Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


UPDATE: Every morning we review and individually digest Florida political news articles, editorials and punditry. Our sister site, FLA Politics was selected by Campaigns & Elections as one of only ten state blogs in the nation
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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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The Blog for Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Lobby Rules

    "Senate President Tom Lee's attempt to crack down on lobbyists' influence over legislators widened further Tuesday to include a measure that would shut down a perceived loophole before it could be exploited. Lee said if legislators were banned from accepting any gifts from lobbyists or their clients, lobbyists would simply funnel free food and drink to lawmakers as "in-kind" donations to political parties. So his staff is working on language to ban in-kind donations that benefited elected officials." "Lawmaker adds in-kind ban to lobby measure". See also "Senate aims to strengthen House proposal on gifts ban" and "Lobby rules spur clash" ("State Republicans butted heads over how to limit lobbyists' influence without incurring undue debt for black-tie functions and meals they attend as lawmakers.")

    The Miami Herald observes: "What a terrific idea: Impose a ban on lobbyists' gifts to legislators and other state officials. No more free meals for lawmakers courtesy of lobbyists' clients. No more free sports tickets and other goodies doled out to curry votes from our senators and representatives." The Orlando Sentinel agrees in "Rein in lobbyists". However, the St Pete Times points out in "No more free lunches" that "[f]or a complete gift ban to be effective, legislators have to close one gap. The logical end run would be for lobbyists to write a check to the political parties, which would then pay for the lawmakers' meals. The current restrictions need to be tightened to prevent that sort of trickery."

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