Blogs from around the state

Naked Politics DOC fires officer for failing to write report about contraband

The recent attention to management issues at the Department of Corrections in the wake of reports on suspcious inmate deaths -- all occurring while the governor is almost exclusively on the campaign trail -- has now prompted the agency to do what we've rarely seen before: call attention to discipling officers.

Naked Politics Rick Scott's question of the day: Why don't you answer questions?

 Gov. Rick Scott held a press conference in Tampa Tuesday to urge people to prepare for hurricane season. He was greeted with a series of questions from Tampa television reporters -- not about hurricanes but about minimum wage, on-duty police and why he has a reputation for not answering questions
 
His answer: "I answer questions.

Naked Politics Former Florida House candidate sues to get back on the ballot

Miami Beach publicist Laura Rivero Levey isn’t giving up her bid for the Florida House just yet.

The Republican was disqualified from the District 113 race earlier this month, after a check she submitted to the Department of State bounced.

Without any other opposition, incumbent Rep. David Richardson, a Miami Beach Democrat, was automatically re-elected.

Naked Politics University scientists ask Scott for chance to meet to talk about climate science

In an effort to push Gov. Rick Scott into the debate on climate change, ten prominent scientists from the state’s top universities on Tuesday asked to meet with him to explain the impact human-induced global warming will have on Florida.

Naked Politics Judge: Conviction must remain on record of Miami pastor who stole money

@DavidOvalle305

Miami Rev. Gaston Smith, the prominent Liberty City pastor who looted public grant money, is again a convicted felon.

A Miami-Dade judge on Tuesday reversed another judge's decision to grant Smith a "withhold of adjudication," which means no conviction shows on his criminal history.

Naked Politics Activist: Despite recent problems, immigration policies on US-Mexican border largely a success

@CAdamsMcClatchy

Despite the very real problems with children from Central America streaming across the border and clogging the nation’s immigration system, the nation’s border policies have largely been successful in recent years, according to an advocacy group.

OS Political Pulse Orange leaders pass Osceola Parkway resolution, residents unimpressed

Orange County leaders passed a resolution asserting their authority to block the Osceola Parkway from coming into the county, but a pair of residents potentially impacted by the proposed toll road project were unimpressed.

Naked Politics Teachers union to take legal action against controversial voucher law

The statewide teachers union is taking legal action against a new law that expands the school voucher program and creates new scholarships for children with special needs.

The Florida Education Association will release details Wednesday during a 10 a.m. news conference in Tallahassee. Vice President Joanne McCall, attorney Ron Meyer and Lee County social studies teacher Tom Faasse are expected to speak.

OS Political Pulse DNC hires Fort Lauderdale lawyer to lead vote expansion

 While accusing Republicans of trying to restrict voting in Florida, the Democratic National Committee on Tuesday announced the hiring of Zach Learner to be state director of a Voter Expansion Project.

Florida Politics DNC hires Fort Lauderdale lawyer to lead vote expansion

�While accusing Republicans of trying to restrict voting in Florida, the Democratic National Committee on Tuesday announced the hiring of Zach Learner to be state director of a Voter Expansion Project.
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OS Political Pulse Report: Hobbled IRS can't stem `dark money' donations

�The IRS, beaten down by a scandal over its scrutiny of tea party groups, has all but quit regulating politically active advocacy groups to determine their tax status, according to a report released on Tuesday by the The Center for Public Integrity.

Florida Politics Report: Hobbled IRS can't stem `dark money' donations

 The IRS, beaten down by a scandal over its scrutiny of tea party groups, has all but quit regulating politically active advocacy groups to determine their tax status, according to a report released on Tuesday by the The Center for Public Integrity.

OS Political Pulse Florida teachers union to announce legal action on voucher bill

The Florida Education Association will announce Wednesday legal action it plans over passage of a multi-pronged bill that expanded the state's largest school voucher program.

Naked Politics Rich's mailer uses Herald editorial that blasted Crist

A political committee formed by Democratic candidate for governor Nan Rich has dropped its first mail piece, blasting Charlie Crist for his refusal to debate her.

The mailing was financed by a political committee supported by unions, trial lawyers and Tallahassee lobbyists, who donated long before Crist entered the race.

OS Political Pulse Florida Legislature opts to re-draw Central Florida congressional map

TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida Legislature's Republican leaders said Tuesday they would re-draw two unconstitutional Orlando-area congressional districts provided the courts allowed the new map to take effect in 2016 instead of in this year's midterm elections.

Florida Politics Florida Legislature opts to re-draw Central Florida congressional map

TALLAHASSEE -- The Florida Legislature's two Republican leaders said Tuesday they would agree to re-drawn two Orlando-area congressional districts provided the courts allowed the new district to take effect in 2016 instead of in this year's midterm elections.

Naked Politics Legislature won't appeal but will redraw challenged congressional districts

Florida legislative leaders have ended their silence on the rejected congressional map and announced Tuesday they will not appeal the circuit court ruling but agree to redraw the map deemed unconstitutional because of two invalid districts.

Notably, the Legislature waited until after the overseas absentee ballots were sent on Saturday to announce its decision.

Naked Politics Hollywood lawyer heads Dems' voter education effort

The Democratic National Committee is launching a nationwide voter expansion project to build a "new permanent infrastructure for the Democratic Party and its candidates" in key states including Florida.

OS Political Pulse Val Demings sees her stock rising, and growing electoral options

TALLAHASSEE -- It was noteworthy to some when former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings was making the rounds at Florida Democrats' annual fundraising conference in Westin last month.

Naked Politics Saying 'time is of the essence' plaintiffs want remedy in redistricting case

The voters groups who succeeded in getting the state's congressional map thrown out of court last week asked a judge on Monday to expedite a hearing to set a schedule for repairing the state's congressional redistricting map. 

OS Political Pulse John Morgan: I've rounded up $6 million for medical marijuana amendment

TALLAHASSEE -- Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan has seen casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson , and he's raising him.

Florida Politics John Morgan: I've rounded up $6 million for medical marijuana amendment

TALLAHASSEE -- Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan has seen casino billionaire Sheldon Adelson , and he's raising him.

Naked Politics Court: Diaz de la Portilla not in contempt in divorce and dog dispute

From the News Service of Florida:

In a dispute that stemmed from what judges called a "spat" over family dogs in a divorce, a state appeals court Monday said former state lawmaker Alex Diaz de la Portilla should not be held in criminal contempt in the long-running case.

Naked Politics Florida House race attracts attention

Need more proof that the Florida House District 112 race will be among the most closely watched?

The Republican State Leadership Committee's Future Majority Project named it one of 14 statehouse races to watch in 2014.

It was the only race in Florida to make the list. (See below.)

Naked Politics Who will Crist select as his running mate?

The governor’s race is barreling forward, but one key aspect of Democrat Charlie Crist's campaign remains a mystery.

Who will be his No. 2?

If Crist wins the primary on Aug. 26 as is expected, he will have just nine days to designate a lieutenant governor as his running mate. That gives him less than two months to vet candidates and make his choice.

Naked Politics Rick Scott campaign's LeBron James-size gaffe -- a 'moron' move on Twitter

@MarcACaputo

If LeBron James-size gaffes decided elections, Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign is on its way to fouling out.

On Friday, when Miami Heat fans mourned James’ decision to return to the Cleveland Cavaliers, someone from Scott World had a brilliant idea: Compare the basketball champion to . . . Charlie Crist, Scott’s Democratic opponent.

You read that right.

Naked Politics Family faces hurdles to bring miracle marijuana strain to Florida

The parents of RayAnn Moseley, the Pensacola child with intractable epilepsy whose story softened the hearts of reluctant lawmakers, are fighting a new battle: getting Charlotte’s Web to Florida.

Naked Politics Crews' visit to Dade prison exposes yet another inmate death

The visit by the head of Florida's prison system to the Dade Correctional Institution on Thursday produced more than a show of interest in the suspicious death of an inmate more than two years ago. It also led to an unexpected revelation: the suspicious death of another inmate the day before.

Naked Politics One thing is certain about redistricting ruling: November uncertainty

The court ruling that invalidated Florida’s congressional districts this week will give voters in November’s elections something they are used to: uncertainty.

Naked Politics Nan Rich on a Scott vs. Crist race: 'Two Republicans'

The News Service of Florida's Jim Saunders reports on Nan Rich's speech Friday to the Florida Society of News Editors:

Nan Rich is frustrated. That much is clear. But the lifelong Democrat and former Senate minority leader isn't backing down.