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Today on Context Florida: Bridging divides, energy & economy and Robert Avossa

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Today on Context Florida: Shannon Nickinson says we should bridge our divides to make America stronger. Flags of the Confederacy — from the “Rebel flag” to the “Stars and Bars” — are a painful fissure, a wound we worried every day we allowed it to fly on public property. “Celebrating” heritage that was largely built on oppression and hate is nothing to be happy about. It is a truth we white folks may not like to acknowledge, but it is true…

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Oil vote threatens incumbent in Democratic primary

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Two years ago, state Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda sidestepped an all pro pass rusher to win a seat in the Florida House. But now she’s battling for her political life in an August primary against a former Leon County Democratic Party chairman — in large part because of a pair of 2009 legislative votes she cast in favor of offshore oil drilling. Challenger Rick Minor calls Vasilinda “big oil’s number one Democrat.” Vasilinda says Minor has mischaracterized her position on…

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Dan Gelber’s op-ed: Riding oil spill momentum

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The Orlando Sentinel’s Thursday editorial, “Fix regs, nix session,” dismissed the call for a special session to address offshore drilling as a “selfish political ploy.” Believe me, in the 10 years I’ve served as a state lawmaker, I’ve seen plenty of selfish political ploys. Placing a constitutional amendment on the ballot to ban offshore drilling is not one of them, and here’s why: It addresses a real likelihood that one day the Florida Legislaturewill submit to the very powerful oil lobby.…

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Dan Gelber’s op-ed: Riding oil spill momentum

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The Orlando Sentinel’s Thursday editorial, “Fix regs, nix session,” dismissed the call for a special session to address offshore drilling as a “selfish political ploy.” Believe me, in the 10 years I’ve served as a state lawmaker, I’ve seen plenty of selfish political ploys. Placing a constitutional amendment on the ballot to ban offshore drilling is not one of them, and here’s why: It addresses a real likelihood that one day the Florida Legislature will submit to the very powerful oil…

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Massive local government and business opposition to oil drilling demonstrated on new Internet map

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View Resolved Against Drilling in a larger map Progress Florida today unveiled the “Resolved Against Drilling” map, a powerful illustration and visual reminder to lawmakers of the overwhelming opposition to legislation (SB 2622) that would end Florida’s ban on oil drilling in state waters. The map shows that at least 55 cities, counties, chambers of commerce, and local agencies around the state have passed resolutions opposing Speaker-Designate Dean Cannon’s (R-Winter Park) and Senate-President Designate Mike Haridopolos’s (R-Melbourne) effort to sell…

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