Archive for the ‘FLORIDA’ Category

Miami-Dade Schools give fat, multi-year lobbying contract to Trump-connected lobbyist

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

By William Gjebre
FloridaBulldog.org
Seeking an edge in Republican-dominated Washington politics, Miami-Dade public school officials awarded a federal lobbying contract to an influential Florida firm whose chief officer played a significant role in the election of President Donald Trump last fall.
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Using ethics loophole, Sen. Lauren Book votes to give her nonprofit $1.5 million

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
Broward State Sen. Lauren Book voted “yes” last month to approve a state appropriations bill that included $1.5 million for Lauren’s Kids, the nonprofit she founded and leads as its $135,000-a-year chief executive officer.
The post Using ethics loophole, Sen. Lauren Book votes to give her nonprofit $1.5 million appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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FBI asks Miami judge to reconsider, keep secret ‘sensitive details’ about 9/11

Thursday, June 15th, 2017

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
The FBI is pushing back against a federal judge’s findings that certain classified details about the funding of the 9/11 attacks and the 19 al Qaeda suicide hijackers should be made public.
The post FBI asks Miami judge to reconsider, keep secret ‘sensitive details’ about 9/11 appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Red light ticket? Enforcement depends on where you got it and how you try to resolve it

Wednesday, June 14th, 2017

By Susannah Nesmith
FloridaBulldog.org
Miami-Dade Traffic Magistrate Christopher Benjamin played a series of dramatic videos of crashes caught on tape by red-light cameras. The people in the audience gasped each time someone t-boned a car, flipped over a railing, struck a motorcyclist or nearly plowed through a line of kids crossing the street. “Ladies and gentlemen, please rise,” Benjamin told the audience after playing the videos. And then he surprised everyone. “Be safe out there. Case dismissed. Thank you.”
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‘Invisible’ crime: Immigrant scams are big business in South Florida, but few crooks caught

Tuesday, June 6th, 2017

By Joseph A. Mann Jr.
FloridaBulldog.org
Infamous as the setting for many cases of high-profile financial fraud and chicanery, South Florida is also home to a relatively unknown scam that targets the region’s large immigrant population, bilking many of them for thousands of dollars for “expert” immigration services that are never delivered, a Florida Bulldog investigation has found.
The post ‘Invisible’ crime: Immigrant scams are big business in South Florida, but few crooks caught appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Japan’s Teijin buys biggest asset in Scott’s blind trust; Governor pockets $200 million

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Gov. Rick Scott appears to have pocketed $200 million in January when the biggest asset in his blind trust – Continental Structural Plastics – was sold to a subsidiary of the giant Japanese conglomerate Teijin Ltd.
The post Japan’s Teijin buys biggest asset in Scott’s blind trust; Governor pockets $200 million appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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U.S. judge tosses lawsuit to block All Aboard Florida; Money for Phase 2 still in question

Friday, May 26th, 2017

By Ann Henson Feltgen
FloridaBulldog.org
All Aboard Florida’s plan to operate regular passenger train service between Miami and Orlando survived a lawsuit filed by Indian River and Martin counties when a federal judge on May 10 dismissed the suit. But funding problems remain.
The post U.S. judge tosses lawsuit to block All Aboard Florida; Money for Phase 2 still in question appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Trial looms as judge denies FBI request to keep 9/11 records secret for privacy reasons

Monday, May 22nd, 2017

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
In a ruling that could lead to the release of significant new information about 9/11, including details about who funded the al Qaeda terrorist attacks, a Miami federal judge has rejected FBI assertions that many records should be kept secret due to privacy considerations.
The post Trial looms as judge denies FBI request to keep 9/11 records secret for privacy reasons appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Hialeah’s mayor, a former crony, an off-the-books city gig and an ethics investigation

Friday, May 19th, 2017

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
Being a political operative for Hialeah Mayor Carlos Hernandez comes with city perks.
Glenn Rice — a former city cop who worked on the mayor’s 2011 and 2013 campaigns — collected roughly $12,000 during a three-year period acting as an off-the-books employee monitoring the company Hialeah hired to collect trash from private homes, as well as investigating potential hires and vendors, a Miami-Dade ethics commission probe found.
The post Hialeah’s mayor, a former crony, an off-the-books city gig and an ethics investigation appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Gov. Scott doesn’t let politics get in way of investing in firm that believes in climate change

Wednesday, May 17th, 2017

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
When Rick Scott ran for governor in 2010, he told a reporter he wasn’t convinced that global warming was real. In 2015, the Scott Administration was reported to have told state employees to lay off using “climate change” and “global warming” in official communications. Today, the governor’s office dodges questions about Scott’s position on the use of those terms.
The post Gov. Scott doesn’t let politics get in way of investing in firm that believes in climate change appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Mysterious Saudi businessman in 9/11 puzzle surfaces – online

Tuesday, May 9th, 2017

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
A mysterious figure at the center of the puzzle about an apparent Sarasota-area support network for 9/11 hijackers is a rich Saudi Arabian businessman with ties to the kingdom’s ruling House of Saud and international and American political leaders.
The post Mysterious Saudi businessman in 9/11 puzzle surfaces – online appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Headlight recall turns high beams on GM’s safety vow

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

By Christopher Jensen
FairWarning
Three years ago, General Motors chief executive Mary Barra vowed a new pro-safety attitude after admitting that for years the automaker had concealed an ignition-switch defect now linked to at least 124 deaths. But today federal safety regulators are investigating whether GM has been adequately handling a 429,000 vehicle recall for the sudden failure of low-beam headlights.
The post Headlight recall turns high beams on GM’s safety vow appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Lauren’s Kids racks up six-figure donations via auto tag registration renewals

Thursday, May 4th, 2017

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
In January, Broward County car owners who received their auto tag renewal notices also got a special message and sales pitch from Lauren’s Kids, the nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing child sex abuse and founded by freshman State Sen. Lauren Book.
The post Lauren’s Kids racks up six-figure donations via auto tag registration renewals appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney mum about fat fees paid to White House Counsel’s ex-law firm

Thursday, April 27th, 2017

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
From last July to March, the campaign committee for freshman Florida Congressman Francis Rooney paid roughly $117,000 to the former law firm of White House Counsel Donald McGahn II. However, neither Rooney nor McGahn are answering questions about the payments.
The post U.S. Rep. Francis Rooney mum about fat fees paid to White House Counsel’s ex-law firm appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Miami-Dade Schools, union push costly private loan program for lowest paid workers

Tuesday, April 18th, 2017

By William Gjebre
FloridaBulldog.org
A union representing the lowest-paid Miami-Dade public schools employees has endorsed a proposed private loan program for its members that would charge 24 percent interest with the school district collecting loan repayments by deducting them from employee paychecks.
The post Miami-Dade Schools, union push costly private loan program for lowest paid workers appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Hollywood targets hundreds arrested for domestic violence, public defender cries foul

Monday, April 10th, 2017

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Hollywood police have sent letters to hundreds of residents arrested for domestic violence threatening to target them for enhanced “scrutiny and/or penalties” and “unannounced police checks on your residence.”
The post Hollywood targets hundreds arrested for domestic violence, public defender cries foul appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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FBI boss Comey and ‘inexplicable’ delays in matters of ‘highest national importance’

Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
The FBI’s renewed push to dismiss a Miami Freedom of Information lawsuit seeking records of the enigmatic 9/11 Review Commission and FBI activities “of the highest national importance” should be denied, court papers contend.
The post FBI boss Comey and ‘inexplicable’ delays in matters of ‘highest national importance’ appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Prodded by federal judge, FBI finally identifies Sarasota Saudis by name in court

Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Six years after news broke that the FBI found ties between 9/11 hijackers and a Saudi family who’d moved abruptly out of their Sarasota home two weeks before the terrorist attacks – and didn’t tell Congress – the FBI has identified the family publicly.
The post Prodded by federal judge, FBI finally identifies Sarasota Saudis by name in court appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Strange case: BSO looking to buy rights to embarrassing lawsuit to quash it

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
The Broward Sheriff’s Office is making a bizarre bid to squelch a disturbing lawsuit brought against it by a former employee by purchasing all rights to the lawsuit from a bankruptcy court trustee.
The post Strange case: BSO looking to buy rights to embarrassing lawsuit to quash it appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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With help from investor-Gov. Scott, Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline looks to open in June

Thursday, March 23rd, 2017

By Joseph A. Mann Jr.
FloridaBulldog.org
The Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline, a giant interstate project whose tail reaches over 268 miles into Florida, has generated fierce opposition as its construction moves through the state from Georgia to its end-point in Osceola County, where it is scheduled to link up to an existing gas pipeline in June.
The post With help from investor-Gov. Scott, Sabal Trail natural gas pipeline looks to open in June appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Gridlock on Anti-Lock Brakes Baffles Motorcycle Safety Advocates

Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017

By Rick Schmitt and Paul Feldman
FairWarning
After a long downward trend, U.S. traffic deaths are on the rise again, and a key factor is the stubbornly high fatality toll among some of the most exposed people on the road: motorcyclists.
Nevertheless, federal regulators have balked at requiring a safety measure that, many experts say, could save hundreds of bikers’ lives every year.
The post Gridlock on Anti-Lock Brakes Baffles Motorcycle Safety Advocates appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Ms. Book goes to Tallahassee, sees no conflict voting $ for Lauren’s Kids or dad’s clients

Monday, March 20th, 2017

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
Freshman Broward State Sen. Lauren Book says she won’t abstain from voting on matters involving clients of her father, powerful lobbyist Ron Book. Similarly, she sees no conflict of interest in voting on measures to funnel millions of taxpayer dollars to benefit her non-profit charity and political launching pad, Lauren’s Kids.
The post Ms. Book goes to Tallahassee, sees no conflict voting $ for Lauren’s Kids or dad’s clients appeared first on Florida Bulldog.

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Joe Henderson: Miami trial shines light on smuggling Cuban baseball players to U.S.

Thursday, March 16th, 2017
It is not unusual when a Major League Baseball team signs a Cuban defector. There is a lengthy list of players who fled that island nation so they could barter their skills for the considerable cash that comes with playing in the United States.
Usually, those stories have been treated as valiant escapes from a repressive government and the search for a better life.
A trial that concluded Wednesday in a Miami courtroom though painted a different story. Instead of something heroic, the way some players escaped was judged to be a felony.
The trial pulled back the curtain on how that

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Florida prison chief: State losing corrections staff to ‘Wal-Mart,’ creating insecurity in system

Thursday, March 16th, 2017
More than three-quarters of Florida’s corrections officers have less than two years’ experience. In some state prisons, a single CO will be left alone to supervise 150-200 inmates in a jail block.
Contraband has become so bad, one random search of (just half) a Dade facility turned up $15,000 in street value of cocaine, seven knives, 46 cellphones and an array of other drugs and illicit materials, said Department of Corrections Secretary Julie Jones Thursday.
The state’s prisons chief was in front of the Senate Appropriations Committee, having to explain just how bad the situation was, even though the state’s inmate population

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Bills allowing overnight stays in ambulatory surgery centers, direct primary care agreements ready for House floor

Thursday, March 16th, 2017
The House Health and Human Services Committee sent bills that would allow direct primary care agreements and overnight stays in ambulatory surgery centers to the House floor Thursday
HB 161 would allow patients and their physicians to enter into direct primary care agreements, an alternative to traditional health care plans.
Under such agreements, patients pay a flat fee to have all their primary care needs taken care of by a primary care doctor.
The bill was filed by the Health Innovation Subcommittee, with Reps. Daniel Burgess and Mike Miller serving as sponsors.
The House Health and Human Services Committee cleared the bill during its Thursday

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Donald Trump adviser Roger Stone involved in hit-and-run

Thursday, March 16th, 2017
Longtime Trump adviser Roger Stone says a car he was riding in this week in Florida was struck by a hit-and-run driver.
In a statement to The Associated Press, Stone described the incident as “suspicious,” coming as he is under scrutiny for his communication with the Russian-linked hacker Guccifer 2.0.
Stone tweeted that he was uninjured in the crash except for blurry vision in his right eye.
Stone says the car he was riding in was “T-boned” by a large, gray four-door car with a tinted windshield.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office says the driver the vehicle did not stop or make any attempt

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Senate panel OKs beer bill — that beer companies hate

Thursday, March 16th, 2017
A bill that—as one beer-company insider put it—could allow theme parks to “extort” advertising dollars out of them cleared a Senate panel this week.
The legislation (SB 388), which allows beer companies to advertise in theme parks, was OK’d unanimously by the Senate Regulated Industries Committee with scant attention.
It chips away at the state’s “tied house evil” law by allowing ads, which could include a beer company sponsoring a concert or festival within a park. And ironically, the companies don’t want the law changed.
Moreover, a previous version of the bill theoretically could have allowed beer makers to stock the inside of any Florida bar or tavern with ads

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Rick Scott yanks cop-killer case from Aramis Ayala, reassigns it

Thursday, March 16th, 2017
Gov. Rick Scott has used an executive order to pull the prosecution of alleged cop-killer Markeith Loyd away from Orlando’s State Attorney Aramis Ayala and to reassign it to State Attorney Brad King in Lake County.
Scott’s unprecedented move comes hours after the unprecedented announcement by Ayala that she would not prosecute death penalty charges, including in the case of Loyd, charged with killing his pregnant girlfriend Sade Dixon last December and that of Orlando Police Master Sergeant Debra Clayton in January.
The move is the latest event in a day of uproar that began with reports that Ayala, a newly-elected state

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Matt Gaetz: Keep working to repeal and replace Obamacare

Thursday, March 16th, 2017

President Trump has endorsed a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare. His plan, called the American Health Care Act, is described as the first of three immediate steps occurring to end this nightmare. Remember, Obamacare was implemented over several bills, with tons of executive overreach. Administrative corrections and legislation clearing the 60-vote Senate threshold must follow.
For this bill, we need 51.
I’ll be frank — I’m not crazy about it. I wanted to like it, especially after hearing from Obamacare’s victims: prices skyrocketing, premiums rising, plans closing, coverage decreasing. I wanted to like it because the thought of government forcing

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House committee OK’s proposal to keep BP oil funds in Northwest Florida

Thursday, March 16th, 2017
A House panel has approved legislation to make sure settlement money from the 2010 BP oil spill stays in the Florida Panhandle.
The House Select Committee on Triumph Gulf Coast passed a proposed committee bill that, among other things, requires 75 percent of all payments that Florida receives from the settlement agreement between the five gulf states and BP be transferred from the general fund to the Triumph Gulf Coast Trust Fund.
Under the proposal, the Triumph Gulf Coast corporation can award funding for several things including:
— Public infrastructure projects to enhance economic recovery, diversification, and enhancement in the disproportionately affected

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