07/06/14 State Roundup
A radio ad attacking former Gov. Charlie Crist accuses him of signing the nation's "harshest marijuana laws." And it's aimed at a voting bloc that overwhelmingly sides with Democrats: African-Americans.
"While Crist was coddling the gun lobby, he was cracking down on us," says the ad from Progressive Choice Florida, a 501(c)4 group that has been attacking Crist from the left. "Passing maximum sentencing laws. Signing the nation's harshest marijuana laws. And enacting the country's strictest penalties against non-violent offenders — many of whom just happen to be black."...
For all the things Legoland has going for it, the park still has had some obstacles to being a perfect attraction. There's the long drive across Winter Haven. The $14 parking. And the fact there's really not much for the tiniest tots to do.
The park has addressed that last part in spades this season, revamping its Duplo Valley toddler section for children 5 and younger with all-new rides and facilities. What better way to give it a test-drive than to drive my own 2-year-old daughter (known to most friends and family as the Pink Ninja, thanks to a creative aunt) to Polk County and give it a spin?...
With criticism of Charlie Crist mounting this week in the state's gubernatorial race, PolitiFact Florida checked a couple of claims that have been made against him. One is about financial disclosures, while the other concerns Florida's drug laws.
Rick Scott has attacked Crist for refusing to release his wife Carole's tax returns, saying "candidates for governor routinely disclose" their spouses’ tax returns. We rated that one here....
U.S. Rep. David Jolly expressed concern about plenty of issues during the Suncoast Tiger Bay political club luncheon in St. Petersburg on Monday, but the 2016 election wasn't one of them.
Jolly already is facing Libertarian Lucas Overby in his Nov. 4 re-election bid. The Democrats did not field a candidate. Jolly took the seat in a special election after Young died last October. Young's widow Beverly had said her husband hand-picked Jolly to be his successor, but has since announced she will run for the seat herself in 2016....
ST. PETERSBURG — U.S. Rep. David Jolly addressed the Veterans Affairs scandal and said intervention in Iraq should be "on the table" at a Suncoast Tiger Bay political club luncheon Monday, his first appearance since winning office.
Jolly, who won Florida's 13th congressional district over Democrat Alex Sink in a March special election, focused on concerns over care and facilities for veterans in the wake of VA secretary Eric Shinseki's resignation in May. The event was held at Orange Blossom Catering in downtown St. Petersburg....
06/15/14 State Roundup
Even as polls show plenty of Floridians are ready to approve the medical marijuana amendment on the November ballot, opposition groups are aggressively trying to swat down supporters' arguments.
One such group is Vote No On 2, which has dedicated a website to pointing out what it calls loopholes in the ballot measure. Among them, the group says, is that the proposal would let almost anyone give out the drug to patients....
A little more than five months into his first year in office, Mayor Rick Kriseman has focused on several of the promises he made on the campaign trail.
While talk often centers on whether Kriseman will find a Pier design the entire city can support or end the stadium stalemate with the Tampa Bay Rays, that's not all the new mayor has been doing.
PolitiFact Florida has been tracking many of Kriseman's campaign promises. Here's a look at his progress on housing, transit and the city's website:...
06/04/14 Pop Culture
No matter how realistic Electronic Arts makes its NBA Live series, we all were hoping to escape mention of L.A. Clippers owner Donald Sterling in the world of video games.
By now you've heard of Sterling and his incendiary opinions on race. But it was a community manager for Evolve and Left 4 Dead developer Turtle Rock that dragged the racial debate into gaming.
On April 30, the studio's Josh Olin tweeted: "Here's an unpopular opinion: Donald Sterling has the right as an American to be an old bigot in the security of his own home. He's a victim."...
Gov. Rick Scott's political committee Let's Get to Work has a new campaign ad with a carefully worded attack against presumptive Democratic gubernatorial challenger Charlie Crist.
The ad says "Charlie Crist allowed college tuition to increase up to 15 percent every year." PolitiFact Florida set out to see if they were correct.
05/30/14 State Roundup
One of the biggest question marks over Florida's proposed medical marijuana amendment is over who will use it. According to an opposition group, it's not who you may think.
Don't Let Florida Go to Pot, a campaign run by a coalition of more than 40 organizations opposing Amendment 2, says on its website that most patients don't suffer from the life-threatening diseases often associated with medical marijuana use....
05/25/14 State Roundup
Family Feud time! Today's question: Name something most teenagers cannot do.
Vote? Ding! See R-rated movies alone? Ding! Buy beer? Ding!
Score some weed without a hitch under Florida's proposed medical marijuana amendment? BUZZZZ!
An antimarijuana coalition operating the website DontLetFloridaGoToPot.com has claimed as much. Among the talking points was the assertion, "The amendment allows a teenager to get a recommendation for medical marijuana without the consent of a parent."...
05/21/14 Pop Culture
It sure didn't take long for Microsoft to abandon the next gen of its must-have peripheral for Xbox One, the Kinect. And it may end up being the smartest move they've made in years.
Redmond announced that starting June 9, they'll offer a dis-Kinected One for the low, low price of $399. That's a Franklin less than the original bundle, and brings the One in line with the price of a 500GB PlayStation 4....
St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman campaigned heavily on the fate of the Pier and his opponent's inability to replace the waterfront icon.
He promised to do a better and swifter job than his predecessor and his failed replacement project known as the Lens.
Now that he's in office, PolitiFact Florida is tracking all those pledges to see whether the new mayor is keeping his word. We recently examined three of his promises about a timeline for a new pier and rated them on our Krise-O-Meter....
05/04/14 State Roundup
Details of Pinellas County's mass transit initiative, Greenlight Pinellas, already have opponents in overdrive, sputtering over an informational email from Friends of Greenlight, a pro-transit political action committee.
The email discusses how the Pinellas Suncoast Transit Authority would implement bus rapid transit countywide.
"Bus Rapid Transit will help the Pinellas bus system move faster, but it won't take existing lanes from other vehicles," the email reads. It's paired with an artist's rendering of the 1100 block of Fourth Street N in St. Petersburg. The street has been altered to include a bus stop and a new bus lane in front of the block's businesses....
05/02/14 State Roundup
"Higher beer production and higher consumption go hand-in-hand."
State Rep. Kelli Stargel, R-Lakeland, in op-ed column
On April 28, Stargel wrote an op-ed column in the Tallahassee Democrat defending her position on SB 1714, which would have allowed sales of 64-ounce growlers but require microbreweries to sell through distributors if their sales reach a certain volume. ...