"One of Florida's leading campaign consultants has been hit with multiple charges by the Florida Elections Commission, most of them stemming from a last-minute push to try to defeat a constitutional amendment that authorized slot machines in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. If the charges are upheld, Rocky Pennington, chairman of the Committee to Restore Integrity in Politics, could be hit with fines in excess of $950,000. Pennington is well-known in political circles as both a campaign consultant for the Republican Party of Florida and Republican candidates as well as being the owner of a direct-mail firm in Clearwater." "GOP consultant may face hefty fines".
"Race wide open"
"Polls consistently show Davis with a comfortable lead, but neither candidate is well-known, and undecided Democrats outnumber the committed. That makes the race wide open." "Governor Choices Stump Democrats".
A debate in Orlando this Friday: "Democrats to go head-to-head".
"Hosting the Republican National Convention in Tampa could cost about $124 million, with about $85 million coming from public sources." "Costly Taxpayer Tab For GOP's Convention".
"[T]he FWC must keep in mind the continuing rapid pace of development in Florida that makes it harder and harder for the state's unique fauna and flora to survive in substantial numbers. In all cases, science, not special interests, should guide commissioners." "Let science govern choices on species". But see "In Saving Florida's Wildlife, Action More Important Than Lists".
"Ronda Storms' nemesis - Hillsborough County's gay community - has set up shop in her political back yard and plans to hold some in-your-face events designed to derail her run for state Senate." "Gay Political Activists Target Storms' Bid For State Senate". See also "Florida Gays Flex Political Muscle".
Church-run day cares
"But in Florida, health and safety regulations for home-based care centers fall far short of the rules imposed on for-profit child-care centers. And state law gives the Department of Children and Families little power to do anything about problems in church-run day cares, a weakness grimly illustrated in the death of 2-year-old Zaniyah Hinson in 2001." "For the children".
"South Florida is the biggest prize in Democratic primary politics, and Rod Smith today handed another Miami lawyer a top slot in his campaign by naming Daniel Ponce his finance chair. Ponce is a Democratic fundraiser who used to be special counsel to former U.S. Sen. Bob Graham (who's backing Jim Davis in this year's Democratic gubernatorial primary). The announcement comes not long after Smith made Chris Korge, another Miami lawyer and Democratic fundraiser, his general campaign chair. " "Smith's Rainmakers".
"Because of a bad ruling by the Environmental Protection Agency, the state can dump polluted water into clean water."
The change could be a setback for efforts to clean up the Everglades, Lake Okeechobee and the east and west coast marine breeding grounds that receive the lake's dirty overflow. With its ruling, the EPA also perpetuates threats to water supplies for the lakeside towns of South Bay and Pahokee. In 2000, The Post reported that chemicals added to treat the water create health risks for pregnant women."Florida will be at risk if EPA ruling stands".
Predictably, a spokesman for the South Florida Water Management District hailed the change because it would reduce the agency's costs and bureaucracy for managing flood control in the Everglades ecosystem. Because of the ruling, the district could send dirty water from urban canals into the Everglades or Lake Okeechobee, or dump polluted lake water into the cleaner St. Lucie and Caloosahatchee rivers.
"The Florida Professional Firefighters ... voted to endorse Republican state Rep. Randy Johnson, R-Celebration, for chief financial officer. Meanwhile, Democratic CFO candidate Alex Sink is touting her redesigned website that is supposed to enable her to directly organize and interact with voters." " Firefighters for Johnson, Sink's Site".
"A study that looked into congressional travel habits found that members of Congress traveled far and often. Though it wasn't necessarily against the law, it gives a look at how things work in Washington." "Florida Lawmakers Singled Out". See also "Wexler's travels include $29,951 Kazakhstan trip", "Group scrutinizes Congress' 23,000 trips for $50 million" and "Congress traveling well -- on private tab".
"Florida high school students will be the first in the nation required to declare majors and minors like college students, as part of a sweeping education overhaul bill that Gov. Jeb Bush signed Monday." "Gov. Bush signs education bill". See also "Jeb puts seal on a massive education-reform package", "Bush signs education bill requiring high school majors", "Bush signs education bill" and "Bush signs bill requiring ninth-graders to pick majors".
"Governor calls for increase in ethanol imports".
"The Broward County Sheriff's Office is carrying a heavy burden these days. Sheriff Ken Jenne has been under state and federal investigation for more than a year. Citizens are right to ask whether the agency can continue to function effectively amid the distractions and embarrassment of the ongoing inquiries." "Ken Jenne".
"Editorial: Bush veto pen strikes deep".
"County Commission Chairman Tony Masilotti tried to insert a Wellington businessman into a deal to provide county land for a nonprofit children's shelter, officials said Monday." "Official: Masilotti backed businessman in shelter land deal". See also "Mega-money. Masilotti. So maybe...".
"Nearly six years later, the two most famous women from Florida's 2000 presidential recount broke bread in the same ballroom Monday and showed that the electoral cliffhanger still can elicit frustration and differing recollections from some of its key players. Republican U.S. Senate candidate Katherine Harris, responding to an audience question at a Forum Club of the Palm Beaches luncheon, defended her handling of the recount when she was Florida's secretary of state and chided Palm Beach County for not completing its hand tally on time. Her remarks didn't go over well with Palm Beach County's own recount celebrity, former elections chief and butterfly ballot designer Theresa LePore, who was part of the audience of about 400." "Harris, LePore still split in recounting ballot battle". See also "Memories of 2000 election lingering".
"Florida has a skyrocketing total of foster kids who have vanished".
"Despite the state's burgeoning Hispanic population, an education think tank gives Florida an F when it comes to teaching students about the history of Latin America -- or any other civilization."
The failing grade comes because the state's standards for teaching world history are so vague, concludes the study by the Thomas B. Fordham Foundation, which didn't hesitate to castigate the state."Florida flunks Latin history".
"Florida's approach is so superficial that it is, for all intents and purposes, worthless," said the report, which was released Monday. "There's nothing glowing in the Sunshine State's standards, and little worth redeeming."
"Adding 11,000 homes, shopping centers and a golf course near Silver Springs could mean the end of the ecological treasure." "Save the springs".
"Katherine Harris thinks she knows why she's been shunned by her party leadership and shirked by big donors, and it has nothing to do with political platforms."
"Perhaps in some elite circles, the reason I have not gotten more support ... is because they don't believe I can be controlled," Harris said Monday during a speech to the nonpartisan Forum Club of the Palm Beaches."Harris says Republican Party support lags because she can't be controlled". See also "Clouds of controversy linger low over Harris".
Harris, a two-term congresswoman who as secretary of state gained national notoriety for her role in the 2000 presidential recount that handed the race to George W. Bush, said she would not "kowtow" to the administration or her party.
"The Florida Federation of Young Republicans' weekend straw poll. This is the same group that Tom Gallagher won over big in April. Supposedly more than 100 members participated in the non-binding popularity contest, which is widely seen as a crucial barometer of, well, the people participating." " Joe Negron, Will McBride Win...".