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Mary Ellen Klas, Times/Herald Tallahassee Bureau

Mary Ellen Klas

Mary Ellen Klas is capital bureau chief for the Miami Herald and co-bureau chief of the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald Tallahassee Bureau. She is a graduate of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, and a graduate of the University of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minn. Before she became bureau chief for the Herald in 2004, Mary Ellen was Tallahassee bureau chief for Florida Trend magazine and also served as a senior writer for the Palm Beach Post. She was bureau chief for the Palm Beach Post from 1990-94, after which she worked part time for 10 years while her daughters were young. She is married to John Kennedy, senior writer for the Palm Beach Post's Tallahassee bureau. They have two daughters.

Phone: 850-222-3095

Email: meklas@miamiherald.com

Twitter: @MaryEllenKlas

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  1. What Florida's top Republicans are saying about Donald Trump

    State Roundup

    Republicans nationwide are blasting President Donald Trump for how he responded to Charlottesville.

    From his news conference Saturday where he blamed "many sides" for the violent clashes between white supremacists and protesters to Tuesday's news conference where the president said "both sides" shared the blame, there's been much material for the Party of Lincoln to repudiate....

    U.S. President Donald Trump makes a statement on the violence this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia at the White House on August 14, 2017 in Washington, DC. Heather Heyer, 32, was killed in Charlottesville when a car allegedly driven by James Alex Fields Jr. barreled into a crowd of counter-protesters following violence at the 'Unite the Right' rally. Two Virginia state police troopers were also killed when their helicopter crashed while covering events on the ground. [Getty Images]
  2. Governor and Cabinet reaffirm no state money will go to Venezuela

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet unanimously voted Wednesday to continue to refrain from allowing state investment managers to use Florida funds to invest in companies controlled by the Nicolás Maduro regime or companies that violate federal law by doing business in Venezuela.

    The state currently has no direct investment with the government of Venezuela and the proposal will continue that, but the resolution falls short of a plan initially pitched by Scott that would have required the state to divest its assets in companies that do business with the Maduro regime, including Goldman Sachs....

    Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and his wife, Cilia Flores, wave next to electoral candidates after the first results of the controversial election for a constituent assembly on July 31, 2017, on the Bolivar square in Caracas. Florida officials announced they will continue to refrain from allowing the state to invest in Maduro-controlled companies.
  3. Scott says there's 'no moral equivalency between the two sides'

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott on Wednesday repeated his condemnation of the actions in Charlottesville and indirectly contradicted President Donald Trump, who said Tuesday the people protesting the white supremacists were members of the "alt-left" and also deserved blame.

    "I watched what happened on Saturday and it's disgusting,'' Scott told reporters after the August Cabinet meeting at the state Capitol Wednesday. "It's evil. There's no place in our country for racism, bigotry, the KKK, neonazis, white supremacists. There's no moral equivalency between the two sides....

    Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks to the media as he holds a Venezuelan ‘Freedom Rally’ at El Arepazo 2 restaurant on July 10, 2017 in Doral. Scott called on the Venezuelan government to free Leopoldo Lopez, a political prisoner from house arrest, as well as those that have been wrongly imprisoned by Nicolas Maduro's government. 
  4. Florida Cabinet supports Rick Scott, approves investment prohibitions on Venezuela

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Rick Scott and the Florida Cabinet unanimously voted Wednesday to continue to refrain from allowing state investment managers to use Florida funds to invest in companies controlled by the Nicolás Maduro regime or companies that violate federal law by doing business in Venezuela.

    The state currently has no direct investment with the government of Venezuela and the proposal will continue that, but the resolution falls short of a plan initially pitched by Scott that would have required the state to divest its assets in companies that do business with the Maduro regime, including Goldman Sachs. ...

    Florida Governor Rick Scott interacts with people as he holds a Venezuelan Freedom Rally at El Arepazo 2 restaurant on July 10 in Miam. Governor Scott called on the Venezuelan government to free Leopoldo Lopez, a political prisoner from house arrest, as well as those that have been wrongly imprisoned by Nicolas Maduro's government.  [Joe Raedle | Getty Images]
  5. Rick Scott and Richard Corcoran want to make raising taxes super hard

    News

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott wants to make it harder to increase taxes by changing Florida's Constitution to require a new "supermajority" vote by the state Legislature.

    Scott floated the idea for the first time Monday. He provided few details and his staff said he won't for several weeks.

    It will be debated in the next legislative session in January.

    Scott did not clarify whether a supermajority means three-fifths of both houses of the Legislature, or the higher two-thirds threshold. He will be in Jacksonville today and in Tampa on Friday to promote the tax measure....

    Gov. Rick Scott did not specify what he meant by “superma-jority” of legislators for a tax hike. 


  6. Scott is investing in political talent - outside of Florida

    Blog

    If money is the mother's milk of politics, then Florida Gov. Rick Scott's political committee is providing lots of nourishment to operatives outside of Florida.

    Of the $6.5 million his political committee, Let's Get to Work, has spent since his 2014 re-election, $4.5 million of it went to consultants and services outside of Florida, according to a Herald/Times review of the committee's expenditures since January 2015....

    Rick Scott's chief political strategist, Curt Anderson
  7. How did a $110,000 state job go to someone like this guy?

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Before Gov. Rick Scott named Taylor Teepell to be the finance director of the New Republican super PAC, the governor gave him a $110,000 job in Florida government for which he had no experience.

    For 14 months, the Louisiana native served in a top position in the Department of Economic Opportunity — as head of growth management oversight in Florida. When he left in May, he'd been given a raise — to $116,561 — nearly three times the average state worker salary....

    Taylor Teepell oversaw growth management at the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, even though he had no experience in planning. Before leaving in Febuary, Teepell had a salary of $116,561. [LinkedIn]
  8. Scott's advisor got $110k job with state, even without experience

    Blog

    Before Gov. Rick Scott named Taylor Teepell to be the finance director of the New Republican Super PAC, the governor gave him a $110,000 job in Florida government for which he had no experience.

    For 14 months, the Louisiana native served in a top position in the Department of Economic Opportunity — as head of growth management oversight in Florida. When he left in May, he’d been given a raise — to $116,561— nearly three times the average state worker salary....

    Taylor Teepell
  9. Corcoran's committee cashes in from trial lawyers for a second month

    Blog

    With a second month of fast-paced fundraising, House Speaker Richard Corcoran's newly-formed political committee, Watchdog-PAC, amassed $820,900 in the month of July, fueled in part by large checks from Florida trial lawyers.  

    Corcoran, who is expected to seek the Republican nomination for governor, posted July numbers that exceed those of his two likely primary rivals, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam and Senate Appropriations Chairman Jack Latvala....

    House Speaker Richard Corcoran
  10. Patronis names former Senate President John McKay to Citizens board

    Blog

    Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis has named Bradenton businessman and former Senate President John McKay to the board of governors at Citizens Property Insurance. 

    McKay, 68, president of The Riverside Real Estate Company, will succeed former board member, Juan Cocuy, for a three-year term ending July 31, 2020. The eight-member board oversees the plan of operation of the state-run insurance of last resort. Florida's governor, Senate president, House speaker and CFO each appoint two members to the Board....

    John McKay was named to the Citizens Board of governors on Tuesday.
  11. Mark Silva, longtime newsman, dies of brain cancer

    Blog

    Mark Silva, longtime Tallahassee bureau chief for the Miami Herald who went on to cover the White House for the Chicago Tribune, died early Tuesday at his home in Alexandria, Virginia. He was 63 and recently diagnosed with a brain tumor.

    Silva led the Herald’s capital bureau from the mid-1980s through the 1990s and became the paper’s political editor through the 2000 presidential election, a contest decided only after a pivotal Florida recount that brought the state global fame....

    Mark Silva outside the Miami Herald's former building
  12. South Florida water managers pick insider to be third director in 3 years

    Blog

    The South Florida Water Management District chose its deputy director as the agency’s new chief, replacing a combative insider close to the governor with a career environmental regulator who has spent more than a decade working on Everglades restoration.

    Ernie Marks, who joined the district in March 2016, becomes the third director in three years.

    Marks served as the South Florida regional director for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission for two years and before that oversaw ecosystem projects for the Florida Department of Environmental Protection for a decade. He has a degree in environmental economics and natural resource management from the University of Rhode Island....

    Ernie Marks was named the new executive director of the South Florida Water Management District Monday.
  13. Hopefuls emerge for next So Fla water district director

    Blog

    Who will be the next director of the South Florida Water Management District?

    The board convenes today in a conference call to announce a replacement to outgoing director Pete Antonacci, who was named by Gov. Rick Scott last week to head the embattled Enterprise Florida economic development agency, a lateral move for the governor's former general counsel and loyal supporter....

    The sun rises over the Florida Everglades
  14. Gov. Scott backs off boycott of companies doing business in Venezuela

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott will ask the Florida Cabinet next month to prohibit the state's investment managers from doing something they already do not do: invest in companies or securities owned or controlled by the Venezuelan government.

    The proposed resolution released by the governor's office on Thursday stops short of advancing a bolder threat Scott had been making at public appearances as recently as last week when he vowed to boycott companies that "do business" with the Nicolás Maduro regime....

    Florida Governor Rick Scott interacts with people as he holds a Venezuelan Freedom Rally at El Arepazo 2 restaurant on July 10 in Miami. [Joe Raedle | Getty Images]
  15. Scott backs off boycott of companies doing business with Venezuela

    Blog

    Gov. Rick Scott will ask the Florida Cabinet next month to prohibit the state's investment managers from doing something they already do not do: invest in companies or securities owned or controlled by the Venezuelan government.

    The proposed resolution released by the governor’s office on Thursday stops short of advancing a bolder threat Scott had been making at public appearances as recently as last week when he vowed to boycott companies that “do business” with the Nicolás Maduro regime....

    Florida Governor Rick Scott speaks to the media as he holds a Venezuelan ‘Freedom Rally’ at El Arepazo 2 restaurant on July 10, 2017 in Doral. Scott called on the Venezuelan government to free Leopoldo Lopez, a political prisoner from house arrest, as well as those that have been wrongly imprisoned by Nicolas Maduro's government.