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 Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Harris Watch

    Jebbie has is unloading on Harris, pulling out all the stops to find someone, anyone to run against her:
    On the day Katherine Harris made it official that she is a candidate for the U.S. Senate, her colleagues in the Republican Party made it clear they are ready to work for somebody else -- someone they believe can actually defeat incumbent U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson.

    The man of the hour: Allan Bense, 54, an affable, get-along politician from the Panhandle who is finishing out his term as speaker of the state House of Representatives.

    The loudest voice Monday against Harris' troubled campaign came from the most important Republican in Florida: Gov. Jeb Bush.

    "I just don't believe she can win," Bush said.
    "GOP urges challenge to Harris Senate bid". See also "Harris bucks GOP, joins race", "Harris shuns 'party elite,' files for Senatate" and "Harris makes Senate bid official".

    Will Bense jump?
    The man whom House Speaker Allan Bense considers a father figure believes Bense will challenge U.S. Rep. Katherine Harris in the Republican primary race for U.S. Senate, he said Monday.

    The prediction by Charles Hilton, a Panama City businessman and Panhandle political force, came the same day Gov. Jeb Bush told reporters Harris cannot defeat Democratic U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson in November.

    Hilton said that after talking with Bense on Monday, he thinks Bense's passion for challenging battles will drive him into the race.
    "Mentor: Bense to face Harris". See also "Bense Not Easily Pressured, Friends Say".

    As the he New York Times notes all this blathering by Jebbie has put Dubya in a bit of a bind:
    President Bush arrived here Monday to face an awkward political situation about which his brother is mincing no words: the candidacy of Representative Katherine Harris for the United States Senate.

    White House aides said Ms. Harris, a Florida Republican, would be on hand to greet Mr. Bush when he landed in Tampa on Tuesday morning en route to a talk about the new Medicare prescription drug benefit.
    "Bush Faces Vexing Political Situation in Florida"

    In the meantime, Harris rejects the criticism from what she calls the "party elite": "Harris: 'We know we can win'".

    "The Worst President In History?" Visits Florida

    In the same week Princeton historian Sean Wilentz asks whether Dubya is ""The Worst President In History?" (he writes that "Bush's presidency appears headed for colossal historical disgrace"), the Preznit pays Florida a visit. "Protesters rally outside fundraiser attended by president". See also "President To Visit Sun City Center Today".

    "Sold His Office" Allegations

    "Federal law enforcement authorities on Monday branded former [WPB] City Commissioner Ray Liberti as a betrayer of the public trust whose bold actions were more despicable than other politicians who have been prosecuted." "Liberti 'sold his office,' U.S. attorney charges". See also "City official quits amid corruption probe".

    The PBP urges officials to "Start shaking all the trees after Liberti's fall", noting that "There are other examples of what at least seem to be ethics violations. In March, The Post reported that the wife of County Commission Chairman Tony Masilotti made $1.3 million on a Martin County land deal that he lobbied the South Florida Water Management District to complete. Commissioner Masilotti lied to the paper about how his wife got the money - he first said that she inherited it. He also lied that he did not benefit - money from the sale went for certificates of deposit in his name."

    13th Congressional District

    "Democrat Christine Jennings and Republicans Tramm Hudson, Nancy Detert and Vern Buchanan all secured their place on the Sept. 5 primary ballot in the 13th Congressional District on Monday." "Four Down, Four To Go".

    Smith Gets Another One

    "Rod Smith is gaining ground in winning one of the biggest prizes in Democratic politics: the endorsement of the Florida Education Association. United Teachers of Dade, the largest affiliate in the statewide union, is expected today to announce it is endorsing Smith, a state senator from Alachua, for governor over U.S. Rep. Jim Davis of Tampa. That follows the Broward Teachers Union, the statewide union's second-biggest affiliate, throwing its support to Smith last week." "Another big teachers union to back Smith".

    Love For Sale

    "U.S. Rep. Clay Shaw raised more than $800,000 at a Fort Lauderdale fundraiser headlined by President Bush Monday evening and picked up some presidential praise that sounded like an endorsement of his campaign to be chairman of the House Ways & Means Committee." "Money and presidential praise for Shaw". See also "Bush helps raise $800,000 for U.S. Rep. Shaw in Fort Lauderdale" and "Bush gives fundraising hand to vulnerable Shaw" ("Shaw, considered one of the most vulnerable congressional incumbents in the nation, got a personal boost from the president.")

    "Jeb!" Strides World Stage

    "The White House announced Monday night that Gov. Jeb Bush will lead a delegation to Port-au-Prince, Haiti to attend the inauguration of President René García Préval." "Jeb Heads To Haiti".

    "Voting machine sale in question"

    "A member of Congress has asked the Bush administration if it reviewed the purchase of a U.S. supplier of voting equipment by a Boca Raton company that once had controversial connections to the Venezuelan government." "Voting machine sale in question".

    Small Insurers

    "A new insurance law is likely to help small insurers weather the 2006 hurricane season." "Law helps small insurers".

    Lobbyist Fever

    "Nine of them, retained by Miami-Dade's Expressway Authority at a cost of more than $350,000, help kill county lawmakers' plan to prohibit such expenditures." "Agency thwarts lobbyist ban - with lobbyists' help".

    No Fault Veto Urged

    "Now that the Florida Legislature has voted to extend the state's automobile no-fault insurance law, the American Insurance Association has recommended to Governor Jeb Bush that he should use his 'veto pen' on the law and allow it to sunset as scheduled in 2007, according to Cecil Pearce, AIA Southeast Region vice president." "American Insurance Assoc. Urges Gov. Bush to 'Veto' No-Fault Law".

    Crist Coalition

    "Crist announces women 'coalition'".


    "So, they didn't fix that insurance thing. Florida is still in a lot of trouble." "Florida's insurance solution: free puppies for everyone!".

    Hollow Words

    On the heels of state law enforcement officers being screwed in the session, we get these empty words form the head of the Florida Republican party:

    "Floridians owe all of our law-enforcement officers a debt of gratitude," Bush told a crowd of several hundred uniformed officers gathered in the Capitol Courtyard. "It is with some sadness and also joy that we are here to celebrate the lives of some great Florida heroes."
    "Honoring their sacrifice".

    Session Review

    "The Legislature smartly rejected Gov. Jeb Bush's efforts to gut class size limits and protect school vouchers, took a stab at the insurance crisis - and named an official pie." "Of sweet defeats and key lime pie". See also "Lawmakers Didn't Duck Session's Toughest Tasks".

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