Latest politics news

VIDEO: FAU prof loses free speech battle; lawyer calls media ‘presstitutes’

VIDEO: FAU prof loses free speech battle; lawyer calls media ‘presstitutes’

Minutes after a federal jury rejected claims that Florida Atlantic University fired communications professor James Tracy because he publicly declared the December 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School a hoax, his attorney lashed out at the media, calling reporters “presstitutes.” “Shame on you fake news,” attorney Louis Leo IV told news photographers and reporters...
Palm Beach County Judge Dana Santino should be off bench, panel says

Palm Beach County Judge Dana Santino should be off bench, panel says

Neither good works on the bench nor claims of accepted responsibility from Palm Beach County Judge Dana Santino are enough for her to keep the job she won in a 2016 election where she bashed her opponent for being a criminal defense attorney, according to a judicial panel that has recommended the Florida Supreme Court require her to step down. An attorney from a six-member panel of the Judicial Qualifications...

POINT OF VIEW: Protect employees, public from workplace violence

Collecting taxes and fees from the public is not an easy job. The 300 dedicated employees of the Palm Beach County Tax Collector’s Office do their best to make the experience as pleasant and efficient as possible. Unfortunately, they must also serve angry and upset clients, some of whom threaten violence. Just last month, our agency experienced two incidents in our service centers when customers...
VIDEO: FAU wins in lawsuit by fired prof who said Sandy Hook a hoax

VIDEO: FAU wins in lawsuit by fired prof who said Sandy Hook a hoax

A federal jury on Monday afternoon found that Florida Atlantic University did not violate the rights of communications professor James Tracy when it fired him. The jury found that Tracy’s blogs that the December 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School was a hoax were not a “motivating factor” in Tracy’s firing. FAU attorney G. Joseph Curley voiced satisfaction about...
White House spars with reporters over Trump accusers, fake news

White House spars with reporters over Trump accusers, fake news

In a spirited series of exchanges in the White House Briefing Room, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders batted away questions about women who have accused President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct in the past, as Sanders ripped the news media for misleading stories on other subjects. “The President has addressed these accusations directly and denied all of these...
The rise, striking fall of a Trump adviser

The rise, striking fall of a Trump adviser

A brass band played, fighter jets streaked the clear blue sky and a red carpet adorned the airport tarmac on the day in May 2016 when Vladimir Putin came to Athens for a visit.  "Mr. President, welcome to Greece," the Greek defense minister, Panos Kammenos, said in Russian as he smiled broadly and greeted a stone-faced Putin at the base of the stairs from the plane.  Kammenos,...
8.8 million Americans face big tax hike if Republicans scrap the medical deduction

8.8 million Americans face big tax hike if Republicans scrap the medical deduction

Anne Hammer is one of millions of elderly Americans who could face a substantial tax hike in 2018 depending on the final negotiations over the Republican tax bill.  In her retirement community in Chestertown, Maryland, it's the big topic of conversation.  Hammer is 71. Like many seniors, her medical bills are piling up. There are doctor visits, insurance premiums, drugs, a colonoscopy, a...
Moore calls sexual-assault allegations ‘ritual defamation’

Moore calls sexual-assault allegations ‘ritual defamation’

In his first sit-down interview since Dec. 4, and his first on local Alabama television since last month, Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore told reporter Bill Britt that the women who have accused him of sexual misconduct were engaged in "ritual defamation" against him.  "I do not know them. I had no encounter with them. I have never molested anyone," Moore said in an interview...
In Franken’s wake, three senators call on President Trump to resign

In Franken’s wake, three senators call on President Trump to resign

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and two of his Democratic colleagues have suggested that President Donald Trump should consider resigning, after a run of sexual harassment scandals that has driven out some members of Congress.  Sen. Al Franken "felt it proper for him to resign," Sanders said in an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" on Sunday morning, referring to the Democrat...
Trump wants Washington Post reporter fired for misleading tweet

Trump wants Washington Post reporter fired for misleading tweet

President Donald Trump on Saturday called for a Washington Post reporter to be fired over a misleading tweet about the size of the crowd at a rally for the president on Friday in Pensacola, Florida.  The reporter, Dave Weigel, posted a picture of an arena with many empty seats. He deleted the tweet after learning that the venue had not yet filled up.  On Saturday night, the president posted...
Sen. Richard Shelby bucks his party and president to oppose Moore for Senate

Sen. Richard Shelby bucks his party and president to oppose Moore for Senate

When Senate candidate Roy Moore of Alabama came hat in hand to Capitol Hill last month to ask his state's senior Republican for help raising money, Sen. Richard C. Shelby had a blunt reply.  "I told him he could raise it himself, you know like I did, you know like everybody else," said Shelby, who has about $10 million cash in his campaign account, with no prospects of a competitive...
Trump accusers deserve a voice, Nikki Haley declares

Trump accusers deserve a voice, Nikki Haley declares

Nikki R. Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said Sunday that women who have accused President Donald Trump of sexual misconduct “should be heard,” a surprising break from the administration’s long-standing assertion that the allegations are false and that voters rightly dismissed them when they elected Trump.  Haley, a former governor and one of the highest-ranking...
Five things to watch for in Congress this week

Five things to watch for in Congress this week

With two weeks until Christmas, the to-do list is a long one for the Congress, as GOP lawmakers try to finish work on a sweeping overhaul of the federal tax code, fund the government into 2018, and look to deal with a number of other contentious issues that have eluded lawmakers and the White House, but it’s not clear how much the House and Senate will be able to accomplish...
Trump in Palm Beach: President returns to D.C. after day of golf with Sen. Lindsey Graham

Trump in Palm Beach: President returns to D.C. after day of golf with Sen. Lindsey Graham

UPDATE, 7:30 p.m.: Air Force One touched down at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland at 7:14 p.m. UPDATE, 6:15 p.m.: While supporters of the president congregated toward Palm Beach, about 25 protesters braved what constitutes a Florida cold snap near to Interstate 95 on Sunday as his motorcade headed to the airport to return to Washington D.C. They held signs "Corrupt," "Mueller is...
Trump hits Twitter, golf course before heading home

Trump hits Twitter, golf course before heading home

President Donald Trump wrapped up his latest weekend at his Mar-a-Lago Club on Sunday by using two of his favorite activities — tweeting and golfing — to urge Congress to enact tax cuts and agree on a spending plan to keep the federal government running beyond Dec. 22. Trump hit the links at Trump International Golf Club with Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., a frequent critic and sometime...
Republicans step up attacks on FBI officials over handling of Clinton, Trump probes

Republicans step up attacks on FBI officials over handling of Clinton, Trump probes

As Special Counsel Robert Mueller continues his probe of Russian interference in the 2016 elections and any ties to the campaign of President Donald Trump, Republicans in the Congress have joined Mr. Trump in stepping up attacks on the FBI, raising questions about political bias inside the top ranks of that agency, an effort that could well form the basis for partisan opposition...
Trump in Palm Beach: Roy Moore support, media scorn, no golf

Trump in Palm Beach: Roy Moore support, media scorn, no golf

President Donald Trump, spending the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago estate, reiterated his support for Alabama Republican Roy Moore’s controversial Senate bid on Saturday and hammered the media over a pair of high-profile erroneous stories while also fitting in a side trip to Mississippi. Trump also shattered precedent by not visiting one of his golf courses — the first time in nine presidential...
Florida Democrats choose Palm Beach County’s Terrie Rizzo in chair vote

Florida Democrats choose Palm Beach County’s Terrie Rizzo in chair vote

Palm Beach County Democratic Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo was chosen Saturday to be chairwoman of the Florida Democratic Party in a vote by party activists in Orlando. Rizzo, who lives west of Boynton Beach, takes over a party rocked by the abrupt resignation of former Chairman Stephen Bittel last month after Politico reported on complaints he created a hostile work environment for women with...
Looks like Ron DeSantis will go Full Trump in Florida governor bid

Looks like Ron DeSantis will go Full Trump in Florida governor bid

U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis introducing President Donald Trump in Pensacola on Friday night. U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis, who’s expected to launch a Republican bid for Florida governor in 2018, is leaving little doubt that he’ll be running as an enthusiastic supporter of President Donald Trump. DeSantis and Rep. Matt Gaetz flew with Trump on Air...
Trump in Palm Beach: Tweets on immigration, ‘fake news’, football after Miss. trip

Trump in Palm Beach: Tweets on immigration, ‘fake news’, football after Miss. trip

UPDATE 9:20 p.m.: Trump wades into the immigration debate once again with a new tweet and a video. UPDATE 6:40 p.m.:  Trump congratulates Army for the win in the Army-Navy Game.  UPDATE 5 p.m.: Trump tweeted several photos from the Mississippi arena he spoke at today. The president wrote, to “demand apology & retraction from FAKE NEWS” because a journalist shared images...
‘Outraged’ by $220,000 settlement in Hastings case

‘Outraged’ by $220,000 settlement in Hastings case

U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach, says he didn’t know about a $220,000 settlement paid to a former staffer and is “outraged” by it. Taxpayers spent $220,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit that involved U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach,  the Capitol Hill publication...
Trump in Palm Beach: Trump arrives in Palm Beach after rally in Pensacola

Trump in Palm Beach: Trump arrives in Palm Beach after rally in Pensacola

1:06 a.m.: President Donald Trump sent one final tweet, which included a photograph from his rally in Pensacola. 11:45 p.m.: Air Force One landed at Palm Beach International Airport around 11:30 p.m. after President Donald Trump delivered a campaign speech in Pensacola.  The president deplaned and gave a quick wave to those at the airport before boarding an SUV...
Goodman: Call the GOP’s tax bill what you like, it sure isn’t democratic

Goodman: Call the GOP’s tax bill what you like, it sure isn’t democratic

An incredibly unpopular bill, passed by an incredibly unpopular Congress, to be signed by an incredibly unpopular president. That, to paraphrase a Washington Post headline, is the tax bill that the House and Senate are cooking up on Capitol Hill. Adjustments are still being made to satisfy one interest group or another, but the gist of the thing is set: Corporations and wealthy Americans will benefit...
Editorial: Florida Legislature assault on home rule must end

Editorial: Florida Legislature assault on home rule must end

Florida’s counties and municipalities are under siege. But it’s not just from crises such as rising sea levels, a spreading opioid epidemic or lack of affordable housing. The state’s Republican-controlled Legislature, which has been chipping away at Florida’s bedrock “home rule” statute for years, appears ready to take to a sledgehammer to it in the 2018 legislative...
Trump in Palm Beach: Late-night arrival begins 9th Mar-a-Lago visit

Trump in Palm Beach: Late-night arrival begins 9th Mar-a-Lago visit

President Donald Trump arrived at Palm Beach International Airport at about 11:25 p.m. Friday to begin his ninth visit to Palm Beach since taking office. The president is scheduled to leave his Mar-a-Lago estate Saturday morning and fly out of PBIA at 8:45 a.m. for a six-hour side trip to Mississippi. After attending the openings of the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi Civil Rights...
Report: Taxpayers paid $220K over harassment case involving Hastings

Report: Taxpayers paid $220K over harassment case involving Hastings

Taxpayers spent $220,000 to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit that involved U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach, the Capitol Hill publication Roll Call reported Friday night. Hastings, who has denied the claims in the suit, said he did not know of the settlement until Friday night and is “outraged” by it. Winsome Packer, a staffer on the congressional Helsinki Commission that Hastings...
President Trump gives boost to Roy Moore at Florida rally

President Trump gives boost to Roy Moore at Florida rally

Just fifteen miles from the Alabama border, President Donald Trump used a campaign rally in Pensacola, Florida on Friday night to make the case for controversial GOP Senate nominee Roy Moore, telling cheering supporters that his administration needs to keep that Senate seat in GOP hands, to insure that Mr. Trump’s agenda can move through the Congress. “We can&rsquo...
Sen. Bill Nelson weighs in on eve of Florida Democratic chair vote

Sen. Bill Nelson weighs in on eve of Florida Democratic chair vote

Sen. Bill Nelson is backing Palm Beach County Democratic Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo for the Florida Democratic Party’s top post. Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson is backing Palm Beach County Democratic Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo to lead the Florida Democratic Party ahead of a Saturday vote in Orlando. Longtime Nelson political adviser ...
Therapist threatens to sue PBC if it passes conversion therapy ban

Therapist threatens to sue PBC if it passes conversion therapy ban

A Boca Raton therapist has threatened to sue Palm Beach County if it passes a proposed ban on the controversial practice of conversion therapy, which aims to change an individual’s sexual orientation. Robert Otto argued during Tuesday’s County Commission meeting — and again in an email to County Mayor Melissa McKinlay sent Thursday night — that the state, not the county, has...
Claims against FAU by Sandy Hook denier headed to federal jury Monday

Claims against FAU by Sandy Hook denier headed to federal jury Monday

A lawsuit accusing Florida Atlantic University of violating the First Amendment rights of a professor who publicly decried the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre as a hoax is expected to be go to a federal jury on Monday. The university rested its case Friday, setting the stage for closing arguments and jury deliberations when the trial of fired professor James Tracy’s lawsuit resumes after...
House Ethics Committee revives investigation into Rep. Farenthold

House Ethics Committee revives investigation into Rep. Farenthold

The House Ethics Committee announced Thursday it has established a subcommittee to investigate allegations of misconduct by Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, expanding its work in light of new information that surfaced in recent weeks about a 2015 settlement agreement he reached with his former aide.  The committee initially launched an investigation into Farenthold in September 2015, but it was...

Forever Florida, St. Johns proposals get Senate backing

Measures that would double Gov. Rick Scott’s spending request for the Florida Forever conservation program and earmark money to improve the St. Johns River continued to move easily through the Senate on Thursday. The Senate Environment and Natural Resources Appropriations Subcommittee unanimously backed a proposal (SB 370) to designate $100 million a year for Florida Forever. Also, it approved...
Trump signals he may be open to changes rich friends want in tax bill

Trump signals he may be open to changes rich friends want in tax bill

Some of President Donald Trump's wealthiest New York friends have launched a last-minute campaign to pressure him for changes to the GOP tax bill, telling the president personally that the current plan would drive up their taxes and hurt his home state.  Trump on Saturday attended a fundraiser at the home of Stephen Schwarzman, chief executive of the Blackstone Group and the former leader of...
Franks to resign, says he broached surrogacy with subordinates

Franks to resign, says he broached surrogacy with subordinates

Rep. Trent Franks, an Arizona Republican who is among the most conservative members of the House, said he would resign his seat after House officials learned that he had asked two female employees to bear his child as a surrogate.  Franks' announcement came as the House Ethics Committee said it would create a special subcommittee to investigate Franks for conduct "that constitutes sexual...
To win swing voters, Democrat in Alabama Senate race appeals to morals

To win swing voters, Democrat in Alabama Senate race appeals to morals

Doug Jones, the Democrat working to win a Senate seat that Republicans have held comfortably since the 1990s, is trying not so much to sway swing voters as to recruit them for a moral cause. On a day when his opponent, Republican Roy Moore, made no public appearances, Jones called for Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., to resign, then rallied with workplace rights activist Lilly Ledbetter to argue that Alabama...
Emails show bid in Russia to help Trump

Emails show bid in Russia to help Trump

An executive at a leading Russian social media company made several overtures to Donald Trump's presidential campaign in 2016 — including days before the November election — urging the candidate to create a page on the website to appeal to Russian Americans and Russians.  The executive at Vkontakte, or VK, Russia's equivalent to Facebook, emailed Donald Trump Jr. and social media...
An accuser says Franken’s speech missed the mark: ‘No apology’

An accuser says Franken’s speech missed the mark: ‘No apology’

By the time Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., announced his resignation Thursday morning on the Senate floor, eight women had either written essays or given media interviews accusing him of kissing them, groping them or both without their consent over the past decade.  The accusations began three weeks ago with an essay written by Leeann Tweeden, a host on KABC radio in Los Angeles. Tweeden said that...
Why Democrats decided Franken had to go

Why Democrats decided Franken had to go

It seems like a distant memory now, but Al Franken's arrival in the U.S. Senate eight years ago marked the very moment when Democrats' control of Washington reached its highest point in a generation.  After an eight-month recount, the one-time "Saturday Night Live" star had been declared the narrow winner of the 2008 election in Minnesota — and Democrats, who also held the House...
Bannon finds new fight backing Roy Moore, but risks are high

Bannon finds new fight backing Roy Moore, but risks are high

Four months ago, Stephen Bannon was plotting a takeover of Washington and the Republican Party from his office in the West Wing as chief strategist to President Donald Trump.  On Tuesday, Bannon the private citizen stood where his latest fight had taken him: the mulch floor of a barn in southern Alabama, where he delivered a passionate plea to elect Roy S. Moore, the former judge who faces numerous...
Cory Booker expected to campaign for Doug Jones in Alabama Senate race

Cory Booker expected to campaign for Doug Jones in Alabama Senate race

Alabama Democratic Senate nominee Doug Jones and his allies are trying to finalize plans to bring in several high-profile current or former African American elected officials, including Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., to campaign for him this weekend, as he wages an aggressive final push to turn out black voters in a Tuesday special election with national stakes.  Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Ala., has been...
Sexual misconduct claims force two in Congress to resign, another into ethics probe

Sexual misconduct claims force two in Congress to resign, another into ethics probe

In a head shaking series of events, a tide of sexual misconduct allegations continued to sweep across Capitol Hill on Thursday, as one Senate Democrat and one House Republican announced their resignations, while another House GOP lawmaker became the subject of an ethics review over a sexual harassment case that has already resulted in a taxpayer funded settlment. Sen. Al Franken...
Case of fired FAU professor may hinge on single document

Case of fired FAU professor may hinge on single document

Testimony could end today in a trial for fired Florida Atlantic University professor James Tracy, who is hoping a jury will force university administrators to give him his job back and award him back pay based on claims they fired him because of conspiracy theories he expressed about the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting and other events on his personal blog. Tracy’s attorneys rested their...
Florida agency for disabled seeks $89M to avoid deficit

Florida agency for disabled seeks $89M to avoid deficit

One of Gov. Rick Scott’s priorities after taking office in 2011 was to resolve a longstanding deficit in the Medicaid “waiver” program that serves people with developmental disabilities. Now, nearly seven years later, the Agency for Persons with Disabilities will be in the red if the Legislature doesn’t agree to spend at least an additional $89 million for a program meant to...
Eric Sutton promoted to top spot at Florida wildlife agency

Eric Sutton promoted to top spot at Florida wildlife agency

Florida’s wildlife management agency stayed in-house for its new executive director. The Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Thursday agreed to promote Assistant Executive Director Eric Sutton to replace departing agency chief Nick Wiley. Sutton will start Friday in the new role. Commissioner Robert Spottswood of Key West said he saw Sutton’s work ethic the past few years, and...
Trump in Palm Beach: President’s ninth visit comes with new wrinkles

Trump in Palm Beach: President’s ninth visit comes with new wrinkles

President Donald Trump’s upcoming visit to Mar-a-Lago should feature the least disruptive arrival motorcade of his presidency and a brief Saturday reprieve for weekend pilots who are grounded when the president is in town. Trump, whose eight previous presidential visits have often snarled rush hour traffic between Palm Beach International Airport and his tropical White House, isn’t expected...
Bill would clarify fantasy sports not subject to Florida gambling laws

Bill would clarify fantasy sports not subject to Florida gambling laws

Despite concerns raised by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, a Senate committee Thursday approved a bill that would make clear fantasy sports contests are not a type of illegal gambling. Lawmakers in recent years have repeatedly considered such bills after questions were raised in Florida and other states about the legality of online fantasy-sports games. In fantasy sports, participants typically select...

POINT OF VIEW: Don’t allow state money to pay for religious schools

“We all have freedom of religion, and we have a right to send our children to private schools of our choice, religious or otherwise. But why should your freedom become my burden? Should the taxpayers of Florida be compelled to pay for your choice? Should the taxpayers be forced to send their money to a religious group preferred by someone else? Because that’s what this amendment, this...
GL Homes withdraws controversial Ag Reserve development plan

GL Homes withdraws controversial Ag Reserve development plan

GL Homes has withdrawn its application for a controversial development plan in Palm Beach County’s Agricultural Reserve, ending — for now — a battle that had already begun to divide the county. GL’s decision came Thursday, one day before the builder was to make a presentation to the county’s Planning Commission, the first step in its bid to win final approval from county...
Sen. Al Franken D-MN says he will resign over sexual misconduct allegations

Sen. Al Franken D-MN says he will resign over sexual misconduct allegations

Accused by multiple women of unwanted sexual advances, Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) announced on the floor of the U.S. Senate Thursday that he would resign his seat ‘in the coming weeks,’ even as he denied the veracity of the charges leveled against him in the last three weeks. “Some of the allegations against me are simply not true,” Franken said. &ldquo...
Video: Democrat Lauren Baer focuses on health care in bid for Brian Mast House seat

Video: Democrat Lauren Baer focuses on health care in bid for Brian Mast House seat

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gbc-Snk9kQ4&w=492&h=307] Democrat Lauren Baer, a former Obama administration foreign policy adviser who hopes to unseat freshman Rep. Brian Mast, R-Palm City, is introducing herself to voters with a three-minute biographical video that doesn’t mention Mast but hints that Mast’s ...

POINT OF VIEW: Apology is no balm; sex charges must have consequences

Here we go again. But regardless of how many lawyers and public relations teams draft a mea culpa statement for their powerful clients, apologies for “sexually inappropriate behavior” in the workplace are not going to wipe away the consequences of such conduct. It may well be accurate that Matt Lauer is “embarrassed and ashamed,” but the truth is he is sorry only that he got...
Impeach Trump? Two Palm Beach County Democrats say it’s worth debate

Impeach Trump? Two Palm Beach County Democrats say it’s worth debate

U.S. Reps. Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, and Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach, were among only 58 House members voting against tabling an impeachment resolution against President Donald Trump. (Bruce R. Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) An impeachment resolution against President Donald Trump was blocked by the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday with a majority of Democrats...
U.S. tax reform may limit bond refinancing, costing Florida billions

U.S. tax reform may limit bond refinancing, costing Florida billions

Florida taxpayers could lose billions of dollars in future savings under part of pending federal tax-reform legislation that would limit the ability of states and local governments to refinance bonds. “This is down in the weeds, but it is extraordinarily important,” said Ben Watkins, director of the state Division of Bond Finance, after briefing aides to Gov. Rick Scott and Cabinet members...
Putin, aiming to cement his legacy, will seek a fourth term

Putin, aiming to cement his legacy, will seek a fourth term

President Vladimir Putin announced on Wednesday that he would seek a fourth term as president of Russia in a March election that he is expected to win handily.  A full, six-year term until 2024 would make his 24-year tenure — including his years as prime minister — the longest by a Russian leader since Josef Stalin sat in the Kremlin for 29 years. It is widely believed that Putin...
Ironing out Senate and House tax bill differences

Ironing out Senate and House tax bill differences

The Senate tax bill, which passed early Saturday morning, contained several last-minute changes that only widened the differences with the House-passed bill.  Lawmakers from both chambers are now headed to conference, where they will try to work out their differences and emerge with a final bill that can be passed by the House and Senate and then sent to President Donald Trump’s desk by...
Flynn said Russian sanctions would be “ripped up,” whistleblower says

Flynn said Russian sanctions would be “ripped up,” whistleblower says

Michael T. Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, told a former business associate that economic sanctions against Russia would be “ripped up” as one of the Trump administration’s first acts, according to an account by a whistleblower made public on Wednesday.  Flynn believed that ending the sanctions could allow a business project he had once...
GOP leaders said to be mulling smaller corporate tax cuts

GOP leaders said to be mulling smaller corporate tax cuts

Leading Republicans are looking at scaling back some of the corporate tax cuts that they are trying to usher into law, two people involved in the tax negotiations said, convinced that they need to find new revenue to make last-minute fixes to the giant package moving through Congress.  The House and Senate passed separate tax cut packages in recent weeks, and both bills would lower the corporate...
Tax bill is likely to undo health insurance mandate, Republicans say

Tax bill is likely to undo health insurance mandate, Republicans say

House and Senate negotiators thrashing out differences over a major tax bill are likely to eliminate the insurance coverage mandate at the heart of the Affordable Care Act, lawmakers say.  But a deal struck by Senate Republican leaders and Sen. Susan Collins of Maine to mitigate the effect of the repeal has been all but rejected by House Republicans, potentially jeopardizing Collins’ final...
On sexual misconduct, Gillibrand keeps herself at the fore

On sexual misconduct, Gillibrand keeps herself at the fore

When the floodgates opened on Wednesday to cast Sen. Al Franken aside, following a half-dozen accusations of sexual misconduct, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand had positioned herself at the crest of the wave.  “Enough is enough,” she wrote on Facebook, becoming the first of Franken’s Democratic colleagues to call for his resignation on Wednesday morning. By lunchtime, more than a quarter...
House kills Rep. Al Green’s attempt to impeach Trump

House kills Rep. Al Green’s attempt to impeach Trump

The U.S. House voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to block an impeachment resolution brought by Houston Democrat Al Green to remove President Donald Trump from office.  By a vote of 364 to 58, lawmakers approved a GOP motion to table Green's resolution, effectively killing it. In all, only 58 Democrats — including Houston's Sheila Jackson Lee — sided with Green. Four others, including...
Trump Jr. meets with House panel

Trump Jr. meets with House panel

Donald Trump Jr. met behind closed doors for roughly seven hours Wednesday with the House Intelligence committee, fielding extensive questioning about contacts he had with Russians during the 2016 campaign.  Committee members queried President Donald Trump's eldest son about a June 2016 meeting he held with a Russian lawyer after he was told she would provide damaging information about Democratic...
Local reps among few who voted to consider Trump impeachment

Local reps among few who voted to consider Trump impeachment

U.S. Reps. Alcee Hastings, D-Delray Beach, and Lois Frankel, D-West Palm Beach, bucked their own party’s leadership Wednesday and voted to consider an impeachment resolution against President Donald Trump. The impeachment resolution by Rep. Al Green, D-Tex., was tabled on a lopsided 364-to-58 vote, with all Republicans and a majority of Democrats voting to set the measure aside...
Riviera recall organizers pledge lawsuit to fight signatures’ rejection

Riviera recall organizers pledge lawsuit to fight signatures’ rejection

Organizers petitioning to recall three city council members say they’ll sue to undo the county election supervisor’s rejection of the nearly 9,000 signatures they collected, saying the rejection was based on incorrect information about when they started the effort. John Whittles, the group’s attorney, said at a City Hall press conference Wednesday that the suit will be filed...
On special ballot to replace Clemens: two Democrats, one Republican

On special ballot to replace Clemens: two Democrats, one Republican

Two Democrats and a Republican from Palm Beach County have qualified for the ballot for a special Florida Senate election to replace Jeff Clemens, the Atlantis Democrat who resigned in October after admitting to an affair with a lobbyist. State Rep. Lori Berman of Lantana and Arthur Morrison of West Palm Beach, both Democrats, and Palm Beach County Republican Vice Chairwoman Tami Donnally of Lake...
Florida lawmakers question Scott request for more tourism funding

Florida lawmakers question Scott request for more tourism funding

Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s request for lawmakers to boost tourism marketing by $24 million next year might be a tough sell in the state House. Members of the House Transportation & Tourism Appropriations Subcommittee said Wednesday that Visit Florida would have to justify the proposed increase by showing how many of the 112.3 million visitors last year, and 88.2 million so far this year, came...
Florida synagogues challenge FEMA over Irma disaster relief

Florida synagogues challenge FEMA over Irma disaster relief

Two Florida synagogues damaged by Hurricane Irma have filed a lawsuit contending that houses of worship are unconstitutionally barred from receiving disaster assistance through a key federal program. Chabad of Key West and Chabad of the Space Coast filed the lawsuit Monday in U.S. District Court in Key West against the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Florida Division of Emergency Management...
Florida Supreme Court reprimands, suspends St. Lucie Judge Yacucci

Florida Supreme Court reprimands, suspends St. Lucie Judge Yacucci

The Florida Supreme Court on Wednesday publicly reprimanded a St. Lucie County judge who was engaged in a long-running battle with an attorney that included an altercation between the men. In presenting the reprimand, Chief Justice Jorge Labarga said St. Lucie County Judge Philip Yacucci acted improperly in the dispute with attorney Stephen Smith, including refusing to recuse himself...
Florida justices agree to weigh damages in Boynton smoker’s death

Florida justices agree to weigh damages in Boynton smoker’s death

A divided Florida Supreme Court has decided to take up a case that focuses on the amount of damages an adult child should be able to receive in the smoking-related death of her mother. Justices, in a 4-3 decision Tuesday, agreed to consider an appeal in a case filed against R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. by Gwendolyn Odom of Delray Beach, whose mother, Juanita Thurston of Boynton Beach, died of lung cancer...
Florida pols weigh in on Trump recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel

Florida pols weigh in on Trump recognizing Jerusalem as capital of Israel

Florida Gov. Rick Scott, in Israel on a trade mission, praises President Donald Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. Florida politicians had mixed responses to President Donald Trump‘s decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to instruct the State Department to develop a plan to move the U.S. embassy...
Florida House Speaker backs tougher texting-while-driving law

Florida House Speaker backs tougher texting-while-driving law

Texting while driving would become a “primary” traffic offense under legislation backed by House Speaker Richard Corcoran. The legislation, expected to be unveiled Wednesday, would allow law-enforcement officers to pull over motorists if they see them texting or emailing. Currently, texting while driving is a secondary offense, meaning officers can only charge motorists with texting violations...
SEIU Prez Monica Russo drops bid for Florida Democratic chair

SEIU Prez Monica Russo drops bid for Florida Democratic chair

SEIU Florida President Monica Russo, second from right, is giving up her bid for Florida Democratic Party chairwoman. Still in the race, from left: Palm Beach County Democratic Chairwoman Terrie Rizzo, Hillsborough County Democratic State Committeewoman Alma Gonzalez and Brevard County Democratic Chairwoman Stacey Patel. (George Bennett/The Palm Beach Post) Stymied by...
Democratic women in Senate call for Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to resign

Democratic women in Senate call for Sen. Al Franken (D-MN) to resign

With more stories of sexual misconduct surfacing against Sen. Al Franken (D-MN), a group of female Democratic Party Senators on Wednesday joined to publicly call for Franken’s resignation. “It is clear that Al Franken has engaged in a pattern of egregious and unacceptable behavior toward women, and he should resign,” said Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH). &ldquo...
Trump in Palm Beach: Late Friday arrival, Mississippi side trip

Trump in Palm Beach: Late Friday arrival, Mississippi side trip

President Donald Trump should arrive at Mar-a-Lago late Friday night, then take a side trip to Mississippi on Saturday before returning to his tropical estate for the rest of the weekend, new notices from the Federal Aviation Administration suggest. Trump is scheduled to appear at a campaign rally in Pensacola on Friday night before flying to Palm Beach International Airport. The FAA today issued...
Florida Senate panel rejects three bills to expand gun rights

Florida Senate panel rejects three bills to expand gun rights

With the 2018 legislative session still more than a month away, gun-related measures might have died Tuesday in the Senate. The Senate Judiciary Committee, which has been a stumbling block in recent years for Second Amendment-related bills, narrowly rejected proposals that sought to allow Floridians with concealed-weapons licenses to carry firearms up to the entrances of courthouses (SB 134); inadvertently...
Tax plan crowns a big winner: Trump’s industry

Tax plan crowns a big winner: Trump’s industry

After a frenzy of congressional action to rewrite the tax code, salesclerks and chief executives are calculating their gains. Business was treated with the everyone’s-a-winner approach that ensures no summer camper goes home without a trophy.  Some got special prizes. Cruise lines, craft beer and wine producers (even foreign ones), car dealers, private equity, and oil and gas pipeline managers...
Democratic Rep. Al Green says he will force House impeachment vote

Democratic Rep. Al Green says he will force House impeachment vote

House lawmakers will take their first vote on whether to impeach President Donald Trump this week if a Texas Democrat follows through on plans he announced to colleagues Tuesday.  Rep. Al Green, D-Texas, said in a memo to fellow lawmakers that he planned to bring articles of impeachment to the House floor on Wednesday as a "privileged resolution," one that would be entitled to a vote...
Stephen Bannon returns to the air with satellite radio program

Stephen Bannon returns to the air with satellite radio program

Stephen Bannon, who was President Donald Trump’s chief strategist, has garnered national attention after leaving the White House as he tries to influence political races, and is sometimes given equal billing with Trump in some news accounts about their different stands.  This week, Bannon will have another platform to criticize the Republican establishment and to portray himself as defender...
Conyers faced more allegations as he weighed his future

Conyers faced more allegations as he weighed his future

As Rep. John Conyers Jr., D-Mich., this week weighed calls for his resignation from a Michigan hospital bed, more women were coming forward with accounts of sexual misconduct by the lawmaker.  A former office intern who spoke to The Washington Post, described new complaints about Conyers as the congressman remained hospitalized, assessing whether he would continue his 52-year run in Congress...
Grad students arrested during tax protest at Speaker Ryan’s office

Grad students arrested during tax protest at Speaker Ryan’s office

Eight graduate students were arrested Tuesday protesting the Republican tax plan outside the Capitol Hill office of House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., the latest demonstration against legislation that students fear will make their education less affordable.  Graduate students say their taxes will skyrocket if a proposal to treat their tuition benefits as income makes it into the final version of...
Senate confirms Kirstjen Nielsen, a top White House aide, to lead Homeland Security

Senate confirms Kirstjen Nielsen, a top White House aide, to lead Homeland Security

The Senate voted Tuesday to confirm Kirstjen Nielsen as the next secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, installing a close confidant of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly to lead the federal agency responsible for carrying out many of President Trump's most ambitious domestic policy plans.  Nielsen, 45, developed a reputation for fierce devotion to Kelly as his deputy at the White...
Palm Beach County commissioner’s brother opens campaign for judge

Palm Beach County commissioner’s brother opens campaign for judge

Attorney Scott Kerner, left, joins former Palm Beach County State Attorney Michael McAuliffe in the race for an open Circuit Court judgeship. Attorney Scott Kerner, the older brother of Palm Beach County Commissioner Dave Kerner, has opened a 2018 campaign against former State Attorney Michael McAuliffe for an open...
Mueller’s budget tops $3.2 million so far in Trump-Russia probe

Mueller’s budget tops $3.2 million so far in Trump-Russia probe

Special Counsel Robert Mueller has spent more than $3.2 million in the opening months of his federal criminal investigation into Russian interference in last year's U.S. election and whether President Donald Trump or anyone close to him colluded in it.  The spending, compiled by Mueller's office, was released by the Justice Department on Tuesday and covers the period from May 17 through Sept...
Bannon rails at Romney in Alabama speech: ‘You hid behind your religion’ to avoid Vietnam

Bannon rails at Romney in Alabama speech: ‘You hid behind your religion’ to avoid Vietnam

Former White House political strategist Stephen Bannon rallied for Republican Senate nominee Roy Moore by picking another fight with a figure from the so-called "Republican establishment" — 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.  "Judge Roy Moore has more honor and integrity in that pinky finger than your entire family has in its whole DNA," Bannon said in his 30-minute...
Creation of slavery memorial at Florida Capitol clears Senate panel

Creation of slavery memorial at Florida Capitol clears Senate panel

A bill that would lead to the creation of a slavery memorial at the Florida Capitol began moving Tuesday in the state Senate. The Senate Governmental Oversight and Accountability Committee unanimously approved the bill (SB 286), sponsored by Sen. Darryl Rouson, a St. Petersburg Democrat who said the memorial would recognize “the fundamental injustice, cruelty, brutality and inhumanity of slavery&rdquo...
Commentary: GOP tax plan is a corporate handout

Commentary: GOP tax plan is a corporate handout

Republicans are on the brink of passing a massive tax overhaul, and it’s looking like the biggest con of the Trump era so far. And that’s saying a lot. The legislation being jammed through by the House and Senate Republicans is a tax giveaway to corporations and the richest 1 percent, paid for by working and middle-income families. Across the board, working people will be hurt by this...
Commentary: Tax Reform will grow the economy, raise wages

Commentary: Tax Reform will grow the economy, raise wages

Tax reform is long overdue. The current tax code is suffocating job creation and holding down wages at home. At the same time, it’s giving American businesses far too many reasons to move overseas. Washington has not significantly changed the federal tax system in more than 30 years. Meanwhile, our major foreign competitors — friendly and otherwise — have made their tax schemes far...
Editorial: Stop lawmakers’ raids on affordable-housing funds

Editorial: Stop lawmakers’ raids on affordable-housing funds

Years ago, a far more enlightened leadership in Tallahassee created the William E. Sadowski Affordable Housing Trust Funds, which uses doc stamp surcharges on real estate transactions to leverage federal and private funds to help develop more affordable housing in Florida. Today, housing costs are at a crisis point. Yet Gov. Rick Scott and many state lawmakers seem determined to contribute to the...
No easy answers in the search for my voice

No easy answers in the search for my voice

Over the last 18 months, hardly a day goes by without a listener or reader asking about my health and my voice, and when I will be back on the radio talking about politics, the Congress and President Trump. Even more questions came my way this week after a veteran lawmaker went to the House floor to give a speech about my medical predicament, publicly offering welcome ...
Boss of ex-FAU prof Tracy ‘feared for his safety’ over conspiracy blog

Boss of ex-FAU prof Tracy ‘feared for his safety’ over conspiracy blog

In the early part of 2013, as Florida Atlantic University faculty and students alike were still reeling from the international attention the school was receiving because of professor James Tracy’s controversial blog Memory Hole, former school administrator Heather Coltman said it hardly seemed the right time to press Tracy about filling out a required form letting the faculty know about...
Dr. Melgen lauded, pilloried during sentencing hearing for practices

Dr. Melgen lauded, pilloried during sentencing hearing for practices

Luminaries from Dr. Salomon Melgen’s homeland — including a former Dominican Republic interior minister and the conductor of the island nation’s orchestra — offered glowing accounts of the retinal specialist’s generosity and medical prowess on Tuesday to persuade a federal judge to show mercy when he sentences the physician on 67 charges of health care fraud. The praise...
Opioid crisis: Palm Beach County looking for firms for Big Pharma suit

Opioid crisis: Palm Beach County looking for firms for Big Pharma suit

Want to represent Palm Beach County if it goes toe to toe with Big Pharma? Law firms could soon have that opportunity. Commissioners voted 7-0 Tuesday to have County Attorney Denise Nieman’s office begin crafting a request for proposals from firms that would represent the county should it decide to file suit against drug companies, manufacturers or pharmacies as part of its effort to combat...
Palm Beach County takes step to ban conversion therapy for gay minors

Palm Beach County takes step to ban conversion therapy for gay minors

The Palm Beach County Commission moved forward with a proposed ordinance Tuesday that would ban conversion therapy for minors, a controversial practice aimed at changing an individual’s sexual orientation. Several municipalities in the county — Boca Raton, West Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach and Wellington — have already passed such an ordinance. If commissioners...
Rep. John Conyers D-MI to retire; endorses son to replace him

Rep. John Conyers D-MI to retire; endorses son to replace him

Under fire over past allegations of sexual misconduct leveled by women who worked in his Congressional office, Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) announced on Tuesday that he would not run for re-election to the Congress in 2018, as he immediately endorsed his son, John Conyers III to replace him in the U.S. House. “I am retiring today,” Conyers said on the Mildred Gattis...
Always a Palm Beach County connection: Roy Moore edition

Always a Palm Beach County connection: Roy Moore edition

Debbie Wesson Gibson of Delray Beach looks through a scrapbook from her senior year in high school, where several pages include what she says is evidence of her relationship with Roy Moore when she was 17 and he was 34. (Photo by Jon Gerberg/The Washington Post) Alabama Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore — the accused child molester...
Trump urges Hatch to run for reelection as speculation about Romney swirls

Trump urges Hatch to run for reelection as speculation about Romney swirls

President Donald Trump on Monday said he wanted Sen. Orrin Hatch to run for reelection, lavishing praise on the Utah Republican on several occasions during a brief visit to the snow-covered state.  "We hope you will continue to serve your state and your country in the Senate for a long time to come," Trump said in the state Capitol, calling Hatch a "fighter," a high compliment...
How one company actually plans to spend its tax cut money

How one company actually plans to spend its tax cut money

Republicans have pitched their tax plan as an economic godsend that will offer deliverance from middling growth and set off a torrent of investment, hiring and raises. But at a quarry here in Southern California’s high desert, the outcome does not look so straightforward.  The pit of rock belongs to CalPortland, which mines limestone to create the cement that goes into some of the country&rsquo...
Congressman who settled sexual harassment complaint to reimburse taxpayers

Congressman who settled sexual harassment complaint to reimburse taxpayers

Rep. Blake Farenthold, R-Texas, said he will reimburse taxpayers after it was revealed he used public funds to settle with a former aide who sued him for sexual harassment in 2014.  Farenthold, speaking to an NBC affiliate in Corpus Christi, said he will "hand a check over" this week for the $84,000 received by his former communications director, Lauren Greene, who accused him of making...
How an unequal tax cut grew more unequal

How an unequal tax cut grew more unequal

When Senate Republicans introduced their tax bill in mid-November, they faced competing interests: Some senators thought it wasn't generous enough for working-class families. Others thought it didn't deliver enough to business owners.  As Republicans moved closer to a final vote on the bill Friday night, they made several tweaks to the tax legislation. They announced more benefits for business...
Roy Moore losing money race to Democrat in Alabama Senate contest

Roy Moore losing money race to Democrat in Alabama Senate contest

Fundraising by Republican Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore is lagging behind that of his Democratic rival Doug Jones as Democrats flood the race with money in hopes of stealing a victory as the special election campaign for the seat enters the final stretch.  Democrats have given Jones $8.1 million more than donors to his embattled rival in the period from Oct. 1 through Nov. 22, according...
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