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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. Before budget ax fell, Visit Florida executives ran up hefty travel bills

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott's tourism chiefs at Visit Florida spend a lot of public money taking trips to exotic places to promote Florida as a top worldwide destination.

    Four former top-level staff members at the state's tourism promotion and its current top executive spent a combined $150,000 on travel in the past 14 months, at a time when Visit Florida was under scrutiny by the Legislature for questionable spending, including a hidden $1 million deal with the rapper Pitbull, whose suggestive video for the song Sexy Beaches helped cost Visit Florida's former chief executive his job....

    Florida Governor Rick Scott, left, and Ken Lawson, the CEO of Visit Florida, back in March. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  2. Latvala's accusers remain anonymous

    State Roundup

    As women across the country come forward and publicly call out sexual harassers, accusers in the Sunshine State have remained in the shade.

    At least six women have alleged that they are victims of sexual harassment by state Sen. Jack Latvala, the Clearwater Republican who stepped down as head of the budget committee until a Senate investigation is complete. The women agreed to talk to Politico Florida but refused to be identified....

    Stephen Bittel, chairman of the Florida Democratic Party.
  3. Gov. Rick Scott calls Jack Latvala controversy 'disgusting'

    News

    Gov. Rick Scott addressed the Jack Latvala controversy for the first time Monday, telling reporters in Fort Myers that what he has seen in news reports is "disgusting."

    In Fort Myers for a tax-cut event, Scott, without prompting from reporters, said: "That's disgusting," but he did not mention Latvala by name.

    Referring to his wife Ann and his two daughters, the governor said: "I would be horrified if they were treated (like that). It's disgusting if anybody does that. There's an independent investigation and we need to follow that and find out the real facts of what actually happened."...

    Senate budget chairman Senator Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater. [SCOTT KEELER | Tampa Bay Times]
  4. Code of silence is breaking on Tallahassee's sex secrets

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — For decades, sex has been a tool and a toy for the politically powerful in the male-dominated world of politics in Florida's capital. Now it's a weapon.

    Allegations of sexual assault, harassment and infidelity among the state's legislators flew like shrapnel from a bomb blast in recent weeks, destroying much of the trust left in a Republican-controlled Legislature and replacing it with suspicion and finger pointing....

    Sen. Jack Latvala says he’ll disprove women’s accusations.
  5. Code of silence is breaking on Tallahassee's sex secrets

    News

    For decades, sex has been a tool and a toy for the politically powerful in the male-dominated world of politics in Florida's capital. Now it's a weapon.

    Allegations of sexual assault, harassment and infidelity among the state's legislators flew like shrapnel from a bomb blast in recent weeks, destroying much of the trust left in a Republican-controlled Legislature and replacing it with suspicion and finger pointing....

    Florida Capitol looking east, Tallahassee.  FOR FILE.
  6. Jack Latvala on sexual harassment allegations: "I'm going to clear my name"

    Politics

    Florida Senate President Joe Negron ordered an internal investigation Friday of sexual harassment allegations made by six unnamed women who accused Sen. Jack Latvala of groping and inappropriate touching.

    "There has been a news report alleging that members of the Senate professional staff and visitors to the Senate offices were sexually assaulted,'' Negron said in a statement. "These allegations are atrocious and horrendous. As Senate President, my first priority is the safety of our staff and visitors. I have ordered an immediate investigation of these allegations, which will be led by our Senate general counsel, Dawn Roberts."...

    Senate budget chairman Senator Jack Latvala, R- Clearwater, talks about budget negotiations, Thursday, 5/4/17, in Tallahassee.
  7. Missed deadlines nothing new for Rick Scott's disaster agency

    News

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott's disaster management agency repeatedly violated federal requirements to reimburse Florida cities and counties for the cost of storm damage in a timely manner, agency auditors discovered in routine reviews.

    The inspector general in the Division of Emergency Management cited "preventable delays" in paying cities, counties, school districts, hospitals and even state agencies for the cost of recovery from past floods, tornadoes and hurricanes....

    Debris from damage caused by Hurricane Matthew piles up Oct. 8, 2016, in Vilano Beach in St. Johns County. Matthew hit the east coast of Florida more than a month after Hurricane Hermine and left a long trail of recovery costs unpaid by the state.
  8. Missed deadlines nothing new for Rick Scott's disaster agency

    State Roundup

    Gov. Rick Scott's disaster management agency repeatedly violated federal requirements to expeditiously reimburse cities and counties in Florida for the cost of storm damage, agency auditors discovered in routine reviews.

    The inspector general in the Division of Emergency Management cited "preventable delays" in paying cities, counties, school districts, hospitals and even state agencies for the cost of recovery from past floods, tornadoes and hurricanes....

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott, shown here in July 2016 at a Fort Myers news conference. [Associated Press]
  9. Power struggle: Utilities' big-money donations become issue in race for governor

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — The 2018 race for governor will be about power -- not just political power, but electric power, and the vast political contributions donated by Florida utility companies.

    The front-runner for the Republican nomination for governor, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam, has raised nearly $17 million so far, thanks in part to generous support from the state's biggest utilities, including Florida Power & Light and Duke Energy....

    Scott Crellin, a trouble man for Duke Energy, works to cut tree limbs from a Tarpon Springs power line after Hurricane Irma. The utility's problems with getting power restored after the storm, and it's contributions to Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam's campaign for governor, have become an issue in the governor's race. [CHRIS URSO  |   Times]
  10. Florida governor declares state of emergency before white nationalist Richard Spencer's speech

    Public Safety

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Monday declared a state of emergency in Alachua County, three days ahead of a scheduled speech at the University of Florida campus by the white nationalist Richard Spencer.

    Scott has issued such declarations ahead of hurricanes and after tragedies, but this is thought to be the first time he has taken such an action ahead of a planned event.

    Spencer's advocacy of a "white ethno-state" has mobilized his alt-right supporters and his many detractors who call him a racist. At past speeches, those camps have sparred, sometimes devolving into street brawls and arrests — most notably in Charlottesville, Va....

    FILE - In this Dec. 6, 2016 file photo, Richard Spence speaks at the Texas A&M University campus in College Station, Texas. Spencer is scheduled to speak at the University of Florida. [Associated Press]
  11. A year after Hurricane Matthew, counties ask Rick Scott: Where's our money?

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — After Hurricane Irma ravaged Florida, an impatient Gov. Rick Scott ordered counties to remove debris, reopen roads and restore normalcy as fast as possible.

    Yet as the costs of Irma's Category 4 fury are still being calculated, North Florida cities and counties hammered by Hurricane Matthew a year ago are still waiting to be paid for the cost of debris removal, road repair and police overtime....

    Flagler County in Northeast Florida experienced severe flooding after Hurricane Matthew struck in October 2016. [Flagler County]
  12. Yes, Florida's pool of voters is shrinking. Here's why.

    Legislature

    TALLAHASSEE — Even as Florida attracts hundreds of new residents every day, the state's pool of active voters is actually shrinking.

    This paradox is easily explained. All 67 counties must periodically scrub the voter roll to make it more accurate and to be sure voters live where they say. Counties can't do that close to an election, so they do it in non-election years.

    Turns out, that's good news for Republicans and bad news for Democrats....

    The voter roll expands in presidential election years, then shrinks.
  13. Two days before his execution, a convicted killer speaks out

    State Roundup

    STARKE — Two days before his scheduled execution, Michael Lambrix decided he won't go quietly — not after 34 years on death row.

    For an hour at Florida State Prison on Tuesday, the convicted murderer talked of life and death, his last meal and his upcoming funeral, and criticized a court system that he has long claimed ignored evidence that might spare his life in the deaths of Clarence Moore and Aleisha Bryant in 1983....

    This is an undated photo of convicted killer Michael Lambrix taken from his online blog.  In 1984 Lambrix was sentenced to death for the murders of Aleisha Bryant and Clarence Moore Jr. in rural Glades county.  He was scheduled to die in February 2016 but his execution was put on hold after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Florida's death penalty system is unconstitutional. [Special to the Times]
  14. Scott says Florida stands ready to help Puerto Rico, but some see a weak effort so far

    Legislature

    WASHINGTON — A day after he saw Hurricane Maria's terrible toll on Puerto Rico, Gov. Rick Scott told President Trump about it over lunch at the White House Friday as frustration mounted over the official response.

    Scott's six-hour tour Thursday was dismissed as a photo opportunity by state Sen. Victor Torres, a Democrat whose Orlando-area district will soon welcome tens of thousands of hurricane evacuees....

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott flies in a helicopter on Thursday with Gov. Ricardo Rossello of Puerto Rico during Scott's visit to the island after Hurricane Maria. [Florida Governor's Office]
  15. Rick Scott announces support for new legislation, $50 million to fight opioid crisis

    State Roundup

    Gov. Rick Scott announced Tuesday that he is calling for a series of new proposals to fight the opioid epidemic in Florida, including $50 million in new funding.

    "We've got to do more education of our prescribers. We've got to help our substance abuse centers. We've got to help law enforcement," Scott said.

    The new $50 million would go toward drug treatment, counseling and the Florida Violent Crime and Drug Control Council, which recommends initiatives to fight major crimes....

    Gov. Rick Scott announced on Sept. 26, 2017, that he is calling for a series of new proposals to fight the opioid epidemic in Florida, including $50 million in new funding. [Associated Press file photo]