Ben Pollara joins Naples Daily NewsMakers

Medical marijuana and big civic expansions are in the spotlight this morning at 10 on “Naples Daily NewsMakers with Jeff Lytle” on ABC7.

Ben Pollara, director of United for Care, explains why Floridians should vote “yes” for the medical marijuana amendment.

Leslie Lascheid and Craig Ferguson, of the Neighborhood Health Clinic, explain how the Naples clinic will expand to help the working poor.

Brian Holley, of Naples Botanical Garden, outlines how summer renovations will uplift the local attraction for visitors.

Here are excerpts:

Read more

Crist calls changes in position evolution, foes call them flipping

William March, (@WMarchTBO)

It may be the most damaging rap against Charlie Crist: He’s a shape-shifter whose positions on issues change with the political wind.

“It’s flippin’ amazing,” says one of Gov. Rick Scott’s attack ads, citing Crist’s switch from lifelong Republican to no-party candidate in 2010, then to the Democratic Party in 2012.

There’s no question Crist’s positions on some issues have changed substantially since he was considered a conservative in a comparatively moderate state Senate during the 1990s.

But the story behind those changes takes many turns.

In some cases, political expediency apparently was involved; in others, Crist says, he was responding to changing circumstances or simply growing older and wiser.

Read more

Sugar money continues to sweeten local campaign via third-party groups

Did the sugar industry help the re-election campaign of state Sen. Joe Negron? Did All Aboard Florida campaign for state Sen. Thad Altman, who says he opposes the passenger trains? And did officials of a rock mining company try to oust Martin County Commissioner Sarah Heard for questioning its proposed development?

Indirectly, yes, and not necessarily with the approval or even knowledge of the candidates or their challengers.

Outside political spending groups channeled special interest money into campaign propaganda — mostly attacks — in Treasure Coast primary races for state and local offices.

With the Nov. 4 general election less than a month away, voters are likely to see more political rhetoric — online, on TV and in their mailboxes — paid for by Florida-based groups with inconspicuous names such as Truth Matters, Working Together for Florida and Florida Federation for Children.

Read more

Rich Campbell: Treasure Coast deserves All Aboard Florida stop

Rich Campbell:

The Treasure Coast deserves a train stop.

It’s the least All Aboard Florida can do to offset the multiple negative impacts our region is going to experience.

Treasure Coast residents are in high dudgeon, and rightfully so, about the rail company’s planned high-speed passenger train service between Miami and Orlando that is scheduled to begin operating in early 2017.

Given all the potential disruptions in our future, the rail company should modify its plan.

A train stop would help soften the blow.

Read more

Treasure Coast general election preview 2014: Everything you need to know to vote

General election early voting begins this week.

Treasure Coast Newspapers have compiled a complete and comprehensive voters guide so you can be prepared and informed while casting your ballot. Past coverage on debates, issues in major races, editorial board endorsements and other information can be found at TCPalmAskTheCandidates.com.

Here you can find links to directories of races for each county, including early voting information, along with links to state and regional races.

Read more