Month: November 2012

FL: Miami-Dade prison work program ‘obviously unconstitutional’

By Marianela Toledo and Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog MIAMI — Reacting to the news that Miami-Dade County wants to use accused criminals for manual labor in return for paying off debts, lawyers across the state say such a program could be rule unconstitutional. The proposed ordinance aims to save taxpayer dollars by offering “pretrial detainees” the option of cleaning roads, […]

Video: RNC spoils help bolster Tampa’s surveillance state

While most of the RNC convention goers have long since left Tampa Bay, the millions of dollars in security costs awarded to local police departments have stayed put, engendering a new kind of technological surveillance state never before seen by Florida residents. Read more: Florida Watchdog

FL: Alan Grayson gives flawed lesson on Walmart economics

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — Taking his victory lap on the heels of his return to the U.S. House after losing two years prior, U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson staged his first public spectacle against the retail giant Walmart over the Thanksgiving holiday. Grayson, a Florida Democrat, made Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday appearances at stores in St. Cloud and Orlando, handing workers turkey sandwiches and encouraging them […]

FL: Convention spoils help bolster Tampa’s surveillance state

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — A vast network of surveillance cameras, armored trucks with weapons mounting capabilities and state-of-the-art bulletproof vests strong enough to withstand high-caliber rounds. Those are just a few of the spoils enjoyed by the Tampa Police Department during the highly anticipated Republican National Convention, which occupied the city from Aug.27-30 […]

Article on Reason.com: Florida Weighs Corporate Welfare for New Sports Stadium

Another article of mine was reprinted on Reason’s website, detailing the push for Tampa Bay taxpayers to pick up the tab for a new baseball stadium. Reason is a libertarian magazine that features great commentary and analysis on the pressing issues of our day. Enjoy: Whether or not they’re fans of baseball, residents in Tampa and St. […]

FL: Chambers of commerce want taxpayers to foot bill for new Tampa baseball stadium

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — Whether or not they’re fans of baseball, residents in Tampa and St. Petersburg have the opportunity of a lifetime to become investors of the future of America’s pastime. They’ve been told to imagine a sprawling ballpark with a retractable roof, enviable seating capacity and a prime location in Tampa that […]

Article on Reason.com: Florida Officials Seek to Ban Cell Phone Use in Cars and Public Meetings

Unbeknownst to me, an article I wrote was reprinted on Reason’s website, detailing the creeping efforts of Florida public officials to make ban cell phones in cars and public meetings. Reason is a libertarian magazine that features great commentary and analysis on the pressing issues of our day. Enjoy: To ban or not to ban, […]

FL: A ‘pro-business’ legislature isn’t necessarily pro-market

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — As Florida’s state lawmakers head back to Tallahassee this week to begin committee sessions that will largely determine the Legislature’s agenda for next year, all eyes are on House Speaker Will Weatherford. The 32 year old Republican businessman will be sworn in on Tuesday as the first House speaker […]

FL: Florida officials aim to outlaw cell phones at wheel, public meetings

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG ─ To ban or not to ban, that is the question. Throughout the state of Florida, lawmakers and citizens’ groups are casting their ire on cell phones, demanding the government step in and ensure safety and transparency in one fell swoop. In one case is a proposal to […]

OSSOWSKI: Puerto Rican statehood could be GOP’s redemption

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — If the Republican Party is looking revitalize public sentiment and renew popular support for its platform and policies, a perfect opportunity can be found on a tiny island in the Atlantic Ocean. Just more than 1,000 miles south of Miami on the “island of enchantment,” the commonwealth of Puerto […]

OSSOWSKI: GOP’s rejection of social liberty lost the election

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — Devotees of the Republican Party will spend the next several months testing various theories of why their candidate Mitt Romney lost to incumbent President Barack Obama in the 2012 general election. Inevitably, some of the blame will be placed upon formerNew Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate who pulled close to 50,000 votes […]

FL: Democratic gains in Congress leave state politically disjointed

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — Florida Republican Gov. Rick Scott had little reason to worry as the election results were tabulated. His party’s presidential candidate may have lost, but Scott is confident that he will have a Republican-controlled House and Senate for another two years, allowing him to continue his agenda as the self-appointed “jobs governor.” With a few […]

FL: Early voting becomes political weapon in last hours of election fight

By Yaël Ossowski | Florida Watchdog ST. PETERSBURG — Though in-person early voting has been only a novelty in Florida elections since 2004, organized groups statewide have taken up the issue as their last chance of winning the election in the final hours. Reports of long lines and excessive wait times have flamed up concerns for party […]