Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Greer case spotlights Florida's challenges in voter database 'purge'

Gov. Rick Scott's administration will soon launch a new statewide hunt for suspected noncitizens on the voter roll, a process that last year led to lawsuits and lots of frustration in county elections offices because of a flawed "purge list." But if the state wants a clean roll, it might find out why it takes so long for a voter to be removed after a felony conviction.

Case in point: Jim Greer, the former chairman of the Republican Party of Florida who pleaded guilty Feb. 11 to five counts of grand theft and money laundering. Greer was still listed as a registered voter until last week, when Buzz started asking questions. Now there was no election for Greer to vote in and no chance of him obtaining a ballot at the Gulf Forestry Camp near Port St. Joe, where he's serving an 18-month sentence. The question is the reliability of the state voter database.

Seminole County Supervisor of Elections Mike Ertel said he was still waiting for the state Division of Elections to send the paperwork necessary to initiate removal, including a certified copy of Greer's guilty plea and other documents.

"Good question," Ertel said when we asked him why Greer was still on the roll more than six months after he pleaded guilty. "We … are beginning the process of removal."

Rubio book deal

Sen. Marco Rubio has a deal to write a book on the future of the GOP, according to his publisher.

"There's no confirmed publication date yet, but the book is likely to appear in the fall of 2014. It's about the future of the country and the future of the Republican Party," said Will Weisser, associate publisher with Sentinel/Penguin Group.

The book, not yet titled, was first reported by The Hill newspaper. Last year, Rubio wrote An American Son, a memoir covering his childhood through the U.S. Senate campaign. He earned $800,000 from it in 2012, his financial disclosure showed.

Plight of the poor

House Speaker Will Weatherford offered sympathetic points about people facing generational poverty Wednesday, saying it's harder than ever for Americans to lift themselves off society's bottom rung.

But Weatherford remains as unconvinced as ever that accepting federal money to provide the state's poorest residents with Medicaid coverage is a way to help them live a better life.

"Medicaid has been proven to be one of the worst forms of insurance you can get in America," he told about 100 people Wednesday at a meeting of Suncoast Tiger Bay. "Nobody in here wants to be on Medicaid."

Florida should instead increase its investments in education, he said, which will help people find jobs that will share the cost of their health coverage.

Times staff writers Alex Leary and Katie Sanders contributed to this week's Buzz.

Greer case spotlights Florida's challenges in voter database 'purge' 09/11/13 [Last modified: Wednesday, September 11, 2013 12:18pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Times journalists wins 17 Green Eyeshade Awards

    Human Interest

    Tampa Bay Times journalists placed first in seven categories of the prestigious Green Eyeshade awards, which honors outstanding journalism in the Southeast.

  2. What you need to know for Tuesday, May 23

    News

    Catching you up on overnight happenings, and what you need to know today.

    A manatee swims near the entrance to Three Sisters Springs on Kings Bay, some of many springs that feed the Crystal River in Citrus County. The Southwest Florida Water Management District is considering a proposal that would allow a decrease to the amount of fresh water flowing in the Crystal River so that water can be diverted to fuel development. Critics say similar proposals around the state could threaten Florida's environmental health. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2014]
  3. Ailing Florida springs could be tapped further to fuel development

    Water

    BROOKSVILLE — Efforts by state officials to set a minimum flow for its iconic springs have stirred up a wave of public opposition. Opponents contend the state is willing to destroy its springs in order to justify continuing to provide water for new development.

    A manatee swims near the entrance to Three Sisters Springs on Kings Bay, one of many springs that feeds the Crystal River in Citrus County. The Southwest Florida Water Management District is considering a proposal to decrease the amount of fresh water flowing in Crystal River so that water can be diverted to fuel development. Critics say similar proposals around the state could threaten Florida's environmental health. [DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times (2014
  4. Canned by lawmakers, PTC staff say they are now forgotten

    Transportation

    TAMPA — After roughly 20 years in the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office, Mike Gonzalez got another job with a uniform and badge when he was hired in 2015 as an inspector for the Public Transportation Commission.

    The badge that PTC inspectors carry while on duty. State lawmakers voted to abolish the agency this year leaving its remaining employees fearing for their future.
  5. Ferries from Florida not a priority for Cuban government

    Tourism

    Cruises and commercial flights now link Tampa and Havana, but before the U.S. government approved either for such journeys, ferries had the nod.

    Baja Ferries was among a handful of companies the U.S. government approved to service Cuba two years ago.
But Cuba's ambassador to the United States recently said the wait may be long. Ferries are not a high priority for Cuba.
This is an example of one of the overnight passenger ferries the  Baja Ferries wanted  to use to reach Cuba from Florida.


Photo Credit: Baja Ferries USA LLC