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Speaker contender Eric Eisnaugle pens op-ed blasting top-down House leadership

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Rep. Eric Eisnaugle put pen to paper this weekend and wrote a scathing op-ed in the Orlando Sentinel calling for an end to “autocracy” in the state House’s internal affairs. Citing a regime of strictly enforced loyalty and near-universal deference to leadership – which he described as a “pyramid of power” – Eisnaugle blasted the House’s prevailing culture in his hometown paper’s Sunday edition. “Under the rules and practices that govern the Florida House today, a member who upsets leadership runs the risk of losing…

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Orange County GOP approves finance accounts to shelter from House Speaker storm

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Much like preparing for a hurricane, Orange County Republicans are looking for some shelter from an upcoming storm. And it’s not Tropical Storm Erika that has the GOP worried. In a unanimous vote Thursday evening, the Orange County Republican Executive Committee approved a group of three stand-alone campaign finance accounts, which would protect them from the Republican Party of Florida should the battle for House Speaker escalate between Rep. Blaise Ingoglia – the RPOF Chair — and Speaker designate Eric Eisnaugle.…

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Don’t go roping Will Weatherford into the Florida Senate’s mess, Andy Gardiner

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Thursday was a another wild day in the Florida Capitol, and particularly for the Senate, which seemed for a moment to have adopted a “not one damn” comma approach to its tweaks to the congressional “base map” drawn by staff earlier this month. Hours before, a story by the Miami Herald’s Mary Ellen Klas again stoked the fires of senatorial map-making malpractice. The article detailed new depositions and court documents related to the shadow redistricting process undertaken by the chamber, complete with inappropriate communications between…

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Thad Altman files for House seat in 2018, shifts Space Coast politics

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State Sen. Thad Altman became just the second person to file for the state House in 2018 this month, when he filed for the HD 51 seat currently held by term-limited Speaker Steve Crisafulli. An innocuous move at first blush, it could throw off the intricate math behind state Rep. Eric Eislanugle‘s bid for the 2021-22 speakership. Altman, a Rockledge Republican, terms out in 2018. State Rep. Tom Goodson, who terms out in 2016, recently filed for the HD 51 seat, opting to serve…

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RPOF hosts spring quarterly meeting in Orlando

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The first Republican Party of Florida quarterly meeting with Blaise Ingoglia in charge kicks off Friday night in Orlando. The two-day event includes a number of seminars for party members on items such as dealing with campaign finance issues and how to deal with the media. We are hearing a lot of buzz and excitement from those attending the RPOF quarterly meeting about that media and messaging tutorial because it will be led by GOP-fabulous Sarah Bascom. Anyone who knows Bascom knows she…

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Eric Eisnaugle draws 19-year-old challenger in HD 44

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Potential Speaker-to-be Eric Eisnaugle has now drawn a challenger: Democrat Scott Cox, a 19-year-old first-time candidate. The challenge was first reported by Frank Torres in The Orlando Political Observer. As a physics major attending Valencia Community College, Cox cites “proven leadership” on his campaign website for his roles with the Democratic National Committee, American Atheists and Mensa International. He attends Mormon services at the Olympia Church of Latter-Day Saints. Still, the Orlando-area District 44 favors Republicans and is not likely to be seriously targeted by state Democrats. Eisnaugle left…

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The latest on five legislative food fights

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Where things stand on a number of “legislative food fights” is a complicated question in today’s adversarial climate at the Capitol. The $4 billion chasm between the House and Senate budget proposals is casting a shadow on every corner of legislative business, both appropriations and policy measures. “Bill aren’t just dying; they’re being massacred,” state Rep. Frank Artiles told this reporter in line at a Shell station on Monroe Street in Tallahassee Saturday evening. Nonetheless, the show must go on in the…

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