More controversy as Broward looks to begin $800 million school construction program

Pictures of water build up under a leaky roof in an outside hallway at Fort Lauderdale's Northeast High School that were used to push for passage of last year's bond issue. Photo:  NBC6

By William Hladky
The controversy surrounding the Broward School District’s $800-million bond construction program continues with an allegation of another Sunshine Law violation, and a question as to why the same company was ranked first for two offsetting contracts designed to check and balance each other.

Florida gives $3.8 million to Lauren’s Kids charity after questionable poll on sex abuse

Gov. Rick Scott and Lauren Book at an April rally in Tallahassee  for Lauren's Kids charity

By Francisco Alvarado
Before Florida gave it another $3.8 million this month, the politically-connected charity Lauren’s Kids published the results of an alarming online survey about child abuse whose trustworthiness can’t be verified.

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U.S. judge asked to okay deposition of FBI agent in Sarasota Saudi probe

FBI Director James Comey

By Dan Christensen
The FBI should be ordered to publicly identify and make available for questioning under oath the special agent it says authored a “wholly unsubstantiated” 2002 report that connected a Sarasota Saudi family to 9/11 terrorists, newly filed court papers say.

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Rubio’s new campaign plagued by continuing election law violations

Sen. Marco Rubio's presidential campaign logo

By Francisco Alvarado
Two days before he officially announced his run for the presidency last week, Marco Rubio’s campaign disclosed that it had refunded more than $23,000 in excessive contributions it previously had accepted.

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Health data breaches sow confusion, frustration


By Charles Ornstein
As the privacy officer for The Advisory Board Co., Rebecca Fayed knows a thing or two about privacy and what can happen when it’s violated.
But when Fayed received a letter telling her that she, like nearly 80 million others, was the victim of a hacking attack on health insurer Anthem Inc., she couldn’t figure out why. Anthem wasn’t her insurance provider.

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9/11 Review Commission under the FBI’s thumb

New York's World Trade Center. Photo: Carol M. Highsmith, Wikimedia Commons

By Dan Christensen
A secretive blue-ribbon panel formed by Congress to conduct an “external review” of the FBI’s post-9/11 performance – and to assess new evidence – was largely under the sway of the very agency it was tasked to examine.

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Change orders add millions in airport costs; Is this how Broward should do business?

Rendering of east end of the expanded south runway with US 1 tunnels

By William Hladky
For the third time in three years, Broward Commissioners voted last week to pay more — $2.5 million this time – to the company that’s managing the ongoing $800 million runway expansion project at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Commissioner Lois Wexler is concerned about repeated costly change orders.

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Federal regulators ask Marco Rubio’s campaign to explain illegal contributions, again

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio

By Francisco Alvarado
As U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio prepares for a possible 2016 presidential run, federal elections regulators want him to explain why he accepted illegal campaign contributions from 14 donors in his year-end Jan. 30 campaign finance report.

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Senate push to expand lobbyist registration to special districts like Broward Health

Florida Senate Chamber

By Dan Christensen
A bill to broaden water management district lobbyist registration rules to apply to hospital districts, expressway and port authorities, children’s services districts and other special taxing districts with budgets in excess of $5 million is moving through the Florida Senate.

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Unicorns, the Tooth Fairy and 54.5 MPG


By Stuart Silverstein
The Obama Administration has repeatedly trumpeted its plan to boost the average fuel economy of new cars and light trucks to 54.5 miles per gallon by the 2025 model year. But that number is a fiction.

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Corruption-plagued Broward School Board sees no evil in bid rigging allegations

The Broward School Board

By William Hladky
In the last five years, two Broward School Board members were convicted of corruption and a statewide grand jury described the board as both inept and corrupted by “contractors, vendors and their lobbyists.” Today, amid fresh allegations of bid rigging, the board is taking a see no evil approach.

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