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6 posts from March 21, 2014

March 21, 2014

Campaign shakeup: Rick Scott's fundraising chief quits amid disagreements


In a campaign shakeup, Gov. Rick Scott’s top fundraiser — billionaire healthcare CEO Mike Fernandez — abruptly quit his post late Thursday after weeks of behind-the-scenes disagreements.

Fernandez said he was quitting to spend more time with his family and businesses. And he praised Scott's campaign in a letter to the campaign's leadership team.

"Together, we have helped the Governor raise more than $35 million. This has been an unprecedented effort, which is only matched by our shared commitment to reelect our Governor this November," Fernandez's letter said.

Continue reading "Campaign shakeup: Rick Scott's fundraising chief quits amid disagreements" »

Truth-O-Meter tackles Broward mayor's claim about unemployment

On March 21, former Florida governor Jeb Bush -- a potential Republican presidential candidate -- attracted national media attention when he gave a speech at the Broward Workshop’s annual State of the County event on March 21.

Prior to Bush’s speech in Davie to business and civic leaders, Broward Mayor Barbara Sharief took a turn at the podium to tout the host county’s recent economic success.

"Our unemployment rate is at 5.3 percent, the lowest in Florida, and it has remained that way for more than a year now," Sharief said.

We wondered whether Sharief, a Democrat from Miramar, was correct. Read PolitiFact for the answer.

Appeals court rules against fired Miami-Dade schools administrator


A former Miami-Dade schools administrator accused of illegally obtaining public scholarship money to defray the costs of her children’s private school tuition should stay fired, a Miami appeals court ruled this week.

The school board canned Deborah Swirsky-Nunez after the special education programs supervisor was arrested in June 2010 and accused of finagling state-funded scholarships for special needs students to help pay for her children’s education. The board upheld her firing two years later after Swirsky-Nunez appealed to an administrative law judge.

Swirsky-Nunez appealed that decision to the Third District Court of Appeal. She argued, among other points, that incriminating, fraudulent documents found in her daughter’s student file had been planted.

On Wednesday, the court ruled in the school board’s favor without explaining its decision. An attorney for Swirsky-Nunez could not be immediately reached. Prosecutors in November agreed to drop charges in exchange for fines and 150 hours of community service.

From Common Core to immigration, Jeb Bush shows he's 'the Eat Your Broccoli' Republican


Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor and a leading contender in the early GOP race for the White House, has fashioned himself as the “education governor.”

But on Friday, Bush went veggie.

“I was the kind of the Eat Your Broccoli Governor,” Bush joked at the Broward Workshop business breakfast where he pointed out that his policies weren’t always perceived as sweet.

Judging from the applause of the 900 or so business leaders in attendance, Bush’s speech was received like candy.

Continue reading "From Common Core to immigration, Jeb Bush shows he's 'the Eat Your Broccoli' Republican" »

Marco Rubio goes Uber in DC

From a press release:

On Monday afternoon, Senator Rubio will visit Uber’s headquarters in Washington, DC for a discussion on the importance of American innovation. Rubio will address the importance of adapting antiquated government regulations to increase economic opportunities, like in Florida, where current law doesn’t allow for modern transportation options like Uber. Uber’s East Coast General Manager Rachel Holt and an Uber partner will participate in the discussion, followed by questions from the audience and a tour of the DC Headquarters.

Today in Tallahassee: Five Things To Know

Most lawmakers will spend Friday returning to their districts. But a few House committees will meet in the morning, and the FSU presidential search committee will convene. Here’s what to watch on Friday:

The House Economic Affairs Committee will consider a bill by Rep. Jason Brodeur, R-Sanford, that would lift the admissions tax on all-star games. HB 231 would include Major League Soccer all-star games, if you were wondering.

The House Economic Affairs Committee will also take up the so-called Move Over Act, which would require drivers to move over when there are garbage or utility trucks on the side of the road.

The House Judiciary Committee, meanwhile, will consider creating new legal guidelines for exploiting an elderly or disabled adult. If HB 409 passes, the definition would include “misappropriating, misusing, or transferring without authorization money belonging to a vulnerable adult.”

The Florida State University presidential search committee meets at 11 a.m.

The State of Black Florida Summit hosts two events Saturday: the Business Expo & Health Fair and the National Conference on Education. Both will be held at the Turnbull Center.

Herald/Times Tallahassee reporter Kathleen McGrory can be reached at kmcgrory@MiamiHerald.com.