As Tallahassee grapples with what to do about trauma center response fees, the woman responsible for starting the process that allowed hospitals to charge the fees speaks up in an op-ed in Sunday's Tampa Bay Times that is already posted online. Connie J. Potter details how she expected hospitals to use the fees and all that she sees is now wrong with Florida's trauma network. ...
The Tampa Bay Times editorial board debuts a video editorial style to address the failed Senate vote on gun control in the wake of the Newtown shootings. Click on Full Story to watch the video.
From a Wednesday editorial in the Tampa Bay Times:
(House Speaker Will Weatherford) continues to support a plan authored by Rep. Richard Corcoran, R-Land O' Lakes, that provides insufficient payments for a modest portion of poor adults to buy private health coverage. Florida Health Choices Plus would be paid for with state taxpayer dollars at an estimated cost of $237 million per year. The plan forgoes $51 billion in federal funding over 10 years that flows with Medicaid expansion, leaves hundreds of thousands of poor Floridians without health coverage and forces Florida taxpayers to continue paying $430 million annually for the state's Medically Needy program. The math does not add up......
From Tuesday's Tampa Bay Times' editorial page:
Regulators who break the rules cannot be trusted with enforcing them. The Florida Department of Environmental Protection broke the rules protecting the state's wetlands to benefit a well-connected landowner, then punished the one employee who challenged her bosses on it and tried to do her job. Gov. Rick Scott should remove DEP Secretary Herschel Vinyard Jr. and at least one of his deputy secretaries, because Floridians can no longer trust the agency to protect the environment and fairly enforce the rules....
Tampa Bay Times' op-ed columnist Daniel Ruth in Tuesday's newspaper:
If Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford ever decides to create a Select Committee for Cronyism, Three-Card Monte Schemes, Misdirection and Obfuscation, he has the perfect candidate to tap as chairman: young master Rep. Jamie Grant, R-It's Good To Be Me....
Apparently Tampa twins Jill Kelley and Natalie Khawam's social calendar extended beyond military parties at Kelley's Bayshore home. Former Tampa Republican Angelette Aviles tweeted out an undated photo Wednesday showing the sisters with Marco Rubio....
Bad news if you are under 21 and voted with a provisional ballot at the poll for Florida's Aug. 14 primary: There's a 29 percent chance your vote didn't count. If you are Hispanic and voted a provisional ballot, there's a 33 percent chance. Statewide, 22 percent of all provisional ballots weren't counted in the primary. And nearly 2 percent of all absentee ballots that were returned to elections offices weren't counted....
The Tampa Bay Times editorial board recommends the re-election of President Barack Obama "without hesitation."
"Four years ago, Barack Obama offered an inspiring message of hope and change to an uneasy nation bogged down in two wars and facing economic collapse. The rosy idealism quickly gave way to the harsh realities of the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. The recovery has proven more difficult than anyone imagined. But conditions would be far worse without the president's steady leadership. This is not the time to reverse course and return to the failed policies of the past. Without hesitation, the Tampa Bay Times recommends Barack Obama for re-election as president...."...
The Tampa Bay Times editorial board on Saturday will publish its recommendations in print for three contested Florida Senate seats in Tampa Bay. All three recommendations went to Republicans, who "focus more on Florida's long-term needs than short-term political gains," the editorial reads. They are:
District 20: Jack Latvala
District 24: Tom Lee
District 26: Bill Galvano....
Five Republicans, six Democrats and one Independent earned the Tampa Bay Times editorial board's recommendation for contested Florida House seats in the Nov. 6 general election.
District 34: Nancy Argenziano
District 35: Rose Rocco
District 57: Jake Raburn
District 58: Dan Raulerson
District 59: Gail Gottlieb
District 62: Janet Cruz
District 63: Shawn Harrison
District 65: Carl Zimmermann
District 66: Mary Louise Ambrose
District 67: Ed Hooper
District 68: Dwight Dudley
District 69: Kathleen Peters...
Sunday's Tampa Bay Times includes the editorial board's recommendations for Pinellas County Commission: Janet Long for District 1, Charlie Justice for District 3 and Ken Welch for District 7.
Also published this week were recommendations for Pinellas County School Board -- Elliott Stern in District 1; Rene Flowers in District 7 -- and a yes vote on extending the county's optional property tax for schools....
Saturday's editorial page in the Tampa Bay Times features the editorial board's recommendation for the five contested U.S. congressional races - all for the incumbents in districts 11, 23, 13, 14 and 17. "Congress faces big challenges, including reducing the federal deficit, overhauling the tax code and reforming entitlements. While House districts have been redrawn, most Tampa Bay incumbents lack credible opponents." To read the congressional recommendations click here....
The Tampa Bay Times editorial board kept it simple: Just say no on all 11 state constitutional amendments. And in Thursday's paper it will do the same: Just say yes on merit retention for all Florida Supreme Court justices and appellate judges.
A round up of the board's recommendations thus far -- with links to original editorials -- can be found at here. The list will be updated daily as additional recommendations are published....
From Dan Ruth's Friday op-ed column in the Tampa Bay Times: "...Yet, while (Florida Gov. Rick) Scott's letter was waxing ridiculous about the sanctity of the voting booth, his own party was busily at work trying to cook the books. This was a bit like Mexico's Zetas cartel claiming to be outraged over epidemic drug trafficking, oblivious to all the shooting in the streets..."Read full column here....
On Tuesday's op-ed page in the Tampa Bay Times, columnist Dan Ruth weighs in on Senate President-designate Don Gaetz's appearance last month before Associated Industries of Florida: "Some people might suggest Gaetz is being a little brusque in his treatment of those who might oppose him. Maybe they are right. But what's the point of having all the juice conferred on the president of the Senate if you can't abuse it from time to time?"...