Port commissioner Enright to challenge Rep. Hastings
Democratic Port of Palm Beach Commissioner Jean Enright has filed papers with the Federal Election Commission to challenge 11-term U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Miramar, in a 2014 primary.
In an interview last month while contemplating the challenge, Enright said Hastings “has been there for years, and I feel that the district needs a change…. You can even go in our district and ask individuals ‘Who’s your congressman?’ A lot of people look and wonder, ‘Who is your congressman?’ When did they see him last?”
Hastings’ minority-dominated District 20 includes parts of Palm Beach, Broward and Hendry counties.
Woman charged with sneaking onto Air Force base
U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson wants to know how a homeless woman was able to sneak into MacDill Air Force Base four times.
A spokesman for Nelson says the senator has asked the Air Force for an explanation and a briefing on base security.
Suzanne Jensen told officials she sneaked onto the base by turning a garbage can upside down and climbing a wall. Records show she stayed on the base for days at a time. Jensen was cited by MacDill officials and charged with four trespassing counts and possession of a stolen military ID.
USF researchers submit additional info on school
Researchers at the University of South Florida who want to exhume human remains at a now-defunct reform school in Marianna have submitted more information to the Florida Department of State as part of the school’s application.
USF wants to exhume bodies from “Boot Hill Cemetery” and surrounding areas, where it is believed there may be unmarked graves and unaccounted bodies of boys who died. The school, formally known as the Arthur G. Dozier School for Boys, was closed in 2011.
USF made its request after a circuit judge rejected an exhumation request filed by Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi.
The letter sent this week says that researchers have two permits for archaeological research and fieldwork. A possible second burial site has been found on property owned by the Department of Juvenile Justice. That property is north of the Boot Hill site and hasn’t been examined.
Putnam re-election coffers up by nearly $600,000
Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam got off to a blazing start in his 2014 re-election campaign, collecting $591,011 in cash contributions during the year’s second quarter, according to newly filed campaign-finance reports. Putnam also received nearly $83,000 in in-kind contributions, with about $77,000 coming through staffing and other support from the Republican Party of Florida. Sunrise Democrat Thad Hamilton also has opened an account for the race and had raised $760 through June 30.
Senate committee named to review Lake O releases
Treasure Coast residents complain about the impact of water released from Lake Okeechobee into the St. Lucie River and Indian River Lagoon, the Senate has set up a select committee to investigate the state and federal management policies for the waterways. Senate President Don Gaetz, R-Niceville, announced that Sen. Joe Negron, R-Stuart, will chair the Senate Select Committee on Indian River Lagoon and Lake Okeechobee Basin.
The committee is expected to study the policies, spending and any other governmental activities involving the water management. A report from the committee is due Nov. 4. With concerns lingering over the health of the Herbert Hoover Dike, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been releasing water from the lake as a means to keep the water level down during the summer rainy season.
Putnam, Matt Gaetz coffers bulge
Still more than a year from the 2014 elections, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam gave a glimpse of the strength of his re-election campaign. Putnam, a Republican, reported collecting $591,011 in contributions between April 1 and June 30, hundreds of thousands of dollars more than other statewide candidates.
With candidates and political committees facing a Wednesday night deadline for filing second-quarter financial reports, state Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fort Walton Beach, also showed that he will have a huge bankroll as he prepares to run for the Senate in 2016. Gaetz collected $252,360 in contributions as he seeks to replace his father, Senate President Don Gaetz, who will leave office because of term limits in 2016.
Post staff and wire services.