Saturday, October 20, 2018


Steve Bousquet, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

Steve Bousquet, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

Steve Bousquet is the Tampa Bay Times' Tallahassee bureau chief. He joined the Times in 2001 after 17 years at the Miami Herald, where he held a variety of positions including Tallahassee bureau chief, and he previously was a reporter at TV stations in Miami and Providence, R.I. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Rhode Island and a master's in history from Florida State University. Bousquet was a contributor to two editions of The Almanac of Florida Politics and to The Miami Herald Report: Democracy Held Hostage, an account of the 2000 presidential recount in Florida.

A SunPass toll booth [Eve Edelheit - Tampa Bay Times]

Revealed: Rick Scott’s financial link to botched SunPass contract

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott has financial ties to the vendor that operates the troubled SunPass toll-collection system.Scott's financial link to the SunPass vendor is at least the seventh reported example of the wealthy...
Published: 10/19/18
Downtown Marianna after Hurricane Michael. (Miami Herald)

State lifts voting restrictions in eight Panhandle counties hit by hurricane

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott issued an executive order Thursday that eases voting restrictions in eight Panhandle counties where election plans have been severely disrupted by Hurricane Michael.The storm left more than 400,000...
Published: 10/18/18
Updated: 10/19/18
SCOTT KEELER  |   TimesLeft to Right: Shan Collins, manager, Gulfside Resorts, Indian Rocks Beach, tells, US Rep. Kathy Castor, US Rep. Charlie Crist, and US Sen. Bill Nelson about the resorts businesses losses due to the recent Red Tide in the Gulf during a Red Tide Roundtable discussion at the Suncoast Transit Authority in Pinellas County, 10/17/18.

Can Bill Nelson tastefully change the subject from Hurricane Michael? He’s trying.

ST. PETERSBURG — Sen. Bill Nelson is ready to talk about something other than Hurricane Michael.In his first appearance outside the Florida Panhandle since the Category 4 storm made landfall last week, Nelson met with scientists...
Published: 10/17/18
A rejected mail ballot in Pinellas [Steve Bousquet - Tampa Bay Times]

Republicans mailing in more ballots than Democrats; Lee County is No. 1

It's still early, but there's no sign of a blue wave in the initial wave of mail ballot returns in Florida.Figures filed Wednesday with the state show that more Republicans than Democrats are returning their mail ballots, 20 days before...
Published: 10/17/18
Gov. Rick Scott meets with Gadsden County officials in Quincy [Steve Bousquet - Tampa Bay Times]

Disaster politics on display: Raves for Rick Scott in storm-battered Gadsden

QUINCY, Fla. — When the governor of Florida visits Gadsden County, it's a big deal. Especially after a Category 4 hurricane. Even though the governor is a Republican and just about everybody in Gadsden County is a Democrat.Gov.
Published: 10/17/18
Building materials lay piled against the home of Robert and Beatrice Baker in Mexico Beach [Douglas R. Clifford -- Times]

After Michael’s fury, hardest-hit counties say changes in voting are needed

TALLAHASSEE — Three weeks before Election Day, county elections officials want Gov. Rick Scott to approve changes in voting in the counties hardest hit by Hurricane Michael in the Florida Panhandle.With no electricity or Internet,...
Published: 10/16/18
FEMA director Brock Long, left, talks with President Donald Trump after he arrives at Eglin Air Force Base to visit areas affected by Hurricane Michael. [AP]

Trump arrives in Panhandle: ‘Many of these people have no home’

EGLIN AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — President Donald Trump arrived in the Florida Panhandle Monday to view the devastation caused by Hurricane Michael and to personally thank first responders.Air Force One landed at Eglin Air Force Base...
Published: 10/15/18
A screen shot of the state's online voter registration portal Tuesday [Special to the Tampa Bay Times]

In the eye of another storm — this one over voting in Florida

That huge swirling menace in the Gulf known as Hurricane Michael has the attention of Floridians four weeks before Election Day.But a disturbance of another kind is intensifying, and it involves voting.Two controversies erupted at...
Published: 10/09/18
Updated: 10/10/18
Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday at state emergency headquarters in Tallahassee [Tampa BayTimes}

Gov. Rick Scott warns of ‘monstrous storm’ with massive flooding

TALLAHASSEE — The Florida Panhandle braced itself on Tuesday for its strongest hurricane in decades, a Category 3 monster with storm surge powerful enough to cause massive flooding in the northwest tier of the state."Hurricane...
Published: 10/09/18
An image of Hurricane Michael [Twitter]

As Michael closes in, Florida has its own storm-related issues

As hurricane warnings went up, the state disaster web site went down.Shelters were open, yet a U.S. senator was blocked from a state briefing room. And the state's emergency management management director predicted "plenty of punches"...
Published: 10/09/18