Hear WLRN-Miami Herald host Phil Latzman's interview with Dan Christensen.
The State Integrity Investigation – a collaboration of Public Radio International, the Center for Public Integrity and WLRN in Miami – is the first comprehensive look at state government for every state in the country. What’s working? What’s not working? How susceptible is the process to corruption?
Florida's government, overall, was given a C-minus for its integrity – not great, but still the 18th best in the country.
Powerful businessman Norman Braman is casting a long shadow over the Miami-Dade County Commission election. He's backing a slate of four candidates against four incumbents, ostensibly in the name of reform and good government.
Braman, a civic activist, car dealer and former owner of the Philadelphia Eagles football team, was the prime mover in the recall of former county mayor Carlos Alvarez. He was also a bitter but unsuccessful opponent of the Miami Marlins stadium deal. Braman favors reforms that would limit spending and commissioners' political power.
Experts say the city of Miami will face ‘a battle every year’ unless its leaders address structural problems with the budget. Hobbled by unimaginative leadership, passive management and petty political gamesmanship , the city careens from one budget shortfall to the next without fixing its fundamental fiscal problems.
Among the city’s chief issues, according to experts: spending beyond its means, ballooning pension costs and failing to generate new revenue. Policy analysts say politics and poor decisions have made matters worse.
Monroe County, and four other Florida counties, have begun early voting for the August 14th primary. All five are protected by the 1965 Voting Rights Act. This means that any new voting law there must be cleared by the federal government.
Last year, state lawmakers passed a law reducing the number of early voting days.
“Until this year, the state has refrained from implementing those changes statewide until it had pre-clearance to do so in the five covered counties,” explains Michael Masinter, a law professor at Nova Southeastern University.
Miami Herald South America bureau chief Jim Wyss on Venezuela, Colombia and the Summer Games
Forget the US election.
There may be an even more important presidential vote taking place in Venezuela this fall.
Miami Herald South America bureau chief Jim Wyss updates WLRN's Phil Latzman on Hugo Chavez's fight to keep his job against upstart opponent Henrique Capriles. Also discussed: political strife in Colombia and Latin American countries tasting rare Olympic glory during the Summer Games in London.
Hear Matt Laslo's radio story about how Grover Norquist's Taxpayer Protection Pledge has a hold on the GOP.
WASHINGTON - Grover Norquist may not be a household name. He’s never been elected to public office, just some conservative boards like the National Rifle Association and others.
But Norquist is viewed as a powerhouse in Washington. He’s gotten 238 House members and 41 senators to sign his pledge saying they’ll never raise taxes – that includes virtually every single Republican member of Congress from Florida.
Only 13 Republicans in Congress have refused to sign his Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
Throughout every election cycle, it’s fair to say that there’s more nail-biting in Palm Beach County than in any voting district in the country. For nearly 12 years, a reputation for botched elections has clung to the county like a hanging chad.
Next Tuesday's primary will be the first election since redistricting under anti-gerrymandering rules changed all of the political maps. The process made, changed or destroyed some political careers in the Florida Legislature, and not every one is sure the redistricting process accomplished its goals.
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.