Despite concerns, Mississippi governor voted yes on ‘Personhood’

Despite expressing concerns with his state's fetal personhood amendment, which would define life as beginning at conception, Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour voted for it anyway. He did vote absentee ballot in his hometown of Yazoo City yesterday and he did vote for the Personhood Amendment, which is called also Initiative 26 here in Mississippi, says Laura Hipp, Barbour's spokesperson.

Previous changes to election laws were not implemented without Justice Department approval (Updated)

During a conference call with reporters explaining a lawsuit challenging the rapid implementation of Florida's new election laws, lawyers helping to bring the case for the American Civil Liberties Union said the changes could not be implemented before they are approved by the U.S. Department of Justice. The lawyers pointed out that Florida's own Division of Elections said so, in a 1998 legal memo (.pdf).

Scott appoints Mosaic executive to Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute

Gov. Rick Scott today appointed Michael A. Daigle, director of operations planning at Mosaic Fertilizer, to the Florida Industrial and Phosphate Research Institute. The appointment marks the latest in a stream of government interaction with the company — Mosaic gave at least $15,000 to Scott's gubernatorial campaign, and a former Jeb Bush staffer recently went to work for the company.

Bomberger again lashes out at NPR, Veazey

In a new item posted on LifeNews.com, the Radiance Foundation's Ryan Bomberger continues to react to his recent interview with NPR, which he maintains was heavily edited. Bomberger also continues to allege that Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was on a eugenics-based crusade against the black community, a campaign that continues to this day.

Proposed ‘Religious Freedom’ amendment could complicate separation of church and state

An amendment repealing an existing ban on state funding for religious institutions in the state constitution is slated to appear on Florida's 2012 ballot. The controversial amendment is being promoted as a way to ensure religious freedom in the state, but the religious community is divided on whether the amendment will ensure religious freedom or threaten its sovereignty.

Help us fight a ‘frivolous and blatant attempt to chill free speech’

Controversial anti-gay minister Bradlee Dean and his evangelical band/ministry You Can Run But You Cannot Hide International (YCR) are suing The American Independent News Network’s senior reporter, Andy Birkey, and are threatening to also sue our site The Minnesota Independent. Rachel Maddow, who also reported about Dean on her MSNBC show, is also named in the suit, which seeks $50 million in damages.

Florida Watch episode No. 7: State legislature revs up

This week on Florida Watch, I join host Doug Miles of The Bradenton Times, former CBS correspondent Gary Schuster and special guest Susan Nilon of Talk Suncoast to discuss the Florida legislature's first week of action, as well as congressional terrorism hearings and a host of other important topics. Check it out after the jump!

Possible delays for Georgia-Pacific waste pipeline

Controversy surrounding a proposed 40-mile four-mile pipeline to reroute paper mill effluent from a small Palatka creek into the large St. Johns River shows no signs of dying down. A recently passed resolution by the Jacksonville City Council aims to delay the pipeline in order to further study its potential environmental effects.