West Coast

St. Petersburg Times Attorney General Pam Bondi raises 'serious' questions over Gov. Rick Scott's actions in FDLE firing

Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi said there are "serious questions" over how the state's law-enforcement chief was ousted from his job by employees of Gov. Rick Scott.

St. Petersburg Times Senate panel backs bill to lower suicide rate among veterans

WASHINGTON — A bill aimed at reducing a suicide epidemic among military veterans cleared a Senate committee on Wednesday, as lawmakers vowed quick action on a measure that was blocked in the last session of Congress.

St. Petersburg Times Florida House panel approves guns on college campuses

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida House is moving quickly on a proposal to allow guns on college campuses.

St. Petersburg Times Charlie Crist at Pinellas courthouse for jury duty

LARGO — Former Gov. Charlie Crist showed up at the Pinellas County Justice Center on Wednesday morning for an official purpose: jury duty.

St. Petersburg Times Tampa political candidate forums scheduled

As the Tampa races take shape, endorsements and campaign donations start to roll in.

St. Petersburg Times New Florida prisons boss Julie Jones doubles down on reforms

TALLAHASSEE — In an unprecedented moment of candor, Florida's newly installed prisons chief told a Senate committee that private contractors have provided inadequate medical care to Florida's inmates while crumbling infrastructure and years of staffing cuts have fostered "culture" problems in the massive agency.

St. Petersburg Times Weatherford, brothers to open Tampa firm

Former Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford announced Tuesday that he's going to give this private sector thing a try by forming a "strategic business advisory firm" with two of his brothers.

St. Petersburg Times Atwater breaks with Gov. Scott, wants new search for FDLE chief

TALLAHASSEE — Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater became the first Cabinet member to fully break with Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday in calling for the reopening of the search for a new commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

St. Petersburg Times Florida Senate panel to review Department of Corrections abuse allegations

TALLAHASSEE — Skeptical that Gov. Rick Scott's administration can conduct an independent review of abuse allegations at the Department of Corrections, a bipartisan group of state senators is conducting its own inquiry.

St. Petersburg Times Bousquet column: Where's the backbone of Florida's Cabinet?

Gov. Rick Scott was a true laggard at the polls in November. The numbers speak for themselves.

St. Petersburg Times New Florida GOP Chair Blaise Ingoglia: 'The party will be united'

Florida's mighty Republican Party is in a state of uncertainty following the giant upset victory Saturday of a charismatic, new party chairman who immediately signaled he won't be just another rubber stamp for elected Republicans in Tallahassee.

St. Petersburg Times Hillsborough case at heart of Supreme Court arguments on judges' fundraising

WASHINGTON — She challenged a respected incumbent and lost by a mile, taking only 20 percent of the vote in a bid to sit on the Hillsborough County court.

St. Petersburg Times Freed from Cuba, Alan Gross to attend State of Union; other guests listed

WASHINGTON — A Maryland man who returned home last month after spending five years imprisoned in Cuba will have a prime viewing spot for President Barack Obama's State of the Union address: a seat near first lady Michelle Obama.

St. Petersburg Times George and Jeb Bush: as distinct and alike as brothers can be

WASHINGTON — One day last fall, former President George W. Bush called Mel Sembler, a Republican donor from St. Petersburg who had served as his ambassador to Italy. Sembler had just had a pacemaker implanted into his chest, and his wife had also recently had surgery. Bush wanted to check on how they were faring.

St. Petersburg Times Support builds for Medicaid expansion in Florida

TALLAHASSEE — For the past two years, the Republican-dominated Florida House has turned away federal funds intended to expand health care coverage to nearly a million uninsured Floridians.

St. Petersburg Times PolitiFact Florida: Three claims in Buckhorn TV ad miss the full picture

The mayor overstates reality on job creation, taxes and bond ratings.

The mayor's TV statements on job creation, taxes and bond ratings don't reflect reality.

St. Petersburg Times Rick Scott says lost public records aren't his fault

Gov. Rick Scott has sent a warning to his former employees: You're on your own when it comes to defending yourself in court over lost public records.

St. Petersburg Times Ousted FDLE chief raises new allegations about meddling by Gov. Rick Scott, aides

The ousted chief says the governor and his aides wanted him to favor allies and distort.

St. Petersburg Times GOP field scrambles as RNC sets debate plan

The goal is to ease the path for the 2016 GOP presidential nominee.

St. Petersburg Times The audacity of Jeb Bush: A governor goes all in on the Terri Schiavo case

Tricia Rivas had never written to an elected official, but gripped with emotion, she composed an urgent email to Florida Gov. Jeb Bush.

St. Petersburg Times New group charged with finding legal help for low-income Floridians

TALLAHASSEE — Leaders in business, law and government are coming together to fix a problem they say keeps some Floridians outside the justice system.

St. Petersburg Times U.S. Supreme Court to hear Hillsborough judge candidate's fundraising case

WASHINGTON — Hands-on fundraising for a 2009-2010 judicial campaign in Hillsborough County is now front and center at the U.S. Supreme Court, where justices must balance free speech against judicial neutrality.

St. Petersburg Times Medicare chief who ran health care rollout steps down

WASHINGTON — Medicare's top administrator unexpectedly resigned Friday, becoming the latest casualty of the troubled rollout of the president's health care law.

St. Petersburg Times Former Miami-Dade port director may be up for Enterprise Florida post

MIAMI — Bill Johnson, Miami-Dade's longtime port director and current head of water and sewer, may be in the running to take over Florida's economic-development arm.

St. Petersburg Times Scott recommends $100 million for Florida charter schools

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday released a key detail of his proposed education budget: $100 million for charter school construction and maintenance.

St. Petersburg Times PolitiFact: Fact-checking U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's new book

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.

St. Petersburg Times Write-in candidate qualifies for Tampa mayor's race

TAMPA — Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn won't cruise to a second four-year term entirely unopposed after all.

St. Petersburg Times DeWitt: Nugent's challenge of House speaker is all about job security

It looks like a bold move, but is actually a play for safety.

St. Petersburg Times Republicans set 2016 presidential convention for mid July

CORONADO, Calif. — The Republican National Committee has finalized the dates for its next presidential nominating convention.

St. Petersburg Times South Florida Republicans oppose amendment to end program for young immigrants

WASHINGTON — Three Florida Republicans refused to go along with an amendment that would end President Barack Obama's deferred action program for immigrants brought to the country illegally by their parents.