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.


Older posts [back to 2002]

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The Blog for Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Harris, "In Total Meltdown"

    "U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris will announce Tuesday a new team to help her effort to unseat Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, a spokesman said Monday." "Big news for Harris tomorrow". The Buzz speculates that "Paul Wilson will be her media consultant and that spiritual adviser Dale Burroughs' brother, Clint, is likely to serve as campaign manager." "Harris' New Team".

    "'She's in total meltdown. The campaign is in chaos,' said a longtime Republican operative who worked closely with Harris". After all,
    in the past 10 days, Harris has:

    •Had locks changed and posted a security guard at the door of her campaign headquarters in Tampa and had former staff members escorted in to retrieve their belongings.

    •Told a gathering of supporters in Cocoa Beach on Saturday that the Republican Party had "infiltrated" her campaign staff to put "knives in my back."

    •Told a reporter that a longtime, trusted political adviser had leaked a story about her staff members quitting, then called back to retract the comments.

    •Announced hiring her new staff without identifying them.

    Those events come atop previous reversals and contradictions, including her announcement last month that she would spend her inheritance from her father on her campaign, which she changed, saying she would sell her assets.

    Former campaign manager Jim Dornan, who left in November, called the most recent events in the campaign "unbelievable."

    "It smacks of real paranoia," he said of the headquarters lockout and comments about infiltration. "That campaign staff was so loyal to her, and to be treated like that is absolutely unconscionable."
    "Questions Dog Harris Behavior". See also "Harris campaign 'bleeding' continues" ("Now, as she sets about reassembling her campaign staff for the second time, Harris is also changing the locks on her office doors and, according to one published report, blasting the people who left.")

    And Brian Crowley asks: "Jeb for Senate?"

    Baxley Reads A Book

    State Rep. Dennis Baxley, R-Ocala, who failed last year to pass "a bill that would have enabled students to sue professors if they felt their political or religious beliefs were not respected ... [and] decried the 'leftist totalitarianism' of 'dictator professors'", has apparently "decided against trying again this year". In the meantime, Baxley claims to have read a book: "Everybody's a Critic".

    Session News

    - "Legislature 2006: Developments from day 28, April 3". See also "Tallahassee Ticker".

    - "Bill would keep some teens off cellphones while driving".

    - "Needs of Florida families in spotlight at the Capitol".

    - "Open government advocates were breathing easier Monday after a prominent South Florida Democrat agreed to withdraw legislation that would have blocked public access to e-mail addresses held by local officials." "Margolis withdraws contested bill".

    Whitewash Begins

    Jebbie appointed "special prosecutor" Stephen B. Russell chats with some local bigwigs in his purported "investigation" of Bush Pioneer Rich Crotty. "Prosecutors query Orange officials". This "investigation" is almost funny, with "one ''activist' for the Bush-Cheney campaign' [Russell] investigating another ''activist' for the Bush-Cheney campaign' [Crotty]."

    If Crotty wasn't supporting Crist before, you can be sure he is now. After all, Russell "was recently chosen one of several co-chairmen of GOP gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist's Lee County campaign". Id.

    DeLay and Florida 2000

    Few remember the now disgraced Tom Delay's role in the Florida 2000 election fiasco. The Nation's John Nichols laments that, with DeLay dropping out of politics, "DeLay's crudest assault on American democracy will be little mentioned now, as it has been since he waged it ... it was Tom DeLay who brought down the hammer that stopped the recount process at its most critical point." Read what he means here: "The Hammer Goes Down".

    GOoPer Xenophobes ...

    won't believe who has been running around waving the "Mexican flag", and on U.S. soil no less.

    More From The "Values" Crowd

    "Facing claims from people exonerated by DNA evidence testing, Florida lawmakers are attempting to put a price tag on the lost years of those who have been imprisoned for crimes they didn't commit." But you won't believe the strings the GOoPers are insisting on as a condition to receipt of compensation. "Absolved Inmates Unequal To Some".

    Good Luck

    "Two years ago, the Legislature punished South Florida children when it changed a school-funding formula. After that session South Florida legislators, including Rep. Marco Rubio, R-West Miami, said that they would fight to fix the inequity. The fix hasn't happened yet, and it has cost Miami-Dade and Broward schools more than $144 million in funding over two years." "Fairness for S. Florida".


    "Major Pluses, Minuses In School Plan".

    "Bill would give Florida landlords license to gouge"

    "Higher gas prices, increased power and phone bills, an employment market trending toward more part-time, no-benefit jobs -- all these factors increase the burden on Floridians struggling to get by. Trust some members of the state Legislature to kick folks while they're down. A bill scheduled to be heard in the House Justice Council would allow landlords to gouge renters who leave their apartments before a lease ends, even if the apartment is re-rented. Under this bill (HB 673), landlords would be allowed to collect up to two months' rent from a departing tenant -- even if the apartment is re-rented within a week, as is often the case in Florida's go-go housing market." "Home steep home".

    Green Lobbyists

    "State's sheriffs are on duty as lobbyists in Tallahassee".

    More Nukes

    "Florida Power & Light Co. says it wants to build another nuclear plant in Florida." "FPL wants to build its third nuclear plant in Florida".

    Hypocrisy Alert

    Scott Maxwell points out some central Florida hypocrites

    Whether you're a fan of online poker or you believe gambling cards are dealt from the devil's deck, you might be interested to know that a number of our local pols are co-sponsoring a bill to outlaw Internet gambling. Among those who have signed on to Virginia Rep. Bob Goodlatte's Internet Gambling Prohibition Act are local Feeney and fellow Republicans Ric Keller, Adam Putnam and Dave Weldon. Remember: We support smaller, less-intrusive government. . . unless you're doing something in your own home that we don't like.
    Those poor folks in central Florida; they never had a chance.

    A Business Thing

    "So you have problems now with your cable company? Just wait. State Rep. Trey Traviesa, R-Tampa, wants to make it easier for providers to cherry-pick customers, ignore complaints and pare down public and educational programming. Even the bill's name - the "Consumer Choice Act" - misleads the public about a giveaway to the pay-TV industry." "Pay-TV giveaway".

    Green Gallagher

    "Tom Gallagher shook hands with a sea turtle and smiled at a horse conch scurrying through the sand on Monday before a group of St. Lucie River activists abruptly changed the mood. The activists told Gallagher, a Republican candidate for governor, that Lake Okeechobee is dying and the governor-appointed state board that oversees its health doesn't understand the problem." In a bit of classic Jebspeak, Gallagher uttered:

    "Florida's environment is extremely important, and this is an extremely important part of Florida's environment," he said.
    "Environmental group queries gubernatorial candidate Gallagher".

    Truer Words ...

    were never spoken, and at UCF no less:

    there is some doubt as to America's leadership from a moral and political standpoint.

    "This world needs a leader," he said, "especially when it comes to moral and political things."

    [Former Polish union leader-turned-president Lech] Walesa knows about leadership.
    "[T]here were gasps" from the crowd. "Ex-Polish union boss: U.S. needs leadership".

    Note: It is disappointing to see the "union boss" slur in that headline; in addition to being a union leader, Walesa also happened to serve as Poland's president from 1990 to 1995.

    Public Counsel Stands Up To FPL

    PSC Public Counsel Harold "McLean says FPL should eat more than $600 million in [hurricane] damages. Not too distant history suggests the public counsel's suspicions might be right on target." "Storm Costs".

    Save Our Homes

    Mike Thomas on Save Our Homes: "Tax break or not, somebody ends up paying".

    "Pick a Poll"

    Brian Crowley notes that "two polls taken within days of each other with very different results."

    Strategic Vision poll - Jim Davis 41, Rod Smith 19, undecided 40 percent.

    Mason Dixon poll - Davis 28, Smith 9, undecided 63 percent.
    "Pick a Poll".


    GOoPers have their panties in a wad about this "Ex-vice president returns to crime scene." "Left and right lament what's left out".

    Property Rights

    "Florida legislators may take steps to curb cities' right to seize property".

    Indianapolis Bound

    Gator travel:

    A bipartisan octet of state lawmakers, some dressed in orange and blue, traveled on a charter jet to Indianapolis Monday to cheer on the University of Florida basketball team in the NCAA championship game.

    The entourage — three House members and five senators, including Sen. Jeff Atwater, R-North Palm Beach — packed its own sandwiches, snacks and soft drinks for the trip, a far cry from past years when lobbyists or political parties would pick up the tab.

    Nevertheless, lawmakers were circumspect when asked about who was paying the bill for the $10,000 rental of the nine-seat Cessna S550.

    "That's for me to know and you to find out," said Sen. Skip Campbell, D-Tamarac, who made the arrangements for the trip and is a candidate for state attorney general.
    It turns out the "Contingent picks up its own tab".

    "Florida: going for the bronze"

    "Florida's Legislature repeatedly appears to suffer from a fundamental lack of appreciation for higher education as the economic engine it is, and as a life-affirming force for good." "Higher-ed neglect".

    Feeney's Lobbyist "Season Ticket Pass"

    "Realizing that it can be time-consuming for lobbyists to cut check after check to his campaign, [Oviedo Republican Congressman Tom] Feeney has decided to offer the poor things a 'season ticket pass.' For the low, low price of $5,000, lobbyists can cut one big PAC check early in the season and then gain access to all of his campaign events for the year. Feeney Chief of Staff Jason Roe said the idea is nothing new to Washington -- only that he came up with a creative name for the process. Still, it's nice when politicians can make the process of selling access to themselves so darn convenient." "Congress: Behind the scenes".

    "Developers dealt a setback"

    "Environmentalists got a big win by stopping a developer- backed effort to remove Keys development from state scrutiny." "Developers dealt a setback". See also "Keys lawmakers may get development powers".

    Earlier, things were pretty tense: "'What we say is if you want to be an environmentalist in Monroe County, move further south,' to neighboring Cuba, Debbie Harrison, director of the Wildlife Fund's South Florida program, said before Monday's agreement." "Bill would take Keys off list of critical sites".

    Who Really Pulls GOoPer Strings

    "In a rare reversal of fortunes, the National Rifle Association's legislative priorities are facing resistence from the Republican-controlled Florida Legislature." "Big business to NRA: Not so fast". See also "For once, NRA is the one stumbling".

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