Politics

The Florida Roundup
2:00 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

How Climate Change Is Reshaping South Florida

The Keys are particularly vulnerable to a rise in sea level.

On The Florida Roundup: Hurricane season has officially ended.  South Florida was saved from any severe hurricanes, but we see the effects of climate change as beaches erode, roads crumble and flooding inundates parts of region.  

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Dirty Politics
1:32 pm
Fri November 30, 2012

Sorry, We Can't Hear Jim Greer's Story About A Golf Cart Full Of Prostitutes

A judge is stopping the release of a story involving top GOP officials, the Bahamas, a golf cart (not this golf cart)... and maybe prostitutes.
Credit Tony Bernard /Flickr

I am sorry, everyone, but a judge doesn't want to let us all in on some of the more "defamatory'' and "salacious" aspects of the saga of Jim Greer, the former Florida Republican Party leader who was accused of defrauding the party to the tune of $200,000.

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Florida Legislature
7:16 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Democrats File Bills To Revive Early Voting

State Sen. Gwen Margolis, Miami, has introduced some changes to early voting for 2013.
Credit Flsenate.gov

After this year's disastrous election in Florida, state lawmakers are looking to make some changes to some of the culprits for the long lines and delayed ballot-counting.

Among the changes: Democratic state Sens. Gwen Margolis of Miami and Arthenia Joyner of Tampa have introduced bills that would make early voting more accessible and last longer.

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The Florida Roundup
6:00 am
Fri November 30, 2012

Climate Change Signs Abound, Locals Say

Climate Change? James' walking trail in the Keys is frequently flooded these days.
Credit James Lowry

With its low-level waterfront communities, South Florida is particularly vulnerable to climate change. 

But perhaps no area is more vulnerable than the Florida Keys.

James from Cudjoe Key tells us that a nature trail he has walked for 10 years is now regularly flooded, even at low tide.  Here is a photo he sent us:

While much has been written about the danger to South Florida caused by rising water levels, Pamela from Miami points out that Miami should pay attention to its air:   

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Church And State
2:01 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

ACLU Warns Miami-Dade Commissioners Not To Approve Prayer Before Meetings

ACLU of Florida warns upcoming county commission policy would disrupt separation of church and state.
Credit Wyoming_Jackrabbit /Flickr

The Miami Dade County Commission will consider a policy next month that would allow prayer before every commission meeting.

For years, the commissioners have simply observed a moment of silence before meetings, which allowed people to pray or not pray.

However, at the urging of a conservative Christian group, the commissioners are moving to change that policy back to a few years ago when praying was allowed before meetings.

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Legalizing Marijuana
1:09 pm
Wed November 28, 2012

Florida Groups Seek Legal Status For Pot

Reefer Madness: Times have changed and advocates for legal pot hope attitudes have, too.

Florida advocates for liberalizing marijuana laws  felt the rush on Nov. 6 when two states, Colorado and Washington, legalized marijuana and Massachusetts approved its use for medical purposes.

So they really like their chances for their own proposed measures, two for medical and one for out-and-out legalization.

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Politics
11:52 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Post-Election, Pre-Session In Tallahassee

Steve Bousquet says the Florida Legislature hasn't changed much with the election.
Credit https://twitter.com/account/profile_image/stevebousquet

Things are changing in Tallahassee, but how much?

Republicans have lost their supermajority control of the Florida Legislature after Democrats made modest gains in both chambers in this month's elections.

What will that mean for future policy decisions and the state's unpopular governor Rick Scott?  

Why will 2013 be his most important year, and is Florida's former Gov. Charlie Crist breathing down Scott's neck? Will Crist go after his old job?

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Florid Voting Law
6:36 am
Wed November 28, 2012

Democrats In U.S. House Want Federal Investigation Of Florida Voting Law

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings and his Democratic colleagues in the House are asking the federal government for an investigation into Florida's voting law.
Credit cliff1066™ /Flickr

Just this week, news circulated that former leaders of the Florida Republican Party have admitted that Florida's voting law was aimed at suppressing the vote this year during President Obama's reelection.

Democrats in the U.S. House are clamoring for a federal investigation.

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Texting And Driving
1:45 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Senator Trying Again With Texting Ban

A state texting and driving ban could pass next year.
Credit Jason Weaver /Flickr

For the fourth year in a row, state lawmakers are going to take a stab at passing a law that would ban texting while driving all around the state.

State Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, has introduced the ban: Senate Bill 52. Her bill was among a small list of bills that have been introduced already for the upcoming Florida Legislative session, which starts in March 2013.

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Hugo Chavez
1:40 pm
Tue November 27, 2012

Venezuela's Chávez Will Return To Cuba For Medical Treatment

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez speaks on November 1.
AFP/Getty Images

Venezuela's National Assembly has approved a measure that allows President Hugo Chávez to leave the country for medical treatment in Cuba.

Chávez, as we've reported, has been battling cancer for more than a year. His treatments and the secrecy surrounding his condition led some to wonder whether he could handle a rough reelection campaign. But he made a remarkable comeback and handily won another term in October.

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The Latino Vote
9:44 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Historians Say A Speech JFK Gave The Night Before He Died Started The Latino Vote

Historians say Kennedy was the first president to court the Latino vote.
Credit U.S. Embassy New Delhi

The Latino vote was one of the most talked about voting blocs this year, mostly because this demographic helped propel President Obama into his second term in office this year -- especially in important swing states such as Florida and New Mexico.

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Judicial Ethics
6:40 am
Tue November 27, 2012

Former Judge Pando Faces New Charges

Ana Pando: New judges accuse former judge of campaign violations and writing bad checks.
Credit Miami-Dade County

Florida's Judicial Qualifications Commission has filed some new charges against former Miami-Dade County Judge Ana Pando.

Pando, who resigned from the bench after losing her primary campaign in August, has been under investigation for using her prestige and judicial stationery to revive a dissolved corporation headed by a friend of hers.

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The Florida Vote
12:01 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Top Republicans Confess: Voter Suppression Was Goal Of 2011 Florida Election Law

Jim Greer: Voter suppression was the goal, voter fraud was the marketing.

The whole idea behind the voting law state legislators passed in 2011 was to discourage Democratic voters.

That's the bottom line in a Palm Beach Post story by Dara Kam and John Lantigua. Although the law was presented as an urgently needed defense against voter fraud, sources including former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist and former state GOP Chairman Jim Greer and some Republican campaign consultants tell the Post a very different story:

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City of Miami
9:00 am
Mon November 26, 2012

City Of Miami Fails To Meet Its Own Financial Guidelines

Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado and other city officials received word that the city isn't following its own financial rules.
Credit Blanca Stella Mejia /Flickr

A look into the City of Miami's finances this year shows the city failed to meet its own financial rules and benchmarks.

According to The Miami Herald, "Miami failed to comply with eight of its 13 financial standards in the 2010-11 budget year, according to an internal audit published late last month."

Among the shortcomings:

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Casino Gambling
6:37 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Why 2013 Florida Legislature Will Hear No Casino Bills

Too Much? Some think this over-the-top rendering of a casino idea for the Herald site may have worked against the 2012 gambling bill.

Gina Jordan's casino legislation story.

The proposal to build mega-casinos in South Florida never made it to a final vote in the last session of the Florida Legislature. Now it looks like the issue may not be coming up again for at least another year.

Senate President Don Gaetz is setting up a new committee to examine Florida gambling which he says is both over- and under-regulated. But Gaetz is considered an opponent of gambling and he's in no hurry to pass a casino gambling bill.

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