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 Friday, January 27, 2006



    "Bush is expected next week to propose the biggest tax-cut package in state history, including a property-tax reduction that would save most homeowners less than $100 a year but mean millions of dollars to large landowners." "Gov. Bush proposes tax cut averaging almost $100 for homeowners". Here's how it would work:
    Central to Bush's plan is about $500 million in a property-tax reduction that could save the owner of a home assessed at $300,000 about $80 a year.

    The cut, however, could save Orange County's biggest landowner, Walt Disney World, about $1.6 million annually; Universal Orlando more than $400,000; and the Marriott hotel chain about $200,000 in the Orlando area alone.
    "Governor set to introduce large tax cuts".

    "Jeb!" "Sellout"

    "Gov. Bush, however, has been more willing to help his brother than to protect the state's beaches. Scoffing at critics and claiming that he was looking out for Florida, he hooked up with Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Calif., who is working to dismantle the Endangered Species Act when he's not dabbling in Florida oil drilling deals. The governor suggested 100- and 125-mile buffers off the coast, enforceable by the state in a complex series of hearings that easily could allow drilling much closer to shore. It wasn't a compromise. It was a sellout." "Protect beaches, forever".

    Thurman On Fire

    Thurman goes after Pruitt:

    Outraged with a Republican senator's fundraising letter that accused liberals of being against God, the Boy Scouts and the Pledge of Allegiance, Florida's Democratic Party is accusing its author of hypocritically misusing his office.

    Democrats say Ken Pruitt, slated to lead the state Senate next year, should be censured by the very panel he chairs: the Senate Rules Committee.

    Democratic Party chairwoman Karen Thurman said Pruitt violated a Senate rule calling on members to uphold the integrity of their office because his letter spoke of his official position, noting that it gives him "influence over what bills are voted on."

    Thurman, pointing to federal lobbying scandals, said Pruitt was part of the "GOP culture of corruption." She compared his alleged transgression to a case involving Fort Lauderdale Democratic Sen. Mandy Dawson, who was rebuked last year by the full Senate -- at the behest of Pruitt's committee -- for soliciting money from lobbyists to pay for a trip to Africa.
    "State senator's letter outrages Democrats". See also "Thurman: 'GOP Culture of Corruption'", "Senator's pitch draws complaint", "Pruitt's fiery letter raises hackles" and "Senator's letter prompts call for censure".

    "Jeb!" Covers For Dubya

    "Up to 100,000 Florida seniors stranded without drug coverage because of widespread glitches in the new federal Medicare program will have their prescriptions paid for temporarily by the state, Gov. Jeb Bush said Thursday." "State to pay for seniors' drugs, for now". See also "Bush says state will backstop drug plan", "Florida to pay excess charges for poor in Medicare drug plan" and "State will pay what Medicare missed" ("By the governor's order, Florida will pick up the tab for some medications that used to be covered by Medicaid.")

    Gift Ban?

    The Florida Hispanic Legislative Caucus "sidestepped the law, as well as guidelines issued last week by state House and Senate leaders, by deciding not to use any of the money earned from the event for a charity the Hispanic legislators control." "For this one round of golf, a way around gift-ban law".

    GOoPers Run Florida "Like a Business"

    "Florida paid $155 million for its share of federal disaster aid to residents after the 2004 hurricanes without checking the legitimacy of the claims, a state audit has concluded." "Florida paid FEMA $155 million without verifying storm claims".

    Bense Threatens PBC on Scripps

    "Florida House Speaker Allan Bense threatened Thursday to take back the $310 million allocated to Palm Beach County if the county commission doesn't 'get its act together' regarding The Scripps Research Institute." "House speaker says he might pull county's Scripps money".

    Just A Bird

    "Federal wildlife officials rejected a proposal from environmentalists to reclassify the Florida scrub jay as endangered." "Scrub jay's classification hovers at 'threatened'".

    Class Size Games

    "Florida's Republican-led Legislature on Thursday took its first step in a renewed drive to water down class-size caps, which passed with overwhelming support from South Florida voters in 2002." "House panel moves toward GOP repeal on class sizes". See also "House panel votes for looser class size limits" and "House moves to ease class size limits".

    "McInvale in Damage Control"

    First, "Rep. Sheri McInvale, the Orlando lawmaker who recently switched from the Democrat to Republican party, has sent letters to contributors offering to give them their money back if they disagreed with her decision. And here's the best part: You paid for it! McInvale sent it out on official House letterhead, featuring the House seal and listing her committee assignments." "A Newly-Minted Republican Offers Refunds".

    Next, as it turns out, "McInvale's use of government resources to send a political letter is a violation of House policy. [Bense spokesman]Towson Fraser says McInvale has agreed to reimburse the state treasury for the cost of the ill-advised letter and will send out a corrected letter, paid for by her political campaign." "McInvale in Damage Control".

    Charlie and Donald

    "Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, who as state attorney general portrays himself as a friend of the little guy, is touting support from a big cheese. Tycoon Donald Trump will throw him a campaign fundraiser on Feb. 3 at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Palm Beach, Crist announced Thursday." "Trump deals an ace to Crist ".

    Our Education Governor

    Rep. Curtis Richardson writes that Black "enrollment losses can be directly attributed to Republican policies, especially those of the governor. Foremost among those policies was One Florida, the governor's unilateral act to eliminate affirmative action in Florida's universities by executive order." "Bush policies caused decline in minority college enrollment".

    More GOoPer "Business Values"

    "A state audit released Thursday blasted Citizens Property Insurance as being poorly managed and wholly unprepared to handle thousands of hurricane claims the past two years." "State's auditors savage Citizens". See also "Audit details problems at Citizens Property Insurance", "Insurer Agrees It Must Change" and "Lawmaker wants Citizens' execs to answer management queries".

    Thet're Just Manatees

    "More Florida manatees died in 2005 than in any other year except 1996. The death toll for manatees continues to trend upward, despite state-enforced slow-speed zones, refuges and dock-building restrictions. So, when wildlife scientists for the state proposed downgrading manatees' protection as an endangered species, the immediate reaction was, 'They must be joking.' Sadly, they're not." "Manatee status".

    Cost of College Going Up

    "Florida's 11 public universities are a bargain in terms of tuition, but students are likely to be paying significantly more in nontuition fees next fall." "Higher college fees are sought".

    "No time limit on justice"

    "So far, five men imprisoned by the state of Florida have been exonerated through DNA testing. The latest to be released is Alan Crotzer, sentenced to 130 years for armed robbery and rape in 1981. Mr. Crotzer's case is an example of how our criminal-justice system can sometimes be flawed. The five exonerations are compelling reasons why the Legislature should lift a July deadline for persons convicted before 2001 to use DNA evidence to prove their innocence. Lawmakers also should drop the two-year deadline for persons convicted since 2001. There should be no time limit on justice." "Don't put justice in a straitjacket".

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