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 Thursday, March 02, 2006

Harris Busted

    "Harris Tried To Help Donor, Withholds Spending Info":
    Katherine Harris, the Longboat Key congresswoman running for U.S. Senate, is refusing to honor a pledge to reveal her requests for federal earmarks - so-called pork barrel spending.

    The material Harris is withholding includes a letter she wrote in April 2005 on behalf of a defense contractor who funneled illegal contributions to her 2004 campaign.

    The contractor, Mitchell Wade, pleaded guilty in federal court last week to bribing one congressman and disguising his over-the-limit contributions to Harris and another Republican member of Congress so they would insert his projects into appropriations bills.
    The Saint Pete times observes that "[d]ays after federal prosecutors publicly linked Harris to illegal campaign contributions, the Longboat Key Republican has yet to address - or say if she ever will - a host of questions to quell her latest crisis." "New questions dog the Harris campaign".

    And then there is this: "Aide left Harris to work for MZM".

    Smith Wants Paper Trail

    "Rod Smith's bill tackles touch-screen machines" "Candidate wants voting paper trail". See also "Bill pairs paper record with electronic vote".

    Taxpayers To Take Hit For Citizens?

    "All taxpayers, not just homeowners, should pick up Citizens Property Insurance's shortfall, a task force studying Florida's property insurance problems has recommended to the Legislature." "Task force: Prop up insurance with tax". See also "Insurer determined to remake its image" and "Florida delegation wants backup insurance".

    GOoPers Break Own Rules

    Silly rules:

    Florida's top GOP official told the Broward Republican Party that its members broke the rules when they endorsed Attorney General Charlie Crist for governor without notifying his opponent.

    But Florida Republican Party Chairwoman Carole Jean Jordan also says the local party acted in ''good faith,'' and that its interpretation of the rules ''may have been reasonable.'' She also called for the guidelines to be clarified. In the future, Jordan wrote Feb. 24 to local party chairman Shane Strum, candidates should be given 10 days notice before an endorsement.

    In an election year when the party wants to look strong and unified, the unprecedented endorsement infuriated supporters of Crist's rival, Chief Financial Officer Tom Gallagher. Jordan has not spoken publicly about the Jan. 30 endorsement. Her office declined Wednesday to release the letter, which was sent to Strum four days after he and two other Broward party leaders met with Jordan in Tallahassee.

    Crist's chief of staff, George LeMieux, is the former chairman of the state party. Two other former chairmen serve on Crist's Broward committee.
    "GOP probing endorsement".

    Lawsuit Limits

    I wonder who is behind this delightful little group (for some reason the reporter neglects to tell us): "Organization opens statewide campaign to limit lawsuits".

    Our Green Governor

    Congressional leaders Wednesday criticized Florida's performance in cleaning the Everglades as they grilled U.S. Interior Secretary Gale Norton about the potential demise of a court order overseeing the $1.1 billion project.
    The Feds have
    made no decision on whether to join Gov. Jeb Bush in seeking to end the 1992 order, which allows a federal judge in Miami to oversee the cleanup. ...

    [Bush] has lobbied leaders of Interior and other agencies to join his request, less than a year after the judge ruled that the state has violated some of the order's pollution limits. Congressmen from both parties have warned that ending the order could jeopardize federal spending on a larger $10.5 billion Everglades restoration.
    "Lawmakers rip state on Everglades cleanup".

    Our Green Keller

    Club for Growth's boy, Ric [sic] Keller has tried to brush up his (previously nonexistent) green bonafides ("Keller Finds His Green Streak"). Today, Scott Maxwell observes that if

    he's serious about all this, Keller will have the opportunity to tell the Bush administration how "nearsighted and irresponsible" its plans are right to the administration's face -- when Vice President Dick Cheney comes to town later this month to help Keller raise money for his next campaign.
    "Pick the tough fights".


    "State justices studying privacy vs. technology".


    Allen Boyd "has quietly settled a nagging little lawsuit that grew out of a late hit in his 2004 re-election campaign." "Boyd-Kilmer suit is a lesson for '06".

    Good Luck

    "At first glance, the news that the state Legislature might revisit Florida's counterproductive ban on gay adoptions sounds encouraging. But in an election year, skepticism is called for." "Lift adoption ban".


    "Voting along party lines, a Republican-controlled House committee Wednesday rejected a resolution seeking information from the Bush administration about the Pentagon's spying program on dissident groups." "Wexler stifled in unveiling spying like that on Lake Worth peace group".

    "Unprecedented Success" or "Failure"?

    How green is our Governor?

    The "unprecedented success" of environmental protection announced by the state in Wednesday's annual report on South Florida came as a shock locally.

    "I believe it has been an unprecedented failure," said Lee County Commissioner Ray Judah of fresh water released from Lake Okeechobee into the Caloosahatchee River. ...

    Sanibel Councilman Steve Brown said he has seen enough.

    "If any of us did that or any company did that, we would be in criminal court," Brown said. "They have to stop lying. It hasn't been a booming success, it has been a dismal failure."
    "Environmental 'success' stuns area". See also "Lawmakers rip state on Everglades cleanup".

    Sorry, Dad

    "Details are emerging about the second of two dustups involving corrections workers and softball events. He allegedly was involved in both." "FDLE chief's son implicated in fight - again".

    Defending Initiatives

    "[A] coalition of more than 30 groups, ranging from labor unions to the League of Women Voters, launched a campaign to defeat proposals that would limit citizen initiatives and make them more difficult to get on the ballot and pass." "Groups boost ballot initiatives". See also "Coalition Defends Citizen Initiatives".

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