Political news

Two Liberals Vie For Seat Allen West Abandoned

Aug 4, 2012

As Republican U.S. Representative Allen West is hoping to be elected in a new district, two candidates from way over on the other side of the aisle are each hoping to fill the congressional seat he leaves behind. 

On a bright Saturday morning in a southeast Pompano Beach neighborhood, Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs -- all legs and sunglasses in a short green skirt and sleeveless blue t-shirt -- zips by at the controls of a two-wheeled Segway.

Courtesy of wilson.house.gov/

The upcoming Democratic primary for Florida’s 24th Congressional District pits relative political newcomer Dr. Rudolph Moise against longtime politician and current 17th Congressional District Rep. Frederica Wilson.

The 24th District – new, from the 2012 redistricting – stretches from downtown Miami through Overtown and Little Haiti all the way to Miramar. It’s roughly the same stretch that Wilson currently represents as the 17th  District.

When the Venezuelan Consulate in Miami was shut down in January of this year,  Venezuelan nationals in the region were left stranded, with no chance to participate in the democratic process.

Then came the reality of the logistical nightmare- 19,542 citizens registered in Miami (which are Venezuelans living in the states of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina) would have to mobilize and vote in New Orleans for the upcoming October elections.

Funds Slashed For People With Disabilities

May 10, 2012

A network of Florida facilities that supports people with disabilities will lose nearly $1.6 million this year – just as the social services provided by the network are needed most.


The murder of Trayvon Martin turned a spotlight on Florida's law that authorizes the use of deadly force in self-defense. The law has been widely cited as the reason why shooter George Zimmerman has not been arrested.

Marion Hammer helped craft the law. She’s the powerful lobbyist for the National Rifle Association in Florida. She’s also a grandmother who stands all of 4-feet-11-inches tall.

Escaping Florida's Medicaid Experiment

Mar 29, 2012

Last year, Florida legislators passed a bill privatizing the state’s Medicaid program, moving recipients into managed care plans – a model patterned on a pilot program that’s been running in five counties since 2006.

The statewide change still needs federal approval – and for one family already living in a pilot county, it’s a troubling prospect.

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.' "


“Thank you very much and I apologize that this has happened,” Governor Rick Scott told William Dillon as he signed a bill giving Dillon more than a million dollars.

Dillon spent 27 years in prison for a murder in Brevard County. He was set free in 2008 after DNA testing showed he wasn’t the killer.

It took more than three and a half years for the Legislature to pass a bill compensating Dillon.

How Bad Things Happen To Good Bills

Feb 26, 2012
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.

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.