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 Thursday, January 05, 2006

Charlie and the Money Factory

    Money Machine

    "Charlie Crist continued unprecedented fundraising in his campaign for governor as 2005 ended, raising $1.5 million in the last three months of the year." "Crist Dominates In Raising Money". See also "Another $1.5-Million For Crist".

    The "Values" Crowd

    "A proposal to prevent public universities and community colleges from using state dollars to benefit unmarried couples and domestic partners was introduced Wednesday by a Central Florida [state Rep. Larry Cretul, an Ocala Republican]." "Domestic partner benefits opposed".

    "GOP Politicians Dump Abramoff Donations"

    Politicians from Florida to the White House on Wednesday rushed to give away the money they had received from lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his clients as the high-rolling lobbyist pleaded guilty in a Miami federal court to felony charges.

    Reps. Tom Feeney, R-Oviedo; Ric Keller, R-Orlando; and Katherine Harris, R-Longboat Key, were among numerous GOP lawmakers who said Wednesday that they, too, will get rid of money linked to Abramoff.
    "Abramoff admits guilt in Miami". More on the Indian money aspect:
    [A]t least nine members of Florida's congressional delegation have received contributions tied to Abramoff since 1999, according to a study by the Center for Responsive Politics, a Washington-based research group. Among the Floridians are Republican Reps. C.W. Bill Young of Indian Shores, who received $1,000 in 2002 from one of Abramoff's Indian tribe clients, the Mississippi Band of Choctow Indians, and Ginny Brown-Waite of Brooksville, who in 2002 received $500 from the Saginaw Chippewa Indian tribe.
    One incumbent Florida Dem is caught up in it, at least indirectly:
    State Sen. Ron Klein, a Boca Raton Democrat running to unseat U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw, in 2001, received $500 from SunCruz and $500 from Kidan, Abramoff's partner on the SunCruz deal who also pleaded guilty. On Wednesday, Klein said he had nothing to do with Abramoff or SunCruz but would donate those contributions to a hurricane relief charity.
    Tom Feeney is in it up to his neck:
    No Florida politician is more bruised by the Abramoff scandal than Rep. Tom Feeney, the Orlando area Republican and former state House speaker.

    Feeney took a trip with Abramoff to Scotland, where he golfed at the Royal & Ancient Golf Club at St. Andrews and attended the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, an annual parade of soldiers and bands.

    Abramoff asked Feeney to join him on the trip in 2003, one year after a similar trip Abramoff took with Rep. Bob Ney, an Ohio Republican, which is now under investigation.
    "Abramoff sets off a scramble".

    The Buzz lists affected pols in "Abramoff's Donations", including former Reps. Peter Deutsch and Bill McCollum (the latter who is now running for attorney general). See also "GOP Politicians Dump Abramoff Donations", "D.C. Lobbyist Shines Light On Graft", "A sordid tale" and "In Abramoff scandal, lobbying's dark side".


    "Bush signed into law Wednesday a bill expanding gambling in Broward County, despite his desire to rid the state of slot machines as early as November." "Bush signs slots bill, frets on deadline". See also "Bush signs bill regulating Broward County slot machines" and "Despite opposition, slots move closer to fruition".


    "Hate-crime laws: admirable, imperfect".


    "Jim Davis met the press Wednesday, having just visited his 67th and final county on a tour of the state. The Democratic congressman from Tampa and candidate for governor seemed genuinely surprised that a dozen reporters were waiting to ask him questions." "Sitting Around with Jim Davis".

    School Grades

    "The state received an A for standards and accountability, the same as last year, and a B minus in resource equity, a new category that shows Florida has relatively little disparity in spending per student among districts. National averages in those categories were B minus and C plus. ... Florida was slightly below the national average of C plus in two other subjects, posting C's in teacher quality improvement and school climate." "Florida Public Schools Score Above Average In Report" (" Florida earned a C for its efforts to improve teacher quality, putting it among the lowest 25 percent of the states, and a C for its "school climate," which was judged as lacking in part because of its large schools and larger-than-average class sizes.")

    "100 percent GOP assault on public schools "

    "This so-called solution won't do a thing to improve education, and it won't increase the overall funding for education. It will undermine public schools and take away local control. It could lead to further privatization of education -- such as vouchers for schools that are not held to the same accountability standards as public schools." "'65 Percent Solution'".


    "U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw underwent successful surgery Wednesday for a tumor in his left lung, his spokeswoman said." "Congressman's surgery a success".


    "Longer term limit for legislators would really mean longer term".

    Party Cards

    "State Democrats file report for '05 credit card charges" ("Republican Party of Florida spokeswoman Camille Anderson said the party is still compiling its credit card expenditure information to be reported to the state Division of Elections.")

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