Last week, watchdog group Integrity Florida released a report that concluded questionable bonuses, conflicts of interest and a 'pay to play' mentality was hampering the efforts of Enterprise Florida, Florida's public-private job development agency. The increased scrutiny of what the state pays to lure companies to Florida come as lawmakers start to lay the foundation for the coming year's budget, against a backdrop of the governor's request for more spending on economic development.
Gov. Rick Scott's aggressive economic development effort got more legislative pushback Tuesday as budget committees in both chambers questioned the direction, expense and oversight of the governor's "jobs, jobs, jobs" agenda.
Florida has a national reputation for its Public Records Law. But a new study by the Center for Public Integrity and Public Radio International has given the Sunshine State a D in “Public Access to Information.”
The State Integrity Investigation is the first attempt to look across all states at how good the system is for preventing political corruption.
The investigation graded each state on more than 300 indicators of accountability, transparency, and corruption risk. The indicators are divided into 14 categories, which appear on the report card.
Hear WLRN-Miami Herald host Phil Latzman's interview with Dan Christensen.
The State Integrity Investigation – a collaboration of Public Radio International, the Center for Public Integrity and WLRN in Miami – is the first comprehensive look at state government for every state in the country. What’s working? What’s not working? How susceptible is the process to corruption?
Florida's government, overall, was given a C-minus for its integrity – not great, but still the 18th best in the country.
Reporter Kenny Malone explains the findings of the State Integrity Investigation to host Phil Latzman.
This story originally appeared in The Miami Herald on March 19, 2012.
The first time Florida Sen. Chris Smith, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat, ran for office, he was just three years out of law school - a 28-year-old who still believed in the power of his lucky navy blue suit. As Smith puts it, he was a "nobody" from Broward County.
And yet, "these people would just show up" as he campaigned around the district. They were lobbyists. "[They'd] pat me on the back and say, 'Hey, I want to support you, ' and then give me a bunch of checks and say: 'Now remember me.' "