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Steve Bousquet, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

Steve Bousquet

Steve Bousquet is the Tampa Bay Times' Tallahassee bureau chief. He joined the Times in 2001 after 17 years at the Miami Herald, where he held a variety of positions including Tallahassee bureau chief, and he previously was a reporter at TV stations in Miami and Providence, R.I. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Rhode Island and a master's in history from Florida State University.

Bousquet was a contributor to two editions of The Almanac of Florida Politics and to The Miami Herald Report: Democracy Held Hostage, an account of the 2000 presidential recount in Florida.

Phone: (850) 224-7263

Email: sbousquet@tampabay.com

Twitter: @SteveBousquet

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  1. Florida doesn't make it easy for those wishing to regain their vote

    Blog

    Adam McCracken has a Ph.D., practices psychology in Orlando and is married with two sons.

    But for 25 years, the state of Florida said he couldn't be a full-fledged citizen because of a long-ago drug conviction.

    McCracken served 10 months in a federal prison and five years on probation for possession with intent to distribute LSD.

    It was a serious mistake. It happened in 1991. He was 21....

    Gov. Rick Scott listens to Attorney General Pam Bondi. Both serve on the state Board of Executive Clemency, which restores, or more often doesn't, the civil rights of those convicted of a felony after they serve out their sentences.
  2. Richard Corcoran hires consultants who did Trump's TV ads

    Blog

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran's Watchdog PAC has hired Jamestown Associates, the Philadelphia-based Republican media firm that shaped Donald Trump's TV ad campaign against Hillary Clinton in 2016.

    The firm's CEO, Larry Weitzner, and Barney Keller will provide strategic advice to Corcoran as he considers a possible run for governor of Florida next year. They will join with the Fort Lauderdale-based pollster Tony Fabrizio, who has advised Gov. Rick Scott in addition to a long list of GOP candidates around the country. Adding Jamestown Associates is likely to accomplish the obvious goal of generating more buzz about Corcoran's political plans....

    Richard Corcoran
  3. Florida's silent civil rights struggle: Thousands wait decades to regain the right to vote

    Perspective

    TALLAHASSEE — Adam McCracken has a Ph.D., practices psychology in Orlando and is married with two sons.

    But for 25 years, the state of Florida said he couldn't be a full-fledged citizen because of a long-ago drug conviction.

    McCracken served 10 months in a federal prison and five years on probation for possession with intent to distribute LSD.

    It was a serious mistake. It happened in 1991. He was 21....

    Jorge Zubizarreta, 50, a Miami real estate broker, said he has been trying to get his civil rights restored for 12 years. [STEVE BOUSQUET | Times]
  4. Pam Bondi settles tolls complaint against Avis, Budget and Payless

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Attorney General Pam Bondi on Tuesday announced an out-of-court settlement with three major rental car companies that were targeted by consumers being charged excessive fees at "cashless" toll booths in Florida .

    Bondi said Avis, which also owns Budget and Payless rental car companies, have agreed to "clearly and conspicuously" disclose that it charges customers $3.95 a day to consumers who rent their cars and who encounter toll booths that allow only electronic payments. An announcement from Bondi's office said the three companies also must disclose on their web sites and in online reservation paths and at the rental car counter the fee and how consumers can avoid it....

    Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi. [AP Photo | Steve Cannon]
  5. Pam Bondi settles consumer complaints against 3 rental car firms

    Blog

    Attorney General Pam Bondi on Tuesday announced an out-of-court settlement with three major rental car companies that were targets of complaints by consumers about being charged excessive fees at "cashless" toll booths in Florida.

    Bondi said Avis, which also owns Budget and Payless rental car companies, have agreed to "clearly and conspicuously" disclose that they charge $3.95 a day to consumers who rent their cars and who encounter toll booths that allow only electronic payments. An announcement from Bondi's office said the three companies also must disclose on their web sites and in online reservation paths and at the rental car counter the fee and how consumers can avoid it....

  6. Lawmakers blast Brevard move to fight Puerto Rico statehood

    Blog

    Four state House members, two Republicans and two Democrats, are fighting a symbolic effort by the Brevard County Commission to oppose statehood for Puerto Rico.

    They are Republican Reps. Bob Cortes of Altamonte Springs and Rene "Coach" Plasencia of Orlando, and Democrats John Cortes of Kissimmee and Shevrin Jones of West Park in Broward County. In their letter to the county commission, all four identify themselves as being of Puerto Rican descent and say the county's proposal is unnecessary, improper and counter-productive. (Only Plasencia represents part of Brevard)....

    Rep. Bob Cortes, R-Altamonte Springs
  7. Murderers leave Florida's death row after Hurst ruling; system 'a mess,' expert says

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — The full impact of a historic U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Florida's death penalty system is finally emerging as the state's death row population is smaller than it was more than a decade ago, and will keep shrinking for a long time.

    Florida has not executed a death row inmate in 18 months. No inmates haves been sent to death row in more than a year, a sign that prosecutors are not trying as many first-degree murder cases because of uncertainties in the sentencing system....

    The execution chamber at Florida State Prison. [Florida Department of Corrections]
  8. Jimmy Patronis sworn in as Florida's new chief financial officer

    Blog

    TALLAHASSEE -- Jimmy Patronis took the oath of office Friday morning as Florida's new chief financial officer in Gov. Rick Scott's Capitol office. As Scott looked on, Chief Justice Jorge Labarga of the Florida Supreme Court administered the oath of office.

    Calling the appointment "an incredible honor," Patronis, 45, was accompanied by his wife, Katie, and their two sons, Theo and Johnny. A Panama City restaurateur, former Republican state House member and former member of the Public Service Commission, Patronis becomes the state's fourth CFO. He succeeds Jeff Atwater, who resigned after six-and-a-half years in office to take a senior administrative position at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton....

  9. Gunning for governor, Adam Putnam drops by Clearwater for a 'special' announcement

    State Roundup

    CLEARWATER — Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, the leading Republican candidate for governor, announced on Thursday a $5 fee cut for concealed weapons licenses and renewals.

    "It is a commitment of mine that we continue to protect, strengthen and expand our Second Amendment rights," Putnam said Thursday while visiting the Pinellas County Tax Collector's office, asserting at least four times that the fee reduction supported Second Amendment rights....

    Pinellas Tax Collector Charles W. Thomas, left, listens to gubernatorial candidate and Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam talk about the concealed weapons fee change.
  10. Florida's death row population lower today than it was in 2005

    Blog

    With Florida's death penalty laws under sustained attack in the courts, the state has not executed an inmate in 18 months, and the number of inmates on death row keeps dropping.

    Florida's death row population is now at its lowest level in more than a decade as courts continue to vacate death sentences and order new sentencings for convicted killers, in most cases as a direct result of the precedent-setting Timothy Hurst case that struck down the state's death penalty sentencing system as unconstitutional....

    The execution chamber at Florida State Prison
  11. Adam Putnam to tout lower weapons fee, before tax collectors

    Blog

    Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, the leading Republican candidate for governor, is in Clearwater on Thursday for a "major announcement" with Pinellas County Tax Collector Charles Thomas.

    The news is that Putnam, working with the state Legislature, got a reduction in the fee to apply for a concealed weapons license or a renewal license, and it's a piece of news that Putnam's office wanted to announce first....

    Adam Putnam
  12. Tom Lee for CFO against Jimmy Patronis? Some pros and cons

    Blog

    When Gov. Rick Scott appeared in Tampa Monday with his newly appointed chief financial officer, Jimmy Patronis, the crowd welcoming them included Republican Sen. Tom Lee, whose interest in a possible second candidacy for the Cabinet post has been well-known for a long time.

    "I got a chance to congratulate him, which is something I thought I should do," Lee told the Times/Herald. "I'm happy for him. It's a real honor to be appointed by the governor. But as to all of the speculation, I'm going to defer to another day."...

    Senator Tom Lee, R-Thonotosassa
  13. Aramis Ayala defends stance against death penalty: 'I did what I believe was proper'

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Orlando prosecutor Aramis Ayala on Wednesday defended her "absolute discretion" to never seek the death penalty in murder cases, as skeptical justices of the Florida Supreme Court bombarded her lawyer with sharp questions.

    Ayala claims that Gov. Rick Scott violated state law when he transferred two dozen murder cases to another prosecutor, and she wants the court to return the cases to her office....

    Gov. Rick Scott reassigned 23 felony cases after Orlando prosecutor said she refused to pursue the death penalty. [AP Photo | Steve Cannon]
  14. Fight between Rick Scott and Aramis Ayala heads to high court

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott and Orlando prosecutor Aramis Ayala square off Wednesday before the Florida Supreme Court in a high-profile case being watched nationally that could have implications for the 2018 elections.

    Ayala demands that Scott show by what authority he stripped the elected Orange-Osceola state attorney of nearly two dozen felony cases after she said she would not seek the death penalty for an accused cop killer. Scott argues in court papers that under state law, he can reassign cases for any "good and sufficient reason (that) he determines that the ends of justice would be best served."...

  15. Rick Scott appoints longtime ally Jimmy Patronis as Florida CFO

    State Roundup

    PANAMA CITY — Gov. Rick Scott on Monday picked close friend and supporter Jimmy Patronis to be Florida's next chief financial officer, a lucrative prize for loyalty that casts new light on Patronis' pro-business votes as a legislator and his support for higher electricity costs as a regulator.

    Patronis, 45, is a former Republican House member from Panama City with deep Panhandle roots who has been a Scott appointee to the Public Service Commission for the past 18 months. Scott also gave Patronis a plum position on the Constitution Revision Commission, but the new CFO will leave both of those posts....

    Rick Scott appoints Jimmy Patronis (background) as CFO. [STEVE BOUSQUET | Tampa Bay Times]