TALLAHASSEE — The chief executive of Florida's state-backed property insurer defended overseas travel Tuesday as Gov. Rick Scott lectured him about the need to be more careful about spending.
Scott demanded an appearance by Barry Gilway, president of Citizens Property Insurance Corp., at a Cabinet meeting in the wake of media reports that the insurer's board chairman spent $425 a night at a Bermuda hotel for a reinsurance conference....
It took Rick Davison three times, but the veteran state criminal justice official achieved his goal Tuesday. Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet appointed him to a plum position as a state parole commissioner on the newly-renamed Florida Commission on Offender Review.
Davison will serve a six-year term through 2020 and replaces Bernard Cohen, whose term expired. The full-time position pays about $92,000 a year and is subject to Senate confirmation in the 2015 session....
Summoned before Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet Tuesday, Citizens Property Insurance Corp. president Barry Gilway defended the state-backed insurer's foreign travel.
Scott called for a prohibition on foreign travel by Citizens executives after a series of abuses two years ago. The controversy flared anew after a report in The Palm Beach Post that Citizens board chairman Chris Gardner spent two nights in a $425-a-night resort in Bermuda at a conference with reinsurance investors in April, despite a $373-per-night cap on Bermuda travel....
Gov. Rick Scott on Monday ramped up an asphalt agenda, calling for more lanes on Interstate 295 in Jacksonville and millions more for airports and seaports.
Charlie Crist voted early in his hometown of St. Petersburg, welcoming President Barack Obama's future help on the trail.
And both candidates for governor launched new TV ads that for sheer viciousness drowned out anything either man said or did to start off the week before Florida's primary....
Florida taxpayers spent nearly $2.4 million last year to provide round-the-clock security protection for Gov. Rick Scott and to protect out-of-state elected officials visiting the Sunshine State.
Security for the governor cost $1.6 million between July 1, 2013 and June 30 of this year, slightly less than the year before, according to the report by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement. First Lady Ann Scott's security cost $381,000, compared to $225,000 the year before....
Gov. Rick Scott's campaign said Monday it has ended a month-long run of a campaign TV ad touting support from small business owners, including a Tampa man convicted of human smuggling four years ago on the Caribbean island of St. Maarten.
As first reported by the Broward Bulldog site, Maikel Duarte Torres was featured in the spot. "The ad is no longer running," Scott campaign spokesman Greg Blair said Monday, adding that the ad was removed from the airwaves last week. The Bulldog said the ad began running on one local Spanish-language station in Miami, America Teve, in late July....
The relaxed crowd of happy hour craft beer drinkers Thursday night seemed totally turned off by politics as usual in Florida — the ideal audience for Adrian Wyllie.
The Libertarian Party candidate for governor, Wyllie is running in a year when polls show voters are starved for an alternative to Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist, the likely Democratic nominee.
At first glance, people at the Sea Dog Brewing Company appeared taken aback that a guy in jeans and a rumpled shirt with a glass of craft beer in his hand could be a serious candidate for governor, and even people who like his message say victory is highly improbable....
08/15/14 State Roundup
CLEARWATER — The relaxed crowd of happy hour craft beer drinkers Thursday night seemed totally turned off by politics as usual in Florida — the ideal audience for Adrian Wyllie.
The Libertarian Party candidate for governor, Wyllie is running in a year when polls show voters are starved for an alternative to Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Charlie Crist, the likely Democratic nominee. ...
The Libertarian Party candidate for governor, Adrian Wyllie of Palm Harbor, reached across the Pinellas County line for a running mate: Greg Roe, a 58-year-old Pasco County insurance executive.
Wyllie introduced Roe Monday on the second Tampa Bay stop of his statewide 30-city tour of craft breweries, at Wild Rover Pub and Brewery in Odessa. In a statement from his campaign, Wyllie said he picked Roe partly because of his insurance background and that "property, flood and especially health insurance" will continue to be major issues in the years ahead....
08/11/14 State Roundup
Gov. Rick Scott wants voters to see him in a different light, as in green, for being a true friend of the environment.
Scott spent the past week stressing the theme on a "Let's Keep Florida Beautiful" tour by promising $1 billion for water protection, tougher penalties on polluters, renewed promises to protect the Keys, the Everglades and Apalachicola Bay, and a new staffer in the governor's office to shape policies on water....
08/10/14 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — The race for governor of Florida features two leading candidates voters increasingly see as deeply flawed with campaign strategies virtually alike: Tear down the other guy at every turn.
Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democrat and former Gov. Charlie Crist, both of whom are expected to win their party primaries later this month, have spent more time criticizing each other than laying out a future vision on major issues such as water, climate change, gaming, property insurance, economic policy or taxes....
Reporting from The Miami Herald's Marc Caputo:
There's a reason Democrats were buzzing about billionaire Tom Steyer targeting Gov. Rick Scott: the investor-turned environmentalist is ready to spend big. Steyer's NextGen Climate Florida announced Friday it was doing just that, with two ads that savage the Republican on the environment....
A former top aide to the late Gov. Reubin Askew will continue his legal battle to strike down a state law that allows Gov. Rick Scott to place his personal financial assets in a blind trust. Circuit Judge John Cooper upheld the law in a decision issued in late July.
Jim Apthorp, who was Askew's chief of staff, is asking the First District Court of Appeal to transfer the case to the Florida Supreme Court. Apthorp asserts that a blind trust law skirts a requirement in the state Constitution, championed by Askew, that elected officials must make a "full and public" disclosure of their financial assets (Scott did file a financial disclosure statement when he submitted his qualifying papers in June)....
The Economist gives its transcontinental readership a feel for the Florida governor's race in a concise piece headlined "Close and caustic." As the magazine notes, the fight for control of the Governor's Mansion in Tallahassee is the most competitive race for governor in the country this cycle....
08/06/14 State Roundup
TALLAHASSEE — Early voting in Florida's statewide primary election will get under way next week, with more days and more locations in most counties but probably far fewer voters.
Shamed into action by the record wait times at early voting sites in 2012, the Legislature retooled early voting to give county elections supervisors more flexibility in hours and locations, something they had demanded for years....