Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


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Welcome To Florida Politics

Thanks for visiting. On a semi-daily basis we scan Florida's major daily newspapers for significant Florida political news and punditry. We also review the editorial pages and political columnists/pundits for Florida political commentary. The papers we review include: the Miami Herald, Sun-Sentinel, Palm Beach Post, Naples News, Sarasota Herald Tribune, St Pete Times, Tampa Tribune, Orlando Sentinel, the Daytona Beach News-Journal, Tallahassee Democrat, and, occasionally, the Florida Times Union; we also review the political news blogs associated with these newspapers.

For each story, column, article or editorial we deem significant, we post at least the headline and link to the piece; the linked headline always appears in quotes. We quote the headline for two reasons: first, to allow researchers looking for the cited piece to find it (if the link has expired) by searching for the original title/headline via a commercial research service. Second, quotation of the original headline permits readers to appreciate the spin from the original piece, as opposed to our spin.

Not that we don't provide spin; we do, and plenty of it. Our perspective appears in post headlines, the subtitles within the post (in bold), and the excerpts from the linked stories we select to quote; we also occasionally provide other links and commentary about certain stories. While our bias should be immediately apparent to any reader, we nevertheless attempt to link to every article, column or editorial about Florida politics in every major online Florida newspaper.


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Older posts [back to 2002]

Previous Articles by Derek Newton: Ten Things Fox on Line 1 Stem Cells are Intelligent Design Katrina Spin No Can't Win Perhaps the Most Important Race Senate Outlook The Nelson Thing Deep, Dark Secret Smart Boy Bringing Guns to a Knife Fight Playing to our Strength  

The Blog for Saturday, August 06, 2016

Write-in loophole games

    "From Port of Palm Beach, where an incumbent commissioner recruited her mother as an opponent for the third time, to Naples, where someone filed to run in a legislative race 150 miles from her listed address, the tactics of write-in candidates are turning elections on their heads."
    In Central Florida, the write-in candidacy of a veteran prosecutor in the Orange-Osceola State Attorney race is stopping more than 500,000 voters from casting a ballot this primary. And two write-ins in northeast Orange County's District 11 Senate race who are not campaigning have blocked Republicans from participating.
    "It's all possible because of an exception to the state's closed primaries that critics say is being abused."
    Now a new filing with the Florida Supreme Court seeks help ferreting out sham candidates. And it could affect races across the state if justices choose to hear it out.

    It stems from a controversial State Attorney race in Jacksonville after the campaign manager of Republican incumbent Angela Corey, whose office prosecuted George Zimmerman, "personally delivered" an opponent's qualifying papers in Tallahassee, according to the lawsuit.

    "Write-in candidate lawsuit heads to Florida Supreme Court."

    More: "Write-in candidates are blocking full voter participation in six state Senate districts and 14 House districts on the Aug. 30 primary ballot, disenfranchising 1.6 million Florida voters." "Secretive write-in candidates lock out Florida voters."

    The Tampa Bay Times editors: "Florida should close write-in loophole."

    Trump's Khan Fight Could Cost Florida Veteran Vote

    "GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has put himself between veterans after engaging in a heated spat earlier this week with the family of U.S. Army Capt. Humayun Khan, killed in the Iraq war in 2004. And Trump's continued attacks on the family could prove costly in Florida, a state 1.6 million veterans call home." "Trump's Fight with Gold Star Family Could Cost Florida Veteran Vote."

    Hill to Kissimmee

    "Hillary Clinton to visit Kissimmee on Monday."

    "Bitter Democratic primary"

    William March: "County Commissioner Kevin Beckner is calling Clerk of Court Pat Frank 'part-time Pat' in their bitter Democratic primary for the clerk’s office, saying she doesn’t show up at the office enough to provide leadership there." "Frank camp turns tables on Beckner over work time."

    What's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State

    Marc Caputo: "Those times Scott cut mosquito-fighting money – Wasserman Schultz agrees to Canova face-off – Rep. Castor: Tampa will get Cuban consulate." "Florida Playbook."

    Murphy harnesses Biden's popularity

    Matt Dixon: "As Joe Biden walked into Olean’s Restaurant, a soul food joint that’s a regular campaign stop for politicians rolling through Florida’s Capitol city, he made clear why he was there." "Murphy hopes to harness Biden's popularity to win Senate race."

    AHCA wrangling

    "AHCA, hospitals wrangle over new rates, while HMOs get back payments."

    And then there's that part

    "Scott bashes feds over Zika funding, but slashed mosquito control money."

    Bat mitzvah blues

    "Former Democratic National Committee chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz acknowledged on Friday that Vice President Joe Biden had indeed recorded a video for her daughter’s bat mitzvah, a day after saying a POLITICO story on the matter was 'not true.'" "Wasserman Schultz contradicts self on Biden bat mitzvah tape."

    DWS on defense

    "After national Democratic turmoil, Wasserman Schultz returns home to defend her seat in Congress."

    Chamber an arm of the FlaGOP

    "U.S. Chamber takes aim at Murphy, endorses Rubio."

    Another DWS fave?

    "The day after Val Demings was given a prominent speaking role at the Democratic National Convention, two other Democrats vying for Florida's 10th Congressional District cried foul." "Rivals call out Democratic Party after Val Demings speech."

    The best the FlaGOP can do?

    "Beruff, who vows to cut taxes if elected, avoided $235,000 in 2015 taxes for his business holdings by claiming that the 1,884 acres his companies bought to develop in the future are agricultural land because they are leased to cattle companies or have planted pine trees or crops." "How U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff avoided $235,000 in taxes." Meanwhile, "In Sarasota, Rubio ignores GOP opponent in speech, while Beruff slams the incumbent."

The Blog for Monday, August 01, 2016

DWS on defense

    "After national Democratic turmoil, Wasserman Schultz returns home to defend her seat in Congress."

    Chamber an arm of the FlaGOP

    "U.S. Chamber takes aim at Murphy, endorses Rubio."

    Another DWS fave?

    "The day after Val Demings was given a prominent speaking role at the Democratic National Convention, two other Democrats vying for Florida's 10th Congressional District cried foul." "Rivals call out Democratic Party after Val Demings speech."

    The best the FlaGOP can do?

    "Beruff, who vows to cut taxes if elected, avoided $235,000 in 2015 taxes for his business holdings by claiming that the 1,884 acres his companies bought to develop in the future are agricultural land because they are leased to cattle companies or have planted pine trees or crops." "How U.S. Senate candidate Carlos Beruff avoided $235,000 in taxes." Meanwhile, "In Sarasota, Rubio ignores GOP opponent in speech, while Beruff slams the incumbent."

The Blog for Sunday, July 10, 2016

"Scott has reacted with unwavering impotence"

    Carl Hiaasen writes that, "a picture tells a thousand words."
    If it’s a picture of an algae-covered beach, it can also cancel thousands of hotel reservations.

    That’s the new dread in Florida, as photos and news videos of gunk-covered shorelines are making headlines all over the world. Why would anyone bring their families to vacation on Playa Guacamole?

    And do they even make haz-mat suits in children’s sizes?

    "Gov. Rick Scott has reacted with unwavering impotence, declaring one state of emergency after another while blaming the federal government for failing to upgrade the dike surrounding the lake so that more dirty water can be retained."
    Cleaning up that dirty water is not a priority for this Republican governor or this Republican-led Legislature. In exchange for a deluge of campaign donations, they have worked steadfastly to gut pollution regulations and put the biggest polluters in control of state water policy.

    This year their shameless sellout was complete. One of the worst water management bills in Florida history was passed and quickly signed by Scott, basically allowing big agricultural operations to police their own chemical discharges with little or no enforcement by the state. . . .

    The whole world is now seeing the result of Scott’s execrable stewardship of our priceless natural resources. It’s an ecological nightmare for the state, and a political nightmare for him.

    He’ll be running for the Senate in two years and desperately wants not to be tagged as Governor Algae. But because he won’t get tough with the special interests that are funding his campaign, there will be no reinstatement of water-quality enforcement measures for those flushing agricultural and urban wastewater into Lake Okeechobee. . . .

    Scott seems to be synchronizing his strategy with the Florida Chamber of Commerce, which in March announced a “partnership” with Florida Atlantic University to work on “strong, science-based water quality standards.” Specifically the Chamber mentioned its interest in the impact of septic tanks on toxic algae blooms.

    Ordinarily it would be startling to see an environmental conscience exhibited by the Chamber, one of the most slavishly pro-industry, anti-regulatory groups in the state. However, the rising outcry about the algae outbreaks — and the economic wreckage being caused — compelled [even] the Chamber to try something to redirect the public’s anger.

    "Enjoy your vacation on Playa Guacamole."

    The Tampa Bay Times editors: "Gov. Rick Scott is once again shifting blame, misidentifying the problem and proposing the wrong solution for the massive algae bloom that is coating beaches and making Florida look like the wrong place to spend a summer vacation. Scott and the Legislature need to get serious before polluted waters take an even heavier toll on public health, tourism and property values." "Real solutions for ending algae blooms."

    See also: The Sun Sentinel editors: "Here's how Scott should deal with algae crisis." More: "Rick Scott: Boost spending to stop toxic algae."

    How about a "Blue Pay Increase" bill?

    Jeremy Wallace: "Florida lawmaker wants 'Blue Lives Matter' law." More: "Flags To Be Held at Half-Staff in Florida for Dallas Police Officers."

    Brown indicted

    "U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown of Florida and her chief of staff have been charged with multiple fraud and other federal offenses in a grand jury indictment unsealed Friday after a federal investigation into a fraudulent charity with ties to the congresswoman." "U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown indicted after fraud investigation."

    A Proud Republican

    "On second thought, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) will not be attending the GOP convention this month. Rubio had been planning to attend the confab in Cleveland but now joins a long list of Republicans who seem to be calculating it's better politics to stay away." "Marco Rubio joins list of Republicans skipping GOP convention." See also "Rubio Hopes to Avoid Trump."

    "Democrats tussle"

    "Democrats tussle over platform in Orlando."

    "The optics are terrible"

    "Some of Miami-Dade’s biggest players in transportation policy arrived in Armando Codina’s Coral Gables office last fall for a private session to discuss a new rail line to the western suburbs. . . ." "Raising money for the mayor, and making money from his administration."

    Won't back down

    "Carlos Beruff says he won't back down to Rubio."

    Yawwwnnn . . .

    "South Florida school grades: Fewer A's, fewer F's."

    How much for those rims in yer front yard?

    "A homeowner in West Palm Beach owes the city more than a million dollars in fines that date back more than a decade. In Davie, a property owner owes $415,500 for maintaining an unsecured facility and overgrowth on the property, a lien that was imposed this year." "South Florida cities struggle to collect millions in code enforcement fines."

    Have another beer

    "Mica's a champion of the people."

    Mosque removed as polling site

    "Palm Beach County's elections supervisor is moving a polling station from a Boca Raton mosque to a public library. Some have complained about voting in a mosque, but the Islamic center's president says the decision is discriminatory against Muslims." "Elections supervisor removes Boca Raton mosque as polling site."

The Blog for Monday, July 04, 2016

"Rubio's word is as worthless as a wet firecracker"

    Chris Ingram: "Despite claims he would not run for re-election to the U.S. Senate, Marco Rubio is now running for re-election. This should come as no surprise."
    Last year, the field of Florida GOP "A-listers" (such as Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater, U.S. Rep. Vern Buchanan of Sarasota, and former Florida House Speaker Will Weatherford) who normally would have jumped at the chance to run for an open U.S. Senate seat all said "no thanks.'' Even perennial losing candidate Bill McCollum, the former state attorney general and member of Congress, took a pass.
    Because they knew that Rubio's word is as worthless as a wet firecracker. They won't publicly say that for fear of offending someone they might need something from later. But people who know Rubio privately acknowledge he cannot be trusted.
    "Republicans don't trust Marco Rubio."

    Gary Stein: "Marco's doing it for America? Please."

    Fight over public records

    "911: The Florida fight over which records are public." See also "From DCF to Pam Bondi, Nothing But Contempt for Florida’s Sunshine Law."

    FlaDem registration advantage "slowly withering away"

    Steve Bousquet: "In the must-win state of Florida, Democrats are seeing their numerical advantage in voters slowly wither away — a trend that could make a third straight presidential election victory in 2016 more challenging."

    Florida is seeing a surge of enthusiasm about the upcoming election, and that, too, is helping Republicans more than Democrats, in part because of Trump.

    In the six months ending May 31, 311,000 voters joined the rolls or changed their party.

    That total included 184,000 Republicans and 117,000 Democrats. At the same time, hundreds of thousands of voters who were NPAs or Democrats switched to the Republican Party so they could vote in the closed GOP presidential preference primary in March.

    The state's fluid demographics to a more racially and ethnically diverse population should favor Democrats, especially in the urban centers of Tampa Bay, Orlando and South Florida.

    But those voters — young, Hispanic, African-American and new to Florida — are also more likely to register with no party affiliation.

    "A lighter shade of blue: Florida Democrats' share of voter base continues to slide."

    "Inaction and sabotage in Tallahassee"

    The Miami Herald editors: "Algae blooms on the Treasure Coast are a sign of pollutants — and inaction and sabotage in Tallahassee. Gov. Scott and the Legislature have reversed measures that could help avert such environmental disasters." "Tally fails to rally to protect our water."

    "Opponents question his Grayson Fund investment"

    "Bob Poe, a candidate for Florida's 10th congressional district in Orlando, was an investor in U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson's controversial hedge fund, which opponents say contradicts his pitch that he is a progressive political outsider." "Poe opponents question his Grayson Fund investment."

    Will Florida's Hispanic growth determine the election?

    "As Florida’s Hispanic population has grown 18 percent in five years, the state has become more diverse. There has also been a surge in the number of people age 65 and older." "Hispanic growth in Florida: Will it determine the election?"

    "Nelson stretches truth"

    "Bill Nelson exaggerated when he said the House Zika bill limits birth control access in Puerto Rico." "Sen. Bill Nelson stretches truth about Zika bill and birth control."

    The entrepreneurial spirit

    "After Hillsborough nonprofit loses millions in state funding, former executive keeps getting paid."

The Blog for Sunday, June 26, 2016

"Florida candidates stampede to ballot"

    Steve Bousquet writes that
    Florida is poised for a volatile political season as a large crop of candidates met Friday's deadline to get on the ballot for the 2016 elections.
    "The unpredictable force of Donald Trump, a court-ordered redesign of districts and rampant turnover in the state's congressional delegation have combined to unleash a flood of ambition and give voters a wide range of choices:"
    • Eight of Florida's 27 members of Congress are leaving and all 27 seats are being contested for the first time.

    • As more voters reject both major parties and have no party affiliation, no-party candidates will offer a third alternative in two dozen races for U.S. Senate, Congress and the Legislature in a state where nearly three in 10 voters are not members of either major party.

    • Eight legislative seats will have primaries open to all voters because only one party fielded candidates. In those rare cases, candidates will be forced to appeal to a wider pool of voters than just the hard-right and hard-left who often dominate primaries.

    • Fifteen of 40 state Senate seats are open, and the redrawn districts give outnumbered Democrats hope of making gains.

    "In year of political turmoil, Florida candidates stampede to ballot." See also "State Senate races a South Florida free-for-all."

    Marco wants a mulligan

    "Weekly Roundup: Can I Get a Mulligan?."

    "His day job remains unclear"

    "Now running for the Florida House, the ex-congressman from Miami reported a net worth of $1.5 million, even as his day job remains unclear." "David Rivera, millionaire? His financial form says so."

    "What's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State"

    Marc Caputo: "Murphy’s tough week – Scott’s Zika leadership – GMO-mosquito vote delayed in Keys – Editorial: stop ‘reefer madness’ -- candidate sought for questions in hit-and-run death." "Florida Playbook."

    Senate candidate accused of bribe

    "Miami Democratic state Senate candidate Andrew Korge is accused of trying to bribe state Sen. Dwight Bullard into moving districts and trying to persuade another Democratic primary opponent, Ana Rivas Logan, to swap races with him." "Miami-Dade senator: My opponent offered me $25,000 to get out of his way."

    Beats working

    "Rubio's book royalties up $70K in 2015."

    Brown and Lawson will face off

    "Rep. Corrine Brown and former state Sen. Al Lawson will face off in the Democratic primary for the 5th Congressional District, a seat that has been the subject of huge doses of speculation and intrigue after a redistricting legal challenge."

    Lawson, a Tallahassee Democrat, filed to run for the seat in February, so his challenge to Brown is no surprise. But there have been persistent rumors that other candidates would pile into the race for a seat that was redrawn to stretch from Jacksonville to the Tallahassee region.

    That speculation ramped up when news broke that Brown is the subject of an ongoing Department of Justice investigation into whether she conspired to commit “fraudulent activities,” improperly solicited charitable donations or misused campaign funds. Since the investigation was made public in March, no other information has been made available.

    But as the noon Friday deadline for candidates to qualify passed, none of the rumors of additional candidates came to fruition, and a regional battle now pits a longtime Tallahassee politico against a 12-term incumbent Jacksonville congresswoman.

    "Despite intrigue, Brown, Lawson are only prominent Democrats in CD5 race."

    Bangin' Murphy

    "on Wednesday evening, CBS4 Miami aired the first of its two part “The Making of Patrick Murphy” reports that questioned the congressman’s portrayal of his business record. The first report is here: http://cbsloc.al/28OCy61. The Murphy campaign responded with a 'setting the record straight' post: http://bit.ly/28QTaJ0. That afternoon, a new Rubio super PAC then featured the CBS4 report in a web ad. CBS4 followed up Thursday evening with another piece about questionable marketing claims made years ago by Murphy’s environmental clean-up business: http://cbsloc.al/28UfByP." "Florida Playbook."

    "All of a sudden, Charlie has a real opponent"

    Nancy Smith: "What a week for Charlie Crist. Try to imagine ..."

    There was Charlie laying low in St. Petersburg, stretched out on his tanning bed, fingers crossed, staying out of trouble, fan at the ready. So positioned to end the win drought.

    OK, so the prize wasn't the Senate. It wasn't even the Governor's Mansion. But CD 13, sanitized by the courts for a Democratic victory, was his ticket to get back to the limelight and into the Washington party circuit. He even had President Obama's endorsement.

    (Now we come to the part like in the old war movies, when John Wayne hitches up his rifle and says, "I don't like it, Charlie, it's too quiet out there.")

    "And sure enough. BAM. It happens again."
    Sooo close to the true love of his life: Washington, D.C., cameras, power, public service, celebrity hobnobs, more cameras -- happy days are here again.

    But, oh, no. No, no, no, no -- who surfaces to deja-vu him off his little cloud of happiness? Yes, his worse nightmare, "Little Marco!"

    Wouldn't you know it, the Republicans want Marco back in the Senate. So this week Marco announces he's running for reelection after all.

    And all of a sudden, Charlie has a real opponent in November. He has incumbent David Jolly.

    "Poor Charlie: What's a Guy Gotta Do?."

    Winners and losers

    Adam C. Smith's "Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics."

    "Overrated and overhyped"

    Adam C. Smith: "For at least a year the conventional wisdom has echoed from Democrats and Republicans alike in Washington, Tallahassee and across Florida: U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy is the future of the Democratic Party, a powerhouse statewide candidate and most likely Florida's next U.S. senator."

    Today, two months before the preferred candidate of Barack Obama and Joe Biden faces Alan Grayson in a primary and four and a half before the general election, we're struggling to think of when Florida last saw a candidate who proved as overrated and overhyped as Murphy.

    The Times/Herald and others in recent weeks have shown a pattern with the 33-year-old congressman from Palm Beach County: He appears to be a serial exaggerator of his accomplishments, from inflating the scope of his work on gulf cleanup after the BP oil spill, to falsely claiming to have earned dual college degrees, to overstating his work as a CPA. Last week, a Miami TV station aired a two-part investigative series that portrayed Murphy as an unaccomplished, chronic embellisher.

    "Murphy looking less like a winner in race for Senate."

    Scott disses Rubio

    "Scott doesn't endorse Rubio, praises Beruff."

    FlaGOPer pulls AR-15 giveaway

    "Greg Evers, who's running in the Republican primary for the open seat in Florida's 1st District, announced Monday he's giving away a "Homeland Defender" AR-15 rifle on July 4. But on Monday night, Facebook pulled a post about the contest showing the rifle after receiving numerous complaints for 'promoting graphic violence' and 'describing the purchase or sales of drugs, guns or regulated progress.'" "Florida GOP candidate's AR-15 giveaway post taken down by Facebook."

    Spanish-language ad blasts Rubio

    Alex Leary: "American Bridge 21st Century will launch a Facebook ad against Marco Rubio in key Hispanic areas, casting the senator as untrustworthy and not just because he broke a promise not to seek re-election." "Spanish-language ad blasts Marco Rubio as untrustworthy."

The Blog for Sunday, June 19, 2016

"Somber cloud over Florida Democratic Party’s annual dinner"

    "A somber cloud hung over the Florida Democratic Party’s annual fundraising dinner Saturday, as much of the event focused on a mass shooting that left 50 dead at a gay Orlando nightclub last Sunday."
    Speeches geared toward building party unity heading into the general election were laced with calls for gun control and legal changes to help the LGBT community, which was targeted as part of the attack.
    "Orlando shooting dominates Florida Democrats' annual dinner."

    Subsidizing Walmart

    "When it comes to calling the cops, Walmart is such an outlier compared with its competitors that experts criticized the corporate giant for shifting too much of its security burden onto taxpayers." "Police are called to Walmart more than anywhere else — and you foot the bill."

    ASA suspended for wild social media posts

    "An Orlando-area assistant state attorney has been suspended for social media posts he made in the aftermath of the Orlando shooting saying that"

    "the entire city should be leveled. . . ."

    “All Orlando nightclubs should be permanently closed. With or without random gunmen they are zoos; utter cesspools of debauchery.”

    He also posted Sunday morning that “the entire city [of Orlando] should be leveled. It is a melting pot of 3rd world miscreants and ghetto thugs… Disney may be the happiest place on earth but Orlando is a national embarrassment. If this is an act of a domestic terrorist it is so very important that we don’t publish the religion, name, or motive of the terrorist as not to offend anyone.”

    "State prosecutor suspended over Facebook posts about Orlando."

    "What's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State

    Marc Caputo: "Beruff ready to wreck Rubio – Clinton launches $3.5m Florida air war – Trial of Chilean dictator’s lieutenant plays out in… Orlando – Cashman Canova -- Commemorating ‘Cheeto Jesus’." "Florida Playbook."

    Killing Florida black bears

    "A bear hunt this fall would be broken into three four-day periods, with hunters applying on a first-come, first-served basis for permits that would be specific to dates and areas, under a staff recommendation that will go before the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission on Wednesday." "Bear-hunt proposal ready for commission."

    Back at the ranch, Nancy Smith explains why she "Favors the Bear Hunt."

    Another fine Jebacy

    "Insane, invisible and in danger: Florida cut $100M from its mental hospitals; chaos quickly followed."

    Rubio called "homophobic," FlaGOP wants him anyway

    "Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy lashed out at Marco Rubio on Saturday, saying he agrees with calls he has been getting from people who have labeled Rubio 'one of the most homophobic senators in this country.'" "Murphy assails Rubio as 'homophobic'."

    Meanwhile, "Florida Republicans Want Rubio to Run Again."

    A pathway for Rubio is opening up: "Rep. Jolly drops Senate bid, to run for reelection."

    DWS fails to get the required 2/3 votes to secure Fla AFL-CIO endorsement

    "For the first time in 24 years, Debbie Wasserman Schultz will not get the endorsement of the AFL-CIO. . . . Wasserman Schultz failed to get the required 2/3 votes to secure the endorsement." "AFL-CIO Says 'No' To Debbie Wasserman Schultz."

    This, over the efforts of SoFla labor: "South Florida unions come to defense of Wasserman Schultz."

    More: "AFL-CIO Snub Aside, DWS Collects a Cartload of S. Florida Union Endorsements" and "Wasserman Schultz and Canova spar over labor endorsements."

    And then there's that privatization thing

    "‘Clerical error’ on Orlando killer’s psychological eval named wrong doctor."

    "Key facts got lost along the way"

    "In the waning hours of their 2016 session, Florida lawmakers approved a bill expanding families' school options across county lines."

    Education choice advocates trumpeted the move as a bold step to let students attend any public school in the state. They equated it with Florida's broad charter school and tax credit scholarship programs.

    But officials closest to the ground were quick to point out that key facts got lost along the way.

    "Legislators allowed students to go to school across county lines; now come the details."

    Meanwhile, the MSM assails Grayson

    "A St. Petersburg lighting company in which Sen. Jeff Brandes is invested received $65,000 worth of work as the result of a grant he helped secure in the 2013 state budget." "Company senator invested in got state money, but he says he was unaware."

The Blog for Sunday, June 05, 2016

"Clinton’s big Florida presence"

    "Hillary Clinton hasn't clinched her party’s presidential nominee, but her campaign is acting like it in Florida, where it has a dozen senior staffers and about 100 paid organizers who are canvassing neighborhoods and starting to register voters for the general election."
    Clinton’s Florida team includes a mix of national Democratic operatives and veterans of President Barack Obama’s campaigns, which won the state twice … Florida Democrats have nervously watched as the number of active registered Republican voters started growing faster than that of Democrats since the last general election — a sign Trump’s campaign might be better organized than it gets credit for.
    "Headquartered in Tampa, Clinton’s big Florida presence underscores the importance of the nation’s biggest swing state, the part-time home of Donald Trump. He probably can’t afford to lose here and expect to win the White House. Recent Florida polls show the two are essentially tied." "Eyes on general election, Clinton showcases big Florida team."

    "Here comes the slime"

    "Ribbons of goop arrive early this year as discharges from Lake Okeechobee foul Florida’s east and west coasts. It’s an environmental disaster." "It’s summer, and here comes the slime."

    "It could cost him a circuit judgeship"

    "Gun rights groups are unleashing their wrath at a Jacksonville Republican who didn’t support a measure to shift the Burden of Proof in Stand Your Ground in the Florida Legislature this year, and it could cost him a circuit judgeship." "Florida Pro-Gun Groups Add on to Derail McBurney's Judgeship Ambitions."

    "Sanders vs. Wasserman Schultz tiff"

    The Sun Sentinel editors: "Bernie Sanders' supporters say Debbie Wasserman Schultz is abrasive and divisive. And Sanders is a collegial unifier? To be fair, Wasserman Schultz also faces criticism from outside the Sanders camp." "Little upside in Sanders vs. Wasserman Schultz tiff."

    "Sharp increase in murders, rapes"

    "Florida's crime rate drops despite sharp increase in murders, rapes."

    "What's hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State"

    Marc Caputo: "Hillary’s big Florida team – FL poll: Gary Johnson might hurt Trump -- Planned Parenthood sues Florida -- Ros-Lehtinen challenger: Vote for me; here’s my arrest record." "Florida Playbook."

    Sorry, Rick

    "Election, not Gov. Scott, to fill judicial seat in Palm Beach County, Supreme Court rules."

    "Wildly unethical for [Bondi] to accept this money"

    Scott Maxwell: "New York's attorney general says the evidence is compelling that Trump's get-rich seminars — promoted in both Florida and New York — were merely a "bait and switch scheme" where people paid thousands of dollars for promised training and insight they never received."

    Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi, however, decided not to act on similar complaints filed by Floridians.

    She, however, did take money from Trump — while her office said it was "reviewing" the complaints against him. Three days after the Orlando Sentinel wrote a story in 2013 about Floridians who felt scammed by a Trump affiliate, Trump's charitable foundation gave $25,000 to one of Bondi's campaign committees.

    It was wildly unethical for her to accept this money. No self-respecting prosecutor would take money from a potential target.

    Bondi's office always claimed there wasn't enough evidence to make a case. But I wondered how hard her staff worked to actually find any.

    So I asked to see her office's investigative reports for myself.

    Her office took about four weeks to respond and then finally did so with a massive document dump — thousands of pages, many of which were exchanges with the press about why they weren't investigating now and stressing they never had. A copy of an email I sent back in 2013 was included 39 different times.

    All told, they provided 8,491 pages of records.

    Perhaps they thought no one would really look at them.

    If so, they were wrong.

    "8,491 pages raise more flags about Bondi's Trump money."

    "The most exasperating politician"

    The Sun Sentinel editorial board: "Sen. Marco Rubio is becoming the most exasperating politician in Florida. For starters, Rubio's refusal — so far — to run for re-election is exasperating Republican leaders. He is being encouraged to enter a race in which the GOP field lacks name recognition." "Rubio exasperates multiple factions."

    Run Rick, Run!

    "Scott continues to shoot down speculation he'll be Trump's running mate."