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 Wednesday, March 08, 2006

"Boastful but undistinguished"

    "Boastful but undistinguished"

    Kudos to Mark Hollis at the Sun Sentinel:
    In a boastful but undistinguished State of the State speech Tuesday, Gov. Jeb Bush presented the Florida Legislature with a final-year agenda that relies on familiar Republican themes of tax cuts, lawsuit limits and public school reforms.
    "Gov. Bush boasts of achievements, presents agenda for last year in office".

    The rest of the coverage: "On way out, Bush has say"; "Bush calls for more progress"; "Governor calls for 'A-Plus-Plus' support"; "Bush’s final State of the State watched by potential successors"; "Governor trumpets tax cuts"; "Governor vows to press to the end"; "Bush repeats call for school-voucher amendment"; "They begin as allies" ("Day marked by toy hearing aids, handshakes and Bush's thanks"); "Bush: 'Not a year for caution'"; "Bush: 'Not a year for rest'"; "Gov. Jeb Bush sets out his 2006 agenda. Here are some key battles"; "Bush Downplays Legacy" "Bush shuns lame-duck tag" ("governor plugs tax cuts, vouchers, lawsuit curbs").

    And the editorial boards are eating it up: See "Bush's Vision"; "View of leadership" and "Proposals To Secure His Legacy".

    And some are even getting it right, like the redoubtable Daytona Beach News Journal: "Glossing over Florida's grim realities". See also "The governor's agenda" ("While Jeb Bush on Tuesday focused on tuition vouchers and tax cuts, lawmakers would be wise to attend more to issues affecting ordinary Floridians.") and "Big hits outweighed by bigger misses as Bush starts last dance with Legislature" ("But what Bush wants -- and what should be done for the betterment of all Floridians -- are often different things.")

    Oh yeah, the Dems: "Democrats dispute Bush on economy, education".

    And, to the extent anyone cares: "Prepared text of Gov. Jeb Bush’s final State of the State speech".

    Hands in the (GOoPer) Cookie Jar.

    "Bush's office on Monday provided the Tribune a copy of a letter to MZM Inc. and its former chief executive officer, Mitchell Wade, revoking the company's participation in the program. Wade has pleaded guilty in federal court to bribing a congressman and making illegal campaign contributions." "Bush Boots MZM From Tax Rebate Plan".

    Where's "Jeb!"?

    "The Minerals Management Service on Monday announced public hearings about an offshore leasing plan that would open 2 million acres south of the Florida Panhandle in the Gulf of Mexico to offshore oil and gas drilling, but not one hearing is in Florida, where the plan has stirred worry and anger." "Florida lawmakers fire back in letters demanding hearings in state".

    "Jeb!"'s At A Secret Meeting

    "The night before the Florida Legislature opened its 2006 session, Gov. Jeb Bush met privately with top legislative leaders and representatives of a "significant business" that is considering moving to the state, the governor's office said Tuesday." "Legislators, Gov. Bush criticized for closed-door talk with 'significant business'".


    "Legislature 2006: Developments for Tuesday, March 8". See also "Bense picks public counsel for this case", "Tallahassee ticker", "Overheard" and "Bill would allow 'state of emergency' for low-performing schools".

    New Poll

    The Buzz reports on a new poll:

    A 2/20-23 poll of 407 Floridians polled by Elon University in North Carolina found a wide open governor's race and clear Bill Nelson advantage in the race for Senate. (moe +/- 4.95) Nelson received 41.2 percent support, and Harris 20.4 percent. Asked who would make the best candidate for governor; 8.4 percent said Charlie Crist; 4.1 said Jim Davis; 5.3 percent said Tom Gallagher; 1 percent said Rod Smith; 15.8 percent said someone else; 44.9 percent said not sure or didn't know.
    "Poll Position".

    Politicking At Polls

    This issue has been litigated in Florida before, and will be litigated yet again:

    The regional director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida said Tuesday that the group plans to file a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a new state law that prevents voters from being solicited within 100 feet of a polling place entrance. ...

    Previously, voters could be approached within 50 feet of a polling place door as long as the solicitation was done in a separately marked area or on property traditionally used as a place for public discussion such as a sidewalk.

    "Now all of a sudden, that public sidewalk exception has gone away, and sidewalks are now closed to free speech," said Steele, adding that the law is not "narrowly tailored" enough to survive First Amendment scrutiny.
    "ACLU Plans To Sue Over Law Banning Politicking At Polls".

    "These people have needs!"


    Of all the pressing issues dominating the Florida Legislature this session - sticking it to public schools, mugging the civil court system, allowing employees to come to work more armed than a Navy SEAL - perhaps nothing will weigh more heavily on the minds of our elected officials than: Who is gonna pay for dinner?

    For that matter, who is gonna pay for breakfast and lunch, too? And let us not forget snacks, coffee breaks and happy hour. Yes, yes a thousand times yes: Happy Hour!

    These people have needs!
    "It's Session Time Again: Where's The Feast?"

    A Miami Thing

    "Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, City Manager Joe Arriola and City Commissioner Johnny Winton saw nothing wrong in forming a business partnership that conflicts with their duties as city officials. But there is plenty wrong with the deal, starting with Mr. Arriola's failure to disclose his involvement in the partnership, apparently in violation of city law. If Mr. Arriola is found to be in violation of the law -- and in view of his handling of the fire-rescue fee settlement -- it will be time for the mayor to ask him to step aside." "With these three, business trumps duty".

    Privatization Follies

    "Most Tallahassee-area lawmakers said the Bush administration has just passed the cost to private corporations, with less accountability for the outcome of state contracts." "Bush lauds downsizing; others differ".

    Newspaper War

    "The fight took a nasty turn a week or so ago when The Tampa Tribune filed a lawsuit to prevent the St. Petersburg Times from using the name Tampa Bay Times on its latest publication, a free tabloid nicknamed "tbt." Both newspapers ran a story on this latest skirmish on the business page. " "Tampa-St. Petersburg Newspaper War May Be Ready To Explode".


    "Bush delivered his final State of the State speech on Tuesday, but few see him as being finished with politics." "Many doubt Bush is finished with political speeches".

    <"Lobbying Influence Feud"

    "Even as legislators adjust to a new gift ban, the debate over the law and whether lobbyists have too much influence over state lawmakers isn't subsiding." "Lobbying influence feud in full bloom".

    Term Limits

    "Linn was protesting the Legislature's decision, made a year ago, to ask voters in November to extend the eight-year limit on terms to 12 years. Voters overwhelmingly approved the Eight is Enough amendment in 1992, and Linn wants it to remain on the books." "Protester to legislators: Leave term limits alone".

    Harris Death Watch


    Cheney twice missed out on opportunities to boost Harris campaign, according to Associated Press.

    "As vice president, I look forward to the opportunity to swear in a new Republican seantor to serve next to Mel Martinez in the United States Senate," Cheney said during a speech in Boca Raton according to the AP.

    But Cheney never said who that would be, despite that fact that Harris is the only major Republican in the race.

    Then again, while in Collier County, Cheney again failed to mention Harris, although she was in the audience.

    Such slights would normally pass with little mention in the media, but coming on the heels of two weeks like Harris has, they get far greater attention.
    "Cheney Campaigns For Harris...Sorta".

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