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Anti-corruption bill faces rocky path in Legislature

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A major ethics and anti-corruption bill that advocates say is long overdue – but critics say may go too far – faces a rocky path in the Legislature. The legislation seeks to end what a 2010 grand jury called a “corruption tax” on Florida citizens amounting to millions a year in extra taxes, government fees and even highway tolls to make up for the waste, fraud and misconduct by public officials. The grand jury, sought by former Gov. Charlie Crist…

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Ritch Workman combines holiday cheer with political checks

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State Rep. Ritch Workman, the Melbourne Republican and House Rules chairman, is inviting his Tallahassee friends – read “lobbyists” – to a “good old-fashioned Christmas party.” The hope is they’ll bring their checkbooks, though that’s “not required.” In an email sent this month, Workman said he’d “made a lot of friends in this process (but) usually our ‘fellowship’ is at a typical fundraising event.” He was first elected in 2008 and is thus term-limited next year. “Well, once a year I want to do…

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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

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With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – the legislative merry-go-round. Off and on: Nancy Bernier is no longer a legislative assistant for Rockledge Republican Sen. Thad Altman. She will become the new district secretary for Melbourne Republican Rep. Ritch Workman. Off: Aaron McKinney is no longer the legislative assistant for Cutler Bay Democratic Sen. Dwight Bullard. On: Shannon Cooper is Bullard’s new legislative assistant. Off: Courtney Vandenberg is no longer a legislative assistant for Clearwater Republican Sen.…

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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

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With a tip of the hat to Legislative IQ powered by LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round. Off and On: Nancy Bernier is no longer a legislative assistant for Rockledge Republican state Sen. Thad Altman. She is now the district secretary for Melbourne Republican state Rep. Ritch Workman. Off: Aaron McKinney is no longer the legislative assistant for Cutler Bay state Sen. Dwight Bullard. On: Shannon Cooper is now Bullard’s new legislative assistant. Off: Courtney Vandenberg is no…

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Tom Lee will try again to overhaul alimony, custody laws

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State Sen. Tom Lee won’t give up on trying to amend Florida law on alimony and child custody.   On Thursday, Lee filed a bill (SB 250) to change the way divorces are handled in state courts. This marks at least the third time since 2013 that Lee, a Brandon Republican, has supported such an overhaul bill. It will be considered in the 2016 regular session.  The latest legislation – 41 pages long – would enact a raft of provisions, including:…

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Casey Anthony prosecutor: No crime committed on website

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The prosecutor who gained national attention as a key player in the unsuccessful murder prosecution of Casey Anthony said Sunday that he committed no crime and never followed through with an affair on the cheating website, Ashley Madison. Jeff Ashton, the State Attorney for Orange and Osceola counties in central Florida, said he wouldn’t resign his post. Ashton choked up several times during a news conference while publicly apologizing to his wife, their three children and his four adult children…

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Ritch Workman says he’s ’embarrassed’ by Ashley Madison connection

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Responding to a report in which he is listed as a customer of an online dating website for married people looking for affairs, powerful Florida House Rules Chairman Ritch Workman says he’s regrets signing up on the site and is embarrassed by the situation. The Melbourne Republican’s name can be found in the data dump involving subscribers to AshleyMadison.com. On Tuesday, hackers who call themselves the Impact Team posted a 10-gigabyte file purporting to be from AshleyMadison.com. Research by Florida Politics and St. Pete Polls…

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