politics

Politics
8:11 am
Thu July 31, 2014

How A Miami Republican Almost Got Immigration Reform Passed

Mario Diaz-Balart speaks with the Miami Herald's editorial board about immigration reform on July 7, 2014.
Credit Emily Michot / Miami Herald staff

Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.) spent the whole year trying to convince fellow House Republicans to support comprehensive immigration reform.  

By going to many Republicans one by one, Diaz-Balart says he had solidified the votes to pass immigration reform for the first time since Ronald Regan was president.

He had found a simple solution that gained GOP support: Apply current paths to citizenship to every immigrant already in the country – but putting those who entered illegally at the back of the line instead of the front.

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Election
6:42 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

Libertarian Gubernatorial Candidate Adrian Wyllie To Tour Breweries Statewide

Credit Wikimedia Commons

Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Adrian Wyllie on Tuesday announced a month-long, 30-city campaign tour of some of Florida's local breweries.

Wyllie for Governor campaign manager Danielle Alexandre says they chose to tour breweries because "the craft-beer industry had come under fire with legislators in Tallahassee."

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Amendment Two
6:30 pm
Mon July 28, 2014

Pollsters Say Medical Marijuana Support Runs High In Most Florida Demographic Groups

GETTING WELL: Dorothy Short keeps symptoms at bay in this shot from the 1938 exploitation film "Reefer Madness." New polls show medical marijuana polling at around 88 percent with smaller majorities in favor of legal recreational pot.
Credit Reefer Madness/public domain

If the latest poll is believable, nearly nine out of 10 Floridians are prepared to vote "yes" on the medical marijuana Amendment 2 in November.

Quinnipiac pollsters in Florida surveyed 1,251 registered voters on the medical marijuana question. The result? Overwhelming support: about 88 percent in favor.

Voters younger than 30 were the most enthusiastic, with 95 percent in favor. Voters older than 65 were the least supportive -- but, even there, the yeses were 83 percent of the total.

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News
6:02 pm
Wed July 23, 2014

Same-Sex Couples Still Will Not Marry In The Keys

Plaintiffs Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones.
Credit Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Wedding bells are not ringing yet for same-sex couples in Monroe County.

Aaron Huntsman and William Lee Jones had hoped to apply for a marriage license on Tuesday after last week Monroe Circuit Judge Luis Garcia ruled in their favor seeking the right to marry. But State Attorney General Pam Bondi immediately appealed Garcia’s decision, automatically putting the process on hold.

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Politics
2:40 pm
Tue July 22, 2014

Sen. Dwight Bullard Calls On Gov. Rick Scott To Investigate Prison Deaths

It's been two years since Darren Rainey's death at Dade Correctional Institute.
Credit Bob Jagendorf / Wikimedia

Miami-Dade County officials are calling on Gov. Rick Scott to investigate the death of a mentally ill inmate at Dade Correctional Institute.

Darren Rainey was found dead two years ago in a closet-size shower stall. He had been put there and left for two hours in scalding-hot water as punishment.

Sen. Dwight Bullard organized a press conference at Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church this week to address law enforcement misdoings.

He says people deserve the right to live, whether they are inmates, individuals looking for federal assistance or workers.

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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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