Author

Laura Cassels

Laura Cassels

Laura Cassels is a reporter, former statehouse bureau chief, and former city editor. She is a classical pianist, a Florida State University graduate and proud alum of the Florida Flambeau, an independent college newspaper. Contact her at [email protected]

FL Congresswoman on House Homeland Security panel: I ‘haven’t watched any’ Jan. 6 hearings

By: - July 22, 2022

Twelve Florida Republican members of Congress voted against certifying that Democrat Joe Biden won the 2020 presidential election, hours after supporters of former president Donald Trump stormed the nation’s Capitol in a failed bid to block the transfer of power. By early Friday, only two of those had commented on Thursday night’s prime-time public hearing […]

Report: FL leads clean-energy growth in Southeast, but power industry must do more

By: - July 20, 2022

Power companies’ pursuit of solar energy in Florida is outpacing efforts in other Southern states, and Florida Power and Light’s “Real Zero” plan to slash its climate-altering carbon emissions sets a new high bar, according to the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy (SACE). Florida far surpasses six other states in the number of solar panels […]

Dem Gov. Pritzker: FL’s DeSantis is Trump in a mask and GOP likes white extremism

By: - July 17, 2022

Illinois’ Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivered a blistering speech in Tampa Saturday equating Florida’s Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis with former president Donald Trump and condemning him for doing more to “protect” Floridians from LGBTQ children and immigrants than from white nationalism and gun violence. As keynote speaker at the Florida Democratic Party’s annual leadership conference, […]

DeVos

Betsy DeVos calls for abolition of federal Education Department she once led

By: - July 16, 2022

Former U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, appointed by former president Donald Trump, told conservative activists in Tampa Saturday that the federal Education Department should be abolished, leaving education decisions to state and local boards. “I personally think the Department of Education should not exist,” said DeVos, author of a recent book called “Hostages No […]

FL Attorney General Moody mum on abortion at ‘Moms’ summit as pro-choice protesters shout outside

By: - July 16, 2022

TAMPA — Republican Attorney General Ashley Moody railed Saturday in Tampa about radical “programming of our children,” COVID lockdowns, censorship by Big Tech, lack of enforcement of border laws, and her work to oppose a COVID vaccine mandate in federal government. But with pro-choice demonstrators gathered on a corner near the Marriott Water Street, where […]

DeSantis calls on conservative ‘Moms’ at national summit to fight ‘leftist’ agenda

By: - July 15, 2022

TAMPA — Claiming that Florida schools are undergoing “leftist indoctrination,” a “leftist agenda,” and “sexualization of children,” Gov. Ron DeSantis called on hundreds of members of “Moms For Liberty,” gathered in Tampa Friday, to fight. “You’ve got to stand up and you’ve got to fight,” DeSantis said in a keynote speech to the conservative, nearly […]

Conservative ‘Moms For Liberty’ activists and FL Democrats gather at summits in Tampa

By: - July 14, 2022

Florida’s homegrown “Moms For Liberty” activist group, growing as a national force for conservative politics, especially education politics, convenes this weekend in a Tampa hotel for a summit featuring prominent Florida Republicans and former members of Donald Trump’s administration. In a hotel next door, Florida Democrats will gather for “Leadership Blue 2022” to strategize on […]

Florida’s Mary McLeod Bethune immortalized in U.S. Capitol as symbol of justice

By: - July 13, 2022

In Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol, a marble sculpture of Floridian Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune now stands, replacing the likeness of a Confederate general with that of a Black educator, a daughter of enslaved people, who became a counselor to U.S. presidents. “Dr. Bethune epitomizes the values we hold dear: industriousness, thirst for […]

FL’s Rep. Murphy: Trump tricked and inflamed his followers to attack the Capitol

By: - July 12, 2022

U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida, co-leading the seventh hearing of the congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the nation’s Capitol, said Tuesday former President Donald Trump deceived, summoned, and inflamed his followers in a battle to stay in power despite losing his re-election bid. The committee went on to present evidence of […]

Jan. 6 attack: Congresswoman Murphy to co-lead hearing Tuesday about extremists

By: - July 11, 2022

When U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy of Florida co-leads Tuesday’s public hearing about the role of paramilitary groups in attacking the nation’s Capitol, she likely will view evidence of the violence not only as an investigator but also personally. One year ago, while speaking to law enforcement officers who testified about the battle they waged with […]

In national roundtable with VP Harris, state Rep. Driskell condemns FL abortion ban

By: and - July 8, 2022

WASHINGTON — Vice President Kamala Harris met Friday with Democratic state legislators from Indiana, Florida, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Montana to discuss ways to protect reproductive rights. “The U.S. Supreme Court took away a constitutional right,” Harris said, adding that the overturning of Roe v. Wade poses one of the most challenging and troubling issues […]

FL prisons propose cutting visitation of inmates, cite chronic staffing shortages

By: - July 8, 2022

Florida’s state-run prisons would be allowed to cut visitation with inmates in half to mirror staffing shortages under new rules proposed this week by the state Department of Corrections. Advocates for inmates and their families object, saying visitation is a boon to inmate behavior and helps maintain family ties critical for the success of inmates […]