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Jose Garcia

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Member since: Fri Dec 2, 2016, 12:17 PM
Number of posts: 1,889

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Supreme Court rules against State Attorney Ayala on death penalty cases

Source: The Orlando Sentinel

The Florida Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Gov. Rick Scott has the authority to take death penalty cases away from Orange-Osceola State Attorney Aramis Ayala, who has said she won’t seek capital punishment for anyone.

“Far from being unreasoned or arbitrary ... the reassignments are predicated upon ‘good and sufficient reason,’ namely Ayala’s blanket refusal to pursue the death penalty in any case despite Florida law establishing the death penalty as an appropriate sentence under certain circumstances,” Justice C. Alan Lawson wrote.

The court was split 5-2, with Justices Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince dissenting.

“The Governor’s decision in this case fundamentally undermines the constitutional role of duly elected State Attorneys,” Quince wrote.

Read more: http://www.orlandosentinel.com/news/breaking-news/os-ayala-scott-death-penalty-supreme-court-20170831-story.html

Leslie Wimes, DNC member Nikki Barnes spotted at Rick Bakers election watch party

Of all of the surprises that occurred in St. Petersburg’s mayoral primary on Tuesday — and there were a lot — one of the most intriguing to Democratic politicos in Florida has to be the appearance of Nikki Barnes and Leslie Wimes at Rick Baker‘s election watch party.

Barnes is a member of the Democratic National Committee.

Wimes is the president of the Democratic African-American Women Caucus.

https://twitter.com/SeanPhillippi/status/902702289349214208

Although the St. Petersburg mayoral race is a non-partisan affair, it’s well-known that Baker is a staunch Republican and his opponent, Rick Kriseman, is a loyal Democrat, so much so that his re-election was endorsed by former president Barack Obama.

more: http://floridapolitics.com/archives/243930-leslie-wimes-dnc-member-nikki-barnes-spotted-rick-bakers-election-watch-party

University fires professor who blamed Harvey on Trump vote

Source: The Associated Press

The University of Tampa has fired a visiting assistant professor who suggested in a tweet that Hurricane Harvey's destruction is "instant karma" for Texas because it voted Republican.

Sociology professor Kenneth L. Storey posted the tweet and two responses on Sunday before removing the entire thread and his profile photo.

University spokesman Eric Cardenas said in a statement Tuesday that Storey was fired after the school weathered an outpouring of online outrage over the comments.

The Tampa Bay Times reports Storey issued an apology on Monday, writing that he "never meant to wish ill will upon any group.

Read more: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/florida/fl-reg-utampa-fires-professor-20170829-story.html

Canova sues for access to ballots from 2016 primary loss to Wasserman Schultz

Tim Canova, who has suggested he might not really have lost his 2016 primary challenge to U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, is suing the Broward Supervisor of Elections Office to gain access to the ballots from the election.

Canova is challenging Wasserman Schultz again in the 2018 primary. In June, when he announced his plan for a rematch, he said election integrity would be a top priority, and vowed to seek a recount of the results regardless of the outcome.

In the lawsuit filed June 6 in Broward County Circuit Court, Canova said Lulu Friesdat, a person acting on his behalf, has been unsuccessful in getting access to the 2016 primary ballots under the state’s public records law. He wants Circuit Judge Raag Singhal to order the Supervisor of Elections Office to provide the records, which he said Snipes has refused to produce for “copying and/or scanning.”

Burnadette Norris-Weeks, counsel for Supervisor of Elections Brenda Snipes, asked Singhal to dismiss the case. On July 5, Norris-Weeks wrote in her argument for dismissal that the Canova team can’t show its side has actually made an attempt to get the records he requested. Also, she said, Canova’s side never asked for photocopies, but instead wanted to bring in scanning equipment.

more: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/news/politics/fl-reg-tim-canova-ballots-lawsuit-20170810-story.html

Sentencing postponed for doctor accused of bribing senator

Source: The Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) - A sentencing hearing in a Medicare fraud case against a prominent Florida eye doctor accused of bribing New Jersey Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez has been postponed.

Attorneys for Dr. Salomon Melgen said in court documents filed Thursday they and prosecutors have agreed to cancel Friday's scheduled sentencing hearing until December.

That would be after next month's scheduled joint bribery trial against Menendez and Melgen in New Jersey.

Melgen's attorneys say in court documents the delay is necessary because the hearing could take longer than a day. Federal prosecutors declined comment.

Read more: http://www.philly.com/philly/news/politics/congressional/20170810_ap_4572cae5dffa4ccb817a21ffcaffcca7.html

Death of federal prosecutor found on beach was suicide, investigators say

Source: The Sun-Sentinel

Thhe death of a federal prosecutor whose body was found on the beach in Hollywood has been ruled a suicide, Hollywood police said Thursday.

Beranton J. Whisenant Jr. 38, was found dead by a beachgoer in Hollywood near Magnolia Terrace shortly before 6:30 a.m. on May 24.

Detectives and a medical examiner found Whisenant died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound, Hollywood police said.

He was assigned to the Miami office of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and been hired as federal prosecutor a few months earlier.

Read more: http://www.sun-sentinel.com/local/broward/hollywood/fl-sb-hollywood-whisenant-ruled-suicide-20170810-story.html

Conservative Koch Brothers Are Secret Investors in 'Wonder Woman'

Source: Hollywood Reporter

Though they might be the most reviled figures among Hollywood's liberal crowd, the Koch brothers have been a silent investor in Warner Bros.' slate of movies for four years.

Sources say Charles G. Koch and David H. Koch — who are worth a combined $96.2 billion and wield enormous power in political circles as major backers of right-wing politicians — took a significant stake valued at tens of millions of dollars in RatPac-Dune Entertainment. Now-Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin brought the brothers in as investors as part of a $450 million deal struck in 2013 — a move that was never disclosed because RatPac-Dune is a private company.

Though Mnuchin is no longer involved with the slate financing facility, having recently put his stake into a blind trust in order to avoid a conflict of interest, the Koch brothers continue to be stakeholders in such films as Wonder Woman, Dunkirk and Steven Spielberg's upcoming Ready Player One.

A RatPac spokesperson didn't respond to a request. A spokesperson for Koch Industries says, "Charles Koch, David Koch and Koch Industries do not have any involvement with this investment."

Read more: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/conservative-koch-brothers-are-secret-investors-wonder-woman-1027376

Venezuela election results were manipulated, voting company says

Source: The Miami Herald

CARACAS - In a stunning admission that fueled opponents of Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro, the company that runs the South American country’s voting technology said the results of widely condemned election Sunday had been manipulated.

The chief executive of Smartmatic, a company founded by Venezuelans specifically to supply voting software for the administration of the late President Hugo Chávez, acknowledged Sunday’s results had been inflated by at least 1 million votes.

“It is with the deepest regret that we have to report that the turnout numbers on Sunday, July 30, for the constituent assembly in Venezuela were tampered with,” Antonio Mugica said in a London news conference.

Due to the lack of audits and other electoral controls, Mugica said his firm couldn’t stand by the government’s results, which claimed nearly 8.1 million ballots cast. Mugica lay some of the blame on Maduro’s opponents for boycotting the election, which meant its representatives weren’t present at the polls as a safeguard.

Read more: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/venezuela/article164968042.html
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