Politics

Amendment One
6:21 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

On Environmental Funding In Florida's Constitution, Support Not Partisan

Amendment One is officially known as the Florida Water and Land Conservation Initiative. Environmental preservation under the amendment would be funded for the next 20 years by 33 percent of the revenue from a real estate transaction fee known as a doc stamp.
Credit Emma_L_M/flickr

Florida voters will decide whether environmental preservation becomes part of the state Constitution. Amendment 1 is a citizens’ initiative born from nearly a million petition signatures.

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Politics
4:09 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Dream Defenders Get Attention With Bulletproof Vest Campaign

The #VestOrVote campaign features a billboard of a child wearing a bulletproof vest. The ad says the "Dream Vest" can be purchased by calling a toll-free number or visiting DreamDefenders.org. The vest isn't really for sale. Callers and web visitors are given more information about the Dream Defenders.
Credit DreamDefenders.org

The activist group Dream Defenders was founded in Florida two and a half years ago after the shooting death of Trayvon Martin in Sanford.

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Ballot Suit
4:21 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Groups Settle Lawsuit Over Broward County Ballots

The card Broward County voters will receive reminding them to vote on every ballot item.
Credit John O'Connor / WLRN

A group challenging a Broward County ballot design they say is confusing has settled a lawsuit with the county’s Supervisor of Elections.

Now, Broward County voters will receive a bright yellow card when they go to cast their votes. The card reminds voters they have a choice on four separate ballot questions on the second page of the ballot, not three.

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Politics
3:04 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Scott Defends Order on Ebola Monitoring

Gov. Rick Scott

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 9:16 am

Gov. Rick Scott defended his decision to monitor anyone coming from Ebola-affected countries, saying Monday it's "the right thing to do" to protect Floridians. 

Appearing beside New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at a campaign event in Wellington, Scott said his executive order would ensure that the state wards off an outbreak and goes beyond actions by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

"I want to make sure that ... we don't do what CDC did — they got behind," he said. "We're not going to get behind. We're going to be prepared."

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Politics
2:52 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Gov. Scott Tries to Drive Up Turnout in Bus Tour of State

Governor Rick Scott urges attendees of a rally in Gainesville to vote early and to encourage others to do the same. The stop was one of many on a "Get Out the Early Vote" bus tour on October 28th

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 11:33 am

He seemed more at ease here, speaking to a crowd of about 100 to 150 supporters, than he does in major speeches or even press conferences in Tallahassee. Gov. Rick Scott --- light blue shirt sleeves rolled up --- implored people to vote, early if possible.

"I tell people all the time, this election is not about Charlie Crist or Rick Scott," he said Tuesday. "It's about you. What do you want? Do you want more jobs, or do you want less jobs?"

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Politics & Beer
4:39 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Lawsuit Filed In Federal Court Against Florida's Beer Growler Ban

Originally published on Tue October 28, 2014 3:50 pm

 A craft brewery on the Treasure Coast is fighting Florida's growler ban in federal court. The owners, along with a national legal group, filed a civil rights lawsuit Tuesday with the U.S. District Court in Fort Pierce.

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Souls To The Polls
4:48 pm
Mon October 27, 2014

Rally Urges Miami-Dade Minorities To Vote Early

The crowd watched as pastors and performers encouraged minorities to vote early. After the event, a barbecue meal was provided to all rally participants.
Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

To encourage early voting among South Floridians, “Souls to the Polls” held a gospel concert and rally Sunday at South Dade Regional Library in Cutler Bay.

The event didn’t just happen in Miami-Dade. Faith in Florida leaders hosted the rally in Tallahassee, Belle Glade, Lauderhill and Daytona Beach. “Souls to the Polls” urged black and Latino voters to vote early.

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Gay Marriage
11:00 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Attorney General Pam Bondi Asks Judge To Continue Blocking Gay Marriage In Florida

A file photo shows Attorney General Pam Bondi.
Credit Rick Scott/flickr

  Same-sex couples should continue to be prevented from getting married in Florida until a legal battle plays out about the constitutionality of the state's gay-marriage ban, Attorney General Pam Bondi said in a federal-court filing Friday.

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Commentary
10:47 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

If Panama's Anti-Corruption Hunt Continues, Miami Should Watch Out

Panamanian Supreme Court Justice Alejandro Moncada Luna
Credit Panama Supreme Court

This past summer I wrote an article about Panama’s ultra-corrupt judicial system. It looked at the case of a dead man whose will had left tens of millions of dollars to poor children – and how the Panamanian Supreme Court made the highly suspicious decision to nullify that will and hand the money instead to rich adults.

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Miami
9:40 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Miami Commissioner Proposes Five-Cent Plastic Bag Fee To Fund Anti-Poverty Plan

Credit Owen Byrne / Flickr Creative Commons

Miami city commissioners are trying to figure out a citywide anti-poverty plan and how they would fund the program.

Two months ago, at the urging of Commissioner Keon Hardemon, the city set aside $1.2 million into a poverty trust during its budget process. Hardemon represents the most impoverished district in the city which includes Overtown, Liberty City and Little Haiti.

On Friday morning, Hardemon, Commisioners Francis Suarez and Marc Sarnoff and about a dozen city staff members took part in a roundtable discussion about an anti-poverty strategy.

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Broward Voting Notice
4:00 pm
Fri October 24, 2014

Broward Issues Notice For Voters To Read Both Sides Of Ballot Form

The Broward County Supervisor of Elections is reminding voters at polling locations to read the entire ballot form, front and back.
Credit Theresa Thompson / Flickr

The Broward County Supervisor of Elections Office announced Thursday night that it is posting notices throughout early voting and Election Day polling locations to remind voters to thoroughly analyze each form.

The ballots will have selections on both the front and back of the forms.

Several state and municipal offices are listed throughout the ballot.

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The Governor's Race
12:40 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Highlights From The Final Debate For Florida Governor

Charlie Crist, left, and Gov. Rick Scott, right, shake hands for their second debate at Broward College's Bailey Hall on Oct. 15.
Credit Michael Laughlin / South Florida Sun Sentinel

The awkward handshakes between Charlie Crist and Rick Scott are done for now.

The candidates for Florida governor dug at one another in a final CNN debate hosted in Jacksonville. No fans were permitted but the temperature was a cool 63 degrees.

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Politics
5:18 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Does Medical Marijuana On Amendment Two Still Have A Chance?

A marijuana plant grows in a front yard in Dark View Falls in St. Vincent in the eastern Caribbean March 10, 2014. As the use of marijuana becomes legalized in some parts of the United States, there is growing debate and division in the Caribbean over loosening restrictions on the popular crop. St. Vincent Prime Minister Ralph Gonsalves is leading an effort to have Caribbean leaders study the issue. MIAMI HERALD STAFF

    

If voters approve Amendment Two, legalizing medical marijuana, the Florida Legislature will have the final say in how the amendment is carried out.

Lawmakers have the power to keep tight controls over how the drug is cultivated and dispensed.

Below, read an edited version of a conversation between WLRN's Tallahassee reporter Gina Jordan and Mary Ellen Klas of the Herald/Times Tallahassee bureau.

What aren't the medical marijuana ads telling voters? 

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Politics
4:58 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

The Final Gubernatorial Debate Might Lack Controversy

The final gubernatorial debate takes place at WJXT-TV in Jacksonville.
Credit MARC CAPUTO MCAPUTO@MIAMIHERALD.COM

Governor Rick Scott and opponent Charlie Crist will debate Tuesday for the final time before the Nov. 4 election.

CNN will host both candidates at the WJXT-TV studios in Jacksonville.

Co-moderator Jake Tapper, from CNN's "The Lead," says unlike the debate last week at Broward College in Davie, this debate will take place in a space with no audience and few reporters.

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The Governor's Race
6:45 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Republicans Try To Turn Out Early Votes In Miami

Gov. Rick Scott, Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio urged GOP voters to cast their ballots early.
Credit John O'Connor / WLRN

It’s about two weeks until voters choose the next governor of Florida.

Absentee votes started being counted last week. And today is the start of early voting in South Florida. Other counties will follow soon.

It’s why Gov. Rick Scott and a slate of Republican candidates met at a Miami park next to a polling place Monday – to cast their early votes and encourage others to do the same.

The race between Republican Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist is tight. Scott says the first votes cast could be the difference in the end.

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