Blogs from around the state

Naked Politics Climate scientist to Scott: meeting staff is fine, we'd like to meet with you

Gov. Rick Scott deflected calls to meet with climate scientists Wednesday and told reporters that his staff "would be happy to meet" with the state's top climate experts about the impact human-induced global warming is having on Florida.

Naked Politics Keys judge rules FL's gay-marriage law unconstitutional

@SteveRothaus

Monroe County Circuit Judge Luis Garcia overturned Florida’s 2008 constitutional gay-marriage ban on Thursday, and ordered that two Key West bartenders be allowed to wed but not before Tuesday.

Post on Politics Crist picks Colombian-American Democrat from Miami as running mate

Democratic gubernatorial front runner Charlie Crist announced Thursday that his running mate will be Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, a Colombian-American businessowner, head of the Miami-Dade Democratic Party and a former Congressional candidate.

Naked Politics Wasserman Schultz lays forth on party's chances (better than you think) and Jeb Bush (thin skinned)

@CAdamsMcClatchy

Naked Politics It's Annette for Charlie

@MarcACaputo

Charlie Crist on Thursday tapped the head of Miami-Dade’s Democrat to become his running for governor, adding a needed South Florida Hispanic face to the former Republican’s ticket.

“As a working mom, a small business owner and a Floridian, I am proud to serve this state that has given me so many opportunities,” Annette Taddeo Goldstein said Thursday morning at a Miami press conference at the Lab Miami.

Naked Politics Annette Taddeo-Goldstein for Crist's running mate?

@MarcACaputo

Still waiting for Charlie Crist's "major announcement" press conference, which true to form for the Democrat is running late.

The event, at The Lab Miami in the funky Wynwood District, has the trappings of a ho-hum policy announcement. But everyone's buzzing about a possible running mate announcement, and many say it's Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, the Miami-Dade Democrats' chairwoman.

OS Political Pulse Democrat Charlie Crist turns to South Florida for a running mate

TALLAHASSEE -- Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Charlie Crist turned to voter-rich�South Florida Thursday to tap a running mate.

Florida Politics Democrat Charlie Crist turns to South Florida for a running mate

TALLAHASSEE -- Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Charlie Crist turned to voter-rich South Florida Thursday to tap a running mate.

Naked Politics Business partner of suspended North Miami mayor pleads guilty to mortgage fraud

@jayhweaver

A former business partner of Lucie Tondreau, the suspended North Miami mayor, has turned against her in a federal mortgage-fraud case that threatens to send her to jail and end her political career.

Karl Oreste pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to organizing an $11 million mortgage-fraud scheme that he now says he once ran with Tondreau.

Naked Politics Report of Russian spy base reopening in Cuba puts FL on edge

A report that Russia will reopen a Havana base that eavesdropped on U.S. communications from Key West to Washington has triggered fresh warnings of Moscow’s expansionism and predictions of a continued freeze in U.S.-Cuba relations.

Until its closure in 2002, the Lourdes base was Moscow’s largest intelligence facility abroad, with up to 1,500 KGB and GRU military intelligence officers manning an array of antennas and computers in the super-secret 28 square-mile base.

Naked Politics Judge sets hearing for next Thursday to hear why districts should be revised now

With time running out, the judge who invalidated Florida's congressional redistricting maps ordered a hearing for next Thursday to hear the last-chance argument by the voters groups that the maps should be redrawn before the November elections.

OS Political Pulse Redistricting sides jostle over whether to redraw congressional lines now

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida's fight over "fair" congressional lines has left policymakers and the court in a paradox: require voters throughout Central Florida to cast ballots on illegal maps, or potentially invalidate some votes already cast.

Florida Politics Redistricting sides jostle over whether to redraw congressional lines now

TALLAHASSEE -- Florida's fight over "fair" congressional lines has left policymakers and the court in a paradox: require voters throughout Central Florida to cast ballots on illegal maps, or potentially invalidate some votes already cast.

Naked Politics Charlie Crist's "mysterious" Nigerian $100k donor

From Gossip Extra:

A mysterious Nigerian businessman whose empire is under scrutiny for its ties to a jailed, corrupt African politician has emerged as one of Democratic candidate for governor Charlie Crist‘s biggest campaign donors, Gossip Extra has learned exclusively.

Naked Politics That's just the way it is

@MarcACaputo

That’s just the way it is.

Those were Aaron Cohen’s last words.

Cohen, 37, was talking about his two little kids and his work schedule as he cycled with his friend Enda Walsh on the Rickenbacker Causeway in Key Biscayne just before 6 a.m. on Feb. 15, 2012.

At the same time, a man named Michele Traverso was driving home to Key Biscayne. He had been drinking the night before.

Naked Politics Man arrested after threatening to shoot Miami-Dade politicians remains in jail

@PatriciaMazzei

Showing up to a Miami-Dade County Commission meeting a little hot under the collar, seething over a local government decision? Not unusual.

Threatening bodily harm on elected officials — and pointing at them while doing so? That’ll get you arrested.

OS Political Pulse Republicans defeat Grayson bid to raise minimum wage

 Central Florida Congressman Alan Grayson’s attempt to raise the minimum wage for federal workers lost on a party-line vote on Wednesday.

Florida Politics Republicans defeat Grayson bid to raise minimum wage

 Central Florida Congressman Alan Grayson’s attempt to raise the minimum wage for federal workers lost on a party-line vote on Wednesday.

Naked Politics Broward leader among state, local officials contributing to White House climate-change actions

@CAdamsMcClatchy

In its ongoing effort to mitigate the impact of climate change, the White House on Wednesday announced several small steps by a range of agencies to help local officials cope with the issue.

OS Political Pulse Primary election deadlines looming for prospective Orange County voters

Primary voting deadlines are looming for prospective Orange County voters, with a registration deadline arriving later this month for anyone who wants to cast ballot or switch parties, officials say.

Naked Politics David Rivera apparently didn't raise cash before suspending Miami congressional campaign

@PatriciaMazzei

David Rivera may have cited a judge's opinion on redistricting unrelated to South Florida as the reason for dropping out of a Miami congressional race last week, but the real reason might have been his campaign bank account.

Naked Politics State teachers union challenges voucher expansion bill

The state teachers union filed a legal challenge to a controversial education bill Wednesday, saying it violates the constitutional requirement that legislative proposals be limited to a single subject.

The bill, SB 850, was signed into law last month. Among other things, it expands the state school voucher program and creates new scholarships for children with special needs. The scholarships can be used for private tutoring, educational materials and various types of therapies.

OS Political Pulse FEA lawsuit challenges legislative 'logrolling' on voucher bill

TALLAHASSEE – Florida’s teacher union sued Wednesday to block legislation passed last spring that expands the state’s corporate school-voucher program.

Florida Politics Teachers union lawsuit challenges how school voucher bill passed

TALLAHASSEE – Florida’s teacher union sued Wednesday to block legislation passed last spring that expands the state’s corporate school-voucher program.

Naked Politics Slight property-tax hike approved in Miami-Dade to aid libraries

@PatriciaMazzei @doug_hanks

Miami-Dade County commissioners voted Tuesday night to slightly raise the property-tax rate ceiling to avert library layoffs. But the increase won’t protect police, transit and other public services facing budget cuts.

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.