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 29, 2006

"Makes you want to vomit"

    The PBP editorial board writes about Florida GOoPers' recent excesses with Florida wingnuts, including participation in the Florida Family Policy Council moneyfest; the silly statements by the Rev. O'Neal Dozier about Crist (see "Christ for Crist?") at a prayer breakfast in Miami-Dade County organized by the Christian Family Coalition; Dozier's statement that homosexuality "makes God want to vomit"; and Jebbie's appointment of Dozier to the commission that screens applicants for judges.
    Gov. Bush defended the Rev. Dozier, calling him "sincere" and a "good man." But the governor predictably misses the point, which is the danger of turning one's own religious beliefs into public policy. The governor put the Rev. Dozier on the commission that screens applicants for judges in Broward County. On that commission, the Rev. Dozier has stated his preference for "God-fearing" judges. If you're keeping score, that's a constitutional error.

    Out of such mistaken thinking came the assaults on the court system during the Terri Schiavo controversy and the relentless effort to have government sanctify marriage as between a man and a woman. Sanctification, though, is better left to religion, while civil rights are better left to government.

    Also this month, Mr. Crist and Mr. Gallagher appeared before the Florida Family Policy Council, the state affiliate of the Rev. James Dobson's fundamentalist Focus on the Family. At that event, Gov. Bush called fundamentalist Christians the "bread and butter" of Florida politics, adding: "People who act on their faith are a large number of people in our state. Most people believe in God. It isn't that novel."

    Same point, missed again. Belief in God and acting on faith can take people in different directions, not just to what the Florida Family Policy Council decrees is in keeping with that faith. One reason that the thinking in Tallahassee and Washington is so narrow on many issues is that those in power are appealing to groups with very narrow interests. Makes you want to vomit.
    "Fundamentally misguided".

    Crist on the Air

    You can view Charile Crist’s first campaign commerical at his website www.charliecrist.com .  "Crist's Ad".  See also "Crist touts fight against crime in first TV ad in governor's race""".

    Mahoney vs. Foley

    "Mahoney, who switched his voter registration from Republican to Democrat last July, will be the best-financed challenger Foley has faced." "Mahoney tries to appease country folk".

    How Extreme Are They?

    A reminder as to how extreme the GOoPers are. Leading Republican candidate in the 13th CD, Vern Buchanan

    has been pretty consistent on his stance on abortion rights -- opposing legal access to the procedure in all cases.

    He has even criticized some candidates in the race for not really being "pro-life" because they allow exceptions when a woman has been raped, is a victim of incest or when her life is in jeopardy.

    But, during a candidate's forum in Sarasota on Thursday, Buchanan raised a few eyebrows when he appeared to add a new exception.

    Buchanan said in the rare event that both the mother's life and the child's life are at risk, he would permit an abortion

    Buchanan said in a later interview that he still would oppose access to an abortion if just the life of the mother was at risk. He said he was just trying to spell out a case where if it was clear that the baby couldn't be saved, he wouldn't force a woman to carry a baby that wouldn't likely survive and could imperil her life as well.

    Flanagan is the only other candidate in the race who is opposed to abortion rights and offers no exceptions. Republicans Tramm Hudson and Donna Clarke both have said they oppose legal abortion, except in cases of rape or incest, or when the life of the mother is at stake.
    "Abortion change?"

    Pre-K An Issue?

    "This year's gubernatorial campaign will be swirling with issues from property insurance to off-shore drilling. A new strategy by the Five Promises to Parents Campaign aims to put improving the state's new pre-kindergarten program at the top of that list." "Group wants preK a focus of governor's race".

    Jeb Watch

    Elisabeth Bumiller, "White House Letter: Like it or not, Bush III is being primed to run".

    Fenney Embarasses Himself ...

    yet again:

    Poor Tom Feeney. There he is, trying to protect Americans from a crazed, runaway judiciary -- and protect the judiciary from dangerous foreign notions like decriminalizing homosexuality.

    And wouldn't you know it, he gets his fingers slapped by one of the few judges he professes to admire: Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.

    Feeney is the guy who (as speaker of the Florida House) carved himself a custom-made congressional district that includes a big hunk of Volusia County. He's been trying to get his fingers into judicial business since he was first elected to the U.S. House in 2002. For Feeney, "separation of powers" is a one-way street: Congress' powers are all-encompassing. The judiciary's powers are what Congress says they are.

    Feeney muscled an amendment onto a child-protection bill three years ago, severely restricting federal judges' authority in criminal cases by requiring them to explain themselves whenever they departed from federal sentencing guidelines in criminal cases. That move was seen as a major threat to judicial independence by judges all the way up to the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist. (The amendment was later stricken down, along with the sentencing guidelines.)

    But Rehnquist's criticism couldn't have hurt as much as last week's blast from Scalia.
    "A telling spat".


    "Floridians upset over Citizens increases".

    Our Legislature At Work

    "Florida college and university academics who travel to Cuba, Iran and other "terrorist" nations for research would no longer be allowed to use state funds under a bill that unanimously passed both chambers of the Legislature." "Scholars fear law restricting travel".

    "Federal prosecutors have issued grand jury subpoenas to obtain bank records from Broward County Sheriff Ken Jenne, who is under investigation for alleged misconduct involving private consulting work, a newspaper reported in a story published Saturday.Jenne" "Prosecutors seek sheriff's financial records".

    South Florida Key To Dem Primary

    "South Florida was the region with the highest voter turnout in the 2002 Democratic primary. In Palm Beach, Broward and Miami-Dade, 418,551 Democrats voted — 31 percent of the statewide vote."

    "I think Broward is the crown jewel in the primary with Palm Beach a close second," said Mitch Ceasar, chairman of Broward County's nearly 500,000 Democrats. "Broward and Palm Beach are the battlegrounds."

    Palm Beach County has more than 300,000 Democrats. In 2002, 108,000 — 36 percent — voted.

    Robin Rorapaugh, who orchestrated McBride's primary victory in 2002, said both candidates will have to work hard in South Florida and will have to search for Democratic voters throughout the state who don't normally vote in the primary.
    "South Florida may be decisive in Democratic primary for governor".


    "Gallagher, Davis jostle for veterans".


    "There's little doubt who Manatee County Sheriff Charlie Wells is endorsing for Congress these days. Wells is in television ads several times a day in Bradenton touting Longboat Key Republican Vern Buchanan for the 13th Congressional district. And he is prominently featured in a new pro-Buchanan mailer hitting Bradenton-area mailboxes this week. So, it came as a pretty big surprise when Wells said he checked Republican Mark Flanagan's Web site and saw a picture of himself prominently displayed on the front page." "Sheriff miffed at Flanagan photo".

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