Politics

Florida Senate
10:23 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Start The Fight? Then No 'Stand-Your-Ground' Defense For You Under Broward Senator's Bill

CHRIS SMITH: Senate minority leader says gun users should be responsible.
Credit Florida Senate

Picking a fight with the gun lobby and legislative Republicans, State Sen. Chris Smith (D-Ft. Lauderdale) has introduced a bill that would substantially reduce the protections Florida's stand-your-ground law offers to armed citizens.

The law -- controversial because of its application in the shooting death of unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin this year by a neighborhood watch volunteer -- allows the use of deadly force by someone who feels threatened. It also prevents police from arresting stand-your-ground shooters in many cases.

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Quinnipiac Poll
7:15 am
Thu December 20, 2012

Rick Scott Finds Little Cheer In New Survey

POLL NUMBERS: Republican voters still support Gov. Scott and hope for his re-election but his overall ratings are low.

Gov. Rick Scott would be in serious trouble if an election were to take place today.

According to the latest Quinnipiac poll, his approval ratings remain in the cellar and 52 percent of Florida voters think he does not deserve a second term.

Republicans are the big asterisk in the survey of 1,261 voters taken last week. Sixty-three percent of GOP voters approve of the governor's performance and 55 say he deserves another term although 53 percent are hoping another Republican candidate replaces him in the 2014 election.

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Charlie Crist
3:34 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

What Charlie Crist Has To Say About Rick Scott’s Handling Of Election 2012

In a U.S. Senate hearing, Crist lambasted Scott for signing an election law that reduced early voting hours, when many minorities vote.
Credit mike3k

In what may be a preview of the governor’s race, former governor Charlie Crist directly criticized Governor Rick Scott before a U.S. Senate hearing on voting rights. Crist was critical of Scott for helping to pass a 2011 election law that limited early voting hours. 

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Voting Law
12:41 pm
Wed December 19, 2012

Rick Scott Admits Florida Voting Law Was A Problem

Gov. Rick Scott talks Florida voting on CNN.
Credit CNN

During an appearance on CNN on Wednesday, Gov. Rick Scott admitted Florida's voting law-- which he signed into law-- was partially to blame  for Florida's voting troubles this year.

He told Soledad O'Brien during Starting Point on Wednesday that lawmakers in the state have to come up with a bipartisan solution to Florida's voting woes. This year, people stood in lines that were up to six hours long even on Election Day, well after polls closed in other parts of the state.

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Everglades
11:05 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Why The Woodstork Is Leaving The Everglades

The wood stork numbers are up - but not without big changes in its range and habits. The endangered bird has largely left the Everglades, once home to a significant number of nesting pairs.
Credit Kenneth Cole Schneider

Florida’s only wading bird on the endangered species list, the wood stork, is on the mend.  From a low of about 2,500 nesting pairs in most of South and Central Florida in 1984, the bird has since grown to around 7,000 to 9,000 nesting pairs. 

But it doesn't mean all is well with the Everglades.

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Florida
7:49 am
Wed December 19, 2012

Ex-Senator George LeMieux Sounds Off On His Former Boss Charlie Crist

Former Sen. George LeMieux says he did not see Charlie Crist's transformation to Democrat coming and doubts he can make the switch successfully.
Credit https://si0.twimg.com/profile_images/2331605916/1xu7hr3bs434z2x83hi9.jpeg

Former U. S. Sen. George LeMieux was once Charlie Crist's closest confidant as his chief of staff, so valued by the ex-governor that it was Crist who appointed him to fill out the term of the retiring Mel Martinez in the Senate in 2009. 

But things have changed drastically in three years.

After an unsuccessful attempt at being elected to a Senate seat last year in the Republican primary, the Broward native is now chairman of the Gunster Law Firm in Fort Lauderdale.

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Charlie Crist
2:50 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

5 Reasons Crist Shouldn't Run For Governor

With his public statements and recent switch to the Democratic party, Crist may be positioning himself for a 2014 run against Governor Rick Scott.
Credit lakelandlocal2

If state Democrats have doubts about Charlie Crist's break with the GOP, he'll be giving them more proof on Wednesday.  

Crist will be testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on Voting Rights on the impact of Florida's 2011 election law.  He will be joined by a Democratic state representative from South Carolina and a liberal advocacy group, the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.  

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Gun Control
11:09 am
Tue December 18, 2012

How The Newtown Shooting Will Affect Florida's Legislative Agenda

Senate Democratic leader Chris Smith doubts that gun control will be a priority in Session 2013.
Credit Office of State Senator Chris Smith

State Representative Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, says the Newtown shooting should prompt us to re-examine our gun policies - and consider allowing more guns at school.

The Florida Current reports that Baxley, sponsor of the Stand Your Ground law and chair of the House Judiciary Committee, contends:

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Drug Maker Oversight
10:20 am
Tue December 18, 2012

Meningitis Outbreak Shows Gaps in Regulation

Originally published on Mon December 17, 2012 1:56 pm

When the nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak exploded into headlines two months ago, Florida health officials responded quickly, tracking the contaminated drug lots and finding potential victims. At least 25 in Florida were sickened, and three died.

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Affordable Care Act
3:10 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Why The Health Care Law Might Leave Florida's Undocumented In A Lurch

Undocumented workers in Florida won't benefit from all health care reform measures.
Credit ernstl /Flickr

As state and federal lawmakers roll out and implement the health care reform law over the next few years,  millions of people living in the U.S. who didn't have health insurance will gain insurance. However, in a state like Florida, thousands of people won't be included in those changes-- and that is because they are undocumented.

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Gay Rights
4:42 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

New Gay Lawmakers Bring Pride To LGBT Community

State Rep. David Richard is a Democrat from Miami Beach. He was also the first openly gay state legislator to be elected into office.
Credit MyFloridaHouse.gov

From the News Service of Florida

With the U.S. Supreme Court considering same-sex marriage, President Barack Obama re-elected on a platform that included it, and the first openly gay lawmakers taking their seats in Tallahassee, gay voters say it's been a winning year.

"We've made a lot of progress, but we still have a long way to go," said Rep. David Richardson, a Miami Beach Democrat, and one of two openly gay lawmakers elected this year – the first in Florida's Legislature.

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri December 14, 2012

How Florida Fails To Prepare Students For College

Many high school graduates in Florida are finding that they are not ready for college-level work.
Credit j.s. clark

 

On the Florida Roundup:  Florida has its new Education Commissioner, former Indiana Superintendent Tony Bennett.  We’ll learn why Jeb Bush fans are thrilled and the teachers unions are not. NPR’s StateImpact Florida reporter Sarah Gonzalez will tell us why many of Florida’s high school graduates are not ready for college work.  And we hear from you on Florida’s growing need for remedial education and what the purpose of high school should be.  Tweet us @WLRN.  

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Florida Supreme Court
9:00 am
Fri December 14, 2012

We Can All Blast Music In Our Cars, Again

The Florida Supreme Court decided we can turn up the music in our cars, again.
Credit Seth Dodson /Flickr

From The News Service of Florida

Motorists are free to blast Justin Timberlake -- or any other music they choose -- as loud as they wish, the Florida Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

The court unanimously struck down a state law barring drivers from blaring their radios at a volume that was "plainly audible" to someone 25 feet away. Three of the seven justices -- Chief Justice Ricky Polston and Justices Charles Canady and Peggy Quince -- didn't fully support the reasoning behind the decision, but didn't write opinions saying where they differed.

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Cuban Politics
7:00 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Cuba To Ban Reggaeton In Public Places

Daddy Yankee, and other reggaeton musicians, will be banned from Cuba soon.
Credit S, Flickr

The Cuban government officially doesn't like reggaeton. As some of you know, reggaeton is that mix of Jamaican dancehall music and Spanish hip hop that you hear blasted through car speakers all over Miami and in almost any club you go to in the city.

I would say reggaeton is an acquired taste, but the Cuban government was some pretty serious feelings about this.

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Chavez Cancer
9:26 am
Thu December 13, 2012

'Complex And Difficult Days' Without Chavez, Venezuelan Vice President Warns

Venezuelan Vice President Nicolas Maduro, center, addresses the nation flanked by Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez, left, and National Assembly President Diosdado Cabello at the Miraflores presidential palace in Caracas, Venezuela, on Wednesday.
Efrain Gonzalez AP

Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 6:38 pm

Venezuelans must prepare for "complex and difficult days" after President Hugo Chavez' cancer surgery, the country's vice president says.

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