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. Gov. Rick Scott promises $1 billion in tax cuts for second term

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott is promising Florida voters a $1 billion package of tax and fee cuts in a second term, including new limits on property tax increases and another cut in auto tag fees.

    Every one of the proposals Scott will roll out in a two-week statewide tour starting Monday would require the approval of the Legislature, which previously has been lukewarm to Scott's call for a phase-out of the state corporate income tax and a sales tax break for manufacturers....

    Gov. Rick Scott's most ambitious tax cut idea would require approval of 60 percent of voters: a constitutional amendment to prevent property tax increases on homesteaded property if a home's value stays level or goes down. [AP photo]
  2. Charlie Crist's big win clouded by low turnout questions

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — As Charlie Crist celebrates winning the Democratic nomination for Florida governor, red flags are flying that raise questions about whether he can defeat Republican Gov. Rick Scott in November.

    Crist trounced underfunded rival Nan Rich with 74 percent of the vote, nearly a 3-1 margin. But Democrats in the state's three largest counties, Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach, largely stayed home, displaying a lack of enthusiasm that threatens to hand Democrats a fifth straight loss in the race for governor....

    Charlie Crist celebrates his Democratic primary victory in the Florida governor’s race Tuesday. The Democrats’ effort to build momentum for November now begins.
  3. Many conservative upstate Democrats favored Rich over Crist

    Blog

    The rural-urban schism between Florida Democrats was glaringly obvious in Tuesday's primary, as conservative upstate voters spoke with one voice: They're decidedly ambivalent about Charlie Crist.

    Even though Crist's rival Nan Rich had virtually no money, a liberal voting record and is from South Florida, she received more than 40 percent of the vote in 22 counties. She carried two of them, Holmes and Putnam, and she and Crist broke even in Calhoun....

  4. Broward's turnout second worst in state in Tuesday's primary

    Blog

    If South Florida voters are fired up about the 2014 election, they sure didn't show it Tuesday, reaffirming a fundamental fact about Florida politics: The voters Democrats need the most are the hardest voters to get to the polls.

    A repeat performance in November is likely to produce another disaster for Democrats, who have lost the past four elections for governor.

    Turnout in the state's three largest counties of Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach again trailed the state as a whole as mass numbers of Democrats ignored the election. Those weak numbers will help Republicans reinforce the idea of an enthusiasm gap in this election. ...

  5. Scott campaign, GOP paying big bucks for jet use

    State Roundup

    Gov. Rick Scott's campaign and the Republican Party of Florida have paid more than $227,000 for use of the private jet that Scott also uses for official state travel. The Cessna Citation is owned by a Naples business whose only officer is First Lady Ann Scott, at right. The jet tail number ends with the first lady's initials.

    Campaign finance reports list 19 separate payments to Ann Scott's company, Columbia Collier Management LLC. The most recent payment is also the largest one to date in the campaign, a $41,000 transaction to the Republican Party of Florida dated Aug. 15....

    This Cessna Citation is owned by a company whose only officer is Ann Scott.
  6. Seventeen Florida House seats to be decided in Tuesday's vote

    Blog

    Florida voters will do more than nominate candidates for governor and attorney general on Tuesday. They'll also send some new faces to Tallahassee as they pick occupants for 17 seats in the state House of Representatives.

    All are contests in which all candidates are from the same party and the only opposition in November is from a write-in candidate (no write-in has ever won election to the Legislature in Florida)....

  7. Former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll rips Gov. Rick Scott, others in new book

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — In a new book about her two years as Florida's lieutenant governor, Jennifer Carroll paints a grim picture: ignored by Gov. Rick Scott, belittled by his back-biting staff and forced to resign from office for no reason.

    When You Get There hits bookstores and Amazon next week for $14.99 and is the third book by a Florida politician this year, joining first-person tales by former Gov. Charlie Crist and ex-Republican Party chairman Jim Greer....

    Former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll's book, "When You Get There," hit bookstores Wednesday - her birthday.
  8. Primary election day voting spotty but smooth, state says

    Blog

    Polls across Florida opened smoothly Tuesday, and more than 1.1 million ballots had been cast by the time precincts opened for the statewide primary election. Secretary of State Ken Detzner, the state's chief elections officer, said absentee or mail ballots totaled 856,378 and that another 296,902 Floridians had cast ballots at early voting sites.

    That may sound like a lot of votes, but it's less than 10 percent of the state's pool of nearly 12 million voters. It's possible that statewide turnout could approach the modern low for a primary (17 percent in 1998), but Detzner declined to speculate on the size of the turnout and said the surge in voting by mail in Florida is a positive trend....

  9. Jennifer Carroll's new book rips Gov. Scott, Hollingsworth, others

    Blog

    In a new book, former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll describes the misery of being in a “boys’ club” led by Gov. Rick Scott, who showed no interest in her ideas to reach out to black and Hispanic voters and whose staff members treated her shabbily.

    Carroll, a retired U.S. Navy lieutenant commander, was the first black woman to serve as lieutenant governor of Florida and held the largely ceremonial job for more than two years. She's now a political analyst for WJXT, Channel 4 in Jacksonville. Her 174-page book, "When You Get There," is published by Advantage, a South Carolina company....

    Former Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll's book, "When You Get There," hits bookstores Wednesday — her birthday.
  10. Bousquet column: Duke Energy makes battle for governor go nuclear

    State Roundup

    A power company that writes six-figure checks to the governor's re-election gets attention.

    But this is not what Duke Energy had in mind.

    Duke is a major corporate presence in Tampa Bay, a player in state politics and deeply invested in Republican Gov. Rick Scott's re-election.

    But the utility seems radioactive as it finds itself caught in the crossfire of sound-alike TV ads in which Scott and Democrat Charlie Crist accuse each other of doing Duke's nuclear plant bidding at the expense of Tampa Bay ratepayers....

  11. GOP, Scott's campaign have paid $227K for Ann Scott firm's jet

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott's campaign and the Republican Party of Florida have paid more than $227,000 for use of the private jet that Scott also uses for official state travel. The Cessna Citation is owned by a Naples business whose only officer is First Lady Ann Scott. The jet tail number ends with the first lady's initials.

    Campaign finance reports list 19 separate payments to Ann Scott's company, Columbia Collier Management LLC. The most recent payment is also the largest one to date in the campaign, a $41,000 transaction to the Republican Party of Florida dated Aug. 15....

  12. Charlie Crist vs. Nan Rich, a Democratic primary devoid of a campaign

    State Roundup

    TAMPA — After running for governor for nearly a year, Charlie Crist has resolutely ignored fellow Democrat Nan Rich, and voters will render their verdict Tuesday on whether it was a sound strategy.

    All signs point to a cakewalk by Crist, 58, a former Republican governor turned independent turned Democrat who's trying to complete a political transformation never seen before in Florida....

    Charlie Crist and Nan Rich face off in the Democratic primary for governor.
  13. Five things to watch in Tuesday's primary

    Perspective

    Tuesday's statewide primary election may feel like a warmup act for the main event: a November showdown between Republican Gov. Rick Scott and his leading Democratic challenger, Charlie Crist. But even if turnout is as low as expected, important trends will hint at where things are heading for the general election. Here is a guide to five things that will be of primary importance on Tuesday....

    Florida gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist should deliver a decisive victory over former state Sen. Nan Rich.
  14. Scott camp on lookout for 'enthusiasm gap' among Democrats

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott's deputy campaign manager issued a memo Friday forecasting that Democrat Charlie Crist will defeat rival Nan Rich by a margin of 81 to 19 percent or better on Tuesday. The memo by Tim Saler also seeks to forge a post-primary narrative that Democrats face an "enthusiasm gap" in the upcoming general election campaign.

    Saler writes: "Judging by history, if Democrats have any enthusiasm at all on their side in 2014, they should be able to bring in several hundred thousand more primary votes compared to Republicans. The last time a Republican governor ran for re-election (2002), Democrats had 40% more votes in their primary than did Republicans. This is the baseline performance for Democrats in the 2014 primary. If Democrats fall short of that metric, it would be a dangerous sign for their base enthusiasm entering the general election, and we are watching that metric closely."...

  15. Tom Lee's robo-rewind on Crist prompts complaint by Democrats

    Blog

    Those recent robocalls to Democratic voters featuring the voice and the conservative views of former Republican Charlie Crist have prompted Democrats to file a formal complaint with the Florida Elections Commission. Their target is Republican Sen. Tom Lee of Brandon....