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Today on Context Florida: No Casinos, Scott’s threat, graduation rates and the Permanent Campaign

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Today on Context Florida:

For decades, casino lobbyists have tried to turn Florida into Las Vegas, says No Casinos president John Sowinski. But gambling lobbyists are back again, this time pushing for the biggest expansion of gambling in Florida’s history. There is a reason why they are so desperate to move into Florida and why responsible legislators should once again turn them away.

Gov. Rick Scott wrote a letter to President Obama this week. Daniel Tilson asks, “Isn’t that special?” Well, yes and no, he says, because the letter was in fact a dangerous, thinly veiled threat to the president, to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), to the 800,000 uninsured residents and constituents the Florida House refuses to insure with federal funds.

Shannon Nickinson believes Florida needs to do high school differently. One of the cornerstone evaluation tools we use to gauge the success of a school system is its graduation rate. But we use it in a vacuum. We use it as if the world we send our 18-year-olds into is the same as it was a generation ago, when that diploma was the guarantee of employability it used to be.

Former governor and probable presidential hopeful Jeb Bush calls them “the 20 people who talk to each other.” You know, the folks who make their living in and around The Permanent Campaign, says Florence Snyder. Now, the race for the White House figures to be the most covered, and perhaps the most over-covered, story of 2015.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.




Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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