Fla political stories to watch in 2012
Steve Bousquet: It's a journalistic tradition to recap noteworthy stories of the year in the final week.
In a slight variation on the theme, here are 10 emerging political stories to keep a close eye on in 2012.
10. Outsourcing, in or out? Stymied by a court, the Legislature will persist in seeking to privatize dozens of prisons in South Florida while seeking to outsource all health care for inmates statewide. The jury's still out on privatization, in more ways than one, because the cost savings have yet to be proved and it's highly disruptive to rank-and-file state workers.
9. Greer's trial. When Jim Greer goes on trial for alleged misdeeds as chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, the GOP's free-spending, credit card-loving ways will be on trial, as well.
8. Jack's turn? Two GOP senators are quietly battling to determine which one will become Senate president in 2014: Jack Latvala of Clearwater and Andy Gardiner of Orlando. The outcome could have far-reaching political repercussions because these two men stand in stark contrast to each other. Latvala is a moderate and a maverick; Gardiner is a button-down conservative.