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, February 28, 2006

"Coordinated Political Attack"

    "Florida Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher, a Republican candidate for governor, says he did not use inside information to make online trades in a company's stock just before key government announcements on the firm's plan for a natural gas pipeline." "Gallagher says timing of pipeline trades just coincidence". See also "Timing of Gallagher's stock trades questioned" and "Ethics" ("Misunderstandings, maybe, but they are the kinds of misunderstandings that erode trust.")

    Voucher Madness

    The wingnuts want to overturn the voucher ruling via legislation, namely PCB 3 in the House Judiciary Committee:

    You could politely describe it as "radical." Some critics might prefer the word "nutty."

    As written, the proposed amendment says four things:

    (1) Florida courts cannot limit the power of the Legislature, except where the Constitution specifically says so.

    (2) The Constitution cannot be "interpreted" to limit the Legislature's power. The limit has to be "expressly contained" in the Constitution's wording.

    (3) When the Constitution tells the Legislature to do something a certain way, it can still do it other ways too.

    (4) The amendment is retroactive, reaching back in time.

    In short, PCB 3 pretty much says the Legislature can do whatever it wants, unless the Constitution specifically says: "You can't do X, and [only then] the courts can stop you."
    "Who needs a king if state Legislature has its way?"

    If this bill accurately reflects the understanding of constitutional law of the GOP brain trust in Tallahassee - and it apparently does - then calling them wingnuts is too kind. Read the Troxler column and you'll see what I mean.


    "The Democratic National Committee announced the 10 cities besides Orlando vying to host the 2008 Democratic National Convention: Anaheim, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Las Vegas, Minneapolis, New Orleans, New York, Phoenix, and San Antonio. Vying for the Republican convention are 31 cities [including]: Tampa, Miami, Orlando ... ." " Orlando's Competition".

    Keller Finds His Green Streak

    "President Bush's disdain for our national forests has hit a new low. First he made it easier for the timber industry to log public forests under a program mockingly named Healthy Forests. Now Bush wants to sell off pieces of national forests in 35 states, including Florida, for development." And you will not believe who has gone green on this, Ric Keller (of all people) called the plan "financially shortsighted, environmentally reckless and harmful to our water supply," in the midst of his reelection fight. "Taxing our forests".

    Shocking Assault On Florida Families

    "Gay adoption gets a glance from leaders":

    A three-decade ban on gay adoption, a conservative bulwark that sets Florida apart from all other states, crumbled ever so slightly Monday when a Republican committee chairman signaled his willingness to reconsider the policy.

    Rep. Bill Galvano of Bradenton, chairman of the Future of Florida's Families Committee, said he would consider scheduling a vote on legislation that would allow gays to adopt children that they are already permitted to nurture as foster parents. Critics say the double standard is bigoted, makes it even harder to find permanent homes for the 3,500 children awaiting adoption in Florida and tears children away from the only loving parents they have ever known.
    Perhaps Galvano is about to be the former "chairman of the Future of Florida's Families Committee".

    Penny Wise, Pound Foolish

    "Sunken vessels litter Florida's waterways because legislators ended removal program".

    "Overturning Florida's wrongful convictions"

    "After years of controversy, Florida lawmakers finally seem to understand the importance of DNA testing in previously closed criminal cases. To date, 25 people have walked free -- 22 of them from death row -- because DNA tests proved their innocence." "Errors at trial".


    Marion Hammer, a Florida lobbyist for the National Rifle Association

    wouldn't speculate on possible revisions to the bill, including outlawing the sale of real guns that resemble fake ones.
    "Senator Takes Aim At Guns That Look Real But Aren't".

    It Must Be True, Then ...

    As governor's worry about the status of their respective guard units, "Jeb!" offers this deep thought: "I trust the president of the United States. They said they'd find the money and I think you can take that to the bank," said Republican Jeb Bush of Florida." "Bush calms some governors on Nat'l Guard". See also "GOP Governors Say Bush Missteps Hurt Them".

    "[T]he real Republicans"

    Gettin' nasty:

    The suburbs north of Tampa have caught an early glimpse of the bruising political season to come. ...

    [Rep. Kevin Ambler of Lutz is] pictured alongside Gov. Jeb Bush and House Speaker Allan Bense, but Ambler's head is decidedly lower than the other two. "Will the real Republicans please stand up?" the pamphlet asks.

    The mailing represents the start of what will be a wave of similar tactics in the 2006 campaign as well-financed groups known as 527s seek to punish their political enemies and reward their friends.

    Ambler is being targeted by a group financed by Publix, Food Lion and other retailers because he voted against their interests last month. Ambler, a lawyer, supports the legal doctrine known as joint and several liability, which can force wealthy defendants in some lawsuits to pay more damages than their share of fault.
    "Retailers' fliers show distaste for legislator".

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