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Today on Context Florida: Republican campaign, HB 1087, special interests and good leadership

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Today on Context Florida:

Major Republican presidential contenders came to Orlando at the invitation of Gov. Rick Scott for an Economic Growth Summit, where the discussion was to be limited to economy and jobs. Seeing these candidates, or soon to be candidates, converging on Florida left Bob Sparks feeling a campaign for the Republican nomination is already under way. We can expect all of those TV and radio ads, campaign rallies and, yes, all of those phone calls, right? As ESPN’s Lee Corso says so often, “Not so fast, my friend.”

Scott vetoed House Bill 1087 on Tuesday, which would have created protections for Florida homeowners who have insurance from Citizens, the state-run insurer of last resort. The governor said he thought the bill would hinder efforts to depopulate Citizens. But from the experience of Jac Wilder VerSteeg, Scott got things exactly backwards.

For students of special interest groups and their control of Florida, sub-section county government, Alan Farago says the discussion and vote on a resolution proposed by Miami-Dade County Commissioners Daniella Levine Cava and Rebeca Sosa was a master class. The resolution, aimed at lawmakers now in special session, from the outset seemed innocuous but doomed. Instead, it passed.

A few weeks ago, Melody Bowdon was listening to a morning call-in show, where the host asked female listeners to share policy issues that would matter most to them in the coming presidential election. Bowdon contemplated her own list, where the key tenets of good leadership include: be credible, transparent and reliable; be honest as you assess yourself and others; recognize and value differences in leadership styles; and value other kinds of difference as well.

Visit Context Florida to dig in.

Phil Ammann is a St. Petersburg-based journalist and blogger. With more than three decades of writing, editing and management experience, Phil produced material for both print and online, in addition to founding His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for, technical articles and profiles for BetterRVing Magazine and advice columns for a metaphysical website, among others. Phil has served as a contributor and production manager for SaintPetersBlog since 2013. He lives in St. Pete with his wife, visual artist Margaret Juul and can be reached at and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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