Blogs from around the state

Naked Politics Putnam sends mixed-signals on Bailey exit

@mikevansickler

Naked Politics Coincidence? HNTB Corp. gets DOT contract two days after hiring Presad

 

Timing really is everything.

Just two days after the engineering firm HNTB Corp. announced it had hired former Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Arnanth Presad, the DOT's central office selected HNTB for a three-year contract. 

 

What optics.

Naked Politics Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes' attorney says she won't run

Should Broward Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes retire her attorney says she won’t run for the seat.

Snipes, 71, told the Herald on Monday that hasn’t decided whether she will seek re-election in 2016 and has no timeline to make up her mind.

Post on Politics Scott wants $100 million for charter schools, risking another fight with unions

Gov. Scott wants $100 million for charter schools

Gov. Rick Scott proposed Thursday to spend $100 million on construction and maintenance at Florida’s charter schools next year, a $25 million increase certain to spark another round of clashes in the Legislature over education.

Naked Politics Marco Rubio calls eased restrictions 'windfall' for Cuba

@PatriciaMazzei

Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio swiftly hammered the Obama administration's announcement Thursday that travel and trade restrictions toward Cuba will be loosened beginning Friday:

Naked Politics Scott to recommend $100 million for charter-school construction

Gov. Rick Scott wants to give charter schools $100 million for construction and maintenance.

He will make the announcement Thursday while visiting Sports Leadership and Management Academy charter school in Miami. The school is run by the for-profit management company Academica, and counts the rapper Pitbull among its founders.

The current state budget includes $75 million for charter-school construction.

Naked Politics Looser Cuba travel, trade restrictions to take effect Friday

@lesleyclark

New rules that will make it easier to travel to Cuba - and bring back Cuban cigars - will go into effect Friday, less than a month after President Barack Obama announced plans to restore long-severed diplomatic ties with the communist-led island.

The new Treasury and Commerce Department regulations -- to be published Friday in the Federal Register -- include making it easier to travel to Cuba and raising the limits on how much money can be sent to Cuba.

Post on Politics Taxpayers about to lose in Trump case against PBC

Donald Trump

Naked Politics Republicans set 2016 convention for July 18-21 in Cleveland

From Cleveland.com ... 

Republicans have booked their date with Cleveland.

The party's 2016 convention will start Monday, July 18, the Republican National Committee announced Wednesday from its winter meetings in San Diego.

The four-day event will end with a presidential nominee Thursday, July 21.

Post on Politics Florida’s homeownership rate nearing 30-year low

Florida’s homeownership rate nearing 30-year low.

Florida’s homeownership rate is teetering near a 30-year low as housing continues to struggle to recover from the depths of the recession, a new state report shows.

Naked Politics Blind trust law comes under fire before appeals court

Did the Florida Legislature violate the state’s financial disclosure law when it allowed public officials to shield their assets in a blind trust?

Lawyers for Attorney General Pam Bondi and Gov. Rick Scott say the answer is no, and they made that argument Wednesday before the 1st District Court of Appeal in Tallahassee.

Post on Politics Scott’s jobs czar heads to the exit after four years

Gray Swoope

The head of the state’s business development agency, Enterprise Florida, said Wednesday that he is leaving after almost four years on the job.

Naked Politics Are Democrats recruiting Annette Taddeo to run for Congress again?

National Democrats may once again encourage Annette Taddeo to run for Congress in South Florida.

According to The Hill, Taddeo was spotted in Washington this week meeting with the Democratic Congressional Committee, which is looking for candidates to challenge Miami Republican Rep. Carlos Curbelo in 2016.

Naked Politics With Carlos Curbelo in Congress, Rick Scott gets to pick his Miami-Dade school board replacement

@PatriciaMazzei

Miami Republican Carlos Curbelo was sworn into Congress last week -- which means Florida Gov. Rick Scott now has to choose someone to finish Curbelo's term on the Miami-Dade County school board.

There is no shortage of interest. Nine people so far have said they would like to be appointed, Scott's office said Wednesday in response to an inquiry from the Miami Herald.

Naked Politics S. Fla. Republican lawmakers join Democrats in opposing Homeland Security funding bill because of immigration amendments

Three South Florida Republicans — Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and freshman Rep. Carlos Curbelo — sided with Democrats Wednesday in opposing a bill that would overturn President Barack Obama’s key immigration policies and expose hundreds of thousands of younger immigrants to expulsion from the U.S.

Naked Politics Alex Sink: Cabinet officials ought to tell the truth about FDLE's Bailey

Post on Politics Boca medical supplies company raided by feds

Federal agents today raided the offices of Med-Care, a Boca Raton-based medical supplies company, according to Reuters.

Federal officials confirmed to The Palm Beach Post that agents executed search warrants, but would not discuss whether there is an active investigation.

The company is currently the subject of a whistleblower lawsuit accusing it of fraud.

Naked Politics Gov. Rick Scott to help celebrate Pitbull's birthday

Pitbull, a.k.a. Mr. 305, turns 34 tomorrow.

That isn't the kind of news we would normally report here on Naked Politics. But the rapper will be celebrating with some people who frequently make our blog: Gov. Rick Scott, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera, state Rep. Erik Fresen and Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado.

Naked Politics Florida taxes second-most regressive in US

Florida's tax system poses a larger burden on poorer residents than almost any other state, according to a report released Wednesday by policy researchers at the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy. 

Naked Politics Putnam steps up criticism of Scott on FDLE ouster

Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam stepped up his criticism Wednesday of the way Gov. Rick Scott's office handled the recent ouster of former FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey. Putnam said it was mishandled and that law enforcement officials around the state knew first-hand of his "frustration."

Naked Politics Gov. Scott's No. 1 jobs recruiter, Swoope, resigns

More turnover at the top of Gov. Rick Scott's administration: Gray Swoope, president and CEO of Enterprise Florida, is resigning his post.

Top state officials were alerted Wednesday afternoon that Swoope is leaving. The governor's office did not immediately provide confirmation of Swoope's departure, but an official announcement was expected later in the day.

Naked Politics Cuban-American commissioner from Miami-Dade calls for ending immigration privileges for Cubans

@PatriciaMazzei

A Miami-Dade County politician has quietly taken on the fight against a federal law — once seen as untouchable — that gives Cubans special immigration privileges.

Post on Politics Scott accuses former FDLE head of ‘petty attacks’

Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and Gov. Rick Scott visit a lab at Galaxy Elementary School in Boynton Beach today.

Post on Politics Senators quiz Florida education chief over standardized testing

Senators want answers on scope of standardized testing in Florida.

Naked Politics Will class size be back on the table in 2015?

State lawmakers have made Florida's testing troubles an early priority.

But some members of the Board of Education have at least one other legislative goal for 2015. 

Naked Politics Hialeah mayor hit with ethics charges related to Ponzi schemer

@jayhweaver

A Miami-Dade County ethics commission on Wednesday charged Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez with lying — first in Spanish, then English — about his high-interest loans totaling $180,000 to a convicted Ponzi schemer.

Naked Politics PAC launches to push solar power amendment

Tory Perfetti, chairman of Floridians for Solar Choice, and Stephen Smith, executive director of Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, answer questions d

Naked Politics Fact-checking Marco Rubio's book 'American Dreams'

Sen. Marco Rubio’s new book, American Dreams, makes its appearance at a fascinating moment for the Republican Party. The GOP has just taken control of both chambers of Congress, and candidates like Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are signaling their intentions for 2016 presidential runs.

Rubio, a potential presidential hopeful himself, argues in his book that now is the time for Republicans to talk about their own big ideas.

Post on Politics Rader files house version of teacher-pay bill

Rep. Kevin Rader, D-Delray Beach, today filed the House version of a bill that would set staring salaries for teachers at $50,000.

Naked Politics Miami Rep. Diaz-Balart given additional roles on key House Appropriations Committee

@CAdamsMcClatchy

U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, a Miami Republican, was named to two additional House Appropriations subcommittees Wednesday, as well as being given a key role as a link to the House Budget Committee.