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Welcome To Florida Politics

Thanks for visiting. On a 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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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 Thursday, October 08, 2015

Q Poll shows Grayson leading all comers

    So much for that "Grayson is unelectable" meme:
    In Florida's 2016 U.S. Senate race, Democratic U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy leads Republican Lt. Gov. Carlos Lopez-Cantera 37 - 29 percent and tops U.S. Rep. Ron DeSantis 37 - 30 percent. Democratic U.S. Rep. Alan Grayson gets 35 percent to Lopez-Cantera's 32 percent and leads DeSantis 37 - 31 percent.
    October 8, 2015 Q Poll Here's the Poll Detail. See also "Race to Replace Marco Rubio Still Unsettled With Independents Up for Grabs."

    Jeb's "cash-flush tangle of entities created to boost his bid."

    "Super PACs are supposed to be both transparent and independent from the politicians they are supporting."

    But it’s not clear that Right to Rise USA, the super PAC formed by Republican Jeb Bush prior to his presidential bid, is either.

    The super PAC’s biggest single vendor this year through June is a mysterious limited liability company, LKJ, LLC, whose owners are hidden behind the state of Delaware’s opaque registration laws. The company doesn’t appear to have a website or a physical office.

    "It’s only known address: a Washington, D.C., post office box — one it shares with a company run by Heather Larrison, the national finance director for Bush’s official presidential campaign."
    The company’s Delaware origin makes it impossible to determine whether a chief Bush lieutenant is embedded in — and profiting from — the cash-flush tangle of entities created to boost his bid.

    The arrangement is also a prime example, in the post-Citizens United era of politics, of how the borders separating presidential campaigns and super PACs can be simultaneously porous and difficult to penetrate.

    Right to Rise USA, the Bush campaign and Larrison all refused to answer, or did not respond to, questions from the Center for Public Integrity.

    "Is pro-Bush super PAC obscuring spending?"

    Is Obama appointing a Jeb Hack?

    "“Obama’s pick for education secretary worked with Jeb Bush foundation,” by POLITICO Florida’s Jessica Bakeman: Shortly before he was named by President Barack Obama to replace Arne Duncan as U.S. education secretary, John King appeared in a video produced by Jeb Bush's education reform foundation." "From Jeb to Obama."

    "Fear is a powerful unifier"

    Nancy Smith: "To my knowledge, nobody has threatened a single Florida clergyman. But never mind that. Fear is a powerful unifier. And now legislators in each chamber are plowing ahead with bills to protect the religious freedoms of lawsuit-fearing clergy in case the U.S. Constitution doesn't." "Sad Day if Our Constitution Needs Another Layer of Protection for Religious Freedom."

    Senate Dem lawyer shut out of redistricting process

    "Tensions mounted Wednesday more than a week before the special session on Senate redistricting is set to begin as House and Senate leaders acknowledged that staff had begun drafting maps using guidelines agreed to exclusively by the leaders and their lawyers, but the lawyer hired to represent Senate Democrats would not be allowed to take part in the process."

    Senate Redistricting Chairman Bill Galvano acknowledged that the drawing of Senate districts is well underway by House and Senate staff for the three-week special session that begins Oct. 19. They are working in a sequestered space in the Senate redistricting suite and are being advised by the lawyers hired by the GOP-led Senate and House but, he said, the Senate Democrats will not have a separate lawyer at the table.

    Senate Democrat Leader Arthenia Joyner told the Herald/Times she has hired Tallahassee attorney Mark Herron to represent Senate Democrats in the redistricting process, using funds from the Florida Democratic Party, after Senate President Andy Gardiner twice rejected her request to allow the Democratic caucus to have its own lawyer advise them during the drawing of the Senate redistricting map.

    “I had no choice,” Joyner said. “There is an inherent conflict because they drew the maps to favor Republicans. These same lawyers defended the maps and then admitted they violated the Constitution. Now, these lawyers are giving advice ... Either fire them and get new lawyers, or hire us our own lawyers.”

    Joyner "said the Senate’s current lawyers, former Supreme Court Justice Raoul Cantero and Jason Zakia, were the Senate’s lead lawyers defending the existing maps in the protracted legal battle over the congressional and Senate redistricting maps first adopted by lawmakers in 2012.

    "Cantero’s signature was on the stipulated settlement agreement admitting that the Senate map violated the state constitution’s Fair Districts standards." "Tension mounts over which lawyers get access to Florida Senate redistricting maps."

    As an aside, Cantero is former Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista's grandson, who during his brief career as a lawyer before being promoted to the Florida Supreme Court by Jeb Bush, helped defend Orlando Bosch, an anti-Castro extremist who was labeled a terrorist by the U.S. government for his purported ties to bombing raids on Cuba.

    Florida voters support legalizing MJ

    "Florida voters support legalizing personal marijuana use 51 - 45 percent. Men support it 57 - 41 percent, with women narrowly opposed 49 - 46 percent. Support is 66 - 30 percent among voters 18 to 34 years old, 52 - 44 percent among voters 35 to 49 years old and 55 - 43 percent among voters 50 to 64 years old. Voters over 65 are opposed 56 - 39 percent. But 65 percent of voters say they would "definitely not" use marijuana if it were legalized. " "October 8, 2015 - Florida, Ohio Back Personal Pot; Pennsylvania Split, Quinnipiac University Swing State Poll Finds."

    "Bush family’s War on English continues"

    The Miami Herald editors: "And the Bush family’s War on English continues."

    You are, by now, familiar with the astonishingly tone-deaf response by Jeb Bush, the nation’s would-be 45th president, to last week’s shooting at a community college in Oregon in which a gunman killed nine people. “Look,” said Bush, “stuff happens.” . . .

    When a reporter asked about the wording afterward — perhaps trying to spare Bush some grief — the former Florida governor turned attitudinal. “No, it wasn’t a mistake,” he said. “I said exactly what I said. Explain to me what I said wrong.”

    “You said, ‘stuff happens,’ ” said the reporter.

    Whereupon, Bush hunkered deeper into his snit. “ ‘Things’ happen all the time,” he said. “ ‘Things.’ Is that better?”

    Um . . . no.

    And the pasting that followed was entirely predictable. Bush was slammed by Hillary Clinton and President Obama. In Mother Jones, the liberal magazine, his words were called “callous.” In Salon, they were dubbed “tactless, graceless and ham-handed.”

    But let’s not miss what’s truly offensive here.

    "Bush’s latest misfire on guns."

    Latvala takes Scott shill to the woodshed for his "arrogance" toward union rep

    "Gov. Rick Scott's jobs guru, Jesse Panuccio, never got a chance Wednesday to make his pitch for $3.5 million to fight benefits fraud in the Department of Economic Opportunity. Instead, Sen. Jack Latvala, R-Clearwater, took the DEO chief to the woodshed, criticizing his "arrogance" toward a union lobbyist and telling Panuccio, a Scott favorite: "I frankly don't like your attitude.""

    It's the latest sign of open hostility between the Senate and Scott, and it's clear Panuccio could have problems winning Senate confirmation next session. If Panuccio is not confirmed, he'll lose his $141,000-a-year job -- a decision the jobs chief says is "out of my hands."
    "Panuccio, testifying before Latvala's Senate budget subcommittee, hit his usual points: The economy is improving, the number of jobs is growing, unemployment is declining -- and fewer Floridians are filing for unemployment benefits."
    That was the opening senators were waiting for. They cited persistent complaints from constituents who can't file for unemployment because of problems with Connect, DEO's troubled online system for filing claims. Sen. Maria Sachs, D-Delray Beach, said of the unemployed: "They don't get paid, therefore the statistics look good. You can't get anybody on the phone. I just want the system to work."

    AFL-CIO lobbyist Rich Templin cited statistics on the unemployed that Panuccio called "invalid" and suggested the left-leaning labor organization had a political agenda for refusing to acknowledge that Scott's policies have improved the economy. At that point, Latvala defended the AFL-CIO lobbyist for his "courage" and tore into Panuccio.

    "Latvala blasts Scott aide's 'arrogance,' defends union lobbyist."

The Blog for Friday, October 02, 2015

"Brazen hypocrisy from a son of political royalty"

    "The most recent example [of 'brazen hypocrisy'] arrived last week, as Mr. Bush told a crowd in South Carolina that Republicans should not appeal to African-Americans with promises of 'free stuff.'"
    “Our message is one that is uplifting,” Mr. Bush said then, “that says you can achieve earned success.”

    Opponents saw in the Sept. 24 comments a brazen hypocrisy from a son of political royalty — the latest stumble for a candidate who has cast himself as a bridge to new voters, with experience leading a diverse state and a unique perspective among Republican presidential candidates as the bilingual husband of a woman born in Mexico.

    Longtime supporters heard something else: an echo of one of the most turbulent episodes of his governorship.

    Mr. Bush had not planned on a fight upon entering office, at least not on this count. Chastened by a narrow election loss in 1994 — he campaigned for governor as a tough-on-crime conservative who glibly predicted he would do “probably nothing” for blacks if elected — Mr. Bush had since moved to expand his outreach to new constituencies.

    "Jeb Bush’s Remarks About Blacks Echo a Firestorm He Faced as Governor".

    What? Me a wingnut?

    "Gov. Rick Scott is heading for his second political fight in recent months with a group prepared to mobilize against him over Planned Parenthood funding. John Stemberger, an attorney and head of the Florida Family Planning Council, says his organization is preparing a campaign to pressure Scott to cancel Planned Parenthood's Medicaid contracts with the state and do what he can to shut down its federal health care subcontracts." "Scott clashes again with social conservative group."

    Med MJ

    "Medical Marijuana Petition Inches Closer to 2016 Ballot."

    HD 3

    "Santa Rosa County Commissioner Jayer Williamson, the scion of a family with deep roots in local politics, announced on Thursday that he will not run for a second term and will make a second bid for the Florida House." "Jayer Williamson Decides to Run for Florida House in 2018 Instead of Second Term in Santa Rosa County."

    "Without a competitive race"

    "More than two-thirds of Florida’s legislators were elected without a competitive race." "How many votes does it take to elect a Florida legislator?"

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

    Marc Caputo: "Bush-backing tracker BUSTED at Rubio event – LIBERTARIAN DRAMA: goat mutilation, eugenics & a resignation – How Cuba fleeces FL – Clinton’s South Florida foray – FL bear hunt to continue." "Florida Playbook."

    "An injustice that has never been corrected"

    Leonard Pitts Jr.: "'Groveland,' an injustice that has never been corrected."

    Yee haw!

    "Licensed Floridians will still be able to bag a bear in Florida later this month after a state judge Thursday refused to stop the planned hunt. "The methodology that [Florida Fish and Wildlife officials] used in coming up with a rule is rational," according to the Judge. "Judge won't stop Florida bear hunt."

    "Alternative ideas for healthcare reform"

    "A pair of Republican state legislators who are also doctors are pushing an alternate plan to reform healthcare that runs counter to the proposed overhaul laid out by their party leaders." "Lawmaker doctors propose alternative ideas for healthcare reform."

    "Things getting hairy for JEB!

    "Things are getting a little hairy out there for John Ellis Bush."

    The guy who once positioned himself as the unstoppable juggernaut of the 2016 Republican primary has seen his poll numbers sag into the mid-single digits as conservative voters flock to the bizarre spectacle of the Trump/Carson/Fiorina insurgency.

    He’s put together a couple of passable, forgettable debate performances, and Bush donors are starting to feel icy needles of panic migrate up their spines as they watch their candidate struggle to gain traction. When not actively gaffing, Jeb is busy cleaning up gaffes.

    And when he’s not doing that, he’s defending George W. Bush’s bad wars and accidentally highlighting how many people his brother failed to keep safe.

    "Jeb Bush vs. Marco Rubio gets ugly: Florida man attacks friend during job interview."

The Blog for Thursday, October 01, 2015

"Common Core emerging as major issue"

    "Voters’ anger over education issues could drive the political debate in some state legislative districts — particularly where there are Republican primaries or open seats, lawmakers and political observers said." "Common Core emerging as major issue in local 2016 elections."

    Florida's Medicaid floppery

    "Feds grant Florida another extension for Medicaid program."

    School superintendents sound the alarm, Tallahassee isn't listening

    The Tampa Trib editors: "Once again the state’s school superintendents have sounded an alarm, and once again it appears the top education bureaucrats and lawmakers in Tallahassee aren’t listening."

    In a unified statement of protest, the superintendents say they have “lost confidence” in the education accountability systems in place and asked that the results of the new Florida Standards Assessments test given in the spring not be applied to students, teachers and schools when calculating grades and evaluating performance.
    "Review Florida’s high-stakes school accountability system."

    Grubbing for wingnuts

    "Dr. Ben Carson should replace U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio? A Florida congressman with his eyes on a U.S. Senate seat is open to the idea." "Ron DeSantis Open to Backing Ben Carson for Speaker."

    Jeb "a banal, gaffe-prone candidate"

    "Jeb Bush should not have run for president."

    He’s a banal, gaffe-prone candidate with a sullied name, seeking to lead a party whose recalcitrant base despises everything he represents.
    "Jeb! for president never made any sense: Why his precipitous collapse is far from surprising."

    The New York Times: "Jeb Bush: Crying Out Loud" and Salon: "Jeb Bush, as dumb as his idiot brother: His latest nonsense should have you running scared."

    Sugar farmers run wild

    Nancy Smith: "What are you going to do with Florida sugar farmers? First they insist on keeping the land they own. How selfish is that? Then they go and meet annual Everglades pollution reduction requirements when everybody knows they're poisoning the planet."

    "Now guess what they're doing? You probably heard: Those sons-of-a-seabiscuit are poisoning the air as well. They audaciously told the media Wednesday they're going to control-burn their crops -- even though the Sierra Club told them not to." "Damn Sugar Farmers Just Won't Do What They're Told."

    A fine start

    "Mayor Bob Buckhorn upset civic groups including the NAACP and American Civil Liberties Union when he dismissed critics of his new police review board as “fringe groups” who want to 'tear down our community.' On Wednesday, Buckhorn said he sees no need to meet with those groups as called for by City Council Chairman Frank Reddick." "Buckhorn: No need to see NAACP, ACLU about police review board."

    Can Atwater avoid ‘bloody’ Senate primary?

    "Some donors hoping Atwater can help GOP avoid ‘bloody’ Senate primary."

    Yee Haw!

    "State senators are scheduled next week to begin considering whether to keep the Confederate flag on the Senate's official seal, another sign of a growing national tide against icons of the South's rebellion in the 1860s." "Senate Could Drop Confederate Flag from Seal."

The Blog for Tuesday, September 29, 2015

"This is the "smart" Bush? Please"

    From Salon: "One of the most entertaining spectacles of this election cycle is watching Jeb! Bush try to marry his genial, moderate patrician demeanor to the kind of sneering, condescending Tea Party dialogue that, having incubated for years in right-wing media, has now burst out of the host Republican Party’s abdominal cavity to spray acid in the eyes of anyone who dares get near it."

    "It’s the same awkward fusion Mitt Romney attempted four years ago, though no one really noticed until the general. Jeb has the decency to do it during the primaries so we’ll all have more time to enjoy watching him flail."

    Bush followed up his recent “hey black people, no more free stuff for you!” moment by sitting for an interview with John Harwood on CNBC, and hoo boy, does the former Florida governor sound like a man so far down the rabbit hole he might emerge on the other side of the planet. Over the course of just a few minutes, he manages to twist himself into so many knots trying to rescue his brother’s legacy while simultaneously suggesting that President Obama is several steps to the left of Vladimir Lenin, by the end you could salt him and sell him from a Times Square pretzel cart.
    "Jeb Bush, as dumb as his idiot brother: His latest nonsense should have you running scared ." See also "Jeb goes full Mitt Romney: Man of inherited wealth and power says African-Americans want “free stuff” " and "Hillary Clinton knocks Jeb Bush over 'free stuff' remark."

    State BOE shills for charters

    "The Palm Beach County School Board is challenging the state's approval process for charter schools after the state Board of Education overturned the denial of an operator's application." "PBC school board challenges charter school approval process."

    Criser: unions ain't the problem

    "Criser: Unions, tenure don’t hinder innovation."

    Jeb! gets oily

    "Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush says ending the ban on U.S. oil exports and easing restrictions on natural gas exports will unleash the nation’s economy." "Jeb Bush: U.S. should open overseas markets to U.S. oil, gas."

    Eisnaugle proposes to cut Speaker's power

    "Read Eisnaugle's proposals to devolve House Speaker power."

    What's "hot, crazy or shady" about Florida politics

    Marc Caputo: "Al Gore bashes Gov. Scott on climate change – RAW RACIAL POLITICS: redistricting trial closes -- Eisnaugle strikes back – Common Core controversy – H.S. teen called out for Confederate belt buckle – of monkey mayhem and turtle ‘molestation’" "Florida Playbook."

    Florida’s school superintendents voice a lack of confidence

    "In the wake of a rocky rollout last spring of Florida’s newest standardized tests, the state’s superintendents have banned [sic] together to voice a lack of confidence in the accountability system and ask for all scores to be ignored." "Florida stands by flawed test scores despite local concerns."

    Map trial ends

    "Closing arguments focused on South Florida’s black, Hispanic voters." "Final day of map trial highlights Miami-Dade race politics."

    Ross wants to whip

    "With U.S. Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., the GOP whip in Congress, now running to be House majority leader in the shakeup after U.S. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, announced he was going to give up his seat at the end of October, a Florida congressman is looking to move up the leadership ladder."

    "Dennis Ross Aims for GOP Whip Post in Aftermath of John Boehner Stepping Down."

    Scott flip-flops

    "Rick Scott, Who Made Millions as Hospital CEO, Now Faults Hospital Costs."

    Establishment Dems flock to Murphy

    "Five Democrats in the Florida House--Reps. Reggie Fulwood and Mia Jones of Jacksonville, Amanda Murphy of New Port Richey, Cynthia Stafford of Miami and Richard Stark of Weston--announced on Monday they were backing U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy, D-Fla., in the 2016 U.S. Senate race." "Patrick Murphy Reels in Endorsements from State Representatives."

    Oh Pleeez . . .

    "Florida lawmakers plan to live on minimum wage for a week."

    Rubio strides world stage

    "From his perch as chairman of the U.S. Senate Western Hemisphere Subcommittee, U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., sent President Barack Obama a letter on Tuesday, urging him to oppose a measure in the United Nations against the embargo on Cuba. Obama is scheduled to meet Cuban strongman Raul Castro at the UN on Tuesday." "Marco Rubio Urges Obama to Oppose UN Measure Against Cuban Embargo."

The Blog for Tuesday, September 22, 2015

"Florida has one of the least fair tax systems in the nation"

    "Florida politicians, including Gov. Rick Scott, often tout the absence of a state income tax and a host of business-friendly exemptions in hailing the state’s allure."
    But WalletHub, the online personal finance resource, says Florida has one of the least fair tax systems in the nation, ranking 45th overall; is No. 3 among states where the top 1 percent in income are most undertaxed; and is No. 4 among states where the poor are overtaxed.
    "Florida nice to rich, mean to poor, tax survey says." See also "" and "".


    "Yoho: No government shutdown likely, but Boehner must go."

    Feel free to stay

    "Gov. Rick Scott will fly to Kentucky early Tuesday for two days of private meetings in Lexington and Louisville with unidentified business owners about moving or expanding to Florida." "Rick Scott to Begin Two-Day Recruiting Trip to Kentucky."

    Hot, crazy or shady about politics in the Sunshine State

    Marc Caputo: "‘BLACK LIVES’ & WHITE COLLAR DEFENSE for Grayson – A TWO (CUBAN-AMERICAN)-MAN GOP primary? – CLIMATE CHANGE: FL ad blitz timed for Pope’s visit – SEAQUARIUM SUIT ENDS, protesters get space – ‘LIVING WAGE’ fight starts in Osceola." "Florida Playbook."

    Now, let's gut their pensions

    "Colorado Springs Fire Captain Steven Oswald said that the Florida firefighters' quick action probably saved her life." "Fort Lauderdale firefighters save Colorado snakebite victim."

    A "consultant," no less

    "U.S. Rep. John Mica has once again drawn a Republican primary opponent, consultant and Army veteran John Morning of Orlando. Morning has filed to run against Mica in Florida's 7th Congressional District, where Mica is seeking re-election to a 13th term in 2016. As with previous Republican challengers, Morning portrays Mica as someone who has been in office far too long and has become part of the Washington-business-as-usual issues." "Mica draws primary opponent, Army veteran John Morning".

    "Corcoran parties with privileged insiders."

    "On the eve of a fiery speech in which he urged members to “build an absolute firewall between our private lives and the influence of special interests,” House Speaker-designate Richard Corcoran held a party at a posh Capital City hotel bar for upward of 400 lobbyists, legislators and Citrus County supporters." "After declaring war on privileged insiders, Corcoran parties with them."

    More: "With stinging critique of Florida House, Corcoran faces pushback" and "No Offense, Richard Corcoran, but Ethics Again?"

    State of Florida turned its back on the River of Grass

    "Guess it’s up to Congress to come through for the Everglades. Goodness knows the state of Florida turned its back on at least one big boost the life-sustaining River of Grass needed this year." "Congress to the Everglades’ rescue"

    "Flawed assessment"

    The Daytona Beach News Journal editors: "Schools and teachers should not be judged with a flawed process." "No grades for flawed assessment."

    Apparently these federal dollars are acceptable to FLAbaggers

    "[PBC] kitchens served nearly 50,000 meals, paid for by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and administered by the state’s Department of Health’s Bureau of Child Care Food Programs." "Twenty PBC schools now serving free meals after school too."

    Attacks Fly in SoFla

    "Even with congressional redistricting up in the air until the state judiciary making a final ruling on new maps, the contest is heading up between U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo, R-Fla., and former Miami-Dade Democratic Party Chairwoman Annette Taddeo." "Attacks Continue to Fly in S. Florida Even Before Congressional Redistricting Finalized."

    Please, Florida jokes

    "Video: Rand Paul aide says Marco Rubio aide punched him in face."

    Rubio playin' hooky

    Joe Henderson: "Marco Rubio received 2.6 million votes from Floridians in the 2010 race for the U.S. Senate. That was 49 percent of the ballots cast in a three-way race, an overwhelming victory any way you want to look at it."

    Voters sent Rubio to Washington because they believed he would do the best job of representing their interests and values. He draws a pretty good paycheck, too — $174,000 a year, plus benefits that include eligibility for a government pension after serving five years.

    Being a senator is demanding, and they should be compensated accordingly, but that comes with a caveat that the person actually should do the job. People have been on Rubio’s case lately — rightly so — about the time he is spending away from the job he was hired to do.

    "Um, Sen. Rubio? The people of Florida hired you to do a job."

    One trick pony

    "Bush says too many regulations are hurting US economy."

    DWS draws fire

    "U.S. Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Fla., the chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), is drawing fire as activists want more debates between the candidates running for the party’s presidential nomination."

    So far, there are only six debates scheduled, prompting some of the dark horse candidates to demand more of them. In the 2008 cycle, when Barack Obama beat Hillary Clinton, there were more than 20 debates held. Wasserman Schultz backed Clinton who is running again after losing to Obama last time out.
    "Debbie Wasserman Schultz Pummeled by Fellow Democrats on Presidential Debates."

    FlaBaggers shill for FlaGOP

    "Civility is Just Another Talking Point for Democrats, Hillary Clinton, Alan Grayson."

The Blog for Wednesday, September 16, 2015

RPOF concerned that Florida is being ignored

    "State GOP mulls forcing presidential candidates to attend summit."

    Speaker Designation Day

    Nancy Smith: "If ever Florida had a speaker prepared to take the gavel, it has to be Richard Corcoran, whose designation today formalizes a kind of 20-year, one-of-its-kind apprenticeship for the job." "Rep. Richard Corcoran: His Speaker Designation Day, and Why Not?."

    "Briefing on what's hot, crazy or shady"

    Marc Caputo: "RPOF fights for relevance; Jeb’s bad FL poll; Bondi doubts whoremonger rehab; Marco feels Noles’ wrath; FAMU student prez faces impeachment; kids play after cobra scare." "Florida Playbook."

    More Marc Caputo: "‘The Thrill’ v. ‘The Hat Lady’; Jeb’s Total Frat Move; Marco’s Nole troll; FL marriage forms swap ‘husband’ & ‘wife’ for ‘spouse’; former Rep. Garcia aide escapes jail sentence."

    Jeb drops from second place to fifth

    "A new Monmouth University poll shows Donald Trump crushing fellow Republicans in New Hampshire, where he has double the support of the next closest candidate, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, among voters likely to participate in the Granite State primary." "NH Poll: Trump Doubles Lead Over Jeb, Biggest of GOP Race."

    See also "Trump Holds Big N.H. Lead While Jeb Falls To Fifth In GOP Poll" ("Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush dropped from second place in a July poll to fifth in the latest and was tied with former technology executive Carly Fiorina at 7 percent.")

    "Huge increases in Medicaid spending"

    "Despite a transition to managed care meant to tame huge increases in Medicaid spending, the health-care program for low-income Floridians still threatens to consume almost half of the state's revenue growth, an economist told lawmakers Tuesday." "Medicaid Projections Cloud Predicted Forecast."

The Blog for Tuesday, September 08, 2015

    Our digest of, and commentary on today's Florida political news and punditry.

    Wasserman Schultz Primary Challenger?

    "Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s decision Sunday to back the Obama administration's nuclear deal with Iran could lead to a political first for her, as a fellow Jewish member of her own party says he is considering a primary challenge to the Democratic National Committee chairwoman." "Wasserman Schultz Iran-deal decision prompts primary threat."

    Scott conflict alleged

    "An environmental group filed a petition asking the DEP to deny natural gas pipeline permit or at least reroute it in order to protect wildlife and fragile limestone terrain." "Pipeline foes ask DEP to deny key permit, cite ‘conflict of interest’ by Gov. Rick Scott."

    Already paid for

    "Darden Restaurants has shuttered its Washington, D.C., lobbying office and cut most of its political spending since activist investors took over the company last year." "Darden's new leadership slashes political spending."

    Nelson will be 76 in 2018

    "Plenty of senators in recent years called it quits when they were in their mid to late 70s. Not Bill Nelson as all signs indicate he will run for a fourth term in 2018. Nelson signaled once again at the end of August that he will run for a fourth term. In 2018, Nelson will be 76 but he shows no signs of slowing down." "Bill Nelson Under the Radar Once More as He Readies to Run Again."

    Rocky start to school testing

    "Survey responses and focus group discussions shine light on the questions and frustrations Florida schools faced when technical problems hobbled the FSAs in spring 2015." "An inside look at the rocky start to Florida’s standardized school test."

    Weekly Roundup

    "Weekly Roundup: That Pesky Third Branch." See also "Florida Playbook: Dem eyes Wasserman Schultz challenge amid Iran deal; Trump v. Palm Beach; Miami teacher union mayhem; FL Senate could quit Medicaid fight; fewer Atlantic hurricanes?" Florida Playbook