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, May 22, 2006

Labor Stays Out

    "The Florida AFL-CIO said Sunday that it will not endorse a Democratic candidate for governor, having failed to reach a necessary two-thirds vote in favor of U.S. Rep. Jim Davis or state Sen. Rod Smith." "AFL-CIO not taking sides".

    Once Was Not Enough

    A girl's gotta eat:

    Rep. Katherine Harris wound up embroiled in a firestorm last month after acknowledging she had a $2,800 meal with a defense contractor convicted of bribery.

    Now it turns out that wasn't her first fancy meal with corrupt contractor Mitchell Wade. Harris had dined with Wade previously at the same tony Washington restaurant and failed to pay her share as required by congressional rules, her campaign acknowledged Friday.
    "Briber paid for 2nd meal for Harris".

    Candidate Forum

    "Setting himself apart from Gov. Jeb Bush and other Republican leaders, Florida Attorney General Charlie Crist said Sunday that he did not support repealing the constitutional amendment aimed at relieving crowded classrooms." "Focus put on class-size caps" ("The four leading candidates to replace Gov. Jeb Bush sparred at a forum sponsored by the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce at the Doral Golf Resort & Spa.") See also "Candidates debate state insurance woes" ("Two Republicans and 2 Democrats vying for Florida governor meet in Miami-Dade") and "Gallagher and Crist spar over insurer" ("At a forum with the four primary candidates for governor, Citizens Property Insurance is a lightning-rod topic.")

    "Bill to wipe out state safety standards bad for Florida"

    "The National Uniformity for Food Act, which passed the House in March, would wipe out food safety regulations in all 50 states, replacing them with . . . nothing. . . . Also on the chopping block: Restaurant safety and food-handling regulations in all 50 states. In a state that relies on tourism, such a restriction could spell disaster. Florida officials also would lose the authority to prevent the sale of spoiled food after a hurricane." "National food act a hazard".

    "Drilling fight underscores urgency"

    "Opponents can't afford to relax after last week's failed congressional attempt to end a ban affecting large areas of U.S. waters now off limits to drilling for oil and natural gas." "In their sights". See also "Strength in numbers" ("Weldon should join the fight to protect Florida's shores from unwise drilling"), "Gulf Drilling" and "Michael Peltier: Pressure to allow offshore drilling won't be going away" ("Florida delegates to the U.S. House of Representatives last week beat back attempts to relax oil-drilling restrictions off the state's coastline. But the issue is far from over.")

    Slow Start

    "Sales tax holiday for items related to hurricanes off to leisurely start".

    Just One More

    "Democrats came within one piece of paper of having a candidate in every congressional race in Florida. Just a day before the May 12 filing deadline, [CD 13 candidate Jan] Schneider loaned fellow Democrat James Davis of Bartow $10,000 to pay the qualifying fee to run against Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Bartow. But when Davis' staff submitted his ted his paperwork to the Division of Elections they didn't have an original loyalty oath document signed by Davis. Without it, the agency rejected Davis' attempt to get on the ballot."

    Schneider said she needs every penny she's raised for her own race but thought it important to help the party present a full slate of candidates for voters in November. She said the central part of the state having Democratic candidates on the ballot could have helped draw more attention to the November elections, which could have helped overall turnout in Central Florida.
    "Democratic hopeful fails to qualify for election".

    McBride (The New One)

    From The Buzz yesterday,"Harris challenger's deep pockets attract speculation":

    We wonder if that question came up Friday night at the Florida Family Policy Council banquet, where the governor was seated next to Stuart Epperson, chairman of Salem Communications, the biggest religious radio broadcaster in America. Epperson's son-in-law is Senate candidate McBride, which has a lot of people wondering if the Orlando lawyer and first-time candidate will pump millions of dollars of family money into the race.

    "Everybody's asking that," a chuckling McBride said in his first comments since entering the race. "We're raising the money to be competitive in the primary and more than competitive in the general election. ... I'm looking forward to giving Republicans a viable alternative that can close the gap" with Nelson."

    McBride said he was swamped with calls urging him to get in and that he harbors no ill will toward Harris. "It's not about Katherine Harris; it's about finding someone who can be competitive with Bill Nelson."
    Who is this guy - other than Stuart Epperson's son-in-law? Well, he
    was born in Tampa 33 years ago. He graduated from Leto High School in Tampa and received a bachelor’s degree from Florida State University, according to a news release sent by his office. After graduating from Florida State, McBride served as a public school teacher for three years.

    McBride received his law degree from the Pepperdine University School of Law and started his own law practice in Orlando, where he specializes in immigration law. The William McBride Law Group now has offices in Kissimmee and Tampa in addition to the Orlando office. McBride is a former youth minister and former Christian camp director.

    McBride lives in Windermere, an Orlando suburb, and is married and the father of three boys ages 5, 3 and 1.
    "The Name Sounds Familiar". See also "Harris' challengers a diverse but untested trio" ("McBride also is reportedly a family friend of White House political advisor Karl Rove.")

    Good Luck

    "Bush's legacy took significant losses during his last legislative session on his attempts to water down the class-size amendment and revive the school vouchers that the Florida Supreme Court has ruled unconstitutional. A better way to cement his legacy would be to stanch Florida's hemorrhaging open-government reputation by vetoing rather than signing into law the more than a dozen bills passed during the session's waning days that create or extend exemptions to Florida's open records laws." "To enhance Jeb's record, keep state records open".

    Crist: "More smoke than substance"

    "Charlie Crist has edge in public posing".

    Hot Air

    The Miami herald argues that "a lot of hot air was spent on an English-only debate in the U.S. Senate last week -- and for no good reason. The debate centered around ideological grounds and contributed nothing to the immigration reforms that senators ostensibly were shaping." "English-only law an exercise in futility".

    "Jeb!" on Verge of Fumbling Away 'Glades Restoration

    Jebbie wants to end federal judicial eview of Evergaldes cleanup, saying an administrative agency stocked with Bushco sycophants should do the oversight instead. Even Congress sees through this ploy:

    With a court-imposed deadline to clean up pollution in the Everglades seven months away, Florida officials -- led by Gov. Jeb Bush -- have pursued a public-relations blitz to tout the state's progress ...

    At the same time that they trumpeted "unprecedented success," Bush, environmental Secretary Colleen Castille and South Florida water managers also pushed to end 14 years of oversight by federal judges in Miami and close the books on the landmark settlement that ordered the cleanup and set a date to get it done -- Dec. 31.

    But the months of high-level meetings with Washington lawmakers, White House aides and federal agencies backfired.

    Instead of patting the state on the back, key members of Congress threatened to pull federal funding for the sweeping $10.5 billion Everglades restoration plan.
    Good job, "Jeb!", the whole cleanup effort is in jeopardy because of your effort to sleaze out of judicial oversight. Fortunately, GOoPers in other states want to make sure that what's left of the 'Glades has some chance of being preserved:
    John Scofield, a spokesman for the House Appropriations Committee, said the message from powerful Chairman Rep. Dave Hobson, R-Ohio, and other lawmakers was blunt: "They don't want the state in any way, shape or form to weasel out of the consent decree"
    In response, Jebbie whines:
    The governor said the state's aim has been misunderstood.
    "Millions for Glades in jeopardy".

    See also "State calls formula unreliable" ("David Guest, who represents environmental groups in the case, suspects the state's real goal is to undermine the federal pact and adopt a state standard with enough wiggle room to declare the job of cleaning the Everglades done. 'Their argument is, in essence, Let's use a different standard because we're not going to meet this one,'said Guest.").

    On Jebbie's Desk

    "Florida soon may have among the nation's strictest guidelines for long-term care insurance, as a bill the Legislature unanimously passed this month needs only Gov. Jeb Bush's signature to become reality. But whether or not the new rules truly will benefit consumers remains to be seen -- and depends on whom you ask." "Long-term care bill to make insurance affordable, supporters say".


    "Some in Tallahassee notice lobbyist assistants for more than just skills." "Interns who turn heads".

    Double Whammy

    "There are two hurricane crises plaguing Florida these days: the forecast of greater hurricane activity because of a change in the weather cycle, and the soaring cost of property insurance. The increase in turbulence poses a real threat to the life and property of every resident of our state, from the Panhandle to the Keys. Still, foresight and disaster preparation can mitigate the damage." "Storms hit Florida with double whammy".

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