Back to the future: Bill would bring back disgraced office of Miami-Dade Sheriff

T.A. "Tal" Buchanan, Miami-Dade County's last sheriff. Voters abolished the sheriff's office after his indictment on corruption charges in 1966.

By Dan Christensen
A bill that would resurrect the office of Sheriff of Miami-Dade County, a post abolished by voters 49 years ago in the wake of scandal, is winding its way through the Florida House.

Plaza Health Network cited repeatedly by feds, state for nursing home violations

Plaza Health Network President and CEO Elaine Bloom and Chairman Ronald Lowy Photo: NBC 6

By Francisco Alvarado
Plaza Health Network, the embattled nursing home chain that six months ago agreed to pay $21.5 million to settle federal civil charges that it defrauded Medicare and Medicaid, has habitually violated state and federal healthcare regulations by providing inadequate, and at times negligent, care to residents at its facilities.

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New union deal at Miami-Dade Schools to begin push toward $15 hourly minimum wage


By William Gjebre
A tentative agreement between Miami-Dade Public Schools and the union representing its general employees raises the minimum pay for some of district’s lowest paid workers to $10 an hour, marking what a top union official says is the start of a drive to obtain a minimum hourly wage of $15.

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Racial politics flavor debate over banning menthol cigarettes

Kool, introduced in the 1930s by Brown & Williamson Tobacco Co., was one of the early menthol brands, and until the 1950s the most popular. This 1937 ad was one of many that promoted Kool as soothing to the throat. (Cigarette ads courtesy of the Stanford University collection)

By Myron Levin
Lorillard Tobacco donated nearly four times as much to Republican candidates as to Democrats in the 2014 congressional elections. No surprise there — most businesses count on Republicans to hold the line on regulations and taxes. But Lorillard made a striking exception for one set of Democrats: African Americans.

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Ft. Lauderdale police snooped on investigator helping FBI probe police corruption, suit says

Allen Smith, left, chief investigator for the Broward Public Defender's Offfice, with Public Defender Howard Finkelstein

By Dan Christensen
The chief investigator for the Broward Public Defender’s Office sued Fort Lauderdale last week alleging that a city policeman impermissibly obtained his driver’s license records while he was helping the FBI investigate police corruption in the city.

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Rubio’s ambition tied to hundreds of millions of dollars in losses for South Florida schools

Marco Rubio

By William Gjebre
Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach public schools have lost hundreds of millions of dollars since 2004 when the Florida Legislature changed the way schools are funded – an action linked to the political ambitions of Republican Party presidential candidate Marco Rubio.

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Trouble at the Statehouse: secrecy, questionable ethics and conflicts of interest

The Florida House of Representatives

By Nicholas Kusnetz
Center for Public Integrity
Loopholes are a common part of statehouse culture nationwide, according to the 2015 State Integrity Investigation. The comprehensive probe found that in state after state, open records laws are laced with exemptions and part-time legislators and agency officials engage in glaring conflicts of interests and cozy relationships with lobbyists.

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As Marco Rubio pushes past Jeb Bush in polls, Democrats shift sights

Jeb Bush, left, and Marco Rubio

By Francisco Alvarado
As Marco Rubio pushes past Jeb Bush in the polls, Democrats are stepping up attacks on the U.S. Senator, accusing him of breaking Senate ethics rules and federal election laws.

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Gov. Rick Scott won’t release 2014 tax return or info about his blind trust

Gov. Rick Scott

By Dan Christensen
Amid news of Gov. Rick Scott’s investment in a company that’s seeking to build a controversial, $3-billion natural gas pipeline in north Florida, he won’t make public his 2014 federal income tax return.

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Bulldog Extra

By Rachel Baye, Center for Public Integrity 

The Let's Get to Work political group began running this ad featuring Florida Gov. Rick Scott, called "On the Move," in March to help promote the Republican's proposed tax-cut plan. Use of such political groups to push policies, rather than elections, is a new twist on how governors are using political money. Youtube/Let's Get To Work

The Let’s Get to Work political group began running this ad featuring Florida Gov. Rick Scott, called “On the Move,” in March to help promote the Republican’s proposed tax-cut plan. Use of such political groups to push policies, rather than elections, is a new twist on how governors are using political money. Youtube/Let’s Get To Work

Two Republican governors are copying an unusual tactic from President Barack Obama’s political playbook: using pet political groups seeded by donors to push policies, not just candidates.

Political organizations tied to Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner are diverging from the typical so-called leadership PACs used by federal lawmakers and some governors to amass power because they are not just giving campaign contributions to like-minded legislators. Instead they are pushing the governors’ legislative agendas with public campaigns far removed from the campaign trail. Full Story »


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