TALLAHASSEE — Three events next week will honor the life and accomplishments of former Gov. Reubin Askew, who died Thursday at the age of 85.
Askew's body will lie in state Tuesday in the building where he spent most of his political career as a legislator and governor: the historic Old Capitol in Tallahassee, a legislative history museum. Visitors can pay respects from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m....
Floridians will have three opportunities next week to pay final respects to former Gov. Reubin Askew, who died Thursday at age 85.
Escorted by a military honor guard, Askew will lie in state at the Old Capitol in Tallahassee from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday. It was in that historic building where Askew served 12 years as a legislator and for most of his eight years as governor (during Askew's second term, the state opened the "new" 22-story Capitol)....
The Senate Thursday fine-tuned a high-priority ethics bill with a new lobbying restriction that observers say is aimed directly at former Senate President Ken Pruitt, who works as a Tallahassee lobbyist while also serving as St. Lucie County's elected property appraiser.
Pruitt was a well-liked Senate president from 2006 to 2008, but his high-profile lobbying practice in Tallahassee (15 clients, including Florida Crystals Corp. and the Palm Beach County sheriff's office) doesn't sit well with senators....
TALLAHASSEE — Former Gov. Reubin Askew's legacy touched every aspect of life in Florida. Here are five of his most significant accomplishments:
• Ethics: Championed stronger ethics laws and won passage of the Sunshine Amendment, the first voter-approved change to the Florida Constitution, in 1976, which required elected officials to disclose their personal finances.
• Courts: Modernized a creaky and patronage-ridden judiciary by creating nominating commissions for vacant judgeships and the first merit retention system for appellate judges....
Former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew, one of the state's most popular and effective governors, died early Thursday, surrounded by family members at a hospital in Tallahassee. He was 85.
Askew had been admitted to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare last Saturday suffering from aspiration pneumonia, and his condition worsened when he also suffered a stroke.
Askew, a Democrat who served as Florida's 37th governor, from 1971-1979, was a transformational figure in the development of modern Florida. Considered a longshot when he announced his candidacy, the state senator from Pensacola slowly attracted popularity through his pursuit of a fairer tax system and stronger ethics in government and defeated Republican Gov. Claude Kirk in the 1970 general election....
Reubin Askew, one of the most popular and effective governors in Florida history and a fiercely determined advocate for tax fairness, racial equality, managed growth and ethical government, died early Thursday in Tallahassee. He was 85.
He had battled pneumonia and hip replacement surgery in recent months and was admitted to Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare on Saturday, where he suffered a stroke. He died shortly after 3:30 a.m. Thursday, surrounded by family members....
Former Florida Gov. Reubin Askew, who in recent months has battled pneumonia and hip replacement surgery and suffered a stroke, is in "very grave condition" in a Tallahassee hospital with family members by his bedside.
He was admitted last Saturday to Tallahassee Memorial HealthCare. A family spokesman, Ron Sachs, issued a statement confirming his condition. Askew's wife of 57 years, Donna Lou, has been at his hospital bedside along with their son Kevin and daughter Angela White....
TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott will use a new statewide TV ad buy to soften his personal image with voters as he also collaborates on an upbeat book about people who chased their dreams in Florida.
Starting Thursday, Scott's face returns to TV screens as his re-election campaign spends $2.2 million on a TV ad that appears designed to humanize him. He's dressed in a casual shirt and is photographed from a side angle discussing his impoverished childhood....
Gov. Rick Scott's campaign said Tuesday it's spending $2.2 million on a statewide TV ad buy with a new spot, called "Families," that highlights key elements of Scott's biography. The spot shows Scott from side angles discussing his father's car being repossessed and the work ethic he acquired from his mother, and ends with him saying: "I want people to have the same shot I had."
"Rick Scott wants Floridians to think he’s on their side, when in fact he has spent his whole career rigging the system so that only he and his special interest friends will profit,” said Florida Democratic Party spokesman Joshua Karp.
“Rick Scott’s hypocrisy is on full display and no amount of campaign cash can change that. Rick Scott’s priority is where it’s always been — helping the wealthy special interests and his campaign donors, not Florida’s middle class families."...
Gov. Rick Scott, long rumored to be writing a book, recently told reporters it won't be available until at least November.
"Not until after the election," Scott said a few days ago.
Apparently the people at Amazon.com have other ideas. The website on Tuesday began taking advance orders for a book it says will be available by April 15. The book's title is Chasing Sunshine: Remarkable People Who Found the American Dream in Florida, published by Greenleaf Book Group Press....
As Gov. Rick Scott gave his State of the State speech to open the legislative session last week, his cheering section looked on from the upstairs visitors box in the House chamber.
Scott's wife, Ann, was there with their two daughters, sons-in-law and their young grandsons. Lenny Curry, chairman of the Republican Party of Florida, was there. So was Brian Ballard, a lobbyist who raises lots of money for GOP candidates....
When Gov. Rick Scott peered up at the House visitors' gallery in his State of the State speech last week, he saw his wife Ann, their daughters, sons-in-law and grandchildren. Seated close by and joining in the applause was Mike Fernandez, a wealthy Cuban-American health care executive from Coral Gables and one of Scott's leading fund-raisers.
Fernandez has donated $1 million to Scott's campaign and serves as its co-finance chairman, and he has lucrative contracts under the state's Medicaid managed care program. In separate interviews, Scott and Fernandez said the contributions and contracts have no relation to each other....
The first Friday of the 2014 legislative session will be very quiet at the Capitol as Fridays usually are in early March. Here are five things to watch:
- Gov. Rick Scott visits Miami for a morning event to promote money in his budget for PACE Centers for Girls, an education and counseling program.
- The Commission on Ethics meets in Tallahassee and will take action on several pending cases and advisory legal opinions.
- An Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) committee will discuss ways to increase the use of electronic medical records in Florida.
- State economists meet to fine-tune the projected property tax collections this year from all 67 counties.
- Candidates for statewide office and the Legislature will likely be compiling contribution and expenditure reports that are due Monday, March 10.
TALLAHASSEE — At the urging of state Sen. Jack Latvala, the Senate will take up voting law changes that include preventing counties from using satellite locations where voters can drop off absentee ballots.
The proposal is aimed at Pinellas County Supervisor of Elections Deborah Clark, but it antagonized two other supervisors who say dropoff sites save money and are convenient for voters....
TALLAHASSEE — In a long-anticipated decision, the Florida Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday that Tampa immigrant Jose Godinez-Samperio cannot practice law because he's not a citizen, and called on the Legislature to correct what it called an "injustice."
"The Florida Legislature is in the unique position to act on this integral policy question and remedy the inequities that the unfortunate decision of this Court will bring to bear," justices wrote....