Since 2002, daily Florida political news and commentary


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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 16, 2006

She's Stayin' In

    "Harris announces she's still in Senate race". See also "Harris Betting Her Fortune On Race", "Harris in to win with her own $10M", "Harris: I'm in race all the way", "'I'm in it to win it,' Harris says about Senate race", "Harris says she's in Senate race to stay" and "Harris pledges to stay in race".

    The newspaper blogs: "Harris Bets $10-Million - And 'My Father's Name'", "Harris ends speculation on talk show" and "Harris in $10 million worth".

    In the meantime, the campaign meltdown continues:
    Republican senatorial candidate Katherine Harris lost a second top adviser on Wednesday, as she prepared to go on national TV and address her political future. Anne Dunsmore, a prominent California fundraiser who was hired amid much fanfare only three months ago, declined to say why she was leaving. ...

    The move came less than a day after pollster Ed Goeas left the campaign and three weeks after Harris's Florida-based finance director, Mike Miller departed. Among her top advisers, that leaves only New York-based consultant Ed Rollins.
    "Harris Loses Another Big Name". See also "Another advisor takes a walk".

    Session Developments

    - "Legislature 2006: Developments from Wednesday, March 15". See also "Legislature briefs".

    - "Capitol Roundup".

    - "Some Florida lawmakers are losing confidence in the state's juvenile-justice agency, saying its head, Anthony Schembri, has told 'lies' too many times." "Lawmakers decry DJJ chief's 'lies'".

    - "Senate chairman unveils hurricane insurance proposal".

    - "As thousands of Florida felons apply -- and wait -- to have their civil rights restored, lawmakers have vowed to bring relief to a system that is clearly overwhelmed." "New push to ease clemency backlog".

    - "House likely to OK liability reform". See also "House opens debate on how lawsuit damages are divided up".

    - "There's no consensus on what to do with Florida's no-fault auto insurance law. Some insurers say overhaul or scrap it. Healthcare providers and attorneys say leave it as is." "If insurers get way, drivers can say bye to PIP".

    - "House Tackles Recruiting" of student athletes.

    - "Florida condominium associations want to change laws with two bills, which would allow the associations more self-governing power." "Condo associations press for greater governing power".

    - "Panel OKs Letting Pharmacists Give Shots".

    - "Developer urges committee to loosen eminent domain bill".

    - "Watered-down bill on nursing home generators clears Senate panel".


    "GOP front-runner says he's running "like we're 20 points behind.". "Crist Happy to Meet and Greet"

    Cleaning House

    "New Corrections Department Secretary James McDonough fired nine high-ranking officials Wednesday amid allegations of favoritism, partying and a steroid ring." "State prison chief cleans house".


    "A lobbying group formed by State Farm, the state's largest insurance company, came under fire for intimidation tactics." "Tactics anger lawmakers".

    New Chief Justice

    "The Florida Supreme Court unanimously elected Justice R. Fred Lewis on Wednesday as its 52nd chief justice, a position that rotates among the seven members every two years. ... Chiles appointed Lewis to the Supreme Court effective Jan. 1, 1999." "Lewis selected next Supreme Court chief justice".

    Circular Firing Squad

    "Two of the Republican party's biggest supporters are facing off in a duel over a bill to let employees leave their guns in locked cars at work. And Rep. David Simmons again wasn't able to avert the showdown Wednesday between business owners and gun activists." "Conservative lobbies don't resolve dispute over guns at work".

    Cloudy Days


    Currently, there are dozens of proposals before the Legislature to create or reauthorize shady spots in the sunshine. Some are routine re-enactments of exemptions that protect the privacy of personal information the government has on us, or sensitive security data that would be useful to terrorists.

    But some of the proposed exemptions are mystifying.
    "Cloudy days in the Sunshine State".


    "State senators said Wednesday that escalating property values in coastal counties may force them to back away from a proposal to move the owners of $1 million homes out of a state-run insurance company. The idea, which has surfaced in both the House and Senate, is aimed at shrinking the size of Citizens Property Insurance Corp., the state's insurer of last resort for many homeowners in hurricane-prone coastal counties." "Plan to shrink Citizens hits a snag".

    "Partisan Firestorm"

    "A Republican effort to resurrect school vouchers in Florida touched off a partisan firestorm Wednesday, with Democrats calling it a power grab and an attack on the independence of the courts." "House panel moves to re-establish school vouchers".

    Is Abramoff Representing The Seminole Tribe?

    The Florida GOP is sure acting like he is:

    A draft of slot regulations unveiled this week would, among other cumbersome restrictions, force the pari-mutuels to choose between slot machines and poker tables. Pari-mutuel officials point out that the proposed state rule would force them to forfeit their card room licenses, but competing slot machine casinos owned by Indian tribes would be exempt.

    It almost smells like the state wants to give the Seminoles and others a leg up on the pari-mutuels. Having lost at the ballot boxes, and in a Broward courtroom, perhaps Florida's anti-gambling Puritans figure they must squeeze pari-mutuel slot machines into failure.

    We're Good With That

    "Two Democratic legislators pushing a bill that would spend $150 million in state money on embryonic stem-cell research are coming to the conclusion that Republican opposition to the controversial practice — especially during an election year — means they have little chance of success this session. But they say an unintended carrier for their idea is speeding through the legislature: a Republican-sponsored cancer and Alzheimer's research bill." "Democrats say biomed bill opens door for stem cell research". See also "Move Florida to the front in stem-cell research race" ("Florida will have trouble keeping up with California and overseas researchers because in Florida stem-cell research is viewed through a prism distorted by ideology-driven political resistance, not science.")

    Mea Culpa

    "The number of children in Florida's low-cost health insurance program has plummeted in recent years, sparking outrage among families struggling to get into the program and advocates accusing KidCare officials of creating too many barriers for needy families. But on Wednesday, legislators pinned the blame on themselves and praised KidCare officials for recent strides to improve the beleaguered program." "Lawmakers take blame for KidCare problems".

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