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.


Older posts [back to 2002]

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The Blog for Friday, January 20, 2006

"Jeb!" Strides World Stage

    "Bush on Thursday chided Venezuela's left-leaning President Hugo Chavez". "Gov. Bush visits Peru, pledges state's support for free trade".

    "Anyone Can Win"

    More Vantage Point Strategies poll results (.pdf):

    In the Republican primary for governor, Tom Gallagher leads Charlie Crist, 28 percent to 23 percent, with 49 percent undecided. That can't be called a lead for Gallagher because the poll of 330 likely GOP voters has a margin of error of plus or minus 5.5 percentage points.

    The story is much the same on the Democratic side, with one big difference: the undecideds (or "unsure" in Vantage Point's survey) are a whopping 75 percent. Jim Davis scored 14 percent and Rod Smith 11 percent in this poll of 331 likely Democratic voters.
    "Anyone Can Win, New Governor Poll Says". According to VPS analysis of the results,
    Davis leads by double digits over Smith in the central region of
    Florida by 9 points in the key 2004 presidential "battleground" counties. In his hometown media market of Tampa, Davis leads Smith by 25 points. He also does particularly well among working men, and those men under the age of 55 years old. Democratic men who voted for John Kerry for President are also strongly behind Davis. In looking at the ideology breakdown, Davis beats Smith by 9 points among Democrats who say they are "somewhat" liberal. Finally, Davis moves out to a six point advantage over Smith among those Democrats who have voted in every general election for the past five cycles.
    Regarding Smith, VPS says:
    Rod Smith is doing well in north Florida but there is a high undecided figure there also (82%). He leads Davis by six points in "swing" state senate districts across the state as well. Smith also earns high marks among those Democrats whose family income is higher than $75,000 a year. The most interesting figures in the cross tabulations for Smith are that the race is tied among "conservative" Democrats and that Smith narrows the Davis advantage to just four points among hard core Democratic primary voters (those Democrats who have voted in every primary for the last five election cycles).
    Much more analysis here (.pdf).

    Klein vs. Shaw

    "[D]uring his 25 years on Capitol Hill, Shaw has faced strong Democratic challengers before and always come out ahead. The nonpartisan Cook Political Report recently described the race as leaning toward Shaw. (It rates each congressional campaign as either a tossup, leaning Democratic or Republican, or likely Democratic or Republican.)" "Backing helps Klein challenge Shaw".

    Tax Holiday

    "A plan by state Republican lawmakers to create an unprecedented weeklong sales tax holiday is misguided. So is a Democratic counterproposal to give every Florida homeowner a $100 'rebate.'" "Lawmakers Should Take A Holiday From Creating Tax Holidays". See also "Shortsighted politics" ("But don't worry, snake oil will always be cheap and bountiful. In Tallahassee, they're giving the stuff away.")

    "Tallahassee's no-new-taxes attitude"

    "Millions in federal mass-transit money is financing commuter rail and other projects in other states. This year, Florida lawmakers get yet another chance to stop turning their backs on that money, which this region needs." "New attitude, new cash" ("Tallahassee's no-new-taxes attitude is impractical because Florida is a net donor of state gas taxes to the feds.")

    In Crist Country

    "Republican candidate for governor Tom Gallagher showed strength in Hillsborough County on Thursday when he announced a local campaign team including important legislators and party activists." "Gallagher Gathers Support".

    "Republican Tom Gallagher took his gubernatorial campaign to his opponent's home turf in a two-day bus tour focused on getting the conservative vote." "Gallagher seeks votes in foe's territory". See also "Gallagher Reaches For East Hillsborough" ("Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Gallagher announced Thursday that state Rep. Trey Treviesa of Brandon will serve as his campaign director for Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, and Polk counties.")

    Religious Conversion

    Political expediency?

    During a 1994 gubernatorial run, Gallagher described himself as "pro-choice." This campaign he is against abortion and he told the pastors he considers life to be from conception to natural death.

    "A society that does not look at life as a sacred thing and doesn't do everything they can to protect it ... is a society that's going to crumble so we need to do everything we can to foster life and not have abortions. That simple," he said.

    Gallagher, however, backs the death penalty.

    Laura Gallagher said that the change in her husband is real and shouldn't be seen as politically motivated.
    "Gallagher credits wife for his relationship with Jesus".

    "Another insurance shock"

    "A state fund backing up homeowners insurance may well go broke and must be replenished through increased premiums." "Another insurance shock is forecast".

    "Short-sighted" GOoPers

    "But although Secretary Colleen Castille says the DEP would work with other state agencies to promote conservation, the state still places too little emphasis on this crucial component of a comprehensive energy policy. Indeed, three years ago it rejected a sensible proposal that it adopt nationally recognized energy efficiency standards for 10 categories of products sold in Florida. Such a policy would have made the state less susceptible to energy shortages in times of emergency. State officials should reconsider their short-sighted decision." "A comprehensive strategy is needed, but officials must proceed carefully."

    Blame the Media

    "Intense media coverage of employee misconduct in the Florida Department of Corrections created a “perfect storm” that created an unfair impression of the agency, Deputy Secretary Laura E. Bedard said Thursday." "State prisons department: Misconduct allegations are exaggerated".

    "[H]is record in Tallahassee"

    "If Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's last name was Smith, his record in Tallahassee would make him a very strong candidate, but Americans don't like dynasties, and he has said he won't run." "My last prediction".

    Gift Ban

    "Leaders in the House and Senate are expected to soon issue guidelines regarding the gift ban, which went into effect Jan. 1. It has already caused House Speaker Allan Bense to cancel the semiannual Speaker's Ball because of uncertainty about how the ban applies to charitable events, Bense spokesman Towson Fraser said Thursday." "New ban has lobbyists wary of charity tourney".

    But Will They Deny Him Communion?

    "Florida's Roman Catholic bishops urged Gov. Jeb Bush on Thursday to reconsider the death warrants he signed for a pair of convicted killers scheduled for execution in the next two weeks. ... 'Reflecting on the continuous exposure to violence in society, which hardens the hearts and minds of even our youngest members, we reiterate our plea for respect for life, even for those who are guilty of violence,' the bishops said in a public statement." "Catholic bishops ask Bush to withdraw death warrants".

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