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Gwen Graham will soon reveal her 2016 intentions

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Down deep, U.S. Rep. Gwen Graham may already know whether she will run for re-election next year. With the Florida House and Senate in agreement on the new look of her District 2 and Corrine Brown’s District 5, the writing (or map) appears to be on the wall. Graham is doing the right thing by waiting until the court makes it official. Barring something totally unforeseen, a good chunk of her Democratic support in Tallahassee, Leon County and all of…

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Redistricting hearing: Trial judge needs direction, Senate wants do-over

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Hope sprang eternal in the Leon County Courthouse Tuesday, with the state Senate’s redistricting chair insisting there was still time for lawmakers to get together and come up with a new map for the state’s 27 congressional seats. Circuit Judge Terry Lewis held a brief hearing after the Florida Legislature couldn’t agree on new boundary lines despite convening a 2-week special session that ended last Friday. But Lewis sounded stymied by a lack of direction from the Florida Supreme Court.…

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Fracking bills pass House panel after testy exchanges

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fracking

House bills that involve oil and gas “fracking” passed their first committee stop with support from some environmental groups and opposition from others and tense questioning by state Rep. Ray Pilon. HB 1205 would establish a permitting program for hydraulic fracturing and acid fracturing, which are processes used to extract oil and gas from rock. HB 1209 would provide a public records law exemption for companies that submit information on their fracking operations. Last week, Tallahassee and Leon County joined…

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Florence Snyder: Postcard from Red Hills Horse Trials

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Tallahassee’s Red Hills Horse Trials isn’t the first thing that comes to mind for working-class people looking to spend a spring afternoon outdoors with the kids. It’s easy to feel intimidated by a United States Equestrian Association event that attracts an international crowd of die-hard members of the horsey set. But the “suggested donation” of $15 is a whole lot less than a day at Disney. And the look on children’s faces as they sit on a family picnic blanket watching…

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Gary Fineout: New showdown looming between Charlie Crist and Legislature

in Statewide by

From Gary Fineout: A battle over proposed redistricting amendments is turning into an extraordinary legal fight between members of Congress, the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature, Gov. Charlie Crist and even a former governor. Last month U.S. Reps. Corrine Brown and Mario Diaz-Balart filed a lawsuit in Leon County to get one of two redistricting amendments sponsored by FairDistrictsFlorida.org thrown off the 2010 ballot. Brown, D-Jacksonville, and Diaz-Balart, R-Miami, contend the measure is misleading and would reduce the number of minorities elected. But…

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Gary Fineout: Here’s one Democratic stronghold that could go for Charlie Crist

in Statewide by

From one of Florida’s best political reporters, Gary Fineout: It probably didn’t get much notice outside of Leon County, but Gov. Charlie Crist did something last week that may have given him an edge in at least one Democratic stronghold. Crist on Friday vetoed a state retirement bill that would have reduced the interest earnings paid to state workers who enter a special kind of program known as the Deferred Retirement Option Program or DROP. This program is basically designed to…

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Gary Fineout: Here’s one Democratic stronghold that could go for Charlie Crist

in Statewide by

From one of Florida’s best political reporters, Gary Fineout: It probably didn’t get much notice outside of Leon County, but Gov. Charlie Crist did something last week that may have given him an edge in at least one Democratic stronghold. Crist on Friday vetoed a state retirement bill that would have reduced the interest earnings paid to state workers who enter a special kind of program known as the Deferred Retirement Option Program or DROP. This program is basically designed to…

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