West Coast

St. Petersburg Times What's next, Alex Sink?

You would think Alex Sink would need a minute.

St. Petersburg Times Charlie Crist explains why he wants to visit Cuba: 'This policy has not worked'

ST. PETERSBURG — Charlie Crist minces no words describing the government of Cuba: "It's oppressive. It's anti-free-press. It's totalitarian. It's wrong."

St. Petersburg Times Sen. Marco Rubio travels to New Hampshire today, stoking 2016 speculation

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio will plant his 2016 flag in New Hampshire today with a trio of events and meetings with state reporters.

St. Petersburg Times Florida's national unemployment ranking isn't so clear-cut

The statement Says Rick Scott's record on jobs includes Florida "ranked second in the nation in long-term unemployment."

St. Petersburg Times Potential Florida pot crop prompts much interest, but business will be limited

TALLAHASSEE —A tropical plant farmer in Gainesville is hoping marijuana will be the crop that finally helps him make money.

St. Petersburg Times House vote on former IRS official signals element of GOP election strategy

Officials may pounce on IRS abuses and the Benghazi attack in midterm elections.

St. Petersburg Times Seeking: Excellent, or just conscious, Democratic candidate for Congress

PERSONAL ADS March 12, 2014 Democratic Party seeks perfect congressional candidate

St. Petersburg Times Infighting, maneuvering doom health bills in Tallahassee

TALLAHASSEE — Millions of Floridians have no health insurance. The state has nowhere near enough primary care doctors. Highly trained nurses might be able to help, but they lack the authority. Hospitals are suing other hospitals, claiming their trauma centers don't even deserve to operate.

St. Petersburg Times Hillsborough looks at charging more to pay for fixes after flooding

TAMPA — Recent flooding has county commissioners evaluating ways of increasing Hillsborough County's stormwater fund, which could include raising the fee residents pay.

St. Petersburg Times Charlie Crist exploring visit to Cuba this summer

In a move that would have been unthinkable for any statewide Florida candidate just a few years ago, Charlie Crist is looking into visiting Cuba this summer.

St. Petersburg Times Governor makes stop in Brandon

EVE EDELHEIT | Times

Florida Gov. Rick Scott stands with attendees during his stop at Brandon Honda on Tuesday before speaking about recent successes from the recently concluded legislative session.

St. Petersburg Times New climate study fuels Obama's fight against carbon pollution

The president finds a heavyweight tool for his fight against carbon pollution.

St. Petersburg Times Bigotry by GOP fueled desire to switch, Crist says

Democrat Charlie Crist is offering up a new and inflammatory reason he left the GOP: Too many Republicans oppose President Barack Obama because he's black.

St. Petersburg Times Bill Nelson 'went back and forth' on gubernatorial run, says senator who lobbied him to stay

WASHINGTON — Three-term U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson isn't on the ballot in November but the stakes are higher than his cakewalk 2012 re-election campaign: If Republicans take Senate control — a distinct possibility — Nelson will be denied a chance to chair the Commerce Committee.

St. Petersburg Times Steve Bousquet column: Rick Scott, Charlie Crist ready to rumble

Gentlemen, start your engines. Gov. Rick Scott is taking a celebratory victory lap around Florida this week, taking credit for a $25 cut in auto tag fees that legislators approved and he signed into law, all the while hammering the record of Charlie Crist, his likely Democratic rival.

St. Petersburg Times House speaker exits public stage, vows to return

TALLAHASSEE — As he looks ahead to an uncertain future, Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford wants to be remembered as a compassionate conservative who promoted the hopes of the working class with measures like lower auto tags for all and in-state tuition for undocumented children.

St. Petersburg Times Drug abuse database keeps going with last-minute rescue

TALLAHASSEE — Even from his perch as Pasco County Tax Collector, Mike Fasano is still making his presence felt in the Capitol when it comes to his signature legislation, the state's prescription drug monitoring database.

St. Petersburg Times Details of Greenlight Pinellas bus lanes will come after vote on tax

The claim that buses won't take existing lanes from other vehicles is a little off.

St. Petersburg Times PunditFact: Fact-checking the May 4 news shows

You couldn't accuse the mainstream media on Sunday of ignoring the investigation into the response to the attack on a U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya.

St. Petersburg Times 2014 session built to promote Gov. Rick Scott's re-election

TALLAHASSEE — When the 2014 legislative session began, Senate and House leaders focused on a five-point "work plan."

St. Petersburg Times North Carolina Senate race a test case for GOP establishment war on the tea party

RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — In a chilly television studio, out of sight from the camera, Thom Tillis is waving a red card that says "rebuttal." A Republican rival for the U.S. Senate has just compared him to Sens. Lindsey Graham and John McCain — bêtes noires of the right.

St. Petersburg Times Embattled Port Richey police chief to retire

PORT RICHEY — After heavy criticism and a near unanimous vote of no confidence from Port Richey Police Department's unionized employees, police chief Dave Brown will retire, City Manager Tom O'Neill said Saturday.

St. Petersburg Times Florida Republicans used session for image makeover

TALLAHASSEE — The Republican-led Legislature in a blue presidential state comes out of a 60-day session with an image makeover that leaders describe as compassionately conservative.

St. Petersburg Times The Buzz: Democrats flounder in pursuit of Jolly challenger

Democratic leaders in Washington and Tallahassee on Friday heralded the last-minute emergence of Marine Corps Reserve Col. Ed Jany to challenge Republican U.S. Rep. David Jolly, R-Indian Shores, as a home run.

St. Petersburg Times Schools emerge as big winner from Florida Legislature's session

TALLAHASSEE — Not long after the 2014 legislative session came to a close Friday, Senate President Don Gaetz said it had been "a good year for education."

St. Petersburg Times Film commissioner: Tax snub will keep movie project out of Florida

Dale Gordon awoke Saturday to gray, drizzly skies and an immediate future for her industry just as depressing.

St. Petersburg Times Legislators move toward "trauma drama'' fix

TALLAHASSEE — In the waning hours of their annual session, legislators at last appeared poised to take up the matter of how to protect three disputed HCA trauma centers from legal action that threatened to close them.

St. Petersburg Times Pasco schools, college and county win state money for new performing arts center

Sandwiched among millions of dollars worth of special projects in the state budget appeared a $10 million line item for a performing arts education center and convention facility in Wesley Chapel.

St. Petersburg Times PolitiFact: Claim that higher beer production leads to higher consumption is mostly false

The statement "Higher beer production and higher consumption go hand-in-hand."

St. Petersburg Times 'Democrat' and Libertarian file to run against Jolly in Pinellas congressional race

The Democratic Party's candidate for Congressional District 13 is Ed Jany — but, get this, he's not officially a Democratic candidate.