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 Monday, March 13, 2006

Still Kicking

    "Although U.S. Senate candidate Katherine Harris has been avoiding the media of late, it doesn't mean she's shunning the spotlight entirely. That was clear Saturday in Arcadia, where the Longboat Key Republican rode on horseback at the front of the annual parade before the All-Florida Championship Rodeo." "Harris rides in rodeo parade".

    In the meantime, the Tampa Trib argues that the "GOP Should Draft Lee For Senate Race".

    Regulating Political Committees

    Note how the GOoPers are trying to water down the effort:

    Fresh off instituting the nation's most stringent ban on gifts from lobbyists, Florida's lawmakers may tackle an even bigger confluence of special interests and politicians: the millions of dollars that flow through political committees.

    Democrats in the Florida Legislature are pushing a bill that would bar elected officials or candidates in the state from controlling or conducting business with any committees that are established in the state.

    House Republicans are crafting a plan that would require quicker reporting of who is paying for what in the shadowy world of soft money financing.

    Unlike campaign accounts, which have a $500 limit on contributions, committees can accept larger contributions of tens of thousands of dollars.
    "Legislative plan targets big-money groups". Along these same lines, on March 11, we wrote about how "GOoPers Undermine Campaign Reform" (citing "Not all jump on finance reform bandwagon").

    Sunshine Week

    "Florida newspapers conduct audits of local governments and advocate protecting open access laws." "Papers urge readers to watch government".

    Mehlman To Bring Excuse Machine To Sarasota

    "Ken Mehlman, chairman of the RNC, has agreed to be the keynote speaker at the Lincoln Day Dinner on March 26, put on by the Sarasota Republican Party." "Mehlman in Sarasota".

    Good Enough?

    "A Senate committee last week approved sensible [sic] legislation that would require only companies owning eight or more gas stations within a county to have generators on hand. Plus, they would be allowed to comply with mobile generators rather than installing permanent ones. The bill also would force only new or remodeled stations, and those within a half-mile of interstate highways and evacuation routes, to rewire their operations for backup power." "Storm Season".

    "Cynical Contradictions"

    "Sen. J.D. Alexander, a Polk County Republican and the co-chairman of the legislative commission, has no objections to improving safety standards and housing conditions. But he doesn't want migrants to have access to health care and other social services. Alexander's position sums up the astoundingly cynical contradictions that are victimizing migrants' rights in Florida and elsewhere." "Splitting indifference".

    GOoPers "drive a stake through the heart of public education"

    "The Florida Supreme Court told Gov. Bush and the Legislature that they can't use vouchers to chip away at public schools. The response, from some in the GOP, is to quit chipping and start bombing. Rep. Marco Rubio, R-Miami, who will be the next House speaker, last week proposed a constitutional amendment that would let any public school student in Florida get a voucher to attend private school. Alarm at the prospect is bipartisan. "The effect it would have," said Sen. Jim King, R-Jacksonville, 'is to basically drive a stake through the heart of public education./" "Voucher fans light fuse to detonate the schools".

    Protecting Newspapers

    "Bill would protect the news media from lawsuits". For the Orlando Sentinel's double standard on this, see "Oh ... The Hypocrisy".

    Flash: Boyd Criticizes GOP!

    "Rep. Allen Boyd Jr., a Democrat who represents Leon County and more than a dozen other Panhandle counties, blamed Republicans for letting the number of lawmakers' pet projects skyrocket." "Boyd points finger at GOP for too many congressional pet projects".

    "War of Words"

    "Rapidly deteriorating relations between U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler and state Rep. Irving Slosberg could have big implications for south-county Democratic politics. Wexler, the rock star/600-pound gorilla/favorite condo grandson of south county, declared last year he'd remain neutral in local Democratic primaries, including Slosberg's bid for a state Senate seat against attorney Ted Deutch. It was during a recent discussion of that endorsement policy that Wexler's top local aide, Wendi Lipsich, says Slosberg repeatedly used a vulgar term to describe her boss." "War of words grows between Wexler, Slosberg".

    Welcome Back

    "Former Vice President Al Gore used his time in Palm Beach County Sunday to blast the man he lost the presidency to five years ago, in the very state that he lost it in." "Bush misleads, Gore says".

    Dem Challenger?

    "Attorney Maria Sachs, 'energized' after making the rounds in Tallahassee last week, said she'll announce her plans this week. She's mulling a primary challenge of state Rep. Richard Machek, D-Delray Beach, while Democratic wishful-thinkers have tried to steer her toward the potentially open [state Rep. Anne] Gannon seat." "Sachswatch".

    "Relevant learning opportunities."

    "Bush's proposal to dramatically overhaul Florida's education system would give him a much stronger hand in turning around struggling schools, force educators to rethink their priorities for fine arts and physical education and require middle-schoolers to pick college-like majors. ... In their 107-page bill, the governor and his supporters say they want to mold Florida schools into a tougher, more career-oriented system that gives children 'relevant learning opportunities.'" However,

    Opponents have drawn their own battle lines, focusing on the bill's intent to eliminate physical education and fine arts courses from high school graduation requirements, and its plan to let the governor usurp school districts and reform chronically failing schools on his own.
    "Gov. Bush wants to stress career-oriented education over arts, PE".

    Wingnuts Salivating

    "The "Health Transformation Summit," featuring Gingrich and sponsored by the Center for Health Transformation and the American Legislative Exchange Council, will take place from 9:30 to 10:15 a.m. in the House Chamber. " "Gingrich to speak in House Tuesday".

    Yes, that "American Legislative Exchange Council": "How ALEC and the Rightwing Operates in the States".

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