Last week: The death Tuesday of Congressman E. Clay Shaw was an important reminder that an individual can hold strong beliefs yet still be willing to work with those who have different views. Congressman Shaw accomplished a great deal by being willing to work with others. We need more of that today.
Looking ahead: Alex Sink. Will she or won't she? The former Democratic nominee for governor has set an Oct. 25 deadline for deciding whether she will run again. Meanwhile, Charlie Crist is likely to announce next month that he will be a candidate. The 2014 campaign is about to begin in earnest.
Last week: Gov. Rick Scott sues Georgia over water issues in North Florida while in South Florida he blames the Army Corps of Engineers for dumping polluted water into the St.Lucie and Caloosahatchee Rivers. Scott and the Florida Legislature appear to be recognizing that after decades of neglect, there are statewide water issues that will be expensive and difficult to fix.
Next week: Palm Beach County schools are facing a growing problem with finding enough money to repair and maintain existing schools. There is a significant shortfall in the district's capital improvement budget. The district may be forced to ask taxpayer for more money next year when several of them will be up for reelection. Never a good mix.
This week: Dream Defenders in Tallahassee completed their second week of camping outside Gov. Rick Scott's office demanding a special legislative session to repeal or change Stand Your Ground Rev. Jesse Jackson and singer/activist Harry Belafonte briefly joined them. The effort appears to be growing, creating a political dilemma for Scott who continues to insist there is no need for a special session. Pressure is going to continue to build and Scott could find himself forced to call a special session.
Last week: Lake Okeechobee will get a lot of attention during the coming week. Water levels will exceed 16 feet increasing concern about the safety of the Herbert Hoover Dike. Polluted water being released from the lake to relieve pressure on the dike is causing enormous damage to the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers and the surrounding environment which is angering communities on both coasts.
Last week: This week's decision by the Obama administration to delay until 2015 the employer mandate part of health care plan further muddles an already difficult to understand program. Since its inception, ObamaCare has been difficult for Democrats to defend and easy for Republicans to attack. Most voters are simply confused. This decision makes it harder to defend, easier to attack and leaves voters still puzzled.
Looking ahead: Perhaps as early as next week, we will learn whether George Zimmerman is guilty of a crime in the death of Trayvon Martin. While the case is individual, for Floridians the verdict will reopen debate about the state's "stand your ground" law. It is a debate that may find its way into the 2014 election.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun