yesterday, where he defended his advocacy in denying Medicaid expansion for uninsured Floridians. He also commented on the Legislature not doing anything of substance when it comes to nuclear cost recovery.
Oh, and Weatherford also said that while he thinks having a discussion about "stand your ground" is great, he also stands behind the law as is due to the fact that a majority of sheriffs think it's just fine.