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[Florida] Senate President Joe Negron appears willing to look beyond sugar farmland to carry out his proposal to reduce the flow of polluted water from Lake Okeechobee into bays on both coasts. The Stuart Republican, speaking at the Capitol this week, maintained his desire to buy 60,000 acres for a reservoir south of the lake to store and clean water. Read more at
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Hundreds of Cuban exiles in Miami rallied Wednesday for freedom and democracy on the communist island following the death of revolutionary leader Fidel Castro. People gathered along the city's famed Calle Ocho in Little Havana, parts of which were blocked off by police. People waved Cuban and American flags, carried signs denouncing Castro and listened to speeches and Cuban music. A podium on a stage included the words "All for a Free Cuba." Read more at
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Florida Gov. Rick Scott wants the state's highway patrol troopers, wildlife officers and state law-enforcement agents to get a 5 percent pay raise next year. Scott will announce the proposal Thursday during a visit to a Florida Highway Patrol station in Orlando. Read more at
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TALLAHASSEE — The arm of the Republican Party of Florida that runs House campaigns and is led by House Speaker Richard Corcoran held a college football fundraiser on Saturday in a box owned by U.S. Sugar, a company that has one of the largest stables of contract lobbyists in the state. The fundraiser, which was held during a game between Florida State University and the University of Florida, is not unique, but is notable for the fact that Corcoran recently implemented a round of sweeping new House rules that largely focus on reducing the influence of lobbyists. It underscores the two hats Corcoran must wear as a legislative leader who has vowed to limit the role of lobbyists and a GOP leader who must raise money from them. Read more in POLITICO
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Gov. Rick Scott will meet with President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday at 1 p.m. at his Trump Tower offices in New York. “Looking forward to seeing @realDonaldTrump tomorrow to congratulate him on his big win and offer my help to reinvent the federal government,” Scott tweeted Wednesday. Read more at
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Firebrand Orlando attorney John Morgan confirmed Thursday he is considering a run for Florida governor in 2018, throwing a wild card into a race dominated so far by traditional politicians. Morgan, a longtime Democratic fundraiser, responded in an online post to a petition drive launched this week by Ben Pollara, campaign manager for the Morgan-backed medical marijuana amendment – which Florida voters overwhelmingly approved on Nov. 8. "Since Monday, the outpouring of encouragement to run for governor has been overwhelming and unexpected," Morgan wrote. "It is either extremely flattering that so many people put such faith in me, or sad that people have so little faith in the typical politicians of both parties who are expected to seek the office." Read more at
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Federal poll-watchers will be on the hunt Tuesday for voter discrimination in Palm Beach and Miami-Dade counties. The U.S. Department of Justice is deploying election monitors to these two locations, as well as three other counties in Florida, to ensure federal election laws are upheld. Nationwide, more than 500 observers and monitors will be dispatched on Election Day to voting sites in 67 jurisdictions in 28 states to ensure compliance with voting-rights statutes. Justice Department officials say they will also have personnel on the ground in Hillsborough, Lee and Orange counties in Florida. Read more at
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Florida Democrats cast more pre-Election Day ballots than Republicans, but the presidential race remains a dead heat. A record 6.4 million Floridians cast mail and early ballots when early voting ended Sunday. Democrats held a 1.4-point lead with 39.8 percent turnout versus 38.4 percent for the GOP. Read more at
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One day before Election Day, more people have already voted in Florida than did in that state during the entire disputed 2000 election, according to the latest early voting data. 6,424,595 Floridians have so far cast absentee ballots or voted during the early voting period, which has now closed in the Sunshine State. During the race between George W. Bush and Al Gore, 5,963,110 votes were recorded in total, according to the Florida secretary of state's office. Read more at
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Hillary Clinton holds a 1-point lead in Florida and a 2-point lead in North Carolina, both swing states crucial to the White House chances for Donald Trump, in a new Quinnipiac poll of likely voters released on the eve of the election. The former secretary of state leads the Manhattan billionaire, 46 percent to 45 percent, in Florida and 47 percent to 45 percent in North Carolina. Her advantage in both states is within the margin of error, signifying that both are more or less deadlocked with hours to go until voters head to the polls on Tuesday. Read more at
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A weekly podcast focusing on the people and stories shaping Florida politics produced by Trimmel Gomes an award-winning journalist and former statewide news director of Florida Public Radio. Gomes hosted its flagship program "Capital Report" and created the public affairs program "It's About Florida." Gomes is political commentator and regular political contributor to WTXL ABC 27 in Tallahassee.


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