Articles in Category: 'West Coast'

St. Petersburg Times Analysis: Romney's absence in GOP race shines spotlight on Jeb Bush

WASHINGTON — Mitt Romney's decision not to jump into the 2016 president campaign gives an immediate boost to former Florida governor Jeb Bush's candidacy, but over time it could have an even greater impact by opening up the nomination contest to some of Bush's rivals.

St. Petersburg Times U.S. Rep. David Jolly: 'I'm excited about a Jeb candidacy'

ST. PETERSBURG — It's no surprise that U.S. Rep. David Jolly wants to see a Florida Republican move into the White House in 2017, but if the GOP nomination came down to a race between Jeb Bush and Sen. Marco Rubio, the Indian Shores Republican says he's behind the former governor.

St. Petersburg Times Elián case proved early test for Jeb Bush as governor

Late at night on Good Friday a decade and a half ago, Jeb Bush was glued to his email.

St. Petersburg Times Perspective: It's our Cabinet, and it's a mess

TALLAHASSEE A country preacher opened a recent meeting of the Florida Cabinet with a simple prayer for the state's top elected officials.

St. Petersburg Times Jeb Bush's bond with Barack Obama on education poses 2016 challenge for him

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St. Petersburg Times Ethics complaint filed over FDLE controversy

A day after State Attorney Willie Meggs took a pass on investigating the ouster of Gerald Bailey as commissioner of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, a Villages resident asked the Florida Commission on Ethics to take a look at what happened.

St. Petersburg Times Florida League of Women Voters pushes for Medicaid expansion

A drive for Medicaid expansion grew Thursday with the nonpartisan League of Women Voters of Florida — one of the state's oldest political groups — calling on legislators to find a "unique and flexible Florida solution" to cover an estimated 750,000 uninsured people this year.

St. Petersburg Times Jeb Bush staffs up for presidential campaign, hires Mitt Romney adviser

From Florida's capital to early voting Iowa, Jeb Bush dramatically beefed up his political committee this week making it the largest GOP presidential campaign-in-waiting.

St. Petersburg Times Mayor faces challenger in Treasure Island

Two commission seats are uncontested.

St. Petersburg Times Agriculture Secretary says Cuba trade could grow by hundreds of millions

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack predicts U.S. trade with Cuba could rebound from its current $300 million to close to $500 million with Florida among the states capitalizing the most.

St. Petersburg Times Governor defends staff in wake of Bondi accusation

TAMPA — Gov. Rick Scott expressed confidence in his staff Thursday, dismissing the notion that they are responsible for the controversy caused by the hurried dismissal of former Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Gerald Bailey.

St. Petersburg Times Panel recommending changes to military health care, benefits

WASHINGTON — An independent commission is recommending broad changes to the military's retirement and health care systems that could save more than $20 billion over the next four years, the Associated Press reports.

St. Petersburg Times Cuba trade backers in Senate filing bill to end all travel restrictions for Americans

McClatchy Washington Bureau (TNS) WASHINGTON — A bill to end all travel restrictions for Americans who want to visit Cuba will be introduced Thursday on Capitol Hill, marking the opening salvo in a fight that's brewing over whether Congress should further open Cuba to travel and trade now that President Barack Obama has …

St. Petersburg Times Romney uses college speech to tailor presidential themes

STARKVILLE, Miss. — Mitt Romney sounded out themes for a potential third presidential run, lamented the way politics is played and offered a dose of barely veiled self-criticism in a visit Wednesday to this college town.

St. Petersburg Times Rubio wants permanent extension of 'counterterrorism tools'

Sen. Marco Rubio wants Congress to permanently extend "counterterrorism tools" that have sparked a national debate and divided the GOP.

St. Petersburg Times Tampa Bay area business and political leaders push for Medicaid expansion

ST. PETERSBURG — Though Florida's incoming House speaker appeared Wednesday to squash Medicaid expansion for a third year in row, supporters of a new plan to extend health coverage to the working poor say they believe events are lining up in their favor.

St. Petersburg Times Romano: The excuses are running low for Florida lawmakers who won't expand Medicaid

So another holdout has fallen. Another state has seen the light.

St. Petersburg Times Scott's prison budget fails to include money to investigate record high inmate deaths

TALLAHASSEE — After years of slashing funding for Florida's state prison system, Gov. Rick Scott released a proposed budget Wednesday that would inject $51.2 million in new spending into the troubled agency but fails to provide any new resources to investigate inmate deaths — which last year reached a record high.

St. Petersburg Times Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam criticizes Gov. Rick Scott, calls FDLE firing 'shabby'

TALLAHASSEE — Top state officials in both political parties leveled harsh new criticism at Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday for his decision to oust the longtime Florida Department of Law Enforcement commissioner absent public discussion with the three Cabinet members who also oversee the agency.

St. Petersburg Times Rubio's fundraising keeping him away from Senate votes

It's cold and nasty in Washington. Fortunately for Sen. Marco Rubio he's in California for the week, attending a series of fundraisers. Yet as he pursues his national ambitions, Rubio is neglecting Senate votes, a job Floridians elected him to do.

St. Petersburg Times Husband of top Florida House aide lands six-figure gig at Department of Education

TALLAHASSEE — The husband of Florida House chief of staff Kathy Mears was handed the top legal job at the state education department last week.

St. Petersburg Times Gov. Rick Scott proposes $150 million for Florida Everglades work, $5 billion over 20 years

Standing outside a Miami airboat attraction with some of the state's top environmentalists and a caged panther named Harley, Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday proposed spending $150 million in his next budget on Everglades restoration and habitat preservation.

St. Petersburg Times Fears of immigration policy change triggers new wave of Cuban migrants

HAVANA —President Barack Obama's opening to Cuba has accelerated a surge in Cuban migration to the United States, the latest U.S. statistics show, as many on the island grow worried that America's long-standing immigration benefits for Cubans are now in jeopardy.

St. Petersburg Times Pinellas sheriff backs medical marijuana legislation

The push for a full-fledged medical marijuana system has picked up an important ally.

St. Petersburg Times Atwater: Stress tests may instill confidence in insurance

LAKE BUENA VISTA — Florida's chief financial officer says creating a "stress test" will help instill public confidence in the smaller insurers that have come to dominate Florida's homeowners' insurance market.

St. Petersburg Times Scott already eyeing replacement for state's top insurance regulator

The governor had a resume in hand before saying he wanted a new insurance commissioner.

St. Petersburg Times Kochs plan to spend $900 million on 2016 campaign

The political network overseen by the conservative billionaires Charles G. and David H. Koch plans to spend close to $900 million on the 2016 campaign, an unparalleled effort by an outside group to shape a presidential election that is already on track to be the most expensive in history.

St. Petersburg Times St. Petersburg Republican lawmaker sponsors new medical marijuana law

Florida medical physicians would be allowed to prescribe "medical-grade" marijuana to needy patients under a major cannabis bill filed Monday by a top Florida Republican state senator.

St. Petersburg Times At Koch brothers event, Rubio, Cruz, Paul show GOP's split on foreign policy

Three senators, including Florida's Marco Rubio, gave a preview Sunday of the coming Republican presidential primary debate exposing differences on foreign policy while holding the party line on taxes.

St. Petersburg Times PolitiFact Florida: Is online voter registration more secure?

Florida lawmakers have overhauled many aspects of our elections laws in recent years, but one aspect has remained untouched: Voters can't register online. The statewide elections supervisors association, which represents officials in both major parties, wants lawmakers to change that during the upcoming session.