Politics

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Gina Jordan/WLRN

House minority leader Mark Pafford, D-West Palm Beach, is finishing up his last regular legislative session.

He's leaving because of term limits. "This process is better when you have new minds and fresh ideas," Pafford says. For the record, he doesn't like term limits and calls his departure an "involuntary constitutional resignation." 

WLRN staff

Florida is one of 13 states with a closed primary. That means in order to take part in the March 15 primary one must be registered either as a Democrat or a Republican. 

We spoke with Christina White who is running the Miami-Dade County elections office through this month's primary before being named the official supervisor of the office later in May. She spoke about some of the changes voters can expect to find, that should make the process much smoother.

Caitlin Granfield / WLRN

The Senate sponsor of a controversial bill about the regulation of "fracking" in Florida withdrew it from consideration Tuesday, saying he didn't have the votes to get through a key committee.

Sen. Garrett Richter, R-Naples, told members of the Senate Appropriations Committee that the opposition of environmentalists played a key role in thwarting the measure (SB 318).

"Emotions tend to magnify the controversy," he said.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump notched big wins across the South on Super Tuesday as they extended their leads for their party's nomination.

On the Republican side, Trump has won seven states: Virginia, Arkansas, Alabama, Tennessee, Vermont, Massachusetts and Georgia. Sen. Ted Cruz won his home state of Texas, eked out a surprise victory in Oklahoma and won the caucuses in Alaska. Florida Sen. Marco Rubio finally got his first outright win by taking the Minnesota caucuses.

Collin Reid / AP via Miami Herald

Jamaica will soon have a new Prime Minister. In yesterday’s parliamentary elections, Andrew Holness and the Jamaican Labor Party scored an upset victory.

Which means they will now have to deal with the Caribbean country's heavy economic crisis.

Jamaica’s debt situation is among the world’s worst. To rein in the problem, current Prime Minister Portia Simpson-Miller has imposed strong economic austerity measures. Economists say she’s made progress. But political observers say Jamaicans are weary of the belt-tightening.

John O'Connor / WLRN

Buoyed by support from women and older voters, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds a comfortable lead over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary in Florida, a new poll shows.

The Quinnipiac University poll, released Friday morning, found that Clinton leads Sanders by a margin of 59 percent to 33 percent among likely Florida Democratic voters. The new numbers come less than three weeks before Florida's March 15 presidential primaries.

Valters Boze/flickr

A climate change litmus test has been circulating around Tallahassee. The man behind the test wants to get lawmakers and other state leaders on the record about their feelings regarding climate change and the risk to Florida.

Poll: Trump Stumps Rubio In Home State

Feb 25, 2016
Mandel Ngan / AFP/Getty Images

Three weeks away from the Florida primary, GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump is outstripping U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio among Republican voters in Rubio's home state, according to a new poll released Thursday.

The New York real-estate mogul holds a commanding 44-28 percent lead over Rubio among likely GOP primary voters, the Quinnipiac University poll found. U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas came in third with 12 percent, followed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich with 7 percent and physician Ben Carson with 4 percent.

Andrew Harnik / AP

South Carolina was supposed to be an opportunity to turn things around in the Jeb Bush campaign. Actually, it's probably more accurate to say that the Palmetto State was a last ditch effort to keep things alive.

There was a Politico report last week that said Bush staffers were already calling about other jobs. This was before Saturday's decision. When did this campaign really come to an end?

Flickr

The Internet allows savvy consumers to comparison shop for big ticket items. Those items may soon include medical procedures.

The Florida House is ready to consider a bill (HB 1175) that would enable consumers to see what hospitals around the state charge for similar surgeries and courses of treatment.

 

Ramon Espinosa / Associated Press

This week, the White House announced President Obama and the First Lady will visit Cuba.

The trip will include meetings with a Castro as well as with Cuban entrepreneurs.

The decision for a presidential trip to Cuba comes with all the historic overtones that have accompanied the changing relationship between America and Cuba since late 2014 when the president announced a new strategy of engagement. It also came with the familiar criticism of the efforts.  We discuss the history and controversy surrounding the trip.

Bush Engages New Hampshire Voters On Drug Addiction Issue

Feb 10, 2016
Miami Herald

 

BEDFORD, N.H – Drug abuse was a central topic among voters as the presidential candidates campaigned in New Hampshire in preparation for the state’s primary Tuesday, the first primary election in the nation.

The heroin epidemic and the crisis of addiction were a pressing issue for all candidates during their primary campaigns.

Rubio's Take On Social Security And Medicare

Feb 9, 2016
Amika Osumi

 

 

The first in the nation New Hampshire primary is Tuesday.  

 

During this week’s home stretch, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio gave roughly the same remarks at all his events.

 

However, at his rally in Derry, New Hampshire Rubio cracked a joke about his home state to bring up an issue.

 

“You might not know this, this is not well known,” he said. “In Florida there are a lot of people on Social Security and Medicare.”

 

The crowd laughed at his reference to his home state.

 

Jeb's Last Call To Voters

Feb 9, 2016
World Affairs Council of Philadelphia/Flickr

 

 

PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — Voting is under way in New Hampshire in the first in the nation presidential primary.  And candidates are still doing everything they can to get these highly valued votes.

 

Monday night, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush held his last Town Hall event in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. His final pitch started out by embracing the Bush dynasty.

 

MOLLY RILEY (Rubio), CHARLES KRUPA (Bush) / Miami Herald

Tuesday is the New Hampshire primary. Among Democrats, Sen. Bernie Sanders holds a significant lead over former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. On the other side, Donald Trump holds a double-digit lead, followed by Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. What do New Hampshire voters want and consider their top issues? How different are they from Florida voters or Iowa voters? Patricia Mazzei, political reporter for the Miami Herald, has been following the Rubio and Jeb Bush campaigns. 

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