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. $1-mil in matching money coming to Charlie Crist

    Blog

    Democrat Charlie Crist says he can't raise nearly as much money as Republican Gov. Rick Scott, but he can close the gap thanks to a big subsidy from Florida taxpayers.

    Crist soon will get his first infusion of millions in campaign cash under the state's public campaign financing program, created to help low-budget candidates counter big-money opponents as long as they abide by a self-imposed spending cap of about $25 million....

  2. Charlie Crist's bid for governor will get big cash infusion from state matching program

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Democrat Charlie Crist says he can't raise nearly as much money as Republican Gov. Rick Scott, but he can close the gap thanks to a big subsidy from Florida taxpayers.

    Crist soon will get his first infusion of millions in campaign cash under the state's public campaign financing program, created to help low-budget candidates counter big-money opponents as long as they abide by a self-imposed spending cap of about $25 million....

    Charlie Crist’s campaign expects its first matching check to arrive Aug. 1 and be in the range of $1 million.
  3. Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

    Blog

    Winner of the week

    Miami-Dade County. Both likely nominees for governor now have running mates from the state's most populous county, enhancing its role in the race. Democrat Charlie Crist chose Annette Taddeo-Goldstein, who, like Gov. Rick Scott's No. 2, Carlos Lopez-Cantera, is Hispanic. Muy bien for Miami.

    Loser of the week

    Pam Bondi. The attorney general, who immediately appealed a South Florida court ruling overturning Florida's same-sex marriage ban, is becoming the face of opposition to marriage equality. All signs point to the tide of history rolling over Bondi, who is up for re-election in November....

  4. The Buzz: Latvala, Negron face off for 2016 Senate presidency

    State Roundup

    Locked in a fight for future control of the Florida Senate, Republicans Jack Latvala and Joe Negron both claim to have the inside track to clinch the presidency for 2016.

    Negron, for the first time, claims to have "several more" signed pledges from senators than Latvala, but he wouldn't show them or name names.

    "I'm several votes ahead. We're in a very strong position," Negron said. "I'm confident I'll have the support to serve as a presiding officer."...

    Attorney general Pam Bondi speaks about the supreme court's decision concerning the health care bill at a news conference on Thursday, June 28, 2012, in Tallahassee, Fla. The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld virtually all of President Barack Obama's historic health care overhaul, including the hotly debated core requirement that nearly every American have health insurance.  The 5-4 decision meant the huge overhaul, still taking effect, could proceed and pick up momentum over the next several years, affecting the way that countless Americans receive and pay for their personal medical care.  (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) FLSC101
  5. Latvala, Negron square off anew in Senate leadership battle

    Blog

    Locked in a long-running fight for future control of the Florida Senate, Republicans Jack Latvala and Joe Negron both claim to have the inside track to clinch the presidency in 2016.

    Negron claims to have “several more” signed pledges from senators than Latvala, but he wouldn’t show them or name names.

    “I’m several votes ahead. We’re in a very strong position,” Negron told the Times/Herald. “I’m confident I’ll have the support to serve as a presiding officer.”...

  6. Rick Scott's nonanswers bring national ridicule

    Legislature

    The governor's gone viral again.

    Rick Scott, who ditched his adopted rescue dog Reagan after the 2010 election, and who invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination 75 times in a deposition, once again finds himself all over the Web and cable as the rest of the world discovers what Florida already knows.

    He doesn't like to answer questions.

    Name a subject, and Scott won't address it....

  7. Shop that invited cops to Scott event did not mention campaign

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott's re-election campaign has said it made clear to Tampa-area law enforcement officers that a public event held at a police uniform store last week was to promote his campaign.

    Several Hillsborough sheriffs' deputies left when they realized the nature of the event, and a pro-Charlie Crist police union leader has filed an election complaint, accusing Scott of coercing police to attend, which if true would be against the law. Jackie Schutz, a Scott campaign spokeswoman, said signs were prominently displayed in the shop, notifying guests that by entering they were participating in a campaign event, and Scott told Tampa media outlets that his campaign always "follows the rules."...

    An email obtained by the Times/Herald
  8. Hillsborough deputies' policy also bans going to campaign events

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott continues to be the target of widespread criticism for his refusal to answer questions about why on-duty deputies from the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office were at a Scott campaign event last week in Tampa.

    State law prohibits that -- and so does the sheriff's office own policies and procedures. Here it is:

    CHAPTER 4
    IMPROPER CONDUCT OFFENSES

    4.4.01  POLITICAL ACTIVITY

         Sheriff's personnel shall not engage in political activities while on-duty, or while in uniform, or use their official  position when engaged in political activities.
         (Violation subject up to a 1 day suspension)                              Reviewed: 07/26/00
    ...

  9. Democratic voter expansion project moves to Florida

    State Roundup

    The Democratic National Committee's nationwide voter expansion project is headed to Florida.

    The DNC says it plans to build a "new permanent infrastructure for the Democratic Party and its candidates" in key states, and hired Zach Learner, a Broward lawyer.

    Learner, 33, is a 2008 University of Miami law school graduate who until last month was chief of staff for Broward County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs, a candidate for a Florida House seat. He worked on voter protection efforts in both of President Barack Obama's campaigns in Florida and for three years (2009-12) was a legislative aide to Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood....

    The website iwillvote.com includes Florida guidelines and information for the Nov. 4 election, but not the Aug. 26 primary.
  10. Nan Rich's first mailer criticizes Crist for refusing to debate her

    Blog

    A political committee formed by Democratic candidate for governor Nan Rich has dropped its first mail piece, blasting Charlie Crist for his refusal to debate her. The mailing was financed by a political committee supported by unions, trial lawyers and Tallahassee lobbyists, who donated long before Crist entered the race.

    Rich's statewide mailer is a reprint of a June 23 editorial in The Miami Herald and highlights key passages in yellow: "So what is Mr. Crist afraid of? Or is it arrogance? His refusal to debate the former legislator is unseemly and exclusionary. Of course, it's politics at its worst."...

    The back of a new mailer from a pro-Nan Rich political committee.
  11. Democratic voter expansion project for 2014 moves to Florida

    Blog

    The Democratic National Committee's nationwide voter expansion project is headed to Florida. The DNC says it plans to build a "new permanent infrastructure for the Democratic Party and its candidates" in key states, and hired Zach Learner, a Broward lawyer who until last month was chief of staff for County Commissioner Kristin Jacobs, a candidate for a Florida House seat.

    Learner, 33, is a 2008 University of Miami law school graduate. He worked on voter protection efforts in both of President Barack Obama's campaigns in Florida and for three years (2009 to 2012) was a legislative aide to Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood....

  12. Bousquet column: Scott, Crist use state ethics panels to swap political charges

    Gubernatorial

    Florida voters, you can stay home.

    The campaigns of Republican Gov. Rick Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist apparently have decided to put the future of Florida in the hands of only 18 people.

    Those are the appointees (mostly Scott's) to the Commission on Ethics and the Florida Elections Commission.

    The workloads of both nine-member panels keep piling up as the campaigns make a mockery of what's supposed to be the serious business of enforcing the state's ethics and elections laws....

  13. The Buzz: Gov. Scott vetoed money to fight health care fraud

    State Roundup

    In politics, optics matter.

    Gov. Rick Scott, who will spend the next few months fending off familiar criticism of the health care fraud at his former hospital company, had a chance to put more money into fighting health care fraud in Florida.

    But to the disappointment of a key Republican lawmaker, he said no. One of Scott's little-noticed line-item vetoes in the new $77 billion budget would have set aside more money to investigate fraud in the Medicaid program. Scott gave no reason for the veto at the time he signed the budget....

    Gov. Rick Scott flanked by senate president Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, left, and house speaker Will Weatherford, R-Wesley Chapel, speaks at the end of session on Friday, May 2, 2014, in Tallahassee, Fla. (AP Photo/Steve Cannon) FLSC127
  14. Pro-Scott sheriffs criticize Crist over his '10-20-Life' comments

    Blog

    With the Florida media, and especially TV, feasting on the story of why on-duty working cops would be at a campaign event for Gov. Rick Scott (which is barred by law), his handlers knew just what to do Friday: try to change the subject.

    So Scott's campaign rolled out a statement from 23 sheriffs who accused Democrat Charlie Crist of a "reversal" on his past support for minimum mandatory prison sentences in the state's 10-20-Life law. "Charlie Crist's reversal on his support of 10-20-Life legislation and mandatory minimums threatens the incredible progress we have made over the last 15 years to make Florida safe for families and visitors," their statement said....

  15. Rich tells newsies of dangers of 'two Republicans' for governor

    Blog

    The News Service of Florida's Jim Saunders reports on Nan Rich's speech Friday to the Florida Society of News Editors:

    Nan Rich is frustrated. That much is clear. But the lifelong Democrat and former Senate minority leader isn't backing down.

    She told news executives and editors Friday that she will continue battling for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination and trying to draw distinctions with opponent Charlie Crist, despite many of the party's fundraisers and leaders lining up behind Crist, a former Republican.

    "We need to make sure we don't have two Republicans running in the gubernatorial election,'' Rich said during a forum that was part of the annual convention of the Florida Press Association and the Florida Society of News Editors at The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables.

    Rich wanted to debate Crist during the press gathering but was rebuffed. During an appearance Thursday, Crist said he needed to stay focused on challenging Republican Gov. Rick Scott and pointed to the massive amounts of money backing Scott's re-election bid.

    "I am running against $100 million,'' Crist said. "I really don't have the luxury to take my eye off the ball."

    That irked Rich. "People don't run against $100 million,'' she said. "They run against people."

    Rich remains a longshot in the Aug. 26 primary....