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Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (right) has coffee with St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. [ADAM C. SMITH | Tampa Bay Times]
Former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (right) has coffee with St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman. [ADAM C. SMITH | Tampa Bay Times]
Published Jan. 6, 2019|Updated Jan. 7, 2019

Winner of the week

Rick Kriseman. St. Petersburg mayor (and future statewide candidate?) earned big accolades for his commitment to fighting global warning, as Mike Bloomberg came to the 'Burg to praise Kriseman and award it $2.5 million to boost its efforts. If only hizzoner would stop his city from dumping polluted water.

Loser of the week

Longstanding Republican principles. Deficits are no longer a big concern in Washington, Russia is lauded repeatedly by the president, and tariffs are back in vogue. Now state Sen. Joe Gruters, likely the next state GOP Chairman, wants cops to start busting anyone caught smoking cigarettes on Florida beaches. Remember when individual freedom and small government were bedrock Republican convictions?

Loser of the week 2

The Florida Senate. The tarnished upper chamber forked over $900,000 in taxpayer money to settle a lawsuit alleging that senators retaliated against an aide who accused state Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, of sexual misconduct.

Loser of the week 3

Rick Scott. Months after his Department of Environmental Protection suspected water in the Ocala of being contaminated with excessive chemicals — and after it urged the state Fire College to drink bottled water — it deigned to inform other nearby residents of the threat.

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