ST. PETERSBURG — Frankly, former Rep. Frank Farkas is pretty lucky.
Farkas, a St. Petersburg chiropractor who served in the state House from 1998 to 2006, won $50,000 a year for life in a Florida Lottery scratch-off game, the lottery announced Tuesday.
"Yes, we did," Farkas said in a brief phone conversation. "But I'd rather not comment."
Farkas, 56, purchased the $20 ticket at the Old Northeast Rally, 2131 Fourth St. N....
Frankly, former state Rep. Frank Farkas is pretty lucky.
Farkas, a St. Petersburg chiropractor who served in the state House from 1998 to 2006, won $50,000-a-year for life in a Florida Lottery scratch-off game, the lottery announced Tuesday.
“Yes, we did,” Farkas said in a brief phone conversation. “But I’d rather not comment.”
Farkas purchased the ticket at the Old Northeast Rally, 2131 4th Street N....
With the 2013 session in the books, here's are the key things that got done and that didn't.
Medicaid: Lawmakers fail to reach a deal to expand health care coverage for 1 million or more uninsured Floridians. Democrats call for a special session.
Pay raises: House and Senate leaders agree to a $74.5 billion balanced budget that includes raises for state workers and public school teachers....
... Even people who want to spend $500,000 studying biting ants. The largest budget in state history hit lawmakers' desks at 1:37 p.m. Monday, a day earlier than anticipated. The Times/Herald bureau gives you a first look at what's in it for you.
Florida's health care debate is sure to drag on until the end of the spring legislative session. See what plans are on the table, who would get covered and who would pay -- in one chart. (Click here for a bigger image if you're having trouble reading.)
From today's column from Dan Ruth, who looks at Rick Scott's big fundraising numbers:
Included among the many of the GOP's open bar of bag men wanting to stroke Scott's shiny pate as if it was a crystal ball into their ambitions was St. Petersburg's own Daddy Warbucks, Bill Edwards, who wrote a $500,000 check to the governor's campaign baksheesh fund.
South Florida's Wayne Huizenga, who knows a thing or two about hauling waste around, ponied up $250,000. So did Las Vegas casino mogul Sheldon Adelson, whose hundreds of millions of dollars backed so many losers in the 2012 election cycle he risked becoming the Heaven's Gate of American politics.
Donald Trump, the Great and Powerful Orange Julius, penned a $50,000 check. But that paltry sum in the rarefied air of the parallel universe of Planet Influence Peddling only gives him a seat at the children's table.
To be taken seriously as a contributor of de facto legalized bribes to the governor's political future, Trump is going to have to pick up the pace and follow the example of Florida Power & Light ($250,000), Blue Cross Blue Shield ($237,500), Progress Energy ($100,000) and tea party enclave the Villages, which transferred monies from its witch-burning fund to contribute $100,000....
Sen. Wilton Simpson, R-Trilby, is pushing a bill in the Legislature to allow wine by the keg in Florida.
As the Times' Danny Valentine reports: Kegs are more environmentally friendly than bottles. Restaurants and bars would save money. Wine would stay fresh for longer. And it would help a Tampa Bay company that makes accessories for the keg....
What a difference incumbency makes. Rick Scott, between his political committee and his campaign account, raised a total of $6.5 million from outside sources for his 2010 campaign. This time around he's already raised nearly $9.8 million from outside sources through his political committee, Let's Get to Work. ...
Before he was sentenced to 18 months in prison, former Republican Party of Florida chairman Jim Greer maintained his innocence in a final interview with WTSP’s Mike Deeson.
“People will always say, ‘If you are so innocent, why didn’t you go to trial?’ And I understand that,” said Greer, who pleaded guilty in February to charges he stole money from the state Republican Party....
Bill Nelson has had a distinguished career in public service. He served in the Florida House, then the U.S. House, then as state insurance commissioner and, since 2001, in the U.S. Senate. He's a Democrat that survived Florida's Republican wave, and is Florida's only elected statewide Democrat.
HE'S ALSO BEEN TO SPACE.
But when it comes to popularity contests, Nelson often (okay, most often) loses. The Tallahassee press corps once referred to him as the "least interesting man in the world" -- riffing off the Dos Equis guy. Now comes our cousins (not really our cousins) BuzzFeed, who yesterday bestowed upon him an even worse honor --- "The Most God-Awful Website in the Senate."...
Gov. Rick Scott still isn't saying whether he'll support legislation banning Internet sweepstakes cafes in Florida.
Speaking to the Tampa Bay Times editorial board Monday afternoon, Scott said he is waiting to see what the Legislature does before taking a position. Reading between the lines, it seems Scott wants to make sure the Senate passes a full ban before being forced to take a stand. (The House passed the ban on Friday.)...
Allied Veterans of the World and its affiliates gave more than $1.4 million to local, state and federal candidates and their related political committees between 2008 and 2012. The state Republican and state Democratic parties got the bulk of contributions, but so did plenty of lawmakers. In all, Allied Vets showered 175 political committees and political candidates with contributions. The totals reflect a combination of funds collected by candidates in their individual or main political committees, known as Committees of Continuous Existence. Allied Vets and its affiliates face state and federal racketeering, illegal gambling and money laundering charges.
Sources: Operation Reveal the Deal Master Affidavit, Operation Reveal the Deal exhibits, Florida Division of Elections, Federal Elections Commission....
The South Florida Business Journal has a scoop:
Filed under the more fun with archived video category ...
The Florida Democratic Party today released a Web ad attacking Gov. Rick Scott over the long lines some Floridians faced during the 2012 election. Scott's office earlier this week released a Web ad heralding the governor's work on the economy and the improvements Florida has made since he took office.
Gov. Rick Scott said he won't start looking for a new lieutenant governor until May, but that doesn't stop Steve Bousquet from guessing who might end up topping Scott's list.
Here are five names on Bousquet's list -- and why they may, or may not be the pick.
State Sen. Anitere Flores
Why she’ll be the pick: Has an interest education and could help with women and Hispanics.
Why she won’t: Better off staying in the state Senate, where she could serve until 2020.
Miami-Dade School Board member Raquel Regalado
Why she’ll be the pick: An olive branch to moderate Floridians.
Why she won’t: Supported Alex Sink in 2010. Enough said.
State Rep. Jimmy Patronis
Why he’ll be the pick: Affable, and an early and loyal Scott supporter.
Why he won’t: A white male from the Panhandle? If Scott needs help there, he’s already lost.
State Rep. Dana Young
Why she’ll be the pick: An outsider who has been in Tallahassee for three years, Young could park herself along the I-4 corridor.
Why she won’t: Has promising future in House and Senate and may not want to tie herself to Scott’s shaky fortunes
State Rep. Doug Holder
Why he’ll be the pick: Term-limited out of the House and no clear path to the Senate in sight.
Why he won’t: Too obscure and no obvious connection to public education....