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 Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Today's News

    Early Money On Rundle

    Perhaps. Miami-Dade's longtime state attorney is being touted as a running mate for the two Democrats vying for the nomination for governor as they look to add geographical and ethnic diversity to the ticket. Though Rundle says she's quite content in her current role -- state attorney of the fourth-largest circuit in the country -- she did show up for the first time ever at the state Democratic party's conference in December, adding to buzz that she's looking to broaden her profile outside the county.

    Both candidates for governor say it's far too early to speculate about the No. 2 job -- a decision that won't likely be made until after the September primary. But the talk of Rundle underscores one certainty: Some in the party are anxious to erase memories of the 2002 governor's race, when critics say the ticket was too male and too white. Tampa lawyer Bill McBride and his running mate, state Sen. Tom Rossin, lost that year to Gov. Jeb Bush, who was reelected by a comfortable 14 percentage points.

    "She's what they need, she's what the party needs in light of our last go-round for governor," Democratic strategist Jeff Garcia said of Rundle. "It's glaringly obvious we need to branch out."

    Democrats suggest Rundle has a valuable profile for the minority party: a Cuban-American woman with law enforcement credentials who has withstood tough election campaigns, winning huge majorities of the black and Jewish vote and widening her margin of victory over her opponent each time.
    "Rundle touted on state ticket".


    "With less cable access, door to open government closes".


    "Many Florida legislators are beginning to fear that a rising tide of fee increases steadily washing over state voters in recent months may sink some incumbents seeking re-election this year." "Legislators fear backlash over fees" ("Will rising costs hurt bids for re-election?")

    No Credibility

    Florida voters approved the amendment in 2002 because Gov. Bush and the Legislature were hostile to public education. Nothing has changed. The latest "'A Statistical View of the 50 United States" reported that Florida ranks 50th in per capita spending on public schools. Rather than comply with the spirit of the class-size amendment, Gov. Bush and the Legislature punished voters for approving it. Though the amendment required the state to pay for smaller classes, lawmakers instead forced districts to cut other areas, such as electives. Gov. Bush's lack of credibility doomed his efforts in the last session to get lawmakers to put repeal on the ballot. Sen. Pruitt, who will be Senate president in 2007, is in danger of falling into the same hole. The amendment mandates that by 2010, class sizes in elementary, middle and high school be capped at 18, 22 and 25 respectively. Sen. Pruitt suggests 23, 27 and 30 would be more realistic. In fact, limits that high are no limits at all.
    "Class-size amendment beats Pruitt's proposal".

    Labor Support

    This lengthy piece provides some good insights, "Candidates Battle For Labor Support":

    Smith has an edge among the few unions that have taken sides.

    Davis, though, also is fighting for labor support, and the biggest and most influential unions haven't chosen sides. They include the teachers union; the Association of Federal, State County and Municipal Employees; the Service Employees International Union, consisting largely of nursing home workers; and the AFL-CIO labor coalition.
    Much more here.

    Gift Ban Regrets

    "A funny thing happened on the way to an all-out lobbyist gift ban: Even lawmakers who voted for it are questioning how they would do without perks and freebies they had long taken for granted." "Legislature".

    65 Percent Solution

    "With the "65 percent solution," state lawmakers hope voters will believe schools are getting more money and ease up on class size expectations." "Percentage politics".

    Southwest Florida

    Jeremy Wallace

    Despite Democratic gains in voter registrations in 2005, Southwest Florida still favors the GOP when it comes to opening up the wallet.

    Republican candidates for governor Charlie Crist, the state's attorney general, and Tom Gallagher, the state's chief financial officer, have combined to raise more than $260,000 in campaign donations in Sarasota, Charlotte and Manatee counties.

    Crist leads the way in the 2006 governor's race, according to the Florida Division of Elections, with more than $185,000 from the area. Gallagher has brought in more than $85,000.

    Meanwhile, Democrats Jim Davis and Rod Smith have combined to raise less than $40,000 from the three counties.
    "Early money favors Crist".


    "Gulf-front residents of Manasota Key have an obvious interest in ensuring the beach remains their back yard. But are they interested enough to pay for it?" "Manasota beach repair -- who pays? Some OK with fee; others want it shared."

    More Tests A Comin'?

    "Florida high school students may someday have to take end-of-grade tests in history, literature, biology and other key subjects -- possibly in addition to the FCAT.". "More high school tests loom"

    "Lick and a Promise"

    Tom Blackburn: "Here we go into another big election year. We will exercise our right to vote, and our political leaders will exercise their right to give a lick and a promise to counting our votes." "Cast ballots . . . into the trash".

    "Inconsistent" Is Putting It Nicely

    "How can the governor who has championed science and worked so hard to bring biotechnology research to Florida want state science standards to ignore evolution?" "Bush Inconsistent On Science Standards".

    Good question: but isn't the answer obvious?

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