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
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.

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
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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$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
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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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
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
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
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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FBI publicly releases a few more pages about Sarasota Saudis; 80,000 pages given to judge

9-11 pentagon

By Dan Christensen and Anthony Summers
The Justice Department late Friday made public four new, heavily censored documents confirming that by 2002 the FBI had found “many connections” between 9/11 terrorist figures and the Florida family of “an allegedly wealthy international businessman” with ties to the Saudi Royal family.

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Lobbyists at water districts must register and disclose under new ethics bill

Florida's water management districts

By Dan Christensen
Lobbyists hired to influence spending and policy at Florida’s five water management districts must register and disclose their clients under ethics reforms unanimously passed by the Legislature last week. If signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott, the bill would for the first time apply state lobbying regulations to some special-purpose governments that raise and spend hundreds of millions dollars every year.

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Financial watchdog held hostage for gold; Precious metals scams target seniors

Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine; Bill Nelson, D-Fla.; and Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. hear testimony from Karl Spicer, who admits to having scammed people out of thousands of dollars by hawking investments in gold and silver. U.S. Senate photograph

By Daniel Wagner
Center for Public Integrity
A key government agency that oversees financial derivatives could remain without a permanent leader until the man nominated to run it shows he plans to crack down on investment scams involving precious metals.

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More secret 9/11 documents identified, but FBI has yet to turn them over to judge


By Dan Christensen and Anthony Summers
Contradicting an earlier assertion made under oath by a senior FBI official, an attorney for the Justice Department said Wednesday that the FBI has identified four more boxes of “classified” 9/11 documents held by its Tampa field office.

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All Aboard Florida: Boon or Boondoggle?


By Ann Henson
A growing number of local and federal government officials want to put the brakes on the proposed passenger train between Miami and Orlando before some say it becomes one big boondoggle placed on the backs of Florida taxpayers. At the core of their concerns are questions about All Board Florida, the private rail project pushing the proposal.

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