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Jose Garcia

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Member since: Fri Dec 2, 2016, 12:17 PM
Number of posts: 1,889

Journal Archives

Senate Dems want Pruitt vote delayed over emails

Source: The Hill

Senate Democrats want to delay a vote on President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) nominee due to a pending court case regarding email records.

Democrats on the Environment and Public Works Committee, led by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), said that emails that Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s office is likely to release publicly soon may be important in considering his nomination.

“Granting this request — to schedule consideration of Mr. Pruitt’s nomination at a time that permits Senators to receive and review the information we previously requested — is compelled, in our view, by the Senate’s obligation to provide advice and consent on Mr. Pruitt’s nomination,” the Democrats wrote in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “These records are needed for the Senate to evaluate Mr. Pruitt’s suitability to serve in the position for which he has been nominated.”

McConnell on Monday teed up a vote in the full Senate on Pruitt’s nomination. That vote will likely happen sometime this week.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/energy-environment/319433-senate-dems-want-pruitt-vote-delayed-over-emails

Coastal Everglades, deprived of fresh water, near unhealthy tipping point

SHARK RIVER - At the bottom of the Everglades along the mouth of the Shark River, a towering mangrove forest stands in a place few people outside anglers and researchers ever see: at the edge of a vast shallow bay where the salty sea and freshwater marshes conspired to erect a cathedral of trees.

In the current fight over restoration, this isolated region often gets overlooked. While Lake Okeechobee pollution to the north grabs headlines and gets the attention of Florida lawmakers, it’s actually here where damage may be most profound.

For the last 16 years, nearly 80 scientists and their students from 29 organizations — including all the state’s major universities, the National Park Service and the South Florida Water Management District — have embarked on one of the longest and largest studies ever conducted on South Florida’s coastal Everglades. They now fear the system may be at what lead investigator Evelyn Gaiser calls a “tipping point,” where change is happening faster than scientists expected and spinning into a self-perpetuating cycle of decline.

The mangroves ringing the coast are moving inland, overtaking vital freshwater marshes. Growing swathes of peat, the rich mucky soil that formed over a few thousand years, are collapsing. And periphyton, the spongy brown mats of native algae that form the foundation of the food chain, is shrinking.

more: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/environment/article132530084.html

Congressional candidate forms Impeach Trump Leadership PAC

Source: The Hill

A Democratic congressional candidate filed paperwork with the the Federal Election Commission (FEC) to create the Impeach Trump Leadership PAC.

Boyd Roberts, a California Democrat, submitted paperwork to the FEC that was received on Monday to establish the leadership PAC, a political action committee meant to raise money that will be donated to help other candidates and lawmakers.

Roberts also filed paperwork with the FEC to run against Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-Calif.) in the 2018 midterm elections. Rohrabacher has served his southern California district since 1989. The domain robertsforcongress2018.com exists, but nothing is there.

Roberts has previously run for Congress, unsuccessfully running for Rep. Ken Calvert’s (R-Calif.) seat in 2014 and dropping out before the filing deadline.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/319424-congressional-candidate-forms-impeach-trump-leadership-pac

Gun bills line up in Florida Legislature

A measure that would reduce the penalty for people who briefly display a firearm in public and make it a non-criminal offense has been filed in the House.

The proposal (HB 779), filed Friday by Rep. Neil Combee, R-Polk City, is identical to a bill (SB 646) filed by Senate Judiciary Chairman Greg Steube, R-Sarasota. Steube recently turned an omnibus gun measure (SB 140) into a series of bills.

Combee said his proposal would apply to people with concealed-weapons licenses. The proposal would change what is currently a second-degree misdemeanor charge — carrying a fine up to $500 and 60 days in jail — into a $25 noncriminal violation that can be paid to a county clerk of the court.

The proposal also would allow members of the state Cabinet — the attorney general, chief financial officer and agriculture commissioner — to carry concealed weapons when unaccompanied by full-time Florida Department of Law Enforcement security.

more: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/florida/fl-nsf-gun-bills-20170213-story.html

Orlando housing investor emerges as 2018 Democratic contender for Florida governor

Christopher King, a 38-year-old housing investor from the Orlando area, is exploring a run for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2018 and sounds more likely to run than not. The President and CEO of Winter Park-based Elevation Financial Group has been interviewing with potential campaign staffers and we hear has all but lined up several top tier consultants, including Obama alums Larry Grisolano of AKPD Message and Media and Jeremy Bird of 270 Strategies.

"We have to make a decision in the next 30 to 60 days," said King, whose father, David King, was the lead attorney for the Fair Districts redistricting reform coalition in 2014.

King specializes in affordable housing and said what drew him initially into exploring a run was state leaders steadily depleting the state's affordable housing trust fund. That, combined with watching the redistricting process and state leaders balk at expanding access to health insurance for hundreds of thousands of Floridians, fired him up.

He has never run for office before and faces the prospect of taking on experienced politicians including mayors Bob Buckhorn of Tampa, Andrew Gillum of Tallahassee and Philip Levine of Miami Beach, as well as former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee and personal injury lawyer John Morgan. King said he would bring a businessman's perspective to the debate about best to grow jobs and opportunity in Florida.

more: http://miamiherald.typepad.com/nakedpolitics/2017/02/orlando-housing-investor-emerges-as-2018-democratic-contender-for-florida-governor.html

GOP senators write Trump on Guantnamo: Keep it, grow it.

Source: The Miami Herald

A group of Republican senators has written President Donald Trump to not only keep the detention center at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, but to suspend the parole-style review board and grow the prison population.

Four of the 11 senators who wrote Trump represent Colorado, Kansas and South Carolina — states the Obama administration had considered as possible sites for relocation of the last 41 Guantánamo detainees.

They called the prison a “vital mission” and “an invaluable asset” and criticized former President Barack Obama’s releases and closure ambition as “blatant disregard for the safety of the American people.” About 780 captives have been held there across the years; most were released by former President George W. Bush, who opened the detention center in 2002.

The senators wrote that Guantánamo “should continue to serve in detaining terrorists who engaged in, aided, or abetted, or conspired to commit, acts of international terrorism and other adverse acts against the United States.”

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/guantanamo/article132579034.html

WikiLeaks: Flynn leaving due to 'destabilization campaign' by Dems, media

Source: The Hill

Wikileaks on Tuesday blamed a “destabilization campaign” by the media and Democrats for national security adviser Michael Flynn's resignation.

“Trump's National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigns after destabilization campaign by US spies, Democrats, press,” the organization tweeted, including a screenshot of the press release from the White House announcing the President Trump accepted Flynn’s resignation.

WikiLeaks ✔ @wikileaks Trump's National Security Advisor Michael Flynn resigns after destabilization campaign by US spies, Democrats, press
6:41 AM - 14 Feb 2017

Flynn resigned late Monday after reports emerged that he misled Trump administration officials about a conversation he had with Russia’s ambassador to the United States, Sergey Kislyak.

Read more: http://thehill.com/homenews/319386-wikileaks-flynn-leaving-due-to-destabilization-campaign-by-dems-media

GOP rep on Flynn: 'The coverup was worse than the crime'

Source: The Hill

National security adviser Michael Flynn became a "distraction" to the Trump administration when he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his calls to Russia, Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) said Tuesday.

"In this case, the coverup was worse than the crime. And it's arguably or questionably a crime," Kinzinger said on "Fox & Friends."

"It was a bad decision to call Russia and talk about this in the middle of the past administration determining what sanctions were going to look like. But what happened, the big problem is when he lied to the vice president and he became a distraction to President Trump."

Kinzinger said he thinks Flynn did the "honorable thing" by calling the president and explaining he was a distraction.

Read more: http://thehill.com/policy/national-security/319387-gop-rep-coverup-was-worse-than-the-crime

Gillum raises profile ahead of 2018


THE CAPITAL, TALLAHASSEE, February 13, 2017..........On a cool, clear day last week in Tallahassee, a handful of reporters were outside City Hall, listening to Mayor Andrew Gillum and a couple of activists attack a state bill that would essentially bar local governments from passing regulations on business.

"We are a very big state, and we are a very diverse state," Gillum said. "We bask in that diversity and richness, but we also know that Tallahassee, and Jackson County, and Miami-Dade County and Orange County and all over this state, there are differences."

The event was sponsored by Campaign to Defend Local Solutions, an organization Gillum founded to push back against legislative initiatives to dial back local control --- especially on issues like gun control. But the organization and its activities also serve as a reminder that Gillum likely has ambitions that go beyond Tallahassee.

For months now, the mayor of the state's capital city has been assuming a more outspoken role against the Republican-dominated state government that sets up camp in his municipality. Along with other Democratic mayors like Miami Beach's Philip Levine and Tampa's Bob Buckhorn, Gillum is a favorite to jump into what could be a crowded primary for governor.

more: http://www.sayfiereview.com/page/Gillum%20raises%20profile%20ahead%20of%202018

Jackson Lee welcomes Katy-area student from Jordan who was detained

A 16-year-old from Jordan stood silently midday Monday in the decorated downtown office of a Houston-area congresswoman, his hands folded in front of him.

For 20 minutes, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee spoke to media about the recent ordeals of the young man, Mohammad Abu Khadra.

A Katy-area student, Mohammad was detained in Houston at Bush Intercontinental Airport when he returned from his native country a day after President Donald Trump issued his immigration ban on Jan. 27.

The Democratic congresswoman called Mohammad an "innocent child," explaining that he had gone home to renew the documents that allowed him to be in America. They had expired after he spent a few months living in the U.S. with his brother.

more: http://www.chron.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/Congresswoman-welcomes-Katy-area-student-from-10929908.php
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