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Pam Bondi

Meet the Roger Stone protege running Aakash Patel’s Hillsborough Commission campaign

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Hillsborough County businessman Aakash Patel raised more than $51,000 (although that figure includes a $20,000 loan) in June for his campaign for the Hillsborough County Commission. Campaign finance records show that Patel spent $19,000 paying New Jersey-based political consultant Elnatan Rudolph, a man with a colorful past, to say the least. Identified in press reports as “a self-described protege of Roger Stone,” the venerable and controversial GOP operative, Rudolph is something of a political wunderkind, beginning his career when he was 16 years old when…

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Pam Bondi ordered to respond to lawsuit over unregistered charities

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Attorney General Pam Bondi on Monday was ordered to file a written response to a lawsuit claiming she forces businesses to donate millions of dollars to unregistered charities as part of settlements in consumer protection cases. Circuit Judge Charles Dodson, sitting in Tallahassee, also granted a request from Orlando entrepreneur John D. Smith to seek “discovery” in the case—that is, to get information from Bondi’s office in preparation for a possible trial.

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Pam Bondi case over unregistered charities heads to court

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

A Tallahassee-based circuit judge will hear arguments Monday in a lawsuit against Attorney General Pam Bondi that claims she forces businesses to pony up millions of dollars to unregistered charities as part of settlements in consumer protection cases. Circuit Judge Charles Dodson will hear the case at 2 p.m. in the Leon County Courthouse, dockets accessed Friday show. The plaintiff, Orlando entrepreneur John D. Smith, was investigated on a consumer fraud allegation by Bondi’s office in 2015. He invented Storm Stoppers plastic panels as a “plywood alternative” to protect windows…

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Attorney General candidate Ryan Torrens calls out Rick Scott for attempt to pack Supreme Court

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

In one of his first public statements since he announced his candidacy last month, Democratic Attorney General candidate Ryan Torrens says he’s strongly opposed to Rick Scott’s attempt to replace three members of the Florida Supreme Court on his last day of office in 2019. “In 2014, Florida voters had an opportunity to approve a constitutional amendment which would have permitted this practice and our voters rejected it,” Torrens said. “Governor Scott needs to respect the wishes of Florida voters and permit our…

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Florida Bar will focus on ‘protecting the courts’ during constitutional revision process

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The new president of The Florida Bar says the organization is standing by to offer “technical legal” support to the Constitution Revision Commission as it readies to amend the state’s governing document, which could include changes affecting the judicial branch. But Michael J. Higer, a partner in Berger Singerman’s Miami office, won’t say which public proposals already filed he favors—or fears. He assumed the Bar presidency on June 23. “It is too early in the process to focus on any…

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Miami judge: New stand-your-ground law is unconstitutional

in Statewide by

A judge ruled Monday that Florida’s lawmakers overstepped their authority in updating the state’s “Stand Your Ground” law. In ruling the law unconstitutional, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Milton Hirsch said Monday that the changes should have been crafted by the Florida Supreme Court instead of by the Legislature. The Miami Herald reports that the 14-page order is a victory for prosecutors who have firmly opposed the law. Critics have said the law makes it easier for defendants to get away with murder and…

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Bob Gualtieri, Chris Nocco endorse Ashley Moody for Attorney General

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri and Sheriff Chris Nocco of Pasco County are endorsing former Circuit Court Judge Ashley Moody for Attorney General. “I’ve had the pleasure of working with Attorney General Pam Bondi during my tenure as Sheriff. Her commitment to protecting our state from pill mills, drug traffickers, and those who prey on seniors through identity theft and scams has made us all safer. We need to continue these aggressive, common-sense initiatives and there is no one better…

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