Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s son rose to the top skirting lobbying rules, critics say

Mayor Carlos Gimenez, right, and his son, Carlos Gimenez Jr.

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
As his father rose to power from county commissioner to strong mayor, Carlos Gimenez Jr. has climbed his way to the upper echelon of South Florida’s lobbying corps representing prominent clients like Donald Trump, the PGA Tour and American Traffic Solutions, the nation’s largest red-light camera operator.

Gov. Scott’s undisclosed interest – via First Lady – in Zika mosquito control company

Gov. Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Florida Gov. Rick Scott has an undisclosed financial interest in a Zika mosquito control company in which his wife, Florida First Lady Ann Scott, owns a multi-million dollar stake through a private investment firm she co-owns.

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Broward auditors find $24.5 million runway project overrun

Fort Lauderale-Hollywood International Airport and its expanded south runway. Image: Broward County

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
A secret Broward County Auditor’s report has found a $24.5 million cost overrun in the construction of the new south runway at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.

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Critics fault new highway law for concessions to trucking industry

bigtrucks

By Brian Joseph
FairWarning
A $305 billion highway bill approved by Congress and signed by President Obama last week includes several provisions aggressively sought by the trucking industry that, critics say, will undermine traffic safety.

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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
FloridaBulldog.org
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.

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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
FloridaBulldog.org
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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GOP governors, including Rick Scott, take cue from Obama on how to push policy

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

By Rachael Baye
Center for Public Integrity
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.

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

minimumwage15

By William Gjebre
FloridaBulldog.org
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
FairWarning
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
FloridaBulldog.org
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
FloridaBulldog.org
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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