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 Monday, January 16, 2006

MLK Day Edition

    The Education Governor

    "Florida schools can check the 'needs improvement' box when it comes to science education, now that state educators have decided that average FCAT science scores fall below grade-level performance." "State: Schools below grade level in science".

    Quacking Like A Lame Duck

    "Moderate GOP senators stand in way of citizens' vote on voucher amendment". "Bush voucher legacy may die".


    "The South Florida Congressional delegation got a clean bill of health when it came to whether they had received any tainted campaign contributions from disgraced Washington D.C. lobbyist Jack Abramoff who recently plead guilty to federal charges of conspiracy and fraud in Washington and Miami." "U.S. Rep Ros-Lehtinen says, 'we need to clean up our own act or the voters will clean it for us'".

    Updated and Corrected: Ricker's "Watchdog" piece - declaring that the "South Florida Congressional delegation got a clean bill of health when it came to whether they had received any tainted campaign contributions from disgraced Washington D.C. lobbyist Jack Abramoff" - was revised and changed when it ultimately appeared in the Miami Herald:

    The South Florida Congressional delegation got an almost clean bill of health on the question of whether they had received any tainted campaign contributions from Washington, D.C., lobbyist Jack Abramoff, who recently pleaded guilty to federal corruption and fraud charges in Washington and Miami. ...

    But U.S. Rep. Mark Foley, a Republican from Palm Beach County, received $2,000 from two Indian tribes once associated with Abramoff. Foley did not return the money, according to spokesman Jason Kello.

    (On Friday, meanwhile, a group that Republicans condemned as partisan called on Mario Diaz-Balart to give back campaign money from Rep. Bob Ney, R-Ohio, who has been implicated in the Abramoff affair. A spokeswoman for Sen. Mel Martinez, R-Fla., on Friday said he would donate to charity $2,500 received in 2004 from Ney's political action committee. Ney has not been charged, and he has denied wrongdoing.)
    "Most S. Florida lawmakers didn't receive 'tainted' money". The original "Watchdog Report" is here.

    Voucher Madness

    This from Miami Herald editorial board today: "Gov. Bush should explore other ways of funding vouchers, including through private donations, and of promoting more education competition in the state. He should be mindful that the crux of the court decision was that public-to-private transfer of funds is wrong because the state has virtually no say in regulating private schools." "Drawing a line on tuition vouchers".

    School "districts of haves and have-nots"

    "[I]t's wishful thinking to suggest that Florida's education problems would improve by shrinking the size of its school districts. Rather, the law of unintended consequences would create districts of haves and have-nots." "Slicing Up Big School Districts Won't Solve Education's Problems".

    Health Insurance Costs

    "Nearly two years after Florida lawmakers passed a wide-ranging law aimed at making health care more affordable, businesses and families continue struggling to find ways to pay for insurance. That has led to businesses dropping health coverage or shifting more costs to workers. It also has meant hospitals continue to get stuck with the bills for people who show up in emergency rooms without insurance." "Lawmakers, businesses want health-insurance costs addressed".

    Sounds Like a Flop to Me

    "[O]nly 844 employees opted for the low-cost, high-deductible plan. That's about 1 percent of all state employees with health coverage." "Insurance plan shows potential".

    Campaign Finance

    "Goodbye, freebies; is the soft cash next?"


    "State Rep. Daniel Saul Gelber, D-Miami Beach is in the spotlight this week in the Watchdog Report. Gelber, a former federal prosecutor has been a rising star in the Democratic Party. He is slated to be minority leader in the Florida House in 2006. He represents House District 106, which is northeast Miami-Dade and he is termed out in 2008.".

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