TBO.com: Tampa Bay Online, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather.
Thursday, Oct 02, 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.

Latest scam letter assumes state spokeswoman’s identity

Published:
James L. Rosica in Tallahassee

The scammers are getting still more brazen.

The Florida Office of Financial Regulation issued an alert Wednesday, warning consumers of yet another fake, something-for-nothing letter going around.

This one promises the recipient more than $10 million “as soon as we certify all attached papers.”

Click to continue reading this post

Castor asks federal investigation of Florida “bar” on rights restoration

Published:
By William March

is seeking an investigation

Click to continue reading this post

Dispute over former Fla. House Speaker’s legal bills will get its own trial

Published:
The News Service of Florida

Former House Speaker Ray Sansom’s bid to force the state to pay his legal fees from an aborted criminal case will go to trial next year.

Circuit Judge Angela Dempsey in Tallahassee has set a trial date of Feb. 26, less than a week before the 2015 legislative session is scheduled to begin.

The legal proceedings will be a “bench trial,” meaning Dempsey will hear the evidence without a jury and render a verdict.

Click to continue reading this post

Polls conflict in governor’s race

Published:
By William March

Click to continue reading this post

Sound off on immigration in Florida

Published:
Matt Dixon in Tallahassee

The Tribune/Scripps Capital Bureau is looking for your thoughts on Florida’s immigration policy.

Please send thoughts or questions to Matt Dixon. Some comments may be used in a story being published this Sunday.

With the Hispanic population comprising roughly 13 percent of the electorate, Florida is uniquely touched by a range of immigration issues.

Click to continue reading this post

Weatherford’s spokesman to join Hill+Knowlton’s Tallahassee office

Published:   |   Updated: September 29, 2014 at 03:49 PM
Tribune staff

The spokesman for outgoing Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford is joining the Hill+Knowlton Strategies public relations firm, the company announced Monday.

Ryan Duffy will be a vice president in the firm’s Tallahassee office, working with Alia Faraj-Johnson and Bob Lotane, a press release said.

Before being Weatherford’s spokesman, Duffy was spokesman for the House Republicans, was spokesman for Bill McCollum’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign, and was a speechwriter for U.S. Sens. Mel Martinez and George LeMieux, and former Gov. Jeb Bush.

Click to continue reading this post

In Monday’s Tribune: Will Weatherford’s future, political and otherwise

Published:
James L. Rosica in Tallahassee

Excerpt from the story: (Will) Weatherford says he doesn’t know the answer to the obvious question: How long will it be before his name is back on a Florida ballot?

“I would definitely never rule that out,” he said. “But I would say I’m catching my breath and I’m going to enjoy family life and focus on the private sector more.”

His rest may be short.

Click to continue reading this post

Dem chair hammers Gov. Scott after license plates photographed

Published:
Matt Dixon in Tallahassee

Florida Democratic Party chair Allison Tant on Friday blasted protesters sent by the state GOP who took pictures of license plates outside a political fundraiser at her Tallahassee home.

“I think this attempt to bully, harass and intimidate their way to victory will not work,” she said during a morning news conference at the Florida Democratic Party’s headquarters.

Tant said she thought it was an attempt to intimidate state workers who are supporting Scott’s political opponent, but provided no examples. The event was a fundraiser for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist.

Click to continue reading this post

Parasailing regulations among more new laws going into effect

Published:
The News Service of Florida

Long-sought regulations on Florida’s commercial parasailing industry, along with a measure about crimes against unborn children, are among 32 laws that go into effect Wednesday.

A number of the new laws, signed by Gov. Rick Scott after the 2014 legislative session, involve public-records exemptions, including one to allow some university boards to meet in private to discuss donors and research funding.

But one of the highest-profile new laws (SB 320) was years in the making.

Click to continue reading this post

FSU presidential search costs $160K for consultants

Published:   |   Updated: September 26, 2014 at 11:59 AM
The News Service of Florida

The controversial and muddled search for a new president of Florida State University includes an expected tab of about $160,000 for consultants.

FSU Board of Trustees Chairman Allan Bense said in an email Thursday that “it was well worth the cost.”

The months-long search process resulted in influential state Sen. John Thrasher, the odds-on favorite, getting offered the job Tuesday.

Click to continue reading this post