politics

The Governor's Race
6:19 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Gov. Rick Scott Wants Job Training, Teacher Internships To Develop STEM Workers

Gov. Rick Scott stopped in Boca Raton on July 21 to talk about his ideas for encouraging more students into science, technology, engineering and math jobs.
Credit John O'Connor / WLRN

Gov. Rick Scott spent Monday touring high-tech South Florida companies looking to hire.

He wants to make sure firms like Boca Raton's Modernizing Medicine, which designs electronic medical record systems, have workers ready.

“I’ve got kids and even... grandkids – the jobs of the future are going to be science, technology, engineering and math-related," said Scott, a Republican. "So we need to do workforce training in those areas.”

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Politics
5:58 pm
Fri July 18, 2014

Miami Shores Symbolic Gay Marriage Vote Fails

Credit Peetje2 / Creative Commons/Flickr

Earlier this week, a municipality in South Florida held a symbolic vote to show support for gay marriage.

That vote failed.

In a 3-to-2 vote, the Village of Miami Shores decided not to support a statewide law that would allow gays to marry anywhere in Florida.

Jesse Walters, vice mayor of Miami Shores, proposed the resolution at a recent council meeting.

"Frankly," he says, "I think it's a black eye for the village, it's an embarrassment. It's a town that has a lot of gay and lesbian people."

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Marriage Equality
12:51 am
Fri July 18, 2014

Despite Key West's Gay-Friendly History, Gay Marriage Took This Long

John Huntsman, left, William Lee Jones, center, celebrate at a party in Key West. Doug Mayberry, right, was one of the organizers.
Credit Credit Nancy Klingener / WLRN

  It only took a few hours for the state Attorney General’s office to appeal Thursday’s Monroe County ruling declaring Florida’s ban on same sex marriage unconstitutional. The appeal means any marriage licenses for gay couples are put on hold.

But Key Westers have been celebrating the decision anyway, calling it a milestone for the island city.

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News
1:22 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Attorney General Files Notice Of Appeal In Monroe County Gay Marriage Approval

Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones at home with their dogs Riddick and Kira.
Credit Kenne Tucker / Facebook

Monroe Circuit Judge Luis Garcia declared Florida's ban on gay marriage unconstitutional Thursday afternoon. He ruled in favor of Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones, a same-sex couple seeking to marry -- but they will only be allowed to do so after Tuesday, July 22.

Later on Thursday afternoon, the office of Attorney General Pam Bondi filed a notice of appeal against Judge Garcia's decision.

The judge compared the gay-marriage ban to earlier laws that prevented women from voting, banned interracial marriages and imprisoned Japanese Americans during World War II.

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Politics
11:35 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Charlie Crist Announces Running Mate From Miami

Charlie Crist announced Miami-Dade Democratic Party chair Annette Taddeo-Goldstein will be his running mate.
Credit Charlie Crist Facebook

When Charlie Crist stopped at a converted warehouse for Miami entrepreneurs, 12-year-old Andrew Castro handed him a miniature state of Florida produced by a 3-D printer.

“A little Florida! Thank you," Crist said.

Crist was at LAB Miami Thursday morning because he thinks another South Floridian can help hand him the whole state this fall -- Annette Taddeo-Goldstein.

Taddeo-Goldstein was born in Colombia, is chairman of the Miami-Dade County Democratic Party and owns a translation business. She unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2008.

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Politics
6:48 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Study: Black Women Underepresented At All Levels Of Political Office

Credit wilson.house.gov

  A recent study found black women are underrepresented at all levels of politics — federal, state and local government.

Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics and Higher Heights for America, a national nonprofit that seeks to elevate the voice of black women in politics, conducted the study. The group argues black women face distinct challenges when running for political office and are more like to be discouraged from running than their white counterparts or black men.

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News
3:47 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

Climate Change: Environmental Group Asks "What's Your Plan, Gov?"

The NRDC thinks a shift away from fossil fuels and toward clean energy is the best way to protect Florida from climate change.
Credit Ben Grantham/Flickr

The federal government released the third National Climate Assessment in May.

The report found that global sea level rose about eight inches in the last century and is projected to rise between one and four feet this century. 

It names Miami as one of the cities most vulnerable to severe damage from rising sea levels. 

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Local Elections
1:14 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Former North Miami Mayor Awaiting Trial For Fraud Endorses Candidate

From left to right: Jean Marcellus, Kevin Burns and Dr. Smith Joseph

North Miami’s elections are typically drama-filled.

The upcoming mayoral election, triggered after former mayor Lucie Tondreau was arrested by federal agents and removed from office, is no different.

Three candidates are vying to replace Tondreau: Jean Rodrigue Marcellus, a former city councilman, Kevin Burns, a former two-term mayor and Dr. Smith Joseph, a local physician. All three men are familiar faces to voters; they ran for mayor last election against Tondreau.

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The Florida Roundup
10:55 am
Fri July 11, 2014

The Florida Roundup: The Problems In Prisons

Inmate Darren Rainey, left, died in an excruciatingly hot shower as alleged punishment for defecating in his cell. A whistleblower suit filed this week concerns the death of inmate Randall Jordan-Aparo, right, imprisoned for credit card fraud and drug charges, who died after being repeatedly gassed by prison guards.

 

 

It has been two years since the death of a mentally ill prison inmate in a scalding-hot shower. No one has been charged in that death; the two officers who allegedly punished him with the shower are still working at the facility. The head of the corrections department says he's frustrated that an investigation isn't finished yet. But many question why his outrage about the death comes only now.

Miami-Dade’s mayor proposes a budget keeping the county tax rates steady but could cut jobs and hours for some county services.

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Politics
5:43 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

In Congress, Road To Funding Highways Jammed

Credit Florida State Archives

  The federal pot of money preserving local roads and bridges may soon be empty, yet lawmakers on Capitol Hill are miles apart on a solution. Not only local infrastructure but the overall economy is sure to feel the impact.

While increasingly fuel-efficient cars and trucks are easier on the wallet and the environment, they may prove terrible for the asphalt and steel beams on which they ride. Consuming less gas means fewer gas taxes. The federal Highway Trust Fund relies on an 18 cent gas tax on every gallon of regular. For diesel fuel that tax is 24 cents per gallon.

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SCOTUS
3:26 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Supreme Court Decision Does Not Slow Down Hobby Lobby's Move Into South Florida

Credit Nicholas Eckhart / Flickr

It's business as usual for a national craft and hobby store at the center of a national debate over birth control and religious freedom.

The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 that for-profit companies like Hobby Lobby are not required to provide employees coverage for birth control if it conflicts with the owners' religious beliefs. 

Opponents of the the decision have protested at some of the chain's 600 locations nationwide. 

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What's The Story?
1:19 am
Thu July 10, 2014

The Power Of The Diaz-Balart Name, From Cuba To Miami

Three generations of Diaz-Balarts in political office: from left, grandfather Rafael was a mayor and legislator in Cuba; father Rafael was also in the legislature and an undersecretary of the interior in Cuba; and Lincoln and Mario have both served in the state legislature and U.S. Congress.
Credit Miami Herald, Mario Diaz-Balart, Lincoln Diaz-Balart

 

Take our quiz on South Florida's political families.  

When immigrants leave their country, they usually leave their connections and name recognition behind. But that doesn’t apply to Cubans in South Florida, which is home to almost half of the U.S. Cuban population.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Ralph Nader: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State

Unstoppable: The Emerging Left-Right Alliance to Dismantle the Corporate State
nader.org/books/unstoppable

07/07/14 - Monday’s Topical Currents delves into our fractious politics and the need for convergent action if we are to reassert the will of the people. Attorney, author, political activist, and four-time presidential candidate, Ralph Nader has a new book that lays out the path forward.

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Campaign
3:41 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

"Nan Van" Follows Grassroots Gubernatorial Candidate

Former state senator Nan Rich speaks with supporters at a local campaign stop.
Credit Michael Spooneybarger / Miami Herald

Nan Rich is a long way from home.

In this ultraconservative city on the western edge of the Florida Panhandle, the Democratic candidate for governor is more than 650 miles from her base of support in left-leaning Broward County.

Any farther and she would be in Alabama.

Rich is keenly aware of the distance as she settles in for a meet and greet at a trendy restaurant that serves both sushi and Southern comfort food. Winning votes here is a long shot. But so is winning the governor’s mansion.

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Governor's Race
5:39 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Charlie Crist Says He'll Release Nearly 25 Years Of Tax Returns

Charlie Crist talks politics at the offices of the United Teachers of Dade.
Credit Sammy Mack / WLRN

Charlie Crist announced he’ll release his tax returns going back nearly 25 years.

“I would challenge Rick Scott to do the same,” said Crist at an event on Thursday.

Crist is running to be the democratic challenger to Gov. Rick Scott in November. Last week, Scott released three years of tax returns for himself and his wife. Republicans had been calling on Crist to submit his financial information, too.

While Crist’s disclosure goes back much further than Scott’s, Crist drew the line at including his wife’s information.

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