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

Email: sbousquet@tampabay.com

Twitter: @SteveBousquet

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  1. Former Graham aide, lobbyist Ron Villella dies; services set

    Blog

    Funeral services are scheduled Thursday for Ron Villella, a long-time Tallahassee lobbyist who served as an aide to former Democratic Gov. Bob Graham and former Democratic Attorney General Bob Butterworth.

    The News Service of Florida reports that Villella, 70, died of cancer last Saturday. Villella helped manage Graham's two successful campaigns for governor in 1978 and 1982 and he ran Butterworth's first and most difficult race for attorney general in 1986. He also held a variety of positions in the two Democrats' administrations before he became a lobbyist....

  2. Iraq war vet sues Gov. Scott, state of Florida over job demotion

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A decorated combat veteran of war in Iraq and Afghanistan sued Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday, claiming the state illegally eliminated his state job while he was serving his country overseas.

    Walter Krietlow III is a master sergeant in the U.S. Army reserve who was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge and Bronze Star during two tours of duty in Iraq. He's a Republican who said he voted for Scott in 2010 and denied that his filing of a lawsuit less than seven weeks before the election is politically motivated....

  3. Iraq combat veteran sues Gov. Rick Scott, claiming loss of job

    Blog

    A decorated veteran of three tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan -- and a registered Republican -- sued Gov. Rick Scott and the state Wednesday, claiming the Scott administration used his overseas deployment to eliminate his job in violation of state law.

    The suit was filed by Walter Kreitlow, who works as an undercover agent in the Department of Business & Professional Regulation's division of alcoholic beverages and tobacco and earns about $50,000 a year....

  4. Florida governor's race on pace to be costliest, closest this year

    State Roundup

    The race for Florida governor is shaping up to be one of the closest and costliest in the nation this year, as the Washington money pours in.

    The Democratic Governors Association just gave Charlie Crist another $1.5 million, bringing the total it has invested in the Florida governor's race to about $5.6 million. The breakdown: $3.5 million for Charlie Crist for Florida, $1.15 million for the Florida Democratic Party and nearly $1 million to a political committee called Florida For All....

  5. Liberal group planning to distribute 'Shady Rick hand sanitizers'

    Blog

    The liberal advocacy group Florida for All plans a downtown Tampa protest Tuesday afternoon outside a fund-raiser for Gov. Rick Scott's re-election.  The group says it will distribute "Shady Rick Hand Sanitizers" outside the event, which is scheduled to start at 5:30 p.m.

    Florida for All also listed what it calls Scott's "Ten Dirtiest Deeds" on its website, including his opposition to high speed rail, support for prison privatization and his switch from opposition to support for state funding of a Sarasota rowing center....

  6. Scott leads by 5 points, pot amendment sinking in WFLA poll

    Blog

    A new statewide Survey USA robo poll for WFLA Channel 8 in Tampa has Republican Gov. Rick Scott with a 5 point lead over Democrat Charlie Crist, 44 percent to 39 percent, with Libertarian Adrian Wyllie at 7 percent and 9 percent undecided. The poll has a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points....

  7. Bousquet column: Panhandle key to Rick Scott's re-election bid

    State Roundup

    The country song Where I Come From, an anthem of small-town pride, was blaring from speakers outside a Panama City Beach landmark Friday morning.

    Inside Captain Anderson's seafood restaurant, Gov. Rick Scott told the crowd of local Republicans where he came from.

    "I don't even know my natural father," he said. "My mom was going through a divorce when I was born. She had an abusive husband. She remarried a year or so after I was born, and I have an adopted father. We lived in public housing, because my parents struggled for money."...

  8. Scott appoints fewer blacks to judgeships than Crist or Bush

    Blog

    Florida is the most diverse state in the U.S., but a review of Gov. Rick Scott's record of appointing judges shows that the bench has become whiter since he became governor nearly four years ago. Scott has appointed fewer African-American candidates to judgeships than his predecessors, Charlie Crist and Jeb Bush, did during a comparable 44-month period of time. 

    Scott says he looks to appoint people to the bench who understand that there are three branches of government and "they don't get to legislate." If Scott is re-elected in November, it's likely he will have the opportunity to replace the two African-American justices on the Florida Supreme Court, Peggy Quince and James Perry. Both must retire in the next few years....

  9. Florida Gov. Rick Scott appointing fewer black judges than predecessors

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — After nearly four years, Gov. Rick Scott has appointed fewer African-Americans to Florida judgeships than either Charlie Crist or Jeb Bush did in the same period of time.

    Scott has appointed nine black attorneys to judgeships in nearly four years, according to data from his office. They include reappointments of three judges who hear job-related injury claims and four county judges who decide small claims and traffic cases....

    Peggy Quince, the first black female justice on the Florida Supreme Court, was appointed by Republican Gov. Jeb Bush.
  10. Charlie Crist's party switch is like no other in Florida history

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE

    Candidates in Florida have been switching parties for decades, so Charlie Crist's unprecedented bid to be the state's first governor to serve as a Republican and as a Democrat may not be as outlandish as it seems.

    But study a sampling of those who made the switch — and then won — and it's clear that Crist's candidacy really is unlike any other, for a host of reasons....

    CAPTION: (03/02/2005 Clearwater) St. Petersburg NAACP president Darryl Rouson listens to resident concerns at a community meeting at the home of Delphine Abrams (cq not pictured) on March 2, 2005 in Clearwater. Rouson attended the meeting, which was called by one side of a group of two feuding familes, to listen to concerns that the Clearwater police department’s unresponsiveness in the feud is a sign that they are involved with one of the sides. (Times photo by Edmund Fountain) STORY SUMMARY:  Two factions in clearwater have been embroiled in a feud for almost three years, escalating from teenage rivalry into shootings and threats of worse. one side is meeting to discuss the problem, alleging that police are unresponsive. (Times Photo by Edmund Fountain taken 03/02/2005)
  11. In Southerland-Graham race, the subject turns to lingerie

    Blog

    UPDATE: Buzz received this statement from Southerland after publication of this blog post: "I regret that my comments are being misused for political gain. I was trying to make the point that some organizations host men-only events and some host women-only events. Gwen Graham should be more focused on explaining her background as a D.C. lobbyist and political insider than she is on mischaracterizing my remarks."...

  12. N.J. Gov. Chris Christie catches Gov. Rick Scott's campaign bus, slams Charlie Crist

    State Roundup

    PANAMA CITY BEACH — Gov. Rick Scott's campaign for re-election got a jolt of partisan energy Friday when New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie fired up crowds in two North Florida cities by mocking Charlie Crist's candidacy.

    With his intense style, Christie framed the contest as a referendum on character, with Scott as a steady leader who does his job and Crist as a job-hopping, party-switching opportunist who can't be trusted....

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott, left, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, during a campaign stop Friday at a Sonny's restaurant in Lynn Haven. Christie ordered pulled pork; Scott ordered turkey. [STEVE BOUSQUET   |   Times]
  13. On the trail, trying to turn Scott's liability into a (non-Crist) asset

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott's two-week campaign bus tour rolled through the Panhandle Thursday, where he cast himself as an economic problem-solver in contrast to the opportunism of his opponent and predecessor, Democrat Charlie Crist.

    Riding in a giant blue bus adorned with white "Let's Keep Working" signs, Scott mingled with customers at The Donut Hole in Destin and rallied Republicans, who chanted "Four more years," at a sparsely-attended event at a Crestview Buick dealer. On Friday, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, president of the Republican Governors Association, will help Scott rally the GOP faithful in Panama City....

    Gov. Rick Scott speaks at a campaign stop.
  14. Scott's refusal to lift Dade official's suspension before high court

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott is a defendant in a case before the Florida Supreme Court involving a former mayor of Miami Lakes who wants his old job back after being acquitted of criminal charges.

    Scott issued an executive order in August 2013 suspending Michael Pizzi as mayor of the Miami suburb after he was indicted on a charge of conspiracy to commit extortion. Pizzi was later acquitted of charges in a jury trial, and he wants Scott to revoke the executive order. Scott refuses, calling it "a local issue" subject to the town charter, not state law, "and the governor has no further role."...

  15. Disability groups sue Florida prisons, alleging inmate abuses

    Blog

    Disability rights groups, backed by one of the state's largest law firms, Holland & Knight, have filed a federal lawsuit against the state Department of Corrections, alleging systematic abuse and discrimination of mentally ill inmates at Dade Correctional Institution near Homestead.

    Florida Institutional Legal Services Project and Disability Rights Florida filed the suit in U.S. District Court in Miami. Corrections Secretary Mike Crews is also named as a defendant, along with Wexford Health Sources, the company hired two years ago to provide all inmate health care in South Florida prisons. The lawsuit was filed in the wake of the death of a mentally ill inmate, Darren Rainey. More here from The Miami Herald. ...