Michael Moline

Michael Moline

Michael Moline has covered politics and the legal system for more than 30 years. He is a former managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal and former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal.

Ag Commissioner Nikki Fried continues fight over FL Office of Energy

By: - February 21, 2020

Nikki Fried, Florida’s only statewide-elected Democratic Cabinet member, is continuing her campaign to retain control of the Florida Office of Energy, even though legislation to wrest the agency from her grasp has already passed the Florida House. Commissioner of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Fried held a news conference in Oakland Park in Broward County to […]

Federal appeals court sides with ex-felons on enforcing voter rights

By: - February 19, 2020

A federal appeals court has rejected Gov. Ron DeSantis’ defense of a state law that blocks ex-felons from voting unless they have paid all court-ordered fines, fees, and restitution. A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, in an unsigned opinion published Wednesday, said the law unfairly punishes people merely […]

FL woman, man, among President Trump’s clemency recipients

By: - February 18, 2020

Rod Blagojevich and Michael Milken – respectively, the former governor of Illinois and the fallen financier – were the headliners among the 11 people granted clemency or full pardons Tuesday by President Trump, but a pair of Floridians also benefited. Ariel Friedler of Miami, founder and former chief executive of Symplicity Corp., secured a full […]

Floridians have until Tuesday to register to vote in presidential primaries

By: - February 17, 2020

Still haven’t registered to vote in Florida’s presidential preference primaries, or change your party affiliation? You’d better get a move on – the deadline falls tomorrow. Both the Florida Democratic Party and the Republican Party of Florida have been running voter-registration drives in anticipation of the primaries, scheduled for March 17, and general election, on […]

Time’s running out to register to vote in Florida’s presidential primaries

By: - February 13, 2020

With the deadline to register to vote in Florida’s presidential preference primary elections fast approaching, Republicans and Democrats alike are rushing to sign up new voters. The registration deadline is next Tuesday, Feb. 18. The primaries are scheduled for March 17 and the general election on Nov. 3. Here’s the Florida Division of Elections webpage […]

PAC report: Business lobby shares its wealth with Florida Cabinet members

By: - February 11, 2020

Political committees linked to the Associated Industries of Florida shared their considerable resources among members of the Florida Cabinet during January, contributing big checks to committees benefiting the two Republicans on the panel as well as the lone Democrat. The largest gift to Florida Consumers First, which raises money for that Democrat, Commissioner of Agriculture […]

Florida Capitol

Bill would end tenure of long-time public advocate on utilities with major rate cases on the horizon

By: - February 10, 2020

Legislation that would force out veteran Public Counsel J.R. Kelly, who represents ordinary utility customers before the Florida Public Service Commission, passed its first committee test Monday on the strength of a lopsided Republican vote. The bill (SPB 7052) would limit public advocates to as many as three four-year terms – 12 years total – […]

Appeal court sustains Florida House’s subpoena of Visit Florida’s ‘Emeril’ contract

By: - February 7, 2020

A state appeal court has handed a victory to the Florida House in a dispute over financial records kept by the company that produced the “Emeril’s Florida” cooking show under contract with Visit Florida, the state’s tourism promotion arm. The outcome could strengthen the House’s hand in the continuing drama over Visit Florida. That chamber […]

Amid uncertainty over felon voting rights, elections supervisor says: ‘Come get registered’

By: - February 7, 2020

The first vote-by-mail ballots in Florida’s March 17 presidential preference primary are on their way to registered voters amid continued uncertainty about the rights of former felons under a constitutional amendment that was supposed to ensure their right to participate. There’s no telling when the courts will settle the matter. And the Legislature is unlikely […]

PAC report: Friends of Ron DeSantis brings in $725k-plus during January

By: - February 6, 2020

Gov. Ron DeSantis’ political committee raised more than $725,000 to open 2020, with contributions from a billionaire hedge fund manager, the Orlando Magic basketball franchise, Publix Super Markets, and assorted real estate and development companies. Paul Tudor Jones II of Tudor Investment Corp., whose net worth exceeds $5 billion, kicked in $125,000 to the Friends […]

Slap-down against Democrat Ag Commissioner Nikki Fried: GOP votes to take away her energy office

By: - February 5, 2020

The Republican-controlled budget committee in the Florida House voted Wednesday to wrest control of the state Office of Energy away from the state’s lone statewide elected Democrat, Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried. Instead, the Office of Energy would be overseen by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Republican-dominated state Cabinet. The same committee also voted to […]

Appeal court: Child’s death was grave enough to warrant trial by full, 12-member jury

By: - February 4, 2020

A defendant on trial for the alleged first-degree felony murder of his five-month-old son was entitled to a 12-member jury instead of a six-member panel, even though the death penalty was off the table, an intermediate state appeal court ruled Tuesday. Criminal defendants enjoy a constitutional right to a jury trial, and state law specifies […]