Florida State Representative Chris Latvala attacks Tampa Bay Times for their coverage of Scientology

Discussion in 'News and Current Events' started by COS and NOI News, Feb 24, 2021.

  1. In a comment on his blog, Tony Ortega provides context and links to a story he posted in 2017:

    Sexual harassment allegations strike a blow against a Scientology political ally in Florida

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    On November 3, Politico reported that six women have come forward with allegations that Florida State Senator Jack Latvala groped and sexually harassed them. The allegations come on the heels of hidden camera photos of the Republican state senator kissing a female lobbyist on the lips. Latvala denies the allegations and no charges have been filed against him, but as the Tampa Bay Times reported, most observers find the accusations credible and expect this to end Latvala’s career in politics. If so, it marks an end to the influence of one of Scientology’s most powerful allies in Florida.


    Jack Latvala first entered the Florida Senate in 1994, but because of term limits was out of office from 2003-2009. Since the 2012 redistricting he has represented the 16th District, which covers Clearwater and southern Pasco County. He narrowly lost the contest to become president of the Senate, and since the scandal broke has been removed as chair of the powerful Appropriations Committee. His wife, Susan Latvala, left office as Pinellas County Commissioner in 2014 after 22 years of service. Their son Chris Latvala represents Clearwater in the Florida House of Representatives.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *

  2. Karakorum posted a comment on the ESMBR thread that made me smile:

    "Yeah, how dare you cover the story of Islam in Mecca. These journalists have no shame, no shame I tell y'all"

  3. The Tampa Bay Times story by Tracey McManus that started the dispute:

    Company giving free books to Florida had $10 million settlement for deception

    The Florida House announced a partnership with Age of Learning last month. State officials say the free program requires no payment information.

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    Last month, Florida House Speaker Chris Sprowls announced that a California-based technology company called Age of Learning will offer 5,500 digital books for Florida children 12 and under through the rest of this year.

    The partnership, part of Sprowls’ focus on literacy for his first year as House speaker, is a free alternative to the company’s ABCmouse Early Learning Academy online library, which costs $9.95 a month or $59.95 annually.

    The announcement came four months after Age of Learning paid $10 million to settle a Federal Trade Commission complaint of illegal marketing and billing practices related to its ABCmouse, which charged tens of thousands of people memberships without consent. The Sept. 1 complaint alleged the company deployed deceptive tactics between 2015 and 2018 by failing to disclose that ABCmouse subscriptions would automatically renew and be nearly impossible to cancel.

    Federal Trade Commissioner Rohit Chopra called ABCmouse a “roach motel,” where “it is easy to get in, but almost impossible to escape.” The company riddled its website with traps and “ambiguous menu options that in some cases re-enrolled members if they clicked the wrong button,” Chopra said.

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