Florida Five: Alan Grayson’s ‘House of Cards’-style divorce, ‘Climate change’ banned at Fla. DEP

Five of today’s top Florida political stories at your fingertips:

Rep. Alan Grayson, D-Fla.

Florida Rep. Alan Grayson to argue that estranged wife committed bigamy — An outspoken liberal congressman from Florida will argue in court Monday that his 24-year marriage should be annulled because his estranged wife committed bigamy, the opening salvo in an acrimonious divorce case a judge likened to an episode of the TV series “House of Cards.” Rep. Alan Grayson says his wife, Lolita, was still married to Robert Carson when she and the multimillionaire congressman married in 1990 in Virginia. Grayson, a Democrat and highly successful trial lawyer, said the marriage to Carson wasn’t dissolved until 1994 in Broward County. Read more

Florida officials banned term ‘climate change,’ state employees say – Former employees from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection say they were ordered to avoid using terms such as “climate change” in official reports, emails and other communications following the appointment of a new DEP director by Gov. Rick Scott. Four former DEP employees told the Miami Herald that the policy was unwritten but verbally distributed across the state in 2011, when the Republican governor appointed Herschel Vinyard Jr. as the DEP’s director. Read more

Bush in talks with Amazon about e-book about his e-mails – Jeb Bush is in discussions with e-commerce giant Amazon.com for the company to serve as the primary outlet for his forthcoming book on his time as Florida governor, according to aides familiar with the talks. Bush has already published the first chapter of his book on a personal Web site, www.jebbushemails.com, and is in the process of completing the rest of the book, which mixes a narrative about his time as governor with the self-selected verbatim publication of e-mails to and from him, his aides and constituents. Read more

Online voter registration gains momentum in Florida – Florida would become the 25th state to allow people to register to vote online under one of a series of voting proposals awaiting consideration by the Legislature. It’s an idea Democrats have pushed for years without success. Now Republicans are also supporting it — but only after the 2016 presidential election. Twenty states now allow online registration, including Georgia, South Carolina and Louisiana. Four more have passed laws to implement it, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Read more

Uber, Lyft and other car services may get help from lawmakers – Legislative efforts to help Uber already have begun in earnest in the Capitol, with bills filed in both chambers for the smartphone app-based car service. State Sen. Jeff Brandes, a St. Petersburg Republican, this year filed a bill setting statewide standards on insurance coverage and background checks. That would clear the way for Uber, and similar upstarts like Lyft, to break free of some local regulation. Previous pro-Uber bills failed last year. Another bill in the House goes even further, totally reserving regulation to the state and cutting out local bodies, such as the Hillsborough County Public Transportation Commission or PTC. Read more

BONUS: Mysterious Florida sculptures may be 1,000 years old

For more Florida political news, visit BPR’s FLORIDA NEWS page


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