Broward Schools construction program woes cloud vote on $800 million bond issue

Nathalie Lynch-Walsh

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
hree years after a scathing grand jury report about the Broward school district’s construction program, community activists are raising concerns about the management of future construction projects should voters approve an $800 million public schools bond issue in November.

Gov. Scott had stake in pipeline firm whose $3 billion venture he and his appointees backed

Florida's existing and proposed pipeline routes. Gov. Scott invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in companies that own all three. Illustration: NextEra Energy

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Shortly after Gov. Rick Scott was elected, a Florida Power & Light executive on his transition team pitched the idea of building a major new natural gas pipeline. Last year, Scott signed bills to speed up permitting for the project and the Public Service Commission approved its construction. Not known at the time: Scott owned a stake in the company that will build the $3 billion pipeline.

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Democrats skirmish over open Broward House seat

Florida House candidates Steve Perman and Kristin Jacobs

By Buddy Nevins
BrowardBulldog.org
Broward County political campaigns run on food. Bagels and cream cheese, Danish, hummus, spaghetti, barbeque and fruit salad for vegetarians who might show up at a political event – all paid for by candidates.

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Possibility of catastrophic Cuban oil spill stokes push to alter trade embargo for safety’s sake

Dolphins swimming through oil on the surface of the Gulf of Mexico, during the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Photo: NOAA

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
South Florida’s fragile coastal environment and multibillion-dollar tourist industry are threatened by Cuba’s apparent plans to restart its offshore oil-drilling program next year without adequate safety measures in place to prevent or contain a catastrophic spill.

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Miami Marlins to pay clubhouse workers back wages to settle U.S. labor investigation

First Pitch at Marlins Park, April 4, 2012 Photo: Roberto Coquis, Creative Commons

By Myron Levin and Stuart Silverstein
FairWarning
The Miami Marlins and the San Francisco Giants have agreed to settle a Labor Department investigations into possible violations of U.S. wage standards by agreeing to give back wages to underpaid workers.

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Florida revenue department files, then yanks tax lien against Gov. Scott and First Lady

Gov. Rick Scott

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Like 96,412 other Floridians, Gov. Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott were hit last year with a lien for unpaid taxes by the state Department of Revenue. Unlike most other taxpayers, however, the Scotts’ tax warrant was voluntarily withdrawn, and the lien released, by state revenue officials one week after it was recorded with the court clerk.

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$100 million water and sewer contract decision due in Miami-Dade

Miami-Dade Water & Sewer repaired this water main break along NW 15 Avenue and 36th Street  in Miami in 2012. 
Photo: CBS 4

By Francisco Alvarado
BrowardBulldog.org
A global engineering firm with a problematic track record has one final shot at winning a coveted Miami-Dade County government contract worth nearly $100 million.

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Feds in South Florida investigating allegations Humana overcharged Medicare Advantage

The entrance to Humana headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky

By Fred Schulte
Center for Public Integrity
Giant health insurer Humana Inc. faces multiple federal investigations into allegations that it overbilled the government for treating elderly patients enrolled in its Medicare Advantage plans, court records reveal.

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In support of Gov. Askew’s legacy of open government, ex-aide challenges Florida’s blind trust law at Supreme Court

Governor Reubin Askew holds a press conference in 1971 Photo: State Archives of Florid

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
The former chief of staff for the late Gov. Reubin Askew filed an emergency petition at the Florida Supreme Court Wednesday challenging the legality of the state’s 2013 blind trust law.

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Florida’s First Lady invests quietly in investment firm that mirrors governor’s old company

Governor Rick Scott and First Lady Ann Scott Photo: Meredyth Hope Hall

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Florida First Lady Ann Scott doesn’t talk publicly about where she invests the many millions of dollars in assets her husband, Governor Rick Scott, has transferred to her since his election in 2010. But SEC records reveal one place she’s sunk a lot of money is an obscure “family” investment firm that boasts $160 million under management and operates using the online name Scott Capital Partners.

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Pay violations rampant in low-wage industries despite enforcement efforts

Warehouse workers protest in Illinois  Photo: (Peoplesworld/Flickr/Creative Commons)

By Myron Levin, Stuart Silverstein and Lilly Fowler
FairWarning
For workers stuck on the bottom rung, living on poverty wages is hard enough. But many also are victims of wage theft, a catch-all term for payroll abuses that cheat workers of income they are supposedly guaranteed by law.

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