The Buzz on Florida politics

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Latest Buzz on Florida politics

TALLAHASSEE — State police are reviewing whether Florida Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis broke state law and released a woman’s sexual harassment complaint for political purposes.

A top official in Patronis’ office told the woman’s attorney Tuesday that he was referring the allegations to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.

“Our office has made no findings on the matter,” Mike Shoaf, who serves as Patronis’ inspector general, wrote in a letter to Tallahassee attorney Tiffany Cruz. “To ensure your client’s complaint receives an independent and fair review, our office has forwarded the issues and concerns to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.”

Keep reading   5 min. read  

As yet another presidential tweet dominated the news cycle in Washington, reporters circled Florida Sen. Marco Rubio Monday.

The reporters wanted to know the Republican senator’s thoughts on President Donald Trump’s tweets a day earlier, saying that four progressive minority women of color in Congress should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came.”

“I think identity politics is a poison, it’s toxic,” Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, said. “I think that’s true when members of Congress practice it. But the presidency and the words of a president carry even greater weight in terms of the impact on society. The president shouldn’t have written that. I think it damages him but it damages the country and none of us should be participating in identity politics.”

Keep reading   3 min. read  

Highway speeders, no matter how little they go over the posted limit, are being targeted as Florida Highway Patrol troopers and transportation officials team up with federal and regional agencies in a weeklong speed-enforcement campaign.

“The speed limit is the speed limit,” Florida Highway Patrol Lt. Derrick Rahming said. “It’s not suggested. It is there for a reason. It’s there to keep you safe and to keep us safe as well.”

“Operation Southern Shield” is a joint law enforcement operation with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration focused on high-speed corridors in Florida, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. In Florida, the targeted roads are Interstate 10, Interstate 75 and Interstate 95.

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In a state where razor-thin election margins have become the norm in major races, Democrats are seeking to make inroads by trying to do away with a decades-old Florida law that requires candidates who are of the same party as the governor to appear first on the ballot.

Having Republicans at the top of the ticket in statewide, legislative and congressional races — and even local races — puts Democrats at a disadvantage because research shows voters are more likely to pick the candidate who appears first, lawyers representing several national Democratic groups argued Monday in the kick-off to what is expected to be a four-day trial.

Florida’s ballot-position law was enacted 68 years ago, when Democrats controlled the governor’s office and the Legislature.

Keep reading   5 min. read  

A former Florida Panhandle reform school known for horrific abuse, where the remains of 55 people were unearthed after the state shut its doors, might have more grisly mysteries underneath its grounds.

University of South Florida forensic anthropologist Dr. Erin Kimmerle will be back at the former Dozier School for Boys on Monday, the same place where she spent four years researching and unearthing the remains of boys buried on the massive 1,400-acre site in Marianna, located about 60 miles northwest of Tallahassee.

She’ll lead a team on a mission to see if 27 anomalies discovered by a contractor using ground-penetrating radar on the site are likely to be human graves.

Keep reading   3 min. read  

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