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Romney takes lead in Rasmussen swing-state tracking poll, 49/46; ARG polling puts Romney up 1 in Ohio

Posted on 10 October 2012 by admin

Special Report to Central Florida Politics by Ed Morrissey


(Washington, DC) – We’ll have plenty of poll data today, and most of it looks impressive for Mitt Romney — including one from a surprising source, which I’ll get to later today. Rasmussen’s swing state poll might be the most crucial for looking at the swing in the race since the debate, since Romney hasn’t had a lead in the eleven-state survey since September 19th. Today, however, the poll shows a five-point swing since yesterday and has Romney up three, 49/46:

The full Swing State tracking update offers Rasmussen Reader subscribers a combined view of the results from 11 key states won by President Obama in 2008 and thought to be competitive in 2012. The states collectively hold 146 Electoral College votes and include Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin. …

In the 11 swing states, Mitt Romney earns 49% support to Obama’s 47%. One percent (1%) likes another candidate, and three percent (3%) are undecided.

This is the first time Romney has led the daily Swing State Survey since September 19. Until today, the president had led for 17 of the previous 19 days, and the candidates had been tied twice. This survey is based on findings from the previous seven days, with most of the responses now coming since Romney’s debate win last Wednesday night.

The tracking poll dropped the results from last Monday and added yesterday’s results. That is what produced the five-point swing, and it suggests that stronger results might be on the way, as the last two pre-debate results will drop out tomorrow and Wednesday. Obama had led in this tracking poll by as much as six points on October 1st and 4th, the latter the day after the debate and the last day with no debate-driven results. Obama’s lead went from 6 to 5, then to 3 and a few days at 2 before today’s reversal.

The internals look pretty good for Romney, too, in this latest iteration. He has a 10-point lead among independents at 49/39, the latter a disastrous number for an incumbent just four weeks out from the election. Obama still leads among women, but only by five — and Romney leads among men by 11, for a +6 gender gap advantage. Obama has large leads among voters under 40 years of age (but not a majority among 30-39YOs at 49/37), while Romney wins solid majorities in all other age demos at 40 and above.

Moreover, Romney now leads by six among those “certain” of their vote, at 46/40. The soft numbers for Obama may be a real problem if he can’t dent Romney’s polling surge, as a preference cascade may wipe out the 7% that are leaning towards him now in these swing states. Romney does even better among independents in this measure, leading 43/31 among those “certain” of their choice. Romney has a 14-point lead among “certain” men (and a majority at 50/36), and only a three-point deficit among “certain” women, 41/44.

Those “certain” numbers will be key to watch over the next four weeks. If Romney can start solidifying support while Obama remains in the low 40s (or lower), the break of undecideds might be overwhelming.

Update: A new ARG poll shows Romney now leading Obama in Ohio, 48/47 — even with a D+9 sample. The D/R/I in this poll is 42/33/25; the 2008 election was 39/31/30; in 2010, it was 36/37/28. Among independents, Romney leads by 20 points, 57/37; Obama won them by 8 in Ohio in 2008, 52/44. I would assume that a proper balance that included more independents would extend Romney’s lead significantly.


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Mack: “Federal Regulatory Power Is Out of Control”

Posted on 10 October 2012 by admin

As Mack Tours Tampa’s CEMEX Cement Factory, he Slams Nelson’s Support of EPA Measures That Would Kill up to 15,000 Jobs


(Tampa, Florida) – Republican Senate candidate, Congressman Connie Mack took aim today at Bill Nelson’s support of the federal government’s runaway regulatory power while touring CEMEX in Brooksville, just outside Tampa. On August 9, 2010, EPA announced the “Cement MACT” rules, placing new regulations on over 100 Portland cement plants across the country. The rules dictated by the EPA have to be implemented by 2013 and many estimates suggest it would cost the cement industry upwards of $2.2 billion to implement. This would most likely shut down 20% of domestic cement production and could create layoffs of up to 15,000 jobs between the cement and construction industries.


Congressional action supported by Congressman Connie Mack was taken to stop the burdensome EPA when the Congress passed the “Cement Sector Regulatory Relief Act of 2011” on October 6, 2011. At present, Bill Nelson and Harry Reid are not taking action in the Senate to stop the EPA and prevent the job killing measure from going into effect.


“Meeting with the men and women who work at CEMEX reminds us all what is at stake in this election. Allowing the Nelson-Obama team to continue their big government agenda, would kill job growth in our fragile economy. Whether it’s an EPA run amok, wasteful stimulus spending or ObamaCare, the Nelson-Obama agenda kills jobs. Enough is enough.”


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Posted on 09 October 2012 by admin

Special to Central Florida Politics from SpaceX


(Orlando, Florida) The Dragon spacecraft is on its way to the International Space Station this morning and is performing nominally following the launch of the SpaceX CRS-1 official cargo resupply mission from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 8:35PM ET Sunday, October 7, 2012.


Approximately one minute and 19 seconds into last night’s launch, the Falcon 9 rocket detected an anomaly on one first stage engine. Initial data suggests that one of the rocket’s nine Merlin engines, Engine 1, lost pressure suddenly and an engine shutdown command was issued. We know the engine did not explode, because we continued to receive data from it. Panels designed to relieve pressure within the engine bay were ejected to protect the stage and other engines. Our review of flight data indicates that neither the rocket stage nor any of the other eight engines were negatively affected by this event.


As designed, the flight computer then recomputed a new ascent profile in real time to ensure Dragon’s entry into orbit for subsequent rendezvous and berthing with the ISS. This was achieved, and there was no effect on Dragon or the cargo resupply mission.


Falcon 9 did exactly what it was designed to do. Like the Saturn V (which experienced engine loss on two flights) and modern airliners, Falcon 9 is designed to handle an engine out situation and still complete its mission. No other rocket currently flying has this ability.


It is worth noting that Falcon 9 shuts down two of its engines to limit acceleration to 5 g’s even on a fully nominal flight. The rocket could therefore have lost another engine and still completed its mission.


We will continue to review all flight data in order to understand the cause of the anomaly, and will devote the resources necessary to identify the problem and apply those lessons to future flights. We will provide additional information as it becomes available.


Dragon is expected to begin its approach to the station on October 10, where it will be grappled and berthed by Akihiko Hoshide of the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency and Expedition 33 Commander Sunita Williams of NASA. Over the following weeks, the crew will unload Dragon’s payload and reload it with cargo to be returned to Earth. Splashdown is targeted for October 28.


For additional updates on the SpaceX CRS-1 Mission, visit


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FDOT accepting bids from competing companies for Orlando-to-Miami train

Posted on 09 October 2012 by admin

(Orlando, Florida) - The state is seeking bids from companies that want to compete with the proposed All Aboard Florida passenger rail. The Florida Department of Transportation said Monday it will be accepting bids from companies looking to compete with the proposed 230-mile, $1 billion All Aboard Florida Miami-to-Orlando commuter rail line, the Orlando Sentinel reports.
According to the law, the state must ensure there are no better deals available before entering into a deal with All Aboard Florida, the Sentinel reports.
Bids are due Dec. 7 with a $10,000 check for review costs by the FDOT and winners will be chosen by Dec. 18. Those companies interested must attend a mandatory meeting Nov. 13 at FDOT headquarters in DeLand, the Sentinel reports.
All Aboard Florida, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Coral Gables-based Florida East Coast Industries Inc., unveiled its plans for the train in March.  The train is expected to use 200 miles of existing tracks from Miami to Cocoa, and then build a new 40-mile rail line from Cocoa to Orlando International Airport.

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YES to Amendment 6, Which Restores Parental Rights, Prohibits Use of Taxes for Abortion

Posted on 08 October 2012 by admin

By Archbishop Thomas Wenski at Sunshine State News 

(Miami, Florida) – Our nation continues to be divided over abortion. The Catholic Church’s position in opposition to the liberal abortion regime initiated in our country since Roe v. Wade has been clear and unwavering.


Despite the public dissent of some “cultural” Catholics, no Catholic can assert that support for legalized abortion is coherent with Church teachings.


Nevertheless, those who identify themselves either as pro-life or pro-choice should be able to agree that a parent’s first responsibility is to nurture and protect their child. As a society we have long honored the unique role that parents play in the lives of their children.


Parents have a natural right that is recognized in law to direct their child’s education, their health decisions, and their general welfare. So much so that those laws both protect parental rights and hold parents accountable should that responsibility be neglected. It is a unique partnership that has, at its heart, the defense and protection of children.


Florida state law honors the rights of parents by requiring a parent’s consent if their minor child should need medication as simple as an aspirin at school, or some other medical treatment. Parental consent is also required for even mildly invasive physical procedures like tattoos or body piercing. Yet a full surgical procedure like an abortion, which can result in permanent health or psychological damage – or even death – to their minor child, is exempted from this requirement.



You can read more of this article at


Archbishop Thomas Wenski of Miami is president of the Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops.


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Posted on 08 October 2012 by admin

(Cape Canaveral, Florida ) — Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) today successfully launched its Dragon spacecraft aboard a Falcon 9 rocket on the first official cargo resupply mission to the International Space Station. The launch went off on schedule at 8:35 p.m. ET from Launch Complex 40 in Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The SpaceX CRS-1 mission marks the first of at least 12 SpaceX missions to the space station under the company’s cargo resupply contract with NASA. On board the Dragon spacecraft are materials to support investigations planned for the station’s Expedition 33 crew, as well as crew supplies and space station hardware.

Dragon – the only space station cargo craft capable of returning a significant amount of supplies back to Earth — will return with scientific materials and space station hardware.

The Falcon 9 rocket, powered by nine Merlin engines, performed nominally today during every phase of its approach to orbit, including two stage separations, solar array deployment, and the final push of Dragon into its intended orbit. Dragon will now chase the space station before beginning a series of burns that will bring it into close proximity to the station. If all goes well, Dragon will attach to the complex on October 10 and spend over two weeks there before an expected return to Earth on October 28.

“We are right where we need to be at this stage in the mission,” said Elon Musk, CEO and Chief Technical Officer, SpaceX. “We still have a lot of work to do, of course, as we guide Dragon’s approach to the space station. But the launch was an unqualified success.”

The CRS-1 mission follows a historic demonstration flight last May when SpaceX’s Dragon became the first commercial spacecraft to attach to the space station, exchange cargo, and return safely to Earth. The flight signaled restoration of American capability to resupply the space station, not possible since the retirement of the space shuttle in 2011.


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Manufacturers group predicts 56,600 job loss in Florida from defense cuts

Posted on 05 October 2012 by admin

Special to Central Florida Politics from Orlando Business Journal by Bill Orben, Associate Managing Editor



Bill Orben

Whether you sell wiring or operate a hotel in Orlando, your business will be impacted by the $1.2 trillion in U.S. Department of Defense cuts schedule to take effect Jan. 2.

The predicted loss of 56,600 jobs in Florida by 2014 from cuts to the defense budget will be felt by every small business, manufacturing groups are expected to say in Orlando on Oct. 4.

Brian Domian, director of business development for SAAB Training USA, sits at a training simulator that uses the program JFist.

A press conference on the impact of the defense cuts was planned today at the National Center for Simulation near University of Central Florida in east Orlando. Results of that press conference were not available at press time, but the National Association of Manufacturers said it intended to get out the message of how damaging the cuts could be to the state’s economy. Orlando’s 100 companies in modeling and simulation companies employ 12,500 and have combined revenue of $3 billion annually.

With $5.5 billion worth of annual defense spending occurring in the Orlando area, the expected cuts mandated by the Budget Control Act of 2011 may mean about $500 million less for the area’s modeling and simulation industries, which attracts the lion’s share of defense spending in the region.

“It will affect virtually every business in Florida in a negative way,” said Thomas C. Feeney III, president and CEO of Associated Industries of Florida.

Although Republicans and Democrats agree the defense cuts would harm the economy, it’s not a guarantee both sides will be able to reach a deal. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, expressed a lack of confidence in early September that Congress could reach a deal on those cuts and other tax issues scheduled to go into effect in January.

The press conference at UCF — coming after similar events in Washington, D.C., June 21 and Raleigh, N.C., July 26 — is part of a 10-city tour in the states most impacted by the defense cuts.

“We want to get our message out there to draw attention that the impact is much broader than people think,” said Dorothy Coleman, vice president for tax and domestic economic policy for the national manufacturers group.

Thomas L. Baptiste, president and executive director of the National Center for Simulation, said he was contacted by the national group because it wanted to explain the impact the defense cuts will have on small business.

Impact from the proposed cuts in the defense budget is already being felt in Orlando because companies are being conservative and not spending money on research and development or hiring workers, Baptiste said.

For instance, Saab Training USA, a 65-employee modeling and simulation company based near UCF, has a hiring freeze and cannot fill five open electrical, software and radio engineering positions. Those positions command a salary of between $62,000 and $66,000, according to Simply Hired Inc., which operates a salary estimation website.

“There is a tremendous amount of uncertainty,” said Brian Domian, director of business development for Saab Training USA.

Regardless of the action taken by Congress and whoever occupies the White House, cuts to the nation’s budget are expected because of pressure to trim the $16 trillion budget deficit.

However, there is an unexpected upside to the discussions: Efforts to make dollars stretch could actually benefit Orlando’s modeling and simulation industry.

“If we are looking for costs savings, nothing can save more than simulation,” said U.S. Rep. John Mica, a Winter Park Republican who chairs the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.


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Tampa debates how to use RNC surveillance cameras

Posted on 05 October 2012 by admin

(Tampa, Florida) – Surveillance cameras that were installed around Tampa’s downtown for the Republican National Convention will stay in place, but the Tampa City Council and police are still deciding how they will be used.

Some council members proposed moving the cameras, but Police Chief Jane Castor said moving each camera and hooking electricity to it could cost $8,000, not accounting for other costs, the Tampa Tribune said. There are 119 cameras with 78 attached to downtown buildings and intersections, the Tribune said.

The city has to decide whether to turn the cameras off, turn them on during major events, turn them on without monitoring them, or monitor them all the time, an option that would be prohibitively expensive, Castor said. The council voted to have its city attorney draft an ordinance regulating the cameras’ use.


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Toys R Us debuts list of hottest toys this holiday season

Posted on 05 October 2012 by admin

(Orlando, Florida) – It may only be October, but retail stores are already “decking the halls” with this year’s hottest toys for kids.

Toys R Us released its annual list of “hot toys” for the upcoming holiday shopping season that includes new hits like kids’ tablets and boy-band One Direction dolls, but other toys like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Furby are making a comeback, the Tampa Bay Times reports.

Holiday sales can account for up to 40 percent of toy seller’s profits, but last year, national retail sales dropped 2 percent to $21.18 billion, according to research firm NPD Group, the Times reports. Here at the top 15 toys:

Doc McStuffins Time for Your Check Up doll by Just Play, $39.99: doctor doll based on Disney Jr. show character

Furby by Hasbro, $59.99: update on hit 1998 furry interactive toy robot

Gelarti Designer Studio by Moose Toys, $24.99: sticker set that lets kids paint and customize reusable stickers

Hot Wheels R/C Terrain Twister by Mattel, $99.99: radio-controlled car that takes on all terrains

Jake and the Never Land Pirates Jake’s Musical Pirate Ship Bucky by Mattel’s Fisher-Price, $44.99: ship from Disney Jr. animated series

Lalaloopsy Silly Hair Stars Harmony B. Sharp by MGA Entertainment, $69.99: version of popular button-eyed dolls that talk and sing

LeapPad2 Explorer by LeapFrog, $99.99: latest iteration of LeapFrog’s kids tablet with faster processor and more memory

Y Volution Fliker F1 Flow Series Scooter by Atomic Sports, $99.99: a three-wheeled scooter that is self-propelled by the rider’s movement


m Wii U by Nintendo, not yet priced: Nintendo’s new two-screen gaming console

Micro Chargers TimeTrack by Moose Toys, $34.99: miniature car racing track set

Nickelodeon Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Secret Sewer Lair Playset by Playmates, $119.99: 42-inch playset that re-creates TMNT’s lair

Ninjago Epic Dragon Battle by Lego Systems Inc., $139.99: Ninja-themed Lego board game

Skylanders Giants Starter Pack by Activision Publishing Inc., not yet priced: a sequel to Skylanders Spyro’s adventure that combines real-life action figures with a video game

Tabeo by Toys R Us, $149.99: Toys “R” Us’ own tablet offering with enhanced safety features and 50 preloaded apps

Toys R Us has eight stores in Orlando and previously announced it will be hiring up to 500 seasonal employees in Orlando and 45,000 workers for the upcoming holiday season.


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Sentinel: Osceola School Board wants Mike Horner to resign chamber post

Posted on 04 October 2012 by admin

(Kissimmee, Florida) – A majority of Osceola School Board members are calling for state Rep. Mike Horner to step down as president of the Kissimmee/Osceola Chamber of Commerce.


Horner ended his re-election campaign in Florida House District 42 after he was listed as a client of an east Orange County brothel.

The school district is a dues-paying member of the chamber, and School Board Vice Chair Julius Melendez serves on the chamber’s board. At Tuesday’s meeting, Melendez — like Horner a Republican, and a former candidate for Congress — said he wished to avoid having the district be associated, via the chamber, with the prostitution scandal. Board member Tom Long and Chairwoman Barbara Horn agreed. Board members Cindy Hartig and Jay Wheeler were not present when the subject came up.

Chamber Chairman Pete Pace previously said that Horner remained employed by the chamber, but was taking time away from the job to tend to his family situation.


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