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 Sunday, February 19, 2006

Sunday Papers [Updated 4:05PM]

    What Makes Ken Pruitt Tick?

    The Palm Beach Post has an interesting little story that gives us some insight on Ken Pruitt. The piece begins by noting that "[b]etween spring 2004 and spring 2005, state Sen. Ken Pruitt went from vocal supporter of the class-size amendment to leading advocate for its repeal." Why the radical shift on such a critical issue of state policy; surely it was the result of much study and soul searching. Nah, it was nothing like that; rather it seems it was because
    three of Pruitt's political allies were forced out of Royal Concrete Concepts, a company that had foreseen "great successes and riches to be had by all" from the class-size caps by selling concrete portable classrooms, according to documents filed in Palm Beach County Circuit Court in a battle over the ownership of Royal Concrete Concepts.
    "Class-size flip-flop of Pruitt tied to interests".

    There is a lot of fascinating detail in this extraordinary article by Sorentrue and date, and, together with last week's analysis of Pruitt's rise to power by the same reporters, we are getting a less than picture of the Senate President.

    Villalobos Fights On

    "Wading into a political battle scene that saw a future state Senate president ousted from power, three Cuban-American congressional representatives [Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Lincoln Diaz-Balart and Mario Diaz-Balart.] have declared their support for state Sen. Alex Villalobos." "Villalobos gets support". See also "Family affair" ("Atwater this month gained enough support from fellow senators to apparently overthrow Villalobos as Senate President-designate following the 2008 elections. Villalobos, though, hasn't surrendered, and the jockeying is expected to continue.").

    Stoking Class Envy ...

    is always fine by me, especially when the Tampa Trib does it: "Their Risk, Our Money".

    Isn't it Sad ...

    that Dubya in his recent trip to Florida felt compelled to let us know that

    "Every morning I'm aware of the world around us."
    Well, that;s a relief.

    Harris: Shhh ... Never Mind The "Bribery Scheme" Money

    "Republican Senate candidate Katherine Harris, recipient of more than $50,000 in campaign contributions from a defense contractor involved in a bribery scheme, is giving the money to Habitat for Humanity." "Harris Donates Cash From Firm Tied To Scandal".


    "After a recent trip to Iraq, U.S. Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite was left with one lasting impression. 'We need to stay longer,' she said." "Trip to Iraq fuels her convictions".

    Shocked To Read ...

    that a handpicked "Tampa Crowd Applauds Bush's Security Effort".

    Voucher Madness

    "How To Save Our Voucher Programs".

    He Can't Walk Away With Dignity

    "Bush and his foundation staff have declined to say how they will spend the money promoting his education agenda, but its new Web site discloses that he is tapping some of his most reliable political donors." "Foundation For Jeb's Future".

    Pay No Attention To The Bushco Flip Floppery

    In this piece from Jeremy Wallace today, "Bush draws oil drilling line in Gulf", the following appears

    "Well, I made a commitment that nothing is going to happen within a hundred miles of this coastline, and I'm honoring the commitment," Bush told a crowd of about 250 people at a town hall meeting at the Port of Tampa. "When we say a hundred miles off the coastline, we don't mean 99 miles or 89 miles, we mean a hundred miles. So rest easy."
    While this sounds as if Dubya is standing tough for Floridians on Gulf oil drilling, Dubya is in fact going backward..

    Fortunately, the LA Times is calling Bush on it:
    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.
    And it isn't just Dubya - it is a family thing, flip-flopping on promises to Floridians:
    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.
    "Bush Promotes Drilling Proposal".

    On a related note, the Tampa Trib hammers Florida House GOoPers
    A House companion bill to the Martinez-Nelson measure offered by Rep. Jim Davis has so far failed to attract any Republican co-sponsors. That's shameful.

    Some members, it's said, don't want to do anything that might be viewed as helping Nelson, a Democrat, who is being challenged by Republican Rep. Katherine Harris of Sarasota this year.
    "Shameful Politics On Gulf Drilling".

    Harris, Nelson on Iraq

    "Both have strong thoughts about the situation in Iraq and agree on some major points, like keeping U.S. troops in the country until Iraqi forces and police can be sufficiently trained to keep the country secure from insurgents and al-Qaida. But each speaks in a different tone: Nelson is clearly frustrated with 'the mess' in Iraq and Harris is optimistic about the country's future." "State's candidates discuss Iraq issue".

    - - - - Updated 4:05PM - - - -

    Dubya, Such an Engaging Guy

    Jeremy Wallace drinking the kool aid in "W Keeps Them Laughing".

    Voucher Madness

    "At last, voucher schools are getting some accountability. No, it's not coming from Gov. Bush and the Legislature. They refuse to make voucher schools meet the academic and financial standards required of Florida's regular public schools. The accountability is coming, as it must in such a vacuum, from the courts." "The right voucher ruling".

    Black Bears

    "Here is the difference between manatees and bears in Florida: When the annual manatee death toll is released, the masses wail and call for boaters to slow down in areas where sea cows thrive. When the annual black-bear death toll is released, the masses are silent and politicians call for bigger and faster highways in areas where bears thrive. Say hello to the politics of environmental advocacy." "The black bear has no friends in high places".


    "Illegal, essential, and in need".

    Mel Retracts His Regret

    Oh Mel,

    Three days after his interview, Martinez spokeswoman Kerry Feehery had this to say: "At no time did the senator say he was mistaken for his involvement or issue an apology for his involvement."

    So he may have made a mistake. But he was not mistaken. And he's certainly not sorry about it.
    So typical of Mr. Cellophane:
    This isn't the first time Martinez's office has clarified the senator's remarks.

    Last year, Martinez told a group of journalists that he had concerns about prisoners being held indefinitely at Guantanamo Bay. He called it "not very American" and raised the specter of closing it down.

    Martinez's stray-from-the-party-line comments caused a commotion, just as they did with Schiavo. Dick Cheney had to field questions about Martinez. A Fox News pundit even compared him to a Democrat.

    So, a few days later, Martinez sent out a release, headlined: "MARTINEZ: PEOPLE DETAINED AT GUANTANAMO BAY ARE WELL-TREATED."

    So where exactly does Martinez stand on Schiavo right now? Well, repeated requests that the senator speak for himself last week were declined.
    "The senator's fleeting regret".

    Rural Dems

    "Mainstream Democrats are exploring ways to tone down extremist liberal rhetoric that may be alienating black constituents and voters in rural counties, in hopes of luring swing voters and conservative Democrats who tend to vote Republican." "Florida Mainstream Democrats target rural voters".


    "To speed up Scripps, deliver on promises".

    The Season

    The election season:

    Lawmakers have an ambitious agenda for their 2006 session: Solving insurance problems, saving school vouchers, making plans for $3.2 billion in extra tax revenue, protecting businesses from lawsuits, cutting taxes and more.

    Many also have enterprising plans after the 60-day session that begins March 7: Running for governor, chief financial officer, attorney general and Congress; moving from the House to the Senate; or just keeping the seat they have.

    The combined goals usually make for a session where a lot gets done and it happens without a lot of acrimony. Many bills will be voter-friendly legislation on issues like taxes and crime.
    "2006 session a testing ground for election".

    Quinnipiac Picks Up Right Wing Spokesman

    "Former Orlando Sentinel Insight editor Peter Brown has been named assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute." "Ex-editor lands polling gig".

    "Treacherous Left"

    "Using phrases certain to rally his Republican base, Florida's chief executive last week took turns tarring the American Civil Liberties Union and Common Cause for plotting to undermine the GOP's influence in Florida." "Jeb Bush and the treacherous left".

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