Politics

Congressional Primary
9:26 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Kristin Jacobs Loses Congressional Primary

Environmentalist Kristin Jacobs says her outfit tonight represents the ocean and the earth.
Sarah Gonzalez WLRN-Miami Herald

Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs lost last night in the Congressional primary. 

She was hoping to become the Democratic nominee for District 22, which covers Broward and Palm Beach counties. The seat was  left vacant when Republican Rep. Allen West changed districts.

During her concession speech, Jacobs thanked the crowd of about 50 for believing in her. 

"I'm so blessed to have been a part of it," Jacobs said. "I think it was the most wonderful thing I've ever tried to do, and I'm sad about not winning but energized by the future."

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Miami-Dade Mayoral Election
9:07 pm
Tue August 14, 2012

Gimenez Wins Another Term As Miami-Dade Mayor

Credit Ashley Lopez / WLRN

Tuesday’s race for Miami-Dade County Mayor ended on odd terms.

Even though Mayor Carlos Gimenez won by a significant margin, his challenger refused to concede.

Mayor Gimenez’s campaign spent hours at the Doubletree hotel near the airport waiting for his opponent to throw in the towel-- but that never happened.

Gimenez was leading in his reelection race by almost 25 percentage points all night and it was looking like the election was going to be called early for Gimenez, but challenger Joe Martinez told his supporters at the 94th Aerosquadron "this ain't over."

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Taxpayer Protection Pledge
9:17 pm
Mon August 13, 2012

Florida Republicans Pledge Allegiance To... Grover Norquist?

Virtually every Florida Republican in Washington has signed Grover Norquist's Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
Credit Gage Skidmore
  • 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.

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Politics
12:00 am
Fri August 10, 2012

Elections in Palm Beach County: The “Butterfly Ballot” Effect

Flickr/bkusler

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.

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Politics
8:43 pm
Tue August 7, 2012

Anti-Gerrymandering Amendment Kicks Off Game Of Musical Districts

Enacted House Districts (http://mydistrictbuilder.wordpress.com/2012maps/)

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.

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Politics
6:16 pm
Mon August 6, 2012

David Rivera Could Win Re-Election Despite Ethics Scandal

U.S. Rep David Rivera's time in office has been plagued by scandals.
David Rivera's Congressional Website http://rivera.house.gov/

It stands to reason that an ethics scandal should put a damper on a political campaign.

But in South Florida, that isn’t quite the case. 

U.S. Representative David Rivera has been investigated by local and state officials for various ethics violations, but that hasn't put the kibosh on his bid for re-election. 

The Miami congressman is also under federal investigation for allegations that he misspent campaign funds.

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Politics
6:24 pm
Sat August 4, 2012

Two Liberals Vie For Seat Allen West Abandoned

Kristin Jacobs
Credit broward.org

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.

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Fla. 24th District
9:20 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Two Candidates, Two Presidential Endorsements And One Cultural Battleground

Democratic Rep. Frederica Wilson, Fla. 17th Congressional District and candidate for 24th District seat.
Credit Courtesy of wilson.house.gov/
  • Luc Cohen's story on the Moise/Wilson race for the 24th District seat.

The upcoming Democratic primary for Florida’s 24th Congressional District pits relative political newcomer Dr. Rudolph Moise against longtime politician and current 17th Congressional District Rep. Frederica Wilson.

The 24th District – new, from the 2012 redistricting – stretches from downtown Miami through Overtown and Little Haiti all the way to Miramar. It’s roughly the same stretch that Wilson currently represents as the 17th  District.

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Politics
2:41 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Miami Student To Help Mobilize 20,000 Venezuelans To New Orleans For October Election

Emily Bello-Pardo at Arepazo 2 in Doral. Photo by Maria Eugenia Pardo

When the Venezuelan Consulate in Miami was shut down in January of this year,  Venezuelan nationals in the region were left stranded, with no chance to participate in the democratic process.

Then came the reality of the logistical nightmare- 19,542 citizens registered in Miami (which are Venezuelans living in the states of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina) would have to mobilize and vote in New Orleans for the upcoming October elections.

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Social Services Funding
11:37 am
Thu May 10, 2012

Funds Slashed For People With Disabilities

A network of Florida facilities that supports people with disabilities will lose nearly $1.6 million this year – just as the social services provided by the network are needed most.

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Stand Your Ground
12:21 pm
Thu March 29, 2012

The Woman Behind Florida's Stand Your Ground Law

Marion Hammer was the NRA's first female president.
KRT/Newscom

The murder of Trayvon Martin turned a spotlight on Florida's law that authorizes the use of deadly force in self-defense. The law has been widely cited as the reason why shooter George Zimmerman has not been arrested.

Marion Hammer helped craft the law. She’s the powerful lobbyist for the National Rifle Association in Florida. She’s also a grandmother who stands all of 4-feet-11-inches tall.

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Medicaid Pilot
11:32 am
Thu March 29, 2012

Escaping Florida's Medicaid Experiment

Last year, Florida legislators passed a bill privatizing the state’s Medicaid program, moving recipients into managed care plans – a model patterned on a pilot program that’s been running in five counties since 2006.

The statewide change still needs federal approval – and for one family already living in a pilot county, it’s a troubling prospect.

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State Integrity Investigation
7:46 am
Mon March 19, 2012

State Integrity Investigation Day 1: Florida Politics Gets A 'C-'

Florida Sen. Chris Smith, D-Ft. Lauderdale, debates Senate Bill 146.
Credit Photo courtesy of senatorchrissmith.com
  • Reporter Kenny Malone explains the findings of the State Integrity Investigation to host Phil Latzman.

This story originally appeared in The Miami Herald on March 19, 2012.

The first time Florida Sen. Chris Smith, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat, ran for office, he was just three years out of law school - a 28-year-old who still believed in the power of his lucky navy blue suit. As Smith puts it, he was a "nobody" from Broward County.

And yet, "these people would just show up" as he campaigned around the district. They were lobbyists. "[They'd] pat me on the back and say, 'Hey, I want to support you, ' and then give me a bunch of checks and say: 'Now remember me.' "

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Politics
6:05 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Florida Legislature Plays Judge And Jury In Claims Bill Process

Eric Brody
facebook.com

“Thank you very much and I apologize that this has happened,” Governor Rick Scott told William Dillon as he signed a bill giving Dillon more than a million dollars.

Dillon spent 27 years in prison for a murder in Brevard County. He was set free in 2008 after DNA testing showed he wasn’t the killer.

It took more than three and a half years for the Legislature to pass a bill compensating Dillon.

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Session 2012
4:03 pm
Sun February 26, 2012

How Bad Things Happen To Good Bills

Sisterhood's Marcia Olivo at S. B. 1440's high water mark, a committee vote in favor
Credit Rick Stone

TALLAHASSEE-- At the midpoint of the legislative session,  an organization of domestic violence opponents  drove hopefully to the state capital  from Miami for the first committee hearing on a bill they were supporting.  The legislation would allow domestic violence victims who are being stalked at work to quit their jobs and still qualify for unemployment.

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