Politics

Venezuela
6:43 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Venezuelan Government Releases Photos Of Chávez In Cuba, Says He's On Breathing Tube

A handout picture made available Friday by the Venezuelan Ministry of Communications and Information shows Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez and his daughters Rosa Virginia (right) and Maria Gabriela reading an edition of Cuban daily Granma, as he recovers from cancer surgery. It was reportedly taken on Thursday.
EPA /LANDOV

Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 1:34 pm

The Venezuelan government has released photographs of ailing President Hugo Chávez, who has not made a public appearance since he left for Cuba in December.

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Community Contributor
6:34 am
Mon February 18, 2013

Transparency 2.0, Florida's $5 million Public Access System, Simply Waits To Be Turned On

Gov. Scott has yet to activate a website meant to make state government more transparent.
Credit Photo courtesy of the governor's office

Florida taxpayers have spent $5 million on a budget transparency portal called Transparency 2.0 that promised to herald a new era for citizen access to the state’s informational stores.

Currently, questions remain as to whether the public will ever be able to use the program, which is ready to go but has sat unused for a year and a half.

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Politics
9:00 am
Sun February 17, 2013

Proposed Bill Would Protect LGBT Floridians Against Discrimination

A bill filed Thursday would prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. The Florida Civil Rights Act already bans discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age and marital status.
Credit European Parliament / Flickr

Some two dozen states ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity. Florida isn’t one of them.

According to News Service of Florida, however, a bill filed in the House Thursday hopes to change that:

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Marco Rubio's House
3:06 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

Rubio On The Move, At Least Once The House Sells

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., works in his Capitol Hill office on Feb. 7.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 6:28 pm

Remember Sen. Marco Rubio's paean to his Florida neighborhood in giving the Republican response to the State of the Union address?

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Red Light Cameras On School Buses?
12:30 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

This Bill Could Mean Tickets From School Buses

Rep. Ed Hooper, R-Clearwater filed a bill in the House on Tuesday that would allow school districts to install cameras on school buses. This is an attempt to identify drivers who illegally pass buses when children are boarding.
Credit Arvind Balaraman / freedigitalphotos.net

A familiar yellow school bus slows to pick up a group of giddy children at the corner. Florida drivers, perhaps caught in the morning rush to work, know they’re supposed to stop. After all, the bus’s retractable red stop sign and flashing lights serve as glaring reminders. But are motorists actually following the law?

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The Florida Roundup
12:00 pm
Fri February 15, 2013

The State Of Florida's Union: Thirsty Marco Rubio And Spanish As A Second Language

Although Doral's City Council unanimously rejected the largely symbolic proposal to officially make Spanish its second language, Spanish is often a necessity for living in South Florida.
Credit Sparkzy

On the Florida Roundup, we take a look at the week in news in our region and state:

  • As President Obama addressed the Congress and the nation, how is the state of Florida’s union?  From voting and gun rights to climate change, we take a look at what resonated here from the President’s speech.
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Town Hall on Session 2013
12:00 pm
Thu February 14, 2013

Veteran Tallahassee Lobbyist Says His Profession Gets A Bad Rap

Carl Adams, co-founder of the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists, says that the biggest priority for state lawmakers should be "to re-establish the public perception of the process as fair, transparent and responsible."

The job of lobbyists is to improve the image of their clients.  But lobbyists themselves could use some PR.

Carl Adams, who was a Tallahassee lobbyist for 35 years and founded the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists, thinks that the system - campaign finance laws and the prohibition on private deliberation - is flawed, not the people.   

We asked Adams why his profession is so maligned. 

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Florida Politics
11:00 am
Thu February 14, 2013

As National Proxy, Florida's A State To Watch

WATCHING FLORIDA: Why? Because our personalities, trends and demographics so closely follow the country's.

Florida has always been a state to watch, if only as a guilty pleasure or perhaps in self-defense. But some major political stars are aligning and the pundits are beginning to agree, Florida will really be a State To Watch from now at least through the 2016 election.

The personalities-of-the moment are here. The game-changing demographics are here. And the Florida stage is set for epic -- and deeply symbolic -- political confrontations.

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Governor's Race
10:00 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Candidacies On Hold As Democrats Wonder: What Will Alex Sink Do? Or Charlie Crist?

AWAITING ALEX SINK'S DECISION: Nan Rich, Dan Gelber, Jack Seiler, Manny Diaz and Buddy Dyer.

Former state Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink now has what she desperately needed in 2012 when she ran for governor against Rick Scott and lost: name recognition.

And that may be why a handful of the state's top Democrats are waiting to see what Sink will do in 2014 before they decide to become candidates for governor. Sink didn't run an impressive campaign but she didn't lose by much and the thinking is that a little more name recognition might have made the difference.

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Measuring Success
7:00 am
Thu February 14, 2013

Gov. Rick Scott's 'Jobs, Jobs, Jobs' Agenda Coming Under Fire

Last week, watchdog group Integrity Florida released a report that concluded questionable bonuses, conflicts of interest and a 'pay to play' mentality was hampering the efforts of Enterprise Florida, Florida's public-private job development agency. The increased scrutiny of what the state pays to lure companies to Florida come as lawmakers start to lay the foundation for the coming year's budget, against a backdrop of the governor's request for more spending on economic development.
Credit Integrity Florida

  Gov. Rick Scott's aggressive economic development effort got more legislative pushback Tuesday as budget committees in both chambers questioned the direction, expense and oversight of the governor's "jobs, jobs, jobs" agenda.

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Latin America
3:23 pm
Wed February 13, 2013

Will A New Secretary Of State Put A New Focus On Latin America And The Caribbean?

Jose W. Fernandez, assistant Secretary of State for Economic Affairs.
Credit U. S. State Dept.

Wednesdays on WLRN, we discuss issues related to Latin American and the Caribbean. Today: how a transition at the top of the U. S.  State Dept. might be felt in the hemisphere.

Some have said the Obama Administration has ignored that part of the world as it tried to put out other fires in the President's first term.

Now that former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been succeeded by John Kerry, might things be different?

Phil Latzman spoke with assistant Secretary of State for Economic and Business Affairs, Jose Fernandez about the possibilities.

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Politics
7:36 am
Wed February 13, 2013

Transcript: Marco Rubio's Response To State Of The Union Address

Originally published on Wed February 13, 2013 1:06 am

  • Listen to Sen. Marco Rubio's Response

Full text of the GOP response to President Obama's State of the Union address as prepared for delivery and given by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.):

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Climate Change State of the Union
3:00 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

The State Of The Union Of Climate Change: How Will Obama Address Global Warming?

Climate change watchdogs want to know how Obama will weigh in on the issue of global warming.
Credit Progress Ohio / Flickr Creative Commons

On Tuesday night, President Barack Obama will give the first State of the Union address of his second term. Among the many issues that impact South Floridians -- jobs, immigration reform, Medicare -- climate change is one of the hot-button topics expected to make the agenda. 

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Sun Life Stadium Renovation
2:15 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

Miami-Dade Voters May Stand Between Dolphins And Public Funds

Miami Dolphins CEO Mike Dee (at the podium) addresses reporters Monday.
Credit Marva Hinton / WLRN

Miami-Dade voters could decide if public funds are used to renovate Sun Life Stadium. The county mayor and the CEO of the  Miami Dolphins held a joint news conference Monday to discuss the proposal. 

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Politics
12:00 pm
Mon February 11, 2013

State Proposes Changes To Keep Children With 'Highly Complex Medical Needs' At Home

After heavy scrutiny, the state plans to change the way it determines the home-based services that will be provided to children with highly complex medical needs. The proposed changes, which would affect about 1,600 children a year, are expected to take effect within three months.
Credit Sura Nualpradid / freedigitalphotos.net

Trying to prevent what one official described as "white-knuckle moments" for families, the state plans to change the way it determines the home-based services that will be provided to children with highly complex medical needs.

The proposed changes, which will be published Monday, include assigning care coordinators for all children who receive private-duty nursing services through the Medicaid program. The state Agency for Health Care Administration says the move is designed to make sure children have full access to services at home and in their communities.

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