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Field hands pick strawberries in Plant City

Labor-Challenged Farmers Need a Champion in Washington

In the battle over immigration policy, it's easy to overlook how much Florida agriculture needs an uncomplicated guest farmworker program. We're talking about am industry in this state that contributes $8 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product. Yet, it's suffering critical labor shortages as Congress makes up its mind how much it can help.  

September 19, 2018 - 6:00am

Columns

The "deep state" exists after all. But it turns out that deep state is not made up of the permanent bureaucracy, shadowy intelligence officials, or even Obama administration holdovers; rather it is made up of President Trump's own senior appointees.
Andrew Gillum picked the lieutenant governor HE wanted and some people are mad.
Chances are, you’ve noticed it’s election season. It seems everywhere we look another politician is inserting his or her opinion on the latest hot topic, whether it’s education, public safety and, of course, the environment. Offshore development continues to be a “hot potato” issue -- it seems no one wants to touch it, at least not publicly.
The Florida Supreme Court was in South Florida Wednesday hearing arguments for why Amendment 6, also known as Marsy’s Law for Florida, should remain on the November General Election ballot. More than political or legal theatre, this is an issue that is so important and so deeply personal to Floridians who are survivors of crime, including me.
Andrew Gillum
Over Labor Day weekend news broke that in areas of Florida residents received automated phone calls of a disturbing nature. The recording came from a pretend Andrew Gillum, Democratic candidate for governor. The voice and the words were degradingly racist. The New York Times described jungle drums and monkey noises playing in the background. 
Multiple Florida papers have editorialized that Amendment 8, the education amendment, should be removed from the ballot, taking the position that voters are not smart enough to understand what they are voting on.
The 1 percent Jeff Vinik-inspired sales tax increase propaganda machine is up and running. The misinformation campaign has started. 
Michael Cohen's decision to plead guilty for making hush-money payments on Donald Trump's behalf has raised the prospect that if Democrats take control of Congress, they might try to impeach the president over a matter completely unrelated to a perceived criminal conspiracy with Russia. Good luck with that: Even if Democrats win back both the House and Senate, there is zero chance a two-thirds majority of senators will convict President Trump for paying off an adult-film star.
This country has a history with a stain. The stain is slavery, Jim Crow, and the dehumanizing of black people.
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