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, February 18, 2006

Bush Brothers Renege on Oil Promises

    From the LA Times:
    Even as energy companies and his own administration call for more aggressive oil and gas exploration in U.S. waters, President Bush told drilling opponents in this politically crucial state Friday that they should "rest easy."
    But despite the reassuring language, Bush in fact was embracing the very drilling expansion proposal that had riled environmentalists and Florida politicians of both parties.
    Indeed, its a family thing, reneging on promises that is:
    Bush and his brother Florida Gov. Jeb Bush have been criticized in recent months as appearing to back away from their 2002 commitment to keep a large tract of the Gulf of Mexico rig-free — a pledge that came as they faced reelection battles for their respective posts. Florida had decided the 2000 presidential election by 537 votes.

    President Bush's remarks, delivered to a crowd in Tampa before he helped raise $3 million for Florida Republicans at a Disney World resort here, underscored the pressure points of his new pledge to alleviate what he has called the country's "addiction" to oil.
    "Bush Promotes Drilling Proposal".

    Now That The Bushco Elections Are Over

    "Voters anxious for a paper trail on ballots have struck a chord with Florida Secretary of State Sue Cobb, who spoke Friday in support of a uniform standard for paper ballots but also said her hands are tied." If this seems like a 180 to you, yet another GOoPer flip-flop if you will, you're right:

    Cobb's comments are a departure from those of her predecessor, Glenda Hood, whom Gov. Jeb Bush replaced with Cobb in December.

    Hood accused critics of touch screens, including U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, of doing a "disservice" by undermining voter confidence in the systems.
    "Florida secretary of state backs paper trail on ballots".

    Mickey Mouse

    "A national political convention in Orlando would draw tens of thousands of visitors, pump tens of millions of dollars into the regional economy, and focus the world's attention for a week on Central Florida. That's more than enough reasons for leaders of government and business in the region to come together and go after both parties' 2008 conventions." "Politically correct".


    "In an anything-goes race for governor, Crist's opponents surely will find some way to make this seem like a scandal". "Crist's home sweet homestead?"

    Privatization Follies

    "Charles 'Chuck' Hood, the mild-mannered, low-key former businessman who inherited Miami-Dade's child welfare system in the wake of Rilya Wilson's mysterious disappearance, has resigned amid rising tensions between the state and a private foster care agency." "Dade's DCF chief resigns amid growing foster care feud".

    Putting it Bluntly

    "Thurman: Pruitt Corrupt":

    "In Washington, two names are synonymous with corruption: Tom DeLay and Jack Abramoff. Here in Florida, corruption goes by the names Ken Pruitt and Randy Nielsen. It seems like every day we learn more about the dirty details of the Florida GOP's "cloak-and-dagger" operation -- from the million-dollar Pruitt-Nielsen lobbyist deals to the last minute coup that blocked the election of the first Cuban-American State Senate President for the sin of standing up for Floridians who voted to reduce class size against right-wing efforts to undermine their will...
    So much to work with; so little media coverage.


    Hope there wasn't too much begging, as "Harris Catches A Ride On Air Force One".

    Measuring Sticks

    "State education officials proposed to the U.S. Department of Education new ways to measure a student's progress. Critics call the current required methods 'rigid.'" "State pursues new student yardsticks".

    Dubya Poses "Political Risk" For Florida GOoPers


    raised millions in minutes from GOP faithful at a fundraising dinner Friday, but the persisting string of Washington scandals could lower his Florida profile as midterm elections near.

    Republicans in tough races, like U.S. Senate candidate Katherine Harris, will have to decide whether an appearance with Bush is worth the potential political risk.

    The Florida elections, headed by a hotly contested gubernatorial race and Harris' bid for Sen. Bill Nelson's seat, will be the first in years without a Bush on the ballot, as the president's brother Jeb must leave the governorship in January because of term limits.

    Growing dissatisfaction over the Iraq war, controversy surrounding warrantless wiretapping and the ballooning federal deficit -- among other things -- have the president's popularity hovering around 40 percent nationally, and about the same in Florida.
    "President Bush still raising Florida money, but uncertainty looms".

    Imagine That

    "Watch out. The Legislature is talking about insurance again." "Insurance reform plans unfriendly to consumers".

    Ask and Ye Shall Receive

    "[F]ive years after he first came under fire for elections violations stemming from his 1999 election to the Senate, Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, today won another continuance from the Florida Elections Commission until August." "Delay Diaz de la Portilla".

    "Secret squirrel" Update


    told the newspaper's editorial board said that there is "a group of secret squirrel liberals who go to some fancy resort somewhere, and they divvy up the states and the ballot initiatives. They write large checks; they launder the money through places like Common Cause, ironically."

    Earlier, Bush had made similar charges before public groups, including the Florida Chamber of Commerce.

    In a press release, Jon Goldin-Dubois, a Common Cause vice president, said, "We've been called upon to release these donors names. . . . Now let's put an end to the governor's cynical effort to distract the public from the real issue, the broken redistricting process."

    And for Florida, that is precisely the issue. To allow a few partisan legislative leaders to carve up districts that favor the party in power is just wrong -- regardless of whether Democrats or Republicans are in control. The result for voters is that they often have few or poor choices in state legislative and congressional contests.
    "Squirrel hunting".

    Sabato on CDs 9, 13 and 22

    The Buzz summarizes Larry Sabato's analysis of several Florida races: "District 22 (Clay Shaw V. Ron Klein); District 9 (probably Gus Bilirakis V. Phyllis Busansky); and District 13, Katherine Harris' seat." " Sabato's Handicapping". Sabato's website is here.

    Are The Wheels of Justice Greased?

    "Florida lobbyists usually rely on schmoozing and campaign cash to win friends, but on Friday they took the unusual step of suing the Legislature to block one of the nation's toughest ethics laws." "Lobbyists sue over law requiring fee disclosure".

    Bought and Paid For

    "Developers are pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into Jeb Bush's private foundation aimed at promoting his legacy as the education governor."

    [S]ome observers see more than philanthropic interests at work.

    "It's kind of typical campaign finance in Florida," said Ben Wilcox, executive director of Common Cause Florida, the campaign finance reform group. "You find these wealthy special interests who are giving to committees and candidates, people with power to help them. . . . They're doing it as an investment, hoping for a return on their investment."
    A few examples:
    The governor has indeed been good to the Villages. In 2003, he backed a controversial bill that helped the Villages Regional Hospital sidestep state regulation other hospitals face when wanting to expand.

    The Palm Beach Post reported that Gov. Bush recently sought to end federal court oversight of the state's Everglades cleanup, a move that would be welcomed by U.S. Sugar Corp., which gave the foundation $25,000 in October. In December, Bush tapped South Florida developer Sue Cobb to be secretary of state. A month later, a company connected to her husband, Charles Cobb, chairman and chief executive officer of Arvida Corp. and the Disney Development Co., gave $10,000 to the governor's foundation.
    "Developers big donors to Bush's foundation". See also "Bush foundation raises $1 million".

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