« August 13, 2013 | Main | August 15, 2013 »

6 posts from August 14, 2013

August 14, 2013

Rival attacks Miami mayor over SEC charges

@PatriciaMazzei Flier front

The leading challenger in the Miami mayoral race is attacking incumbent Tomás Regalado over charges of civil securities fraud filed against the city.

Commissioner Francis Suarez's political group mailed a flier this week highlighting the charges filed last month against the city and its former budget chief by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC is seeking financial penalties against the city and ex-budget director Michael Boudreaux for allegedly misrepresenting Miami's finances to bond investors.

The flier, mailed by The Future is Now, Suarez's electioneering communications organization, features a photograph of Regalado next to boldface text that says, "SEC charges city of Miami with fraud."

"Another federal investigation!" the flier continues on the back side. "In the last month, the Regalado administration has been embroiled in 2 federal investigations: one from the Department of Justice and another from the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission for fraudulent bond transactions during Regalado's tenure as commissioner."

Continue reading "Rival attacks Miami mayor over SEC charges" »

Special session on SYG won't happen

As projected, an effort to get lawmakers to hold a special session on Florida’s Stand Your Ground law has failed.

Although polling will continue until Monday, votes tallied by Wednesday afternoon showed it’s impossible now for supporters of a special session to get the necessary 96 votes out of 160.

The newly released total from the Florida Secretary of State’s office showed 83 lawmakers voted against the special session.  Two Democrats, Rep. Mike Clelland, of Lake Mary, and Rep. Carl Zimmermann, of Palm Harbor, voted with 81 Republicans.

Only 37 lawmakers, all Democrats, voted for the special session. Thirty-nine lawmakers still have yet to cast a ballot. A non-vote is considered a 'no' vote. 

Here are the totals:


Continue reading "Special session on SYG won't happen" »

Weatherford creates new House committee on health care

Committee assignments are out for the Florida House.

"With very few changes from last year, the Florida House will be ready to tackle our state’s biggest policy challenges, including most importantly helping to improve Florida’s job creation and economy," House Speaker Will Weatherford wrote in a statement Wednesday.

There is one notable change: the creation of a House Select Committee on Health Care Workforce Innovation.

The new committee, which Weatherford said will focus on "addressing the looming shortage of medical providers," will be chaired by Rep. Jose Oliva, R-Miami Lakes.

"Rep. Oliva’s background as a business owner makes him the perfect choice to lead this committee," Weatherford said. "He understands the fundamental principle of supply and demand and how it impacts cost and quality for consumers."

Oliva has been tapped to become speaker in 2018. 

Weatherford also gave committee assignments to newly elected Rep. Mike Hill, R-Pensacola. Hill will sit on the Regulatory Affairs Committee and four subcomittees: Health Care Appropriations, Health Innovation, Civil Justice and Energy and Utilities.

Read the full list of assignments below.

Download 2013-2014 Committee Assignments


Miami mayoral candidate fires office staffer over offensive tweets

@PatriciaMazzei @msanchezMIA @MarcACaputo

Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez on Wednesday fired a staffer who griped about constituents on Twitter, a day after maintaining that the apologetic aide would keep her job.

Christina Haramboure, a 24-year-old special aide and administrative assistant, tweeted about her dislike of constituents for more than a year, dispatching a series of particularly offensive posts Monday in which she suggested some constituents should get “a lobotomy.”

“I want to first apologize to the residents of District 4 for the inappropriate and clearly offensive comments made by my commission aide,” Suarez said in a statement announcing Haramboure’s termination Wednesday afternoon.

“Her tweets are unacceptable and are in no way a reflection of the culture within my commission office, and furthermore there is no justification for the disturbing things that she posted.”

Among the tweets posted to her personal @ChristinaHam account, which has since been deleted, Haramboure hurled what many Spanish speakers consider a racially tinged insult: tira flecha.

More here.

Sen. Soto pitches his own plan for teacher debit cards

Calling Gov. Rick Scott's teacher debit card program "broken," Sen. Darren Soto on Wednesday unveiled his own plan for helping educators purchase classroom supplies.

Under Soto's proposal, teachers statewide would receive school supply debit cards two weeks before the start of the school year. Elementary school teachers would receive $250. Middle and high school teachers would receive $500 and $750, respectively.

“With revenues up, it is critical that we use this opportunity to strengthen our education system, without bankrupting our teachers,” Soto wrote in a statement.

Soto's news release came after a Herald/Times report that only seven of the state's 67 school districts had signed up for Scott's new teacher debit card program. Many districts declined because the $250 cards won't be available until September, well after kids have returned to the classroom.

The participating districts: Hamilton, Hendry, Jefferson, Layfayette, Levy, Miami-Dade and Orange.

Broward has agreed to participate next year, according to the governor's office.

Scott's debit card proposal, which was included SB 1664, won widespread support in the House and Senate earlier this year. Soto was among the seven Democrats who approved the bill when it reached the Senate floor.

Aide to Miami mayor candidate & commissioner used arrow-chucker insult, 'tira flecha.'


Indians-1In addition to trashing old people and constituents on Twitter, an aide to Miami mayoral candidate and City Commissioner Francis Suarez also hurled what many see as a racially tinged insult: "tira flecha."

The phrase, which literally means "arrow thrower" (but loosely translates as "spear-chucker" to some) is frequently used by people of Cuban descent in Miami to refer to those who look like Native American Indians -- particularly South or Central American -- but it's also less commonly used to refer to an ignoramus.

The exact context of its use by Suarez's aide, Christina Haramboure, isn't clear because she won't return an email about it.

"I guess someone has to like tira flechas....#quepena," she tweeted July 12, 2012 at 1:10 a.m., about the time she was complaining about her noisy neighbors.

Continue reading "Aide to Miami mayor candidate & commissioner used arrow-chucker insult, 'tira flecha.'" »