Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

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Brendan Farrington

Brendan Farrington has 121 articles published.

SD 40 race could be Donald Trump test for Democrats

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Florida Democrats are facing a test to see whether anti-President Donald Trump politics will give them a boost ahead of a critical election year and perhaps signal a turnaround after two decades of Republican dominance in the Legislature. They’ve made Trump a focal point in a special election set for Tuesday to replace a Miami-area Republican state senator who resigned after using racial slurs in front of black colleagues. The Republican in the race, state Rep. Jose Felix “Pepi” Diaz, was a contestant on…

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Adam Putnam: Fight hatred, but don’t fight over statues

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, the leading Republican candidate for governor, said Tuesday that Americans don’t need to fight about Confederate statues and should instead focus on fighting the country’s 21st-century enemies. Putnam condemned white supremacists and the recent violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, but said the country should not be fighting over the U.S. Civil War and erasing the nation’s history.

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Appeals judge: 20-year sentence for firing gun an injustice

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

An appeals court judge criticized Florida’s mandatory minimum gun laws Tuesday while regretfully upholding the 20-year-sentence of a man who fired a gun at the ground. A three-judge panel of the 1st District Court of Appeal agreed that Eric Patrick Wright’s sentence cannot be reduced, but Judge James Wolf took the extra step of writing an opinion that calls the case an injustice.

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Florida politics lopsided despite required fair districts

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida has more registered Democrats than Republicans, but the balance of power in government doesn’t even come close to reflecting that. Despite a 2010 constitutional amendment aimed at preventing political gerrymandering, Republicans dominate Florida politics. Democrats only hold 41 of 120 state House seats, 15 of 40 Senate seats and are outnumbered in in the U.S. House 16-11. While it would be easy to say Republicans built their power because they draw the political boundaries for Congress and the Legislature,…

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Florida law shifts burden of proof in ‘Stand Your Ground’

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida became the first state with a law that spells out that prosecutors, and not defendants, have the burden of proof in pretrial “stand your ground” hearings when Republican Gov. Rick Scott signed a bill Friday. The measure was among 16 bills that Scott signed, including a bill that gives students and school employees a broader right to express their religious viewpoint in schools. The “stand your ground” bill was fought by prosecutors who say it will make their job…

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Florida could pave new changes in ‘stand your ground’ laws

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Lucy McBath is afraid many more people will die if Florida Gov. Rick Scott signs a bill making it harder to prosecute when people claim they commit violence in self-defense. She already lost her son, an unarmed black teenager, when a white man angry over loud music and claiming self-defense fired 10 times at an SUV filled with teenagers. The measure before Scott would effectively require a trial-before-a-trial whenever someone invokes self-defense, making prosecutors prove the suspect doesn’t deserve immunity.…

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Florida passes bill to issue certificates for miscarriages

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Florida could become the first state to issue what’s essentially a birth certificate for women who’ve had miscarriages under a bill the Legislature sent to Gov. Rick Scott on Thursday. The Grieving Families Act would give parents the option of receiving a state-issued certificate if a pregnancy is lost between nine weeks and 20 weeks of gestation. “The parent can name the child if they have a gender or they can just name it Baby Smith,” said Republican Rep. Bob…

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