Politics

Election 2012
7:57 am
Fri October 12, 2012

5 Takeaways From The Vice Presidential Debate

Vice President Biden and his Republican opponent, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, participate in the vice presidential debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky., Thursday.
Charlie Neibergall AP

Originally published on Wed October 17, 2012 9:07 am

Neither candidate let his opponent get away with much of anything during the vice presidential debate Thursday night.

The tabletop discussion between Vice President Biden and Republican Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin showcased their clear differences over policy. The two disagreed about nearly every issue that came up, whether it was military posture, tax policy or abortion.

Many of these differences were expressed in negative, sometimes surprisingly personal terms.

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Ballot Measures
6:30 am
Fri October 12, 2012

Jeb Bush Endorses Florida Amendment 6

Jeb Bush endorses Amendment Six, which would limit abortions in the state.
World Affairs Council of Philadelphia/Flickr

Jeb Bush, our former governor who only occasionally steps into the political fray, has publicly endorsed a controversial proposed constitutional amendment on Florida's ballot.

He announced his full-throated support for Amendment Six. If passed, the amendment would prohibit public funding of abortions and removes a current state constitutional right to privacy.

The Orlando Sentinel reports,

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2012 Vice Presidential Debate
7:53 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Live Blog: Biden Vs. Ryan In The Vice Presidential Debate

Vice President Joe Biden (left) and Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan during Thursday's debate.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 12, 2012 12:54 pm

Vice President Biden and his Republican opponent, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, had a lively debate at Centre College in Danville, Ky., this evening — one marked by Biden's aggressive challenges to many of the Republican vice presidential nominee's claims and Ryan's oft-repeated message that the Obama-Biden administration's policies aren't working.

The discussion was steered by ABC News' Martha Raddatz. It's the only vice presidential debate of the campaign.

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The Miami Vote
6:29 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

Obama Adviser Says Campaign Will Make Gains With Miami Hispanics

Plouffe says president will make gains among Hispanics in Miami.
Obama for America/Flickr

The Tampa Bay Times chatted with David Plouffe, President Obama's Senior advisor, recently. While polls show the president is struggling right now, Plouffe tells the Times that he's confident Obama will make gains in Florida-- particularly among Miami Hispanics.

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Dispatches From the Swing State
5:03 pm
Thu October 11, 2012

How To Survive On The Oyster Harvest, With Help From The President

photo: Patrick Farrell

Everyone #FLDispatches talked to about oystering told us the same thing: oysters are unusually scarce this season. 32-year-old Matt Hodges has been oystering for about three years and says the problem comes from a combination of overharvesting, a long stretch of drought and then torrential fresh water from Debbie and Isaac this year. Matt and his wife Holly are one of a handful of married oystering couples who work out of the Ochlockonee Bay that splits Wakulla and Franklin Counties.

Science Meets Politics
10:45 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Obama's Secret Weapon In The South: Small, Dead, But Still Kickin'

Ron Blakey Northern Arizona University

Originally published on Wed October 10, 2012 3:10 pm

Look at this map, and notice that deep, deep in the Republican South, there's a thin blue band stretching from the Carolinas through Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. These are the counties that went for Obama in the last election. A blue crescent in a sea of red.

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Politics
9:02 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Will New Florida Voting Laws Affect Election?

House Bill 1355 - passed in April 2011 - mandates a total of 80 changes to Florida's election laws
Voters in America: Who Counts? CNN.com

Voting in Florida has always been a contentious issue.  But now, it's even more so thanks to new voting laws passed by the Florida Legislature.

House Bill 1355 - passed in April 2011 - mandates a total of 80 changes to Florida's election laws. 

Among the most noticeable are  restrictions on voter registration, form filing deadlines and reductions in early voting days.  

How they may impacting the 2012 election is the subject of a new documentary airing on CNN this Sunday, called "Voters in America: Who Counts."

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Final Voter Registration Numbers Out Next Week
6:00 am
Thu October 11, 2012

Absentee Ballots In High Demand In Palm Beach County

The general election is November 6.
Rusty Brick Flickr/Creative Commons

Voter registration ended on Tuesday, and elections supervisors are busy preparing for next month’s vote.

They say thousands of registrations have come in just this month, and the final numbers will come in next week once the state is done certifying all of the voter registration forms that came in at the deadline.

Monroe County Supervisor of Elections Harry Sawyer says he’s expecting a big increase.

“Even before we get the final numbers in, we’re still ahead of 2008," said Sawyer.

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Politics
1:51 pm
Wed October 10, 2012

At 'Nuestra Noche,' GOP Welcomes Hispanic Candidates

National Republicans showed off some of the results of a Hispanic candidate recruitment drive during a packed-to-the-rafters blowout in Tampa's colorful latin community, Ybor City, during the Republican National Convention this past summer. The gala is called "Nuestra Noche", and the event took place at the historic Cuban Club.

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Oops.
5:49 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Governor's Gaffe: Sending Meningitis Info Seekers To Phone Sex Line

Rick Scott accidentally directed people to an adult hotline today.
Tim Donovan/FWC/Flickr

Our buddies over at WUSF caught a small faux pas made by Gov. Rick Scott today.

According to WUSF,

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Politics
4:08 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Judge: Former Republican Party Head Jim Greer Can Sue Two State Senators

Mugshot of former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer. A judge in Tallahassee ruled Greer can continue his lawsuit against two state senators.
Florida.arrests.org

A civil lawsuit filed by former Republican Party of Florida Chairman Jim Greer against two state lawmakers can proceed.

A judge in Tallahassee on Monday refused to toss out the suit against Senate President Mike Haridopolos and Sen. John Thrasher. Greer is suing them as well as the state Republican party over severance pay he says they promised him.

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Florida Supreme Court Fight
3:11 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

AP: Bondi Not Backing GOP On Fight Over State Supreme Court Justices

Florida Office of the Attorney General

Florida's Attorney General, Pam Bondi, says she's not backing the state GOP's effort to oust three state Supreme Court Justices.

The Florida GOP is currently endorsing a conservative effort to remove Justices Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince from the Florida Supreme Court. All three are considered by conservatives to be the most liberal members of the Court-- and they are up for a merit retention vote this year. This means Floridians will vote on whether these judges get to keep their job at the state's highest court.

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Ballot Measures
2:55 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

Washington Post: 2012 Is A Busy Year For Ballot Measures

Florida has
Jeff Gitchel/Flickr

Anyone in Florida who has already gotten their absentee ballot for this year's presidential election will notice that there are a lot - A LOT - of ballot measures.

According to The Washington Post, voters all over the country will be voting on almost 200 ballot measures.

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Dispatches From The Swing State
11:56 am
Tue October 9, 2012

Where Do Goat Cheese, Trickle Down Economics And Swing State Voters Meet?

photo: Kenny Malone

There were just over 21-hundred jobs in the agriculture and mining sector in Lee County, by the last census numbers.

Our Dispatches from the Swing State project dropped in on one of the less conventional agriculture positions at the Umbuzi experimental farm in Buckingham, Florida.

Herald photographer Patrick Farrell and I are driving around the state to cut straight to the Florida voters and issues of the 2012 presidential election.

At the Umbuzi farm, we met award-winning goat cheese maker Jim Ellis.

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Dispatches From The Swing State
11:18 am
Tue October 9, 2012

DISPATCH: The Forgotten Gladesman

David Shealy makes a lot of his money off Florida’s version of Bigfoot. He sells T-shirts, bumper stickers and hot sauce out of the Skunk Ape Research Headquarters off the Tamiami Trail in Ochopee, Florida.

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