Politics

Miami-Dade Commission
10:00 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Prayer Is Back At Miami-Dade Commission Meetings

Miami Dade Commissioners approved prayer before meetings on Tuesday.
Credit Wyoming_Jackrabbit /Flickr

Prayer is coming back to Miami-Dade County Commission meetings starting Dec. 18.

In a 8-3 vote on Tuesday, commissioners signed off on a change to a current rule that only allowed for a moment of silence before meetings.

Now, commissioners will be able to invite a religious leader of their choosing or a fellow commissioner  to lead everyone in a prayer before each meeting. 

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Python Bill
9:30 am
Wed December 5, 2012

Congressmen Fail To Get A Tight Grasp On Python Bill

A bill aimed at curbing Florida's python problem has hit a snag.
Credit Michael Ransburg /Flickr

A bill that should help fix Florida's python problem is slipping out of the hands of lawmakers in Washington.

U.S. Rep. Tom Rooney, R-Tequesta, has been trying to get legislation passed that would broaden a ban on invasive species in the U.S. In effect, the bill would slow down a recent influx of invasive snakes taking over the Everglades in Florida.

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Privatizing Government
2:43 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Private Prison Plan Is Flawed, Judge Rules

FAIL: A judge rules Legislature must pass a law, not use a committee, to privatize prisons.
Credit Kate Ter Haar/Fickr

The Florida Legislature has struck out again with an attempt to privatize some or all of the state prison system.

A Tallahassee judge ruled today that lawmakers chose an unconstitutional method to turn prison health care services over to private contractors. As Mary Ellen Klas reported for The Miami Herald and Tampa Bay Times:

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Florida Legislature
1:40 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Progressives Warn State Lawmakers About ALEC's Influence

The American Legislative Exchange Council has had years of influence in Florida politics.
Credit ALEC.org

Progress Florida and Florida Watch Action-- two influential progressive groups in the state-- have launched a preemptive attack on the influence of ALEC in the Florida Legislature. 

ALEC, or the American Legislative Exchange Council, is a pro-business political outfit that hands out model conservative legislation to state lawmakers who follow a conservative agenda.

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Sea Level Rise
12:30 pm
Tue December 4, 2012

Is Climate Change "Sinking In" For Leaders?

Credit http://southeastfloridaclimatecompact.org/the-summit/

Leaders from throughout the region meet in Jupiter later this week for the fourth annual Regional Climate Leadership Summit, and the timing couldn't be better. Or worse, depending on your perspective. 

Pounding surf and high tides from Hurricane Sandy's passage have put the issue front and center, especially in Fort Lauderdale.

There, the sea wall along the coastal State Road A1A in Fort Lauderdale has been overrun by the ocean. It has reduced the road from four to two lanes, perhaps permanently.

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The Florida Vote
9:00 am
Tue December 4, 2012

What Went Wrong, How To Fix It: Florida Lawmakers Schedule Election Law Hearings

NOW WHAT? Florida House and Senate elections committees begin hearings today on fixing the election law that made voting difficult last month.

The agendas probably say nothing about amends-making or damage control, but the mission is already clear as House and Senate elections committees begin hearings today in Tallahassee on overhauling Florida's elections system.

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Governor's Office
6:53 am
Tue December 4, 2012

Scott, Crist Already Taking Mutual Potshots

OPPONENTS: Gov. Scott, left, has already raised $5 million to seek reelection, possibly against former Gov. Charlie Crist, right.

Just when it looked like it would be a good two years before the next major election campaign , Gov. Rick Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist are at it already.

Though he rarely mentions his name, Scott was pretty clearly campaigning against his predecessor this weekend on the CBS4 show, "Facing South Florida With Jim DeFede." And Crist is losing no opportunities to tell potential voters how he objected and even blocked Republiucan voter law changes, signed into law by Scott,  that ultimately turned ordinary ballot-casting into an endurance challenge on election day.

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City of Miami Commission
4:35 pm
Mon December 3, 2012

City Of Miami Commissioner Sues Mayor And State Attorney

Michelle Spence-Jones is suing Katherine Rundle and Tomas Regalado, for what she says is a plot to destroy her political career as a City of Miami Commissioner.
Credit Knight Foundation /Flickr

City of Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones is suing Mayor Tomas Regalado and state attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle for what she says is a plot to destroy her political career by accusing Spence-Jones of political corruption.

On Monday, Spence-Jones filed a lawsuit claiming that Fernandez Rundle and Richard Scruggs, the lead prosecutor in a case accusing Spence-Jones of corruption more than a year ago, misled key witnesses.

These criminal cases surrounding Spence-Jones turned out to be unsuccessful.

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Democratic Party
11:51 am
Mon December 3, 2012

President Wants Wasserman Schultz To Stay On As DNC Chair

Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz (D-Weston) also serves as Democratic National Committee chairwoman.
Credit Congressional web site

After  helping direct a successful re-election campaign, a top Democratic official says President Obama wants South Florida Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz to stay on as party chair.

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Fiscal Cliff
8:36 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Florida Economy, Taxes, Jobs Teeter On Cliff

Precarious: Florida's economy and employment and the tax obligations of its residents are balanced on the fiscal cliff.
Credit Stuart Miles

What would a plunge off the fiscal cliff mean in Florida?

Disaster, according to the data. Higher taxes, job losses and probably a recession because of curtailed consumer spending.

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Women's Rights
6:29 am
Mon December 3, 2012

Why Two Lawmakers Are Still Trying to Ratify The Equal Rights Amendment In Florida 40 Years Later

State Sens. Arthenia Joyner (pictured) and Gwen Margolis are trying to get Florida to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment again.
Credit MyFloridaHouse.gov

Forty years ago, the U.S. House and Senate passed the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA), an amendment adding language to the U.S. Constitution that says "equality under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any state on account of sex."

The amendment was the result of a historic surge of women's rights activism in the country. It took decades to get the amendment passed in Congress, but it did indeed pass at a federal level.

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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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