politics

The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri September 21, 2012

Panel Discusses Gov. Scott's Economic Policy

Romey on Univision TV

New figures show incomes in the South Florida region have dropped, and Florida's unemployment figure of 8.8% remains unchanged.  Has Governor Rick Scott's economic policy made any difference?  Meanwhile, Mitt Romney looks to recover from gaffes about the 47% made at a Boca Raton fundraiser. Both he and Barack Obama spoke at Univision forums in Miami to appeal to Hispanic voters.  Plus: after testimony by victims' families, will a state task force recommend changes to the Stand Your Ground law?

Romney in Miami
9:09 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

In Miami, Romney Connects With His Segment Of Latinos

Hundreds braved punishing heat and humidity at El Palacio de los Jugos for a glimpse of Mitt Romney.
Credit Rick Stone / WLRN

Mitt Romey made a stop at El Palacio de los Jugos, or the Palace of Juice, to reach out to Republican Latinos.

El Palacio is a popular Latino spot located on Coral Way in Miami.

Romney was met with an excited crowd at the event. However, experts will probably tell you that this isn't exactly a sign that Romney has a lock on the Hispanic vote.

In fact, polling shows that he doesn’t. With Latinos as a whole, Romney is doing best with South Florida's Cuban Republicans.

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Dirty Politics
9:06 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Campaign For State House Seat In Miami Becomes Ugly Personal Fight

Credit MyFloridaHouse.gov

One of the ugliest primary races in the state is going on here in South Florida.

Gus Barreiro and Alex De la Portilla, both former Republican state lawmakers, are battling it out for a Florida House seat in Miami.

Their race has become a messy fight with a series of slurs against each man’s moral character.

They also have quite a bit in common.

Both men come from political families, as well as a past as state lawmakers in the Florida Legislature. 

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Early Voting
8:32 pm
Wed September 19, 2012

Florida Starts Early Voting With Dual Election Laws

Early voters line up in Aventura, Nov. 2008
digitalshaman/flickr

Monroe County, and four other Florida counties,  have begun early voting for the August 14th primary. All five are protected by the 1965 Voting Rights Act. This means that any new voting law there must be cleared by the federal government.

Last year, state lawmakers passed a law reducing the number of early voting days.

“Until this year, the state has refrained from implementing those changes statewide until it had pre-clearance to do so in the five covered counties,” explains Michael Masinter, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University.

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Topical Currents
1:00 pm
Wed September 12, 2012

Cannabis And The New Green Revolution

09/12/12 - Wednesday's Topical Currents looks at the decades old question of marijuana decriminalization with journalist and author Doug Fine.  Proponents of loosening laws governing cannabis point to economics: the sale value of legal and illegally grown pot is greater than revenues from corn and wheat. The cost of policing, prosecuting and incarceration of violators is staggering.  Doug Fine has written, Too High To Fail: Cannabis And The New Green Revolution

Latin America Politics
2:20 pm
Wed August 15, 2012

Chavez Faces Toughest Test In Venezuela Election

After a battle with an undisclosed form of cancer, Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has pronounced himself healthy enough for reelection.
Credit cc-by Valter Campanato - Agencia Brasil.

Forget the US election. 

There may be an even more important presidential vote taking place in Venezuela this fall. 

Miami Herald South America bureau chief Jim Wyss updates WLRN's Phil Latzman on Hugo Chavez's fight to keep his job against upstart opponent Henrique Capriles. Also discussed: political strife in Colombia and Latin American countries tasting rare Olympic glory during the Summer Games in London.  

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Congressional Primary
9:26 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Kristin Jacobs Loses Congressional Primary

Environmentalist Kristin Jacobs says her outfit tonight represents the ocean and the earth.
Sarah Gonzalez WLRN-Miami Herald

Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs lost last night in the Congressional primary. 

She was hoping to become the Democratic nominee for District 22, which covers Broward and Palm Beach counties. The seat was  left vacant when Republican Rep. Allen West changed districts.

During her concession speech, Jacobs thanked the crowd of about 50 for believing in her. 

"I'm so blessed to have been a part of it," Jacobs said. "I think it was the most wonderful thing I've ever tried to do, and I'm sad about not winning but energized by the future."

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Miami-Dade Mayoral Election
9:07 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Gimenez Wins Another Term As Miami-Dade Mayor

Credit Ashley Lopez / WLRN

Tuesday’s race for Miami-Dade County Mayor ended on odd terms.

Even though Mayor Carlos Gimenez won by a significant margin, his challenger refused to concede.

Mayor Gimenez’s campaign spent hours at the Doubletree hotel near the airport waiting for his opponent to throw in the towel-- but that never happened.

Gimenez was leading in his reelection race by almost 25 percentage points all night and it was looking like the election was going to be called early for Gimenez, but challenger Joe Martinez told his supporters at the 94th Aerosquadron "this ain't over."

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Politics
12:00 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Elections in Palm Beach County: The “Butterfly Ballot” Effect

Flickr/bkusler

Throughout every election cycle, it’s fair to say that there’s more nail-biting in Palm Beach County than in any voting district in the country. For nearly 12 years, a reputation for botched elections has clung to the county like a hanging chad.

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State Integrity Investigation
7:46 am
Mon March 19, 2012

State Integrity Investigation Day 1: Florida Politics Gets A 'C-'

Florida Sen. Chris Smith, D-Ft. Lauderdale, debates Senate Bill 146.
Credit Photo courtesy of senatorchrissmith.com

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.' "

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Session 2012
4:03 pm
Sun February 26, 2012

How Bad Things Happen To Good Bills

Sisterhood's Marcia Olivo at S. B. 1440's high water mark, a committee vote in favor
Credit Rick Stone

TALLAHASSEE-- At the midpoint of the legislative session,  an organization of domestic violence opponents  drove hopefully to the state capital  from Miami for the first committee hearing on a bill they were supporting.  The legislation would allow domestic violence victims who are being stalked at work to quit their jobs and still qualify for unemployment.

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Prison Privatization
2:24 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

How Florida Prison Reform Could Impact Small Town Jobs

In Monticello, jobs are on the line.
Rick Stone

MONTICELLO, Fl. -- Late in the 1980s, crime was rising, prisons were filling up and Florida needed new places to build prisons. But a grim penitentiary full of criminals was a gift that few counties wanted back then.  

Jefferson County, just east of Tallahassee, was different. Then, as now, under populated and desperately poor, it saw an opportunity and it did something unusual. 

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Prison Privatization
2:15 pm
Tue January 31, 2012

Republican Dissenters Kill Prison Privatization

Privatization would have cost thousands of jobs
mstephens7 on flickr

State senators decided by two votes last night to kill a massive privatization program designed to reduce state prison costs by seven percent a year.  Nine Republicans joined the Democratic minority to kill the bill, which had divided the Senate and called into question the leadership of Senate President Mike Haridopolos.

The privatization scheme called for turning 28 southern Florida institutions over to private contractors, eliminating thousands of jobs and reducing the state prison budget by an estimated seven percent.

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Students With Disabilities
12:00 am
Wed December 14, 2011

No Choice: Florida Charter Schools Failing To Serve Students With Disabilities

Tres Whitlock, 17, has been trying to enroll in a Hillsborough County charter school, but has yet to enroll because of concerns about the therapy and services he needs.

Tres Whitlock is stuck in a public school where he feels ignored. He wants out.

The 17-year-old would-be video game designer researched his options online and found his perfect match – Pivot Charter School.

“It’s computer-based and I think I will do better,” he says.

But when Whitlock tried to enroll in the school he found a series of barriers in his way.

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Haiti Earthquake
12:52 pm
Thu January 13, 2011

A Journalist Turns His Mic On Haiti's Grievances

One of the aftereffects of the earthquake in Haiti is that local journalists have found new freedom. Many are now airing the kinds of political commentary and criticism that used to invite violence and censure– even death.

The shift comes across loud and clear on Haiti’s airwaves, where most people get their news.

Jennifer Maloney brings us the story of Haitian radio host and reporter Makenson Remy, known to listeners as “Four-by-Four” because of his rugged brand of go-anywhere reporting.

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