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Today on Context Florida: Trump as commander in chief, fracking and hearing from Florida voters

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Today on Context Florida:

The 2016 presidential race hasn’t had any official votes yet. But Jac VerSteeg says things are shaping up for two candidates with Florida ties – Jeb Bush and Donald Trump – the contest already has bearing on at least two constitutional issues. They are whether contributing money to candidates is a form of protected free speech; and whether the president, as commander in chief, can usurp Congress’ constitutional power to declare war. Trump’s provocative macho military and immigration proposals have led an increasing number of critics to label him a fascist with no regard for constitutional constraints on executive power. How would commander in chief Trump wield military power?

According to Brewster Bevis, in Florida is a debate over the future of onshore oil and gas activities and, more specifically, the use of high-pressure well stimulation techniques, such as hydraulic fracturing. During the course of this debate, there have been several common misconceptions surrounding the use of those advanced techniques and their effect on the environment, the health and welfare of residents, and the influence on property values.

While virtually every Floridian has interaction with state government, Dominic Calabro feels it’s easy for the average person to feel distanced from the political process of Tallahassee. It also can be easy for elected leaders to feel distanced from their constituents if they don’t regularly hear from the voters. The Florida Constitution requires a Government Efficiency Task Force to meet every four years. Calabro says he is honored to be a member of the task force, which consists of some of our state’s leading business and political leaders.

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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 HRNewsDaily.com. His broad range includes covering news, local government and culture reviews for Patch.com, 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 phil@floridapolitics.com and on Twitter @PhilAmmann.

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