Hallandale commissioners cash-in on new travel allowance policy they approved

hallandalecityhall

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
Hallandale Beach’s new travel reimbursement policy has paid big dividends to city commissioners less traveled. Five Hallandale Beach city commissioners pocketed nearly $35,000 of their unspent travel allowances last month under the new policy they enacted last year. Previously, unspent travel funds were returned to the city’s general budget.

Not yet sworn in, Curbelo facing FEC’s questions about campaign finances

Miami Congressman-Elect Carlos Curbelo

By Francisco Alvarado
BrowardBulldog.org
After running a campaign promising to restore public trust and integrity to the seat he won on Election Day this month, Congressman-elect Carlos Curbelo is already drawing scrutiny from federal regulators.

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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
BrowardBulldog.org
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

vote

By Kara Brandeisky
ProPublica
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
BrowardBulldog.org
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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Comcast Foundation gives to minority groups likely to aid approval of Time Warner buyout

comcast

By Jason McLure
Center for Public Integrity
s Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc. roll out a massive lobbying effort to win regulatory approval for the merger of the nation’s two largest cable companies, one key step for the companies will be garnering the support of prominent civil rights and minority groups.

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A psychiatric hospital for North Ridge site? Oakland Park commission set to decide

notice

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
UPDATE: FEB. 21 — With anxious residents watching at city hall and at home on computers and cable television, Oakland Park has put off for two weeks a decision on whether to approve a controversial psychiatric and drug rehabilitation hospital. The reason: Wednesday night’s hearing ran too late to finish the hearing.

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Judge: Deerfield Beach pump maker MWI doesn’t have to pay millions sought by U.S.

MWI Headquarters

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
After a bitter, 16-year fight with the Justice Department, Deerfield Beach pump maker MWI scored a big victory last week with a federal judge’s ruling that the company isn’t liable for any damages for its violations of the False Claims Act.

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Payments to CEO raise new conflicts at top health quality group

Dr. Cristine Cassel, President and CEO of the National Quality Forum, speaking before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions. Dr. Cassel was paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in additional outside compensation after she was hired in December 2012. (help.senate.gov)

By Marshall Allen
ProPublica
The top executive at the country’s pre-eminent health care quality organization is being paid hundreds of thousands of dollars by two large medical companies that have a stake in the group’s work.

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Florida ethics bill: Lobbyists at independent taxing districts must register, disclose

floridaseal

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
A government ethics bill introduced in the Florida Senate would for the first time require lobbyists before many large independent special districts to register and disclose their clients, areas of interest and general compensation.

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Ex-U.S. Rep. Deutsch stirs the pot in Hollywood; New school plans upset neighbors

Ex-Congressman Peter Deutsch

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
Five weeks after receiving approval for a middle-senior high school in Hollywood, Ben Gamla charter school officials are exploring “substantive” changes to the project, sparking renewed controversy.

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