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Miami-Dade Passes Transgender Inclusive Human Rights Ordinance

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Anita Bryant's legacy continues to get pied.
More than 35 years after Anita Bryant's crusade to have gays and lesbians denied basic rights in Miami-Dade and following a more recent political battle that saw a once powerful county commissioner defeated earlier this year, the county's Human Rights Ordinance now finally protects citizens on the basis of gender identity.

The historic vote came last night after four hours of intense public discourse and debate, and the ordinance was ultimately passed 8-3.

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Florida GOP Official Tweets Ferguson "Thugs" Should Be Firehosed

Categories: Politicks

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Back in 1963, Birmingham Commissioner of Public Safety Bull Connor turned firehoses on African-Americans who were protesting his virulent segregationist policies. Those tactics, along with the use of attack dogs on protestors, were considered so violent that they actually helped turn public opinion against segregation and lesser civil rights for African-Americans.

Well, apparently Duval County Republican Party secretary Kim Crenier hasn't read her history books. Activists are calling for her to resign after she suggested that police in Ferguson, Missouri, should use firehoses on protestors, and she doesn't seem to know what the big deal is.

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Rick Scott Claims He Actually Won the Cuban Vote by 35 Points

Categories: Politicks

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Charlie Crist won the Cuban vote by four points, according to the day-of Edison Research exit polls used by most of the media. Those polls also showed Crist winning the overall Hispanic vote by 20 points.

Rick Scott's own internal polls, however, claim that he won the Cuban vote by a whopping 65-30 split, and that he pulled about even with Crist in the overall Hispanic vote.


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Miami Bishop to Obama: "Stop Being a Sodomite"

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Episcopalian Bishop Leopold Frade had some strong words for President Obama last week: "I am asking President Obama to stop being a sodomite!"

Now, before jumping to conclusions, know that Episcopalians are totally down with the gays, and in 2012 Frade personally authorized the church's first recognition of gay marriage in South Florida.

Frade's remarks had nothing to do with homosexuality, but rather immigration.

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Rick Scott Admits to Being Shady or Just an Old Guy Who Doesn't Understand How Email Works

Categories: Politicks

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Rick Scott has a Gmail account. He also has his official state email account.

He swore he'd just used the personal Gmail account for private, family matters, telling the press back in August that "if anybody sends me an email to my private account, I do the right thing." Meaning he claims he forwarded all emails about state matters to his state e-mail account.

Well, whoops, after an internal review of his email habits, his office has admitted that wasn't always the case.

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Jose Javier Rodriguez: Master of the Minority

Categories: Politicks

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Photo by Stian Roenning
Jose Javier Rodriguez is in Tally to get things done, not to pick partisan fights.
In this week's Miami New Times, we profile 30 of the most interesting characters in town, with portraits of each from photographer Stian Roenning. See the entire Miami New Times People Issue here.

After November's Republican shellacking at the polls, you'd imagine the few Florida Democrats who emerged unscathed are about as eager to return to Tallahassee as a fourth-grader going back to school after a glorious summer vacation.

So why does Democratic Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez sound so damn excited about sitting in a House that now has a new GOP supermajority, not to mention a re-elected, re-emboldened Rick Scott in the governor's mansion?

"The honest truth is what happened this November doesn't change a whole lot," Rodriguez says. "The GOP had an overwhelming majority before, and they still do today. Yet I still got a lot of things done before."

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New Rep. Carlos Curbelo Is Already In Trouble Over His Campaign Finances

Categories: Politicks

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As Joe Garcia desperately fought to hang onto his Congressional office this fall, we described it as the battle for "Florida's dirtiest district." After all, Garcia's predecessor, David Rivera, has faced down repeated investigations from the feds and watched former colleague Ana Alliegro head to prison over an election scheme. And Garcia himself was no sooner elected than his chief of staff was sent behind bars over absentee ballot fraud.

So really, no one should be shocked that former Miami Dade School Board member Carlos Curbelo -- the Republican who beat Garcia in November's mid-terms -- has already found himself in hot water before even being sworn in.

See also: Congressman Joe Garcia Fights for His Political Life

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Read Hundreds of Secret Emails Showing GOP Consultants' Plot To Skew Florida Districts

Categories: Politicks

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Photo by Michael Rivera via Wikimedia Commons
Four years ago, Florida voters overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment with a simple mandate: Legislators had to stop drawing absurd state congressional districts that virtually ensured the GOP would dominate in Tallahassee forever. Instead, voters wanted fair districts -- boundaries that would create actual competitive races instead of Democrat- or Republican-packed strongholds.

Within weeks, GOP strategists went to work on an equally simple mission: how to get around the new law. And a newly released batch of hundreds of emails from one Gainesville consultant lays bare just how blatantly they tried to game the system.

See also: Florida GOP "Made a Mockery" of Fair Redistricting Amendments, Judge Rules

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Rick Scott to Hold Scaled-Back Inauguration Events

Categories: Politicks

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After a reelection campaign that cost somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million total, Rick Scott has decided to scale back traditional inaugural events. Because, you know, he wants you all to know he's a budget conscious, thrifty guy.

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Florida's CFO, Ag Commissioner Each Took More Than $400,000 in Public Money to Finance Campaigns

Categories: Politicks

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CFO Jeff Atwater
Florida's public campaign financing laws mean that candidates for governor and the three cabinet offices can qualify to have any donations of $250 or less matched by public money with a few caveats.

Charlie Crist received about $2.4 million in public financing during his run against mega-loaded Rick Scott. Attorney General Pam Bondi received $328,000 in her matchup against Democrat George Sheldon, who in turn received $300,000.

But Republican CFO Jeff Atwater and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam each received more than $400,000 in public financing even though both were running against no-name Democrats who never had a chance of winning.

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