Just days before he brings his presidential campaign to Sarasota, Donald Trump beefed up his Florida team with four new hires.
Trump is slated to hold a rally at the Sarasota Fairgrounds on Saturday.
Here's the full news release today from Team Trump:
Donald J. Trump today announced the addition of four staff members joining his operation in Florida as he continues to lead all state polls by wide, double-digit margins. Jennifer R. Locetta will serve as Deputy State Director, Ken Mayo has been named Director of Field Operations, John Ross Pughe is joining as the Southeast Regional Field Director, and Craig Bachler will serve as Director of Coalitions....
Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano writes about a desire to educate voters about a time they got it wrong in the polling booth:
Let's talk about the time Florida voters screwed up.
It was done with the best of intentions, and with the blessing of editorial boards and voter education groups. But it was a blunder, nonetheless.
This was back in 1998 when voters passed a constitutional amendment giving the governor more power by shrinking the size and scope of the state's Cabinet....
Amid a push by some lawakers in Tallahassee to pave the way for fantasy sports sites to operate freely in Florida, litigation elsewhere in the state is challenging the legality of the popular pasttime.
Tampa Bay Times staff writer William Levesque chronicles the Florida suit here:...
Florida remains ensconced as the third-largest creator of private sector jobs nationwide behind California and Texas.
However, the number of private jobs added statewide last month — 15,400 — is relatively unchanged from a month ago and remains far shy of the pace of a year ago.
Moreover, a dominating 97 percent of the jobs are in the traditionally lower-paying service-providing sector and only 500 jobs are in the goods-producing category. ...
Tampa Bay Times' columnist John Romano looks at the striking similarities between the country's third-largest state and its biggest retailer:
Turns out, the similarities have been staring us in the face for years.
Price cuts = tax cuts.
Uninsured employees = uninsured residents.
No-frills merchandise = no-frills infrastructure.
Low wages = well, low wages....
From the News Service of Florida:
Two Democratic lawmakers filed bills Tuesday that would direct the Florida Department of State to preserve historical resources from the shuttered Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys and to provide money to help families reinter bodies of children found at the Jackson County site.
The bills (SB 708 and HB 533), filed by Senate Minority Leader Arthenia Joyner, D-Tampa, and Rep. Ed Narain, D-Tampa, come after extensive excavation work by University of South Florida researchers at the former reform school....
Presidential candidate Ben Carson came to Tampa today, kicking off his visit at a prayer breakfast where he kept politics off the menu. Tampa Bay Times staff writers Tracey McManus and Kattie Mettler followed his visit here:
In his first of two stops in Tampa Bay on Tuesday, GOP presidential frontrunner Ben Carson steered clear of talking politics at the YMCA of the Suncoast's 10th annual prayer breakfast and instead reflected on his life story and personal values that have driven his success....
On the education beat, Jeffrey S. Solochek of the Tampa Bay Times writes about a push in Florida to let students substitute foreign language requirements with computer language courses:
Sunlake High School sophomore Chris Collins sees little value in his Spanish language courses.
"I was bored out," said Collins, 15. "If I want to travel in the future, I'd probably want to learn the language. I'm not planning to travel."...
10/16/15 State Roundup
By the numbers, just how strong is Florida's economy?
Home in on the popular bottom-line number that many gravitate to — the unemployment rate — and there's reason for encouragement.
Florida's jobless rate fell from 5.4 percent to a seven-year low of 5.2 percent in September, according to figures released Friday. In Tampa Bay, unemployment dropped from 5.3 percent to 5 percent, a level last seen more than a year before George W. Bush turned over the Oval Office to Barack Obama. ...
Jeb Bush's presidential campaign today released a list of people who have helped him raise money, but with a twist.
While "bundler" names do not have to be disclosed (unless they are lobbyists) the former Florida governor used a much lower threshold. So while Democratic frontrunner Hilllary Clinton identifies bundlers who have raised at least $100,000, Bush is naming anyone who raised $17,600 -- the trigger for disclosing lobbyists. That makes it harder to determine the big fundraisers for Bush....
Some Florida Senate leaders in both parties are openly critical of Gov. Rick Scott's plan to give more money to Enterprise Florida for job incentives. And they've laid out priorities that differ from his during the upcoming session.
So is Scott confident the two chambers will support the two-pronged legislative agenda he laid out this week of jobs incentive money and a tax cut package that trumps the $427 million approved last year?...
The Tampa Bay Times' Katherine Snow Smith recently talked with Carole Crist, wife of Charlie Crist and a former Florida first lady, about the grand opening of her women's clothing store Goddessey Boutique in downtown St. Petersburg.
Crist was coy in addressing whether her husband should run for Congress as widely anticipated:
'At the end of the day whatever he decides to do I'm behind Charlie 100 percent because he's my husband and I love him," she said. "I believe 'be your dreams' and the same goes for him. I'm his No. 1 supporter and No. 1 cheerleader."...
Gyrocopter-flying, Homeland Security-defying, big-money-in-politics-decrying Florida mailman Doug Hughes is back in the news.
From the Associated Press:
WASHINGTON - Douglas Hughes, the Florida mail carrier who landed a gyrocopter on the West Lawn of the Capitol as part of a protest against the influence of big money in politics, said Thursday that he has rejected a plea deal that would strip him of his right to vote....
The Libertarian Party has gotten all that it can handle in U.S. Senate wannabe Augustus Sol Invictus. So notes Tampa Bay Times metro columnist John Romano:
For a moment last year, they were Florida's favorite political underdogs.
If not hip, Libertarians were at least funky. They sided with conservatives on shrinking the government and owning guns, and stood with liberals on marriage equality and ending the war on drugs....
With the Planned Parenthood debate taking center stage in a Congressional hearing this week, PolitiFact's Linda Qiu dissected a chart that was a centerpiece to the discussion.
Congress may have avoided a government shutdown related to Planned Parenthood funding - at least so far - but the controversy over the women's health organization looks like it's here to stay.
Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, who chairs the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, sparred with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards during a high-profile hearing on Sept. 29. One of their face-offs originated with a chart Chaffetz flashed, indicating that Planned Parenthood performed more abortions than "life-saving procedures" in 2013, a complete reversal from just seven years ago....