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Latest Buzz on Florida politics

Miami Herald:

After years of being shielded from deportation from the United States while their disaster-prone country continues to recover from its devastating 2010 earthquake, tens of thousands of Haitians will now lose that safeguard.

The special deportation protection known as Temporary Protected Status, or TPS, will be revoked for at least 50,000 Haitians living and working in Miami and across the U.S.

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The crisis at the top of the Florida Democratic Party continued Monday with the resignation of Sally Boynton Brown, the party's president and chief administrator.

Her exit followed last week's decision by chairman Stephen Bittel to quit after he was accused of creating an unprofessional work environment for women.

"It has been a privilege to serve the Florida Democratic Party and I wish you continued success turning Florida Blue," Boynton Brown wrote Bittel and Vice Chairwoman Judy Mount in her resignation letter, which was effective immediately.

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In a motion filed Monday with the Florida Supreme Court, Scott argues he has “a reasonable basis to question her impartiality toward the governor in this proceeding” and “is reasonably in doubt that this case will not be decided fairly, impartially, and on the law alone.”

He cited a the banter between Pariente and Chief Justice Jorge Labarga during a break in the proceedings, which was carried on the Florida Channel as well as a speech Pariente gave at the West Delray Beach Temple in May 2012, which she was campaigning in a retention election, in which she urged voters to retain her in office “because a vote against retention “will give Gov. [Rick] Scott the right to make his appointments, which will result in partisan political appointments.”

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A lawyer for the Hollywood Hills nursing home that saw 14 of its patients die in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma sent a letter to congressional officials Monday that pushed back on allegations that officials with the home are to blame for the deaths.

But before we get to the letter, which you can read here, here's a refresher on the nursing home issue:

After the September tragedy, Gov. Rick Scott and Hollywood Hills officials tussled over voicemails that home officials left on Scott's personal cell phone. Representatives from the home say Scott failed to adequately address the concerns brought up during the calls; Scott said the calls were directed to the appropriate authorities. The voicemails have been deleted.

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Update: According to the Miami Herald, Haitians will lose their Temporary Protected Status in July 2019, giving recipients 18 months to obtain legal status or leave the United States.

By Thanksgiving, the Trump administration must decide whether to extend Temporary Protected Status for Haitians, part of a series of choices that will determine the fates of more than 300,000 people in the United States. The coming decision on Haiti will affect Florida more than any other state.

Temporary Protected Status helps people who arrive in the U.S. fleeing war or natural disaster in their native nations. While they have the status, recipients can’t be deported, and they’re allowed to work legally.

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A liberal advocacy group says it's targeting President Donald Trump with TV ads while he spends Thanksgiving at Mar-a-Lago.

" The ads, which will run Tuesday through Saturday during Fox & Friends and Saturday Night Live, will highlight all things Americans approve of more than Donald Trump; including access to abortions, the Affordable Care Act, paid family leave, and even Nickelback," reads a release from Ultraviolet, which advocates for women.

"Donald Trump is obsessed with his own ratings and popularity—so much so that he continues to prioritize them over issues that actually impact the American people," said Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of UltraViolet. "That's why we are running TV ads on one of his most beloved propagandist shows, Fox & Friends, all week long during one of his countless stays at the Mar-A-Lago. Our message is clear: America rejects Trump and his agenda."

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Sen. Marco Rubio on Monday said Roy Moore's accusers are "very credible" and the Republican Alabama candidate for Senate has done nothing in recent days that is "convincing or helpful."

"I think these charges are very serious," Rubio said on Fox & Friends, his most expansive comments on the matter.

"I think these accusers are very credible. And I don't think, quite frankly, that Judge Moore has done anything in the last 10 days that has helped his cause or in any way lowered some of the anxiety that's out there about it.

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Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gwen Graham drew a line in the sand on Medicaid expansion Monday.

The Democratic candidate for governor said she would veto Republican legislative priorities if lawmakers refused to work with her to expand the health care program, which provides health insurance to low-income Americans, in Florida through the Affordable Care Act.

"I've lived in Tallahassee most of my life, and I don't mind the summer heat," Graham said in a release. "It won't bother me one bit if the Legislature is forced to stay here all summer to ensure Floridians have access to affordable health care."

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Beyond the Buzz

Guns
Unlocked And Loaded
More than 80,000 guns have gone missing in Florida over the last decade. Most will never be recovered.
Hurricane Irma
How the slightest shift kept Hurricane Irma from turning into an even worse disaster

In the first month of online voter registration in Florida, more than 8,000 people electronically joined the voter rolls in Florida, and Democrats favor the new system over Republicans.

The League of Women Voters of Florida says a lot more people would have registered online, but they don’t know the program exists because the state has done almost nothing to educate Floridians about it.

“This is a tree falling in the forest,” said League president Pamela Goodman. “We’re going to come up with our own campaign.”

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POQUOSON, Va. (AP) — A white Virginia sheriff's deputy has been reassigned after attending a Halloween party in blackface.

The Washington Post reports Deputy Jean Browning, a 20-year veteran of the York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office in southeast Virginia, attended a party dressed as U.S. Rep. Frederica Wilson. She was accompanied by her boyfriend, who was dressed as President Donald Trump.

Trump publicly feuded with the Florida congresswoman last month after she criticized comments he made to the widow of a soldier killed in Niger.

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The state of Florida may have to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in treatment costs to as many as 20,000 sick inmates after a federal judge ruled Friday that prison officials had failed to properly care for felons infected with the hepatitis C virus.

The ruling, by U.S. District Court Judge Mark Walker, requires the Florida Department of Corrections to immediately treat a significant portion of the state's 98,000 inmates who test positive for the viral infection with direct acting antiviral drugs, a 12-week treatment that now costs about $37,000 per patient.

"FDC has a long and sordid history of failing to treat HCV-infected inmates," Walker wrote in his 32-page ruling. "And this court finds as a matter of fact that FDC's failure to treat was due to a lack of funding."

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Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Congressman Dennis Ross on Friday criticized a lack of funding for the state's storm-ravaged citrus industry in the latest disaster-relief package proposed by the White House.

Putnam said a $44 billion request sent to Congress by the White House Office of Management and Budget "puts government reimbursement in front of real taxpayers and completely leaves out the citrus industry."

"I am confident our delegation will modify this relief package into something meaningful for Florida farmers and ranchers," Putnam said.

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Sen. Bill Nelson and the top Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee, Ron Wyden of Oregon, will hold a discussion on the GOP tax bill in Tampa on Monday.

They will meet with local business leaders including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn and representatives from six area chamber of commerce organizations.

Democrats have assaulted the tax plan as rushed and favoring corporations and the wealthy. On Thursday, Finance Committee members Nelson and Wyden voted against advancing the plan.

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