As Lauren Book Hints at Run, Some Question if Her Charity Could Become Political Tool

Categories: Politicks

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Photo by Omar Vega / Courtesy of Lauren's Kids

As she climbed the hill leading to Florida's State Capitol last spring, Lauren Book broke from a walk into a run. The 29-year-old blond with a pink ribbon wrapped around her ponytail raised both arms in triumph and flashed a huge smile as she crossed the finish line of the Walk in My Shoes charity event. Her father, Ron Book, perhaps the most influential lobbyist in Florida, trotted beside her in running shorts.

Lauren had walked 1,500 miles, having started in Key West 42 days earlier on a mission to bring attention to childhood sexual abuse. When she trekked through South Florida, Miami Heat Coach Erik Spoelstra called her an "angel." When she was in Orlando, abuse survivors fought back tears as they joined her. During a postwalk news conference on the Capitol steps, Fort Walton Beach Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz bragged about freshly passed legal reforms that would crack down on sex offenders -- ideas "that were on Lauren's mind, that ended up on my legal pad, that are now in the laws of Florida." When it was Gov. Rick Scott's turn to speak, he called them laws "I had the honor to sign."


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Debbie Wasserman Schultz's Potential Senate Run Leaks, Twitter Reacts Ruthlessly

Categories: Politicks

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Courtesy of U.S. House
Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Florida politics is a chain of dominoes right now as everyone waits to see whether Sen. Marco Rubio will go forward with a run at the White House. Well, Politico reports that some insiders are saying South Florida Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chair of the Democratic National Committee, might run for Senate if Rubio does put in a bid for the White House -- assuming Hillary Clinton does as well.

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Barbara Bush Finally Stops Being Jeb Bush's Biggest Campaign Detractor

Categories: Politicks

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via C-SPAN
Barbara Bush
For years, Republicans in certain circles have been salivating over the possibility of a Jeb Bush presidential campaign, except for one notable exception: Jeb's own mother, Barbara Bush.

America's favorite blunt Republican matriarch has spent the better part of the past two years saying there's already been enough Bushes in the White House, much to Jebber's chagrin. Well, over the weekend, she finally retracted those statements and is now fully behind having a second son as leader of the free world.

See also: Barbara Bush Doesn't Think Jeb Should Run for President

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As Miami Beach Cracks Down on Human Trafficking, Strip Club Owner Says He's Unfairly Targeted

Categories: Politicks

Rick Scott: Floridians Still Unhappy With Governor They Just Reelected, According to Poll

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Gov. Rick Scott's first term honeymoon period was legendarily short before his approval ratings begin slipping to some of the worst in the nation, and it appears there'll be no second honeymoon this time around.

Despite reelecting him, a new poll finds that more Florida voters still disapprove of Scott's job handling than approve of his work just over a month into his second go-around in the governor's mansion.

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Non-Smokable Medical Marijuana Bill Filed in Florida House by Two Republicans

Categories: Politicks

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Photo by Laurie Avacado via Wikimedia Commons | CC2.0
A state Senate bill to legalize medical marijuana in Florida now has a companion in the House thanks to two Republican representatives.

Reps. Greg Steube of Sarasota and John Wood of Winter Haven joined together to sponsor the legislation just a few weeks after Sen. Jeff Brandes, a St. Pete Republican, filed his bill in the Senate.

Though there's one major difference: the House version specifically mandates that medical marijuana cannot be smoked.

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Raquel Regalado Hints at County Mayor Bid With New Poll Showing Her Close to Gimenez

Categories: Politicks

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Photo by Marta Xochlit Perez
Raquel Regalado hasn't actually declared she's running for county mayor yet, but that hasn't stopped her from funding a new poll that shows her chances of winning the job are "very, very positive," the school board member tells New Times.

The internal poll, commissioned by billionaire Regalado backer Norman Braman in late January and carried out by Coconut Grove firm Bendixen & Amandi, showed Regalado trailing incumbent county mayor Carlos Gimenez 30 to 24 -- an encouraging margin, Regalado says, considering how far away the election is and Gimenez's status as a longtime incumbent.

See also: Raquel Regalado Took On the Establishment; Now She Wants to Run It

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Commissioner Xavier Suarez Wants to Cap County Salaries at $162,000

Categories: Politicks

Commissioner Xavier Suarez (left) is gearing up for a challenge against County Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
It's no secret that County Commissioner Xavier Suarez is gearing up a campaign for mayor. Now, the former city mayor's first real broadside at county hall is closer to heading to voters: a petition that would cap most county salaries at the same pay earned by Florida's Supreme Court Justices, which is $162,000 per year.

Suarez's petition nabbed initial approval from the clerk of courts Friday, meaning he can now begin gathering the 50,000-plus signatures needed to get it on a ballot next year.

"There are 120 people in County government today making more than Florida's Supreme Court justices," Suarez tells New Times. "Folks are fed up with that."

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Florida Republicans Want Jeb Bush, Not Marco Rubio, for President

Categories: Politicks

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This year's GOP primary is shaping up as a battle royal for Sunshine State conservatives' two favorite sons. But that doesn't mean Florida Republicans are evenly divided between Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio.

In fact, Coral Gables' favorite son trounces South Miami's brightest political star in a new poll, with Bush doubling up Rubio among Florida Republicans.

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Rep. Frederica Wilson Pushes for Federal Vaccination Law

Categories: Politicks

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Courtesy of CDC
It's 2015, and vaccination, a well-established medical practice for decades, is somehow the hot-button issue of the day.

Though no prominent politician has come out as a hard-core anti-vaxxer, several Republicans, including Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, have had no problems pandering to that crowd by playing the "personal freedom" card.

Well, Miami-area Rep. Frederica Wilson, a former public school principal, will have none of that. She's undertaking what could perhaps be her most high-profile political fight since being elected to the U.S. House by calling for a federal bill that would make some vaccines mandatory for all public schoolchildren.

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