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Amy Hollyfield, Times Staff Writer

Amy Hollyfield

Amy Hollyfield is the deputy managing editor for politics and business for the Tampa Bay Times. She directs state and national political coverage, including bureaus in Tallahassee and Washington, and, and PolitiFact Florida, the Times' fact-checking websites. PolitiFact was awarded the 2009 Pulitzer Prize for national reporting. In addition, Amy oversees business news, Perspective and Floridian magazine. She has worked at the Times for more than 15 years, after previous stints at the Miami Herald and Florida Today.

Phone: (727) 893-8491


The Hollyfield file:

Twitter: @Amy_Hollyfield

  1. Florida joins other states in ending 'tampon tax'


    From our friends at the Associated Press:

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida will eliminate taxes charged on tampons under a measure signed into law by Gov. Rick Scott.

    Scott on Thursday approved a bill that would make feminine hygiene products such as tampons and menstrual pads tax-exempt starting next January.

    Florida is joining 13 other states and the District of Columbia that exempt taxes on the sale of feminine hygiene products or have enacted laws to exempt these products in the future....

  2. John Romano column: Why this mother is pulling for HB 7069


    Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano has a compelling column today of why one woman supports HB 7069:

    The political ramifications are not lost on Kristine Benson.

    She understands the Legislature is basically playing a high-stakes game of ransom with funds for education. She's admittedly conflicted. She called the controversial bill HB 7069 a "slimy'' strategy....

  3. Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera goes python hunting


    From our friends at the Miami Herald:

    A ride-along with Florida python hunters paid off for Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera on Monday when the team bagged a 15-foot, four-inch female snake Monday night.

    The group, headed by Swamp Ape Tom Rahill, snagged the snake about 8:30 p.m. in western Miami-Dade County along the L-30 canal, said Randy Smith, a spokesman for the South Florida Water Management District. The district is near the end of a two-month pilot program to test the efficiency of paying 25 hunters to trap the invasive snakes. As of Tuesday morning, the tally stood at 99, Smith said. Rahill, who also traps snakes in Everglades National Park for the park service, has caught four....

    Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera on a python hunt.
  4. John Romano's open letter to Gov. Rick Scott: Fight back the 2010 way


    Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano not mincing words of advice for Gov. Rick Scott. An excerpt:

    Can't help noticing you've been a little peeved lately. Honestly, I can't blame you.

    You've been in office long enough to know you're not going to please everyone, and the critics will come at you from every direction. There should be no surprises or complaints there.

    Still, it's gotta sting to be knee-capped by your own cohorts....

  5. Visit Florida hires firm to market to Syrian tourists


    From our friends at the Associated Press:

    TALLAHASSEE — Florida's tourism marketing agency was forced to sign a new contract after a newspaper pointed out Visit Florida hired a firm to advertise to potential Syrian tourists.

    Visit Florida officials said Friday a "clerical error" caused them to include Syria on a list of countries the agency planned to advertise in.

    Visit Florida CEO Ken Lawson signed a $14,000 contract with a German advertising firm back in March that included Syria and nine other Middle Eastern countries....

    This photo, taken from video, shows Kurdish fighters of the People's Protection Units (YPG) standing guard as U.S. forces take up positions in the northern village of Darbasiyah, Syria.
  6. Hillsborough public hearing for Constitution Revision Commission is Wednesday night


    The state's Constitution Revision Commission, a 37-member panel assembled every 20 years to review the constitution and put proposals directly before voters in 2018, is coming to Tampa Bay for a public hearing this week.

    The commission has held public hearings in Orlando, Miami and Boca Raton, Tallahassee and more, but Wednesday will be the first meeting in the bay area....

  7. Governor contender's bachelor days coming to close


    From Joey Flechas at the Miami Herald:

    Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, who is in the midst of touring Florida as he mulls a possible run for governor in 2018, is engaged and awaiting his first child.

    Levine, 55, recently got engaged to Caro Murciano, a real estate agent and younger sister of television actor Enrique Murciano. Levine has never been married before. The couple are expecting....

    Philip Levine.
  8. Corrine Brown found guilty on 18 of 22 charges


    From our friends at the Associated Press:

    Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown found guilty of fraudulently taking hundreds of thousands from sham charity.

    The jury's verdict came after prosecutors put on a detailed criminal case that outlined a pattern of fraud by Brown, 70, that included using hundreds of thousands of dollars from the One Door for Education Foundation for lavish parties, trips and shopping excursions. She was convicted of 18 of the 22 charges against her, including lying on her taxes and her congressional financial disclosure forms....

    Corrine Brown, former congresswoman.
  9. Secretary DeVos booed speaking at Bethune-Cookman commencement


    From our friends at the Associated Press:

    DAYTONA BEACH — Many of the graduating students turned their backs on Education Secretary Betsy DeVos and boos nearly drowned out her commencement speech Wednesday at Bethune-Cookman University.

    DeVos carried on with her keynote address to the historically black university, praising its founder, Mary McLeod Bethune, as someone who "refused to accept systemic and repulsive racism," and had "the courage to change old ideas."...

    Education Secretary Betsy DeVos delivers a commencement address to graduates at Bethune-Cookman University on Wednesday in Daytona Beach.
  10. In new video, Gwen Graham touts that her 'love for Florida runs deep'


    Make no mistake, the end of the 2017 legislative session is the official kickoff of the 2018 campaign. You're seeing it this week with Adam Putnam's formal announcement for governor and multi-city bus tour. 

    So expect there to be at least a little something every day from now until Nov. 6....

  11. How Frank Artiles went from exposed to ousted


    The Times/Herald team of Patricia Mazzei, Steve Bousquet and Mary Ellen Klas bring us an extraordinary tick-tock of a memorable week in the Florida Capitol:

    Last Monday afternoon, at the start of the state Legislature’s seventh week of session, Sen. Audrey Gibson raced up three floors to present one of her bills to the Florida Senate’s Children, Families and Elder Affairs Committee....

    Frank Artiles.
  12. John Romano column: Artiles' conduct unbecoming of senator, gentleman


    Tampa Bay Times columnist John Romano weighs in on the controversy surrounding state Sen. Frank Artiles:

    Honor, they say, is the bedrock of their character. It is the quality, to quote the U.S. Marine Corps website, that empowers Marines to exemplify the ultimate in ethical and moral behavior.

    Clearly, Sen. Frank Artiles skipped that part of his military training.

    For I see no honor in how Artiles has behaved in recent days. Not in his insults directed toward a female senator, nor in his reluctance to apologize until it became clear that he had no other choice....

  13. Times editorial: Sen. Frank Artiles should resign


    The Tampa Bay Times Editorial Board is calling for Sen. Frank Artiles' resignation:

    Miami state Sen. Frank Artiles should resign from office for his racist tirade to a pair of his African-American colleagues. The Republican’s public apology on the Senate floor Wednesday morning was insufficient, and there should be no tolerance in the Florida Legislature for such bigotry....

    State Sen. Frank Artiles, R-Miami.
  14. Rep. Charlie Crist swims laps every day: 'It's a de-stresser'


    CQ-Roll Call did a Q&A with Rep. Charlie Crist, D-St. Petersburg, that came across our wires. Some highlights:

    Q: What do you do to wind down in D.C.?

    A: I swim, every day. It's been great. That's my thing in the morning. I get up at 4:30 and lift for about 20 minutes and swim laps for about 20 minutes. It's a de-stresser. I guess it's like what yoga might be for some. It gives me a chance to think clearly, clear my head....

  15. PolitiFact: Despite what Marco Rubio said, Trump's strikes on Syria look a lot like Obama's 2013 proposal


    Sen. Marco Rubio has been in the national spotlight in recent days since President Donald Trump authorized airstrikes in Syria in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack, calling it the "right move." 

    Four years ago, when President Barack Obama was seeking congressional approval for airstrikes in Syria in retaliation for a chemical weapons attack, Rubio opposed the plan, saying he was concerned Obama’s proposed operation was too narrow to degrade Bashar al-Assad’s chemical weapons abilities and deter future attacks....

    U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Miami, talks to members of the media as he leaves after a closed briefing on the airstrikes against Syria by Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Joe Dunford on April 7 at the Capitol in Washington, D.C.