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Preview: Central Florida Political Pulse

Central Florida Political Pulse - Orlando Sentinel



The best source for Central Florida and statewide political news, insider happenings and more.



Last Build Date: Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:12:12 -0400

Copyright: ©2017 Orlando Sentinel
 



Group asks for return of time capsule found inside 'Johnny Reb' statue

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:55:00 PDT

Current members of the group that a century ago placed a time capsule in the base of the Confederate statue known as “Johnny Reb” say they know what’s inside of it — and they’d like to have it back.

A picture of Gen. Robert E. Lee, Confederate money, a proclamation and a Confederate flag were placed...

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Nelson, Rubio react to Republican Senate health care bill

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 12:40:00 PDT

There was a stark difference in reactions from Florida’s U.S. senators to Thursday’s reveal of the long-awaited Senate health care bill, with Democrat Bill Nelson extremely critical and Republican Marco Rubio cautious but so far not expressing any major reservations.

The initial draft, released...

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Visit Florida puts brakes on racing contract

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:25:00 PDT

TALLAHASSEE — Visit Florida Racing shared a Facebook photo from its prime sponsor this week, but the days of the state's tourism brand spinning wheels at tracks like Watkins Glen, Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca and Sebring International Raceway are coming to a screeching halt.

Meanwhile, Visit Florida,...

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Latino population grows fastest outside Orlando, Tampa, Census shows

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 11:25:00 PDT

Florida’s Latino population grew fastest last year in counties outside Orlando and Tampa, according to U.S. Census figures released Thursday.

The new figures also showed strong Latino growth rates in counties outside Jacksonville, but those areas had comparatively small Hispanic populations to...

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Feds launch probe of Tallahassee redevelopment deals

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 10:05:00 PDT

TALLAHASSEE — In a move that could shake up next year’s race for Florida governor, the FBI has launched an investigation into redevelopment deals involving prominent business owners and developers in the state capital.

Federal grand jury subpoenas this month seek five years of records from the...

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Gillum, Democratic governor hopeful, wants state law protecting no-cost birth control

Thu, 22 Jun 2017 07:45:00 PDT

TALLAHASSEE — Democratic gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum said Thursday he’ll push for a state law to require health insurers to cover birth control pills and devices.

Federal law already includes that requirement under the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, but Republicans in Congress are...

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Tampa leaders won't remove Confederate memorial

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 10:45:00 PDT

TAMPA — Hillsborough County leaders decided Wednesday not to move a Confederate memorial from in front of a Tampa courthouse.

Instead, a mural will be put behind it to display, in the words of one county leader, “the love and diversity” in the community.

The County Commission voted 4-3 to keep...

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Christian school appeals ruling against football game prayer in Orlando

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 06:35:00 PDT

TALLAHASSEE — A Tampa Christian school is continuing a legal battle about whether it should have been allowed to offer a prayer over an Orlando stadium loudspeaker before a state high-school football championship game.

Cambridge Christian School filed a notice Tuesday that it will appeal a federal...

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Homeowners sue over Scott's veto of citrus canker repayments

Wed, 21 Jun 2017 06:13:00 PDT

TALLAHASSEE — Homeowners and their lawyers asked the Florida Supreme Court this week to overturn Gov. Rick Scott's decision this month to veto $37.4 million intended for residents whose healthy citrus trees were cut down as the state tried to eradicate citrus-canker disease.

Lawmakers included...

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Orange decides against total fertilizer ban in summer

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 16:30:00 PDT

Orange County revised its fertilizer law Tuesday, adding new rules on landscaping and runoff prevention and increasing fines to protect waterways from being inundated with pollutants.

But the Orange County Commission did not go as far as neighboring Seminole County — which, in February, banned...

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GOP primary set for Eisnaugle's House seat, Democrat unopposed

Tue, 20 Jun 2017 08:40:00 PDT

Four Republicans and one Democrat qualified Tuesday to run in a special election to fill a Florida House seat vacated by newly appointed appeal court judge Eric Eisnaugle.

The four Republicans, Usha Jain, John Newstreet, Bobby Olszewski and Bruno Portigliatti, will face off in an Aug. 15 primary.

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Florida voter-registration firm denies it got hacked

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 11:35:00 PDT

DAVENPORT — The computer systems of a Florida-based, voter-registration software company were never compromised, the company’s chief operating office said Monday, rebutting parts of a leaked U.S. National Security Agency report that suggested hackers stole information from VR Systems and used it...

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Central Florida congressional races for 2018 already start to heat up

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 10:15:00 PDT

In Central Florida, two congressional races already feature billboards, radio ads, a primary challenge and behind-the-scenes maneuvering.

And that’s with elections more than 16 months away.

With Tuesday’s special congressional election in Georgia serving as a preview of whether Democrats can pull...

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Gov. Scott attends Orlando church service for Pulse healing, unannounced

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 15:20:00 PDT

Gov. Rick Scott made an unannounced visit Thursday night to a church service for the Pulse shooting victims at Christ Church Unity in Orlando, which focused on healing.

Scott had attended a service at the church in the days after the attack in June 2016, and had said he would return. The visit...

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Gov. Rick Scott to Connecticut: 'Give up, capitulate' and move to Florida

Mon, 19 Jun 2017 14:19:59 PDT

Florida Gov. Rick Scott came to Connecticut Monday with a simple message for business owners: "give up" on a state that has raised the income tax twice in the last six years and continues to face billions of dollars in deficits.

"My pitch is you should go ahead and give up ... capitulate, and come...

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Armed with new fund, Scott goes job hunting again

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 13:00:00 PDT

TALLAHASSEE — With a new $85 million fund in tow, Gov. Rick Scott is going on a job-hunting tour again.

He’s planning a trip to Connecticut next week, hoping to lure businesses to the Sunshine State. The journey comes a week after he secured legislative approval of a “growth fund” for infrastructure...

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Former Eatonville mayor receives probation, community service in voting fraud trial

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 12:10:00 PDT

Ex-Eatonville Mayor Anthony Grant avoided prison time Friday, as a judge sentenced him to four years of probation and 400 community service hours for his conviction on voting-fraud charges.

A jury found Grant, 51, guilty last month of felony voting fraud, a felony election violation and a misdemeanor...

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Open-government group seeks lawmakers' text messages

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 10:20:00 PDT

TALLAHASSEE — An open-government group is stepping into a fight over public records, asking legislative leaders to produce text messages from lawmakers and update their policies for retaining and keeping electronic records.

On Friday, the First Amendment Foundation sent a letter to House Speaker...

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Florida class of '15 fares well in job market, study finds

Fri, 16 Jun 2017 06:20:00 PDT

TALLAHASSEE — A new study that followed the outcomes of university students in Florida who earned bachelor’s degrees in 2015 shows that more than 90 percent of students were working within one year of graduation, with full-time employees earning a median salary of $39,100.

The report, which will...

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Orlando begins preparations to move Lake Eola Confederate statue

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 13:40:00 PDT

City crews were at Lake Eola Park on Thursday, as Orlando prepares to move a Confederate memorial statue to Greenwood Cemetery.

Mayor Buddy Dyer committed to moving the statue after former Orlando Sentinel journalist David Porter called on the city to remove it from the park, prompting a deluge...

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Gov. Scott signs controversial education bill at Orlando ceremony

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 14:55:00 PDT

Gov. Rick Scott signed a fiercely contested education bill Thursday in a ceremony at an Orlando Catholic school, surrounded by lawmakers and young children who attend the special-needs school.

“This is going to be great,” Scott said after he signed HB 7069, a measure that many public school leaders...

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Roads named for Lt. Debra Clayton, Arnold Palmer

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 08:39:00 PDT

TALLAHASSEE --  A transportation measure (SB 368) signed into law Wednesday by Gov. Rick Scott designates sections of Orange County roads after slain Orlando police Lt. Debra Clayton and the late golfing legend Arnold Palmer.

Clayton, a 17-year veteran killed in January in a gunfight with a murder...

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Groups ask Supreme Court to decide if Scott can reshape it

Thu, 15 Jun 2017 07:05:00 PDT

TALLAHASSEE — The battle over the future makeup of the Florida Supreme Court has begun in earnest, as a pair of voting-rights groups asked justices to determine whether Gov. Rick Scott has the power to reshape the court.

A petition filed late Wednesday by the League of Women Voters of Florida and...

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Governor vetoes higher education bill, says it 'impedes' state colleges

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 15:35:00 PDT

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday vetoed a higher education bill he said would “impede” progress at state colleges by boosting Florida’s universities at the expense of community-based schools.

In vetoing the bill (SB 374), Scott axed the key priority of Senate President Joe Negron and...

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Gillum campaign overcounted number of contributors

Wed, 14 Jun 2017 09:39:00 PDT

Tallahassee Mayor Andrew Gillum’s campaign touted more than 7,000 contributors to his campaign for governor last week, but those numbers turned out to be off by more than a thousand.

Gillum spokesman Geoff Burgan said the campaign actually has about 5,300 contributors who made almost 7,000 total...

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