February 03, 2016

VIDEO: Florida House members react to debate over open carry


Florida House members were in session until nearly 10 p.m. Tuesday night, spending much of the evening debating two high-profile gun bills: open carry and campus carry.

The open-carry bill was amended with one significant change: To allow lawmakers to carry concealed handguns in legislative sessions and official meetings. It's one of the handful of areas specified in law where licensed gun-owners can't carry concealed.

Here's what Republican and Democratic leaders had to say about that amendment following last night's session, and read our full story here about the evening's debate.

Floor votes on both the campus-carry and open-carry measures are expected this afternoon in the House.


September 17, 2012

Michelle Obama fires up crowds in Gainesville and Tallahassee


Florida became the battleground for the youth vote Monday, as Michelle Obama and the son of former Gov. Jeb Bush arrived within hours of each other on college campuses in Tallahassee and Gainesville hoping to drum up support for their candidates among pivotal young voters.

The First Lady spoke to a standing-room only crowd of 10,750 cheering supporters at the Stephen O’Connell Center at the University of Florida and then darted to Tallahassee to another packed house of 8,850 at the Leon County Civic Center.

“All our hard work, all the progress we’ve made is all on the line; it’s all at stake this November,” Obama told a rowdy crowd of supporters in Gainesville. “This election is even closer than the last one, and it could all come down to what happens in just a few battleground states like Florida.’’

She delivered a similar 30-minute speech in Tallahassee, and coached her audiences not to take a day off for the next 60 days and “work like you’ve never worked before.”

Part pep talk, part get-out-the-vote drive, Obama’s remarks also underscored the importance of registering to vote by the Oct. 9 deadline in Florida.

Four years ago, she said, her husband won by 236,000 votes in Florida. “That’s just 36 votes per precinct,’’ she said. “That could mean just one vote in your neighborhood, in your dorm, in your apartment.”

The greeting was more subdued for George P. Bush, son of Florida’s former governor and nephew of the former president, as he launched his six-college bus tour on behalf of the Maverick PAC, a political action committee designed to increase activism among young Republican professionals. Read more here.

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March 21, 2012

Video: Senate holds its own 'drawing for districts' lottery

The Florida Senate evoked comparisons to Vanna White and the crucifixion of Jesus Christ Wednesday as it held a lottery  to randomly determine which districts get two- or four-year terms.

In a scene was reminiscent of a Lotto telecast, senators watched as the secretary of the Senate used green and white bingo balls, brass tumbling machines and a large map to conduct the drawing. Their goal was to remove any doubt that the district numbers selected for the next decade does not favor incumbents.

But not everyone agreed with the approach.

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