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Adam C. Smith, Times Political Editor

Adam C. Smith

Political editor since 2001, Adam Smith was named the best political writer in Florida by washingtonpost.com and one of the country's Top 10 political reporters by the Columbia Journalism Review. He focuses on state and national politics.

Smith has been with the Times since 1992 and has covered local and state government, as well as general assignment and investigative beats. He appears most Sundays on Political Connections on Bay News 9, is a primary contributor to The Buzz political blog. Smith grew up in New York City, graduated Kenyon College in Ohio, and when he's not chasing politicians tries to keep up with his wife, three kids and basset hound.

Phone: (727) 893-8241

Email: asmith@tampabay.com

Blog: The Buzz

Twitter: @AdamSmithTimes

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  1. Report: Witnesses said Jeb Bush lied about Nigeria sales deal

    Blog

    The Naples Daily News digs back into Jeb Bush's role in and compensation for helping a south Florida water pump company complete a $74-million deal with Nigeria. The deal has long dogged Bush, who has maintained he never earned a penny off the Nigeria deal and all told earned no more than $648,000 working with the company, MWI....

  2. Rod Smith rips "radical and reckless" guns on campus bill

    Blog

    Former prosecutor, state senator, governor candidate, stand your ground sponsor and Florida Democratic Party Chairman Rod Smith takes aim at the guns on campus bill before the legislature in a Gainesville Sun op ed. An excerpt:

    ...The legislation will pass unless common sense prevails. Legislators will vote for it simply because they fear political fallout from the NRA. Nonetheless, ordinary citizens, including gun owners, NRA members, faculty, students, administrators and family of students or prospective students can stop this plan. All we have to do is let our voices be heard for this legislation to be defeated or, at the very least, amended to leave the final decision to each university's leadership. The NRA is counting on your standing back rather than standing up. Please join me by standing your ground against the idea of guns on college campuses. Remember, bad ideas become the law when good people fail to oppose them....

  3. Winner and loser of the week in Fla politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week: Ray Sansom. A circuit judge ruled Friday that taxpayers should cover the legal expenses of the former House speaker, who was accused of trying to fund an airplane hangar for a political supporter but ultimately saw the charges dropped. Runner up: Jeb Bush. He finished 5th in the CPAC straw poll, but managed the leave the lion's den unwounded and showed off his organizational muscle bussing in supporters to counterbalance the conservative critics....

  4. Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and winner-take-all delegates in Florida

    State Roundup

    It could be one of the great ironies of the 2016 presidential cycle that in a race where two * major Republican candidates, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio, hail from Florida, the Sunshine State's GOP presidential primary could well be the most boring in more than a decade.

    In January 2008, John McCain beat Mitt Romney in a high-profile Florida contest and then went on to win the nomination. In January 2012, Romney won Florida after crushing the threat from Newt Gingrich and then went on to win the nomination....

    Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, 20 pounds slimmer from adhering to the Paleo Diet, which is big on protein and nuts, jogs offstage after speaking at CPAC in National Harbor, Md., on Friday.
  5. Jeb Bush exploits non-candidate status to rewrite campaign finance playbook

    Blog

    By Alex Leary and me:

     As Jeb Bush continues a torrid fundraising schedule across the country, he is pushing new boundaries of campaign finance law, exploiting his status as a non-candidate to avoid contribution limits and amass a cash pile already in the tens of millions.

    The effort, which supporters call "shock and awe," is designed to assert Bush's dominance in the 2016 Republican presidential field, but it also represents a new chapter in the era of unlimited money in politics and raises numerous questions, beginning with the most basic:...

  6. Jeb Bush exploits non-candidate status to rewrite campaign finance playbook

    State Roundup

    WASHINGTON — As Jeb Bush continues a torrid fundraising schedule across the country, he is pushing new boundaries of campaign finance law, exploiting his status as a noncandidate to avoid contribution limits and amass a cash pile already in the tens of millions.

    The effort, which supporters call "shock and awe," is designed to assert Bush's dominance in the 2016 Republican presidential field, but it also represents a new chapter in the era of unlimited money in politics and raises numerous questions, beginning with the most basic:...

    Jeb Bush says he’s  merely ex-ploring a run for president.
  7. Jeb v. Hillary in Fla? Dem leader says Jeb will own 'testing quagmire'

    Blog

    There are precious few people in Florida who have known Hillary Clinton longer than Tampa Attorney Arthenia Joyner, the state senate Democratic leader who first met Mrs. Clinton in 1988 and in 2008 argued her case to the DNC when the party was deciding on how to punish Florida for its early primary.

    So how does she see a Jeb Bush v. Hillary Clinton match-up in Florida? Bush will have a lot of explaining to do about his school testing legacy, Sen. Joyner said in a Political Connections interview airing Sunday on Bay News 9....

  8. Jeb's tone shifts on Common Core

    Blog

    National Review caught Jeb Bush's remarks to the Club for Growth at The Breakers in Palm Beach tonight and heard a new tone on Common Core:

    ...Even on the thorny issue of Common Core, the former Florida governor began to relent. In a question-and-answer session with Club president David McIntosh, Bush noted almost under his breath that the curriculum was implemented after he left office and then emphasized that federal government “shouldn’t have any say” in the creation of education standards. It appears that will be his message on the campaign trail, even though the standards are now inextricably linked with to the federal government because states are required to implement the Common Core educational standards in order receive federal dollars.......

  9. Fla NAACP: Keep Confederates off Vets Hall of Fame

    Blog

    The Florida State NAACP State Conference has launched an online petition drive to ensure the governor, Cabinet and legislature do not allow prominent Confederate soldiers to be honored in the Florida Veterans Hall of Fame memorial. A group called the Sons of Confederate Veterans is pressing for the inclusion of three prominent figures in Florida history - former Gov. Edward A Perry III, U.S. Sen. Samuel Pasco, and Florida National Guard creator David Lang - who so far have been barred because they did not serve in the U.S. military....

  10. Jeb Bush as the new Phil Gramm? Or Ulysses S Grant?

    Blog

    Excerpt from an excellent column by Jay Cost in the Weekly Standard:

    ...Jeb certainly looks to be cornering the market on the modern variety of professional Republicans, but he too will have to do more. What is the case for a Bush restoration, beyond the fact that it would make the professional GOP comfortable once again? Why should average Republican primary voters  -- the insurance salesmen and truck drivers, not pollsters and policy advisors -- choose Jeb over Scott Walker, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, or the dozen other potential nominees? Jeb will have to make a very persuasive argument on this front. He will face tougher competition than his brother did in 2000. Indeed, 2016 could see the most competitive GOP primary since 1980.......

  11. Fla state sens worth combined $144-million

    Blog

    FloridaWatchdog.org poured through the financial disclosure reports filed with the state Commission on Ethics:

    ...The richest lawmaker? Former Senate President Don Gaetz, a Republican, whose net worth was listed at $26,077,030 — more than $8 million above the next wealthiest senator, Wilton Simpson. Gaetz actually lost $142,000 by the end of 2013, but he was up 5 percent overall since becoming the Senate’s most powerful lawmaker....

  12. Fla liberals: Don't foist another moderate Dem US Sen nominee on us

    Blog

    It seems the recent chatter about whether Patrick Murphy or Debbie Wasserman Schultz or Charlie Crist or Philip Levine or Alan Grayson would run for U.S. Senate seat if Marco Rubio runs for president has caught the attention of the liberal wing of the Florida Democratic party, which does not want yet another darn centrist nominated. The following letter went out today from Susan Smith, president of the Progressive Democratic Caucus of Florida:...

  13. Jeb Bush's Right to Rise PAC holds fundraiser Tuesday in Tampa

    State Roundup

    Even with an expected haul of at least $1 million and more than two dozen Tampa Bay Republicans pledging to deliver at least $25,000 apiece to Jeb Bush's private Tampa fundraising reception today, the event could actually feel like a letdown compared with other recent events.

    The minimum price per ticket to see the former governor and all-but-announced presidential candidate at Tampa's Grand Hyatt is $1,000 — a steal compared with the $100,000 entrance fee to recent fundraising receptions in Manhattan, Chicago and Palm Beach....

    Jeb Bush has not yet decided if he’ll run, giving him more leeway in working with the PAC.
  14. Columba Bush and the $90k she spent at Mayors Jewelers

    Blog

    The Washington Post:

    In 1999, Columba Bush, the famously private wife of then-Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, was detained and fined by federal customs officials for misrepresenting the amount of clothing and jewelry she had bought while on a solo five-day shopping spree in Paris.

    The incident left the Florida first lady deeply mortified and her husband politically chagrined. Jeb Bush said the first lady had misled customs officials because she did not want him to know that she had spent about $19,000 on the trip....

  15. Winner and loser of the week in Fla politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week

    Marco Rubio. It's been easy to miss amid all the attention on Jeb Bush, but Florida's junior senator has been generating a lot of Buzz among political elites that he has the fresh face, charisma and foreign policy chops to be the most underestimated presidential contender and could be a real surprise. Credit the influential Charles Krauthammer for starting the boomlet when he said last month he would bet on Rubio to win the nomination. Runner up: Blaise Ingoglia. The recently elected Florida GOP Chairman this week looks a lot more comfortably positioned for success than a couple weeks ago now that he has put together a March 2 fundraiser headlined by Rick Scott, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and other bigs....