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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. Judge recommends $58k in fines for David Rivera

    Blog

    News Service of Florida:

    An administrative law judge Thursday said former state House budget chief David Rivera should pay nearly $58,000 in fines and restitution in a long-running ethics case. Judge W. David Watkins found last year that Rivera, R-Miami, improperly received state travel reimbursements and did not adequately disclose financial information. But the state Commission on Ethics sent the case back to Watkins for a recommendation about penalties. In a 38-page recommended order Thursday, Watkins wrote that Rivera should pay $16,500 in fines and nearly $41,322 in restitution and should face censure and reprimand. The recommendation will go back to the ethics commission, which will issue a final order about whether Rivera violated state laws. The ultimate decision about penalties would be made by the House speaker, Watkins' ruling said. The alleged ethics violations stem from Rivera's time in the state House, where he served from 2002 to 2010, including two years as appropriations chairman. He was then elected to Congress but lost a bid for another term in 2012 amid widespread questions about ethical and financial issues....

  2. WaPo: Marco Rubio got himself a Super PAC sugar daddy

    Blog

    Washington Post:

    Sen. Marco Rubio doesn’t have the huge numbers of Republican donors that have flocked to fellow Floridian Jeb Bush in anticipation of a presidential bid. But he will have Norman Braman, which could get him pretty far.

    People familiar with his giving expect that Braman, a Miami billionaire auto dealer and longtime Rubio benefactor, will put as much as $10 million into a pro-Rubio super PAC if the senator decides to run....

  3. Poll: Jeb virtually tied w Scott Walker in Fla

    Blog

    Take it with as many grains of salt as you wish, but a new robo poll of registered Republicans in Florida by Gravis Marketing finds that Jeb Bush barely edges Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker in an open GOP primary race and barely beats Marco Rubio when voters are asked to choose between only those two Florida Republicans....

  4. Hispanic group wants both parties to hire bilingual flacks

    Blog

    The following letter went out to both major party chairs. We'll post a response from the party's if they give one:

    United Hispanics/Latinos of Florida

    President: Allison Tant, The Florida Democratic Party

    President: Blaise Ingoglia, The Republican Party of Florida

    Dear Republican and Democratic parties of Florida,

    As members of Florida’s Spanish-language media who cover politics, and individuals who care about the Hispanic community, we are troubled by the lack of Spanish or bilingual communication aimed at the Latino community by either party....

  5. Jeb Bush blew off voting in '08 prez race?

    Blog

    Miami-Dade elections records indicate that Jeb Bush did not cast a vote in the 2008 presidential race between Barack Obama and John McCain, even though he campaigned for the Arizona senator. Bush's spokeswoman insisted to the New York Times, which first reported on the discrepency, that Bush and his wife voted absentee in the election....

    Bush's voting record since 1996
  6. 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....

  7. 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....

  8. 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....

  9. 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.
  10. 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:...

  11. 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.
  12. 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....

  13. 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.......

  14. 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....

  15. 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.......