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Thursday, Jul 24, 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.

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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Q Poll: Crist narrowly up on Scott

Published:   |   Updated: July 23, 2014 at 10:20 AM
By William March

The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute survey showed Crist leading Scott 45-40 percent in a two-way race. When Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie is added to the mix, however, the results narrow to a two-point Crist lead, 39-37 percent, with Wyllie taking 9 percent.

A new SurveyUSA poll released Tuesday, not including Wyllie, also showed Crist leading.

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SurveyUSA now shows Crist up

Published:   |   Updated: July 22, 2014 at 08:36 PM
By William March

a SurveyUSA poll

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Completion of cross-state trail underway, Gov. Scott says

Published:
James L. Rosica in Tallahassee

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday announced the individual projects funded as part of the long-awaited Coast to Coast Connector, Florida’s cross-state hiking and biking trail.

In the greater Tampa Bay area, that includes:

♦ $1 million to link the Suncoast Trail to the existing Good Neighbor Trail in Hernando County.

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Fla. CFO Atwater, New York Gov. Cuomo trade insults over jobs ads

Published:
Matt Dixon, (@Mdixon55)

Florida CFO Jeff Atwater sent a letter Monday to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo blasting an advertising campaign touting his state’s business recruitment efforts.

“It is perfectly understandable that you would want to stay in touch with so many former New Yorkers who have already discovered the allure of the Sunshine State,” read the letter, which had a sarcastic tone.

Cuomo, a Democrat, has been buying ad time in Florida to tout his state’s STARTUP-NY initiative, which allows new businesses to operate tax free for 10 years.

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Write-in candidate’s proof that he still lives in his parents’ Tampa home? His name is on his bedroom door

Published:   |   Updated: July 17, 2014 at 04:19 PM
James L. Rosica in Tallahassee

The husband of the Republican primary challenger to state Rep. Jamie Grant is asking a Tallahassee court to disqualify a last-minute write-in candidate, saying the man lives in the state capital, not in Hillsborough County.

The write-in candidate, Daniel John Matthews, responded in a court filing that although he attended Florida State University in Tallahassee, he never gave up residency in northern Hillsborough. That’s where he lives with his parents and sister, he said.

Among his evidence is a photo of his bedroom door, on which is duct-taped a sign that says, “Danger - Daniel’s Room.”

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