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, March 12, 2006

"Praying and strategizing"

    "Rep. Katherine Harris fueled already rampant speculation about the status of her campaign for the U.S. Senate when she released a statement Saturday promising a "major announcement" about her future this week." "Harris to make 'major announcement'". See also "Harris adds more uncertainty to race".
    It's been a tough couple of weeks for Katherine Harris and her U.S. Senate campaign.

    The vice president comes to town and mentions the race - but not her name.

    A defense contractor admits to handing Harris illegal campaign money, although a federal prosecutor says she was unaware it was illegal.

    High-level Republican Party operatives restart their efforts to recruit another candidate for the race.

    Then Saturday, Harris issued a provocative statement to Republicans at a conference in Memphis with regrets that she could not join them. The reason: >u>She's praying and strategizing this weekend for a "major announcement next week about my candidacy."
    "Harris Absorbs Political Punches".

    What is she up to? The Buzz observes: "Say what you will about Katherine Harris, we can't think of a more theatrical politician ..... Does [she] sound like someone about to get out, or someone more determined than ever to stick it to the naysayers?" "Parsing Katherine's Words".

    Fortunately, No Mention of his Mother

    "The two Democratic candidates for governor offer praise for some of Jeb Bush's work." "To them, Bush wasn't all bad".

    What Special Interests?

    "Florida lawmakers weigh curbs on citizen initiatives":

    An indoor smoking ban, smaller class sizes, a hike in the minimum wage and universal pre-kindergarten were all placed in the Florida Constitution through the initiative process with a simple majority vote by the electorate. But state lawmakers are unhappy with the initiative system, which many claim allows "special interests" to buy a spot on the ballot.
    What pernicious "special interests" would support issues like that. The real "special interests", of course, are the entities that oppose those issues.

    Democracy For America candidate forum

    "More than 150 Democratic activists turned out for a Democracy For America candidate forum Friday night in Largo featuring Democratic gubernatorial candidates Jim Davis and Rod Smith. They saw something unusual: Democratic rivals trying to avoid a circular firing squad." "Democratic rivals display a lesson in being gracious".

    Privatization Follies

    "State and federal investigations into the state prisons agency are focusing on the agency's contracting with private outside vendors, the new head of the Department of Corrections told lawmakers." "State and federal probes focus on prison contracts".

    Ugly Nonetheless

    "Welcome to the Florida Senate, where the small size of the group — only 40, with slightly more than half of those belonging to the ruling party — makes for leadership struggles that, although not quite as bloody as the fight that saw Imperial Rome's Senate slay Julius Caesar, have been ugly nonetheless." "Power plays reveal ambitious depths of Florida Senate".

    Leon County

    "The state has requested a meeting with Leon County officials regarding contingency plans for helping disabled people vote without assistance in the event of a special election, saying the county puts Florida at risk for a federal lawsuit over noncompliance." "State: Leon backup voting system jeopardizes federal compliance".


    "Florida lawmakers are giving serious attention to the insurance industry's call for raising rates without state approval. The stumbling block is how to sell something sure to be unpopular with voters in an election year." "State may regulate insurance rates less".

    Same Old, Same Old

    "Term limits have sparked tremendous turnover in the Florida Legislature but haven't done much to change the look of state lawmakers, a new study by the University of Central Florida shows. UCF political scientist Scot Schraufnagel has been dissecting legislative life before and after 2000, the year that the eight-year term limits approved by voters in 1992 forced 66 legislators from office." "Meet the new Legislature --same as the old Legislature".

    Good Question

    "Are politicians ever happy?"

    To Replace Katherine

    "Although the Manatee County Republican Party Chairman has kept a low profile for the last two months, he confirmed this week that he is still considering getting in the race to replace U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris in Congress." "Flanagan Still Looming in Congressional Race".

    Padding Jebbie's Pockets

    "Gov. Jeb Bush's Foundation for Florida's Future just got half a million bucks richer. A Tampa-area construction company headed by conservative activist Ralph Hughes late last week gave Bush's group a whopping $500,000, according to figures disclosed by the foundation on its Web site." "A hefty donation".

    Sunshine Sunday

    - "Celebrate Government In The Sunshine".

    - "Floridians shouldn't have to worry whether lawmakers will defend the state constitution's requirement that public records and meetings be kept open to the public. Yet Florida's open-government tradition is most threatened during legislative sessions. There are slightly more than 1,000 exemptions to the state's exemplary government-in-the-sunshine rules, and legislators proposed dozens more even before the 2006 session started last week." "A new year, a new fight for public's right to know".

    - "Let's face it: Not everyone wants Floridians to have easy access to records." "The secret keepers".

    - "Chapter 119: It's all about Sunshine." "A need to know".

    - "Lawmakers are considering dozens of exemptions to the state's open government laws." "Sunshine Law isn't always illuminating". See also "Chipping away at open government".

    - "Florida laws break down barriers".

    - "For the second time in three years, a statewide audit by news organizations revealed that Florida's local government agencies often fail to provide citizens with unfettered access to public records." "Audit: Agencies Often Fail Sunshine Laws".

    - "States Have Reduced Public's Access To Records Since Sept. 11". See also "Despite law, access to public records often has hurdles".

    - "This is a day to remember the value of government transparency, which is vital in these times when the administration in Washington and the legislators in Tallahassee have been striving to keep the public and press in the dark." "Sunshine Sunday".

    - "Government in the sunshine is still a strong state policy and a model for the nation -- well, sort of!" "The public can only benefit from laws that foster open government".

    Daniel Ruth: "Dark, Cloudy Forecast For Sunshine Law".

    - "How informed would you be if you had never seen video footage of the beating of a Fort Lauderdale homeless man or the fuzzy videotape of Bay County officers manhandling 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson? Most people consider those types of images an essential part of living in an open, democratic society. But some lawmakers in Tallahassee want to take that away. They mustn't succeed." "For open, accountable government". See also "Troubling proposals".

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