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 13, 2006

"Tax Cut" Games

    Compare this headline, "Republicans in House plan huge tax cut" with this one: "GOP proposes major sales tax holiday".

    Reading the former headline, you might not realize that the proposed "huge tax cut" is in reality only just another silly sales week long tax "holiday"; and "it would apply to virtually any item, unlike previous holidays on sales taxes for back-to-school and hurricane supplies. And unlike those tax holidays, this one would allow shoppers to receive the tax cut even if they buy a big-ticket item that exceeds the spending cap."

    So, "[s]omeone who buys a $5,000 plasma TV would save $300. Consumers would still have to pay local sales taxes, which vary by county."

    See also: "House plan: A tax vacation", "State GOP propose weeklong sales tax break on purchases up to $5,000", "Parties propose new tax deals", "Plans to provide buyers a break", "House GOP wants bigger 'tax holiday,' Dems prefer $100 checks" and "Republicans, Democrats suggest ways to spend extra revenue" ("Democrats quickly shot back with their own idea on how to return nearly $500 million to taxpayers: Send $100 checks to the 4.27 million Floridians with homestead exemptions.")

    Begging the Question

    "Gov. Jeb Bush's "Diversity Initiative" could boost minority enrollment in Florida's universities by directing financial aid to those who need it most." "Funding diversity".

    That's all well and good, but let's not forget why we have a proplem with minority enrollment in the first place.

    "Anonymous Criticism"

    "Republican gubernatorial candidate Tom Gallagher promised Thursday to post five years of tax returns on the Internet next week after anonymous documents were circulated to newspapers about a 5-year-old land deal he profited from." "Anonymous criticism decried by Gallagher". See also "Gallagher criticizes anonymous attack".

    At The Trough

    "Bush stops by and raises $4 million at Palm Beach party". I guess taxpayers picked up at least part of the tab due to a photo op, that "lasted only a few seconds": "President Bush praises school volunteer on way to fund-raiser in Palm Beach".


    "State lawmakers on Thursday rapped the Palm Beach County Commission for failing to deliver a final site for The Scripps Research Institute, saying that Florida cannot reap the economic benefits of its $310 million investment until the issue is settled." "Legislators' patience wears thin with county over Scripps sites".

    Poor Things

    "Candidates' fund raising lags because of hurricane".

    "Yahoo" "'Death Wish' Law"

    Daniel Ruth:

    Once you pass a yahoo law making it easier for people to start shooting each other, you don't need to be Dirty Harry to figure out that people are going to start shooting each other.

    Insert: V-8 forehead slap, a light bulb going on and a "Duh" right about here.

    So it's hardly a huge shock that the mouthpiece for tow truck driver Donald Montanez would claim his client was acting well within Florida's "Stand Your Ground Law" when he shot to death Glen "Chuck" Rich last Sunday morning.

    Rich found himself a fatal victim of Florida's "Death Wish" law after a dispute surrounding the towing of his car by Montanez.
    "'Death Wish' Law Working Like A Charm".

    GOoPer Primary Voters

    "What could possibly explain Johnson's four-fold advantage in name ID over a sitting Senate president? It's got to have something to do with the fact that Johnson's name is the same as the New York Yankees' pitcher known as the 'Big Unit.'" "Johnson Wins Big in New CFO Poll".

    Resistance Is Futile

    "Florida legislators are looking at a bill that is hugely popular with parents, won't cost anything to do, and make local governments deal with the details. Yeah, hard choice. It's almost a shame they'll have to wait until the session begins to pass it. As it is, the measure was approved Tuesday by a House committee with an easy 10-1 vote." "School starting date push-back could find its way into law".

    The Sycophancy Is Breathtaking

    The Tampa Trib editorial board just can't help itself:

    It's a good thing Gov. Jeb Bush is an idea guy. It's going to take his considerable intellect and political skill to find a way around the Florida Supreme Court's decision invalidating one of the state's four school voucher programs.
    "Jeb Can Find A Way To Rescue Opportunity Scholarships". Contrast that bit 'o wisdom with the comments of from the Orlando Sentinel editors:
    Corporate Tax Credit Scholarships, an ill-conceived voucher program that gives businesses a dollar-for-dollar tax break if they donate money to private-school tuition for poor children, wasn't addressed in the court's 5-2 ruling. In many ways, these vouchers are more insidious than Mr. Bush's Opportunity Scholarships, which give parents tax money to enroll their child in private schools.

    The court's failure to address the corporate-tax-credit vouchers in its ruling defies logic and emboldens lawmakers to cement this bad idea into the Florida Constitution. Lawmakers would be wise to go the opposite direction and strike the program from the books before a second case finds itself before the state's highest court and meets the same fate as the Opportunity Scholarship.

    And make no mistake: The corporate-tax-credit voucher deserves the same fate.
    "Blind faith".


    "Senate President Tom Lee sharply criticized Attorney General Charlie Crist on Thursday, hinting that Crist was using his office to gain publicity. Lee said that Crist's involvement in lawsuits concerning phone rate hikes and other utilities should be the responsibility of the public counsel, a legislative office that advocates on behalf of utility customers." "Senate president raps Crist's utility moves".


    "U.S. Rep. Connie Mack IV's claim[ed] in his last campaign that he had moved his family into the district in 2003. It seems divorce papers filed by his wife say that's untrue. The son of the former senator said she's mistaken." "Connie Mack, Mary Bono, And The Ex". See also "Divorce papers dispute date of Mack's residency"..

    Charlie's Team

    The Buzz tells us who is on "Crist's Team".

    I Love It When They "Bristle"

    "Senators bristled Thursday at a request from Florida's universities for a 5 percent tuition hike next year to pay for rising utility costs and professor salaries. If approved, it would be the second year in a row that in-state undergraduates saw their tuition grow by 5 percent, and lawmakers worried that poor and minority students wouldn't be able to afford a college education under increased prices." "Request for hike in tuition leaves senators skeptical".

    "Fortunately, one doesn't have to be sacrificed for the other. Teachers can double-up with fewer students when needed for education. That way children continue to get individualized instruction and the voters' mandate, as expensive as it is, gets the respect it deserves." "Not a smart trade-off" ("Co-teaching need not be sacrificed to reduce class sizes.")

    Super Troopers

    "The Highway Patrol's seven-year staffing plan would add 425 officers by 2012, at a cost of $46 million, which is included in the FHP's current budget request to Gov. Jeb Bush. The governor plans to release his own 2006-07 budget proposal before the end of the month. Separately, the agency also wants $3.6 million to finish a pay-raise package halfway funded last year, giving troopers annual raises from $1,200 to $2,400 based on experience." "FHP ranks get a boost".

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