Pay for play? Curbelo campaign boosted by School Board vendors he voted to help

Miami Congressman-Elect Carlos Curbelo visits Dr. Gilbert L. Porter Elementary School in southwest Miami-Dade.

By Francisco Alvarado
During his campaign for Florida’s 26th congressional district, Carlos Curbelo wasn’t shy about collecting thousands of dollars of campaign contributions from individuals directly tied to corporations that benefited from his vote on the Miami-Dade School Board.

Florida’s chief justice and the hunt for goof-off judges

Florida Chief Justice Jorge Labarga

By Dan Christensen
Florida’s chief justice has ordered the state’s 20 chief judges to monitor the work of each judge in their circuit looking for goof-offs – a move that’s unnerved judges in South Florida and elsewhere.

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Citing broad public interest, newspapers ask judge to deny U.S. bid to block 9/11 lawsuit


By Dan Christensen and Anthony Summers
Two Florida newspapers have asked a Fort Lauderdale federal judge to deny the Justice Department’s effort to shut down a Freedom of Information lawsuit seeking records from an FBI investigation into apparent terrorist activity in Sarasota shortly before 9/11.

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Gov. Scott chose a familiar face to manage his $72 million blind trust

Alan Lee Bazaar, left, and Gov. Rick Scott

By Dan Christensen
Most Floridians have never heard of Alan Lee Bazaar. Yet as chief executive of the New York investment advisory firm that serves as trustee of Gov. Rick Scott’s blind trust, Bazaar is the keeper of an important public trust for Florida’s citizens.

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A modern day ‘Harvest of Shame’: Today’s blue collar temp laborers face abuses in Florida, elsewhere

A photo from the CBS documentary 'Harvest of Shame, left, and Chicago temp workers on a bus in the early morning hours of Jan. 18, 2013 Photo: CBS News, Sally Ryan for ProPublica

By Michael Grabell
CRANBURY, N.J. – Half a century ago, the legendary journalist Edward R. Murrow came to this pancake-flat town in central New Jersey to document the plight of migrant farmworkers. But today, an old way of labor persists here. Temporary workers who migrate here daily on buses face face similar conditions.

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Gov. Scott quietly rakes in millions from stock sales; Florida’s blind trust law ineffective

Gov. Rick Scott
Photo: Joe Burbank, Orlando Sentinel

By Dan Christensen
Over the last 15 months, Gov. Rick Scott and his wife, Ann, through various entities, made more than $17 million selling hundreds of thousands of shares a single stock. Scott’s blind trust sold shares of that stock worth $2.54 million in December 2012. You aren’t supposed to know that. Gov. Scott isn’t supposed to know it either.

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A loss of faith: Fort Lauderdale church sale angers parishioners, worries neighbors

Fort Lauderdale's Episcopal Church of the Intercession

By Ann Henson Feltgen
For 60 years, the Episcopal Church of the Intercession has provided religious guidance and ministered to the needs of its congregation. Now, plans by the cash-strapped Episcopal diocese to sell the church and its peaceful, four-acre parcel in Fort Lauderdale’s South Middle River neighborhood, is roiling both church members and neighbors.

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Outside groups dwarf candidate spending in Florida special election

Democrat Alex Sink, left, and Republican David Jolly

By Michael Beckel
Center for Public Integrity
The campaign money machines of Democrat Alex Sink and Republican David Jolly have not just been matched by outside forces, they’ve been lapped. Roughly $12.5 million has flooded the heated special election in Pinellas County, but less than one-third of that sum was controlled by the candidates’ own campaigns.

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Hollywood planning board members quit after conflict of interest warning from city attorney

Hollywood City Attorney Jeffrey Sheffel

By William Gjebre
Two Hollywood Planning and Development Review Board members have resigned after being warned by the city attorney of potential conflicts if they continued to serve while doing work for projects needing board approval.

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Voting rights advocates try to put oversight back the map


By Kara Brandeisky
When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a key part of the Voting Rights Act last June, justices left it to Congress to decide how to fix the law. But while Congress deliberates, activists are turning again to the courts: At least 10 lawsuits have the potential to bring states and some local jurisdictions back under federal oversight – essentially doing an end-run around the Supreme Court’s ruling.

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Medicaid contracts, a close friend, big money and Gov. Scott’s re-election campaign

Gov. Rick Scott

By Dan Christensen
Before the Legislature convenes in Tallahassee next Tuesday, Coral Gables healthcare tycoon Miguel B. “Mike” Fernandez will host a Sunday afternoon BBQ with Gov. Rick Scott, his wife Ann, and key members of the governor’s campaign finance team.

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