politics

StateImpact Florida
8:01 am
Mon September 16, 2013

Florida Had Second-Largest 2013 Education Funding Increase, Study Says

Florida had the second-largest increase in education spending this year, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Originally published on Thu September 12, 2013 1:17 pm

Florida had the second-largest increase in education spending this year, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
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Environment
4:09 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Legislators Approve $2.8M Quck Fix For South Florida Waterways

Credit wikipedia.org

A short-term benefit package will flow toward South Florida following approval Thursday of the plan to improve the health of waterways harmed by releases from Lake Okeechobee.

The $2.77 million allocation approved by the Legislative Budget Commission is to improve pump stations, reducing the flow of polluted waters that have negatively affected the St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers.  The money will also go to a build a channel to aid the flow of water from the Florida Everglades across the barrier of the Tamiami Trail in Miami-Dade County.

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Environment
4:00 pm
Fri September 13, 2013

Florida Defends Land Sales; Sites In The Keys Removed From List

Credit Randy Grau / myfwc.com

Numerous parcels within the Florida Keys have been removed from the list of state-owned properties under consideration for a massive sale to help fund future land-conservation efforts.

The announcement Thursday from the state Department of Environmental Protection came as Susan Grandin, director of the Division of State Lands, defended the overall proposal to sell targeted acres of conservation lands to raise money for the purchase of more critical sites.

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The Florida Roundup
9:00 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Is Florida Back To Work Yet?

Florida's economy is recovering, and Governor Rick Scott says "conservative pro-growth policies" are the reason.
Credit Flickr

Touting his job-creation record, Governor Rick Scott says it’s time to cut taxes. But with questions about both the state's unemployment rate and education spending being lower than before the Great Recession, Democrats say the Governor’s priorities are off. 

In Miami-Dade, an active social media campaign and vocal supporters at town halls have saved public libraries from budget cuts - for now - after the county commission decided to raid its reserves. So was Mayor Carlos Gimenez wrong to declare that the "age of libraries was probably ending?"  

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Diplomacy
6:00 am
Fri September 13, 2013

Highlights From Miami's 1st Annual UK-US Penalty Kick Shootout

WLRN-Miami Herald reporter Kenny Malone shoots a penalty kick against U.K. goalkeeper Shane McKendrick.
Credit British Consulate General in Miami

America, it is with a heavy heart I must confess that I let you down last month. On August 29 at Miami-Dade’s Tropical Park, after nine grueling rounds, I lost a penalty kick shootout to the British Consul General in Miami by a score of 7-6.

Kevin McGurgan challenged me to a “five penalty shoot out” over Twitter in early August, apparently in response to a soccer-related story I had written.

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People
3:42 pm
Thu September 12, 2013

Ignash To Move Into Top Universities Post

Jan Ignash
Credit flbog.edu

Described as a "seasoned academic leader,'' longtime higher-education official Jan Ignash was named Thursday as interim chancellor of Florida's state university system.

The system's Board of Governors approved the appointment with little discussion, as Chancellor Frank Brogan prepares to leave his post Sept. 30 to begin a similar job in Pennsylvania. 

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Politics
11:38 am
Thu September 12, 2013

After Questions, Gov. Rick Scott Cancels $25,000 Alligator Hunt Fundraiser

Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks during a Walmart U.S. Manufacturing Summit at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida on Thursday, August 22, 2013.
Credit STEPHEN M. DOWELL / MCT

Gov. Rick Scott decided that using live alligators as fundraising bait wasn’t such a great idea after all.

Without explanation, Scott’s re-election campaign on Tuesday abruptly called off a planned “private gator hunt” in New Smyrna Beach on Oct. 18 for donors willing to pay $25,000 a head. The invitations said: “Space is limited.”

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Flawed But Fabulous
7:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Why The Arrest Of 3 South Florida Mayors Is Our Fault

Disgraced Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman in court.
Credit CBS4

Three South Florida mayors were accused of corruption in August, offering up a salient, cautionary tale for anyone who puts their faith in Miami's elected officials. The mayors from Sweetwater, Miami Lakes, and Homestead represent a triumvirate of questionable behavior, a triple threat of public office tomfoolery and a real world trifecta of tropical sleaze.

I ran an informal poll of friends and acquaintances and the major takeaway and dominant response is that nobody is shocked. This is where we are in Miami politics:

"I'm not surprised."

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Politics
3:37 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Former South Florida Congressman Shaw Dies After Battle With Cancer

Former U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw, a longtime fixture in South Florida politics who served as mayor of Fort Lauderdale before heading to a 26-year career in Washington, died Tuesday after a battle with lung cancer.

Shaw, a Republican who served a mostly moderate coastal district from 1981 to 2007, was 74.

Shaw was swept into the House during the 1980 election cycle dominated by President Ronald Reagan unseating President Jimmy Carter, and he was part of the GOP's Contract with America that wrested control of Congress from the Democrats in 1994.

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StateImpact Florida
2:39 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

A Q & A With House Speaker Will Weatherford

House Speaker Will Weatherford, a Republican, takes questions from the Suncoast Tiger Bay civic club.

Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:16 pm

House Speaker Will Weatherford, a Republican, takes questions from the Suncoast Tiger Bay civic club.

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Politics
12:18 pm
Wed September 11, 2013

Gov. Scott Launches Tax Cut Tour In West Palm Beach

Gov. Rick Scott addresses an audience at the Palm Beach County Convention Center during the kick-off of his It's Your Money tour.
Credit C. DiMattei

“It’s your money, it’s no one else’s money," said Governor Rick Scott to an audience at the Palm Beach County Convention Center. “So we have to spend it in a manner that makes sense.”

The governor launched his “It’s Your Money” tour in West Palm Beach on Tuesday, just days after announcing his plans to cut taxes and fees by $500 million in the 2014 proposed budget.

The governor’s office says the tour offers a chance for Floridians to discuss taxes they want to see reduced.

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Americas
10:45 am
Fri September 6, 2013

The Other G-20 Drama: Obama And Brazilian President Rousseff

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff attends the first working meeting of the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Thursday.
Handout Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 7:49 pm

While everyone has been focused on Syria, including the dramatic meeting of two world leaders at odds over the situation, there was another bit of drama unfolding Thursday at the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia:

President Obama was late to dinner apparently because he was busy trying to smooth over a conflict with Brazil.

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Civil Rights
2:46 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

How The March On Washington Lives On 50 Years Later For Those Who Weren't There

(Left to right) Tsitsi Wakhisi, Brenda Howard and Arberdella White-Davis.
Credit Tsitsi Wakhisi

For the hundreds of thousands of people who participated in the 1963 March on Washington, many can recount the moving moments of that day.

But for a particular group of four ladies, the impact of the event is still profoundly felt decades later. All were young teens at the time of Martin Luther King’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech, but didn’t attend the march.

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Politics
12:05 pm
Thu September 5, 2013

Dancing With The Dictators: Kanye West Joins The Club

Kanye West reportedly performed at a wedding last Saturday for the grandson of Kazakhstan's authoritarian President Nursultan Nazarbayev.
Francois Mori AP

Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 1:04 pm

Rapper Kanye West got paid a reported $3 million to perform at the wedding of the grandson of Kazakhstan's autocratic President Nursultan Nazarbayev. Video of last Saturday's performance was posted on Instagram — and resulted in a flood of criticism.

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Community Contributor
7:00 am
Thu September 5, 2013

Opinion: Sex Offense Recidivism Is Rare, Shouldn't Determine Policy

A total of 594 sex offenders were convicted for committing new sex crimes after being screened and then released by the state. To find out more, go to http://www.sunsentinel.com/SexPredators
Credit Sun Sentinel

Editor's Note: This is a community contributor post.  The views expressed here are those of the author and not WLRN or WLRN-Miami Herald News.  

The crimes featured in a recent Sun Sentinel investigation were tragic. The newspaper found that in Florida, for every one sex offender who was committed to a sex predator treatment center, “nearly two others were released and then arrested on a sex charge.”

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