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Capital Report: 07-27-2012

An apology made to the gay rights community is the latest in the controversy between Florida Lieutenant Governor Jennifer Carroll and her former staffer. As Sascha Cordner reports, Carroll’s apology stems from a comment she made more than a week ago implying black lesbians aren’t attractive, while trying to defend herself against allegations that she and a female aide were caught in “a compromising position.”

The lawyer representing Carletha Cole is also fighting Florida Governor Rick Scott’s administration in another lawsuit, this one with himself as the plaintiff. Tallahassee lawyer Steven Andrews is suing for the right to purchase the historic building that houses his law office. As Jessica Palombo reports, Andrews says Scott and his cabinet are trying to buy the building just to spite him over a previous lawsuit during the governor’s election campaign.

Florida officials have been taking a closer look at the state’s economy. And in recent weeks, there’s been lots of conflicting information coming out from the state. There is agreement that Florida’s economy is growing—but as Lynn Hatter reports officials disagree on what’s contributing to that growth and whether or not it will continue.

The number of home foreclosures continues to soar in Florida. Nearly every major city in the state is seeing more foreclosures than a year ago, according to the latest Realty Trak report. But Tom Flanigan reports Florida’s bankers see opportunity amidst the gloomy figures.

The judicial branch is meant to be an impartial arm of the government, interpreting the law without the influence or prejudice of a political party. That’s the idea behind Florida’s merit retention system. But Regan McCarthy reports with three Florida Supreme Court justices up for a merit retention vote this year, some say politics are playing a big role in deciding who’s behind the bench.

The impact of federal budget cuts has devastated a one – of a- kind institution in South Florida. The Aquarius Reef Base located off the coast of Key Largo, is the only underwater sea lab dedicated to marine research in the world. This past weekend ( Saturday, June 21st) marine scientists finished their seven day mission from sixty feet below the sea in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary. Reporter Patricia Sagastume was there and tells us what the future holds for Aquarius.