Senate Budget Chief Jack Latvala did not hold back when asked in a local Miami TV interview Sunday about his potential Republican rivals in the 2018 governor's race.
Would Latvala, a Clearwater senator who has yet to declare a bid, make a better governor than Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, who has?
"Oh, absolutely," Latvala told WFOR-CBS 4's Jim DeFede on "Facing South Florida." "Because I've actually made a payroll. I've actually paid workers comp claims. I've been in business all these years, while Adam has been in elected office since he was 22 years old."...
A black state legislator says he was called a "n-----" and a "monkey" Wednesday by pro-Confederates who want Hollywood to keep three roads named after Confederate generals, including one of the founders of the Ku Klux Klan.
Rep. Shevrin Jones, a West Park Democrat, tweeted Wednesday that he was also told "to go back where I came from" at a protest outside Hollywood City Hall that resulted in the arrest of five people who interrupted a commission meeting. The board was not taking up the street names....
Two top African-American Democrats in the Florida Legislature aired their grievances Tuesday with Florida Democratic Party Chairman Stephen Bittel, reaching an apparent truce — for now — after Bittel called black lawmakers “childish.”
Senate Democratic Leader Oscar Braynon of Miami Gardens and future House Democratic Leader Kionne McGhee of Miami stopped short of asking Bittel for his resignation during a two-hour-long private meeting at Bittel’s Miami Beach office Tuesday....
The Florida Democratic Party’s big annual fundraiser ended in acrimony Saturday night after Stephen Bittel, the party chairman, dismissed anger from lawmakers who didn’t get introduced on stage as a “childish” complaint from African-American legislators.
Bittel also said that state Sen. Oscar Braynon of Miami Gardens, the Senate Democratic leader who had expressed lawmakers’ unhappiness to the chairman, was acting like “a 3-year-old.” Bittel has since apologized....
Still recovering from a crushing November loss, Florida Democrats turned to the 2018 election cycle Saturday with the help of the man who remains their party’s biggest cheerleader: former Vice President Joe Biden.
Without ever mentioning President Donald Trump, Biden rejected the new president’s rhetoric and assured Democrats there is a way for them to recover their political standing....
06/17/17 State Roundup
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Still recovering from a crushing November loss, Florida Democrats turned to the 2018 election cycle Saturday with the help of the man who remains their party's biggest cheerleader: former Vice President Joe Biden.
Without ever mentioning President Donald Trump, Biden rejected the new president's rhetoric and assured Democrats there is a way for them to recover their political standing....
Unwilling to attack each other this early in the 2018 campaign for Florida governor, the three Democrats running so far chose a different opponent Saturday: President Donald Trump.
“The biggest challenge we have facing the United States is without question Donald Trump,” said former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee. “And quite honestly, he’s the biggest challenge facing the world as well.”...
06/17/17 State Roundup
HOLLYWOOD, Fla. — Unwilling to attack each other this early in the 2018 campaign for Florida governor, the three Democrats running so far chose a different opponent Saturday: President Donald Trump.
"The biggest challenge we have facing the United States is without question Donald Trump," said former U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham of Tallahassee. "And quite honestly, he's the biggest challenge facing the world as well."...
In an overhaul of one of his predecessor's signature legacies, President Donald Trump will redraw U.S. policy toward Cuba on Friday, tightening travel restrictions for Americans that had been loosened under President Barack Obama and banning U.S. business transactions with Cuba's vast military conglomerate.
Trump's changes, shared Thursday with the Miami Herald, are intended to sharply curtail cash flow to the Cuban government and pressure its communist leaders to let the island's fledgling private sector grow. Diplomatic relations reestablished by Obama, including reopened embassies in Washington and Havana, will remain. Travel and money sent by Cuban Americans will be unaffected....
Americans for Prosperity, the conservative political group financed by the industrialist Koch brothers, is launching a new, six-figure digital ad campaign targeting Florida Sen. Bill Nelson on tax reform.
AFP wants Nelson, who sits on the Senate Finance Committee, to follow its principles for comprehensive tax reform. It's an unlikely request, given that Nelson is a Democrat.
Nelson is also running for reelection next year, and is expected to face a serious challenge from Republican Gov. Rick Scott....
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was in the audience when U2 performed in Miami Gardens on Sunday -- and it sounds like band frontman Bono knew it.
The Irish singer gave the Republican senator a shoutout in a monologue during the band's encore, according to people who attended the concert, apparently over Rubio's support for programs that combat the AIDS virus. Bono then launched into "One," a song U2 released in the early 1990s as a single to benefit AIDS research....
The tweets exchanged Sunday between two Miami Republicans running to replace former Sen. Frank Artiles seemed simple enough.
Former Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla opposed public funding for a potential Major League Soccer stadium. His opponent, Rep. Jose Felix Diaz, a lawyer and registered County Hall lobbyist for the investors pitching the stadium, is trailing the well-known Diaz de la Portilla in early polls.Diaz replied to Diaz de la Portilla with a couple of links to stories from 2006 and 2007, when Diaz de la Portilla favored legislative proposals to benefit the Marlins' quest for a baseball stadium. ...
Of Florida’s top three Republican leaders, only one of them — Senate President Joe Negron — is willing to say, grudgingly, that human activity contributes to climate change.
Gov. Rick Scott and House Speaker Richard Corcoran won’t go there.
Asked repeatedly Friday if man-made climate change is real, as a broad consensus of scientists have long concluded, Corcoran refused to answer....
Sergio Bendixen, the first Hispanic to run a U.S. presidential campaign who later pioneered public-opinion polling among Latinos and other immigrant populations, died late Friday in Miami. He was 68.
No cause of death was immediately available. Bendixen had been suffering from a bad cold in recent days, according to his friend and business partner, Fernand Amandi. The two ran the Coconut Grove-based Bendixen & Amandi International polling firm, though Bendixen was semi-retired....
There will now be two races on the ballot for a special Miami legislative election this summer.
Gov. Rick Scott decided Monday to schedule the contest to replace state Rep. Jose Felix Diaz at the same time as the already-scheduled election to replace state Sen. Frank Artiles. That's a special primary July 25 and a special general election Sept. 26....