Democrats have put up an experienced and credible candidate against Republican Attorney General Pam Bondi, though the party hasn’t been much help in raising money. But in the other two Cabinet races, Democrats aren’t even in the game, although they have nominal candidates.
Rick Scott and Charlie Crist have done such a good job of tearing each other down in the campaign for governor that voters may be tempted to conclude they’re equally flawed and undeserving of victory. That would be wrong. The candidates take a markedly different approach to open government, have contrasting records on the economy, and they’re polar opposites on defining issues for the future of Florida.
Miami-Dade voters face a decision of utmost importance for the future of higher education in South Florida on the November ballot. Voter approval would clear the way to pursue expansion of the main campus of Florida International University onto adjacent land used by the Dade County Youth Fair.
The August primary race for property appraiser was a crowded one with five candidates. It’s now down to two: former property appraiser Pedro J. Garcia, 77, and former Hialeah State Rep. Eddy Gonzalez, 44. They are vying for the opening created in January when Carlos Lopez-Cantera was appointed the state’s lieutenant governor.
The Miami Herald withdraws an election recommendation rarely, sometimes reluctantly, when new information leads to reconsideration. And this is the case in the runoff between incumbent Miami-Dade County Judge Jacqueline Schwartz and attorney Frank Bocanegra. In August, the Herald recommended Ms. Schwartz’s re-election because of her experience on the bench. The incumbent drew two opponents for the primary. She and Mr. Bocanegra ended up in a runoff.
Advocates for a new civil courthouse to replace the historic, 28-floor skyscraper at 73 W. Flagler St. in downtown Miami have made a slam-dunk case for finding a new place to conduct the people’s business. Sadly, the majestic grande dame is showing its age, is practically uninhabitable and needs to be replaced.
The Miami-Dade County’s legislative delegation is regaining the strength and muscle it once had, then lost to North Florida interests. Seniority has led to the ability to bring benefits home to their districts, even though some of the lawmakers worked against the community’s best interests in the case of denying residents the chance to vote on whether to fund improvements at Miami Dade College. And despite high-profile partisan rifts in the Republican-controlled Legislature — which refuses, for instance, to expand Medicaid — lawmakers have not been reluctant to reach across the aisle in cooperation. Despite impressive opposition in several races — there are some incredibly weak foes in a few others — the incumbents have the edge.
Three months ago, the Editorial Board implored the U.S. Department of Justice to “swoop in” and launch an investigation into the reports of abuse, torture and murder within the prisons run by the state’s Department of Corrections.
Now that the U.S. Supreme Court has green-lighted gay marriage in 30 states and the District of Columbia, it’s time for Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi to throw in the towel. There is no good reason to deny equality of marriage for all the people of the Sunshine State, and no sensible reason for Ms. Bondi — and Gov. Rick Scott —to support the ban.
For most Haitians, the death of onetime dictator Jean-Claude Duvalier revives painful memories of the era of anguish and fear when he and his equally brutal father ruled the impoverished Caribbean nation. In life, “Baby Doc” cheated the Haitian people by robbing them of their dignity and national patrimony. In death, he cheated justice by avoiding a trial for corruption and human rights charges.
Getting lost amid more high-profile state problems are the current cutbacks in college scholarships known as Bright Futures. Those cuts threaten the graduation rate of Florida students, mainly minority students and specifically those from South Florida.
We’re shrugging off persistent and deadly violence in Liberty City and other working-class and low-income communities as if those innocent victims were falling down dead in a foreign country — “over there.”
Miami-Dade County is on the cusp of breaking the ridiculously inhumane, costly and futile cycle of criminalizing mental illness. It has been a long-criticized system of jailing mentally ill residents who act out and become a danger to themselves and others because they are not receiving treatment — or have lapsed. They sometimes commit crimes and end up in the county jail’s horrendous psych ward. Upon release, the downward spiral starts all over again.
Julia Pierson’s job as head of the Secret Service was in jeopardy the moment an intruder made it past the front door of the White House. The belated disclosure that he went deep into the interior of the mansion before an agent tackled him made her resignation inevitable.
Not content to impose severe restrictions on reporting at the U.S. military prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, the Obama administration now wants to bring the secretive culture of its remote island prison to the mainland by closing a federal court hearing on forced-feeding in Washington, D.C. It should not be allowed to succeed.
The city of Miami’s Civilian Investigative Panel has fallen so far from the ideal of being a vigilant police watchdog that its very future is in jeopardy. If it cannot live up to its mission as the independent overseer that acts on behalf of aggrieved residents — and to help protect law enforcement, too — then city leaders, CIP advocates and the taxpaying residents have every right to question whether it should exist at all. However, it should. It’s an important civic agency.
President Obama made some commendable speeches at the United Nations last week, but his self-serving remarks to a panel on open government won’t win any plaudits from supporters of an independent news media. They were an astonishing example of saying one thing while doing just the opposite.