politics

Politics
5:17 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Florida Lawmakers Try Again To End Permanent Alimony

Gov. Rick Scott vetoed an alimony reform bill passed by the Florida Legislature in 2013. Lawmakers chose not to pursue the issue in 2014 - an election year where fiscal concerns like tax cuts took center stage.
Credit WMNF Community Radio/flickr

The rules surrounding alimony are back before the Florida Legislature. It’s been almost two years since Governor Rick Scott vetoed a bill that would have stopped permanent spousal support and reopened divorce cases.

"What I was concerned about on that was the retroactive part of it, that we could go back and review prior agreements,” Scott told reporters after vetoing the bill passed by the Legislature in 2013.

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News
1:33 am
Wed February 25, 2015

Why Some South Florida Lawmakers Remain Opposed To Normalized Relations With Cuba

Movement toward ending the trade embargo with Cuba is continuing since the release of Alan Gross in December.
Credit Jeff Flake

Former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi recently brought a handful of Democrats with her to Cuba – a trip she calls a sign of “friendship” between the U.S. and the island nation that remains under a congressionally mandated embargo.

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Politics
4:18 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

Governor Rick Scott's Conundrum

Florida Gov. Rick Scott signs HB 7095, the pill mill bill, in Orlando, Florida, Friday, June 3, 2011. Looking on, from left: Joyce Dawley, FDLE; Phil Williams, Orlando MBI; Gerald Bailey, FDLE; Seminole sheriff Don Eslinger; Winter Park police chief Brett Railey, Rep. Scott Plakon.
Credit Joe Burbank / Orlando Sentinel

On the brink of this year's legislative session, Governor Rick Scott is dealing with a big thorn. Scott replaced former head of the Florida Department of Law Enforcement Gerald Bailey, saying Bailey left voluntarily.

Bailey says that's a lie. 

When Governor Scott's lawyer told Bailey to retire, Bailey did pack up his stuff and leave. A few days later, Scott said Bailey resigned. Bailey said that wasn't true and called the governor a liar in the public square. Things rapidly went down from there.

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Rights Restoration
6:10 pm
Sun February 22, 2015

Voting Rights Groups Want Constitutional Amendment To Make Voting Easier For Felons

It's estimated that more than 1.5 million Floridians can't vote because of their criminal pasts.
Credit Stuart Miles / freedigitalphotos.net

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Immigration
3:53 pm
Thu February 19, 2015

Study, Activists: Stop U.S. Deportations To Haiti

At a press conference Thursday, University of Miami Law Clinic and Haitian activists talk about a study that asks the U.S. to stop deportations to Haiti. Left to right: Geoffrey Loudin, UM law student, Edwidge Danticat, author, Marleine Bastien, activist.
Credit Nadege Green / WLRN

After the deadly 2010 Haiti earthquake, the United States halted all deportations to the island nation.

One year later, deportations resumed to Haiti amid a deadly cholera outbreak.

Wildrick Guerrier was one of 27 men deported to Haiti from the U.S. on Jan 20, 2011, according to a recently released study by human rights groups that documents the impact of returning deportees to a post-earthquake Haiti.

Guerrier developed cholera-like symptoms after being jailed in Haiti, a customary practice when deportees return. One week after his arrival, he died.

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Politics
7:43 am
Wed February 18, 2015

U.S. And Cuba Will Hold Second Round Of Normalization Talks In Washington

A Cuban and U.S. flag wave from the balcony of the Hotel Saratoga where a U.S. Congressional delegation is staying in Havana, Cuba, on Monday.
Ramon Espinosa AP

Originally published on Wed February 18, 2015 2:56 am

The United States and Cuba will hold a second round of talks aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations in Washington, next week.

State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki made the announcement during her daily press conference on Tuesday.

Reuters reports:

"The sides held historic negotiations in Havana last month and the next round is seen by U.S. officials as critical to fleshing out details on re-establishing ties.

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Politics
7:42 am
Wed February 18, 2015

PolitiFact Florida on Jeb and Hispanics; Alcee Hastings and Bears

Originally published on Wed March 4, 2015 4:05 pm

Jeb Bush is being touted in some quarters as the answer to the Republican Party's looming demographic problems. As their base in the white community shrinks in proportion to other ethnic groups, Bush's secret weapon could be his own  household: he has a Mexican wife and a son who identifies himself as Hispanic. Plus, Jeb speaks Spanish - fluently.

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Politics
7:39 am
Wed February 18, 2015

Reaction To Circuit Court Block On Obama Immigration Action

South Florida immigration groups gathered in Little Havana to protest against the Texas judge's decision to block President Obama's Executive Action.
Credit Lisann Ramos

A Texas Circuit Court Judge ruled against President Obama's executive action on immigration Monday night. This puts on hold immigration programs DAPA (Deferred Action for Parents) and the expansion of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals).

South Florida immigration groups aren't taking this decision lying down.

On Tuesday, several groups gathered to protest the judge's decision. DAPA and the DACA expansion have been put on hold,  but some undocumented Floridians are still optimistic. 

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Politics
5:08 pm
Wed February 11, 2015

Jeb Bush Email Release Includes Addresses And Social Security Numbers

Jeb Bush released thousands of email records from his days as Florida governor as he plans a run for president.
Credit NADA/flickr

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is considering a run for the White House. So he released 250,000 emails this week from his time as governor.

But Bush’s desire to be transparent may cause trouble for some of his former constituents.

Social security numbers have turned up in some of the newly released documents. Bush told reporters in Tallahassee the state was supposed to cover up such personal information.

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PolitiFact
10:41 am
Wed February 11, 2015

Fact-Checking Marco Rubio's Immigration Stance

Originally published on Wed February 11, 2015 7:37 am

Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio is still pondering a run for the White house.

And Democrats are already taking shots at Rubio -- especially on his big issue, immigration.

Some are claiming he has back tracked on favoring immigration reform that that includes a pathway to citizenship for people in this country illegally now.

One of those Democrats is the Democratic National Committee Chair -- Florida congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz.

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Budget
11:11 pm
Tue February 10, 2015

Obama's Budget Sparks Debate Among Florida Lawmakers

An undated photo of President Obama. Florida lawmakers in the House and Senate have some issues with the president's latest budget.
Credit Matt Ortega /Flickr

Budgets are said to embody values, and President Barack Obama’s budget surely shows his legislative values. The $3.9 trillion budget would levy new taxes on the wealthiest Americans to pay for things to help low and middle income families, like free community college.

That’s not sitting well with Republicans in the region. South Florida Congressman Carlos Curbelo says it’s a political document.

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Politics
1:25 am
Mon February 9, 2015

Florida Roundup: 6 Questions About U.S.-Cuba Policy Changes

Will diplomatic changes lead to a democratization on the island? Will the Cuban Adjustment Act be affected by the new policy? Panelists discuss these questions during the Florida Roundup.
Credit Don McDougall

Despite the president's diplomatic-restoration plans with Cuba moving through three days of Congressional hearings on Capitol Hill, discussions continue among South Floridians about parts of the policy. Whether changes to policy will influence change on the communist island is still up in the air. 

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Politics
5:00 pm
Thu February 5, 2015

New Cuba Policy Faces Attacks On Capitol Hill But Still Moving Ahead

Miami Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen speaks at a House Foreign Relations subcommittee hearing on human rights transgressions in Cuba.
Credit C-SPAN

Today concluded three days of U.S. congressional hearings on President Obama’s plan to restore diplomatic relations with communist Cuba. The administration faced tough skepticism – at times some outright hostility – but the new policy came out largely unscathed.

Senate and House committee members from both parties questioned President Obama’s efforts to normalize Cuba relations. Republican Florida Senator Marco Rubio warned Assistant U.S. Secretary of State Roberta Jacobson the policy change “will not be effective” in democratizing Cuba.

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Politics
10:53 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Medical Marijuana Rulemaking Continues

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 1:01 pm

Florida is getting closer to allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana.

But first, rules for how to grow the non-euphoric strain of the drug have to be hashed out — and that’s what a committee will be discussing over the next two days in Tallahassee.

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The Two-Way
10:14 am
Thu February 5, 2015

Argentina's President Will Write To Mia Farrow And Martina Navratilova About Scandal

Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will send letters of clarification to two celebrities, after they tweeted about the controversial death of prosecutor Alberto Nisman. Kirchner is seen here during her current trip to China.
Pool/Landov

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 3:47 pm

Responding to criticism over a scandal involving an alleged bombing cover-up and a prosecutor's death, Argentine President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner will write letters to Mia Farrow and Martina Navratilova, who tweeted about the case this week.

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