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Backroom Briefing: Democrats Jockey for Position

November 22, 2017 - 7:45pm
Stephen Bittel

Florida Democrats should have been riding high right now, fresh off two recent victories and with a stable of gubernatorial and legislative candidates pawing at the starting gate in advance of next year's elections.

Instead, party insiders are facing a leadership race, even before the wounds from a bitter battle early this year have completely healed.

Backroom Briefing: Trump Helps Sack Diaz

September 28, 2017 - 12:00pm

There's bound to be much Monday-morning quarterbacking after Democrat Annette Taddeo's victory this week over Republican Jose Felix Diaz in a special election for a Miami-Dade County Senate seat.

Backroom Briefing: Monumental Uproar

Backroom Briefing: Corcoran Becomes Friend of the Court

April 6, 2017 - 6:15pm

House Speaker Richard Corcoran has been a frequent --- and vocal --- critic of the Florida Supreme Court's liberal-leaning majority, which has thwarted the Legislature on issues ranging from worker's compensation insurance to redistricting.

Backroom Briefing: No Love This Year for Alimony Bill

March 30, 2017 - 12:15pm

Politics makes strange bedfellows, as demonstrated by an accord reached by The Florida Bar and alimony reform advocates.

But even though the one-time adversaries reached reconciliation over a controversial alimony overhaul, the proposal is dead for this year's legislative session.

Senate Children, Families and Elder Affairs Chairman Rene Garcia said he won't schedule the bill for a hearing.

Backroom Briefing: Black Lawmakers Back Aramis Ayala

March 23, 2017 - 4:00pm
Perry Thurston and Sean Shaw

The controversy over Gov. Rick Scott's decision to yank Orange-Osceola prosecutor Aramis Ayala from the high-profile case of accused cop-killer Markeith Loyd continued to escalate Thursday when black lawmakers demanded that the governor rescind his order.

Backroom Briefing: Capitol Family Feuds Go Way Back

March 2, 2017 - 9:30pm
Sen. Joe Negron

The ongoing flame war between Gov. Rick Scott and House Speaker Richard Corcoran isn't the first time a governor and legislative leaders of the same party have engaged in nasty name-calling.

More than three decades ago, some high-ranking Democrats pilloried then-Gov. Bob Graham as "the wimp" --- or, even worse, "Gov. Jell-O" --- as a result of heated skirmishes over state spending. The intraparty kerfuffle occurred when Democrats controlled the Legislature and the governor's mansion.

Backroom Briefing: Rights Restoration Could Head to Ballot

September 15, 2016 - 4:15pm

Nearly eight years after Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet did away with quasi-automatic restoration of civil rights, voters may have a chance to approve a constitutional amendment that would automatically restore voting rights for non-violent felons.
 
Supporters of the proposal have gathered enough signatures to trigger a review from the Florida Supreme Court, whose approval is required for the initiative to make it onto the 2018 ballot.
 

Backroom Briefing: Morgan Comes Clean about 'Two-for-One'

May 12, 2016 - 8:00pm

Orlando trial lawyer John Morgan, a devout Catholic who's spent more than $7.5 million of his and his law firm's money trying to pass a constitutional amendment to broadly legalize medical marijuana, made a confession of sorts this week at the nation's largest pot trade show.

Morgan's proposal, which narrowly failed in 2014 to capture the 60 percent approval required for constitutional amendments to pass in Florida, will be back before voters in November.

Backroom Briefing: Bullard Not Going Anywhere

April 14, 2016 - 10:00pm
Dwight Bullard

State Sen. Dwight Bullard put the kibosh on rumors that he'll bow out of his race in a newly drawn Miami-Dade County district that could pose an uphill battle for the incumbent.

Bullard, an heir to a political dynasty founded by his late mother, Larcenia, told The News Service of Florida on Thursday that he has no intention of stepping away from what is expected to be one of the most contentious Senate battles this year.

"I plan on qualifying in June. I'm not going to pull any bait-and-switch," Bullard, a Miami Democrat, said.

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