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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: Chris Cantens is no longer the legislative assistant for Miami Lakes Republican state Rep. Jose Oliva. On: Sheree Vann is now the district secretary for Lake City Republican state Rep. Elizabeth Porter. Off: Michael Geren is no longer the district secretary for Tallahassee Democratic state Rep. Michelle Rehwinkel Vasilinda. On: David Zaret is now the legislative assistant for Miami Beach Democratic…

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Republican fundraising shows a serious challenger in Democratic HD 9

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Republican House District 9 candidate James Messer filed his first campaign finance report Thursday, and it looks like Democratic front-runner Loranne Ausley has a serious challenger in the left-leaning district. After four weeks in the race the Tallahassee attorney amassed $52,000 cash on-hand, a good deal of it coming from fellow attorneys. The total came across 157 contributions, including 20 checks of $1,000 – the maximum contribution for Florida House campaigns. Former state Rep. Ausley hasn’t released her September report…

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Kevin Cate’s first Rocket Lobby results are in: MRV, Lizbeth Benacquisto most responsive Florida lawmakers

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Cate Communications founder Kevin Cate today sent out the first month of data on Florida lawmaker responsiveness, as determined by his newest product Rocket Lobby. Rocket Lobby organizes and measures efforts by constituents to contact their local legislators. A citizen can enter their address and be directed toward the politician who represents them in both the state House and Senate, complete with email addresses and contact info for lawmakers’ district and Capitol offices. The most responsive during the month of September? Democratic…

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Bill to repeal ban on shacking up takes first step

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Shacking up together could finally become legal again in Florida after 147 years. Shacking up together could finally become legal again in Florida after 147 years. The House Criminal Justice Subcommittee voted 10-3 on Wednesday to approve a bill to repeal the prohibition on cohabitation, which has been on the books since 1868. It is a $500 fine and up to 60 days in jail if a man and woman are living together. Florida, Michigan and Mississippi are the only…

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Look for Loranne Ausley to soon announce bid for House District 9

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The Tallahassee gossip mill is nearly always circulating rumors about former state Rep. Loranne Ausley running for an opportune office. Leon superintendent, supervisor of elections, city commissioner, perhaps a crack at Congress… you name it, someone has probably floated it at Harry’s. But a greater volume of talk from more reliable sources is indicating that the former District 9 representative and candidate for chief financial officer will indeed launch a bid for her once-and-possibly-future House seat based in Tallahassee and its northern…

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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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