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Don Gaetz

After a seemingly rule-less meeting, constitution panel adopts rules

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The Florida Constitution Revision Commission now has a set of rules for how it might go about writing major changes to Florida’s Constitution. Those rules — addressing such matters as who will appoint committees, how proposals will move through committees, whether Florida’s Sunshine laws will cover everything — emerged from a sometimes chaotic debate in Orlando Tuesday morning at a meeting that Chair Carlos Beruff adjourned suddenly after he got what he apparently wanted. By a 20-11 vote, the commission adopted a proposal…

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Joe Henderson: Sunshine law should remind leaders that people of Florida are citizens, not serfs

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The irony of the state Constitutional Revision Commission trying to avoid sunshine laws is almost too rich to describe. If allowed to happen, that would be a dark day indeed. But that’s exactly what CRC Chair Carlos Beruff is proposing, even as the commission continues a series of town hall meetings designed to take public input into the process. Beruff, who ran a bare-knuckles campaign for the Republican nomination in the 2016 U.S. Senate race but ultimately crashed when Marco Rubio…

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Don Gaetz, Chris Smith among Joe Negron’s constitutional review panel picks

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Gaetz Smith

Former Florida Senate President Don Gaetz and former Senate Democratic Leader Chris Smith are among those tapped by current Senate President Joe Negron to sit on the state’s Constitution Revision Commission. Negron, a Stuart Republican, announced his list Wednesday in a press release. Gaetz, a Niceville Republican in the Senate 2006-16, and Smith, a Fort Lauderdale Democrat who served 2008-16, were selected along with seven others. Under the constitution, Negron gets nine picks as the president of the state Senate. “Florida…

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Don Gaetz is ‘saving his Rolodex’ for Will Weatherford

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Former Senate President Don Gaetz said he respects Will Weatherford’s decision not to run for governor in 2018, but is “disappointed for Florida.” “I spoke with Will about his decision,” said Gaetz, who presided over the Senate in 2012-14 when Weatherford, a Wesley Chapel Republican, was House Speaker. “One of the attributes of Will Weatherford is his devotion to his family,” Gaetz said. “I once deferred running for office until my children were older so I understand his decision.” But,…

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Erin Gaetz launches her own digital content firm

in Apolitical by

Erin Gaetz is paving her own way, but don’t expect her to veer too far from the family business. Gaetz, the 31-year-old daughter of former Senate President Don Gaetz and sister of Congressman-elect Matt Gaetz, recently launched her own digital content firm, Southpaw Content. The firm specializes in producing faster, more engaging and less expensive social media and digital content. Or, as she puts it: No dopey ads of candidates standing around a factory and pointing. “After the experience on…

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Nearly 40 apply to Joe Negron for Constitution Revision Commission

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A former Senate President, Secretary of State, and state Supreme Court Justice have applied to Senate President Joe Negron for a seat on the panel that reviews the state’s constitution every 20 years. At last tally, 39 people had applied for one of Negron’s nine picks to the Constitution Revision Commission, according to a list provided by his office. They include: — Former Sen. Don Gaetz, a Niceville Republican who was term limited out of office this year. Gaetz also…

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Steve Crisafulli, Don Gaetz reminisce on politics, legislative successes in heartfelt farewells

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In both life and politics, the only thing that’s constant is change. While elections give voters a view of the future, it also provides some retiring politicians a chance to look back. As two influential Florida lawmakers say their goodbyes — former Senate President Don Gaetz and House Speaker Steve Crisafulli — they reflect on changes, and legislative successes, during their respective careers in Tallahassee. Crisafulli — the first Speaker from Brevard County — gives his final thank you to Floridians in a Florida Today op-ed,…

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