The Florida Independent

Posts by Cooper Levey-Baker

Cooper Levey-Baker lives in Sarasota, Fla., and is the editor of The Florida Independent. When he does get the chance to write stories, they're usually about redistricting. Email him at cooper [at] floridaindependent [dot] com.


By | 04.27.12 | 4:00 pm

Goodbye, and thank you to all our readers, supporters, tipsters and commenters. We’ll miss you.

Crist: New elections rules ‘a step backward in protecting the right to vote’

By | 04.10.12 | 11:16 am

Florida’s new elections rules “appear to be a step backward in protecting the right to vote for citizens of the Sunshine State,” writes former Gov. Charlie Crist in a column published in today’s Tampa Bay Times.

More reaction to news of our impending closure

By | 04.06.12 | 7:57 am

Since we announced Tuesday that The American Independent News Network will be shutting us down effective Fri., April 27, we’ve been touched to hear from readers commenting on the news. More of their thoughts here.

Peanut, commenter: “I guess you won’t have time to write about all the appointees to state boards that were not approved by the legislature, allowing Scott to get rid of anyone who does not toe the scott line. Anyone who has watched Scott in his attempts to control the entire state of Florida, cities, counties, school boards, etc., could not possibly believe Scott did not know about the fraud going on in his own hospital chain.” And: “You are needed.”

Maria Alegria, commenter: “Oh no! We’ve taken you for granted. Thank you so much for carrying the voice of truth from the people’s perspective.”

Juliamiami, commenter: “This is terrible news! TFI offered the only independent coverage of Florida’s outrageous legislative stupidity. You knew you got the truth when you read a TFI article. I will miss reading the news presented ethically by your reporters.”

Just Sayin’, commenter: “Thanks for all you have done. FloriDUH doesn’t deserve any quality journalism…we don’t need it…we have Herr Scott & Co to protect the really IMPORTANT interests here.”

Ray Myers, via Twitter: “The @FLIndependent site has become my go to source for state political news. Seeing it go is devastating!”

Lucy Morgan, via Twitter: “Sorry to see you are leaving the scene-need all thehelp we can get.” Morgan also wrote about the closure on The Tampa Bay Times‘ blog, The Buzz.

Manuel Roig-Franzia, via Twitter: “@lucytimes delivers some bad news from Fla.”

Natalia Jaramillo, via Twitter: “This is the worst news the @FLIndependent has ever posted :(.”

David Fifer, via Twitter: “I hate that the @FLIndependent is going away. Here’s hoping its great writers all land safely somewhere else.”

Maximus Shelby, via Twitter: “Pity that @FLIndependent is going dark on 4/27 – good source of news – victim of lack of support & sponsorship.”

Beatriz Marcelin, via Facebook: ”Dislike.”

Nathan Andrew Hicks, via Facebook: ”This is sad. I’ve really enjoyed the stories from this site.”

S Paola Solís, via Facebook: ”Noooooo!”

Mary Ann Schumpert Myler, via Facebook: ”I have enjoyed your articles. I am sorry to hear this.”

Reaction to news of our impending closure

By | 04.04.12 | 8:08 am

We heard yesterday that The American Independent News Network will be shutting down The Florida Independent effective Fri., April 27. Since then, we’ve heard from readers on this site and across social media, letting us know how they feel about the decision. Their thoughts here:

Jane, commenter: “This is very upsetting. I wish it weren’t true or that I had a bizzillion dollars to keep you afloat. Thanks for everything.”

Morphus, commenter: “Sorry to hear this. I visit everyday.”

Jerseygarcia, commenter: “What can we do as readers to stop this? this is unacceptable for me. You are a very important news site, where will I go to?”

Don, commenter: “So sad …”

Emily, commenter: “Thanks for all your hard work in bringing to light undercovered stories and issues.”

Pat Garofalo, via Twitter: “Ugh! No!”

Alex Seitz-Wald, via Twitter: “Sad.”

David Hart, via Twitter: “Very sad. We will miss the FL Independent.”

Jane Graham, via Twitter: “What a shame. Always enjoyed #Virginia Chamle’s excellent environmental reporting and we will miss her covereage.”

Abel Harding, via Twitter: “Sorry to hear.”

ClinicEscort, via Twitter: “Not totally surprising, but still: hate this.”

John McSweeney, via Twitter: “Nooooooooooooooooooooooooo.”

Daniel Hicks, via Twitter: “Really unfortunate.”

Franco Ripple, via Twitter: “Truly a shame that @FLIndependent is shutting down. #Florida needs good independent journalism.”

Jeff Lorenzen, via Facebook: ”DISLIKE this news, Sorry to see you go.”

Roberta Bailey, via Facebook: “Aw no…”

Bruce Seaman, via Facebook: “You guys have done a great job and will be sorely missed. I’m sorry my pockets aren’t too deep.”

Ruben Betancourt, via Facebook: “These are the moments when I wish Facebook had a UNLIKE button! That’s sad, indeed. Good luck to everyone over there. Thanks for keeping us informed.”

Seth Platt, via Facebook: “Wow so sad. Truly a voice for many in Florida without one in the public forum. U will be missed by me as I probably link to your stories at least once a day.”

James Quill, via Facebook: “NOOOOO! You guys have been a light of hope. There aren’t many papers like yours.”

The Florida Independent to shut down at the end of this month

By | 04.03.12 | 3:27 pm

No beating around the bush: It’s true. The American Independent News Network announced today that it will be shutting down The Florida Independent effective Fri., April 27.

It’s no secret that times are tough for journalists all over, and there’s no exception for online-only publications, or for nonprofits. Since we launched in May 2010, we have simply been unable to build a strong enough donor base to sustain our operations past the end of April. The site will remain live, but we will cease publishing new content after April 27.

Our mission for the past two years has been to create impact journalism, to write stories that positively influence public policy and debate. For examples of what we mean by that, check out the Best of The Florida Independent series we published in December 2011, which recapped some of our greatest hits. Those are the kinds of stories we were hoping to continue pursuing throughout 2012, and beyond.

We are genuinely heartbroken by the decision, and we’d like to offer a deep thanks to all our readers, tipsters and commenters. It’s been a pleasure.

Court shoots down anti-Fair Districts appeal

By | 01.31.12 | 1:19 pm

A three-judge panel today denied an appeal filed by Reps. Corrine Brown and Mario Diaz-Balart and the Florida House in their quest to have one of Florida’s two Fair Districts amendments thrown out.

Live-blogging the Senate’s field hearing on new voting restrictions (Update: Hearing adjourned)

By | 01.27.12 | 12:35 pm

We’re live-blogging this afternoon’s U.S. Senate field hearing on the new voting restrictions approved by state legislatures around the country — including Florida’s — last year. Send me an email with any comments you’ve got, or hit us up on Twitter, and I’ll be sure to post them here. Keep hitting refresh to get the latest.

AUDIO: Listen to The Florida Independent’s Marcos Restrepo on Democracy Now!

By | 01.27.12 | 9:50 am

The Florida Independent’s Marcos Restrepo appeared on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez this morning to discuss the GOP presidential primary and the role immigration policy is playing in the race. Listen to the segment after the jump.

In Sarasota, Gingrich calls Obama a ‘Saul Alinsky radical,’ pledges to end Agenda 21 (Updated)

By | 01.24.12 | 3:49 pm

GOP presidential candidate Newt Gingrich accused President Obama of being a “Saul Alinsky radical” who works to “appease the Taliban” at a campaign rally held in a Sarasota airplane hangar today.

Dockery: State Senate’s redistricting maps ‘do not meet’ Fair Districts criteria

By | 01.19.12 | 10:53 am

The redistricting maps approved by the Florida Senate on Tuesday “do not meet the criteria set forth by the Fair Districts amendments,” writes state Sen. Paula Dockery, R-Lakeland, in a new column explaining her decision to buck the party line and vote against the maps.

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