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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

Email: sbousquet@tampabay.com

Twitter: @SteveBousquet

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  1. Enterprise Florida's Bill Johnson hired second ex-port staffer as consultant; David Wilkins could earn up to $100K at EFI

    Blog

    Bill Johnson, the Enterprise Florida CEO who resigned in March, hired a second former PortMiami colleague for a high-paying job at the state's now-weakened public-private job creation partnership.

    Contract details obtained by the Times/Herald show that Johnson hired Diana Gonzalez as a senior vice president at EFI at a salary of $60,000 for five months of work that ended in August of last year. Her company, DMG Consulting, was hired "to aid incoming CEO (Johnson) with transition," documents show. ...

  2. A third way? How Libertarians might scramble the Florida race

    Blog

    The Libertarian Party is holding its national political convention in Orlando over Memorial Day weekend to nominate candidates for president and vice president. The top contenders appear to be former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson for president and former Massachusetts Gov. William Weld for vice-president, both of whom are former Republicans. The convention's theme, with its own hashtag, is Legalize Freedom....

  3. Florida voting experts preparing for 'the big one' — the 2016 election

    State Roundup

    CLEARWATER — Months before Florida helps pick a new president, county election experts are on alert for potential minefields, from a fickle statewide voter database to public confusion over shifting political boundaries.

    At a conference at a Clearwater beach hotel, county supervisors of elections are discussing how to use social media to boost voter turnout, promote voting by mail and use new technology to ensure the most accurate results....

    At a Clearwater meeting of election supervisors Wednesday, a voting products vendor displays the many different ways voters in one Florida election marked their ballots. [STEVE BOUSQUET | Times]
  4. Planning for the big one: Election experts gather in Clearwater

    Blog

    Nearly six months before Florida chooses the next president, the people who count votes in Florida are deep into planning how to do it right while anticipating everything that could possibly go wrong.

    County supervisors of elections are meeting at a beachfront hotel in Clearwater, discussing how to improve voter outreach, adapt to better technology and reduce the potential for political mischief. One of the first panel discussions was entitled "Long lines, long ballots and long hours -- a presidential year."...

    A voting products vendor displays the many different ways voters in one Florida election marked their ballots.
  5. Forgotten but not gone, EFI's Johnson leads Mexico trade trip

    Blog

    Like the song says, he's south of the border, down Mexico way.

    Bill Johnson has announced he's leaving Enterprise Florida, his board has approved his six-month severance package and he has one foot out the door. But that didn't stop him from leading a 73-member delegation to Mexico City Monday on a three-day export trade mission.

    "Mexico is currently our nation's third largest trading partner and second largest export market for U.S. products," Johnson wrote in a letter to Florida business leaders. "I urge you to join me on this mission as we work together to grow our state's economic ties with this important trading partner."...

  6. Gov. Rick Scott suspends indicted Ocala sheriff, names replacement

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott suspended Marion County Sheriff Chris Blair from office Friday following his indictment by a grand jury on two felony counts of perjury for allegedly lying to the grand jury.

    Blair is accused of lying about what he knew about a case in which his deputies allegedly used excessive force on a suspect, Dustin Heathman, who has filed a civil rights suit against Blair and the sheriff's office. Here's a copy of the indictment, courtesy of WFTV Orlando....

  7. Coming & going: Changes in Gov. Rick Scott's press operation

    Blog

    A charter member of Gov. Rick Scott's administration is moving on after nearly five-and-a-half years.

    Scott's deputy communications director, John Tupps, starts work June 1 as deputy chief of staff at the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission. 

    Tupps, 32, began working in Scott's press shop in February 2011, a month after the governor took office. Tupps' replacement in the governor's office will be McKinley Lewis, 24, a native of Sarasota who is currently communications director for the state Department of Corrections. ...

  8. Car insurance rates skyrocket in Florida as crashes mount on busy roads

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — Floridians are driving more and getting into a lot more accidents, and they're paying the price with rising car insurance rates that are already among the nation's highest.

    Premiums have risen 14 percent statewide since Jan. 1 of last year — nearly the exact opposite of the ubiquitous TV commercials offering savings of 15 percent or more on car insurance.

    "People are driving more," said former state Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty, "and accidents have increased commensurate with that number."...

    All bay area counties saw increases in crashes from 2014 to 2015, with the highest — 12.7 percent — in Hillsborough. Insurers say lower unemployment has led to heavier traffic and more crashes.
  9. Rod Smith's early-bird TV ad gets attention in Gainesville

    Blog

    Former state Sen. Rod Smith is wasting no time reintroducing himself to voters in a Gainesville-based state Senate district.

    At a time when most legislative candidates are busy stockpiling money for direct mail in August or later, Smith is already on network TV stations and his election isn't until November -- but there's almost no ad clutter in May....

  10. Despite texting law, distracted driving crashes keep increasing

    Blog

    Nearly three years after Florida enacted a ban on texting while driving, car crashes caused by distracted driving are increasing at a steady pace.

    Preliminary data provided by the Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles shows that there were nearly 46,000 distracted driving accidents in 2015. Here's a year-to-year breakdown:

    2012: 33,511

    2013: 39,036

    2014: 42,221...

  11. Death row inmate Pablo Ibar wins marathon fight for vacated sentence, new trial

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — After 16 years on Florida's death row in connection with a triple murder in Broward County, Pablo Ibar has won a fight to have his sentence vacated and will receive a new trial.

    Ibar, 44, a former Hollywood resident, was convicted of killing three people in a home invasion robbery in Miramar in 1994 in what became known as the Casey's Nickelodeon murders. One of the murder victims, Casey Kucharski, operated a bar in Pembroke Park by that name and the killings took place in his home. The other two victims were Sharon Anderson and Marie Rogers....

    Pablo Ibar, 44, a former Hollywood resident, was convicted of killing three people in a home invasion robbery in Miramar in 1994 in what became known as the Casey's Nickelodeon murders.
  12. Death Row inmate Pablo Ibar wins marathon fight for new trial

    Blog

    After 16 years on Florida's death row in connection with a triple murder in Broward County, Pablo Ibar has won his fight to have his sentence vacated and will receive a new trial.

    Ibar, 44, a former Hollywood resident, was convicted of killing three people in a home invasion robbery in Miramar in 1994 in what became known as the "Casey's Nickelodeon" murders. One of the murder victims, Casey Kucharski, operated a bar in Pembroke Park by that name and the killings took place in his home. The other two victims were Sharon Anderson and Marie Rogers....

    Pablo Ibar
  13. Senate makeover: $6 million facelift

    Blog

    Since 1978, the circular arena on the fourth floor of the state Capitol has been the setting of countless battles over taxes, education, immigration, race and abortion — the right to live and Terri Schiavo's right to die.

    Now the Senate chamber is being upgraded at a cost of $6 million, but it took a while for it to happen.

    Back in 2003, former Senate President Jim King of Jacksonville approved plans for a new chamber, but it was put on hold in favor of better technology and bigger committee rooms....

    Construction is underway on a $6 million renovation of the Senate chamber at the Capitol in Tallahassee.
  14. A $6 million facelift for the Florida Senate chamber

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE

    Since 1978, the circular arena on the fourth floor of the state Capitol has been the setting of countless battles over taxes, education, immigration, race and abortion — the right to live and Terri Schiavo's right to die.

    Now the Senate chamber is being upgraded at a cost of $6 million, but it took a while for it to happen.

    Back in 2003, former Senate President Jim King of Jacksonville approved plans for a new chamber, but it was put on hold in favor of better technology and bigger committee rooms....

    Walter Vidak of Allstate Construction in Tallahassee is supervising the Senate remodeling project.
  15. The bogeyman at the ballot box: Voter fraud in Florida overblown

    Blog

    An election in Florida wouldn't be an election without allegations of voter fraud. But a Times/Herald analysis finds that voter fraud is easy to claim but difficult to prove.

    In the past two election cycles alone, Floridians have cast more than 20 million ballots, but the state has brought charges in 13 cases, and some of them didn't stand up in court....