Politics

Politics
12:37 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

How Campaign Finance Laws Make Florida Governor's Race Unique

Expect airwaves to be flooded with campaign ads in the final weeks leading up to Election Day.
Credit fotographic1980/freedigitalphotos.net

Florida’s campaign finance laws make for a unique governor’s race. In an analysis of television advertising through late September, the Rick Scott and Charlie Crist campaigns hadn’t spent much on TV advertising. Political parties and political action committees known as PACs have done most of the spending.

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Latin America Report
11:01 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Haiti's Crucial Question: Would Baby Doc Have Gone To Jail If He'd Lived Longer?

The late Haitian dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier in 1975.
Credit Flickr user a-birdie

As Haiti’s national police director from 1996 to 2002, Pierre Denize had a mission: to help the country’s fledgling democracy build a more professional and humane justice system.

Denize had seen too much of the polar opposite in his youth – especially when his parents were jailed, brutalized and exiled during the three-decade-long reign of cruelty and corruption known as the Duvalier dynasty.

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Supreme Court
5:06 am
Tue October 7, 2014

How Justice Sotomayor Is 'Busting' The Supreme Court's Steady Rhythms

Joan Biskupic, author of a new book about Justice Sonia Sotomayor, says she was "intrigued by the fact that ... the arc of her life was actually the same trajectory of the rise of Latinos in America."
Patrick Semansky AP

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 11:07 am

What do salsa dancing and the Supreme Court have to do with each other? A lot, according to author Joan Biskupic, whose new book about Justice Sonia Sotomayor is now out in bookstores.

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Politics
7:12 pm
Mon October 6, 2014

Veterans Secretary Wants VA Whistleblowers

VA Secretary Bob McDonald (left) watches as paralyzed Navy Veteran Dwayne Scheuneman (right) demonstrates the Exoskeleton during the new leader's visit Wednesday at the James A. Haley VA Polytrauma Center.

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 3:01 pm

Secret patient waiting lists, delayed medical care, retaliation against whistleblowers  are all reasons why trust in the VA hit an all-time low this spring especially on Capitol Hill.

The new Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Robert “Bob” McDonald is trying to restore that trust. He’s started by visiting as many VA facilities as possible during his first 90 days in office.

McDonald toured several Florida VA facilities this week and he invited U.S. Rep. Jeff Miller, Chairman of the House Committee of Veterans Affairs, to come along.

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Politics
7:02 pm
Sun October 5, 2014

Judges Launch Campaign To Inform Voters On Judicial Election

Credit thefloridabar.org

Florida will choose to either keep or terminate 22 District Court of Appeal judges from their positions. Determining who should stay and who should go may seem like a daunting task if a voter doesn’t even know what to look for in a judge.

Anna Blackburne-Rigsby is a U.S. Court of Appeals judge in Washington, D.C., and president of the National Association of Women Judges (NAWJ). The organization launched a campaign called the Informed Voters Project. They aim to enlighten voters on the role of a judge in the courts.

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Commentary
4:46 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Can Venezuela's U.S. Dollar Restriction Keep $1 Billion Out Of Florida?

Trading U.S. dollars for Venezuelan bolívares
Credit venezuelaanalysis.com

What do you do when your country’s foreign reserves are dropping at a rate that would make avid bungee jumpers nauseous? If you’re left-wing Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, you take strong, decisive macroeconomic action.

You withhold dollars from Mickey Mouse.

Yessir, you discourage your countrymen from traveling to Florida, by further restricting the amount of dollars they can spend there with their bank credit cards – from $2,500 to $700.

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Politics
4:27 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Clinton In Miami: Women Need More Workplace Protections

Former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a conference of women commercial real estate agents in Miami Beach that the U.S. needs better workplace laws to protect the ability of women to work and raise a family.
Credit John O'Connor / WLRN

The United States makes it difficult for women who want to work and raise families, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton told a women's commercial real estate association conference in Miami Beach.

Clinton says she’s been all over the world to talk about equity issues for working women working with her Clinton Global Initative, founded by her husband -- and former U.S. president -- Bill.

Clinton says the U.S. still has a long way to go to make sure women are paid and treated the same on the job as men.

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Latin America Report: Exclusive Interview
5:38 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Colombian President Fights The "Black Propaganda" Against Peace

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos talking to WLRN's Tim Padgett in New York last week.
Credit Presidencia de Colombia

“The problem with Colombia is that we’ve been fighting a war for three generations and we simply got accustomed to it. What I’m trying to tell the Colombian people is, ‘Wake up. We have to be a normal country.’”

That was the opening volley from Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos during a wide-ranging and unusually frank interview last week in New York. But there’s one slice of our conversation you won’t hear on WLRN.

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Politics
12:40 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Congressional Candidates Trade Jabs In Key West

U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia, left, traded sharp words with his Republican challenger Carlos Curbelo, right, at Monday's debate in Key West.
Credit Nancy Klingener / WLRN

The contest for Florida’s 26th congressional district is close, and the race is getting national attention. But when Democratic incumbent Congressman Joe Garcia debated Republican challenger Carlos Curbelo Monday, it was a small town affair. 

U.S. Rep. Joe Garcia and Miami-Dade County School Board member Carlos Curbelo disagree on a lot of issues. And they fundamentally disagree on whether the public should invest in government – or cut it back. But their sharpest words at Monday’s debate were over character.

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Politics
5:48 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Scott and Crist Using the Same Ponzi Scammer in Commercials: A PolitiFact-Check

Originally published on Sat September 13, 2014 12:30 pm

The battle for the Florida governor's office is fully engaged now.  

And, oddly, both Republican Governor Rick Scott and his challenger, Republican-turned-Democrat Charlie Crist, appear to be using some of the same ammunition.

Both the Republican Party of Florida and the Crist campaign have recently cited convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein in ads slamming their opponent.

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Commentary
12:46 pm
Thu September 25, 2014

Bring Peace To Colombia Or Block Venezuela From A U.N. Seat? Pick One

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos speaking to WLRN's Tim Padgett at the U.N. General Assembly this week in New York.
Credit Pilar Calderon / Presidencia de Colombia

Today’s international affairs quiz: Would you rather see Venezuela denied a temporary seat on the U.N. Security Council, or would you prefer to see an end to Colombia’s eternal civil war?

Pick one. Can’t have both.

That’s at least what Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos told me this week during our interview in New York, where he and a host of other heads of state are gathered for the U.N. General Assembly.

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Politics
6:02 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Adrian Wyllie: I'm More Than A Spoiler In Governor's Race

44-year-old small business owner Adrian Wyllie is making his first run for governor.
Credit wyllieforgovernor.com

The Libertarian candidate for governor of Florida is getting some attention in a race where there's little excitement about the front-runners. 

Adrian Wyllie is former chairman of the Libertarian Party of Florida and a former syndicated radio host. Aside from campaigning, he owns an IT consulting firm.

Wyllie may not get a lot of votes, but he might impact the race. The latest Quinnipiac University poll shows incumbent Republican Gov. Scott and former Gov. Charlie Crist, a Democrat, are virtually tied. Wyllie is getting about 8 percent of voter support.

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Race for Governor
4:42 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Poll Shows Florida Governor's Race Too Close To Call

Former Governor Charlie Crist and Governor Rick Scott.
Credit Peter Andrew Bosch (Crist), Emily Michot (Scott)/ Miami Herald Staff

Less than two months before Election Day, Florida voters are split between their top two choices for governor, but they agree on one thing --- neither candidate turns them on.

That's according to a poll by Quinnipiac University released Wednesday. The survey found that Republican Gov. Rick Scott has a slight edge over Democrat Charlie Crist but, because that two-point lead falls within the margin of error, the contest is too close to call.

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Latin America Report
12:39 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Marina Silva: From Amazon Orphan To President Of Brazil?

Brazilian presidential candidate Marina Silva on the campaign trail this month.
Credit Marina40

A political phoenix has risen from the ashes of a plane crash in Brazil. Next month it might result in South America's political upset of the decade.

Brazilian presidential candidate Eduardo Campos was killed in that Aug. 13 accident outside São Paulo. Days later Campos’ running mate – environmentalist and former Senator Marina Silva – took his place as the Brazilian Socialist Party’s nominee. In voter polls, Silva quickly catapulted alongside the incumbent front-runner, Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff. She’s now tied with Rousseff ahead of the Oct. 5 election.

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Politics
12:32 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Sen. Detert: Lawmakers Will Fix Extended Foster Care

Credit freedigitalphotos.net

  The sponsor of Florida's 2013 law extending foster care to age 21 is working on a legislative fix to resolve confusion about which state agency is responsible for severely disabled young adults in the program.

Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, is meeting with children's advocates and service providers about the issue, which involves whether the state Agency for Persons with Disabilities or the Department of Children and Families should pay for disabled people in foster care between ages 18 and 22.

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