Month: September 2012

FL: South Florida lawmakers keep tight control on Cuban-American policy

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG – In visiting the diverse political strongholds across this swing state, candidates never shy from articulating views on foreign policy to appeal to certain constituencies. The nation of Israel, an ally of the United States, gets a lot of attention, due to the state’s nearly 700,000 Jewish voters, […]

FL: Public pensions in hot water long before 2008 financial collapse

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — Huge gaping holes in public pension funding didn’t arise from the abyss of the recent economic crisis, but instead have been growing larger and larger over time and threaten the budgetary health of every city in the Sunshine State. That was the message of Florida State University’s Leroy Collins […]

FL: Partisan forces strike hot in merit retention fight

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — Three Florida Supreme Court justices will have their fates decided by voters this fall, and it is drawing the ire of a growing number of political forces in the Sunshine State. Attention to the issue was first peaked by the involvement of the Republican Party of Florida on Friday which, […]

FL: Millionaire Grayson continues his caustic push against the ‘rich’

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — A quick glance at former Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson’s professional record and one would guess he’d hold fiscally conservative sympathies. As a former private-sector economist and telecommunications executive, Grayson made millions of dollars providing goods and services and creating jobs, accumulating a level of wealth which […]

OSSOWSKI: ‘Makers’ and ‘takers’ are what America is all about

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — Renewed by the efforts of Democratic activists and a leading progressive publication, the national discourse has turned once more to the essential philosophical issue of taxation, a citizen’s most direct, albeit unpleasant, interaction with the government. At issue is the dividing line between Americans who actively […]

FL: Nelson, Mack join forces to halt military sequestration and delay federal budget cuts

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — Even in the heat of the campaign season, Florida’s top candidates for U.S. Senate find themselves in agreement about not cutting federal spending — for the military, at least. In the latest bout between Republican U.S. Rep. Connie Mack, of District 14, and Democratic U.S. Sen. […]

FL: Bill Young’s change of heart signals Afghan war shift for GOP

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — As a lawmaker who has been in federal office since the Vietnam War, U.S. Rep. Bill Young has never shied away from advocating American intervention and military power abroad. At the peak of his 41 year career, he chaired — from 1999-2005 — the powerful Appropriations Committee, directly responsible for allocating trillions […]

HUMAN EVENTS: Swing State Report, Week 1

I made it into Human Events, the magazine and online publication, for the first time. This is part of the Swing State Report. Florida Campaigns speed through Sunshine State in race for its 29 electoral votes The U.S. Justice Department decided to drop its lawsuit over Florida’s early voting reductions–reducing the number of early voting […]

FL: Ryan’s critique of Federal Reserve could be new populist pitch

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — Always willing to take on President Barack Obama‘s fiscal policies, Republican vice presidential hopeful Paul Ryan explored the other side of the economic coin by criticizing the monetary policy of the Federal Reserve.The Wisconsin U.S. representative portrayed the latest move from the nation’s central bank, a $40 billion per month mortgage bond […]

FL: Voter roll cleanup halted; early voting days reduced

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — In the debate over rights, eligibility and access to the ballot box in Florida, all sides seem to be claiming victory this week. The Florida Department of State decided Thursday to stop purging the voter rolls of ineligible voters to avoid the “time, expense, and uncertainty of litigation,” according […]

FL: Despite budget cutbacks, Nelson still dropping big bucks into NASA

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — As one of only three lawmakers to fly in space, U.S. Sen.Bill Nelson is the first to admit he has a special relationship with the government’s space program. In 1986, Nelson joined the crew ofColumbia as a payload specialist and has been a stern advocate of the space shuttle […]

FL: Debbie Wasserman Schultz sinks to new low, say fact checkers and media critics

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — South Florida’s most prominent congresswoman, Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, has not been held in high regard following her party’s nominating convention in Charlotte, a fact that ultimately could trouble her re-election campaign at home. In just a matter of weeks, Wasserman Schultz has received criticism from media critics and […]

FL: Do unions invoke memory of 9/11 to stave off reforms?

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — After the horrific events of Sept. 11, 2001, much attention and dedication was given to the professionals who rushed to save victims in the burning towers. Firefighters, police officers and emergency personnel were duly recognized across the nation as the “heroic first responders,” receiving renewed […]