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Introducing Rodham

It took a little help from Washington on Monday to wangle an introduction for Hugh Rodham, a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate. Rodham, brother-in-law of President Clinton, showed up at a news conference staged by environmentalists in Tallahassee to endorse Gov. Lawton Chiles. Aides tried to get Nat Reed, a Hobe Sound Republican who led the gathering, to introduce Rodham to the crowd. Reed declined. After a few minutes, Rodham tried again and succeeded in getting EPA Secretary Carol Browner, a Clinton appointee, to make the introduction. An obviously agitated Reed quickly left the room, saying later that he supports Sen. Connie Mack, a Republican.

Bush on prison capacity

Republican Jeb Bush says Florida should increase its prison capacity from 133 percent of design capacity to 150 percent and save taxpayers millions of dollars while allowing criminals to serve more time behind bars. Bush, in a news conference Monday, said federal prisons operate at the higher capacity despite limits that have been imposed on state prisons by federal judges. If the state gets sued again, Bush said he believes federal judges appointed during the last 12 years by Republican presidents would be more likely to allow some overcrowding than "liberal judges" of the past. Florida could easily force inmates to serve 85 percent of their sentences with the construction of another 18,943 prison beds over the next three years, Bush said. Chiles said Bush's proposal is designed to mislead Floridians into believing they can get something for nothing. Instead, he said, Bush would add to the problems of an already crowded and dangerous prison system.