TBO.com: Tampa Bay Online, The Tampa Tribune and The Tampa Times - breaking news and weather.
Wednesday, Sep 03, 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.

Gov. Scott on ISIS: They’re “barbarians” who need to be “destroy(ed)”

Published:
Tribune staff

Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday responded to a video purporting to show American journalist Steven Sotloff being beheaded by a member of an extremist group called the Islamic State (also known as ISIS, or ISIL).

Sotloff grew up in Miami and attended the University of Central Florida.

Scott’s statement below, in its entirety:

Click to continue reading this post

DEP closes on sale of state’s former TB hospital

Published:
The News Service of Florida

The $15.6 million sale of the former A.G. Holley state tuberculosis hospital in Lantana has been completed, the state’s first such deal under a revamped effort to raise money for land conservation through the sale of surplus land.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection on Tuesday announced the completion of the sale to Southeast Legacy Investments, a land-development and construction company.

The 80-acre parcel, which may be converted into a mixed-use project, was approved for sale by Gov. Rick Scott and the state Cabinet on March 6.

Click to continue reading this post

Gov. Scott slams Charlie Crist during Fort Myers stop

Published:
Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster

Rick Scott slammed his Democratic gubernatorial opponent Charlie Crist in Fort Myers on Tuesday.

Scott – who is on a two-week, 28-city campaign swing – was at Eastern Architectural Systems.

The stop marked the first of two Southwest Florida stops. He’ll hold a campaign event at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the Sunshine Ace Hardware in Naples.

Click to continue reading this post

Legislative pre-session meeting schedule released

Published:   |   Updated: August 29, 2014 at 06:15 PM
James L. Rosica in Tallahassee

With a November election coming up, the Florida House of Representatives will compress the time it meets in committee before the yearly legislative session.

Speaker-designate Steve Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, on Friday released a 2015 schedule in which his chamber’s committees meet on five different weeks and not until after the new year.

For last session, legislative committees met on nine different weeks, starting as early as the week of last Sept. 23, records show.

Click to continue reading this post

Plaintiffs file appeal to redistricting ruling

Published:
Matt Dixon in Tallahassee

Florida’s midterm elections are no longer in danger of being changed, but the lengthy challenge to the state’s congressional districts is not over.

A coalition of plaintiffs that sued over the congressional maps is appealing a Leon Court judge’s ruling earlier this month that the Legislature’s second attempt at drawing those political lines was constitutional.

Within 10 days, the coalition will also file a request that their appeal be certified directly to the Florida Supreme Court.

Click to continue reading this post

Report: Betting on Fla. horse and dog races continues to decline

Published:   |   Updated: August 28, 2014 at 06:42 PM
James L. Rosica in Tallahassee

Florida’s horse- and dog-racing tracks have seen another year of overall declines in their core business, according to figures released Thursday by the state’s Division of Pari-Mutuel Wagering.

The combined “handle” for fiscal year 2013-14, which ended June 30, dropped to $850.1 million from $872.3 million the previous year – a 2.5 percent decrease. Those amounts include the state’s jai ajai frontons.

Handle is defined as the total amount wagered at a track in a season of horse or dog racing.

Click to continue reading this post

More school voucher litigation is in the works

Published:   |   Updated: August 27, 2014 at 05:57 PM
James L. Rosica in Tallahassee

A news release sent Wednesday by the state’s teachers union says it is planning another lawsuit related to Florida’s school voucher program.

The Florida Education Association will hold a press conference 10:30 a.m. Thursday at its Tallahassee HQ to discuss the case. A spokesman didn’t elaborate.

The organization already is suing over a bill (SB 850) passed this year that expands the program.

Click to continue reading this post

Rich backs Crist

Published:
By William March

Click to continue reading this post

Detzner: Pre-primary voting may have topped election day numbers for first time

Published:
Matt Dixon in Tallahassee

Secretary of State Ken Detzner says for the first time in state history people using absentee ballots and voting by mail may have surpassed the number of people voting on election day.

The 2014 primary was largely quiet, with big-ticket statewide races all but decided before election day.

What piqued the interest of many political junkies and election observers is the continued spike in the use of absentee ballots, which were up more than 40 percent from the 2010 primary.

Click to continue reading this post

Primary election results will be online

Published:
Staff report

They’ll be “unofficial” till Sept. 4, but results from today’s Florida primary elections will be available online this evening.

The Department of State’s Division of Elections will broadcast vote tallies on a special website at <http://enight.elections.myflorida.com>.

The counts should be up starting shortly after 7 p.m. Central/8 p.m. Eastern, when the polls close.

Click to continue reading this post