Sunday, April 24, 2016

Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry.

Lobbyists, gift bans and free trips

Gary Fineout reminds us that, "right before she was elected to a second term into office, a series of stories by the New York Times detailed the practice of law firms who were skilled at developing contacts and relationships with the top lawyers of various states - including Attorney General Pam Bondi."

"These firms helped out corporate clients whose businesses had been targeted by some states, but not others."

One of the stories also pointed out that Bondi allowed a lawyer from one of the firms to recuperate from surgery at Bondi's house
"Now 16 months later the matter has come to a quiet close - at least as it concerns Florida's ethics laws."
The Florida Commission on Ethics voted last week there was no probable cause to conclude that the now-defunct law firm Dickstein Shapiro - or one the lawyers who used to work at the firm, Bernard Nash - had broken the state's ethics laws.
Fineout describes "several interesting highlights" from the investigation here: "Bondi's silence amid questions about lobbying, the gift ban and free trips."

"Developers target panther land"

"Any hope that South Florida's endangered panthers will eventually spread hundreds of miles north to as far as the Orlando area and beyond may hinge on a proposal for immense development near Naples."

A growth plan by nine Collier County landowners encompasses 152,124 acres, an area that spans important panther territory and is nearly as big as some counties in the state. . . .

The land belongs to prominent sugar, citrus and cattle enterprises, including a ranch owned by Aliese Priddy. In 2012, Gov. Rick Scott appointed her as a member of the state Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

"South Florida developers target panther land."

Red tape

"Police investigate a fatal industrial accident."

DWS "wrong on payday loans"

"Florida's congressional delegation is in rare bipartisan support on an issue. Unfortunately, it's the wrong issue. The issue is the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau's plan to regulate payday loans." "Wasserman Schultz wrong on payday loans."

"Indian River Lagoon failures"

"Scorecard shows Indian River Lagoon failures."