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Reubin Askew

George Sheldon, under fire in Illinois, also faces questions at home

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

George Sheldon, a former Florida official now facing an ethics inquiry as director of Illinois’ Department of Children and Family Services, also ran into a spot of trouble at home this week. Property records show Sheldon, secretary of Florida’s Department of Children and Families in 2008-11, claimed a homestead exemption on his Tallahassee house while he was living and working in Chicago. He also was listed as “delinquent” on paying his Florida Bar dues, according to its website. In a phone…

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Martin Dyckman: Before Donald Trump, there was Florida’s Claude Kirk

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The home office pulled me out of a meeting at the Florida Capitol. Former Gov. Claude R. Kirk Jr., was on their line, insisting that I be told right now (!) how much he liked an antibusing provision that the Legislature was considering tacking on the budget. He liked it so much, he told the state editor, that he had signed an appropriations bill with the same rider although he would have preferred to veto the bill. That didn’t sound…

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Florida doesn’t need an elected Secretary of State, or Agriculture Commissioner

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

It would tax the imagination to come up with anything that Florida needs less than to elect a secretary of state once again. Why would the Legislature even consider that? Sen. Aaron Bean, the sponsor, explained it the other day. As reported by FloridaPolitics.com, the Fernandina Beach Republican told the Senate ethics committee that in the main he wants a fifth position on the Cabinet to avoid tie votes that require the governor to be on the prevailing side or…

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Judicial ethics watchdog could suffer in fight for independent Florida courts

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Is Florida’s judicial ethics commission about to become collateral damage in a battle over the independence of the courts? House Speaker Richard Corcoran, the Land O’Lakes Republican, appears to have targeted the Judicial Qualifications Commission (JQC) along with the courts themselves in his campaign to curb the independence of the judiciary. The JQC and the Supreme Court had not concluded an ethics case against Circuit Judge Mark Hulsey III of Jacksonville when Corcoran scheduled an impeachment hearing a month ago.…

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Donald Trump, government is not a business. Reject Rex Tillerson.

in 2017/Top Headlines by

If it is to be believed, as Donald Trump evidently does, that government is just another business, then Rex Tillerson is a plausible nominee for secretary of state. Hasn’t he been running one of the most powerful and profitable businesses in this corner of the universe? But government is not a business. The duty of a business is to produce profits for its owners. Period. How it’s done rarely matters so long as there are profits. Whether a business treats…

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Martin Dyckman: Remembering the broad, deep integrity of Janet Reno

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

On the next to last morning of our nation’s most dreadful campaign, my wife questioned whether it’s possible to be a politician without losing one’s soul. As I started to name those I knew who had kept theirs, word came that my old friend Janet Reno had died. I rested my case. Her integrity ran broad and deep. Reporters liked to write about the little things, such as carrying change to feed Washington parking meters while she was attorney general…

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Martin Dyckman: Pam Bondi’s mess too pungent to ignore

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Assume that Pam Bondi were a judge. That’s a dismal prospect but bear with it. Assume further that she asked for a campaign contribution from a big shot businessman who was being sued in her court — and that after getting the money, she dismissed the case. If she was a judge, instead of Florida’s attorney general, she could be kicked out of office simply for asking anyone for a campaign contribution, even without a pending case being involved. The…

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