Reporter William March has covered state and national politics since 1994. Email
Reporter Mike Salinero has covered Hillsborough County government since 2007. Email
Reporter James L. Rosica covers state government from the Tribune's Tallahassee bureau. Email
Florida Political Blogs:
Most Recent Entries
- First David Jolly ad touts his local ties, but could be fodder for critics
- Sources: Crist’s new campaign manager is gone
- Clark to ignore Detzner absentee directive for D 13 race
- Murman also uncertain about LG job
- Dems cry voter suppression, election supes unhappy, over new absentee rule
- Crist raises first million; Scott now over $25 million
- House and Senate bills would regulate parasailing
- Castor to raise $$ for Sink
- Two candidates left on Gov. Scott’s ‘short list’ for Lt. Gov.
- Peters responds to DCCC flood insurance comments
- Gov. Scott weighs in on Iran deal
- Q poll: Bush, Clinton top Florida 2016 choices
- Q poll: Bush, Clinton top Florida 2016 choices
- Q Poll: Scott narrows gap v. Crist
- Lee talks about possible LG appointment
House and Senate bills would regulate parasailing
Posted Nov 27, 2013 by James L. Rosica
Updated Nov 27, 2013 at 02:48 PM
Bills now have been filed in both chambers of the Legislature to regulate commercial parasailing in Florida.
State Rep. Gwyndolen Clarke-Reed, D-Deerfield Beach, announced Wednesday she filed a House companion to a bill already filed in the Senate by Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach.
The bills, HB 347 and SB 320, are identical.
The measures would require commercial parasailing operators to have insurance and a license from the U.S. Coast Guard. They would prohibit parasailing in bad weather conditions and require new safety equipment.
Six people have died in parasailing accidents since 2000 and 20 people have been seriously injured, according to reports. A legislative review found that high winds or sudden gusts contributed to nearly half of the accidents.
This summer, two teenaged Indiana tourists were hurt when a tether broke loose while they were parasailing in Panama City. They slammed into buildings and crashed into cars.
Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, later asked parasailing operators to meet with Sachs, who previously sponsored legislation that died in committee.
Clarke-Reed said she spoke to more than 200 parasailing operators at an industry meeting in St. Petersburg on Nov. 7.
Castor to raise $$ for Sink
Posted Nov 27, 2013 by William March
Updated Nov 27, 2013 at 02:54 PM
U.S. Rep. Kathy Castor of Tampa will host a fundraiser for Alex Sink, who’s running for the House seat vacated by the death of U.S. Rep. C.W. Bill Young.
The event will be Dec. 17 at the new Carlton Ward photography gallery in Hyde Oark. Prices are $5,000 to be a chair, $1,000 to be a host or $250 for admission.
Sink is the Democratic nominee for the special election to be held March 11.
Two candidates left on Gov. Scott’s ‘short list’ for Lt. Gov.
Posted Nov 26, 2013 by James L. Rosica
Updated Nov 26, 2013 at 12:25 PM
And then there were two.
First, Joseph Joyner, St. Johns County school superintendent, and now Don Eslinger, Seminole County sheriff, have taken their names out of contention to be Gov. Rick Scott’s next lieutenant governor.
That leaves state Sen. Tom Lee, R-Brandon, and Hillsborough County Commissioner Sandy Murman.
The rub is that Lee told FSP he’s not sure he’ll accept the post if offered, and Murman, a former state representative, hasn’t confirmed her interest.
Scott has been without a second-in-command since March, when Jennifer Carroll resigned the post after an investigation into an Internet gambling operation resulted in almost 60 arrests.
Carroll, who was not accused of wrongdoing, had done public relations work for the company before her election.
Scott doesn’t need a lieutenant governor until September 2014, when his running mate must be selected for re-election purposes.
Last week, Scott briefly addressed the long delay in front of reporters: “We have a lot of great candidates around the state. We have a great state, a lot of great people. But I’m not going to comment on the process we have right now.”
Peters responds to DCCC flood insurance comments
Posted Nov 25, 2013 by Kate Bradshaw
Updated Nov 26, 2013 at 12:31 PM
A spokesman for state Rep. Kathleen Peters has said her comments on flood insurance reform were taken out of context.
After Peters, a Pinellas County Republican, said she doesn’t support a year delay flood insurance rate hikes, Democrats at the national level say she is “out of touch” with her district.
“Kathleen Peters’ refusal to stop the flood insurance rate increase could cost Pinellas residents thousands of dollars and shows that Peters is wildly out of touch with the concerns of Pinellas families,” said Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee spokesperson David Bergstein.
The National Flood Insurance Program is about $24 billion in debt, which it incurred after Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency proposed to raise rates in flood-prone areas to compensate.
In Pinellas County, tens of thousands homeowners are affected, and some are expected to pay ten times what they were paying. Several bills in the House and Senate were filed to delay the rate hikes.
Peters has said she supports a comprehensive approach to a flood insurance overhaul that would indefinitely delay the rates until a thorough review of the program was done.
In response to the DCCC comments, her campaign issued a rebuttal that called the year delay in rate hikes a “financially painful purgatory” for the real estate market and the economy as a whole.
“Kathleen’s position is clear,” wrote campaign spokesman Mark Zubaly. “We must stop implementation completely and take the time to study the issue’s adverse unintended consequences and refile legislation protecting homeowners from these unintended consequences.”
Peters faces David Jolly, lobbyist and former attorney to Bill Young, in the Jan. 14 Republican primary of the special election to fill the late congressman’s seat.
The winner of the primary will face Democrat Alex Sink in the March 11 general election.
Gov. Scott weighs in on Iran deal
Posted Nov 25, 2013 by James L. Rosica
Updated Nov 25, 2013 at 06:00 PM
Gov. Rick Scott on Monday weighed in on President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran.
Officials announced this weekend that the United States and five other world powers had reached a compromise with Iran, in which it agreed to pause its nuclear program in exchange for some relief from economic sanctions.
“President Obama’s deal with Iran does nothing to stop the country’s pursuit of nuclear weapons,” Scott said. “The deal relieves Iran from economic sanctions while allowing them to continue to enrich uranium. This could prove to be a dangerous formula for the safety of our ally Israel, the Middle East and the world.”
Obama responded to critics later in the day, saying the U.S. “cannot close the door on diplomacy,” according to the Associated Press.
“Obama acknowledged that tough obstacles remain before the diplomacy with Iran can be deemed a success, but he insisted the potential rewards are too great to not test Tehran’s willingness to strike a longer-term deal with the U.S. and others,” the AP reported.