Blogs from around the state

Naked Politics Jeb Bush says he's "actively" making plans to run for president


Jeb Bush has said everything except for "I'm definitely running for president." Just now, on his Facebook page he said he's going to open a political action committee to "actively explore" a 2016 bid. Here it is:

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah!

Like many of you, our family was blessed with the opportunity to gather together over the recent Thanksgiving holiday.

Naked Politics Jeb Bush says he'll 'actively explore' presidential run


The 2016 presidential campaign may have officially begun Tuesday when Jeb Bush posted on his Facebook page that he plans to "actively explore" running.

Here's what his post, titled "A Note from Jeb Bush," says, in part:

OS Political Pulse State won't appeal pot ruling; rules hearing set in Orlando

The ever-quiet Florida Department of Health announced late Monday it will not appeal a judge's ruling that it must write new regulations for medical marijuana and instead announced a public hearing for Orlando Dec.

Post on Politics Original works of art: To tax or not to tax?

Art collectors would not have to pay sales tax on signed works they purchase directly from the artist under a proposed bill aimed at stimulating art sales and preventing investments in art from being taxed twice.

Naked Politics Legislators vow to get payments to abused Barahona child

Several influential South Florida legislators said Monday they will not let a legal technicality stand in the way of getting payments to the victim of one of the most horrific child abuse cases in state history.

Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, said she “won’t rest” until Victor Barahona and his new parents get the $3.75 million they are owed after he was found near death alongside his twin sister’s decomposing body after years of abuse warnings to the state went unheeded.

OS Political Pulse Forecasters see nearly $1 billion in new money for state budget

TALLAHASSEE --  The surplus for next year's state budget is nearing $1 billion, giving lawmakers more room to bankroll their priorities as well as Gov.

Post on Politics Short-time Palm Beach County State Attorney Antonacci leaving governor’s office

Pete Antonacci is leaving as Gov. Scott’s legal adviser

Rick Scott appointed a new general counsel Monday, replacing one-time Palm Beach County State Attorney Pete Antonacci as the governor’s top legal adviser.

Post on Politics State budget to have almost $1 billion surplus, forecasters say

State budget forecast looking more robust

Powered by a bump in sales tax collections and the expectation that lower gas prices will spur consumer spending, state economists Monday said an almost $1 billion budget surplus is forecast for next year.

Naked Politics PolitiFact's Lie of the Year is exaggerations about ebola

Thomas Eric Duncan left Monrovia, Liberia, on Sept. 19, for Dallas. Eleven days later, doctors diagnosed Duncan with Ebola.

Eight days after that, he was dead.

Duncan’s case remains the lone Ebola-related fatality in the United States, and since Duncan traveled to Dallas, more Americans -- at least nine, and likely many more -- have died from the flu.

Naked Politics Scott picks GrayRobinson lawyer as general counsel

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday appointed as his new general counsel Tim Cerio, a shareholder at the GrayRobinson law firm that was the home of his departing counsel, Pete Antonacci. Cerio takes over for Antonacci on Jan. 5.

Post on Politics Scott reappoints surgeon general who’s played role in medical marijuana debate

Dr. John Armstrong

Gov. Rick Scott reappointed Monday the state’s surgeon general and chief of the state’s Health Department.

Dr. John Armstrong, who has been in the job the past two years, will lead the agency as Scott begins his second term in January.

Post on Politics Is your pet really a service animal? Bill makes it a crime to lie about it

Trying to pass your family pet off as a service animal would be against the law under a bill proposed by Rep. Jimmie Smith, R-Inverness.

Naked Politics PolitiFact to announce Lie of Year today

Today at 4 p.m. ET, we’ll announce PolitiFact’s Lie of the Year for 2014. So it seems like a good time to look back at the past five years of "winners." PolitiFact’s editors and reporters award the Lie of the Year to the most significant falsehood or exaggeration of the past 12 months.

PolitiJax JU analysis: Jacksonville "crucial" to Gov. Scott re-election

A Jacksonville University analysis of precinct-by-precinct vote results in the 2014 gubernatorial election concludes that Jacksonville was crucial to Gov. Rick Scott's re-election.

Post on Politics It’s beginning to look a lot like, well, something at the Florida Capitol

Chaz Stevens and Festivus pole

It’s beginning to look a lot like….well, something at the Florida Capitol.

Post on Politics McKinlay favors broad distribution of bed tax money



New Palm Beach County Commissioner Melissa McKinlay said she backs the Tourist Development’s plan to broadly distribute the roughly $7 million the county would get next year if it raises the hotel bed tax to 6 percent from 5 percent.

PolitiJax Lenny Curry gets endorsements from Bondi, Atwater and Putnam

Some of Florida's most powerful Republican office holders are backing Lenny Curry's bid to unseat Mayor Alvin Brown in the 2015 city elections.

Curry's campaign is rolling out endorsements from Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, CFO Jeff Atwater and Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam. 

Post on Politics Legislators to meet on local bills

State legislators from Palm Beach County are holding a public meeting from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. today at the Children’s Services Council in Boynton Beach to get feedback on local bills they could introduce in the Florida Legislature next year.

State Rep. Dave Kerner, D-Lake Worth, could bring up his bill to move oversight of the $6.6 million Trauma Hawk program from the Palm Beach County Health Care District to the Sheriff’s Office.

Post on Politics Controversial budget deal splits delegation and makes strange bedfellows

When there’s a controversial bill in Washington, it’s rare to find Republican Sen. Marco Rubio on the same side as liberal Democrats Alcee Hastings, D-Mirimar, Lois Frankel, D-West Palm, and Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton. But that’s just what happened over the weekend.

Naked Politics WSJ: McCollum on the GOP's big year and his support of Jeb Bush in 2016

Former Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum was featured in the Wall Street Journal's The Weekend Interview column on Saturday. McCollum is the chairman of the Republican State Leadership Committee, which raises money for state legislative and judicial races.

Post on Politics A fresh forecast for Florida’s revenue expected today

Florida economists earlier predicted a $1 billion budget surplus

Florida economists meet today to update their revenue forecast for next year’s state budget — which they earlier said was on track to be helped by a $1 billion surplus.

Post on Politics Holiday displays clash today at Florida Capitol

The Festivus pole drew much media attention last year

Cultures will briefly collide today at the Florida Capitol, when a Festive pole inspired by TV’s Seinfeld is placed in the first-floor rotunda just hours before a Christmas Nativity scene is unveiled.

Naked Politics President Obama's role in the far-left's immigration blowback


If President Obama were Dr. Frankenstein, the far left’s immigration-reform movement is starting to resemble a monster he can't control.

It haunted Obama last week during an interview with Jorge Ramos, the Fusion/Univision pundit who’s an immigration-reform crusader.

Post on Politics Anxious about lost dollars, Florida businesses and hospitals look for middle ground on health expansion

With Florida’s ruling Republicans still blunting President Barack Obama’s health overhaul by refusing to expand coverage to more of the state’s poor, some advocates have begun stepping outside the box.

Business associations and hospital groups, frustrated by two years of lawmakers rejecting Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act, now are floating a plan aimed at using private insurers to draw $50 billion in federal aid over the next decade.

Naked Politics With ebook, Jeb Bush plans to define Jeb Bush before opponents, media do


In another sign Jeb Bush is likelier than not to run for president, he's releasing a trove of 250,000 emails from his time as Florida governor and he'll write an ebook with it.

Post on Politics State lawmaker, union want to shift Trauma Hawk control to sheriff

State Rep. Dave Kerner, D-Lake Worth, and the county firefighters union want the Trauma Hawk air ambulance program to be controlled by Sheriff Ric Bradshaw rather than the Palm Beach County Health Care District.


It’s “a solution looking for a problem,” counters Health Care District CEO Ronald Wiewora.

Naked Politics Nicaragua bans Marco Rubio, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from travel over Venezuela sanctions


Nicaragua's president says he is banning U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from traveling to the Central American because, he says, he is protesting the Venezuala sanctions the Republican lawmakers helped pass Wednesday in Congress, according to The Tico Times.

Naked Politics 'Team Marco 2016' to host Rubio pow-wow at the Delano Hotel on South Beach


Run for president, run for Senate, or neither?

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is trying to figure that out.

Naked Politics As feds let Indian tribes legalize marijuana, what will it mean for Florida?

Will marijuana be as legal as poker chips on Native American tribal lands in Florida?

That is the question being asked after the U.S. Justice Department published a memo directing federal prosecutors nationwide to allow tribes to cultivate and grow marijuana on their sovereign lands without fear of federal harassment.