Tuesday, January 16, 2018
Politics

Democrat says Gov. Scott not pursuing voter registration fraud linked to GOP

Is Gov. Rick Scott covering up GOP voter registration fraud?

The future leader of the House Democrats thinks perhaps he is and is asking Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford to hold legislative hearings on what he says could be an attempt by Scott to "stifle" a criminal investigation.

"I have been following the many news media reports about rampant fraud regarding voter registration drives associated with the company Strategic Allied Consulting and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation that was tasked by Gov. Rick Scott some months ago," states a letter that Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, sent out Tuesday afternoon.

"The governor, at a recent press conference in June, said that he had not seen or read any reports from his own agency. It is widely believed that a full-faith investigation has not taken place.

"The Legislature is constitutionally tasked with the checks and balances of government. Given that the governor has had adequate time to respond to the FDLE reports and has ordered an inadequate investigation, the House needs to task a committee with holding hearings. Floridians deserve to know if the governor's office has stifled a law enforcement investigation."

In a followup news release, Rouson, who was chosen to lead House Democrats after the 2014 elections, challenged Weatherford to order the hearings: "Speaker Weatherford needs to stand by the rhetoric of Republican House members and not stand witness to this fraud."

Next for Fugate?

Craig Fugate, the former Florida chief of emergency management who now runs FEMA, is among the names being tossed about as a possible replacement for Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano.

Fugate has earned high praise since taking over the Federal Emergency Management Agency in 2009, helping restore its reputation after Hurricane Katrina.

The White House says it's too early to begin speculation about who will replace Napolitano, who is leaving in September to run the University of California system.

Rubio rakes it in

The immigration debate hasn't seemed to hurt Sen. Marco Rubio's fundraising ability. His various committees pulled in about $3 million for the second quarter, an official says. That's $800,000 more than the first quarter.

Rubio's campaign said he has almost $2 million in the Senate re-election account and just shy of $1 million on hand in the Reclaim America PAC.

Jeb Bush on board

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has joined the board of advisers of Jackson Healthcare, the nation's third-largest health care staffing company.

Adam C. Smith and Alex Leary contributed to the Buzz.

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