Faced with the exodus of his legal team, David Rivera tried to delay a Florida Commission on Ethics case that found he violated the state's rules for elected officials.
But on Friday, when told of his latest maneuver in a two-year-old case, the Commission unanimously rejected further delay, recommending instead that administrative law judge David Watkins determine penalties for the violations by Rivera, who appeared late at the hearing and missed the discussion on his case....
09/10/14 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — Since late August, Gov. Rick Scott's promise to slash taxes and fees by $1 billion over the next two years has been the backdrop for his re-election campaign, fueling a two-week tour through Florida.
But while Scott's campaign to promote the plan took him to the Panhandle town of Milton on Wednesday, the focus on whether it could actually work shifted 178 miles east to the Capitol, where lawmakers discussed the state's financial outlook....
Officially, Attorney Pam Bondi was the first to issue the debate challenge to George Sheldon.
It was just minutes after Sheldon had won the Democratic nomination for Attorney General on Tuesday night when Bondi's campaign blasted an email stating that Bondi "calls for general election debate."...
08/29/14 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott is promising Florida voters a $1 billion package of tax and fee cuts in a second term, including new limits on property tax increases and another cut in auto tag fees.
Every one of the proposals Scott will roll out in a two-week statewide tour starting Monday would require the approval of the Legislature, which previously has been lukewarm to Scott's call for a phase-out of the state corporate income tax and a sales tax break for manufacturers....
TALLAHASSEE — George Sheldon easily beat Perry Thurston Tuesday for the Democratic nomination for Attorney General.Sheldon's double-digit victory ensures the return of a veteran of Florida agencies and yet another proxy war on Obamacare.
In November, he faces Republican incumbent Pam Bondi, a contest that pits the state's most vocal critic of the Affordable Care Act against Sheldon, who left the agency implementing it so he could challenge her....
TALLAHASSEE — George Sheldon easily beat Rep. Perry Thurston, D-Fort Lauderdale, Tuesday for the Democratic nomination for attorney general.
The double-digit victory by the veteran of Florida government ensures yet another proxy war on Obamacare.
In November, Sheldon faces Republican incumbent Pam Bondi, a contest that pits the state's most vocal critic of the Affordable Care Act against Sheldon, who left the federal agency implementing it....
08/21/14 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — The U.S. Department of Justice announced a record settlement with Bank of America on Thursday that will provide $1 billion in relief for about 17,000 Floridians affected by the mortgage crisis.
But it's unclear who specifically will qualify or if the money ultimately will help those hurt most by the reckless conduct of Bank of America and the companies it bought, Countrywide Financial Corp. and Merrill Lynch....
The U.S. Department of Justice announced a record settlement with Bank of America on Thursday that will provide $1 billion in relief for about 17,000 Floridians.
But it’s still not clear which ones will qualify.
They’ll likely be in addition to the 120,000 who were offered $9.2 billion in relief in a separate 2012 settlement with the nation’s largest banks, including Bank of America....
TALLAHASSEE — Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam this week provided the most detail yet on his hunting trips to King Ranch in Texas, saying he did not discuss state business, such as water policy, while visiting hunting land leased by U.S. Sugar.
However, Putnam still won't answer key questions about his trips to King Ranch, where he and other top Florida Republican elected officials have visited since U.S. Sugar leased land there in 2011....
TALLAHASSEE — Standing alongside Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and representatives from business groups, U.S. Rep. Steve Southerland on Monday touted federal legislation to block federal oversight of waterways and wetlands in favor of state and local government agencies.
"If the big government bullies are successful, it will mean higher costs for doing business, more uncertainty in the workplace, and fewer jobs," the Panama City Republican said during a news conference in the state Capitol. "States and local governments are sometimes better able to manage waters within their boundaries than the D.C. bureaucrats a thousand miles away."...
08/17/14 State Roundup
To say that Steve Crisafulli is comfortable working with the sugar industry is an understatement.
Crisafulli, who becomes the most powerful man in the Florida House of Representatives this fall, has been a major beneficiary of the state's sugar industry. During the last two election cycles, agricultural interests have contributed at least $200,000 to Crisafulli, R-Merritt Island, and his political action committees. U.S. Sugar contributed nearly half of that total, $94,500....
08/15/14 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — A Leon County circuit judge ruled Friday that George Sheldon has no residency issues that disqualify him from running for or serving as Florida attorney general.
"I'm thinking of all the jury excuses that I hear as a judge, day in and day out, from people who work out of their home, people who work out of state, truck drivers that are out three to four months at a time," said Chief Judge Charles A. Francis. "But their home is right here. They reside right here. I think, in this case, Mr. Sheldon's residence is where he's resided in Tallahassee, except when he worked out of state. He still came back to Tallahassee and stayed at the house he owned and maintained."...
Even by the up-is-down, dogs-and-cats-living-together nature of Florida politics, George Sheldon has got to be shaking his head at the irony of today’s 1:30 p.m. hearing before Leon County Circuit Judge James Hankinson....