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Cuba hardliners, U.S. defenders battle over new Donald Trump policy

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Cuba’s best friends in the U.S. used to be a smattering of Washington policy wonks and leftists who sent donated school buses and computers to the communist-led island. Five months into the Trump administration, Cuba has a new set of American defenders: a coalition of high-tech firms, farming interests, travel companies and young Cuban-Americans thrown into action by the looming announcement of a new Cuba policy. On the opposite side, hardline members of Miami’s Cuban exile community who suddenly have…

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Joe Henderson: When U.S. plays the bully, other nations just take their money elsewhere

in 2017/Statewide by

Cuba enjoyed a record year for tourism in 2016 when more than 4 million people found their way to that island nation. That was a 13 percent increase from the year before, much of it attributable to relaxed travel rules between Cuba and the United States. That might change if President Trump, as expected, rolls back many of the liberalized policy changes from then-President Barack Obama toward Cuba. If that happens, consider it a nod from Trump to Marco Rubio, Florida’s junior U.S.…

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Did Republican state and national leaders mail in Pulse appearances?

in 2017/Top Headlines by

In one of the more biting moments in the 1997 film “Good Will Hunting,” mathematician Gerald Lambeau, played by Stellan Skarsgård, apologizes to his old friend, psychologist Sean Maguire, played by Robin Williams, for having missed the funeral of Sean’s wife. “I got your card,” Sean snapped, not at all disguising his anger. Did we just see state and national Republicans mail in [or tweet in] their condolences and best wishes for Orlando’s one-year observation of the Pulse mass-murder that…

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Jose Mallea raises more than $50K toward HD 116 race

in 2017 by

Jose Mallea brought in more than $50,000 in his race to replace Rep. Jose Felix Diaz in House District 116. State records show Mallea, a Miami-Dade Republican, raised $50,640 between May 22 and June 8, bring his total raised to $140,156. Mallea faces Daniel Anthony Perez in the July 25 special primary to replace Diaz, who resigned effective Sept. 26 to run in the Senate District 40 special election. Top contributors during the fundraising period include Andrew Card, who served…

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Max Goodman headed back to work for Vern Buchanan

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Max Goodman, the well-regarded communications pro who worked for U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan for nearly a decade before helping David Jolly’s campaign(s) in 2015 and 2016, is returning to work for Buchanan as Chief Communications Advisor. Goodman will be based out of Washington D.C. Goodman joined Jolly’s campaign for the U.S. Senate in the fall of 2015 as his political director and was later named his campaign manager. But after Marco Rubio opted to run again for the U.S. Senate seat he had…

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Marco Rubio, Bill Nelson backed VA reform bill clears the Senate

in 2017 by

A bipartisan bill to reform the Department of Veterans of Affairs by allowing the secretary to dismiss bad employees is headed to the U.S. House, after clearing the Senate on a voice vote this week. Sponsored by Sen. Marco Rubio, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act gives the VA secretary the authority to fire and demote employees. It also adds protections for whistleblowers, by prohibiting the secretary from using his or her authority to fire…

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

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

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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