Florida Five: Privacy laws threaten police body cameras, GOP could flip congressional seat

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

Police body camera FL
Photo credit: Elizabeth Behrman, TBO.com

Police body cameras could conflict with Florida’s public records law – In another example of the unintended consequences of new technology, the use of body cameras on law enforcement officers is on a collision course with the state’s public records law. At issue: Who should be able to watch what the miniature cameras record? This legislative session, one lawmaker filed a bill creating what he thought were common-sense exceptions to Florida’s broad disclosure statute for public records, which would encompass body-cam recordings. Read more

Patrick Murphy 2
Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla.

Murphy’s Senate bid gives GOP a golden opportunity to flip congressional seat – Patrick Murphy might give Republicans fits if he runs for the Senate in 2016, but in so doing, he would also give the GOP an opportunity to pick up a congressional seat. Republicans outnumber Democrats slightly in the district but Murphy has proven a very capable candidate. In 2012, Allen West helped Murphy considerably by not doing much grassroots campaigning and jetting off in the final weeks of the campaign to help Republicans in other states. Read more

Lawmakers propose more than 50 exceptions to state transparency laws — Amid a lawsuit alleging state leaders violated the Sunshine Law in firing Florida’s top law enforcement officer, lawmakers in the Capitol are considering more than 50 proposals to limit Floridians’ access to public records. Bills filed for the session that began this month could make it harder for members of the public to obtain email addresses from government agencies, surveillance video from public buildings and records from presidential searches at state universities. Read more

Marco Rubio and the experience question– Last summer, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio quietly visited the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library in Boston, and as he walked around, he probably felt the youthful optimism and maybe a shade of commonality. The Florida Republican is on the brink of announcing a presidential campaign that would project the same transformational appeal as Kennedy, the youngest ever elected to the office at 43 and the first Catholic. But for Rubio, who would be the first Hispanic and only 45, a more obvious and problematic comparison arises. Like Barack Obama as a candidate, Rubio is a first-term senator who lacks sweeping accomplishments and is known as much as anything for his powerful rhetorical skill. Read more

Will Florida medical pot debate hurt GOP in 2016 race? – The unlikely pitch from medical marijuana legalization advocates to conservatives who control the Florida Legislature goes like this: Pass a law now — or risk hurting the GOP presidential candidate by having a referendum on the 2016 ballot. A constitutional amendment would draw to the polls the younger, more liberal voters more likely to support medical pot, proponents say, helping the eventual Democratic nominee in the nation’s largest swing state — possibly over Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio, both homegrown Republicans. Read more

Awesome bonus video: River O’Green in Tampa

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