Florida Republicans are filling out their presidential candidate lineup for next month's Sunshine Summit in Orlando. Today's additions are Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Sen. Rick Santorum.
“We welcome Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Rick Santorum to the lineup of presidential candidates speaking at the Sunshine Summit in Orlando. Our Party has remained committed to empowering the grassroots by bring candidates to Florida. As we continue to announce more candidates, the current 10 confirmed presidential participants will help build excitement for Florida’s grassroots leaders and volunteers in what will be this year’s premier presidential event in Florida.”...
Tampa Bay Times real estate reporter Susan Taylor Martin has been reporting for years on the troubles with Florida's Hardest Hit Fund. Federal investigators released an audit today:
In a blistering report released today, federal investigators say Florida has consistently "under-performed'' other states in using federal mortgage assistance money to help desperate homeowners facing foreclosure....
The Miami Herald's Jenny Staletovich and Joey Flechas reporting on Al Gore's Miami appearance:
As if on cue, a king tide powered by a supermoon flooded parts of South Florida Sunday and Monday, setting a soggy stage for international forums aimed at drawing attention to the perils of climate change.
In downtown Miami, about 1,200 people gathered to train for a climate corps led by former Vice President Al Gore, who drew mainstream attention to the issue in his 2006 Academy Award-winning documentary An Inconvenient Truth. For nearly three hours, Gore walked a crowd that included participants from 80 countries through his now-famous slide show, rebooted with a decade’s worth of new science and data supporting the dire consequences of a warming planet....
The Miami Herald's Michael Vasquez had an interesting story about state Sen. Oscar Braynon, D-Miami Gardens. An excerpt:
Sen. Oscar Braynon II introduced himself as just an interested lawmaker — interested enough to drive all the way to Gainesville.
At a February meeting of Florida’s Board of Physical Therapy, held in Gainesville’s Best Western Gateway Grand, Braynon stood up to speak about a controversial issue: colleges offering unaccredited physical therapy assistant programs. The Miami Gardens Democrat was no expert on the topic, as he had to ask board members to explain how college accreditation works....
PolitiFact was up into the night fact-checking the second Republican presidential debate and we're back at it today sorting out more of the candidates' claims.
Catch up on all the fact-checking here.
And that back and forth between Jeb Bush and Donald Trump over casino gambling in Florida? We've got you covered....
Tampa Bay Times columnist Daniel Ruth weighs in on Richard Corcoran's designation ceremony as the next speaker of the Florida House. An excerpt:
Corcoran pledged his speakership would usher in an era allowing for greater power-sharing while dismantling the lobbyist-influenced hierarchy of House leadership. That sounds very nice, although there is virtually nothing in Corcoran's political bloodlines that would remotely suggest that after decades of looting, conspiring and kneecapping his way to the pinnacle of power in the House, he is going to transform himself into a cuddly Mr. Rogers of House speakers....
Tampa Bay Times business columnist Robert Trigaux weighs in with a timely Carly Fiorina column this morning. An excerpt:
Last night, Fiorina called Trump a "wonderful entertainer" but also responded to his earlier comments, making clear she found them insulting not only to her but to all women. "I think women all over this country heard very clearly what Mr. Trump said," Fiorina said, responding to a question from CNN's Jake Tapper and drawing loud applause from the audience....
Jeb Bush Jr. posted a photo on Twitter this morning that is making the rounds ahead of tonight's GOP debate at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, Calif.
On Monday, we told you how Marco Rubio, a University of Florida graduate and dedicated college football fan, is not above trash-talking rival Florida State University, even as he’s running for president.
“Look, I don’t have anything against Florida State,” Rubio told Iowa radio station KXNO (AM) 1460. “I think there has to be a school where people who can’t get into Florida can go to college.”...
The next GOP presidential debate is at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Ronald Reagan presidential library in Simi Valley, Calif. CNN is the host, with Jake Tapper as moderator and Dana Bash and Hugh Hewitt as panelists.
Here is the lineup: Donald Trump, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, John Kasich, Chris Christie, Carly Fiorina
If you’re looking for a debate watch party, there are a number of events in the bay area:...
Our Miami Herald colleague Michelle Kaufman has a great story out of the Hillary Clinton emails:
In 7,000 pages of Hillary Clinton emails released by the State Department, amid a trove of notes on Middle East policy and gefilte fish and the TV show Parks and Recreation, is an exchange involving South Florida and Cuba ties.
Endurance swimmer Diana Nyad, attempting a 103-mile Cuba-to-Key West swim at age 60 in the summer of 2010, reached out to then-Secretary of State Clinton in a “desperate plea’’ to help her get her expedition cleared by the U.S. State Department so that she could begin the swim on Cuban soil....
Eight years ago this week, we launched a new website for accountability journalism that we called PolitiFact.
A project of the Tampa Bay Times, PolitiFact debuted to fact-check the 2007 primary field. Back then, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John Edwards led the Democratic field, while Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson and John McCain were the most popular Republicans. Our reports proved popular; eight years later, we’re still fact-checking....
From our friends at the Associated Press:
TALLAHASSEE — A messy budget fight that forced Florida's legislators to hold an unusual June special session cost taxpayers more than $651,000, according to figures released Monday by the Florida Senate.
The nine-day special session turned out to be the costliest special session in the last 15 years, and the most expensive one since Republicans took full control over state government with the election of Jeb Bush as governor....
What a year it has been in Florida politics. Who better to explain that than Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano. Read his latest column here. An excerpt:
It is the uncompromising devotion to folly that you have to applaud.
In the face of judicial demands, public ridicule and private heartburn, legislators still managed to end a special session on redistricting Friday in complete disarray....
From our friends at the News Service of Florida:
After losing a heavily contested race in 2012, former Orlando Police Chief Val Demings announced Monday she will run again next year for the congressional seat held by Republican Daniel Webster. The district, Congressional District 10, is expected to be substantially redrawn during a special legislative session that started last week and is scheduled to end Friday. The changes likely would make the district friendlier to Democratic candidates, such as Demings. Lawmakers are redrawing the state's congressional map after the Florida Supreme Court ruled last month that current districts violated anti-gerrymandering requirements. Demings did not discuss the possibility of a redrawn district in a statement issued Monday to announce her candidacy. "I hear from people everywhere, who are struggling to make ends meet, who fear injustice in the criminal justice system, and who want to be able to afford college for their kids,'' she said in the statement. "They want someone who won't shy away from addressing these issues head on. Just as I took on crime in Orlando by straight talk and bringing people together, I will work to move our state and country forward in Congress." Webster beat Demings in 2012 by a margin of 51.7 percent to 48.3 percent in a district that includes parts of Orange, Lake and Polk counties....