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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. 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:...

  2. 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:...

    Former Gov. Jeb Bush speaks at the free market Club for Growth conference Thursday at the Breakers Hotel in Palm Beach.
  3. 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....

  4. 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.......

  5. 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....

  6. 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.......

  7. 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....

  8. 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:...

  9. 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.
  10. 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....

  11. 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....

  12. A new TV campaign presses for purchase of US Sugar land

    Blog

    Everglades advocates today launch a six-figure TV, radio and online campaign to push state leaders to use Amendment 1 water and land conservation money to buy U.S. Sugar land south of  Lake Okeechobee so more water flows to the Everglades. The campaign highlights a contract U.S. Sugar and the state signed in 2010 under Gov. Charlie Crist, a contract that will expire by the end of the legislative session unless the legislature acts. The cost of the land buy is roughly estimated at about $350-million....

  13. The Buzz: James Carville's predictions for Jeb Bush, Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio

    State Roundup

    Democratic strategist James Carville, a Cajun who knows a little something about Clintons winning and beating a Bush, charmed a crowd at Saint Leo University on Wednesday night to kick off the school's International Business Conference. Highlights:

    On Jeb: "I give Christie no chance. I would give Jeb probably less of a chance than most handicappers would, but still a good one."...

    LOS ANGELES, CA - FEBRUARY 06:  Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz attends the 25th anniversary MusiCares 2015 Person Of The Year Gala honoring Bob Dylan at the Los Angeles Convention Center on February 6, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. The annual benefit raises critical funds for MusiCares' Emergency Financial Assistance and Addiction Recovery programs.  (Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images) 531541791
  14. Investing in and advocating fracking is Jeb Bush family affair

    Blog

    In the summer of 2013, well before he became an all-but-declared presidential candidate, Jeb Bush spoke to conservatives gathered in New York. He talked up the promise of education reform, immigration and policies to boost America's economy — standard lecture circuit talk for which the former Florida governor often commanded $40,000 a speech.

    Still, the part about "a patriotic energy policy" was especially timely, coming amid heated debate over whether Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo should lift the state's moratorium on the controversial oil and natural gas drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing....

  15. Jeb Bush's private investments in fracking dovetail with public advocacy

    State Roundup

    In the summer of 2013, well before he became an all-but-declared presidential candidate, Jeb Bush spoke to conservatives gathered in New York. He talked up the promise of education reform, immigration and policies to boost America's economy — standard lecture circuit talk for which the former Florida governor often commanded $40,000 a speech.

    Still, the part about "a patriotic energy policy" was especially timely, coming amid heated debate over whether Democratic New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo should lift the state's moratorium on the controversial oil and natural gas drilling technique of hydraulic fracturing....

    Fracking is a process in which a mixture of water, sand and chemicals is blasted into the earth to release oil or gas. Rock is fractured by the high-pressure liquid, hence the term fracking. Calls for fracking have been a part of Jeb Bush’s speeches.