Florida Fodder

* The U.S. House has approved legislation designating lynching as a hate crime under federal law. It passed, 410-4. Among the four “nays”: North Central Florida, Tea Partying Republican Congressman Ted Yoho, who likely saw a law steeped in moral atonement as merely another example of federal government “overreach.”

* Gunshine update: Over the years, Coachman Park in Clearwater has been the site of various events and festivals attended by locals with concealed carry permits. It’s legal in a state with a gun culture, fealty to the NRA and legislation that prohibits local governments from regulating the possession of guns. Hell, Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn couldn’t even get the state to agree to a temporary ban around Amalie Arena for the 2012 Republican National Convention.

But this just in. Clearwater’s plans to build a 4,500-seat amphitheater at the historic public park could be problematic withthose who do not want to perform in a venue where some of the crowd is packing. But on the other hand, Ted Nugent, Kid Rock and Sarah Palin wouldn’t mind.

* As of late last week, more than 750,000 vote-by-mail ballots had been returned for Florida’s March 17 primary. Wonder how many were for Amy Klobuchar and Pete Buttigieg? It’s a reminder of why early voting during the protean primary season can be a fraught affair. In-person, early voting at designated county sites began this week.

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