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 Saturday, May 06, 2006

Lame Duck Puts on a Happy Face

    "After a day filled with predictions of legislative overtime over an unwieldy property insurance bill, Republican leaders late Friday managed an on-time adjournment with Citizens Property Insurance bailout, but without a $60 million subsidy for the Florida Marlins or any further attempt to pass Gov. Jeb Bush's top priority, a constitutional amendment to preserve school vouchers." "Bush pleased despite setbacks". See also "Bush's prized school voucher plan looks to be out of time".


    "U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, a Miami Republican, and 14 other House members -- 11 of them from Florida -- Friday joined in introducing a bill that would deny visas to any employees of a company or entity that 'contributes to the development of Cuba's oil-exploration program.'"

    Their bill, a companion to Florida Democratic Sen. Bill Nelson's Senate bill filed earlier, would also impose sanctions on any individuals -- or companies -- who invest $1 million or more to help Cuba develop its oil and natural gas resources. ...

    Her co-sponsors include U.S. Reps. Lincoln Díaz-Balart and Mario Díaz-Balart, both Miami Republicans; Clay Shaw, R-Fort Lauderdale; Debbie Wasserman Schultz, D-Weston, and Mark Foley, R-Palm Beach County; Katherine Harris, a Senate candidate, and Jim Davis, a Democratic candidate for governor.
    "14 join Nelson bid to bar Cuban oil search off Keys".

    Session News

    - "Bills sent to the governor Friday". See also "Legislators race through bills in 'fantastic session'", "Bills that passed and failed", "Legislative Summary" and "Lawmakers scramble to finish", as well as a summary of developments from the Associated Press.

    - Insurance Special Session? - "Just an outline of what the final bill might look like was available Friday, but only tiny breaks are expected on escalating insurance costs." "Lawmakers work late to resolve state's deepening insurance crisis". See also "Insurance reform trips up legislative session" and "Final obstacle is insurance".

    Update - No Special Session: "Lawmakers late Friday approved a long-stalled insurance overhaul package that jeopardized the scheduled adjournment of the 2006 legislative session." "Insurance Bailout Passes Legislature". See also "State house pushes through insurance reform", "2006 session ends with compromise", "Insurance plan, $71.3 billion budget win OK" and "Insurance reform bill passes in final hour".

    - "Florida lawmakers approved a $71.3 billion state budget that boosts spending for schools, healthcare, roads and juvenile justice programs." "Goodies for home abound in budget". See also "At last: Legislature approves $71.3 billion budget".

    - "State lawmakers late Friday repealed a telecommunications law provision that had paved the way for the highest local-phone rate hike in state history. The bill also gives a substantial Senate-inspired boost to the Office of Public Counsel, increasing its budget by one-third. But a further move to expand the office's powers was rejected by the House late Friday, and the Senate concurred at 11:15 p.m." "Telephone rate hike repeal likely fails".

    - "State lawmakers approved an energy plan that offers tax breaks, but opponents say it reduces the public's role." "Energy bill passes amid debate".

    - "Drink tax despised by restaurant owners repealed".

    - "The Senate gave up fighting for tougher soft money restrictions Friday evening and sent a much diminished campaign-finance bill to Gov. Jeb Bush." "Diluted slush-fund bill sent to Bush".

    - "Counties get vote on rental car tax hike". See also "Senate OKs tax on car rentals".

    - "Bill to fund Marlins ballpark dies without a House vote". See also "Marlins' subsidy bid ends with strikeout".

    - "The contentious centerpiece of the project is a $245 million basket of incentives to compete for high-impact development projects and lure high-wage jobs to the state." "Innovation package approved".

    - "DUI breath challenge: Lawmakers pass measure to eliminate loophole".

    - "Students taking any type of state-financed private school voucher would be eligible to transfer to a program that some believe is less likely to be ruled unconstitutional under a bill passed by both chambers this week. The bill (SB 256) adds financial and limited academic oversight to Florida's voucher programs, but also includes language that lawmakers say was aimed at switching the students currently taking Opportunity Scholarships to the state's Corporate Tax Credit voucher program. Opportunity Scholarships were ruled unconstitutional in January." "Transfers, oversight of vouchers given OK".

    - "Senate bill promotes alternate energy sources".

    - "Bills Close Gun Permit, Autopsy Photo Records".

    - "Dade opposes gas station bill".

    - "Despite warnings that state employees will live in 'a culture of fear,' Florida legislators sent Gov. Jeb Bush a bill Friday intended to abolish every state agency on an eight-year cycle." "Agency review cycle approved".

    - "Spring training support bill awaits governor's signature".

    - "Brain tumor research gets boost from bill".

    - "State lawmakers, who last year decided to give voters a chance to extend legislative term limits, have reversed that decision and canceled the ballot question." "Legislative term still limited to 8 years". See also "Lawmakers decide eight IS enough", "Legislature's term limits will remain at eight years" and "Lawmakers change mind on increasing term limits".

    - "Hillsborough students' driver eye tests bill fails".

    - "House approves $6 million for paralyzed teen".

    - "State lawmakers proposed more than 42 measures this session to ask voters to amend the state Constitution in November. Here's what made it and what didn't". "The November Ballot".

    "Jeb!" May Veto "Tax"

    "The Senate gave final approval to the proposal on a 34-4 vote Friday evening. If signed into law by Gov. Jeb Bush, who has expressed concerns, the surcharge could raise $40 million annually for Orange, Seminole and Osceola county projects. It cleared the House on Wednesday by a vote of 103-14. ... But after the vote Friday, the governor appeared conflicted, saying the odds of him signing it were 50-50." "Governor has concerns about rental-car money".

    "The GOP Four"

    "The four Republican senators who voted against Gov. Jeb Bush's constitutional amendment on vouchers may not have endeared themselves to GOP leadership. But they do have friends, and some in surprising places." "The GOP Four's Fan Club".

    Florida AWOL

    Where's Charlie?

    Why is Florida, one of the most gas-hungry, commuter-rich states in the Union, not among those states suing the administration? The Florida Department of Revenue estimates that in 10 years, consumption here will increase to 32.3 million gallons of gas per day, more than half of that consumed by light trucks and SUVs. Charlie Crist, the attorney general (and candidate for governor), has the authority to join the lawsuit without approval from Gov. Jeb Bush.

    What's Crist waiting for?
    "Florida should join suit for higher fuel economy".

    Let Molly Sing

    "A 10-year-old girl was barred from singing a President Bush-bashing ballad at her elementary school talent show because her principal deemed the song inappropriate and too political. 'Dear Mr. President,' performed and co-written by pop star Pink, criticizes Bush for the war in Iraq and policies including his stance on gay rights. Nancy Shoul said her daughter Molly should be lauded for choosing lyrics that are full of substance and that the ban violates her daughter's right to free speech." "Principal bars student from singing anti-Bush song".

    GOoPers Hate The Pledge

    Steve Bousquet:

    Four months ago, Sen. Ken Pruitt delivered the shocking news. The Pledge of Allegiance was in grave danger.

    Pruitt, the man designated to be the next Senate president, issued an urgent call to arms to fellow Republicans in a January fundraising letter. Act now, he wrote, to save the pledge from an "all-out assault by liberal judges, the radical ACLU and the anti-God left."

    Pruitt's pitch was aimed at motivating Florida's conservative Republican base in an election year. It sounded good, but it wasn't really true.

    The irony of this tale is that Republicans, who control the legislative agenda, fumbled an effort to protect the Pledge of Allegiance. It wasn't the liberals' fault after all. Some Republicans decided to spend more time on issues like whether people could bring guns to work.
    "GOP blows its chance to 'protect' the pledge".


    "President to tout senior drug plan in 3-day Florida swing".

    Good Luck

    "Gina Vivinetto, an arts columnist for tbt*/Tampa Bay Times , has resigned from the newspaper after acknowledging that she posted several contributions to a phony Web site that mocked Hillsborough County Commissioner Ronda Storms." "Times arts columnist resigns".


    "Gov. Jeb Bush named a Brevard County businesswoman Thursday to head the state Agency for Workforce Innovation." "Bush names new head for workforce agency".

    Steve Otto

    "Did you know the hurricane season is about three weeks away?" "No Parties For Sinko De Florida".

    Here's A Rumor

    "'He'd be an awesome candidate,' CFO candidate Tom Gallagher said when asked about the Goss for Senate talk." "Senator Goss".

    "Jeb!" and "Bubba"

    "Commentary: How Jeb got Bubba to request dike study".

    SUS Spending

    "The university system ended up with a total of $445 million for significant capital improvements and renovations - $49.9 million for Florida State University, and $31.1 million for Florida A&M. For you Gators out there, UF's take was $89.4 million." "Higher-ed bread". See also "$95 million approved for state universities" and "Extra funding for UF, FSU rankles other universities".

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