PIOUS REPUBLICANS HATE MEDICAL MARIJUANA ALMOST AS MUCH AS THEY ABHOR GAMBLING. WAIT, WHAT? “The stakes are getting higher - politically and financially - in Florida's heated campaign over a November referendum to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana. The latest financial reports by the two main groups fighting the legalization of medical marijuana show a total of more than $7.7 million has been raised to oppose the constitutional amendment on the Nov. 4 ballot. Proponents of the referendum got a head start with Orlando personal injury attorney John Morgan providing most of the $5 million spent so far by People United for Medical Marijuana, though much of that was devoted to gathering and validating voter petitions and defending the ballot language in court. Deep-pocketed Republicans have since jumped into the battle. The Drug Free Florida campaign, which opposes the amendment, has raised $2.7 million, including a $2.5 million contribution from Las Vegas casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, a major Republican donor. This week, the non-partisan Florida Sheriffs Association began a separate "educational campaign" against the amendment. Polls show a majority of Floridians support medical marijuana legalization but constitutional amendments need a 60 percent majority in order to pass. "I'm not 100 percent sure it's a slam dunk," said University of South Florida political science professor Susan MacManus. "We're starting to see a lot more attention to some of the unintended consequences (of marijuana legalization) that have happened in Colorado, the negative side of it.’” (via Reuters)
MY FLORIDA STATE DEGREE DIMINISHES IN VALUE DAILY: “Florida State University hired a new search consultant Wednesday with hopes of moving past the acrimony and mistrust that has plagued its hunt for a new president. Storbeck/Pimentel & Associates got the FSU job almost by default. Bill Funk submitted his resignation as search consultant on Monday, and the university's second choice is now working for the University of Florida. Search committee chairman Ed Burr said the panel remains "committed to hiring the best president possible
in the most open and thorough process," but he did not specify a timeline. Storbeck/Pimentel helped New College of Florida choose a president in 2012 but has relatively little experience in the state. Applications from 17 people are in play, including those of Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Ricky Polston and state Sen. John Thrasher, a powerful FSU alumnus considered the front-runner. The committee will meet with its new search consultant to review the job description and the job listings in trade publications and on websites. Faculty and students had complained that Funk posted the job with altered language compared with what the committee and FSU's Board of Trustees had approved. "It's a good step at the moment," said professor Eric Walker, a member of the committee and chairman of FSU's English department. "We'll just see how things go from this point.’” (via Tampa Bay Times)
EMINENT DOMAIN IS NOT NECESSARILY IMMINENT DOMAIN: “The tiny family-owned church that stands in the way of Orlando's Major League Soccer stadium has hired a Jacksonville law firm specializing in property rights to fight the city's attempt to take its land. City Hall filed an eminent domain action in court in 2013, after a year of failed negotiations to buy Faith Deliverance Temple. But news releases from the church's new attorney make it clear the city's attempt to take the property won't go unchallenged. Attorney Andrew Prince Brigham said the city's action violates Florida's Constitution and state law because the land wouldn't be used for a legitimate public purpose. "The City's proposed taking is not for a public purpose," Brigham said in a news release. "The City is simply a conduit for eminent domain to take from one private entity, a church, and transfer the use of the property to another private entity, a soccer franchise." The announcement comes a day after Orlando City Soccer Club executives joined Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer and Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs to unveil details and renderings of the $110-million stadium. It's supposed to be built on two square blocks along West Church Street, but the church's property sits smack in the middle. The city initially offered $1.5 million for the property — more than twice the appraised value — but church leaders said that wouldn't be enough to rebuild elsewhere, and countered with a selling price of $35 million. The city eventually raised its offer as high as $4 million and the church dropped its price as low $15 million, but the parties never came any closer to a deal. The city's failure to acquire the property already has delayed the stadium's construction. The team initially planned to begin playing in the new facility during the 2015 MLS season, but uncertainty about the land prompted the decision to play the entire 2015 season in the Citrus Bowl.” (via Orlando Sentinel)
AND FOR ALL THE GAYS WHO THINK THAT ACTIVISM IS A DIRTY THING THAT MUST BE RELEGATED TO THE PAST? I OFFER YOU RICK PERRY AND ALL OF TEXAS. PUT DOWN YOUR ENTITLEMENT COCKTAILS, MARY. YOU’RE MAKING US LOOK BAD: “Texas Gov. Rick Perry, speaking in San Francisco on Wednesday night, said the U.S. would better serve its diverse population by letting the states handle many economic and social policies, a point he perhaps inadvertently drove home when he compared homosexuality to alcoholism. Addressing the Commonwealth Club of California, Perry argued the federal government should give up much of its policy-making power, letting states chart their own courses on issues ranging from business subsidies to abortion. He joked about his frequent habit of luring California companies to Texas and called the competition between the two states healthy for both, as well as the nation. But as Perry eyes another possible presidential run, some of his comments illustrated the wide gulf that exists between blue California and red Texas - and within the nation as a whole.” (via SFGate)
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