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 Saturday, January 28, 2006

Redistricting Goes to Florida Supreme Court

    "It's official: Backers of a constitutional amendment to take a nuclear bomb of partisan politics away from Florida lawmakers have gathered the voter signatures to do it." "Redistricting measure heads to high court".

    "State campaign full of unregulated cash"

    "State Rep. Randy Johnson demanded Friday that Senate President Tom Lee refrain from using cash from a political committee he controls in their battle for the Republican nomination to a Cabinet seat." "State campaign full of unregulated cash". See also "CFO Candidate Pledges Not To Raise Soft Money", "GOP rivals in race for CFO differ on 'soft money'", "GOP finance chief candidate won't take advocacy group donations" and "Rival calls on Lee to reject soft money".

    Gay Bashers in Trouble

    "Another amendment drive to write a gay-marriage ban into Florida's Constitution is still well short of the signatures needed, although its backers have lined up significant resources [courtesy of the Florida GOP] to push it next week." "Gay-marriage ban still short".

    When will these guys get it right: the proposed amendment prohibits much more than "gay marriage".

    Randy Nielsen

    Poor Ken Pruitt, he's embarassed himself; maybe it is Randy Nielsen's fault:

    The next president of the Florida Senate has heads spinning after mailing an incendiary fundraising letter accusing "liberals in the Florida Senate" of targeting the Pledge of Allegiance and the Boy Scouts.

    The main reason for Pruitt's letter was to raise money, the one thing lawmakers can never get enough of. But rather than put forth a positive agenda of job creation, tax cuts, school choice and other policies in the GOP platform, Pruitt ripped a page from the playbook of his political adviser, Randy Nielsen. ...

    It's conceivable that Pruitt was sold a bill of goods here by Nielsen, the West Palm Beach strategist who owns Public Concepts, a firm specializing in heavy-handed direct mail pitches (Nielsen's office is listed as the address to send party contributions).

    Reached at work Friday, Nielsen begged off an interview, saying he wasn't the story. "I'm up to my arms in alligators, trying to save America," Nielsen said.
    "'Uphold the dignity' of the Senate? A poor start".

    Belated "Jebcare"

    Recall how after "an abrupt about-face Thursday, Florida joined roughly half the nation's states in helping low-income beneficiaries who have been overcharged for their prescription drugs during the rocky implementation of the Medicare drug law."

    Of all the glitches that have marred the new Medicare prescription drug program that began this month, the cruelest was the one that left poor Floridians with a drug bill they couldn't afford. Many of those probably went without their medications. Now Gov. Jeb Bush finally has done the right thing and committed the state to help.

    His actions come a little late, but at least he has offered a temporary fix.
    "JebCare for Part D". See also "Part D crisis came quickly; intervention came slowly" ("As dire predictions became reality, Gov. Bush should have acted sooner, as well.")

    Now That The Elections Are Over ...

    and Dubya doesn't have to pretend he gives a damn about the Everglades, we get this: "Facing an enormous backlog of water-wrangling projects across the country, Congress this year is unlikely to approve money for restoring the Everglades, leaving the $10.5 billion project "stuck in the swamp," an Interior Department official said Friday." "".

    More GOoPer "Values"

    "When the state heightened the criteria for a species to be listed as "endangered" last year so that a species would have to be near extinction to be afforded the highest protection, conservationists warned that it wouldn't accurately reflect the true threat to imperiled creatures. They now appear to be exactly right." "State's Labels Mislead Public On Status of Imperiled Animals".

    Hasting Warns Shaw

    U.S. Reps. Alcee Hastings and Clay Shaw are buddies. Hastings has warned Shaw not to underestimate Klein's challenge:

    Hastings clearly cares for Shaw, and this week he had a warning for his congressional colleague, who is mired in a tough re-election against state Sen. Ron Klein, D-Boca Raton.

    Dismissing Shaw's opponents in previous campaigns as weak, Hastings cautioned that Klein is one of his party's better grassroots politicians. The Democrat will be shaking hands and knocking on doors all over House District 22, which stretches from Fort Lauderdale to north Palm Beach County, mostly east of US 1.

    Hastings warned that Shaw can't just overwhelm this opponent with television spots, a tactic Shaw has depended on in the past.

    "Clay has to get out and do retail politics," said Hastings, who has refused to endorse Klein because of his friendship for Shaw. "He's in the fight of his life," ... .
    "Hastings and Shaw: Friends to the end".


    "Health and Human Services Secretary Mike Leavitt had a message Friday for those caught up in glitches with the new federal Medicare benefit program, who can't show they are eligible for prescription-drug coverage: 'Don't leave the counter without your prescription being filled,' said Leavitt, after meeting with the Florida Pharmacy Association." "Don't leave store without medicine".

    More GOoPer Incompetence

    "Florida officials didn't confirm the legitimacy of some hurricane claims before it paid out more than $150 million as part of an agreement to share the cost with Washington, a state audit has found." "Florida didn't check to ensure hurricane payments were legit".

    You would think, after a series of revelations by the South Florida Sun-Sentinel about monumental waste and mismanagement at the Federal Emergency Management Agency, that Florida would be very careful about reimbursing FEMA for the state's share of disaster aid.

    You would think, after revelations that FEMA paid hundreds of millions of dollars in disaster aid to people in Miami-Dade County and other parts of the country who had not been victims of disasters, that Florida might at least ask a few questions about FEMA payments before sending reimbursements.

    You'd think so, but that would be giving state officials too much credit.
    "Disaster Aid".

    The Smith Team

    "David Kochman, most recently senior account manager and media director for Miami-based Adkins + Associates consulting, is the new communications director. Joan Joseph, a respected Palm Beach County-based field organizer, is the new statewide volunteer coordinator. The new political director is Todd Wilder, a veteran political strategist who is on leave from Broward Sheriff Ken Jenne's office." "Smith's Growing Team".

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