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Monday, Jul 28, 2014

Fresh Squeezed

A Florida Politics Blog

Made fresh, never frozen, here's the juice on local and state politics from the staff of The Tampa Tribune, The St. Petersburg Tribune and the Tribune/Scripps Capital Bureau.

Politicians’ use of blind trusts is constitutional, Tallahassee judge rules

Published:   |   Updated: July 28, 2014 at 05:57 PM
James L. Rosica in Tallahassee

A state law allowing politicians to use blind trusts to avoid conflicts of interest is constitutional, a Tallahassee judge ruled Monday.

Jim Apthorp, a former top aide to the late Democratic Gov. Reubin Askew, had challenged the law in May.

He said the use of blind trusts violates the Sunshine Amendment, approved by voters in 1976, which calls for elected officials and candidates to “file full and public disclosure of their financial interests.”

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State medical lobby ties support for Medicaid expansion to increased doctor pay

Published:   |   Updated: July 28, 2014 at 04:47 PM
By William March

In a significant sign of physician backing for expanding Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, the Florida Medical Association now says it favors the idea.

The FMA, the premier trade association for Florida doctors, is normally a politically conservative group, though non-partisan, making its stance a major breakthrough in the eyes of Obamacare and Medicaid expansion supporters.

But the FMA attached one significant condition: It said it backs Medicaid expansion only if doctors get paid more for treating Medicaid patients.

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Gravis Marketing: Crist 68, Rich 20

Published:
By William March

new poll by Gravis Marketing

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More endorsements announced in HD 61 race

Published:
James L. Rosica in Tallahassee

The battle of endorsements between the two leading candidates in the Florida House District 61 Democratic primary keeps getting hotter.

This Thursday, Sean Shaw dropped the news that state Sen. Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, had given him her approval.

“I’m often asked to endorse candidates, but this time I volunteered,” Joyner said in a news release sent out by the Shaw campaign.

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Dems hit Scott on Solantic litigation

Published:   |   Updated: July 24, 2014 at 05:52 PM
By William March

release a deposition

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Clinton tops Florida 2016 landscape

Published:   |   Updated: July 24, 2014 at 10:29 AM
By William March

a new Quinnipiac University poll

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Group now seeking sponsors to erect miniature billboards on state trails

Published:   |   Updated: July 23, 2014 at 05:21 PM
James L. Rosica in Tallahassee

It’s unclear what companies, if any, are willing to shell out cash for miniature billboards on state trails.

State lawmakers looking to raise money for trail upkeep passed a law in 2012 allowing companies and nonprofit groups to sponsor seven trails and place signs to announce their support.

The trails include the Withlacoochee State Trail that passes through Hernando and Pasco counties.

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Congresswoman Castor announces creation of Medicaid expansion caucus

Published:   |   Updated: July 23, 2014 at 02:35 PM
James L. Rosica in Tallahassee

U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor, D-Fla., won’t give up on the issue of Medicaid expansion.

Her office on Wednesday announced the creation of the “State Medicaid Expansion Caucus,” which includes her and more than 30 other Democratic members of Congress.

Castor’s congressional district includes parts of Pinellas and Hillsborough counties. Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a South Florida congresswoman, also is a member.

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Group opposing casinos in Fla. releases list of candidates taking its anti-gambling pledges

Published:
James L. Rosica in Tallahassee

The Orlando-based No Casinos in Florida group on Wednesday released the list of candidates running for the Florida Legislature who took their anti-gambling pledges.

The organization asked political hopefuls to “oppose any legislation to expand gambling in Florida and support legislation to place on the ballot a proposed amendment to Florida’s constitution that requires statewide voter authorization for any form of gambling to be legalized in Florida,” its website says.

From the organization, here’s the list of those who signed:

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Fla. Chamber of Commerce announces picks for House, Senate races in Tampa Bay

Published:
James L. Rosica in Tallahassee

The pro-business Florida Chamber of Commerce has endorsed six Tampa Bay-area candidates for the state Legislature, including a Democrat vying to replace term-limited state Rep. Betty Reed.

“Good government can only be obtained by electing candidates who understand Florida’s future needs and who are not afraid to make bold decisions that will get us there,” said Marian Johnson, the chamber’s senior vice president of political operations, in a statement.

The endorsements include:

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