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, March 03, 2006

"Dirty Harris"

    Yesterday, the Harris campaign was unable to respond to
    a host of questions to quell her latest crisis.

    "I don't know the answer," Harris' congressional spokeswoman, Kara Borie, said repeatedly Wednesday to questions about Harris' connections to a defense contractor at the center of a bribery case.
    "Harris silent on claim of illegal contributions". However,
    Harris, who is running for U.S. Senate, released a flood of documents Thursday evening as she tried to combat questions about her actions days after federal prosecutors publicly linked her to Wade, who is at the center of a bribery case.
    "Harris: Fund request not a political favor" ("Responding to questions about her support for a defense contractor's project, U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris releases dozens of documents - and a denial.") Apparently, the "flood" was only
    a partial series of documents, requested by the Tribune, that relate to her attempts at obtaining federal tax dollars for dozens of special interests since 2004.

    Among the documents: An April 26 letter to defense appropriations subcommittee Chairman C.W. Bill Young, the Largo Republican, in which Harris seeks $10 million for a Navy project backed by Wade.

    In the letter, Harris emphasizes the importance of the project, asking that it be added to her list of five priorities and identifying it as her new No. 3 choice.
    "Harris Shuns Spending Requests". See also "Harris caught in fallout from bribery scandal".

    The editorial boards are ramping up:
    The puzzled looks and cryptic press statements simply won't cut it anymore.
    "Dirty Harris". The pundits are on it as well: "Harris, A Babe In The Woods? Come On Now".

    Gallagher on the Hot Seat

    "Tom Gallagher, the state's chief financial officer, released his tax returns in his quest to become governor and unleashed a flurry of new questions." "Money deals raise concerns".

    "Let Sancho do his job"

    "As Leon County's supervisor of elections for the past 18 years, Ion Sancho has made quite a name for himself as one of America's leading elections experts. His operation has had such low error rates that it earned national acclaim even amid Florida's 2000 presidential election snafu. But as a zealous soldier in election-reform battles extending far beyond Leon County, he has made a few politically connected enemies - in his own backyard and elsewhere." "Political theater".

    How Dare Anyone ...

    question Jebbie, as Congressman Henry Waxman did the other day ("'Jeb!' Gets A Letter"):

    Bush said he did nothing more than he's done for 1,000s of other people who have emailed him with a problem: He forwarded it to someone who could address the issue.

    In this case, Bush said he forwarded an email he received from a Carnival executive to then-FEMA Director Michael Brown. The executive said he was having trouble getting FEMA to commit as to whether they wanted to use one or two of the company's ships. The executive told Bush he needed to know one way or the other so that the company would know if they needed to cancel reservations for future cruise passengers, Bush said.

    "That's what I did and that was the end of it," Bush told reporters Thursday. He then criticized FEMA for not fully utilizing the ships as it could have.

    "So mark it down as a fiasco, but don't mark it down as me doing anything wrong." he said.
    "Just Cruising Along as the Hurricane Governor". We joked that
    Jeb!" engaged in a little, ahem ... "constituent service"
    Lo and behold, that is precisely the cover Jebbie is using for his role in putting the fishy deal together.

    The More Things Change ...

    the more they stay the same: "Lawmakers dip into soft money to dine". See also "Lawmakers boost stipends amid protests of lobbyist ban".

    New Budget


    increased his annual state budget request on Thursday by $420 million, including money to create a merit pay program for teachers and reduce a proposed tuition increase for university students.

    Other new spending requests include state and federal money to stockpile medication in case Florida is hit with an influenza pandemic, increase Medicaid fees paid to doctors and other health care providers and beef up emergency preparedness.

    Even with the added expenses, Bush's spending blueprint, unveiled a month ago, for the budget year that begins July 1 will drop by $78.5 million to $70.7 billion due to a reduced estimate of Medicaid spending needs. His proposed budget will be considered by the Florida Legislature, which begins its 60-day regular session Tuesday.
    "Bush adds to state budget". See also "Governor pledges more funds".

    Smith Kicks FCAT

    "State Sen. Rod Smith is still on the gubernatorial campaign trail, but he's using his last year as a senator to try to undo Gov. Jeb Bush's legacy: the consequences for students and teachers based on the FCAT. Smith plans to file a bill next week that would repeal state laws that require kids to take the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test and allow the state to grade schools." "Bill would repeal, review effects of FCAT". See also "Smith And The FCAT".

    On Second Thought ...

    "FDLE: Commissioner's son not a part of prisons probe".

    Get Two Or More Wingnuts Together ...

    and the level of debate sinks to this level:

    "As was discussed in our telephone call, the Florida Retail Federation's interest is ensuring safe workplaces for employees and customers and thus we oppose HB-129, which would eliminate our right to institute workplace rules and control access to our properties. We have no interest or intention of supporting the banning of Bibles in private vehicles in business parking lots. It is unfortunate that Bibles were interjected into this debate."
    "Guns No. Bibles Ok".

    One Unhappy GOoPer

    "Just imagine how outraged Republicans would be if a Democratic lawmaker sponsored legislation requiring abortion clinics to provide voter-registration material. There would be quite a stink -- and rightly so." "Republicans should oppose voting bill aimed at hunters".

    Only Two?

    "On Thursday, Day Two of University of Miami janitors' strike, professors who refused to cross the picket lines on campus had to find new classrooms: in churches, temples, houses and the little park off Grenada Boulevard and U.S. 1." "UM janitors' strike turns park into classroom".

    Canaveral National Seashore

    "Recent travails of our treasured Canaveral National Seashore point to the greater pending wreckage of the nation's entire park system by a president who came into office promising the funds long denied by the Republican-led Congress to keep the parks and seashores clean, accessible and safe." "National park smokescreen".


    "A tentative agreement confirms that the Board of Governors has full control and authority over Florida’s state universities, a plaintiff in a lawsuit said Thursday, but state education officials downplayed its significance." "Proposal would give Board of Governors power to raise tuition".

    HD 53

    "Democratic hopes for an easy campaign to replace state Rep. Charlie Justice in heavily Democratic House District 53 have hit a speed bump. St. Petersburg attorney Charlie Gerdes says he's jumping into the race for the Democratic primary, presenting a potentially
    formidible challenge to Democratic St. Petersburg City Council member Richard Kriseman." "Competition in 53".


    "Angry homeowners at a public forum vow to march on the state capital to get lower premiums from the state-run Citizens Insurance." "Public demands lower insurance fees".

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