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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Gov. Scott and GE: Jobs, incentives and investments in Scott’s oil & gas partnerships

Gov. Rick Scott with Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown and GE representatives on Friday

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
When Gov. Rick Scott announced last week that GE Oil & Gas would open a $50 million manufacturing facility in Jacksonville he talked about how it would create 500 new jobs for Florida. Not mentioned in the hoopla: how another division of General Electric has invested hundreds of millions of dollars in publicly traded oil and natural gas partnerships in which Scott had a financial interest.

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9/11 victims: Saudi Arabia’s ‘lavish sponsorship’ of al Qaeda made attacks possible

twintowersexplosion

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
As defense attorneys tried again last week to get Saudi Arabia dropped from a massive federal lawsuit accusing it of complicity in the 9/11 attacks, lawyers for those who survived, and relatives of the dead, filed a sweeping new statement of the evidence they are marshaling for trial.

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Video-on-demand finally comes to Broward County Commission meetings

A screen shot of archived video of last week's Broward commission  meeting.

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Broward County took a step toward greater government transparency last month with the start-up of a new system of on-demand video for commission meetings and public hearings.

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Hallandale city manager’s going away gift of public money to departing commissioner

Hallandale Beach City Manager Renee Miller, ex-Vice Mayor Alexander Lewy

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
Thanks to Hallandale Beach City Manager Renee Miller’s generosity, former Vice Mayor Alexander Lewy collected a tidy gift of taxpayer cash after he quit the city commission last May before his term was finished.

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Koch foundation sought control at FSU: Teach our curriculum, get millions

By David Levinthal
Center for Public Integrity
In 2007, when the Charles Koch Foundation considered giving millions of dollars to Florida State University’s economics department, the offer came with strings attached.

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9/11, Saudi Arabia and the search for answers amid government secrecy

President Obama with Saudi King Abdullah at the White House in 2010; President George W. Bush with Crown Prince Abdullah shortly before he became king in 2005

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
t’s been 13 years since al Qaeda hijackers commandeered four U.S. passenger jets and slammed them into America’s heart, yet a basic question persists: Did they act alone or with the help of a support network?

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Broward to seek return of CRA tax dollars mishandled by cities; Millions at stake

Broward Administrator Bertha Henry and attorney and FAU professor Frank Schnidman

By William Gjebre
BrowardBulldog.org
Broward will seek the return of county property tax dollars from city community redevelopment agencies that hoarded that money instead of spending it on projects to fight slum and blight that are ready to get underway, according to County Administrator Bertha Henry.

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U.S. Sugar seeks OK for huge development after news it paid for GOP leaders’ trips

sugarcane

By Dan Christensen
BrowardBulldog.org
Weeks after news that Gov. Rick Scott and Florida GOP leaders took secret hunting trips to Texas financed by Florida’s sugar industry, U.S. Sugar and Hilliard Brothers are pushing plans for a massive new development in rural Hendry County near the northwest edge of the Everglades. The Sugar Hill Sector Plan envisions turning more than 67 square miles of sugar cane fields, citrus groves and pasture lands into a planned community.

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Miami developer hires governor’s pal; Scott, Cabinet green light Watson Island project

Lobbyist William "Billy" Rubin, left, and Gov. Rick Scott

By Francisco Alvarado
BrowardBulldog.org
In late March, state emails show, Florida’s Department of Environmental Protection was poised to pull the plug on a long-delayed, contentious plan to build a resort and mega-yacht marina on Miami’s Watson Island. But developer Flagstone Island Gardens had an ace in the hole. A month earlier, the company hired Fort Lauderdale lobbyist William “Billy” Rubin, a longtime personal friend, business associate and political supporter of Gov. Rick Scott.

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