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2 posts from November 25, 2012

November 25, 2012

Legislative leaders are ready to shelve $5 million budget-transparency program

Florida’s new legislative leadership team and the 44 new legislators who took the oath of office in Tallahassee last Tuesday pledged to keep close tabs on the state budget and weed out waste in government contracts.

"Let’s make sure we’re getting value received and the best price," said Sen. Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, shortly after being sworn in as the Senate’s new president.

But if history is a guide, few will master the task because access to budget information across numerous agency platforms is notoriously complicated and difficult to access.

That could change if a software program quietly developed by a former House budget staffer, licensed by the state Senate under former Senate president Mike Haridopolos, and financed with $5 million of taxpayer dollars, is launched instead of allowed to expire at the end of the year.

Knowledge is power in Tallahassee and the software program, Transparency 2.0, developed and patented by Spider Data Systems, has the power to level the budgetary knowledge game. It also packs another powerful punch: the potential to expose the secrets of government officials and lobbyists who trade in these transactions.

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Marco Rubio, Earth and the Elections Industrial Complex

Don’t let the calendar fool you. It’s already 2016.

Like it or not, the Elections Industrial Complex has unofficially declared it so.

We are in a state of constant campaigns brought to you by the political-consultant class, polarizing bloggers, cable TV personalities, political reporters and the ubiquitous partisan trolls who patrol Twitter in search of the latest outrage.

And they’re eying and arguing nonstop over people like Marco Rubio, Florida’s junior senator.

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