Political news


Gov. Rick Scott is trying to appease educators.

They didn’t like it when he chopped $1.3 billion in education funding from the state budget.

They liked it even less when he called for an expansion of charter schools and other alternatives to traditional public schools.

So, while most people are focused on the November ballot, USF Political Scientist Seth McKee says Scott appears to be ramping up his 2014 reelection campaign by extending an olive branch to teachers.

Amendment 6: Right To Privacy Or Parental Rights?

Oct 17, 2012
Ashley Lopez / WLRN

One of the constitutional amendments on the ballot this November takes on the controversial and politically charged issue of abortion.

Amendment 6, if passed, would prohibit public funding for abortions in the state, but it would also take away a right to privacy explicitly contained in Florida’s Constitution.

This has women’s rights activists in the state up in arms over concerns that this could be the beginning of greater abortion restrictions.

A Right To Privacy

Florida resident Ricardo Devengoechea had what the Venezuelans needed: an actual lock of Simón Bolivar's hair that could be used to authenticate the bones stashed in Caracas' National Pantheon.  Reportedly, he lent them the hair, the match was made and Bolívar's certified skull was used to make the  digital facial image that you see on this page.

"George Zimmerman's murder trial in the death of Trayvon Martin was set for June 10 during a hearing in court this morning," the Orlando Sentinel reports. Attorneys expect the trial will take about three weeks, the newspaper adds.

Anyone who thought the presidential candidates couldn't get aggressive within a town hall-style format underestimated the sharp differences in policy that divide them.

President Obama and Mitt Romney remained continuously critical against one another throughout their second debate Tuesday night. Neither ever seemed to finish a statement without launching an attack against his opponent.

In a town hall-style debate that saw the candidates constantly challenge each other on issues ranging from the economy to the handling of the Sept. 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney got up close and personal at times Tuesday night.

Ashley Lopez/ WLRN

In November, Floridians will decide whether or not to remove a state ban that prohibits the use of tax money for the funding of religious groups.

While the Catholic Church in the state remains one of the biggest proponents of this so-called “Religious Freedom” amendment, some religious leaders are weary of the measure.

Guillermo Marquez-Sterling, a pastor at the United Church of Christ in Coral Gables, says he’s concerned that, if Amendment 8 passes, if tax money could fund religious organizations, religious institutions like his will actually lose some of their freedom.

Laura Coburn

Reconciliation. Redemption. Binding up the nation's mostly self-inflicted wounds. There's going to be a need for all of that after this bitter election cycle is over.

And that need is where Election Communion Day comes from. More than 300 churches in 44 states have signed on to conduct services and offer communion right after the polls close on Election Day.

Cuba Softens Travel Restrictions With A Big Catch

Oct 16, 2012
Fotos Gov/Ba/ Flickr

Today the Cuban government announced that Cubans will no longer need an exit visa from the state in order to leave the country for travel, etc. However, the government simultaneously cracked down on travel for high skilled workers.

As of January 14, 2012, Cubans will only need a visa from the country they are traveling to in order to leave the country. 

klootch1 / flickr

President Obama and Mitt Romney meet in their second presidential debate tonight in Hempstead, NY. Then, Boca Raton becomes the center of the political universe next Monday, October 22 when Lynn University hosts the final encounter between the two candidates before election day.

C. DiMattei

Lynn University students are rolling out the digital red carpet for political watchers in advance of the last Presidential Debate of 2012.

The small Boca Raton university is hosting the final face-off between President Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney on Monday, October 22nd.

Lynn spokesman Joshua Glanzer says the university enlisted a core group of student volunteers to interact with Twitter and Facebook users within the school's new Social Media Lounge.

You are sure of what you heard: NPR is giving more air time to presidential challenger Mitt Romney than to President Barack Obama.

Some listeners say the opposite, but during this election cycle and immediate past ones, the complaints have been running heavily in your direction of detecting a Republican bias in the use of sound bites. (Where are you NewsBusters?)


At the urging of the Obama campaign, Florida voters are showing up at elections offices around the state to fill out absentee ballots.

This comes on the heels of elections supervisors in Broward and Palm Beach counties advising voters to get absentee ballots and mail them.

The reason: long ballots and possibly long waits.


Immigration and agriculture go hand in hand.

That's what community and business leaders in Tallahassee recently heard from Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam.

He said immigration reform is vital to the health of the state’s agriculture industry

Putnam told the Economic Club of Florida he is concerned the U.S. is losing business to developing countries that have different standards for hiring farm workers.

Christine DiMattei

A wry symbol on a text message.

Last fall, that was the first inkling Lynn University President Kevin Ross had that his school would be making the history books.

“I was out at lunch and got a text that said, ‘You need to come back to campus immediately,’" recalls Ross.  “And it was with a smiley-face after it. So I knew it was good.”