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Senate committee recommends Glenn Sutphin for Veteran Affairs director

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The Senate Committee on Military and Veteran’s Affairs, Space and Domestic Security recommended Glenn W. Sutphin, Jr. as the executive director of Florida’s Department of Veteran’s Affairs Tuesday. Sutphin, a retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. and an appointee of Gov. Rick Scott and a retired, was voted to his post unanimously by the committee. He joined the military June 6, 1969, serving 30 years in the U.S. Army. His family has history of military service. Having served under Gov. Jeb…

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In Tampa, potential CFO candidate Jeremy Ring tells his story

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Broward Democrat Jeremy Ring isn’t officially a candidate for Chief Financial Officer, but he talked the part during a stop in Tampa on Friday. Speaking at the Oxford Exchange as part of the Cafe Con Tampa weekly event, the former Yahoo executive introduced himself to the audience by humble-bragging about his private sector background, describing himself as the first salesman for the internet search engine company when he started there as a 24-year-old (he’s 46 now). As proud as he was of his…

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Headaches and money drain of “Water Wars” nearly avoided a decade ago

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An old issue returned to the news last week when a U.S. Supreme Court-appointed special master recommended the Court rule against Florida in the ongoing Water Wars saga. Ralph Lancaster said Florida has not “met its burden” in proving reduced water flows from Georgia into the Apalachicola River are the cause for the harm befalling the region’s seafood industry. For nearly three decades Florida has tried to ensure sufficient water comes into the panhandle region that houses a good portion of…

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Federal judges’ lifetime tenure for good reason; Tallahassee should take note

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There is a profound reason why the Founders gave life tenure to federal judges, subject only to impeachment for bad behavior. As Alexander Hamilton explained it in The Federalist No. 78: “In a monarchy, it is an excellent barrier to the despotism of the prince; in a Republic, it is a no less excellent barrier to the encroachments and oppressions of the representative body…” Judges subject to the whims of a president or the Congress to keep their jobs would…

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Rick Scott heading to Argentina for trade mission

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott is heading off to Argentina for another trade mission. Scott is scheduled to take a five-day trip in late April to Buenos Aires. This is Scott’s 13th trip abroad since he became governor in January 2011. Former Gov. Jeb Bush took 16 trade missions during his eight years in office. Scott has defended the trips as a way to open doors for Florida-based companies seeking business abroad. The Republican governor has made job creation the main…

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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos could mean more Florida charter schools, a lot more

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Betsy DeVos, whose children never attended public schools, may soon lead the nation’s Department of Education. Assuming she is confirmed, care to take a guess what Florida public education will look like four years from now? Perhaps former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, who is DeVos’ biggest cheerleader, can provide some insight. He wrote a stirring endorsement of her in Tuesday’s USA Today, coinciding with her hearing before a U.S. Senate confirmation panel. “Instead of defending and increasing Washington’s power, Betsy…

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Supreme Court throws out school vouchers case

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The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday said it will not take up an appeal on a high-profile school vouchers case. The decision comes as a major setback to vouchers opponents, including the Florida Education Association (FEA), the statewide teachers’ union, but was applauded by school choice advocates. (Separate story on the FEA’s reaction here.) The court denied a request to review the case, but did not comment on its merits. “No motion for rehearing will be entertained by the Court,” its 2-paragraph order said. “Who is…

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