Pipeline foes ask DEP to deny key permit; Cite ‘conflict of interest’ by Gov. Scott

Gov. Rick Scott

By Dan Christensen
FloridaBulldog.org
Opponents of a proposed natural gas pipeline in North Florida are asking Florida regulators to reject the project, citing both dangers to the environment and a “conflict of interest” by the regulators’ boss, Gov. Rick Scott.

Convicted thief sets up South Florida super PAC with Federal Election Commission’s OK

unum

By Francisco Alvarado
FloridaBulldog.org
Four years after being convicted of stealing $35,000 worth of textbooks from Ohio State University’s law school library, Christopher Brian Valdes set up a super PAC this month in South Florida with the blessing of the Federal Election Commission.

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Senate leaders want special districts covered by state lobbyist registration laws

Senate President Don Gaetz, right, and Sen. Jack Latvala, chairman of the Ethics and Elections Committee

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Key lawmakers in Tallahassee say they will introduce reform legislation this session to require lobbyists at independent special districts to publicly register and disclose who they work for and how much they’re being paid.

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Independent special districts: Where lobbyists ride free and the public is in the dark

Florida's sprawling water management districts spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year, but do not require lobbyists to register. Photo: Florida Department of Environmental Protection

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Nearly 1,000 special-purpose governments across Florida that raise and spend billions of dollars in public funds every year do not require lobbyists who appear before them to register, pay fees or disclose any information about themselves or their clients.

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Oakland Park commissioners likely to decide soon on controversial psychiatric hospital

The former North Ridge Medical Center Photo: BrowardBulldog.org

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
UPDATE: Jan. 16 — Shot down unanimously by Oakland Park’s planning and zoning board on Monday, a Delray Beach drug rehab operator’s controversial plan to develop a 300-bed psychiatric hospital on the site of the old North Ridge Medical Center is expected to go before the city commission soon for a final decision.

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The Fix Isn’t In: Why a Safety Device That Can Stop Overdoses by Kids Isn’t Widely Used

Dr. Daniel Budnitz, at his office at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Ga. Budnitz has campaigned to have flow restrictors -- safety plastic devices fitted into the necks of medicine bottles to slow the release of fluid -- added to all liquid medicines, but so far he’s had limited success. Photo: Bryan Meltz for ProPublica

By T. Christian Miller and Jeff Gerth
ProPublica
This story was produced in collaboration with Consumer Reports…
Starting in 2007, Dr. Daniel Budnitz, a scientist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Medication Safety Program, began tracking an obscure but unsettling statistic about children’s health.

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Hallandale commissioners approve taking from the city, giving to themselves

Commissioners Anthony Sanders, Bill Julian and Michele Lazarow

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
Hallandale Beach city commissioners have created a new policy they can use to boost their take home pay by allowing them to pocket up to $10,000 a year in unspent funds from their individual travel accounts.

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9/11 “cover up” could collapse as Saudi Arabia restored to victims’ lawsuit, says Bob Graham

towersbridge

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
With an unusual acknowledgment of a mistake in a high-profile case, a federal appeals court in New York City has restored Saudi Arabia as a defendant in a lawsuit brought by thousands of 9/11 victims, their families and others.

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Broward Commission skips bids, awards 15-year airport food contract to Delaware North

airport

By William Hladky
BrowardBulldog.org
Bypassing the county’s bidding process, the Broward County Commission earlier this month approved an Aviation Department recommendation to extend for 15 years Delaware North’s grip on food and beverage concessions in terminals three and four at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. The deal means Delaware North could remain in place until as long as 2032.

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How Washington starves its election watchdog; Bickering, backlogs – even Chinese hackers

fecbuilding

By Dave Levinthal
Center for Public Integrity
Just after the federal government shut down Oct. 1, and one of the government’s more dysfunctional agencies stopped functioning altogether, Chinese hackers picked their moment to attack. They waylaid the Federal Election Commission’s networks. They crashed computer systems that publicly disclose how billions of dollars are raised and spent each election cycle by candidates, parties and political action committees.

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Peter Deutsch’s Ben Gamla charter schools win nod for new Hollywood high/middle school

bengamlasign

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
Update: Dec. 20 – Former U.S. Representative Peter Deutsch won conditional approval early Friday morning from a key Hollywood board to build a controversial Ben Gamla middle and senior charter high school in a traffic congested neighborhood near City Hall.

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