Rick Scott, Mike Pence: When campaign fundraising met tax incentives for Scott’s company

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Two months after Florida Gov. Rick Scott helped then-Indiana Gov. Mike Pence fundraise in Fort Lauderdale last year, Pence announced a $650,000 incentives package for a company owned in large part by Scott.

Hallandale freezes payments for city development, jobs programs citing waste & fraud

By William Gjebre
FloridaBulldog.org
Hallandale Beach City Manager Roger Carlton has ordered what could be a multi-million dollar freeze on all payments under two city jobs and business development programs, saying they “have lost their way.”

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Report: Hallandale commissioner Anthony Sanders “engaged in pattern of misconduct”

By William Gjebre
FloridaBulldog.org
A preliminary report by the Broward Inspector General’s Office says Hallandale Beach City Commissioner Anthony Sanders “engaged in a pattern of misconduct” when he “failed to disclose payments” made to him and other family members by a community group which Sanders voted to give thousands of dollars in city grants and other funding.

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New York boots Armor Correctional; In Florida, Armor boss named to powerful commission

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
The company that provides health-care services to thousands of jail inmates across Florida, including Broward and Palm Beach counties, has been kicked out of New York for allegedly “placing inmates’ health in jeopardy.”

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Miami judge rules out FOIA trial, says FBI document on 9/11 funding to remain secret

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Secret FBI information about who funded the 9/11 attacks will remain hidden indefinitely after a Miami federal judge reversed herself last week and decided that the FBI was not improperly withholding it from the public.

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Scientists urge tighter scrutiny of germ-fighting chemicals

By Paul Feldman
FairWarning
More than 200 scientists and public health advocates are urging regulators to take a closer look at the potential dangers of antimicrobial chemicals including triclosan, an additive that has been banned from hand soaps but remains an active ingredient in products ranging from building materials to Colgate’s Total toothpaste.

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Lauren’s Kids funnels $3.1 million to politically connected public relations firm

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
A nonprofit run by Broward State Sen. Lauren Book and lavished with millions of dollars in state handouts by lawmakers paid a Tallahassee public relations firm with considerable political clout $3.1 million between 2012 and 2015.

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Miami-Dade Schools gives fat, multi-year lobbying contract to Trump-connected lobbyist

By William Gjebre
FloridaBulldog.org
Seeking an edge in Republican-dominated Washington politics, Miami-Dade public school officials awarded a federal lobbying contract to an influential Florida firm whose chief officer played a significant role in the election of President Donald Trump last fall.

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Using ethics loophole, Sen. Lauren Book votes to give her nonprofit $1.5 million

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
Broward State Sen. Lauren Book voted “yes” last month to approve a state appropriations bill that included $1.5 million for Lauren’s Kids, the nonprofit she founded and leads as its $135,000-a-year chief executive officer.

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Bulldog Extra

By Fred Schulte, Kaiser Health News 

Federal health officials made more than $16 billion in improper payments to private Medicare Advantage health plans last year and need to crack down on billing errors by the insurers, a top congressional auditor testified Wednesday.

James Cosgrove, who directs health care reviews for the Government Accountability Office, told the House Ways and Means oversight subcommittee that the Medicare Advantage improper payment rate was 10 percent in 2016, which comes to $16.2 billion.

Adding in the overpayments for standard Medicare programs, the tally for last year approached $60 billion — which is almost twice as much as the National Institutes of Health spends on medical research each year. Full Story »

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