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 Tuesday, April 25, 2006

"Katherine Harris uncorked"

    "In her latest official statement to the news media, U.S. Senate candidate Katherine Harris says she never removed the cork from the bottle. No wonder her campaign is not breathing." "Katherine Harris uncorked".

    Which helps explains this: "Bense 'Thinking About' Senate Run".

    Privatization Follies

    "A new legislative audit found that a private company's handling of its governmental duties is still beset with problems." "Still more problems found in work handled by vendor".

    Six Democratic Reps from Palm Violated House Rules

    "The House Rules and Calendar Council chairman has ruled that six Democratic representatives from Palm Beach and Broward counties violated House rules by lending their names to a fund-raiser during the session, but he found the violation to be "inadvertent" and ordered only a minor punishment." "6 House Democrats face minor penalties". See also "Six lawmakers said to have broken rule".

    What The NRA Wants ...

    the NRA gets: "So after all the gamesmanship, the bill (SB 208), which would require businesses that sell hunting and fishing licenses to also provide customers with voter registration applications, is headed for the Senate floor just the way the NRA wants it." "A Round for the NRA". Troxler writes about it (and a range of other political issues) in a column today: "Hunting for votes, Republicans take to great outdoors".

    Session News

    - "Legislature zeroes in on key issues as session heads into final stretch".

    - "Legislature 2006: Developments from day 49, April 24". See also "The day in Tallahassee, Monday, April 24, 2006" and "Capitol Roundup".

    - "House, Senate Ease KidCare Cut".

    - "Lawmakers look to study property tax before making reforms". See also "Tax breaks may languish" "Legislators back off property tax changes".

    - "Legislature conflicted on immigrants' tuition bill".

    - "Key Education Laws Ready For Senate Floor". See also "Weaker class-size rules advance in Senate", "Senate panel OKs class-size revision" and "Second Senate committee OKs weakening class size limit".

    - "Senate panel moves to open cable TV competition, but not now".

    - "The anti-bullying bill that is wending its way through the Legislature is well intended. But if it isn't amended to keep current anti-bullying rules intact in several of the state's largest school districts, the bill could have some bad unintended consequences." "Fix anti-bullying bill".

    - "Death penalty changes shot down".

    - "State bill could force homeowner associations to build up emergency funds".

    - "Senate weakens eminent domain bill". See also "Lawmakers look at limiting power to seize property" and "Panel adds protection for Riviera Beach to condemnation bill".

    - "Eight-year term limit may stand".

    - "Felons close to an open door for DNA testing".

    - "A House insurance bill would set aside $920 million to cover a portion of the shortfall for state-run insurance pool and reduce its exposure." "State House to vote on insurance proposal".

    - "Hearing aids to be paid for by Medicaid under budget agreement".

    - "The House gave final passage Monday to Gov. Jeb Bush's space-industry legislation, but not without a futile fight by Rep. Bob Allen, whose district encompasses Kennedy Space Center." "State's space agencies to merge".

    - "House speaker wary of requiring generators at gas stations".

    "Klein breaks ranks"

    "Boca Raton Sen. Ron Klein broke with other Democrats Monday on a bill that would create an independent state board with the power to approve charter schools. The proposal (SB 1030) passed the Senate Education Committee in a 4-3 vote with Klein voting in the majority and Republican and retired educator Sen. Evelyn Lynn opposed to the bill." "Klein breaks ranks on charter school bill".

    13th Congressional District

    "Longboat Key businessman Vern Buchanan continues to lead all candidates in the 13th Congressional District when it comes to fund-raising."

    In the meantime, "on the Democratic side, retired banker Christine Jennings continues to lead Jan Schneider by a considerable amount. Jennings raised another $206,000 over the last three months, giving her over $600,000 for her campaign. Schneider raised $33,150 in the first quarter and now has just $122,514". "Buchanan continues to lead fund-raising".

    Florida Netroots

    The Buzz suggests in "Online Jim" that "If Florida's governor's race were decided by netroots activity, Jim Davis would win.". In that connection, Davis will be conducting another "Keeping Florida's Promise Online Town Hall tonight".

    Rod Smith has engaged the blogosphere as well.


    "A federal audit of the plan to improve the flow of water into Everglades National Park found numerous problems and assessed plenty of blame." "Delays, high costs plague Glades plan".


    "The money continues to flow from the legislator-controlled slush funds even as the Senate president works to halt it." "Lawmaker loophole lingers".

    "Florida's campaign finance laws are meaningless as long as politicians can rake in as much money as they want through their slush funds." "Rein in 527s".


    "Nelson: Gas Rally About Energy, Not Memo".


    "Bush should have fired Mr. Tunnell, whose stunning lack of judgment made him unfit to lead the 1,900-employee agency."

    Mr. Tunnell's downfall began with a gross conflict of interest in the questionable death of a 14-year-old boy who attended a boot camp run by the Bay County Sheriff's Office. While FDLE was investigating the death, Mr. Tunnell sent supportive e-mails to the Bay County sheriff. Mr. Tunnell is a former Bay County sheriff, and he started the boot camp. That got FDLE kicked off the case.

    Then last week, before demonstrators marched to protest the boot-camp death, Mr. Tunnell mocked U.S. Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois by referring to him as Osama bin Laden, and he insulted the Rev. Jesse Jackson by calling him Jesse James. The racist stench of the insults was unacceptable for a top manager.
    "Long overdue".


    "Scripps talks bear some fruit".


    "Unless partisan disagreement gets in the way, legislators can protect both citizens and law enforcement from misuse of Taser" "This year, pass Taser bill".

    More Privatization Follies

    In "Making the case", we read that the privatization scandals will result in legislation of some sort this year:

    Lawmakers, perhaps embarrassed because they'd dropped the ball early in the Bush administration by failing to build in sufficient safeguards, last year tried to compensate. In an unusual display of near-unanimity, they passed legislation designed to promote efficiency by requiring legislative review of major state contracts.

    Mr. Bush vetoed that bill, saying it unconstitutionally intruded on executive authority.

    Since then, Sen. Nancy Argenziano, perhaps the effort's most outspoken advocate, has worked with representatives of the governor's office, including Department of Management Services Secretary Tom Lewis, to resolve the constitutional questions surrounding last year's failed legislation.

    Now it appears that those problems are resolved, as SB 2518 passed the Senate on Friday and a companion bill made its way toward the House floor. Ms. Argenziano, R-Dunnellon, whose district includes part of Leon County, says DMS concerns have been addressed and the agency now supports the bill.
    If Jebbie's DMS can live with the bill, it must be toothless.


    "Bank of America may get off hook":

    Florida House legislators introduced an amendment Monday that might give Bank of America a free pass on a multimillion dollar lawsuit.
    "Rep. Don Brown, R-DeFuniak Springs, introduced an amendment on the House floor that would retroactively excuse the bank. A similar amendment is working its way through the Senate."

    20 Miles

    "What your parents told you years ago still applies today to efforts to open Florida's costal waters to oil drilling: Just because someone else is doing something irresponsible doesn't mean you should, too. Yet that's the specious argument being pushed by U.S. Rep. John Peterson, R-Pa., who has filed a bill to allow natural-gas exploration 20 miles off Florida shores." "Protect the Everglades".

    Eminent Domain

    "Let's make sure eminent domain protections work".

    Dems Sue

    "Two state senators [Democratic leader Sen. Lesley "Les" Miller Jr., D-Tampa, and Sen. Walter "Skip" Campbell Jr., D-Tamarac] on Monday sued the Florida Department of Education on Monday because officials won’t give them the names or credentials of temporary workers hired to grade a high-stakes student-performance test." "Senators sue for FCAT info". See also "Dems sue for info on test graders", "2 legislators sue top education official" and "Senate Dems sue to uncover qualifications of FCAT scorers".

    Clay and Alcee

    Yesterday, in the Sun-Sentinel: "Two neighboring S. Florida congressmen serve sharply different districts".

    "State needs better ways to rescue troubled youth"

    "The young protesters who crowded the state Capitol and staged a respectful sit-in in the lobby of Gov. Jeb Bush's office want answers about the death of 14-year-old Martin Lee Anderson. So do Anderson's parents." "Boot to boot camps".

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