Marc Caputo, Miami Herald

Marc Caputo

Marc Caputo covers state politics for the Miami Herald, in partnership with the Tampa Bay Times.


Twitter: @MarcACaputo

  1. RPOF ethics complaint targets Charlie Crist over Morgan & Morgan, JNC appointment


    The Republican Party of Florida filed its third ethics complaint against Democrat Charlie Crist related to his ties the law firm of Morgan & Morgan.

    This complaint revolves around Crist’s decision as governor in 2010 to appoint one of the firm’s lawyers to a post that nominates judges while he was negotiating with Morgan & Morgan to become an employee after he left office in 2011....

  2. Scott releases second Spanish-language radio spot: 'GOALLLLLL!'


    It's the season for political campaigns and Copa Mundial. And there's no better time for Gov. Rick Scott's political team to obliquely reference legendary telecaster Andrés Cantor's trademark scoring celebration.

    In its second Spanish-language radio ad titled "GOALLLLLL!," Scott's political team takes another shot at the jobs lost under Democrat Charlie Crist and his decision not to seek reelection as governor in 2010, when he unsuccessfully ran for U.S. Senate....

  3. Scott spends $2m more on second ad bashing Crist over tuition


    The Republican Party of Florida today announced that Gov. Rick Scott's political committee will spend about $2 million to air his second ad bashing Democrat Charlie Crist over tuition increases signed by the former governor.

    The latest commercial, his 11th, probably brings Scott's total spending to about $16 million since mid-March. About half of the ad buys are Crist-bashers like this one....

  4. Democrats' first Florida governor's race ad revisits Scott and Medicare fraud


    The Florida Democratic Party's first TV spot of the 2014 governor's race airs this week and attacks Gov. Rick Scott over an old weakness: Medicare fraud.

    "Maybe you've heard about what was the largest Medicare fraud in history, committed when Rick Scott was a CEO," says the ad. "Or that Scott's company paid record fraud fines of $1.7 billion."

    The commercial is similar to those that appeared in the 2010 election when Scott's Republican rival, Bill McCollum, and then his Democratic opponent, Alex Sink, wanted to ensure that voters knew about the 1997 fine paid by Columbia/HCA, a hospital company Scott built....

  5. Incoming House Speaker Crisafulli will keep Kathy Mears as chief of staff


    It's official: Kathy Mears is the must-hire chief of staff in the state Capitol.

    And it's also official: Incoming Florida House Speaker Steve Crisafulli is certainly smart enough to know this, tapping Mears to stay on as chief of staff after she served in that capacity for two years under Speaker Will Weatherford. Mears was then-Republican Gov. Charlie Crist's deputy staff chief and was a top advisor to former Senate Presidents Ken Pruitt and Tom Lee....

  6. Meet Charlie Crist's new campaign team


    Democrat Charlie Crist is ready to announce his new campaign team, a mix of new and old names (it doesn't include everyone in advisory or consulting positions).

    “We are building a grassroots, people-focused team that represents Florida’s diversity. That’s how we will defeat Rick Scott and put Florida’s middle class back in charge," campaign manager Omar Khan said in a written statement....

  7. Scott's fundraiser flubs continue to pile up


    Gov. Rick Scott's campaign last week provided a political corollary to Honoré de Balzac's saying that "behind every great fortune there is a crime."

    Behind every great donor there is a potential crime.

    It's especially true in scammer-rich Florida.

    Had Scott's campaign-finance team realized this, someone might have vetted (or Googled) James Batmasian. He pleaded guilty in 2008 to failing to collect and pay $253,000 in federal withholding taxes regarding his Boca Raton investment company's employees. Batmasian spent eight months in prison, paid a $30,000 fine and had his law license suspended in Florida....

    [AP photo]
  8. Rick Scott to go up with first radio ad -- in Spanish


    What do you do when you've hit the $12 million mark for television ad buys by mid-June?

    Go up on radio if you're Gov. Rick Scott.

    And do it first in Spanish.

    Starting Thursday, the Republican's re-election campaign plans to air a positive Spanish-language radio spot that revolves around Scott's promise to create jobs and Florida's improving economy

    "What do we expect from our elected officials? That if they make a promise, they keep it. That they care about our future," the ad says. "Today there are 600,000 new jobs that businesses have created and unemployment is declining. Rick Scott promised not to raise taxes; Rick Scott has cut taxes 40 times."...

  9. Miami trial-lawyer chief loses cool, smacks camera out of GOP tracker's hands before Crist event


    A warning to anyone who holds an event for a major candidate for Florida governor: There will be trackers, the video camera-wielding politico-paparazzi on the lookout for gaffes or drama.

    And they're always recording.

    The Miami-Dade Justice Association's president, attorney Andrew Moss, learned that the hard way Wednesday when he smacked the smartphone camera out of the hand of a Republican tracker stalking Democrat Charlie Crist, who was speaking to his fellow trial lawyers at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove....

  10. SurveyUSA/WFLA poll: Rick Scott leads Charlie Crist 42-40 percent


    After a $10 million ad blitz in just over two months, Gov. Rick Scott has started to pull ahead of Democrat Charlie Crist in a new poll that shows the Republican incumbent leading 42-40 percent.

    The poll, conducted by SurveyUSA for Tampa's WFLA NBC affiliate, indicates that Scott isn't surging as much as he's dragging down Crist.

    Scott's overall support numbers have increased by a statistically insignificant 1 percentage point since WFLA's first poll in mid April . But in that time, Crist's numbers have dropped by 6 points....

  11. Gov. Rick Scott won't state opinion after Supreme Court ruling


    The U.S. Supreme Court blocked Florida from executing a mentally disabled man, ruling Tuesday that the state's method of assessing intellectual ability wasn't constitutional.

    In a 5-4 ruling, the court said that Florida and a handful of other states cannot rely solely on an IQ score above 70 to bar an inmate from claiming mental disability. 

    Gov. Rick Scott wouldn't comment on the case, saying he hadn't read the ruling, which blocks the execution of Freddie Lee Hall, who was sentenced to death in 1978 for his role in in the kidnap, rape and murder of a pregnant woman as he stole her car in a grocery-store robbery that also led to the killing of a Hernando County sheriff's deputy....

  12. Gov. Rick Scott won't say if he thinks man-made climate-change is real, significant


    Florida Gov. Rick Scott won't say whether he thinks man-made climate change is real and significant.

    "I’m not a scientist," Scott said when asked about anthropogenic global warming during a Tuesday stop in Miami. Scott then talked about money for flood control and Everglades restoration.

    Scott's refusal to weigh in on the issue contrasts with his position in 2011, when he said "I've not been convinced that there's any man-made climate change... Nothing's convinced me that there is."...

  13. Gov. Rick Scott announces $10M 'Risk Taker Reward' plan


    Gov. Rick Scott launched a new phase of his re-election campaign Tuesday at a Hialeah pipe-supply company where he announced plans for a $10 million award to private-sector entrepreneurs who solve public-sector problems.

    Scott didn't elaborate much on the details of the "Risk Takers Reward" proposal or a plan, in conjunction with colleges and universities, to award up to $100,000 to a Floridian who writes a winning business plan. In both cases, the awards would blend public and private money....

  14. Governor's race already heated, already costly

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott is rewriting Florida's campaign playbook by spending money at a record clip.

    Charlie Crist, on his third political affiliation in four years, is doing his own rewrite through political reinvention.

    Six months from Election Day, the two men are on a collision course in what promises to be the costliest and meanest governor's race in the nation.

    It's Memorial Day weekend and Scott is already approaching $10 million in spending on TV ads aired or bought since mid March — more of it in Tampa Bay than any other part of the state. In previous campaigns, this level of spending might be dropped around Labor Day....

    Charlie Crist, with his arm around Watson Haynes of the Pinellas County Urban League, and his wife, Carole Rome, walk with supporters before a Feb. 22 book signing in St. Petersburg.
  15. Former Rick Scott, FL GOP vendor went to Cuba 'and can't wait to go back'


    After Democrat Charlie Crist said he wanted to go to Cuba, Gov. Rick Scott condemned the move.

    “When spends money there, he’s helping the Castro regime,” Scott said recently in Miami.

    But more people, business leaders and politicians are heading to Cuba these days – including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and a consulting company that, over the past decade, has done $368,000 worth of web services for Scott, top Republican lawmakers and the Republican Party of Florida over the past decade. ...