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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. In Negron-Latvala battle, no plans to call a Senate GOP caucus

    Blog

    In the unresolved battle between Republican Sens. Joe Negron and Jack Latvala for future control of the Florida Senate, Negron supporters have been whispering about an upcoming GOP caucus with the goal of designating Negron as president for the 2016-2018 cycle.

    They say the only holdup is next week's special election in Northeast Florida, when voters will elect the replacement for former Sen. John Thrasher, the president of FSU. That election likely will return the Senate GOP caucus to its full complement of 26 members....

  2. The other Rick (Perry) will keynote Okaloosa GOP's Lincoln Day

    Blog

    Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the good buddy of Gov. Rick Scott and a possible 2016 Republican presidential candidate, will be the keynote speaker at the Okaloosa County Republican Party's annual Lincoln Day dinner next month. The event is May 12 at the Ramada Beach Plaza Resort in Fort Walton Beach. Party officials say they are not sure whether Scott will attend. Tickets start at $60 and $1,500 gets you into a VIP reception with Perry....

  3. The other Rick (Perry) will keynote Okaloosa GOP's Lincoln Day

    Blog

    Former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, the good buddy of Gov. Rick Scott and possible 2016 presidential candidate, will be the keynote speaker at the Okaloosa County Republican Executive Committee's annual Lincoln Day dinner on May 12. Perry is a frequent Florida visitor who has recently campaigned in Jacksonville for mayoral candidate Lenny Curry, a former state GOP chairman....

  4. Lawyer's hiring by Cabinet in Sunshine Law case raises new openness questions

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Accused of Sunshine Law open meeting violations, Gov. Rick Scott and Cabinet members Tuesday hired a law firm to represent them — an action that in itself should have been handled more openly, some lawyers said.

    In a nine-minute meeting, the four statewide officials voted to spend up to $50,000 of tax dollars with the Tallahassee law firm Shutts & Bowen and attorney Daniel Nordby, who also represents the Republican Party of Florida....

  5. Hold the anchovies: Senator files suit against pizza delivery guy

    Blog

    Hold the anchovies: Republican Sen. Charlie Dean of Inverness is suing a 19-year-old former delivery guy for Hungry Howie's pizza.

    News reports say the delivery man took a wrong turn on a dark night in Inverness, ended up in Dean's backyard and the imposing former Citrus County sheriff appeared in the moonlight with a flashlight in one hand and a gun in the other. Dean is seeking nearly $15,000 in damages to cover his legal costs and is claiming harm to his reputation. The Citrus County Chronicle's account, with all the toppings, can be found here....

  6. Amendment 1 advocates turn up the heat on Sen. Charlie Dean

    Blog

    Supporters of Amendment 1 are busy phone-banking a key state lawmaker in support of setting aside millions for the Florida Forever land acquisition program. Their calls have been targeting Sen. Charlie Dean, R-Inverness, chairman of the Senate Environmental Preservation and conservation Committee, the sponsor of the Amendment 1 implementing bill (SB 584) that is on the floor calendar for Wednesday's Senate session....

  7. FDLE admits overreacting to anti-Scott blogger's use of Beatles lyrics

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — As a liberal blogger in search of followers, Daniel Tilson cultivates a crowd that dislikes Republican Gov. Rick Scott.

    But when Tilson criticized Scott online and sarcastically cited lyrics from a signature song by the Beatles, a law enforcement agent showed up at his door.

    The incident touched off a social media firestorm and cries of attempted use of police power to silence Scott's critics. On Monday, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement acknowledged it overreacted when it sent an armed agent to Tilson's Boca Raton home over a Google Plus post....

  8. FDLE says incident with anti-Scott blogger wasn't handled right

    Blog

    Daniel Tilson, a liberal South Florida blogger and filmmaker, was trying to be funny and witty -- at Gov. Rick Scott's expense. Tilson thought Scott's two-day roll-out of a tax cut calaulator in the Capitol last week was so fanciful, he likened it to the Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour, a song that contains the lyric: "They're coming to take you away, coming to take you away."...

  9. Lawmakers aim to revamp Florida's jobs incentive programs

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — State lawmakers are demanding sweeping changes to the taxpayer-funded programs that Gov. Rick Scott uses to attract jobs to Florida, citing the need for more openness and better accountability.

    The changes come in the wake of a Times/Herald investigation into accountability shortcomings within the state's jobs incentive programs. And the proposed overhaul comes as new leadership takes over Enterprise Florida, the state's lead economic development entity tasked with assembling incentive packages. ...

    Sen. Jack Latvala wants to prevent incentives money from going unspent.
  10. Pinellas business leaders push priorities in Tallahassee

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — A group of Pinellas County business leaders who pitched their priorities to hometown lawmakers Thursday heard predictions that a budget stalemate could force the session into overtime.

    About 30 members of seven Chamber of Commerce groups in central and North Pinellas made the overnight bus trip to the state Capitol to lobby for a common set of goals on education, health care, land and water protection, property insurance and transportation....

  11. St. Pete-area biz leaders hear predictions of overtime session

    Blog

    A visiting delegation of local business leaders from Pinellas County got insights Thursday on where the 2015 session might be headed. The Pinellas Chambers Legislative Coalition heard Sen. Jack Latvala of Clearwater predict that a "vast gap" between the Senate and House over health care spending will force the session into overtime.

    "My prediction is we won't get done on time this year," said Latvala, in his 13th year in the Legislature. "I think the Senate is pretty committed to properly funding health care, and I think the House is pretty committed to their position of whatever we do has got to be done with just state funds." He added: "I'm not making any plans for the month of May to do anything other than to be here."...

  12. Gov. Rick Scott and Cabinet refuse to honor Confederate war heroes

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — In an emotional clash between race and Southern heritage, Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet on Tuesday refused to honor three prominent Floridians who were Confederate heroes during the Civil War.

    The trio were a former governor, Edward Perry; Florida's first adjutant general, David Lang; and Samuel Pasco, a Harvard-educated prisoner of war and U.S. senator for whom Pasco County is named....

    Credit: State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory
Portrait of U.S. Senator Samuel Pasco
  13. Gun-shy governor, Cabinet balk at transfer of hurricane risk

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — After nine straight years without a major hurricane, Florida's catastrophic insurance fund is flush with cash to pay claims and the cost of backup reinsurance is cheaper than ever.

    "Reinsurers are hungry for new business," said Ash Williams, director of the state Board of Administration, which oversees the so-called CAT Fund. "We've never had the stars line up in this way."...

  14. Gov. Scott and Cabinet vote to spend $50K for Cabinet's lawyers

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott and the Cabinet voted Tuesday to spend up to $50,000 in additional legal fees for an outside counsel to represent the Cabinet, the fifth named defendant in a lawsuit by more than a dozen news outlets over the ouster of former FDLE Commissioner Gerald Bailey.

    Scott and all three Cabinet members are individual defendants in the case, which accuses them of violating the Sunshine Law. The lawsuit also names the Cabinet as a defendant, but the Cabinet as a separate entity has no representation in the case. Attorney General Pam Bondi said she learned last Friday that the Cabinet needed its own counsel and that the state risks being in "default" with a court if the Cabinet has no representation by April 6 and no time extension is granted....

  15. Bousquet: Veteran Pinellas Sen. Jack Latvala is blunt but effective

    State Roundup

    He's gruff and he's tough, and those are just two of the more endearing traits of state Sen. Jack Latvala.

    Or, as he told a packed hearing the other day, "I'm kind of a blunt talker."

    The veteran Republican lawmaker from Clearwater is having another Latvala-esque legislative session, relishing his role on a wide range of issues, from housing to beer to state troopers to Florida's space program....

    Latvala