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
"every political insider should be reading right now."

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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 Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Debate

    "The two Republican and two Democratic candidates for governor put on a lively show in the first bipartisan forum of the 2006 race." "Governor hopefuls meet for first time". See also "Gubernatorial Candidates Face Off", "Governor's race rivals tout their views at Orlando appearance", "Candidates for governor gather", "Candidates outline their priorities" and "Next governor likely at talk, but who is it?"

    The Buzz: "All Four Gov Candidates Together". The Buzz also points out that
    state Sen. Rod Smith of Alachua is getting sick of U.S. Rep. Jim Davis' broad-brushed bashing of "those politicians in Tallahassee" or "this crowd in Tallahassee" or the "failure of leadership in Tallahassee."
    "Tallahassee V. Washington".

    Gift Ban Clarified.

    "If it isn't free for everyone else, you have to pay for it. If a lobbyist wouldn't give it to you if you weren't a lawmaker, you can't have it. And if you can't figure it out, don't eat or drink, just 'pop in' and leave." "Memo interprets rules on lobbyists' gifts". See also "Gift ban rules dominated by don'ts", "Leaders clarify lobbyist limits" and "Legislators detail rules on gift ban directive".

    Bousquet writes that "Free lunch will be a rarity".

    "Stabbing the backs they're more accustomed to scratching"

    "Florida lobbyists are preparing to assault a new ethics law requiring them to reveal how much money they make. The Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists has quietly collected more than $90,000 in cash and commitments this month to finance a potential lawsuit against lawmakers. If they sue, it would raise the odd specter of the city's 2,000-plus lobbyists stabbing the backs they're more accustomed to scratching -- with the upcoming legislative session looming.". "State lobbyists bristle at ethics-law provision". See also "Lobbyists might sue over new ethics law".

    New Vision

    Panel maps new vision for Florida high schools.

    More From The "Values" Crowd

    "Funding cuts make getting aid a challenge". "Child-care benefits now harder to obtain".

    "Three sentences"

    "Three sentences could cost the Pensacola News Journal millions and have spurred gubernatorial candidate Rod Smith to file needed legislation to make it harder to bring some invasion of privacy lawsuits against newspapers." "Press Freedom Bill Deserves Passage".

    Another "Failing Grade"

    "Florida once again earns failing grade on anti-smoking initiatives." "Health".

    "Voter Disgust"

    "Will voters' disgust hurt GOP at the polls?"

    "I'd say the winds are blowing in the Democrats' favor right now, but I wouldn't predict a huge turnover," he said. "One of these days, Republicans are going to get tossed out for the same reasons that Democrats did in '94, which is arrogance. They've shown plenty of it. At some point, people are going to say, 'This is crap. Let's try something new.' But I don't know if (this year's scandals are) the trigger point."
    We can hope.

    Still More From The "Values" Crowd

    "The animals have been on the endangered species list since it was created. A state report says that should change, possibly freeing boaters from some regulations." "Manatees' label in doubt".

    Lotsa Crap Jobs

    Unemployment may be down, but

    [t]he numbers can be deceptive, however, because they don't include the chronically unemployed who have dropped out of the job market, and many of the new jobs are low-paying and lack benefits, said Florida AFL-CIO spokesman Rich Templin.
    "Florida unemployment rate of 3.3 percent lowest in 30 years".

    Consider the following:

    - "Latest employment figures not all good news".

    - "Still, the same old problem remains: The mix of jobs being created, particularly in this tourism-driven region, is heavily weighted toward lower-paying positions." "State's job machine hit high gear in '05".

    - "But for professionals, finding a new career still can be challenging, said Ron Kasarda, a North Fort Myers resident looking for a new career after 20 years as an insurance agent. 'There is a lot of new job growth, but it seems to be just in the restaurants and construction,' he said." "Lee's jobless rate hits 6-year low".

    But see "South Florida leads state in job creation; state unemployment rate at record low" (In South Florida "the new jobs are not concentrated in one industry or at one end of the pay scale.")

    Bense's (Business) Agenda

    "House Speaker Allan Bense's top priorities in 2006 is also a priority of the business lobbies that are stalwart supporters of Republican legislators. It is repealing the age-old doctrine of joint and several liability, in which deep-pocket defendants can be liable for damages in a case based on their ability to pay, not based on the extent of their liability." "Bense Fine-Tunes His Agenda".

    GOoPers Embarass Themselves

    "The state GOP today called security to eject reporters
    listening to Gov. Jeb Bush tout his party's accomplishments in Tallahassee. The unusual scene - five hotel security staffers and a sheriff's deputy escorting reporters away from where they could hear the governor - occurred in the middle of a speech in which Bush exhorted party activists to spread the word of Republican successes in Florida." "Free The Lake Buena Vista 4".

    More Troopers Please

    "The FHP is badly shorthanded, and it has been that way for years. It only has 1,700 troopers to patrol nearly 11,000 of highways and state roads around the clock. More troopers are badly needed to ensure safety because Florida's traffic-death toll broke a record with 3,471 killed during 2005." "Ignoring the danger".

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