politics

Midterm Elections
12:05 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Wasserman Schultz: GOP Relying On "Distractions" In November

Credit Debbie Wasserman Schultz / Courtesy

As chair of the Democratic National Committee, South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz faces a tough task in November: Keeping her party from losing its U.S. Senate majority and keeping the GOP from enlarging its majority in the U.S. House of Representatives. Polls so far indicate both could happen.

But in an interview with WLRN, Wasserman Schultz says she's convinced voters will ultimately reject Republican "extremism" and what she calls the GOP's "distractions" strategy.

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News
4:00 pm
Mon June 9, 2014

Gov. Scott Signs Bill Allowing DREAMers To Qualify For In-State Tuition

Gov. Rick Scott recently signed a bill that will allow in-state tuition costs for undocumented students in Florida.
Credit Gov. Rick Scott/flickr

Gov. Rick Scott signed into law a bill allowing certain students who arrived to the United States illegally to qualify for in-state tuition at colleges and universities in South Florida.

The bill (HB 851) was sponsored by Rep. Jeannette Nunez, R-Miami.

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Politics
2:51 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Miami-Dade Has Most To Lose In State Budget

Widening of the Homestead extension of the Florida Turnpike is among hundreds of Miami-Dade projects slated for funding in the next state budget.
Credit Florida Turnpike

Miami-Dade County is eligible for more money than any other county in the state budget -- $1.8 billion. That makes the county more susceptible to budget vetoes before the budget goes into effect in July.

The Florida Legislature handed Gov. Rick Scott a record election-year budget of $77.1 billion. Scott has the final say over the budget and can cut funding for programs at will. Miami-Dade has more line items in the budget than any other county, but all of them could be slashed with the veto pen.

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Politics
6:54 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Group Of Foreign Policy Experts Call On President To Relax Cuban Embargo

Among the signers of a letter calling on the president to ease restrictions in the Cuban embargo are, clockwise, former intelligence chief John Negroponte, former foreign policy advisor Anne-Marie Slaughter, Related Group CEO Jorge Perez, former ambassador Paul Cejas and former Secretaries of the Interior Bruce Babbit and Ken Salazar.

A group of businessmen and former high-ranking U.S. officials is asking President Obama to relax the embargo on Cuba. They want the President to ease travel and investment restrictions to help Cubans with their economic and social needs.

A letter sent last week by the group had 44 signers including former intelligence chief John Negroponte, former foreign policy advisor Anne-Marie Slaughter, and Jorge Perez, CEO of the Related Group.

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Environment
8:05 pm
Mon May 26, 2014

Despite White House Warnings, Florida Legislators Skeptical About Climate Change

The White House is painting a dire picture for every region in the nation, especially South Florida, if action isn't taken to combat climate change.
Credit David Burdick / National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

The White House is painting a dire picture for every region in the nation, especially South Florida, if action isn't taken to combat climate change. Some states' Republican lawmakers still are not buying it.

Things won't be pretty in South Florida if the latest White House climate assessment is right. You can expect intensified storms and a sea that will keep steadily encroaching on your way of life slowly nipping away at that shore your toes used to trust.

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Politics
7:15 pm
Thu May 15, 2014

Conservatives: Support Immigration Reform, It Will Replenish The Workforce

ACCEPTANCE: Conservatives are sounding the all-clear for immigration reform and telling former opponents it would be good for the economy.
Credit Florida Immigrant Coalition

Citing a more tolerant political atmosphere and a developing need for workers, leading Florida conservatives are calling on Congress to support and pass comprehensive immigration reform.

One good reason:  It would renew the state's dwindling supply of warm bodies.

"Our birthrate is about 1.7 per couple. We're not even replacing ourselves now," warned Ed Moore, president of the Florida Center Right Coalition, one of three noted conservatives who joined former state GOP chairman Al Cárdenas in a conference call with state reporters.

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Latin America
10:49 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Panama Election: Is President Martinelli Pulling A Fast One?

Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli
Credit Edgar Alberto Dominguez / World Economic Forum

The Panama Canal is expanding, but is Panama's democracy shrinking? The country is holding a presidential election on Sunday, May 4 -- and there are growing concerns that right-wing President Martinelli is trying an end run around the constitution.

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Sunshine Edition
3:20 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Self-Medicating Floridians Call For Legal Medical Marijuana

Credit Talia / Flickr CC

A bill was passed by the state Senate this week that would OK a very limited strain of medical marijuana.

The cannabis extract is known as Charlotte's Web, which is geared to help neurological conditions for a limited amount of epilepsy patients.

Dahlia Barnhart was 2 years old and living in Tampa when she was diagnosed with an aggressive form of brain cancer. Her mom Moriah moved the family to Memphis so Dahlia could get treatment at St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital.

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Florida Politics
9:39 am
Wed March 5, 2014

How Gov. Rick Scott's State Of The State Compares To What Floridians Want

A word cloud of Governor Rick Scott's State of the State, which emphasized tax cuts and focused on successes in job creation

A campaigning incumbent always has to be upbeat and, in reporting on how you’ve done, you don’t want to bring down the party. Gov. Rick Scott was no exception.

Every state legislative session begins with an address by the Governor on the state of the state. But what if the people of Florida gave that speech instead?

We joined other Florida public radio stations and asked Floridians what they think the state has done well -- or badly -- and how it manifests in their daily lives. Here's what residents from across the state had to say:

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Opinion: Kelley's Korner
11:02 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Bad Move, Mr. Crist

Kelley Mitchell thinks former Gov. Charlie Crist made a press faux-pas with his Friday announcement.
Credit Mike Cohen / Flickr/Creative Commons

The first time I met Charlie Crist, he was the state Attorney General. It was at a Florida Department of Law Enforcement news conference in their then-new digs along the Dolphin Expressway near Florida's Turnpike.

I'm fairly certain it was one of those Joint Agency Task Force announcements that had something to do with Identity Theft (Hint: "We're against it.")

So am I, by the way. It can be debilitating.

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Politics
7:01 pm
Fri November 1, 2013

Former Gov. Crist Enters Florida's Gubernatorial Race

Credit rawstory.com

Former Gov. Charlie Crist made it official Friday: He will run for his old job again in 2014, setting up a potential battle with Republican Gov. Rick Scott for the state's highest office.

Crist, who is set to announce his candidacy Monday morning at Albert Whitted Park in St. Petersburg, quietly filed his paperwork Friday with state election officials. The move allows him to begin raising money immediately. He becomes an instant front-runner in a Democratic primary that also includes former state Senate Minority Leader Nan Rich of Weston.

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Elections
7:22 am
Fri November 1, 2013

New Campaign Finance Laws Take Effect Nov. 1

Credit Public Citizen / Flickr

With little more than a year remaining before voters head to the polls in November 2014, candidates face something of a new world: Beginning Friday, they can rake in even more money from contributors to their campaigns.

Some of the biggest changes in a sweeping campaign-finance bill, approved last spring by the Legislature, take effect on Friday.

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Economics
5:27 pm
Thu October 31, 2013

Gov. Scott's Top Business Recruiter Gets A Pay Hike

Governor Rick Scott speaks to board members with Enterprise Florida, the state's public-private economic development agency on Oct. 31.
Credit Rachel Morello

The outlook was largely positive as Governor Rick Scott, government officials and business leaders gathered in Coral Gables to discuss progress in boosting Florida’s economy.

The Oct. 31 gathering coincided with a board meeting of Enterprise Florida, the state’s public-private economic development agency.

Gov. Scott opened the discussion by praising both the public and private sectors for contributing to recent signs of economic recovery. He cited an increased focus on education and the addition of 365,000 private sector jobs since he took office.

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Politics
10:06 am
Thu October 31, 2013

No More Guns For Neighborhood Watch In Sanford, Fla.

George Zimmerman.
Gary W. Green EPA/LANDOV

Originally published on Thu October 31, 2013 11:03 am

The police chief in Sanford, Fla., where neighborhood watch volunteer George Zimmerman shot and killed teenager Trayvon Martin in February 2012, will unveil rules next week that stress "volunteers are not to carry guns and not to follow suspects," our colleagues at Orlando's WMFE report.

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Politics
2:13 pm
Wed October 30, 2013

Why The Governor's Race In 2014 Poses A Quandary For Democratic Women

Nan Rich
Credit Flickr

Nan Rich often riffs that she has an unfair advantage over Charlie Crist in the quest to oust incumbent Gov. Rick Scott.

"I'm a woman, a mom and a grandmother. Those are powerful things to be today in this state," Rich told Democrats gathered in Orlando for their state conference over the weekend.

Rich may have exaggerated her edge over Crist, a former Republican who will formally enter the race on Monday. But she isn't overstating the importance women voters have in determining who wins elections across the country, and especially in Florida.

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