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Backroom Briefing: New Laws? Or Following the Old Ones?

November 21, 2018 - 2:30pm

Florida’s nursing another election-related black eye, after Broward and Palm Beach county election officials were unable to meet deadlines to submit election results to the state.

The missed deadlines were among a number of problems in the heavily Democratic regions, exposed by slim margins in statewide races for governor, U.S. Senate and agriculture commissioner.

Each time Florida has suffered an election embarrassment, including after the protracted 2000 presidential recount, state lawmakers have tweaked statutes in the hopes of avoiding another spectacle.

Backroom Briefing: GOP Ad Stirs up Political Storm

October 12, 2018 - 6:00am
Ron DeSantis and Andrew Gillum

While Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum was managing the city’s response to a hurricane of historic proportions, his supporters were engaged in a separate storm because of a negative campaign ad lobbed by backers of the Democrat’s gubernatorial opponent, Ron DeSantis.

Backroom Briefing: The Politics of Trump's High Court Pick

July 12, 2018 - 3:45pm

Responses to President Donald Trump’s choice of U.S. Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh for the U.S. Supreme Court broke predictably along party lines among Florida politicians and activists, garnering laurels from Republicans and darts from Democrats.

The voices from Florida that matter the most in the pending summer drama --- U.S. Sens. Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio --- echoed their respective party mantras but remained somewhat non-committal.

Rubio, a Republican, called Kavanaugh “a qualified, mainstream jurist,” but wouldn’t say how he’ll vote in the Senate confirmation.

Backroom Briefing: Spin Room Whirls

Backroom Briefing: Scott Wants to Take a Read

Backroom Briefing: Sway of NRA Lobbyist Draws Attention

March 1, 2018 - 10:15am
Rep. David Richardson

Legislative leaders maintain there isn’t anything there, a nothing burger in current parlance, when asked about a story in The New Yorker describing National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer’s influence throughout the Capitol, particularly her sway in helping write and dictate language in bills.

But the story has Rep. David Richardson, D-Miami Beach, prepared to undertake a one-man investigation, if necessary, to determine how much Hammer’s influence reaches into the staff ranks.

Backroom Briefing: Knives Come out in Attorney General Race

December 14, 2017 - 12:15pm
Jay Fant and Ashley Moody

Florida's Republican Party says it is staying out of an effort by one of its attorney-general candidates to paint a competitor as a “Clinton liberal.”

Backroom Briefing: NRA Lobbyist Targets Pariente

November 30, 2017 - 1:15pm
Marion Hammer

National Rifle Association lobbyist Marion Hammer launched a campaign this week to purge Florida Supreme Court Justice Barbara Pariente from a case that could have far-reaching implications for the makeup of the court.

Hammer, long an influential figure in Tallahassee and a former president of the national gun-rights group, sent an email alert Wednesday morning to NRA and Unified Sportsmen of Florida “members and friends” urging them to tell Chief Justice Jorge Labarga and Pariente that “she must recuse or resign” from her post.

Backroom Briefing: Democrats Jockey for Position

November 22, 2017 - 7:45pm
Stephen Bittel

Florida Democrats should have been riding high right now, fresh off two recent victories and with a stable of gubernatorial and legislative candidates pawing at the starting gate in advance of next year's elections.

Instead, party insiders are facing a leadership race, even before the wounds from a bitter battle early this year have completely healed.

Backroom Briefing: Trump Helps Sack Diaz

September 28, 2017 - 12:00pm

There's bound to be much Monday-morning quarterbacking after Democrat Annette Taddeo's victory this week over Republican Jose Felix Diaz in a special election for a Miami-Dade County Senate seat.



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