Gillum: In The Trenches, Above The Battle

  By Jim Bleyer Tallahassee’s lightning-rod mayor, Andrew Gillum, calmly continued to lead his city back to normalcy Wednesday, five days after Hurricane Hermine unleashed her fury on Florida’s Big Bend. With work crews deployed around the clock, electricity was restored to 92 percent of residences as of 11 a.m. …

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Andrew Gillum: In the Eye of the Storm

By Jim Bleyer When Hurricane Hermine roared through Tallahassee last week, trees, roofs, and power lines weren’t the only casualties. Bipartisanship and the truth took a lashing as well.  Mayor Andrew Gillum, a rising star in the Democrat party who took charge of the recovery and restoration effort in the …

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Wanted for Jack Latvala: A Memory and a Mirror

By Jim Bleyer Gwen Graham                 Chris Latvala   Even for someone with a reputation for disparaging political opponents, belittling women, and consummate hypocrisy, State Sen. Jack Latvala sunk to a new low Friday. Speaking at Cafe con Tampa, the weekly informal parley …

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Media Abets Government ‘Pay-to-Play’

  By George Niemann Guest Columnist   Sadly, this story out of South Florida points to what citizens have to deal with on a daily basis. They have to hope that their elected officials don’t “sell” their vote to land developers for campaign contributions and campaign workers. In addition, they have to …

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Go Hillsborough More Tainted Than Ever

  By Jim Bleyer “Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching”—C. S. Lewis The rap sheet for the proposed mega-controversial Go Hillsborough referendum grew longer than “War and Peace” this week. Adding to the legacy of cronyism, secrecy, and misinformation was a spurious investigation that …

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Florida Pension Fund Raid Benefits Bush Allies

By Jim Bleyer Florida’s public pension fund bailed out two prominent Miami developers linked to former governor and presidential hopeful Jeb Bush when it overpaid by tens of millions of dollars for an occupancy-challenged downtown Tampa apartment complex in February, 2014. The $76.5 million purchase of the Pierhouse at Channelside …

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The Public’s Right to Know

      Eight weeks. That’s how long the Tampa Bay Times has possessed information it deemed critical as belonging in the public domain. The credentials and resumes of 83 applicants for the Museum of Science and Industry’s CEO were pried loose following litigation and protracted out-of-court negotiations between the …

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Gwen Graham: Rising Star or Shooting Star?

By Jim Bleyer Despite suffering post-mortem depression, Florida Democrats are hailing newly-minted Congresswoman Gwen Graham as the party’s future, if not its savior. They have good reason to cheer.  She beat an incumbent, one of only two Democrats nationwide to accomplish the feat.  She won in a purplish-red district.  And …

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It’s More Knowhow Than How Much

By Jim Bleyer An incumbent GOP governor’s favorability ratings scrape bottom in the low 30s. Sledgehammer budget cuts to education, environmental, and health programs litter his four-year tenure. He takes credit for a rebounding state economy that was actually fueled by Federal Reserve policy and stimulus programs launched in Washington. …

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