Steve Contorno Profile picture
Political editor for @TB_Times. Writer of The Buzz newsletter. Covering power, politics & influence in the Sunshine State. Signal: 8134383481. DMs = open.
16 Oct
I’m at St. Petersburg College where Jill Biden will hold a “drive-in” rally with supporters. It’s her first visit to the area since the pandemic started (it’s also one of if not THE last place she campaigned before the pandemic began during the Democratic primary).
Here’s what the scene looks like at Jill Biden’s event. About 50 cars are here for the 6:40 event. They’re expecting about 200.
Event begins with reminder to wear masks and remain socially distanced.

St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman is first at the mic, who mentions how unusual the set up is for a campaign rally. "You gotta admit, this is pretty cool, isn't it."
Read 23 tweets
16 Oct
"In 2016, two preschool girls said their Sarasota County foster father molested them. The state sent him 13 more children, stopping only when a third toddler reported that the 64-year-old had forced her to put his penis in her mouth."

"In reaction to one USA TODAY records request, DCF officials pressed legislators to pass a law making foster parent names secret from the public – an effort that ultimately failed."

Also horrifying but not entirely surprising.
Gov. DeSantis' DCF chief blames privatization of Florida foster care under Gov. Bush for "a fractured system that is not appropriately resourced, lacks bandwidth for increases in children in care and is not performance-driven."

When does this NOT happen w privatization of govt?
Read 5 tweets
2 Jul
I’m at USF Health in downtown Tampa where Vice President Mike Pence and Gov. Ron DeSantis will address reporters after discussing the state’s coronavirus response. The meeting comes on a record-breaking day in Florida with 10,000 new positive cases and rising rate of death.
Just got word that the motorcade has left Tampa International Airport and is on its way toward us. Pence and DeSantis will meet with doctors and hospital officials here and then speak with reporters for 35-40 minutes, we're told.
Pence and DeSantis briefly spoke with pool reporters before their meeting. @KirbyWTweets has some of the details:

Read 24 tweets
6 Dec 18
A new review of Florida's concealed weapons program has found more problems and more licenses issued erroneously . Here are some the findings:

1. Adam Putnam gave inaccurate information to the public about the scope of the problem & never corrected it.…
Putnam's agency discovered a massive breach in background checks while state auditors were reviewing his concealed weapons program and NEVER TOLD THE AUDITORS about the problem.…
The first time state auditors learned about the background check problems in concealed weapons was in June of this year, i.e. when the @TB_Times first reported on the investigation. This was more than a year after they started auditing the agency.…
Read 8 tweets