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Wednesday, Jul 23, 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.

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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Citizens announces agreement over sinkhole claims

Published:   |   Updated: July 17, 2014 at 02:40 PM
By TBO.com staff

The News Service of Florida reports: Citizens Property Insurance Corp. and a Tampa-based law firm have reached an agreement that could help resolve about 300 sinkhole claims, the state-backed insurer announced Thursday.

Under the agreement, clients of the Thompson Trial Group P.A. will receive settlement offers that include a plan for making repairs to homes damaged by sinkholes.

In part, Citizens would pay for below-ground repairs recommended by a professional engineer. Policyholders would be able to choose repair contractors from a pre-approved list. Citizens would also then pay for any related above-ground damages.

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Crist taps Goldstein as running mate

Published:   |   Updated: July 17, 2014 at 12:42 PM
By William March

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Teachers union challenges bill expanding school vouchers

Published:
By TBO.com staff

The News Service of Florida reports: The state’s largest teachers union filed a legal challenge Wednesday contesting how lawmakers “log rolled” a series of education issues — including an expansion of a controversial school vouchers program — into a single bill that passed in the waning hours of the 2014 legislative session.

The Florida Education Association, a longtime opponent of voucher programs, filed a complaint in circuit court in Leon County challenging the constitutionality of how legislators patched together legislation into a wide-ranging education bill (SB 850).

The voucher expansion had appeared dead in the Senate until getting approved in the broader bill.

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Opponents of Fla. medical marijuana initiative continue to warn of likely abuses

Published:
James L. Rosica in Tallahassee

The “Don’t Let Florida Go to Pot” coalition issued dire warnings in a news conference Wednesday, including a prediction that out-of-state pot users will create their own version of the “Oxycodone Express.”

The coalition opposes a proposed constitutional amendment on the ballot this November allowing medical marijuana in Florida. They say the wording is too broad and will lead to widespread recreational use.

“Oxycodone Express” refers to the habit of users of that widely-abused drug driving from other states to certain pain management clinics in Florida to get their fix. The state has since cracked down on “pill mills.”

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Scott dodges, then blames Crist, for on-duty cops at campaign event

Published:   |   Updated: July 15, 2014 at 05:43 PM
By William March

refused to give a direct answer

he blamed his likely Democratic opponent, Charlie Crist

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