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Personnel note: Fatima Perez joins Koch Industries to lead regional state gov’t affairs

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Fatima Perez, most recently chief of staff for Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, will become the new state government affairs regional manager for Koch Companies Public Sector LLC. With more than 15 years’ experience in state government, Perez has been a senior adviser to former Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and a senior legislative aide in the Florida Legislature, working for members of both chambers, including former Sen. Walter “Skip” Campbell and former State Rep. Annie Betancourt. Perez also worked as an…

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Marco Rubio: Israel, Europe, U.S. in same fight against terrorism

in 2017/Top Headlines by

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio says Israel’s fight against terrorism is the same one being fought by the United States and Europe. The Florida senator spoke in Miami Beach during a large rally in support of Israel and against anti-Semitism. He says the threat to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv is the same as the threat to Paris, London and U.S. cities. And Rubio warns against “casting out one of our own”— meaning Israel — in hopes of appeasing jihadis. He…

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David Richardson makes way for Gwen Margolis, will seek House seat in 2016

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

State Rep. David Richardson ruffled more than a few Democratic feathers in Miami when he filed paperwork to replace state Sen. Gwen Margolis in Miami’s SD 35 before it was clear she wanted to leave it. Richardson’s new solution? Run for both. As first reported by Ladra in the Political Cortadito, Richardson has backed off his initial plans to run for the Senate in 2016 — before Margolis, a former Senate president and its longest-serving current member, is termed out — and instead…

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Live in a Porsche? Designer labels draw Miami homebuyers

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

The wow factor for Miami’s skyscraper condos no longer comes from a dazzling Atlantic Ocean view. It takes something more audacious to sell beachfront property these days to the global ultra-wealthy who arrive in Miami with millions to spend on second or third homes. It takes words invested with meaning in the language of the international jet set: Porsche. Giorgio Armani. Fendi. With a slew of residential and hotel developments, Miami is embracing the notion that homes, like cars, handbags…

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Welcome sign sends Miami Beach visitors wrong message

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

A sign welcoming tourists to Miami Beach briefly offered a confusing message. The flashing, portable sign along the Julia Tuttle Causeway on Tuesday read: “Welcome visitors! Prohibited.” It was supposed to flash this message on three different screens: “Welcome visitors! Prohibited on the beach: glass, metal, alcohol and Styrofoam.” By Tuesday evening, city officials had apologized for the error and the sign was removed to be corrected. City spokeswoman Nannette Rodriguez told the Miami Herald that Miami Beach certainly welcomes visitors.…

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Greetings from Tampa, where hopes soar — or die

in The Bay and the 'Burg by

This old port city in the nation’s most populous swing state won the Republican convention with its finest offerings — beaches, big venues, and a well-earned reputation for successfully handling major events like the Super Bowl. But the Grand Old Party’s choice is also based on political pragmatism. The road to the White House in 2012 will once again pass through the Sunshine State, most Democrats and Republicans agree, and Floridians in particular seem likely to appreciate the attention. But Republicans…

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A must-read from The New York Times: On the mat, Florida wonders which way is up

in Statewide by

A must-read from this weekend’s New York Times: Ever since the 1920s Florida has been cast as the place people go to escape contemplation, not to indulge in it. But in the past year, from Pensacola to Miami Beach, Floridians have been soul searching. And for good reason. The state’s decades-long binge on real estate has given way to empty homes in rich and poor neighborhoods alike. Hundreds of thousands of jobs have vanished, empty stores are everywhere and even…

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