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Steve Bousquet, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

Steve Bousquet

Steve Bousquet is the Tampa Bay Times' Tallahassee bureau chief. He joined the Times in 2001 after 17 years at the Miami Herald, where he held a variety of positions including Tallahassee bureau chief, and he previously was a reporter at TV stations in Miami and Providence, R.I. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Rhode Island and a master's in history from Florida State University.

Bousquet was a contributor to two editions of The Almanac of Florida Politics and to The Miami Herald Report: Democracy Held Hostage, an account of the 2000 presidential recount in Florida.

Phone: (850) 224-7263


Twitter: @SteveBousquet

  1. By wide margin, voters add solar tax break to state Constitution


    TALLAHASSEE — The runaway winner in Tuesday's primary election was at the end of the ballot, as voters in Florida overwhelmingly approved a tax break to encourage businesses to go solar.

    The amendment, which will become part of the Florida Constitution, exempts solar and other renewable energy devices on business and industrial property from property taxes for 20 years. The same tax break already exists for residential property owners....

    The recently completed 2-megawatt solar array at Tampa International Airport’s south economy parking garage generates enough electricity to power 250 homes. Amendment 4 exempts solar and other renewable energy devices on business and industrial property from property taxes for 20 years. [Times files]
  2. Five political trends to watch for in Tuesday's Florida election


    Here are five things to watch for in Florida's primary election Tuesday.

    * ROI: This cycle is notable for the many deep-pocket Democrats and Republicans trying to buy their way into office with their own money. How many will get a good return on their investment? The Times/Herald's Michael Auslen found 27 candidates who have invested $100,000 or more and Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, is in a class by himself, having loaned his Senate bid $1.9 million for a job that pays less than $30,000 a year (his campaign motto, "Let Irv Serve," might well be "Let Irv Splurge.") If Slosberg doesn't beat Sen. Jeff Clemens, he could have a major case of buyer's remorse....

  3. Florida Chamber stands by 'low propensity' primary voter push


    The Florida Chamber of Commerce on Monday defended its pre-primary number-crunching that shows a remarkably high number of so-called unlikely or low-propensity voters have already cast ballots in Tuesday's statewide primary. The Chamber's figure is 36 percent, to be exact, of all voters registered to vote in Florida prior to July 2008 who have not voted in more than one primary since then but who have cast ballots in this election....

  4. A big surge of 'unlikely' primary voters? Not in Tampa Bay


    County election officials in Tampa Bay say they are not seeing a big surge of first-time primary voters that the Florida Chamber of Commerce says it has discovered in a review of who's voting in advance of Tuesday's primary....

  5. Weeks of voting will conclude with Tuesday's Florida primary


    TALLAHASSEE — Florida voters who go to the polls today will have the last word in a low-turnout statewide primary election that began more than a month ago.

    Through Sunday, the last day of early voting, 1.7 million people had cast ballots, two-thirds of them by mail and the rest at early-voting centers. Voting by mail started the last week of July and early voting began in many urban areas on Aug. 15....

    Reginald Lucas works voters at an early voting site in Jacksonville Sunday. [Steve Bousquet | Times/Herald]
  6. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics


    Winner of the week

    Carlos Beruff’s political consultants. A new Mason-Dixon poll showed Beruff trailing Marco Rubio by 39 percentage points in the Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Beruff might be wondering what he's getting for the $8 million he poured into the race. His paid political consultants? They’re just thankful Beruff has kept the faith for so long....

  7. Rubio is a favorite of prison firm GEO Group

    State Roundup

    The federal government's decision to stop using private prisons shines a spotlight on one of GEO Group's favorite politicians: Marco Rubio.

    Few candidates have gotten more help from the Boca Raton-based company, including $80,400 in the past month alone.

    GEO Group employees and a political action committee gave $30,400 to Rubio's Senate campaign while the PAC gave $50,000 to the super PAC supporting Rubio....

  8. Lawmaker pays heavy price for taking on Scott and Chamber


    On paper, state Rep. Mike Hill of Pensacola Beach looks like everything Republicans would want in a legislator. A captain in the Air Force, father of three and a State Farm agent with a grade of 97 out of 100 this year from the Florida Chamber of Commerce. Not perfect, but close.

    As it turns out, that 97 was far from perfect, and polls suggest that barring a miracle, Hill will lose his Republican state Senate primary on Tuesday to Rep. Doug Broxson, R-Gulf Breeze, in a race featuring one of the toughest TV ads of this primary cycle....

  9. Florida leaders' calls for crackdown on public corruption go unheeded


    TALLAHASSEE — For years, a small group of top Florida political leaders quietly prodded the federal government to be more aggressive in rooting out political corruption in the state capital.

    The bipartisan group, led by Florida's senior statesman, former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham, got a polite thank-you from the U.S. Department of Justice, and nothing more.

    "Very few prosecutorial and investigative resources are dedicated to scrutinizing activities of our largest units of state government," Graham told former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder....

    State Rep. Reggie Fullwood of Jacksonville, charged with diverting campaign funds for personal use and failing to file tax returns, has pleaded not guilty.
  10. Solar's double message: Voters should vote yes now, no later


    Signs like this one will be popping up regularly across the Sunshine State, as pro-Amendment 4 forces urge voters to vote yes now -- and no later.

    Many groups supporting Amendment 4 on next Tuesday's primary ballot are also working to defeat Amendment 1 on the Nov. 8 ballot. Amendment 1 is actually a business-backed ballot initiative that critics say is deceptively pretending to be a consumer-friendly proposal, when in fact it is pro-utility and anti-consumer....

    A "Yes on 4, No on 1" yard sign.
  11. Republicans covertly try to influence Democratic Senate races


    Republicans can't vote in Democratic primaries in most cases. But that doesn't stop Republicans and their political allies from trying to influence the outcome of those races. In Tampa Bay, Broward and Palm Beach counties, GOP forces are flexing their muscle in a covert attempt to decide the outcome of races. The GOP's preferred Democrats are Rep. Darryl Rouson in Tampa Bay, Jim Waldman in Broward and Rep. Irv Slosberg in Palm Beach....

  12. Early, mail voting tops 1.2 million in Florida, with a week to go


    More than 1.2 million Floridians have cast ballots for the statewide primary next week. Through Wednesday morning, more than 975,000 people had voted by mail and nearly 257,000 had cast ballots at early voting sites. Based on that pace, turnout is likely to exceed the primaries in each of the past two cycles in Florida.

    About 111,000 more Republicans have voted so far than have Democrats....

    Early voting at The Villages in Wildwood.
  13. Republicans covertly seek to sway results in key Democratic primary races


    TALLAHASSEE — Republicans and their allies in the state Capitol are flexing political muscle in three hotly contested Democratic primary races in a covert attempt to shape the makeup of the Florida Senate for years to come.

    In Tampa Bay's hardest-fought Senate primary, where black Democrats could be decisive, a new mailer in support of Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, makes it appear he has the support of President Barack Obama (he doesn't). The mailer was paid for by a group supported by Republican interests....

    A mysterious political committee aligned with Republicans paid for this mailer, which supports Rep. Darryl Rouson, D-St. Petersburg, over his three Democratic primary opponents.
  14. Corcoran briefs House members on new speaker's transition


    House Speaker-Designate Richard Corcoran, R-Land O'Lakes, updated House members Tuesday on planned changes to committees, staffing, a rewrite of the rules and other issues.

    Corcoran said revisions to the House committee structure will be released by Sept. 30 and that his leadership team, including the majority leader and all committee chairmen, will be announced on Nov. 9, the day after the general election. Corcoran has not named any chairs, but it's widely expected that Rep. Carlos Trujillo, a Miami Republican, will chair the budget-writing Appropriations Committee....

  15. After first day of mail ballot reviews, Pinellas rejects 29 votes


    As primary mail ballot returns in Pinellas County approach 100,000, a county canvassing board has begun scrutinizing ballots that have been set aside as defective.

    Meeting for the first time on Monday, the three-member board reviewed 159 ballots and rejected 29 of them, most of them because the signature on the ballot envelope didn't match the signature of that voter on file. Five other ballots were rejected because the ballot envelope was signed by someone other than the voter. ...

    The results of first day's mail ballot review in Pinellas County.