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Today on Context Florida: Cabinet meeting drama, Carly Fiorina, David Jolly and reproductive freedom

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Today on Context Florida: Monday’s Cabinet meeting was nothing like any of the other meetings. It was dramatic, intense, awkward, and anticlimactic — all at the same time. After four interviews by candidates for the post of Insurance Commissioner, Gov. Rick Scott read from a prepared statement and moved to appoint Jeffrey Bragg—a man whose legal eligibility for the job continues to be murky, and who is reported to have misled investors in a private sector position. The silence was deafening, reports Peter Schorsch.…

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Rick Scott, Cabinet make no decision on next Insurance Commissioner

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With no clear winner between finalists Jeffrey Bragg and Bill Hager, Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet on Tuesday decided to keep taking applications for state Insurance Commissioner. Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam agreed to extend the deadline to April 15; the next Cabinet meeting is April 26. Scott and Atwater, however, first must agree on one candidate under state law. The Office of Insurance Regulation is in the Department of…

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Pam Bondi on Donald Trump contribution: “I’ve done nothing wrong”

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Attorney General Pam Bondi on Tuesday declined to say whether she’d return a $25,000 political contribution made in error to her by Donald Trump‘s charitable foundation three years ago, but told reporters she did “nothing wrong.” Bondi took questions after Tuesday’s Florida Cabinet meeting. She also wouldn’t clarify who requested the contribution, which went to a now-defunct political fundraising panel that supported her 2014 re-election. Bondi, a Republican, is now supporting Trump, the GOP presidential front-runner. Foundations like Trump’s are banned…

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The Good, the Bad and the Interesting: Applicants for Florida revenue chief

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Florida public records laws provide a treasure trove of information on candidates seeking top statewide positions, as well as a seemingly endless source of entertainment. Currently, the Florida Cabinet is seeking candidates for top jobs at both the Office of Insurance Regulation and the Department of Revenue. Unlike the Office of Insurance Regulation, the top job at Revenue does not have statutory qualification requirements. Nevertheless, one could assume that many of those seeking the job have significant managerial, financial or tax experience…

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Sine die and deadline to apply for Insurance Commissioner job both Friday

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March 11 is not only the final day of the 2016 Legislative Session, but it’s also the last day to apply for state Insurance Commissioner. As of Friday morning, 47 people had applied for the position, but none were “marquee” names. For instance, former state Rep. Tom Grady previously told FloridaPolitics.com he wasn’t interested in the job. He and others were rumored to be on Gov. Rick Scott‘s short list.  The Naples Republican is a friend of Scott and a former Commissioner of…

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The 5 most disappointing Florida politicians of 2015

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As much as we would like to think otherwise, in politics, not everyone can be a winner. To put it another way, as Judge Smails did in the eminently quotable Caddyshack: “The world needs ditch-diggers, too.” Few will disagree that 2015 was a particularly fertile political year, one that produced a bumper crop of political disappointments – that’s what we get when the Legislature meets almost unceasingly in special session because it cannot agree on much of anything. Of course, the key word in this analysis…

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Rick Scott’s veto list puts friends and foes in sharp relief

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Gov. Rick Scott denied giving consideration to his friends — or retaliating against his enemies — as he threw out more than $460 million spent by lawmakers in this year’s budget. “Absolutely not,” Scott told reporters Tuesday morning after the Tuesday Cabinet meeting concluded. But a close look at what was axed and what was not tells a different story. As lawmakers, state agencies and lobbyists wade through the governor’s hundreds of individual line-item vetoes, they would do well to…

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