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, February 03, 2006

FunnyFresh Face

    The Florida GOP's fresh new face ... Adam Putnam:
    Central Florida Rep. Adam Putnam was elected Thursday to the No. 5 slot in the U.S. House Republican leadership, boosting his career at a young age and giving Florida a key voice in the top circles of Congress.
    "Florida representative joins GOP leadership". See also "Adam Putnam's Got Juice".

    It is not like he didn't have a solid, substantive record of achievement to run on; Putnam is well
    known for his youthful appearance and red hair ...

    Putnam has been seen as a rising star in the party since he was first elected in 2000. He was best known for his first four years in office, however, as the youngest member of Congress.
    "Chairman is a 'fresh face' for House GOP leadership".

    The Wrong Horse

    "South Florida Republican lawmakers were fast out of the gate last month in backing Rep. Roy Blunt -- a show of support that could complicate several members' attempts to secure committee chairmanships, as Blunt Thursday lost the race for the U.S. House's second most powerful post."

    Those signing up to boost Blunt included Miami Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a front-runner for the House International Relations Committee; Rep. Lincoln Díaz-Balart, a Miamian who hopes to lead the House Rules Committee, and Rep. Clay Shaw of Fort Lauderdale, who is in a competitive race to chair the House Ways and Means Committee.
    "Area lawmakers on losing side".

    Hill in Tampa

    "Sen. Hillary Clinton will hold a fundraiser for the Florida Democratic Party on Feb. 23 in Tampa." "Clinton Will Stump For State Party".

    "Unintended Side Effect"

    "Gov. Jeb Bush said Thursday he would look into an apparently unintended side effect of the new Medicare law that has some severely ill people without coverage for their life-threatening diseases." "Medicare shift leaves some patients in lurch".

    "Jeb!" MIA on Oil Drilling

    This is too polite:

    Sens. Nelson and Martinez suggest allowing limited exploration, but farther from Florida's coasts than anything currently proposed. Their plan is boosted by their single, bipartisan voice, but it is anything but a sure bet. Today's political climate is increasingly receptive to environmental compromise for the sake of expanding domestic energy supplies.

    If the governor adds his voice to their plan, as he should, its chances of success would climb significantly. His response so far is measured, but hopeful.
    "Mutual consent".

    In the meantime, "Senators Forge Compromise Gulf Drilling Bill".

    Dem Debate

    "The Palm Beach Democratic Party organized Thursday's debate between U.S. Rep. Jim Davis of Tampa and state Sen. Rod Smith of Alachua." "Debating Democrats direct all their criticism at GOP". See also "Democratic governor competitors rip into GOP".

    To Put It Bluntly

    Mike Thomas: "A tax cut Jeb announced with much fanfare this week is a shell game being played with your money for political gain." "What's about $250 million to Jeb Bush?" The Sun Sentinel editorial board puts it this way:

    The hurricanes that battered Florida last year will pay off handsomely for politicians, but not for homeowners.

    Here's why:

    Floridians spent lots of money for all sorts of items to safeguard their properties against the storms. That spending spree boosted Tallahassee's tax take by an extra $3.2 billion.

    Lawmakers eager to look good before next fall's elections now plan to generously give Floridians $1.5 billion dollars worth of tax cuts. The biggest chunk will come from a property tax rebate that will put an extra $155, on average, back into homeowners' pockets.

    What the politicians ballyhooing this tax cut won't talk about is the $1.36 billion deficit at Citizens Property Insurance Corp.
    "What Rebate?" And there are better things to do with the cash, according to the Daytona Beach News Journal:
    State government is swimming in money. You can almost hear the self-congratulatory whoops from Tallahassee as lawmakers look for ways to turn a $5.8 billion windfall to their political advantage.

    To legislators, it seems like a feel-good story. But there's a lot in Florida to feel bad about. This state is replete with low-paying part-time jobs. Nearly 20 percent of residents under age 65 lack health insurance. An additional 10 percent rely on Medicaid and other government programs. The number of children living in poverty continues to grow. The state ranks 47th in educational spending, 48th in graduation rates and 29th in teacher salaries.
    "All that cash and pressing needs to spend it on".

    The Florida Dubya (Dubya Dee)

    "The appellate ruling pushes the ex-Florida Senate president [The appellate ruling pushes the ex-Florida Senate president closer to a 31/2-year prison sentence handed down in 2003.] closer to a 31/2-year prison sentence handed down in 2003." "Court affirms Childers' bribery conviction".

    Not Fade Away

    "Marriage Amendment Falls Short - For Now".


    U.S. Education Secretary Margaret "Spellings and Gov. Jeb Bush attended the National Education Data Summit where they urged educators to adopt a data system to better measure where students are doing well and where they're falling behind." "U.S. education chief: Improve tracking of students' progress".

    I Believe It ...

    "Bush plan would diversify state's sources of energy".

    FCAT Follies

    "The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test is a valuable measuring stick, but the state should stop using it to hand out financial bonuses to schools that get good grades or improve, said a private group headed by a former Democratic legislative leader." "Group calls for end of FCAT financial incentives".

    Joint and Several Liability

    The Tampa Trib editorial board notes that, "as the state's trial lawyers point out, why should an innocent person bear the cost of his injuries? The lawyers make a persuasive argument for retaining what's left of joint and several liability in Florida." "Speaker Bense's Tort Reform Push Lacks Insight From Prior Changes".

    More From The "Values" Crowd

    "Bush sent lawmakers a proposed budget that again doesn't include money to boost the staffing levels." "Rise in nursing home aides not in Bush's plan".


    Only a couple made it:

    Just two of four dozen filed citizens' initiatives will appear before Florida voters in November, having been approved by the Florida Supreme Court and obtaining the required 611,000 signatures to get on the ballot.

    One of the measures, which would create an independent commission to draw legislative and congressional districts, faces stiff opposition from lawmakers and the governor. ...

    Bush supports the other citizens' initiative, one that would require lawmakers to fund anti-smoking ad campaigns aimed at youngsters.
    "Two citizens' initiatives cleared for November ballot".

    Continuing Saga

    "A yearlong battle may not keep touch-screen voting machines without paper ballots out of Volusia County after all. A plan to put a disabled-accessible, all-paper ballot voting system in place for this year's elections appeared to be in deep trouble Thursday following a state announcement that it cannot yet certify some of the necessary equipment." "Volusia County touch-screen voting in limbo".

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