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Progressive groups sue over Rick Scott’s judicial appointment power

in 2017/Top Headlines by

When Gov. Rick Scott appointed a conservative jurist to the state’s Supreme Court in December, he made clear he wasn’t done. “I will appoint three more justices the morning I finish my term,” he said, referring to the mandatory retirement in early 2019 of the court’s liberal-leaning triumvirate of Justices Barbara Pariente, Peggy A. Quince and R. Fred Lewis. Now, two progressive organizations are saying to Scott: Prove you can. They say he can’t. The League of Women Voters of Florida (LWVF)…

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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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Marlins sale still involves Who’s Who of Republican politics even without Jeb Bush

in Sports/Top Headlines by

The news began to break on Tuesday evening. Jeb Bush was reportedly no longer interested in purchasing the Miami Marlins, according to anonymous sources. Bush was yet another among the biggest names in Republican politics seeking to buy one of baseball’s worst performing teams. Others include President Trump’s family circle and a serious investor carrying the name of Romney. The Bush family has been involved with baseball for decades. George H.W. Bush was captain of the 1948 Yale baseball team…

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Jeb Bush no longer interested in buying Marlins

in Sports/Top Headlines by

Jeb Bush has dropped out of the race for the Miami Marlins. The ex-presidential candidate and former Florida governor is no longer interested in buying the Marlins and has ended his pursuit of the team, two people close to the negotiations said Tuesday. One of the people said former New York Yankees captain Derek Jeter, who had been part of Bush’s group, is still exploring a bid with other investors. The two people spoke to The Associated Press on condition…

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Fate of program for disabled children rests with Rick Scott

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

Debby Dawson, who lives in southwest Florida, has a simple message to Gov. Rick Scott: The state’s existing scholarship program for disabled children is “life changing” and has helped her 7-year-old autistic son “develop by leaps and bounds.” Dawson is part of a chorus of parents from around the state who have mounted a campaign through letters, emails and phone calls urging the Republican governor to sign a sweeping education bill that will soon come to his desk. But that…

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Sources: Noah Valenstein set to become next DEP head

in Peter/Top Headlines by

Noah Valenstein, Gov. Rick Scott‘s former environmental policy coordinator, has the inside track to become the next secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection, sources tell Valenstein, now the executive director of the Suwannee River Water Management District, is the top pick over interim secretary Ryan Matthews. Scott and the Cabinet in February OK’d Matthews to serve as interim department head to fill in for departing secretary Jon Steverson. He quit in January to join the legal-lobbying firm of Foley & Lardner. Valenstein attended an August 2014 meeting in…

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Martin Dyckman: Judges are not politicians, nor should they play politics

in Statewide by

When the Florida Constitution Revision Commission was debating the election of judges 20 years ago, I sat in the gallery to hear my own words used to attack something that my editorials and columns consistently had supported. The issue was whether all trial judges should be chosen exclusively by appointment, without elections, in the same manner as Supreme Court justices and judges of the district courts of appeal. A commission member who opposed that found a column in which I…

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