Miami Herald

The Florida Vote
12:01 pm
Mon November 26, 2012

Top Republicans Confess: Voter Suppression Was Goal Of 2011 Florida Election Law

Jim Greer: Voter suppression was the goal, voter fraud was the marketing.

The whole idea behind the voting law state legislators passed in 2011 was to discourage Democratic voters.

That's the bottom line in a Palm Beach Post story by Dara Kam and John Lantigua. Although the law was presented as an urgently needed defense against voter fraud, sources including former Republican Gov. Charlie Crist and former state GOP Chairman Jim Greer and some Republican campaign consultants tell the Post a very different story:

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Casino Gambling
6:37 am
Mon November 26, 2012

Why 2013 Florida Legislature Will Hear No Casino Bills

Too Much? Some think this over-the-top rendering of a casino idea for the Herald site may have worked against the 2012 gambling bill.

The proposal to build mega-casinos in South Florida never made it to a final vote in the last session of the Florida Legislature. Now it looks like the issue may not be coming up again for at least another year.

Senate President Don Gaetz is setting up a new committee to examine Florida gambling which he says is both over- and under-regulated. But Gaetz is considered an opponent of gambling and he's in no hurry to pass a casino gambling bill.

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Black Friday
8:22 am
Fri November 23, 2012

It's Crazy Out There!

Shopping Smiles: Awaiting their chance at the bargains, shoppers took seats on the concrete at a Kendall BrandsMart USA store.
Credit Luisa Yanez / Miami Herald

South Florida shoppers wiped the turkey gravy off their lips and got in line to shop last night as Black Friday morphed backward into Thursday to kick off an ever-earlier Christmas shopping season.

Lines for the early deals began forming before sundown on Thanksgiving and the scenes at the big boxes and malls grew more hectic and even chaotic overnight.

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Self-Defense In Florida
9:30 am
Wed November 14, 2012

'Stand Your Ground' Law Gets A Pass From State Task Force

George Zimmerman: Awaiting trial in Stand Your Ground case.
Credit Pool photo

Florida's Stand Your Ground Task Force, empanelled to review and recommend adjustments to the state's controversial self-defense policy, has concluded the law is pretty much OK as it is.

The seven-year-old law allows people who feel their lives are in danger to respond to the threat with deadly force, even if they don't choose to run for help or safety. It's most notable application was in Seminole County where Miami-Dade County teen Trayvon Martin was shot to death during an encounter with armed neighborhood watch volunteer, George Zimmerman.

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The Election
9:30 am
Thu November 8, 2012

Miami-Dade Ballot Count Continues

In-Person Absentee: A elections official checks a voter's signature before accepting her absentee ballot.
Credit Rick Stone

Miami Dade County election workers are expecting to finish processing absentee ballots sometime today. Then, they'll be able to tell President Obama whether he also won Florida on election day.

The bags of thousands of ballots are the result of a series of voting snafus related to high turnout and restrictive voting rules that persuaded hordes of local voters to vote absentee rather than wait in line, possibly for hours, at  their polling stations.

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Early Voting
10:07 am
Sat November 3, 2012

Wilson's Voting Complaint Brings Federal Election Monitors To Miami-Dade

Word In His Ear: U. S. Rep. Frederica Wilson says GOP operatives are manipulating early voters to steal the election.
Credit Wilson web site

Election monitors from the U. S. Justice Department are on their way to Miami-Dade County to investigate reports of predatory voting "assistance" being offered by pro-Romney operatives to elderly voters in a north county precinct.

The Miami Herald reported this morning the complaints came from U. S. Rep. Frederica Wilson, whose district includes the polling station at North Miami Public Library:

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Election 2012
7:31 am
Fri November 2, 2012

Nope! Scott Won't Extend Early Voting

He Disagrees: Gov. Scott says early voting will end Saturday, period. Democrats want an extension to relieve the long lines.

Top state Democrats and the League of Women Voters have been pleading with Gov. Rick Scott  to extend the early voting to relieve the long lines and multi-hour waits. 

Last night, the governor said no.  "Early voting will end Saturday night," he announced to reporters at a fundraiser in the Alachua County town of Newberry. 

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Hialeah
10:30 am
Thu November 1, 2012

School Board Member Demands Police Files On Daughter's Cop-Involved Crash Death

Seeking Answers: Andrea Castillo, left, died after the collision with a Hialeah police car. Her mother, Susie Castillo, right, wants the department to release the files.
Credit Castillo family

It was her daughter who died in the car crash. And now, Miami-Dade County School Board member Susie Castillo wants Hialeah police to release its  files on the case.

So far, no response from the department. It was a police detective who drove the other car.

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Dance For Democracy
11:30 am
Fri October 26, 2012

How To Dance To The Preamble Of The United States Constitution

Urban Bush Women dance company rehearsal for Saturday's performance
Jordan Levin

The endless election season is enough to turn anyone cynical about politics. But for a group of female South Dade migrant workers, the idea of democracy is still a wonder.

They've been exploring it at a dance workshop sponsored by Miami-Dade College and the South Miami Dade Cultural Arts Center. It’s part of the “Are We Democracy” workshop in Cutler Bay. The program was created by the New York dance troupe Urban Bush Women. The idea is to make democracy personal and concrete for everyone.

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One Herald Plaza
10:06 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Preserve It? Or Knock It Down? Future of Miami Herald HQ May Be Decided Today

Herald on the Bay: A waterfront site meant economical newsprint delivery by barge.
Wikimedia

The other big debate today is about the Miami Herald's maybe historic (but maybe not) bay front headquarters and what its new owners, Genting Resorts World, will be allowed to do with it.

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35,000 Have Cast Ballots in Miami Dade
9:48 am
Thu October 18, 2012

500,000 Floridians Have Already Voted

Absentee ballots are pouring in across Florida.
Vaguely Artistic Flickr/Creative Commons

Election Day is less than three weeks away, but half a million votes are already in in Florida.

The Miami Herald reports the heaviest voting is taking place in Miami Dade, Tampa Bay and along the I-4 corridor.

About 500,000 Floridians have already cast absentee ballots, and 1.8 million more have requested these ballots be mailed to them.

Heavy interest in the presidential race is believed to be behind the rush to vote so soon.

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Election 2012
2:35 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

Politics Tuesday: Debates Matter, Especially in Florida

After tonight's presidential debate, the candidates come to Lynn University for the final debate.
klootch1 flickr

President Obama and Mitt Romney meet in their second presidential debate tonight in Hempstead, NY. Then, Boca Raton becomes the center of the political universe next Monday, October 22 when Lynn University hosts the final encounter between the two candidates before election day.

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Meningitis Death
7:23 am
Tue October 16, 2012

Miami-Dade Teen's Meningitis Death Triggers Public Health Alert

Mom texted her family, 'Ask about meningitis.' Hours later, her son was dead.
Credit Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

Questions arise after the sudden death of 18-year-old Christopher Valdes. Are there more bacterial meningitis cases in Miami-Dade County? And was this one misdiagnosed? Even after a specific plea to consider meningitis, doctors sent him home with painkillers and nausea pills. A few hours later, he was dead.  Christopher's father tells the Miami Herald, "I feel they were negligent."

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Capital Punishment
7:03 am
Mon October 15, 2012

Days From Death, Killer's Violent Psychosis Complicates Closure For Victims' Families

John Errol Ferguson, convicted of killing six, may have murdered twice as many.
Credit Florida Dept. of Corrections

John Errol Ferguson is scheduled for execution on Thursday for a six-victim murder that  horrified South Florida more than 35 years ago. At the time, as the Miami Herald's David Ovalle reminds us in this backgrounder, it was the worst mass murder in local history.  Is he fit to execute?

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Obama In Miami
8:16 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Swing State Life: Obama's On His Way To Make A Nightmare Of Miami Traffic

Here He Comes Again: A presidential motorcade much like this one that tied up Miami traffic in 2010 will inject itself into the Brickell area rush hour today.
Miami Herald

President Obama makes an appearance this afternoon at BankUnited Center on the University of Miami's Coral Gables campus. It's a grassroots rally with free admission for those who got advance tickets. Doors open at 1 p. m.

After that, Brickell Avenue will close at Southeast Seventh Street at 4 p. m. as the president makes his way to another event at the J. W. Marriott Marquis Hotel.

He's supposed to arrive at 5. But the Miami Herald warns downtown drivers need to make three and half hours worth of plans:

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