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Five Takeaways from the Week

5.  Gutierrez drops out of race against Grayson:  Congressman Alan Grayson had a good week when Armando Gutierrez dropped out of the race for the Congressional District 8 seat.  While Gutierrez wasn't the top tier recruit that the GOP had hoped to get in the district, I argue he was the Republican's best shot against Grayson, due to his fundraising base and his potential ability to draw a few votes out of Grayson's large and growing Hispanic base.  The next best challenger, State Rep Kurt Kelly from Ocala is not well positioned geographically.  

4. GOP wants to roll back class size amendment.    This week, GOP legislators announced plans to go back to the voters with a down sized class size amendment.  Given the make-up of the legislature, odds are pretty good it gets to the ballot.  My question: is that really what the GOP wants to do?  Getting to 60% is no easy challenge here, and all you do is give education-minded Democrats another reason to show up to vote. 

3. RPOFgate, part 32821:  the Delmar Johnson Chapter.    As the Jim Greer era comes crashing to an end, the latest revelation is that the party Exec Director earned more than $400,000 last year (for what it is worth, more than 4x what Obama State Directors earned in 2008), plus apparently was a fan of the party credit card.   In talking to my GOP friends (yes, I have GOP friends), the reaction has been visceral.  The bad news for Democrats, I have no doubt that either John Thrasher or Sharon Day will run a much tighter shop.  The good news for Democrats:  Scott Arceneaux is easily one of the best party ED's in my party's history, and who given his GOP counterpart's news, clearly deserves a raise. 

2. Obama reshapes NASA mission.   President Obama's budget proposal will significantly reshape the mission for NASA, by in the short term moving away from manned missions and using NASA resources in research.  The net result is scrapping the troubled Constellation program and a quick return to the moon in favor of spending the next decade building the technology for longer human space missions.  Given NASA's economic impact, many in Central Florida are concerned about what this means.  From my perspective, the change in course provides a real opportunity to build a high tech/space corridor in Central Florida.  For those who fear this is the end of the space industry, fear not, according to Buzz Aldrin.

1. Crist unveils his budget.    Governor Crist unveiled his 2010-2011 budget, which was greeted in the legislature with the same level of enthusiasm as if Sarah Palin showed up to address the Democratic National Committee.  That being said, it is the opening salvo in Crist's attempt to focus on governing and save his political career.  How he performs this session, and more importantly, how voters perceive his leadership, will likely seal his political fate one way or the other. 


Near misses:   Press starts to take on Rubio, House panel refuses to drop Sansom case, Sink vs. the Governator, and most importantly, NASCAR is back on track. 

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