"It's been more than 25 years since Florida Democrats have put up a fight for Congress like they are this year. A Democrat has qualified to run in every one of the 25 congressional districts in Florida this year except one: District 12, where Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Bartow, is running for re-election. The deadline to qualify to run for Congress was Friday. You have to go back to 1980, the last year of Jimmy Carter's presidency, to find a time when Democrats had candidates in all but one contest. Back then, Florida had 15 congressional districts." "Democrats on ballots in record numbers".
"About this time every year, the self-satisfaction of victory begins to give way to doubt forhundreds of lawmakers, constituents and special-interest groups. It's budget review time and all parties concerned know what that means." "Michael Peltier: Bush likely to follow tradition in review of budget".
"An ally of incoming Senate President Ken Pruitt [Republican Sen. Mike Fasano] attempted to place in an affordable housing bill a provision to help the homebuilder who has been paying Pruitt $2,000 a month, but withdrew it after top Senate staffers began asking questions."
Pruitt began earning $2,000 a month from Royal Management in 2003, the same year he started making payments totaling slightly less than that on a new 3,134-square-foot house Sanger built for him in Port St. Lucie. Pruitt has said he worked to help Sanger on various projects in the Treasure Coast and surrounding areas, but has declined to provide detailed invoices or logs showing specifically what he did."Provision to help Pruitt's employer pulled from bill".
Sanger also declined to provide invoices or other documentation. At one time, he told The Palm Beach Post that he paid Pruitt "$2,000 per month for anything I need from him."
"Palm Beach County Republican Chairman Sid Dinerstein, normally a cheerleader for any GOP incumbent and a discourager of would-be primary challengers, was surprisingly noncommittal last week in discussing Republican County Commission Chairman Tony Masilotti's reelection bid. Dinerstein said recent Palm Beach Post articles about dealings involving a Masilotti family land trust raise 'huge red flags' the commissioner needs to address." "Commentary: GOP chief iffy on Masilotti over trust flap".
Empirical Polk had the scoop on this, as it was happening:
It was so close, yet so far away."Lawmaker made U-turn out of GOP Senate primary".
While en route to open his campaign for the U.S. Senate, state Rep. Dennis Ross reluctantly turned back to Lakeland without getting on the ballot.
Ross will not challenge U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris for the party's nomination for U.S. Senate, but four other Republicans will.
The Florida Legislature At Work
"Shackled in handcuffs and leg irons"
"Federal prosecutors accuse Liberti of using his standing as a [WPB] city commissioner to intimidate two West Palm Beach companies to sell their businesses to his clients at below-market prices. Shackled in handcuffs and leg irons, Liberti pleaded not guilty Wednesday in federal court. Defense attorney Richard Lubin said Liberti was cooperating with prosecutors. Liberti has roughly 40 days to work out a plea agreement with a reduced sentence or to stand trial." "Probe: City official paid by developer".
"Legislation sets waiting period for new fees to go into effect, requires county to use most recent information to justify fees". "Officials: Passing impact fees might get a little harder".
"In the waning days of the 2006 legislative session, lawmakers cast long shadows over government in the sunshine by passing more than a dozen bills creating or extending exemptions to its open-records and open-meetings requirements." "Late bills upset watchdogs".
Palm Beach Paper Trail
"It's a good thing that Supervisor of Elections Arthur Anderson said recently that he has no doubts about the touch-screen voting machines purchased by his predecessor, Theresa LePore. While Dr. Anderson made the addition of a paper trail a linchpin of his campaign to defeat Ms. LePore, his biggest step in that direction was to assign the question to a committee. Now, 16 months after his election and eight months after the committee's first meeting, he has his answer: Creating a paper trail is best; how to do it remains unknown." "Anderson must cast vote".
"Legislature ensures higher bills"
"It's pretty much a given that property insurance in Florida will be expensive. But does it need to be this expensive? That's a question state lawmakers can't answer, because they've never had the gumption to get tough with insurers." "Pricey failure".
"The staff of the Florida Public Service Commission wants to save Florida Power & Light customers more than a half-billion dollars. They want to do so in part by holding FPL accountable for what the utility didn't do years ago." "Assign FPL shareholders more of storm-repair bill".
"Harris Gives Gun Publicity Best Shot".
"State lawmakers have ended a statewide trend of starting the school year earlier and earlier. Starting sooner has meant high school students could squeeze in exams before the winter holidays. It also gave students more time to prepare for the FCAT, or Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, given in February and March. In some districts, students return as early as the first week of August, teachers in late July. Under the new law, school cannot start in 2007 until Aug. 20." "Law Rolls Back Summer's End".
"The latest tax cut package out of Washington would raise taxes on Floridians. Congress plans to kill a provision allowing Floridians and residents of seven other states to deduct sales taxes." "Uncle Sam ends sales tax deductions".