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President Barack Obama headed to Orlando Oct. 11

President Barack Obama speaks to supporters at a Miami fundraiser in June during his last visit to the state.

Associated Press

President Barack Obama speaks to supporters at a Miami fundraiser in June during his last visit to the state.

President Barack Obama will travel to Orlando on Oct. 11. More details will be released as they become available, the White House said.

The president was last in Florida in June, when he raised money in Miami. This will be his eighth visit to the state in the past year.

Buchanan signals he's staying

U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan, R-Sarasota, had left the door open a crack for jumping into the wide-open Republican U.S. Senate primary and was expected to make a final decision around the new year. Well, we hear he's made it.

Breathe easy Adam Hasner, George LeMieux, and company: Buchanan's not running.

We hear the idea of giving up Florida's only seat on Ways & Means, and the influence Buchanan has now on tax reform, trade and health policy simply made no sense to him. Why trade that to become a freshman senator?

Call for impeachment

Carletha Cole, who lost her job after going public about squabbles inside Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll's office and is involved in an Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation over a possibly illegal audio recording, sent a news release Tuesday calling for the impeachment of her former boss.

"Jennifer neglected to faithfully perform the duties of lieutenant governor, to support and protect and defend the Constitution," Cole said in the release. The state Constitution allows the state House and Senate to impeach the lieutenant governor for "misdemeanor in office."

Cole accuses Carroll of "tampering" with an FDLE investigation in March, when Cole says her trash can was set on fire with a lighted cigar from Carroll's travel aide after a "spirited staff meeting."

"If it were not for the heroic acts of another employee who smelled smoke and, startled by the flames, acted quickly to put out the fire with a nearby floral arrangement, the state would have suffered tremendous damage to its property," Cole said.

Convention job lined up

GOP convention veteran James Davis has been named director of communications for next year's Republican National Convention in Tampa. Davis is 30 and no relation to former U.S. Rep. Jim Davis of Tampa. He served as associate director of communications for the GOP's convention in St. Paul in 2008, then went on to a job as deputy director of media affairs with the Republican National Committee. His most recent job has been with the Brunswick Group, an international corporate communications firm. Davis will in Tampa on Oct. 10.

Romney staffing up in Florida

Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's Florida campaign staff: Molly Donlin is state director; JC Hernandez is Florida field director; Alex Melendez is Tampa Bay regional field director; Andrew Messer is North Florida regional field director; and Brett Doster is strategic adviser.

Bill to repeal death penalty

Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda, D-Tallahassee, wants to repeal Florida's death penalty. Under her bill, HB 4051, the steepest penalty for people convicted of capital felonies would be life imprisonment without parole.

She filed the bill Thursday amid global concern over the execution of a Georgia man, Troy Davis, who maintained his innocence in the killing of an off-duty police officer until the moment he was executed last week.

"A sentence of life in prison without parole allows mistakes to be corrected or new evidence to come to light," she said in a statement. "That would increase faith and fairness in our justice system."

Times staff writers Katie Sanders and Michael C. Bender contributed to this report.

President Barack Obama headed to Orlando Oct. 11 09/27/11 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 27, 2011 8:49pm]
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