Month: April 2017

How Ros-Lehtinen found a way to connect with Hispanics, Jews and everyone else

From the Herald archives: This is a profile of U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen published on Oct. 13, 2008, before the election that year. To understand why Ileana Ros-Lehtinen is favored to keep her congressional seat even in a difficult election season for Republicans, watch her work a room full of voters. On a recent trip to a local Jewish nursing home, Ros-Lehtinen reiterated her commitment to legislation benefiting Holocaust survivors and then, heading out the door, grabbed a cheese blintz for the road. No plate needed, she told several supporters as she wrapped her snack in a napkin and announced plans to “eat it like a taco.” Then she stopped. “That’s not culturally insensitive, is it?” a smiling Ros-Lehtinen asked. “To eat it like a taco?” READ MORE: Ros-Lehtinen to retire from Congress The moment was light but intimate, a quick demonstration of Ros-Lehtinen’s knack for establishing a personal connection with constituents, Jewish or Hispanic, young or old. Ros-Lehtinen, a Pinecrest Republican, has built a double-digit lead in polls over her Democratic opponent, businesswoman Annette Taddeo. While fellow Republicans in South Florida are locked in tough battles to keep their seats, Ros-Lehtinen is pulling ahead. A Florida International University Metropolitan Center/Univisión poll released last week gave Ros-Lehtinen a lead of 52 percent to 27 percent over Taddeo, with 21 percent undecided. Other polls have also shown Ros-Lehtinen well in...

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How much time did Truman, JFK, Trump spend at their Florida White Houses?

Harry Truman in Key West, John F. Kennedy at St. Edwards Catholic Church in Palm Beach. PALM BEACH — President Donald Trump‘s seven visits to Mar-a-Lago during his first 100 days in office have put a distinct Florida stamp on his early presidency. Click here to read how many days Trump has spent in Palm Beach — and how his time away from the White House compares to the getaway time of other presidents. President Donald Trump enters Mar-a-Lago to begin a weekend in March. (Meghan McCarthy/Palm Beach Daily News) Trump isn’t the first president to spend considerable time in...

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As clock ticks, lawmakers’ compromises on education policy remain a mystery

With barely three days left before lawmakers have to finalize the annual state budget if session is to end as scheduled May 5, Floridians still have very little idea what kind of compromise lawmakers are crafting behind closed doors when it comes to the most consequential reforms this year that affect K-12 public schools. House and Senate leaders have yet to release any proposed amended language for substantive policy bills tied to the education budget, such as those calling for: ▪ A brand-new $200 million “schools of hope” program (HB 5105) to help students in perpetually failing schools. ▪ A $214 million expansion of annual “Best & Brightest” bonuses for teachers and principals (HB 7069) that rely on their personal academic achievements. ▪ And reforms to how school construction and maintenance dollars — from the state and from local property taxes — are shared between traditional and charter schools (SB 376). Hialeah Republican Rep. Manny Diaz Jr. and Altamonte Springs Republican Sen. David Simmons, the House and Senate chairmen building the $15 billion pre-K-12 schools budget, concluded their conference subcommittee’s work Saturday morning after reaching agreement on a small increase for general school spending but without hashing out — at least, publicly — any of the differences the chambers have on these major programs. Unless the public is going to be testifying from the gallery of the Florida Senate, I don’t see...

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Baseball and the Bush family: From Babe Ruth and Poppy to Jeter ‘n’ Jeb

Jeb Bush autographs a baseball during a 2015 campaign appearance in Central Florida. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) If former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and an investor group that includes future Hall of Famer Derek Jeter are successful in buying the Miami Marlins, it will continue a long baseball tradition in the Bush family. And it won’t be the first baseball-related pairing of a Bush and a Yankee legend.   Jeb Bush’s grandfather, former Connecticut Sen. Prescott Bush, played baseball at Yale a century ago. Prescott Bush in the 1916 Yale baseball program.   Jeb Bush’s father, former President George H.W. Bush, was captain of the...

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Melania Trump, first lady and part-time Palm Beacher, celebrates her birthday today

The official White House portrait of Melania Trump. First lady Melania Trump turns 47 today. The wife of President Donald Trump has kept a relatively low profile during the early days of her husband’s presidency, but she has made some waves in Palm Beach County. PHOTOS: Melania Trump through the years First lady Melania Trump talks to girls from HomeSafe in Lake Worth. (photo provided by HomeSafe) During Trump’s last visit to Mar-a-Lago, Melania Trump quietly visited a HomeSafe residence for girls victimized by abuse and domestic violence in Lake Worth. “This is a day that the girls will never...

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