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Leon lawmakers plan for Halsey Beshears’ absence

An election-year shuffle of political players could leave some storm-battered counties without legislative representation ahead of and during the 2019 Session. Gov.-elect Ron DeSantis last week tapped state Rep. Halsey Beshears to serve as the next head of the Department of Business and Professional Regulation. Beshears, a Monticello Republican, will vacate elected office to take […]

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Latest on the legislative staffing merry-go-round

With a tip of the hat to LobbyTools, here are the latest movements – both on and off – of the legislative merry-go-round. On: In the Senate Committee on Appropriations, Cindy Kynoch is staff director. Jamie DeLoach and Ross McSwain are deputy staff directors. McSwain worked previously as staff director of Regulated Industries. Off and on: Elizabeth Ryon became deputy staff director for the […]

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Personnel note: Jeff Woodburn joins The Advocacy Group at Cardenas Partners

The Advocacy Group at Cardenas Partners — one of the state’s leading, full-service government relations firms — has added top policy advisor and legal counsel Jeffrey Woodburn to its team of experts in Florida, the firm has announced. Woodburn most recently served as policy director for Governor-elect Ron DeSantis‘ campaign. Woodburn “has deep policy, government, […]

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Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics — 12.18.18

Sunburn — The morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. By Peter Schorsch, Phil Ammann, Daniel McAuliffe, Jim Rosica, and Drew Wilson. We must begin this day with a special happy birthday shout-out to our sister from another mother, the AMAZING … the INCREDIBLY KIND … the insert-superlative-here Stephanie Smith, who would easily win […]

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Joe Henderson: Stepping aside should be easy call for Judge Laurel Lee

Hillsborough Circuit Judge Laurel Lee was formally asked Monday to recuse herself from hearing a lawsuit against the All For Transportation sales tax. A first-year law student would probably agree it’s the best way for Her Honor to avoid potentially messy legal optics. Why? Well, consider … Point 1: Lee’s husband, Republican state Sen. Tom Lee, […]

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Judge Laurel Lee, wife of Sen. Tom Lee, asked to recuse from transportation tax lawsuit

Judge Laurel Lee, wife of Florida State Sen. Tom Lee, has been asked to recuse herself in the lawsuit seeking to overturn the voter-approved transportation sales tax voters approved last month. Sen. Lee has been a vocal critic of the sales tax, giving his wife an apparent conflict of interest in the case. A defendant […]

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Wakulla County Commission chairman Ralph Thomas files for HD 7

Ralph Thomas, who chairs the Wakulla County Commission, has filed to replace state Rep. Halsey Beshears in House District 7. “I served our nation in uniform, and now I want to serve our rural communities in the Florida House of Representatives,” said Thomas, who was a member of the U.S. Navy from 1985 to 1997. […]

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Last Call for 12.17.18 — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics

Last Call — A prime-time read of what’s going down in Florida politics. First Shot As promised, state gambling regulators have again rewritten an emergency rule governing the drug testing of racing greyhounds. That’s even as dog racing’s time is short: Voters last month OK’d a constitutional amendment banning betting on live dog racing that […]

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Lauren Book files state ban of ‘obscene, child-like‘ sex dolls

State Sen. Lauren Book has filed a bill (SB 160) which would seek to criminalize the sale of sex dolls designed to look like young children. “A person may not knowingly sell, lend, give away, distribute, transmit, show, or transmute … an obscene, child-like sex doll,” the bill says. “These obscene dolls are being shipped from […]

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Ron DeSantis wants Jim Zingale for Dep’t of Revenue director

Governor-elect Ron DeSantis announced Monday he will recommend Jim Zingale as the next head of the state’s Department of Revenue (DOR), “build(ing) on the DeSantis-Nuñez Administration’s promise of bipartisanship.” “I am pleased to recommend (him) … and am certain the Cabinet will share my confidence in Jim,” DeSantis said in a statement. If chosen for […]

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