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 Saturday, March 18, 2006

Session Developments

    "Legislature 2006: Developments from Friday, March 17".

    GOoPer Games

    Do Republicans in the Legislature really think they can win the debate over school vouchers by tricking the voters? That appears to be the plan emerging in the House.

    Rather than simply asking the voters to change the Constitution to explicitly approve the use of tax money for private school vouchers, a proposal approved by the House Judiciary Committee would change the way courts interpret the law. The change would foreclose the legal theory used by the Florida Supreme Court to set aside one of the state's school voucher programs and have implications beyond the voucher debate.

    The proposed amendment is so confusing that a constitutional scholar would have trouble making sense of it, never mind average voters. And nowhere in the amendment's language does it mention school vouchers.
    "Voucher trick".

    Tables Still Full

    "Two weeks into the legislative session, the new ban on gifts and free food for members of the Legislature and statewide officeholders has not forced lawmaking to grind to a halt. Lobbyists still patrol the halls. Tables are still full at restaurants near the Capitol during the lunch hour, and nobody appears to be on a crash diet. Clyde's & Costello's, a favorite watering hole for years, still does a brisk business as the sun goes down even if there appear to be fewer legislators around." "Tables are still full in Tallahassee".


    "Senate candidate Katherine Harris, still hemorrhaging staff and dodging questions about her ties to a convicted defense contractor, is sticking to carefully coordinated public appearances." "Harris Sticks To Controlled Stops". The pundits ask: "Will Harris' splurge lure or repel votes?". See also "Critics call Harris' self-funding a gamble".

    Daniel Ruth has this: "Get Ready For Kate's 2006 Grief Campaign" ("Somehow it seems fitting that Katherine Harris has decided to turn her campaign for the U.S. Senate into a nine-month wake.")

    In the meantime, the editorial boards are less than thrilled:

    With the May sign-up deadline for a Senate candidate looming, just seven months until the election, and Jeb Bush denying interest in the Senate, fielding a credible GOP candidate will be a major challenge.

    So far, those who might win won't run, and those who might run are unlikely to win.

    Harris' heedless pursuit of the seat can only mean bad news for GOP hopes to hold its Senate majority.

    And it certainly opens up major questions about the real unity of the Florida Republican party.
    "A vain pursuit".

    Municipal Elections

    "Hold municipal elections in the fall".


    "For weeks, faculty members, students, clergy, alumni, donors and community leaders, embarrassed that Florida's richest private university paid its poorest workers subpoverty wages, pressed Shalala to pay UM's contract workers a living wage and offer health insurance." "UM's low-wage workers to get pay raises, benefits".

    A Little Late

    "Gov Bush calls on leaders to join push for ethanol".


    "'Compromise' may scuttle land-buying bill". On a related note, "Land cleanup may get incentives".

    "Closing out another week of firings and demotions, Florida's new prison chief said Friday that more than 50 employee club funds around the state will be revamped to make sure inmates do not help pay for them and that money is not misspent." "Prison chief revamps employee funds; staff changes wind down". See also "Prison culture: Softball, scandal".

    "Jeb!"'s "Misguided idea of relevancy"

    There's a lot that is "offensive, but

    [w]hat's most offensive about the governor's plan ... is the degree to which Bush wants to usurp local control of the public schools. [Rep.] Arza's bill would even allow the governor to take direct control of chronically failing schools.

    The last thing local school districts need is for the governor to pull the educational strings from Tallahassee. And the last thing education needs is Bush's misguided idea of relevancy.

    Jebbie's "Duplicitous 'all is well' posture"

    Frustrated with Florida's blind eye toward Everglades pollution, U.S. Attorney Dexter Lehtinen in 1988 won a federal action that has forced the state to clean up its landmark resource, a plan still overseen by a federal judge.

    Federal oversight has kept the state from bending to Big Sugar's desires to dilute water quality standards and a state attempt to weaken cleanup requirements a few years ago. Judge Federico Moreno criticized Gov. Jeb Bush's staff for a duplicitous "all is well" posture and instead demanded a better plan for the River of Grass.
    "Don't Eliminate Everglades Guardian".

    65% Game

    " So how much more does the proposed constitutional requirement to force school districts to spend 65 cents of every dollar for "inside-the-classroom" spending guarantee for schools? Zero, according to a legislative analysis." "Education financing debate hinges on what's instruction".

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